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About the study

My paternal grandmother used to remark 'If you meet anyone called Doogood, they will be a relative'. Yeah, right.

When I began to study my Family History a few years ago, I made the usual searches and was surprised to find the surname cropped up only infrequently in sources like FreeBMD, the IGI or the 1881 census for England and Wales.

One of my sons became intrigued and decided to search the entire GRO Index in microfiche for the name, and from this and other sources we built up a picture - all the fragments began to link up and in the end we discovered that, apart from a handful of people that couldn't be fitted in, my grandmother had been right all along - the Doogoods in England and Wales (and, we later found, Australia) were all descended from John Doogood and his wife Mary Faulks, who were married in Leigh, Worcestershire, in 1770.

I mentioned this once on one of the genealogy newsgroups, and a well-known GOON observed 'You seem to be conducting a one-name study - why don't you join the Guild?' So I did.

There's still a lot to do pre-1770, when the name was a bit more common, and I do know that there were Doogoods overseas (in the West Indies for example) that haven't been touched yet, so even though this is a small study compared with most, there is still plenty to keep me busy!

Variant names

Doogood is the most common spelling, but in some of the earlier records it appears as Doegood. A few members of the family called themelves Dogood. Dugard is NOT a variant, nor as far as I can discover, are Duguid or Dugad (Scotland).

Name origin

The extant Doogood family appears to have originated in Leigh (pronounced Lye) in Worcestershire, where Wileus Doegood was christened on 27 September 1542. It may have originated spontaneously elsewhere.

Historical occurrences of the name

The Doogoods seem to have been quite good as escaping what would now be called media attention. The only real claimant to fame is Henry Doogood, who was 'the most celebrated of Wren's plasterers' and decorated a number of buildings around 1690.

Nineteenth and twentieth century Doogoods followed quite a range of professions! They include a farmer, an excise officer, a railway porter, a couple of tailors, an attorney, a builder, a painter and decorator, an innkeeper, a jeweller, a coal miner, a Charlie Chaplain impersonator and a television cameraman. And they do crop up here and there in the Times Digital Archive, the London Gazette, etc.

Name frequency

There are 154 Doogoods in my family, born since about 1730. There are also about half a dozen in the 1800s for which I cannot find any link (one of whom was born in the West Indies). The IGI comes up with about 290, mostly pre-1800 (and the post-1800 ones are all in my family anyway); there are many duplicates in the 290.

Distribution of the name

As well as the Worcestershire family, the name crops up in the IGI in Christchurch, Hampshire, in Braintree and Clavering in Essex, and in London, with a few instances in Hertford and other places. There are also Scottish Doogoods. I have still to attempt to correlate these into families (or even weed out the duff ones).