Select Goodyear Surname Genealogy

Goodyear, as its name suggests, means "good year" and was initially a greeting like "good day" or "good bye." Early spellings of the name were variable.  In the will of Zachary Goodyeare of London, for instance, the name was spelt in three different ways in the one document: Goodyeare, Goodyere, and Goodyeere.

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Select Goodyear Ancestry

Early spellings were Goodere and Goodyere, early origins uncertain.  One family, the Gooderes de Pointon, dates from the 13th century and the village of Poynton in Cheshire.  These Gooderes intermarried with the lordly Warren family and through this association could claim the title “Lord of Poynton.” 

Another Goodere line, traced to Monken Hadley on the borders of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, dates back to the 14th century (there is a memorial to John Goodyere who died in 1404 in Hadley church).  Francis Goodere of this family acquired the church lands of Polesworth in Warwickshire, following the dissolution of the monasteries, and built Polesworth Hall for him and his descendants.  The line at Monken Hadley continued and it is believed that through these Gooderes, via Zachary Goodyere a vintner in London, came Stephen Goodyear, the emigrant to America.  Grace Goodyear Kirkman's 1899 book Genealogy of the Goodyear Family traced this lineage.

The Goodyear name cropped up frequently in Yorkshire during the 19th century.  Yorkshire accounted for 21% of the Goodyears in the 1891 English census.

Stephen Goodyear was one of the founders of the New Haven colony in Connecticut in 1638. 

Charles Goodyear, a descendant via Theophilus Goodyear, was born in New Haven in 1800.  He was the first to vulcanize rubber, a process which he discovered in 1839 and patented in 1844.  Although he died in 1860 after collapsing on the street in New York, his name has lived on.   In 1898, almost four decades after his death, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was founded and named after Goodyear by Frank Seiberling.  Unlike their rivals Firestone there were no real Goodyears at the helm of this company.

Another line, via Andrew Goodyear, was to be found in upstate New York.  Here Frank Goodyear developed an extensive lumber and coal mining business in the late 1800's. 

"To get lumber and coal to market, the Goodyears built the Buffalo and Susquehanna railway north from Wellsville to Buffalo.  This line was completed in 1906 and linked their lumber and coal lands to the ships at Buffalo."

Some of these Goodyears founded the town of Bogalusa in Louisiana in 1906 by building a sawmill there.  Chip Goodyear, who has worked for the Australian company BHP and the Singapore holding company Temasek, came from the same Buffalo family.  

There were also German Goodjahrs who came to America, such as Johann Christian Goodjahr from Saxony who was in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania by the 1740's.  Within a couple of generations their name had changed to Goodyear.

Canada.  Thomas and John Goodyear were two brothers from Yorkshire who emigrated to Canada in the early 1840's.  John started as a shoemaker and later became a detective and constable in Chatham, Ontario.  Thomas stayed in Sandwich, Ontario for a while but then moved south to Detroit.
Select Goodyear Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Goodyear Names

Stephen Goodyear
was one of the founders of the New Haven colony in 1638.
Charles Goodyear discovered and patented the process for vulcanizing rubber in the 1840's.
Julie Goodyear is well-known on British TV as the actress playing Bet Lynch in Coronation Street.

Select Goodyears Today
  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous in Kent)
  • 1,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania) 
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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