This web site comprises a brief history of one small branch of the New England and Nova Scotia Goodwins.

This site is a work in progress. Thus, all criticisms, comments, suggestions, additions, or corrections will be very helpful. To submit any such items, click here.

Goodwin is an old English name meaning "God's Friend," and might have the same roots as several other similar names such as Godwin, Goodkin, Godkin, Gookin, etc.

The coat of arms shown on the front page is one of seven known to have been bestowed on the Goodwins for some type of service rendered.

Although Goodwins have been in the USA for a long time (even before it was USA and merely consisted of English colonies), we probably are descended from peasants or tradesmen. (The landed gentry had no reason to leave the old country and rarely did. Exceptions were when the king granted huge tracts of land to certain favored families and one of the sons would travel to the New World to take advantage of this opportunity.) The branch of Goodwins represented by this web site can trace our ancestors in a direct line back to a Josselyn Goodwin, born circa 1405 in London, England. His son, Robert, was a draper (an old English term for a dealer in cloth and dry goods), and Robert's great-great-great grandson, John Goodwin, was a clothier, so chances are we are descended from tradesmen.

There were, however, prominent Goodwins on both sides of the Atlantic:

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