This interesting surname, is a variant of "Gough", which has two possible origins. It may be an English occupational name for a smith, of Celtic origin from the Gaelic "gobha", and the Cornish-Breton word "goff", both meaning smith, which is widespread in East Anglia, where it is probably of Breton origin, having being introduced by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest. Gough may also derive from the Welsh word "coch", red, which was used as a nickname for a person with red hair. The surname itself first appears in records in the early 13th Century, (see below). Felicia Goch was recorded in 1306, in the "Calendar of Inquisitones post mortem", in Gloucestershire, while later, in 1327, the Subsidy Rolls of Essex mentioned a John Guch and William Gugge. The Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester list John Gooch in 1374. Thomas Gouge (1609-1681) a notable namebearer was educated at Eton and Kings College Cambridge and provided work for the poor in flax and hemp-spinning. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Goch, which was dated 1203, "Pleas before the King or his Justices (1198-1202) "Shropshire", during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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