Heraldic and Family Crests of Goldens, Goldings, Gouldings

Golding / Golden / Goulding et al Family History on Facebook

Updated 2016.03.13

Having a heraldic Family Crest or Coat of Arms gives us a sense of identity.

For many prople, using these symbols gives us a sense of where we came from.

The experience is different depending upon where you live and how your geographic area developed. For example, I live in an area of Virginia full of history dating back to the earliest years of colonization. Even our local towns and counties have and sometimes still use what were official family crests of their founders, or namesakes.

Lord Fairfax Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Baron Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781).
Fairfax County Virginia Seal - Lord Fairfax influence 200x200
Official Seal of Fairfax County, Virginia.

About a Coat of Arms, it is important to remember that a particular Coat of Arms does not belong to a family surname, although there are many vendors which sell heraldic items as such.

A Coat of Arms belongs to an individual and sometimes but not always to their direct descendents. That is a protocol which is still strictly enforced in some areas of the world.

In the modern world where ‘you are who are’ and not ‘you are what you were’ it is probably safe to say that most folks care more about the association of a Coat of Arms with their family name, and less about the family to whom it originally belonged.

The American Experience — After adoption of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits federal and state governments from conferring or recognizing titles of nobility, the use of Coats of Arms fell out of disfavor in the USA. There was an early American sense of discarding and discouraging usage — however there is no actual prohibition on having or using a family Coat of Arms — which can be copyrighted, so please be aware of using a Coat of Arms as your own!

First U.S. President George Washington inherited a Coat of Arm through descendency from his English Washington family, passed down since the 1200s. Washington continued to use it throughout his life. The Washington Coat of Arms  can also be found in usage throughtout the United Kingdom by other descendents of Washington’s ancestors.

George Washington Coat of Arms
Washington Coat of Arms
George Washington's personal bookplate
George Washington’s personal bookplate.

That said, we now have the leisure and ability to learn more about our ancestors. Identifying with a Coat of Arms gives us a sense of historical identity. We may or may not care as to the literal association with a specific family in the past as long as it represents our geographic and surname origins.

Golden, Golding and Goulding Coats of Arms and Family Crests

Golden Golding Coat of ArmsIf you were to go to almost any commercial heraldic website to look for a Golden or Golding Coat of Arms you will almost always be presented with the following design, as shown on the left.

The oldest known use of this design by the Golding familyis unknown. However, the following Golding families are officially recognized as having authorized usage of this design:  Essex (Cavendish and Postlingford), Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk and their descendents.

Official description of the Golding Coat of Arms – – “Gules a chevron argent between three bezants.”  (Burke, Encyclopedia of Heraldry).

Internationally, this design has become associated with both Golden and Golding families of any descent from the United Kingdom and Ireland, with almost all Irish of these surnames being of English descent themselves at some point, going as far back as the 1300s when the Golding family first went to Ireland from England as logistics managers for royal military forces: Nicholas Goldinges, of Castleknock, was the king’s victualler in 1314. Castleknock is 8 Km west of modern Dublin.


Baronet Edward Golding, Esquire, of Colston-Bassett, England modified the design in 1642 by adding “a trefoil slipped of the field“. The Golding of Colston-Bassett design was a hereditary Coat of Arms that became extinct after four generations due to no heirs with the death of yet another Baronet Edward Golding in 1716.

Golding of Colston Basset
Golding of Colston Basset – England – Coat of Arms – A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies by John Burke and Sir Bernard Burke, 1841
Golding of Colston Basset

Other Golden and Golding Coats of Arms

Golding Family Crest Golden of Germany Goulding
Also claimed by Golden, Golding and Goulden families.
Popular with Goldens of Irish (Scots Irish) descent.

Goulding familyThe four lions separated into four quarters by a cross has been a registered Coat of Arms with the Goulding (Golding) family of North Newherbar, Kent, since May 13, 1772.

Design description: Ar. a cross voided, between four lions pass. gu.

Crest — a lion sejant sa. supporting with the dexter foot an escutcheon or.

A great many Gouldings of this line also go by the name Golding, and the name Goulding is considered a variant of Golding in the time before English spelling became standardized.

The Goulding/Golding family history bearing this Coat of Arms once hung as a painting in St Andrews Church in Letcombe Regis but was stolen in the 1930s. The painting is  a watercolour which denotes a family tree relating to the Goulding (Golding) Family of Letcombe Regis and Kent. It was donated to the church in the late 1800’s for safe keeping by Charles Golding.



The Coat of Arms below came to my attention when researching Thomas Goulden (II), born 11 Jan 1695 at Timperley, England – buried 10 Jan 1776 Cheshire, England. Whether this design actually belongs to him or was just attached to his Ancestry file is unknown to me.

Goulden family

Golden of Norfolk and Prince William, Virginia

Golden family of Norfolk VirginiaI have adopted a unique Coat of Arms for my own Golden family. My design incorporates the colors of the Golding family of Essex and Kent, England, and what are essentially the colors embraced by many Goldings, Goldens and Gouldings around the world.

The chevron represents a house roof in heraldry, a symbol of family and a willingness to extend protection to those that stand with me.

Colors are gold (Generosity) and red (Military Fortitude & Magnanimity).

The stag is representative of Peace & Harmony. Much of my life has been in service to country.  I am a retired U.S. Army soldier, father of a military member, and descendent of many ancestors who have served in the Armed Forces since the earliest years of American history. That said, Blessed are the peacemakers, the teachers, those that work to avoid conflict and undue hardship among their fellow citizens. Much of my life has been also given to volunteerism and working within my community. Make peace not war. Be prepared for war and willing to commit to victory.

William David “Bill” Golden
Norfolk, Virginia 1956-still making coffee daily

About Family Crests

Unlike a Coat of Arms, Family Crests are not associated with a single individual or a family line and lineage.

Family Crests can be associated with many different families. They are adopted by an individual to make a statement about their beliefs and outlook on life. Their crest does identify them with a community, and usually were adopted for use by prominent families.

The meaning of symbols found on Family Crests and Coats of Arms

Golden Family Crests

Golden family crest

 Golding Family Crests

Golding Family Crests

Goulden Family Crest

Goulden family crest

Goulding Family Crest

Goulding Family Crest


The Language of Heraldry

Heraldic Colors:

Yellow or Gold – Generosity
White or Silver – Peace & Sincerity
Black – Constancy (& sometimes Grief)
Blue – Loyalty & Truthfulness
Red – Military Fortitude & Magnanimity
Green – Hope, Joy & sometimes Loyalty
Purple – Royal Majesty, Sovereignty & Justice

Heraldic Animals:

Bear – Protectiveness
Bee – Industriousness
Camel – Perseverance
Dog – Loyalty
Double Eagle & Eagle – Leadership & Decisiveness
Dragon – Defender of Treasure
Falcon or Hawk – Eagerness
Fox – Cleverness
Griffin (part eagle, part lion) – Bravery
Horse – Readiness to Serve
Lion – Courage
Pelican – Generosity & Devotion
Raven – Constancy
Snake – Ambition
Stag, Elk or Deer – Peace & Harmony
Tiger – Fierceness & Valor
Unicorn – Extreme courage
Wolf – Constant Vigilance

Heraldic Symbols:

Axe – Dutiful
Bridge – (signifies a governor or magistrate)
Crescent – Enlightenment
Crosses – Christian sentiments
Crown – Authority
Fire – Zeal
Flaming Heart – Passion
Fleur-de-lys (stylized Iris flower) – Purity (associated with France)
Hand – Faith, Sincerity & Justice
Heart – Sincerity
Horns & Antlers – Fortitude
Lightning – Decisiveness
Moon – Serenity
Oyster Shell – Traveler
Ring – Fidelity
Scepter – Justice
Star – Nobility
Sun – Glory
Sword – Warlike
Tower or Castle – Fortitude & Protectiveness

Common Design Features (heraldic terminology):

Bend – a diagonal stipe
Chevron – an upside-down “V”
Chief – broad stripe across top of shield
Dexter – the righthand side of the shield (from its user’s perspective)
Ermine – a white fur pattern (with black tail tips)
Fess – broad horizontal stripe through center
Pale – broad vertical stripe through center
Passant – an animal shown walking
Rampant – an animal standing on hind legs
Sinister – the lefthand side of the shield (from its user’s perspective)

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.