Goodno Family History


The name spelled Goodenow, Goodenough, Goodnough, Goodno, Goodnow, or any of the many ways the name is spelled, almost all descended from a family that came to America from the south of England in 1638.

 Five members of the immigrant family came to America; three brothers, John, Thomas, and Edmund, and their sisters Ursula and Dorothy ( their deceased father's name was Thomas and their grandfather's was John). The brothers lived nearby each other in England. John in Semley, Thomas in Shaftsbury, and Edmund in Dunhead, in the neighboring shires of Dorset and Wilts.

In 1638 they sailed from Southampton to Boston aboard the 200 ton ship "Confidence". Shortly after their arrival they joined with others to settle Sudbury, the 19th town in Massachusetts. The book "Puritan Village" by Sumner Chilton Powell discusses the formation of this town in some detail.To this day the name is well known there, and the Goodenow Library stands as a tribute to descendants of the line of Edmund Goodenow.

The oldest brother, John, had only daughters, ending the name in his line. Edmund, the youngest, was by far the most distinguished of the three, being prominent in Sudbury town affairs all his life. His death in 1688 is still commemorated by an ancient tombstone in the old Sudbury Cemetery in Wayland, Massachusetts. Three grandsons, by his son John, had sizable families and are the ancestors of about half the families in America today.

The remaining brother, Thomas stayed in Sudbury until 1656, when he joined a group that pushed westward to settle the town of Marlboro, Massachusetts. The name is well remembered in that area from the loss of one of his granddaughters. On the highway west of town stands a marker in memory of Mary Goodenow, slain by Indians in 1707. Mary had a club foot and was unable to outrun the Indians who surprised her as she was picking berries.

The descendants of Thomas showed the earliest tendency to move onward into new territories, keeping up with the gradual westward and northward movement from Massachusetts. The first member of the family was Samuel of the fourth generation. He left in 1755 with many of his bothers leaving shortly thereafter and settling in New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Many descendants in these lines changed the spelling of the name to Goodenough.

Edmund's descendants remained in Sudbury for many generations; those of the family in eastern Massachusetts today are largely descended from his line. In general the original Goodenow spelling has been maintained, although Goodnow is quite common and a few Goodenoughs also stem from this line.

As the families pushed westward, over the Erie Canal, down the Ohio and across the prairies, they left behind an interesting record. Goodnow Mountain and Goodnow River in the Adirondacks, Goodenow Illinois and Goodnow Hills Washington stand as mute evidence of the advance of the family. They were early pioneers in many areas; one founded Maquoketa, lowa, another the Kansas State University in Manhattan Kansas, a dozen were 49'ers in California, and others were early Rocky Mountain prospectors.

I am a descendant of Edmund Goodenow the youngest brother. Edmund's three grandsons had large families and are the ancestors of about half the Goodno's (spelled many different ways) families in America today.

Several generations after Edmund, Daniel Goodno left the Goodno clan in Massachusetts and came to Belpre, Ohio (near the first Ohio settlement, Marietta on the Ohio river). He married Sallie Cushing (also from MA) in 1802. Both died in Belpre (Daniel in 1832 and Sallie in 1864).

Their son Daniel Harry Goodno married  a girl from West Virginia, Mary Prentice. They traveled westward to Alexandria, Missouri (on the Mississippi river by the Iowa border) where their son (my great great grandfather) Ben Goodno was born in 1836. Dan returned to West Virgina and had another son, John Mayberry. He then returned to Missouri in time for the 1840 census. He again went to W. VA and remarried another woman, Matilda H. Deem in 1849 . Per the 1880 Buffalo, Putnam, West Virginia census, Daniel lived with the Gates family, his daughter Rebecca (from his first wife's family). He was a widower and worked as a Gardener. Dan died in Placer, California in 1887 (Dan's daughter Mary C. Allen (Goodno) lived there and died two years after Dan).

My great great grandfather, Ben H. Goodno with his first wife, Adeline (Hyde) had three children. Harry C., my great grandfather, Belle, who married Milford Donoho in 1876 and had at least 9 children and John, who died very young. Ben's wife, Adeline died in 1881. Sometime during this period, Ben moved to Kansas and with his second wife Ada (Williams), had two children, Uhlam and Marion (Ben was 62 when Marion was born!).  Marion married Ben Donoho, her half nephew (20 years older than her). In the census records Ben Goodno's occupation was listed as "Rope spinner" and "Merchant". Per the 1900 census, Ben Goodno with his second family and the Milford Donoho family were still living in Bronson, Kansas.

These are Ben's obituaries:

Death of Ben H. Goodno

One of the Oldest Settlers and Most Prominent Men of Bronson, Died this Morning. Benjamin H. Goodno, aged about seventy-five years, and one of the oldest settlers of Bronson, having resided there ever since the town was organized, died this morning at five o'clock as the result of a paralytic stroke which he suffered last Friday. He is survived by a wife (Ada), three daughters, Mrs. Milford Donoho, of California, Mrs. Robert Brown, of Bronson, Miss Marion Goodno, who resides at the home in Bronson, and one son, Harry Goodno of Amarillo, Texas. Word as to funeral arrangements had not been received here this afternoon.

Benjamin H. Goodno, was one of the best known and most prominent men of the Bronson neighborhood, and had lived there as long and as continuously, perhaps, as any other resident. Before the advance of age made it impossible, he was active in politics, and at one time represented this county in the state legislature. He was a man who had a wide acquaintance, and was held in high esteem by a host of friends, who will be grieved to hear of his death.

--Fort Scott Tribune-Monitor, Monday, January 13, 1913--

After Long, Useful Lives

Ben H. Goodno, who was stricken on Thursday of last week with paralysis, succumbed Monday morning, after a desperate struggle.

Few men have been more widely known here, or more interested in all public moves and political matters than Ben H. Goodno whose interesting life story follows:

Ben H. Goodno was born June 25, 1836 in Marion Co., MO. While a mere child his parents took him to West Virginia, then to Ohio. At the age of fourteen he left home and became a cabin boy on a river boat on the Mississippi. A companion died on this boat of yellow fever, and thinking the dead boy to be Ben, his parents had funeral services held for him.

Ben had been sent to town to purchase a pound of candles and with his companion, decided not to return to home, and came to Quency, Ill., where they obtained work on the boat. Long years after, his parents ( Daniel H. and his 2nd wife, Matilda, not Ben's mother) also moved to Quency and Ben, now man of a family came to see them, bringing the pound of candles he had been sent for twenty years before.

He was then the owner of an extensive rope walk at Quency.

On March 19, 1856 Mr. Goodno was married to Sarah Adeline Hyde at Alexandra, MO. to this union were born Lucy Belle, now Mrs. M.H. Donoho of Los Angeles, CA; Harry Chas Goodno of Amarillo, Texas; and John Prentiss who died in infancy.

The family moved to Kansas in 1870, living on the Cox place near Elismore until 1872 when they moved to the homestead one and a half miles east of Bronson, now the Larmer place. In 1883 they moved to Bronson, then a burg of a dozen houses. Mrs. Goodno died in 1888 and the deceased (?) was again married to Miss Ada Williamson on August 1, 1889. To this union were born two daughters, Uhlma, now Mrs. Robert Brown, and Miss Marion.

Mr. Goodno was a man of usefulness to his town and community, being elected to the Kansas State Legislature in 1894 from this the twenty first district, and serving two terms, twice serving Bronson as Mayor, and filling sundry lesser offices.

Mr. Goodno was a member of long standing in the Knights of Pythias and Workman, and carried insurance of two thousand dollars in the latter.

Over the remains were held the last rites Wednesday afternoon at the Methodist Episcopal church, conducted by the pastor, Rev. G.H. Atherton, and the mortal laid in the Bronson cemetery.

The following relatives from a distance were here to attend the funeral: Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Goodno, Amarillo, Texas; Mrs. M.H. Donoho, Los Angeles, Cal.; Misses Aldie; Addie and Blanche, and Messers Will, Emery and Hillie Donoho of Kansas city. These with the wife and daughters, and brothers, T.S. and J.M. Goodno, mourn his loss and have the sympathy of the community.

Dr. J.W. Reed
(John William Reed was born in Lawrence C., Illinois Oct. 1, 1863) 

Provided by Mary K. Natho (daughter of Marion Goodno, grand daughter of Ben Goodno),  6929 8th St., Rio Linda, CA 95673

Ben died in 1913 at the age of 77 in Bronson, KS.

Harry C. Goodno, my great grandfather was born in Missouri in 1860. He and his wife Emma (Meade) had two children, William (my grandfather) born in1883 in Kansas city, Missouri, and Addie in 1888 in Kansas. Harry's occupation was "Railroad Conductor". At the turn of the century, Harry and his family were living in Springfield, Missouri, by 1910 they were living in Amarillo, TX. Harry died in 1914 at the age of 54. I have located a photo of his gravesite in Kansas city. The only inscription on the headstone is his death year; 1914. No birth date and no day/month death date! Why is he buried there? I thought he was living with his wife in Amarillo Texas at the time.

William Goodno and his wife Vesta Marie (Vollintine) had two children, Robert Harry and Alice Rey. Robert, my father was born in El Reno, Oklahoma in 1912. The William Goodno family moved to Los Angeles about 1916-17 where Alice was born. Alice married a couple of times (last name "Shearer") but I do not believe she had children. William's occupation was listed in the census records as "Traveling salesman" and "Assistant manager, groceries". He was the owner of the "Pacific Livestock commission Co." when he died suddenly of heart failure in 1941.

Point of interest. "Goodno" has been spelled many different ways. The way it is now spelled seems to be consistent from at least the time of Ben Goodno. Daniel H. was spelled "Goodnoe" in the 1840 MO census.

Robert Harry Goodno, my father, was born September 20, 1912 in El Reno, Oklahoma. His father was William Goodno, a traveling salesman who was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1883. His mother was Marie (Vollintine) Goodno, housewife,  born 1888 in Illinois. They had one other child, Alice Rey, born about 1918 in Ca. (Marie died shortly after my parents were married).

The only member of the Goodno family I ever met was Alice. As I remember, she had some medical or emotional problems. Harriet says that Alice and her husband visited my mother at the Southridge house, 1952-58? (I don't remember). Alice was a grade behind Harriet at the same high school. Alice Rey (Goodno) Shearer  died in L.A. in 1969.

My father never talked about his family and I have never seen any photographs of them. I think he had a falling out. He did mention that he ran away from home and worked on a ranch at one time.

Bob's death certificate states that he lived in California for 33 years. One thing my father had told me, jokingly or otherwise,  that he had some Indian blood in him! By the way, I could not find any records of any Indians in my ancestry. For some reason I always called my father "Bob", never Dad or Father. He was an accountant and eventually a CPA. He had very tiny and fine handwriting (the opposite of mine!).

He seemed to be always working. I remember only one vacation we had. My mother and father spent a few days in Laguna Beach while Aunt Harriet baby sat us and then joined them on Balboa Island for a few more days.

Even on Christmases he never could get home at a reasonable hour. I was not that close to my father. He did not seem to be that much interested in me. He did love my mother a lot and was very affectionate toward her. My mother would appear to be embarrassed when Bob tried to hug and kiss her in front of us kids. I remember he used to spank me when I left his few tools outside to rust or left a mess around the incinerator in the backyard (this happened often!). When I was about ten, he bought bow and arrow sets for himself and me. We used to go to the  range at the park on weekends and practice archery. When I was in the scouts, he helped me build a star kite to enter a kite competition.

He had a heart problem. Sometimes when we went for a walk, my father would stop with chest pains and my mother would tell us to leave him, that he would catch up with us later. He was taking nitro glycerin pills. In 1949 he contracted pneumonia and I had to give my bedroom to him for a few weeks while I slept in my mother's room. One day he seemed to get better, got up out of his hospital bed, cleaned up and dressed. He went to the hardware store and bought a BB gun (I always wanted one) and we spent the day shooting it. The next morning when I woke up to go to school, I saw that my uncle John was there, which was odd. When I returned home from school, my mother told me that my father had gone to the hospital last night and died early this morning. It was Valentine's day 1949. He was 36 years old. I was 11. I always wondered if maybe my father knew he was going to die, and the BB gun was his going away present to me.

Bob was cremated and his ashes are interred in niche T-64NA, Sanctuary of Hope, Mausoleum of the Golden West, Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.  Bob's father, mother, grandmother (Emma Goodno) and his aunt, Addie Snider are also interned in the same mausoleum. My mother is buried there.

My Goodno Ancesters for six generations (click here for more):


Gen. Goodno Born Spouse Born
1 Daniel Goodno (1770-1832)) MA Sarah (Sally) Cushing (1784-1864) MA
2 Daniel Harry Goodno (1805-1887) OH Mary Catharine Prentes (ABT 1810-1849) WV
3 Ben H. Goodno (1836-1913) MO Sarah Adeline Hyde (1837-1888) OH
4 Harry Chas Goodno (1860-1914 MO Emma Ray Mead (1867-1940) OH
5 William H. Goodno (1883-1941) MO Vesta Marie Vollintine (1888-1938) IL
6 Robert Harry Goodno (1912-1949) OK Marian Elizabeth Teuchert (1909-1958) MN


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