The Goodliffe Family of Lambley Lodge, Belton in the County of Rutland

The Froggatt - Goodliffe Connection

Arnold Goodliffe (1807-1888) was my great-great grandfather. His youngest daughter Sarah, married William FROGGATT in 1867 in Nottingham. The story of William is told elsewhere on this website.

I began to record some information about Arnold and his family, orginally based around a typescript copy of his family Memoirs - "The Story of My Life". These memoirs were written by Arnold in 1887 just before he died in 1888, and contain a wealth of memories about his family and his life. Since then, Arnold's draft copy of his Memoirs; his handwritten final copy; the copy in a different hand; and the later typescript can be accessed on this website.

My knowledge of the extended family has grown too, and there is an extensive record here of the GOODLIFFE family, especially from Thomas and Ann (CURTIS) onwards. I am sure there is more information, so if you have something of interest, especially photographs, please contact me: paul at

You can access the four different versions of Arnold's memoirs here

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The Goodliffe Family History

What's In a Name - GOODLIFFE?

Also GOODLIFF, GOODLEFF, GOODLIFT and other phonetic versions.

As perhaps expected, there is no clear origin for the surname GOODLIFFE. One version is from the Saxon name GODLEOF meaning "Preferred by God". Another is from the Flemish St GODELIVE" god - "good" and "heofu" - dear love".

The first recorded use in Britain is as "Godlif" in 1086, in the Domesday Book for Cambridge, and in the same spelling in the 1197 pipe rolls of the county of Kent.

The first genealogical record is the burial of Joan GOODLIFFE on 2 January 1548 at St Bartholomew the Less in London.

The first parish record related to the GOODLIFFE family studied here (for which we have an image of the record - not just a transcript) is the baptism of Thomas GOODLIFFE on 28 September 1614 at Gretton, Northamptonshire. Remarkably the spelling in this early record is "GOODLIFFE".

1614 Baptism for Thomas GOODLIFFE at Gretton. (Click on any image in this site to see the full version.)

Where does this story start? - LAMLEY LODGE

Our detailed (and verifiable) knowlege of the GOODLIFFE family starts with LAMLEY LODGE - originally a hunting lodge in Leithfield Forest near the village of Belton in the county of Rutland. The Goodliffe family was associated with Lamley Lodge for more than 250 years. Lamley was its original name. The spelling was later changed by Mary GOODLIFFE to Lambley, supposedly to rhyme with "lamb" to stop the tendency of the time to pronounce it as "lame"-ly.

There is more information about Lambley Lodge here.

Delving into the Goodliffe tree is not new. Arnold set out some of it in his memoirs in 1887. The most extensive tree was drawn up by Frank Arnold Goodliffe, of "Lambley Lodge", Horsham, Sussex in April 1933 (not the original Lambley Lodge). Frank was the great-grandson of Arnold (1807-1888). His diagram is a distinctive series of lines, recording births, marriages and deaths, but only the names of the male children are recorded on it. There is another version of this chart, slightly redrawn in places and clearer than my copy of the blueprint, that can be seen here.

In all these web pages, click on any image for a larger view.

These charts go back to William Ye Elder and his wife Elizabeth (GODFREY). William's grandmother (Martha) died in Belton in June 1711 and this is the first record of a GOODLIFFE in Rutland. Assuming this is the Martha recorded as the mother of several births in Gretton, Northants, then we can link the Belton and Gretton families. There are many versions of the Goodliffe family history on the Internet which appear to have made this assumption, but I am not aware of any conclusive evidence for the link.

So, assuming the Martha who died in Belton is the same Martha WORTH who married Thomas Goodliffe in Gretton, she was widowed in Gretton in May 1692. Soon after this she moved back to Belton in Rutland. We can then draw up this tree, linking back to Lion GOODLIFFE in Gretton.

                            |                                      |                                    |
                         Isabell============v==============Lion GOODLIFFE=====================v===Alice WRIGHT
                                            |                 ?-1606                           |    ?-1630/31
                                            |                                                  |
                                            |------------|-----------|----------|--------|     |--------|
                                          Thomas     Elizabeth     Alice   Christopher  John  Robert    Ann
                                            |         1581-        1584-    1586-1654   1589-  1594-    1598-
                                            |                                   |
                                          m:1594                                m:
                                       Alice COOPER                          Margery
                                            |                                   |
                                            |                                   |----------|
                                            |                              Christopher  Thomas
                                         Thomas  Lawrence  Elizabeth  Marye   Ann    John
                                          1614-     1617-            1624/5-  1627- 1629/30
                                            |                                         |
                                            m:                                       m:
                                           Anne                                     Cecily
                                            |                                         |
                                            |                                        Ann
                                         Thomas     John  William   Ann   Mary   Alice  Robert  Michael
                                        1650-1692   1652-  1653-    1657- 1660-  1663-   1666-   1669-
                                            |         |                            |               |
                                          m:1687      m:                         m:1692          m:1700
                                      Martha WORTH Elizabeth                  Thomas BURD      Mary EMERY
      Thomas                         William Ye Elder   Robert
      1688-                             1690-1738        1693-
        |                                   |
      m:1719                              m:1713
   Martha CLARE                     Elizabeth GODFREY
     William   Jane  Elizabeth  John     Thomas         Sarah   Richard   Alice
    1715-1797  1717-   1719-    1720-   1722-1810       1724-    1726-    1738-
        |                         |         |             |                 |
      m:1746                     m:       m:1754        m:1748            m:1762
 Frances BLACKLEY               Mary     Ann CURTIS Benjamin BROOME   James STRICKLING
        |                                   |
   9 children                          Lambley Lodge
                                       See next chart

Thomas Goodliffe (28 Dec 1722 - 28 Jul 1810) married Ann CURTIS on 25 Feb 1754 at Wardley, Rutland. They had five children: Thomas, William, Elizabeth, Ann and Sarah. A transcript (in PDF format) of Thomas' Will, dated 15 Sept 1800 can be viewed here.

Arnold recalls in his memoirs that his family had lived at Lambley Lodge for about 200 years. (There is more information about Lambley Lodge here). Lambley Lodge is near to the Village of Belton in the County of Rutland. The family events are recorded at the parish church of St Peters in Belton. There is information and photographs about St Peters Church, Belton, where many of the Goodliffe family are buried.

                   Lion GOODLIFFE
                         |                                   |
                  Thomas GOODLIFFE===========v===========Ann CURTIS
                     1722-1810              1754         1726-1792
                                           Thomas     William     Elizabeth         Ann         Sarah 
                                         1756-1829     1759-         |               |            |
                                             |                       |               |            |
                                           m:1791                  m:1782          m:1792        m:
                                         Mary ARNOLD           Stephen BLACK  William CURTIS  George ROYCE
 Elizabeth    Mary     Thomas     Anna      John    William    James     William     Mary    Daniel    Arnold     Sarah
 1792-1830 1793-1793 1794-1816 1796-1886 1798-1864 1799-1799 1800-1868  1801-1854 1803-1825 1805-1890 1807-1888 1809-1885
     |         |         |         |         |         |         |          |         |         |        |          |
   m:1812                        m:1823    m:1832              m:1823     m:1823              m:1830   m:1830     m:1844
   Samuel                         John    Elizabeth          Elizabeth    Bridget              Mary     Ann       James
  RICHMOND                       CULPIN    STOKES             ANDREWS  NEWBOLD/MAJOR          ATKIN    SPEED     ANDREWS
     |                             |         |                   |          |                   |        |          |

The Children of Thomas Goodliffe and Mary Arnold of Lambley Lodge, Belton in Rutland

The painting of Mary Goodliffe (née Arnold) painted by Mr James of Nottingham in 1848, when Mary was in her 78th year.

The photographic copy made in 1918.

The note accompanying the painting

The note accompanying the original photographic copy.

Memorial plaque for Thomas and Mary Goodliffe in the Baptist Church, Barrowden, Rutland. Arnold (their son) reports in his memoirs that he arranged for this plaque to be built and installed after Mary's death. (Photo by Keith Rippin)

Headstone of Thomas and Anna. Inscription on left reads: "In Memory of Thos Goodliffe of Lamley Lodge who departed this life July 28 1816 aged 88" Inscription on right reads "In Memory of ANNA, wife of Thos Goodliffe of Lamley Lodge who departed this life March 27 1792 aged 72"

Thomas(13 Nov 1756 - 17 Dec 1829) married Mary ARNOLD on 20 Nov 1791 at Barrowden by licence from the Bishop of Peterborough. Presumably the licence was required as Thomas was from another parish. The couple resided at Lambley Lodge.

Bishop's Transcript for the marriage of Thomas Goodliffe to Mary Arnold at Barrowden.

The family bible (at one time in the possession of Mr Stokes Goodliffe of Old Lambley Lodge - although I do not know where it is today) records the family of Thomas and Mary:

Thomas Goodliff and Mary Arnold was married Nov 20th 1791
Their daughter Elizabeth was born August the 28th 1792
A second daughter was born Oct 11th 1793, died the same day
Thomas was born Oct the 8th 1794
Anna was born Aug the 31st 1796
John Goodliff was born Feb the 23rd 1798
William Goodliff was born April the 11th 1799 and died April 18th
James Goodliff was born June the 14th 1800
William Goodliff was born June the 20th 1801
Mary Goodliff was born June the 4th 1803
Daniel Goodliff was born July the 5th 1805>
Arnold Goodliff was born May the 23rd 1807
Sarah Goodliff was born Nov 7th 1809>
Thomas Goodliff Jnr died April 18th 1816 aged 21 years
Mary Goodliff died June 29th 1825 aged 22 years

You may click on the highlighted names in the tree or the above list to link to information about each family.

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Last updated: 21 July 2021