In response to your query as to the family of Arthur Godfrey, famed radio and TV entertainer: I am amazed at all the different Godfrey families that have traditions of being related to Arthur Godfrey
my Godfreys originally came from MARION, NORTH CAROLINA, AND AS A CHILD I wasALSO TOLD THAT WE WERE KIN TO ARTHUR GODFREY.
Four years ago I started looking into it.
First I looked him up in the "Who's Who in America, 1982-1985, Vol. 8: He was born in New York City, Aug. 31. 1903. died, March 16. 1983.His father was Arthur Hanbury Godfrey, a journalist, 1857?-1924. and his mother was Catherine Morton Godfrey, 1878-1968, a famous female musician and composer. Arthur Godfrey married Mary Bourke, Feb. 24, 1938; Their children were: Richard, Michael, Patricia, an Ed. Arthur Godfrey grew up in Hasbrook Heights, New Jersey and only finished a year and a half of high school.
I was still stumped but thought I would look in the New York Times Obituary Indexes. In the 1960's, there, I found where Mrs. Arthur Godfrey, his mother had died. This is her obit from Feb. 28, 1968, from my notes:
Arthur Godfrey's mother dies: Mrs. Arthur H. Godfrey, age 89, mother of the entertainer is dead. She would have been 90 years old on March 11. She was a native of Highland Park, Illinois. She was born and spent her childhood in Oswego, New York, and married Arthur Hanbury Godfrey, Journalist, who died in 1924. A well-known female composer, her works were performed by many prominent conductors.
Surviving her are her sons, Arthur Godfrey, the entertainer; Robert H. and Charles A. Godfrey; Daughters, Mrs. Thomas McCann, and Mrs. Frank Kovalcik. These two daughters, Jean and Cathy Godfrey wrote a book about their mother called, "Genius in the Family," Copyright 1962, by G. P. Putnam & Sons.
I got this book through inter-library loan and found out I wasn't closely related to Arthur Godfrey at all. From pages 104 to 110 I found out what I needed to know:
1. Arthur Godfrey's father, Arthur Hanbury Godfrey died on March 27, 1924 in Hasbrook Heights, New Jersey.
2. Arthur's father didn't go in much for genealogy. He thought it was absurd that people would try to trace their family histories in order to connect them back to some English Lord, Etc.
3. (my notes), Apparently Arthur Jr. felt the same way. An aunt of mine said that her father wrote Arthur Godfrey in the early 1950's, and Arthur wrote back saying he was not kin to hardly any of the Godfreys in America. He said his father came directly from England, and he hoped he didn't get any more letters from Godfreys claiming to be related to him.
4. Jean and Cathy Godfrey said that their father was quite a prankster. Sometimes, they said, he would tell them things about his life that seemed normal and true, and later turn out to be a complete lie.
Other times he would tell them things that were so outrageous that it just couldn't possibly be true. and later they would find out that what he said was true.
Arthur Hanbury Godfrey didn't marry Catherine Morton till he was 45, but tried to keep his age a secret.
Anyway, in the book, this is what Arthur Hanbury told his family about his origins:
He says he was the son of John and Mary Godfrey, and was born about 1857, in Liverpool, England.
The youngest of seventeen children, He left home when young, but came back apparently when his father died and inherited a small part of the family property.
He had many adventures as a young man, one time he was even shipwrecked. I get the feeling he didn't get to America till the 1890's.
The book itself is interesting reading.Perhaps this should dispell rumors of kinship to Arthur Godfrey.
So, unless your family came from Liverpool, England, in the 1800's, then you're probably not related to him.
Rickey Godfrey, Nashville, Tennessee, Rickgod@iglou.com