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Willington Manor c1950

About the study


The Gostwick/Goswick family has been teetering on the edge of extinction for what seems more than seven centuries.

Like the Phoenix, a few Gostwicks manage to rise from the ashes and carry on this family's name and legacy.


I have been researching this family for more than 35yrs and in the process of getting it published/shared here for posterity.

Please feel free to contact me

Variant names

'de Gosewick' and 'de Gostwick' vanished by the mid 1400s.

Gostwick: (Extinct) Believed to be used from 1275-1790? lines primarily from Sir John Gostwick  of Willington, Bedfordshire, England

Goswick: Primarily in use in the southern United States

Gostwyck: One line from Edward Gostwyck, of Devon, England. The family had strong lines of education and was persistent with this variant.

Gostick: Many of the Crafting tradesman of Bedfordshire are found exclusively using 'Gostick'. These small family lines continue today in Britain though the numbers must be in the small 100s.

Gossett: A handful of family lines in America, morphed from Goswick to Gossett. Most Gossetts are NOT Goswicks. DNA will be needed to prove these lines

One family dropped the second S and has become 'Goset'. 




Name origin

Traditionally, the 'Gostwick' surname has been traced to early kinsman in the Bedfordshire, England area around 1300 a.d.

Earlier historians of the family have insisted that there was some early town nearby named 'Gostwycke'. They have specifically ruled out the Northumberland town of Goswick, with it's well known association to Lindesfarne Abbey. 

My 35yr study has revolved around the phonetic morphology of the Gostwick variants, and believe the town of Goswick is *indeed* the origin of the family name.

Early ancestors, such as Walter de Gosewick, his brother Roger de Goswick. Many spelling variations, but never the added 'T' in Northumberland, and the Scottish border.

I believe one branch of the family migrated in the early to mid 1200s to Bedfordshire. One branch remained, Burgesses of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. The group that remained, endured great hardships and made great gains as merchants of a town in constant siege. In 1296, when Berwick was recaptured by the English, Walter de Gosewick sued for damages, and requested permission for he and his family to live in England, renouncing any Scottish property rights.

I believe Walter didn't make it into the Bedfordshire records. Perhaps he never lived to complete the journey.

the Family settled in Willington, Bedfordshire, England by the mid 1200s. There, the name took on the 'T'. Perhaps it was first said in a way that sounded like 'Ghost-wick'. I have, on several occasions, seen it spelled that way.

As branches of the family saw harder times, with less education, some became 'Gostick', though DNA has not yet confirmed this.

All American Goswicks are believed to be descended from Joseph W Gostwick, who settled Penasco Hundred, Baltimore County, in the colony of Maryland. Joseph arrived on the ship 'Love' which sailed to Baltimore in 1677. American Goswicks are more predominant in the Southern half of the USA, though several families moved north. 

Name frequency


Gostwick, and the variant spellings: Gostwicke, Gostwycke, Gostwyk, Gostwyke are all but extinct.

Derivative surnames exist in several localized areas of the world.

In England, where you would expect it to be well represented, it is not. Gosticks and one 'stubborn' family that kept the Gostwyck spelling are about all you can find in the England Census records of 1911. One or two families are seen to pop up in modern British records using the Goswick spelling.

In America, phonetics must have gravitated toward the Goswick pronunciation, as the T was dropped in the early 1700s.

There about 1000 known Goswicks to have ever lived in America. The name does not seem to be expanding, and I suggest there are less than 400 living Goswicks in America, today, including the few branches where the name further changed to 'Gossett'.