William Godfrey was born on December 23rd, 1828 in Manassas, Virginia to Charles L. and Nancy Godfrey. He had four older siblings: Mary, Chapman, Charles, and Alexander; as well as two younger siblings, Lewis and Joseph. He never attended school, but was taught how to read and write. On the Godfrey farm they grew crops and were exceptional farriers, which is a profession involving trimming horse hooves and placing horseshoes on the hooves of horses. He stayed on his father's farm and worked under him with his brothers until the Civil War started.
William enlisted in 1862 and was part of the 49th Regiment Virginia Infantry. He, alongside his brothers Lewis, Chapman, and Joseph were all in Company A. William was wounded in the wrist during the Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862 and was wounded again in 1864 in the Battle of Cold Harbor. During his time in the 49th Virginia Infantry, William participated in many major battles such as Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Gettysburg, and witnessed the ending of the Civil War at Appomattox in 1865.
After the war William returned to his father's home and when his father passed away in 1879, William took over the farm where he lived out the rest of his days with his brother Joseph until his own death in 1908. In William's obiturary it was said that the farm had been in the Godfrey family's possession for well over one hundered years. Somewhere between 1880 and 1900 William was married and widowed. One of the unknown headstones in the cemetery could potentially be his wife.