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The name Goodbody is supposed to mean 'God's dwelling place' or 'God in the House'. The Goodbodys probably arrived in Ireland from England in about 1630, but the first known record is of a Richard Gobodi, a tenant of Everard, who was 'in mercy' for failing to appear at the Grand Assize in Coventry, England in 1221. In 1297, a William Goodbody was apprehended by the Prioress of Nuneaton in 1227 for poaching deer and hares.

In about 1660, Goodbodys became Quakers and some of the branches have remained so until this day.

The dynasty is an exclusive one and now you can find Goodbodys all over the world; the Mountmellick and Clara branches in the USA and Canada, but also in the UK and Ireland.

28 principal businesses have been started by the Goodbodys, one of the most famous being Goodbody & Co. (Goodbody, Glynn & Dow) stock and share and commodity brokers of 2 Broadway, New York and most principal American cities. This company was originally started by Robert Goodbody, one of whose partners was Charles Dow, who started his own firm. Dow Jones & Co, originators of the official Wall Street share index.

Many Goodbodys have led colourful lives, including Francis William Goodbody of Tombstone Arizona, born Illinois c.1864, who was a lawyer, and around the lawless times of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, became Probate Judge of Tombstone. There is believed to be a portrait of him hanging in the courthouse.

Richard Goodbody of Waukegan, born New York c.1820 took part in the California Gold Rush with his brother, Francis Alexander. They joined an expedition called 'French's Overland Express Train' which set out from New York in April 1850 to reach California via El Paso, Texas and Mexico. Capt. French turned out to be a swindler and the company split into smaller groups, eventually reaching Mazatlan on the Mexican coast after a hazardous journey. They then embarked on the Mexican barque, 'Guaymas' but Richard died at sea of a fever two days out from San Francisco.

Another Goodbody, William Urwick of New York and Scotland was reputed to be one of the first people to see the Loch Ness monster, whilst driving by the Loch in December 1933, whilst Robert Goodbody was believed to have helped Marconi, the inventor of the wireless, conduct one of his early experiments at Charlestown, resulting in considerable family backing for the original Marconi telegraph.

The Goodbody crest is 'a dexter hand holding a scimitar proper'.

(This information has been collected from The Goodbody Family of Ireland, by Michael I.A. Goodbody.)

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