Recorded as Goss, Gosse, Goscling, Gosling (English), Gosse, Gosmann, and Gosz (German), this surname is related to the pre 7th century Germanic personal name "Gozzo", with the first element of "god", meaning good. In England the name was introduced, not as might have been expected by the original Anglo-Saxons, but by the Norman-French of the 11th century, at the time of the Conquest of 1066. The surname is quite popular in the English West Country, and there are numerous early recordings in the counties of Devon and Cornwall. These include the marriage of John Gosse and Margaret Northcott on September 1559 at St. Mary Arche's, in the city of Exeter, and the christening of Ann Goss on July 9th 1742 at Bodmin, Cornwall. However, it is also possible that in England Goss(e) may have originated as a medieval nickname from the Middle English word "gos", meaning a goose, and would have been given to a person with some fancied resemblance to the bird. The name development has included Richard Goce of London in the year 1205, whilst in Germany Werner Gosse was recorded in the charters of Pfullendorf in 1355, and five centuries we have the recoding of Amalie Friedericke Gosz at Jerusalem, Berlin Stadt, on May 31st 1818. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Gosse. This was dated 1202, in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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