What is the origin of the last name Goff?

The last name Goff is of Welsh origin, derived from the Welsh personal name "Gough" or "Goff," which itself is a variant of the given name "Gwilym," meaning "desire" or "will." It is believed to have been introduced to Britain during the medieval period by Scandinavian settlers, and later spread to other English-speaking countries through immigration and the diaspora.

Countries of origin for the last name Goff

The last name Goff has several possible origins and meanings, each providing unique insights into its etymology and historical significance. One possible origin of the surname Goff is from the Welsh word “gof” meaning “smith.” This suggests that individuals with the last name Goff may have had ancestors who were skilled blacksmiths or involved in metalworking trades. Another potential origin is from the Old English word “gaf,” meaning “gift” or “giving.” This suggests that the name Goff may have been used to identify individuals who were known for their generosity or giving nature.

An alternative derivation of the surname Goff is from the medieval personal name “Goda,” which was a popular name in England during the Middle Ages. Over time, the suffix “-son” was added to indicate “son of Goda,” ultimately giving rise to the surname Goff. This suggests that individuals with this last name may have descended from a person named Goda, who was likely a well-respected and notable individual within their community.

Another possible origin of the name Goff is from the Irish name “Ó Godhthaigh” or “Mac Gothaidh,” which translates to “descendant of Gothaidh.” This suggests that individuals with the last name Goff may have Irish ancestry and may be descended from someone with a name like Gothaidh or Godhthaigh. The O’Gothaidh family was historically associated with County Sligo in Ireland, which further supports this potential origin.

In addition to its various origins, the last name Goff has also undergone changes in spelling over time. Variations of the name include Gough, Gauff, Goffe, Goffin, and Gof, among others. This highlights the fluid nature of last names throughout history and the influence of regional dialects and individual preferences on their spelling.

As with many surnames, the specific meaning and origin of the last name Goff may differ from one individual to another, depending on their unique family history. It is important to consider additional factors, such as regional influences, immigration patterns, and personal connections, when exploring the meaning of a particular last name. While the facts available provide valuable insights into the possible origins and meanings of the surname Goff, there may still be undiscovered information and alternative interpretations that can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of this name.

The last name Goff carries with it a rich history and diverse range of possible origins and meanings. From Welsh blacksmiths to generous individuals and Irish ancestry, the name encompasses a variety of potential connections and associations. The different variations in spelling over time further demonstrate the adaptability and evolution of surnames. However, the complexity and fluidity of the name also leave room for further research and exploration. By delving into the historical context and personal narratives associated with the surname Goff, a more complete understanding of its significance can be achieved.

Interesting facts about the last name Goff

  • The surname Goff is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic word “gobha,” which means “smith” or “blacksmith.”
  • Goff is a relatively uncommon surname, ranking 4,680th in terms of frequency in the United States.
  • According to genealogical records, the surname Goff can be traced back to the medieval period in County Clare, Ireland.
  • Goff is also a variant of the surname Gough, which has Welsh origins and means “red” or “ruddy.”
  • Notable individuals with the surname Goff include American politician and lawyer Thomas F. Goff, English cricketer Christopher Goff, and American actor Richard Goff.
  • The surname Goff has different spellings and variations, including Gough, Gof, Gouff, and Goffe.
  • Historically, the Goffs were known for their expertise in metalworking, particularly in the production of tools and weapons.
  • Over time, members of the Goff family migrated to various parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The Goff surname is often associated with qualities such as strength, craftsmanship, and resilience.
  • The Goff coat of arms features a blacksmith’s anvil and hammer, symbolizing the family’s ancestral occupation.

Name Rank


There are around 32298 people with the last name Goff in the US

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