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Our 2,765 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

I started studying the name Goacher more than 20 years ago. My father's lack of knowledge about his father's family, spurred me trace his ancestors. This developed into a full Goacher One-Name Study, which was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1998.

Variant names

The registered variants of the name are Goatcher, Gocher and Goucher, though more than 30 spellings of the name have been found in historical records.

Name origin

The Goacher surname probably derives from a nickname. The Middle English 'chere' and Old Fench 'chier' may have given rise to the phrase 'gode chier' meaning 'one of good aspect, cheerful appearance'.

The name appears to have developed independently in at least five areas of the UK - Sussex, Shropshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Hertfordshire.

Name frequency

From the index of the 1881 British Census produced by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, there were 856 Goachers in that census. There were 454 Goachers in the US 1880 census and 69 in the Canadian 1881 census. Goachers also emigrated to Australia and New Zealand in the 19th century.

According to an ONS database there were some 1,654 Goachers in the UK as of September 2002.

Distribution of the name

In the 1881 British census Goachers appear in the largest numbers in Sussex (317 entries), Derbyshire (81) and Yorkshire (78).


All the Goacher entries from the General Register Offices for England & Wales since 1837 have been recorded - some 12,000 entries. This data can be found on the Guild web site.

As part of my One-Name Study, I have also collected much other data from Parish Registers, Wills, Electoral Rolls and many other sources.