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Home: Surnames: Gowdy Family Genealogy Forum

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I am an English Gowdy
Posted by: Catherine Gowdy Date: December 18, 1999 at 15:08:18
  of 381

Hello everyone. I hope you don't mind a long e-mail but I think it may be of interest. I am a Gowdy in my early thirties. Although born in London my father and his family for at least two previous generations were from the North-east of England. This part of Britain is by the coast of the North Sea and the main towns are Sunderland,South Shields and Newcastle. For much of its recent history - especially 1750-1950 - Britain had a huge shipbuilding industry. Already a great sea-faring nation and the supreme naval power in the world after Tralfalgar in 1805, Britain became even more powerful with advent of the iron ship and the marine steam engine. By 1900 Britain built and owned more than half the world's shipping. In the Northeast along the banks of three rivers: the Tyne, the Wear and the Tees there were scores of shipyards. As a matter of interest between 1900 and 1914 Sunderland was the largest shipbuilding town in the world. While more ships were built along the banks of the Clyde, in Scotland, these were in several towns whereas at Sunderland the 8 or more shipyard's were all sited within the towns' boundary. Needless to say both my grandfather and greatgrandfather were in the shipbuilding industry. My greatgrandfather Alfred Gowdy was born in 1869 and was a boilermaker amd my grandfather was a fully apprenticed Plater in one of the major shipyard's in Sunderland. I have all this information from my Grandfather's cousin who is still alive but I have not tried to find out any information about the Gowdy line that Alfred was descended from. All my relatives in those generations married spouses who lived in their own towns and neighbourhoods so the Gowdy family could have lived in the Northeast for a very long time, I am also wondering if due to the shipbuilding history a Gowdy may have migrated down from Scotland and into Northern England. However the name may be native to Northeast England as another Gowdy/Goudy I met also traced their family back to that part of England. Most Gowdy's in Britain are not of Irish descent. This is because Gowdy is a corruption of "Goulder" or "Golden" in Teutonic so it comes from another language rather than the Gaelic. Don't forget that for a thousand years England was invaded by the Romans, the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and the Vikings and then finally a "French" branch of the Vikings, the Normans. The orginal Britons and Celts were pretty watered down by all that foreign blood! - As a postscript, post-empire 20th century industrial Britain was descimated by foreign competition and the shipyards all closed in the 1970s-80s. Hope this is of interest, does anyone have a link to Walter?


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