This interesting name, chiefly found in Yorkshire, derives from the Medieval English "gode" meaning "good", plus "will", wish or desire, and was originally given as a complimentary nickname to an amiable person, favourably disposed towards others. The reference, therefore, is not to a strong willed character, but rather to a well - wisher. The surname, with variant spelling Goodwell, is particularly well recorded in Yorkshire Church Registers from the late 16th Century, (see below). On October 29th 1655 Robart Goodwill, an infant, was christened in Terrington, and on March 10th 1689 John, son of Nicolas Goodwill, was christened in Grinton.
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