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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


DazedConfused Report 16 Dec 2012 15:02

Who remembers the Civil War series By The Sword Divided - in this all the older women were known as Goodie
June Brown (Dot Cotton) was in this


Monica Report 15 Dec 2012 19:10

I think it was quite common in the 18th century perhaps more so than later, I have run into it a lot in historical fiction. Perhaps not the best source!


DazedConfused Report 14 Dec 2012 13:56

the term 'good' is a very old way of describing a relative or valued older member of society.

In Tudor times many women were referred to as Goodie 'Jane' or whatever their name was.

I think it was commonly used by Quakers?


John Report 13 Dec 2012 20:49

Thanks to those who responded. I'd never heard of it before - it's written as one word on the 1911 Census entry. Interestingly, in light of the comments on the second 1901 Census entry, this one was also in Motherwell.

One other question - it has Granny's birthplace as "Blackburn, England" when it was actually Blackburn, West Lothian. I'm guessing that whoever took the census was simply told "Blackburn" and didn't know of the West Lothian one?


Ozibird Report 13 Dec 2012 20:39

This is from Rootsweb -

Good brother does mean brother in law. It was quite common in the Midlothian district to hear "good brother " "good sister" "good father" and "good mother", all referring to the "in laws".


alviegal Report 13 Dec 2012 20:18

Not heard of it before, but here are a couple of entries. It does not seem to be common though.

1901 census transcription details for: 737, Dumbarton Road, Govan
Print Close

National Archive Reference:
RG number: RG13
Piece: 646
Folio: 49
Page: 12
Reg. District: Partick
Sub District:
Parish: Govan
Enum. District:
Ecclesiastical District:
City/Municipal Borough:
Address: 737, Dumbarton Road, Govan
County: Lanarkshire
Name Relation Condition Sex Age Birth Year Occupation , Disability Where Born
GEDDES, Alexander Head Married M 28 1873 Gas Meter Inspector
Perth, Perthshire
GEDDES, Amelia Wife Married F 27 1874
Perth, Perthshire
GEDDES, Alexander Mck Son M 0 (7 MONTHS) 1901
Partick, Lanarkshire
>>MCKINLAY, Robert Good Brother Single M 24 1877 Masons Clerk
Perth, Perthshire

1901 census transcription details for: 35, Argyle Street, Dalziel, Motherwell
Print Close

National Archive Reference:
RG number: RG13
Piece: 639
Folio: 2
Page: 30
Reg. District: Dalziel
Sub District:
Parish: Dalziel
Enum. District:
Ecclesiastical District: Dalziel
City/Municipal Borough:
Address: 35, Argyle Street, Dalziel, Motherwell
County: Lanarkshire
Name Relation Condition Sex Age Birth Year Occupation , Disability Where Born
MARTIN, Bernard Head Married M 33 1868 Plate Mill Labourer
Ireland Co Tyron
MARTIN, Mary Wife Married F 29 1872
Calderbank, Lanarkshire
MARTIN, Joseph Son Single M (?)
Motherwell, Lanarkshire
MARTIN, Rosina Daughter Single F 0 (5 MONTHS) 1901
Motherwell, Lanarkshire
MARTIN, James Brother Single M 21 1880 Labourer Barmill
Ireland Co Tyron
>>O BRIAN, Michael Good Brother Single M 21 1880 Labourer Bridgeworks
Glasgow, Lanarkshire


John Report 13 Dec 2012 19:44

Looking at the 1911 Census in Edinburgh today, and that is how my Grandfather's relationship to the head of household was described. It appears to be an old term for "brother in law" (the "Head" of the household was listed as Granny's brother, but that's another story altogether!). Googling the term has turned up nothing, and the staff in Edinburgh had never heard the term either. Anyone ever heard this term?