Frances Marion Golden – There were two and many family histories have blended them together as one.

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There were two Frances Marion Goldens (FMG). One lived in Alabama. One lived in West Virginia.

Most Golden family histories on Ancestry.com, and elsewhere, have blended the two. The amount of misinformation is significant enough that it will send some less experience genealogists looking in all the wrong places.

There are no known records of parentage for either Frances Marion Golden. A YDNA test is recommended to help determine which Golden families these two FMG’s descend from.

West Virginia Alabama

Alabama — Frances Marion Golden

Born: about 1834
— Birthdate is often listed as 2 Nov 1834. Any evidence for this date is unknown. Later census records agree that an 1833 or 1834 date is appropriate.
Born at: Unknown, but often listed Limestone, Alabama. FMG reports in the 1900 census that he was born in Alabama, and that his father was born in Georgia, while his mother was born in Tennessee. In 1910, FMG’s birthplace again reported as Alabama, but birth place of parents is ‘unknown’ — FMG was 77 at this point and living with his son FMG Jr. It could well be that FMG Jr answered the census questions as ‘head of household’ and he did not know where his grandparents were born.
Parents: Unknown. A YDNA test on a male Golden could probably associate FMG with a known Golden family.
— There is an 1850 census record that lists a ‘Marion Gouldin’ living at District 34, Madison, Alabama. Marion’s birthdate is c1836, and his father is ‘R. Gouldin’. There is no mother in the household. Three siblings: Jefferson (c1832), Elizabeth (c1835) and George (c1839).
DNA MATCH: A descendant of FMG has taken an Ancestry atDNA test (WeatherlyG). There is no known DNA match with my Golden line, the William and Nellie Golden line of South Carolina. However, an atDNA test can miss actual matches within as little as 2-3 generations after having a common ancestor. Our common ancestor, should they exist, would be 6-7 or more generations.
Death: after 1910, probably in Little River, Arkansas.
— Death date and location is most often recorded in family histories as 25 May 1917, Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia. This is the correct information for the WV FMG, not the AL FMG.
— FMG moved to Little River, Arkansas, at some time between 1875-1879, where his daughter Sarah Virginia Golden (1886–1968) was born.
— FMG and family are living in District 267, Sevier County, Arkansas in the 1880 census; 1890 census was lost due to disaster. FMG and family appear in the 1900 and 1910 censuses living at the Little River township, Little River County, Arkansas. In 1910, age 77, FMG is living in the household of FMG Jr (1863-1940) at Little River. It is unlikely that he would have reason or ever travel to West Virginia at this later age.
Death at: probably Little River, Arkansas
Married to: Sarah Walker (1834–1907)
Military Service: Company K, 29th Alabama Infantry Regiment, CSA. Enlisted 2 May 1862. Received a bonus (“bounty”) of $50 for joining.  Rank of Private.

West Virginia — Frances Marion Golden

Born: about 1843-47 in (West) Virginia
— Self-reported age by FMG within census reports are very different: 1843 (1870), 1847 (1910).
— Census reports are the only known documentation of birthplace. In 1870 census, FMG reports Virginia as his place of birth. West Virginia had been its own state for 9 years by 1870. Whether FMG still thought of West Virginia as Virginia is unknown, although he left West Virginia during the Civil War and volunteered as a Virginia infantryman. By 1910 census, FMG reports his birthplace as West Virginia.
— The FindaGrave memorial reports his birthdate as 2 Nov 1834. There is no known evidence for this date. The 1834 date also strongly contradicts self-reported birth years within the census reports … unless there is yet another FMG living in the same area of Harrison, West Virginia, and he too has been blended in with the profiles of the other FMG. No evidence for that.
Born at: Unknown. Often reported in family histories: Harrison County, West Virginia as being correct.
Parents: Unknown. A YDNA test on a male Golden could probably associate FMG with a known Golden family.
Death: 25 May 1917. This date is formally recorded within WV state records.
Death at: Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia, with burial at Old Bridgeport Cemetery.
Married to: Connie E. “Conna” Reed (1845–1916)
Military Service: Co.C, 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment, CSA. Rank of Sergeant.


You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden, Norfolk1956@gmail.com

BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. Contact me at the email address above.

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