This unusual name is an English particularly East Anglian, variant of the more usual surname "Gough". There are two possible sources for the name, the first of which is of Celtic origin and is an occupational surname for a smith. The derivation is from the Gaelic "gobha", Cornish\Breton "goff" and was probhably introduced into East Anglia by the Breton followers of William the Conqueror. The second source is also Celtic, from the Welsh nickname for a red-haired person, derived from Welsh "coch", meaning "red".The mutation of "c" to "g" is common in Welsh. The records of St. James' Church, Clerkenwell in London show the marriage of "Ritchard Briggs" and "Mary Goward" in 1666. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wydo Goward. which was dated 1273, The Norfolk Hundred Rolls. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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