The Goldens of Wilkes County, Georgia

Golding / Golden / Goulding et al Family History on Facebook

Confusion in the Upper Savannah River

YDNA testing of two kits (483948, 508217) show that Lincoln, Georgia Goldens claiming descent from John William Golden (1725-1801) and Elizabeth (1709-1758) of Essex, Virginia, are unrelated to my own line.

Assuming that linkage of these Goldens (483948, 508217) is correct then the  John William Golden (1725-1801) is YDNA type: I2a2a aka I-M223. Mine is R1b R-Z306.

atDNA evidence points to Mary Frances Golden (1784-1875) as belonging to our family. She married  William Cotney (1773-1819) in 1810. Cotney family histories say that she belongs to a Georgia Golden family.

Both Golden families have as head of household: William Golden, born c1750 and died c1809/10, and the two families were separated by just 40 miles — with both families existing in a sequenced time order, not in parallel.

A logical conclusion, now testable via DNA, is that Mary Frances Golden’s atDNA matching linkage to our Goldens, combined with some Cotney family histories, indicate that our grandfather William Golden was probably married before Nellie, and had quite a few children from that first marriage.

However, Mary Frances Golden, is included in the family history by some members of the William Golden (1750-1810) and Elizabeth Ellender of nearby Wilkes/Lincoln County, Georgia.

Lincoln County, Georgia was the eastern portion of Wilkes County, becoming its own county in 1796.

Several Cotney family histories identify Mary Frances’ parents as William Golden and Elizabeth Ellender. There is just one problem with this identification: Elizabeth Ellender died in 1778 and Mary Frances was born in 1784. Why Nellie is not named as Mary France’s mother in the Cotney genealogy is a bit of a mystery. Nellie was alive and living in the same community at the time of Mary Frances’ marriage in 1810 at Edgefield, South Carolina.

William Golden's two families

Did William and Nellie have a daughter born in 1784? Yes. We know from the 1800 Edgefield census that William and Nellie had a daughter in their household born about 1784. There were also two younger daughters — their identities remain unknown to us. The census only gave names of the head of household before 1850.

1800 Edgefield SC census
1800 Census, Edgefield, South Carolina


You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden,

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