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GODFREY Family History

Recorded in many spellings including Godfrey, Godfroy, Godfry, Gotfree, Godfree and Godfreed, this is an English surname. It is however of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins and derives from the personal name 'God-frida'. This was composed of the elements 'guda', meaning good, and 'frid' - peace, a meaning which no doubt contributed to its considerable popularity. The modern surnames probably derive from the French - Norman form of the name, 'Godefroi', introduced into England at the Conquest of 1066, and held by a number of William's closest comrades.

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Deirdre Godfrey

There are plenty of thoroughly Irish Godfreys, centered around Irishtown/Kilvine in southeast Co. Mayo, and also to my understanding in Co. Tipperary. They are not to be confused with the English Godfreys who have settled in Ireland. The Irish Godfrey is derived from the Gaelic surname MacGothraidh, a branch of the Maguires of Fermanagh, as attested in MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland, and confirmed years ago to my sisters by the late Willie Corry, local historian in Irishtown, Co. Mayo. Our DNA results confirm pure Irish heritage.

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