The Search for Mark Golden (1762-1844) and his ancestors and descendents

Golding/Golden/Goulding Family History on Facebook

UPDATED 2013.07.15 / Comments are below

The Search for Mark Golden (1762-1844) and his ancestors

View a related story: Welsh Goldens


Mark is a fairly rare name among Goldens — rarer than even the use of Seaborn as a Golden first name.

The search for Mark Golden’s ancestors has been immensely frustrated due to the changing of last names within family genealogies. For whatever reason history got rewritten and Mark Golden got lost in the rewrite.

A special request for family historians:
Be faithful to the past and alter it as little as possible.

The descendents of Mark Golden have been searching for their ancestry on the Internet since the late 1990s. Below is a 2005 response from among 40 replies to a search thread that began in 2000.

The Nancy mentioned below is Nancy Parks, Mark’s wife. Her father was a Parks (Elias Parks) and her mother was a Pine (Sarah Pine), so neither of her grandparents were either a Gwaltney or a Golden, contrary to what the screenshot below says.


One major problem for this family in finding their relatives is that some family historians changed the Gwaltney family name for Thomas (b.1590), Thomas (b.1613), William (b.1675) and John (b.1703) to Golden. Imagine the frustration of not being able to find records because:

A) They were not named Golden at all. They were Gwaltneys. Someone rewrote history by completely changing the last names of four generations of family members. Luckily the maiden name of those marrying into the family remained unchanged, which allowed an eventual untangling of who was who. Unfortunately, numerous genealogies still show the Gwaltneys as being named Golden.

B) You cannot find records for people that never existed. There was not a Thomas Golden (b.1590), Thomas Golden (b.1613), William Golden (b.1675) and John Golden (b.1703). This causes you to chase ghosts. Be faithful to the actual records.


This practice of renaming people happens all too often.

The Golding and Golden names have evolved into several unique spellings that are unique enough that only the most hardcore phoneticist would recognize the name as being related. For my own family, we were Golding before the Revolutionary War and afterwards some family members became Golden. Just some. I have tried to document that historical change without going back renaming Goldings as Golden. Besides, my cousins remain Goldings even today and it would be disrespectful to change history just because my own last name spelling changed.


As for Golding being written as de Golding, Goldinge, Gouldinge, Goldynge and such — make notes and document instances. These spellings came from a time before English became more standardized. Share your notes. Before 1700 there was very little emphasis on standardized spellings of anything. Phonetic spelling was acceptable among even the most educated. Preserve the original spellings where possible – but please DO NOT wholesale change people’s last names to make a family’s history seem consistent across time.

DNA Test Results

Descendents of Mark Golden have taken Y-DNA tests with the result of being DNA halogroup G-M201 / G2a

Testing Kits:

  • 80596 and labeled ‘Golden | Mark Golden Sr., b. 1762 in South Carolina | G | G-M201
  • N20439 | Golden | Mark Golden, Sr b. 1762 SC, d. 1844 AL | G2a | G-P15 M201+, M285-, M286-, M342-, P15+, P16-, P18-, P20-
  • 80674 | Golden | Mark Golden, 1790 – 1833 | G2a | G-P15 P15+
  • H2016 | Jackson | Mark Golden Sr., b. 1762 | G2a3b1a1a | G-L13 L13+, M253-, M26-

If anyone knows of any Gwaltney Y-DNA testing I would appreciate being informed:

DNA testing source information


2013.07.15 – added DNA halogroup information.