The Gowdy - Goudy Family
History of the Gowdy - Goudy - Goudey - Gouedy - Gowdie - Goudie - Gowdey - Goudey Name

Steven and Kenneth Goudey have Canadian connections and describe the history of this name in many of its spelling variants.  Their website is

Our original name was spelled "Gade" and is of Norse decent appearing in writings as early as 780 AD. The Scandinavians or Vikings under Rollo, the "Ganger", afterwards the Duke of Normandy, entered the River Seine in France in 876 with as many as 700 galleys and 40,000 followers. He compelled the king to deed to him what is now the whole province of Normandy. Rollo divided the lands among his followers. They intermarried with the French. The Breuses (Bruise, Bruce) were connected by marriage to the Gaudas and were together in the conquest of England 1066 under William the Conquer and had grants of land in England. Sir Breuse Gawdey was a knight in 1352. Both the Gawdey and Breuse families went to Scotland. It was Francis Gawdy as Judge of the Queen's Bench who on Oct. 14, 1586 at Fotheringham Castle read the charges against Mary, Queen of Scots and gave judgement against her in the Star Chamber in London. The Gawdy-Goudie family and the Bruise-Bruce family were in Ayreshire, Scotland as early as Henry VI reign. The Goudies had a mill (Cragie Mill) and lived in that section for 400 years. They were Covenanters and suffered the persecutions of the times, as King Charles I who was a bigoted Catholic tried to force the Episcopal Service Book upon the Protestant population of Scotland.

In 1603 King James commenced the undertaking of planting 6 counties in Ulster in the north of Ireland with his Scottish subjects. He had crushed the Irish Rebellion and had confiscated more than 2,000,000 acres of land. Leases were to be for not less than 21 years and the Scotch tenants were to be prevented from marrying with the Irish natives. Among the emigrants were members of the Ayreshire family of Goudie. John Gowdy was a schoolmaster there in 168l. Rev. John Goudy was Presbyterian minister.

The country was plagued by wolves and the dispossessed Irish who hid in the hills and descended to kill people and stock and set fire to the houses. They were called Woodkern. in 1640 they killed 40,000 of the Scots. Cromwell crushed the rebellion. When Charles II became king in 1660 he persecuted the Protestants in Scotland so that many more fled to Ireland. They were persecuted there and Charles sent armies against them until William of Orange sent 2 ships with men and provisions. After this thousands fled from Northern Ireland to America. The early Goudey's in New England probably came to America around 1719, although there is some evidence to suggest they may have come earlier than that.

"George Goudey" was the first known descendant in North America living at Marbelhead Massachusetts. He was married to Elizabeth Morgan in 1736. His 2 sons James Goudey and Phillip Goudey moved to Forchu (Yarmouth N.S.) in 1775 to start the Canadian link. Even though one would think they they would have been Pro-British to move to Canada during the start of the American Revolution, they were in fact Pro-American. Steve Goudey discovered this fact in a book called "Annals of Yarmouth and Barrington in Revolutionary war". It notes that both James and Phillip helped American Privateers escape from a Halifax, British prison. Because of this fact they were given clear sea passage from American forces to the port of Boston during the hostilities.