Explore the Family Name Godfrey

The meaning of Godfrey

1. English (of Norman origin): from the Norman personal name Godefrei, Godefroi(s), composed of the ancient Germanic elements god, got ‘god’ + frid(u), fred ‘peace’. See also Jeffrey. 2. Irish: shortened and Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gothraidh or Ó Gothraidh, ‘descendant of Gothfrith’, an Old Norse personal name often Anglicized as Godfrey. Compare McGorry, McCaffrey. History: An Irish family of the name Godfrey originated in Romney, Kent. The first of them to settle in Ireland was Colonel John Godfrey, who was rewarded with lands in Kerry for his services in the 1641 rebellion. Godefroy, Lord of Normanville, from Normandy, was married in Trois-Rivières, QC, in 1636. He was captured by the Iroquois in 1652. His brother, Lord of Linctot, from Rouen, was also married in 1636 in Trois-Rivières, and lived from 1629 to 1632 among the Hurons. Another Godefroy, from Paris, was a trader and interpreter from 1623.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Godfrey in the United States?

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Godfrey saw a slight decline in ranking between 2000 and 2010, moving from 1159th to 1230th, representing a 6.13% decrease. However, the count, which represents the number of people with the surname, increased by 3.73% during this decade, from 27,700 to 28,734. The proportion of people with the surname Godfrey per 100,000 also decreased by 5.16%, dropping from 10.27 to 9.74.

Proportion per 100k10.279.74-5.16%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Godfrey

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows that the majority of individuals with the surname Godfrey identify as White, although the percentage decreased slightly from 80.47% in 2000 to 78.05% in 2010. During the same time period, those identifying as Black made up the second largest group, increasing from 15.31% to 16.23%. There were also notable increases observed among those identifying as Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaskan Native, with percentage changes of 61.70%, 34.04%, and 8.45% respectively. Those who identified with two or more races also saw an increase, moving from 1.64% to 2.05%.

Two or More Races1.64%2.05%25%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.71%0.77%8.45%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.47%0.63%34.04%

Godfrey ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Godfrey is British & Irish, which comprises 55.4% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.2%) and Scandinavian (4.4%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Nigerian, and Spanish & Portuguese.

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British & Irish55.4%
French & German21.2%

Possible origins of the surname Godfrey

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Godfrey have recent ancestry locations all within United Kingdom.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom87.70%
Greater London, United Kingdom87.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom87.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom87.40%
West Midlands, United Kingdom87.10%

What Godfrey haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Godfrey is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-S16361 and R-Y4010, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Dixon, Knight, Dennis, Weaver, Miller, Thompson, Weber, Sanders, Smith, Saunders.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Godfrey surname are: H1, T2b, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

godfreyPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Godfrey have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Godfrey" Surname 48.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Godfrey" Surname 25.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Godfrey" Surname 20.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Godfrey" Surname 17.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Godfrey?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Godfrey are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%