Jacob Golden, Sr., 1779 – His Last Will on file in Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia

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Updated 2017.01.03


Virginia - Henry CountyJacob Golden was in sufficient health that he was one of the appraisers selected on May 27th, 1779 to handle the estate of Lillyan Hampton.

The Last Will and Testament of Lilleyan Hampton, deceased, was exhibited in Court by Deborix Gilliam, co-execturo with John R. BollingJames East was his estate security. John Shelton, William Smith, Richard Dickins, and Jacob Golden are named to appraise the estate.

NOTE: When Jacob would die later in the same year, Richard Dickins would be named co-executor of Jacob’s estate. Who is Richard Dickins? … John Shelton is named as an appraiser in this will but James Shelton was named in Jacob’s own will. Who were the Sheltons? … Could the family histories of the Dickens and Sheltons shed any light on Jacob Golden?

September 17, 1779

of Henry County, being weak in body, dated Sept. 17, 1779.
My wife to be sole executor of what I have left during her life and widowhood, and I make Thomas Stogdon (sic Stockton) and Richard Dickins my executors to see that nothing be wanted.

If she should marry, all my moveables to be equally divided, except horse and side-saddle, and one bed and furniture. As I believe my wife is with child, if it should be a son, my land I desire to be equally divided between my son William Golden and the younger son who is to have the lower part of my land; and if she should bring forth a daughter, my son William is to have all the land and is to pay 10 (lb) to each of my daughters when they come of age.

Sig: Jacob Golden
Wit: Joseph Sowel, John Bender, Thomas (his mark) Jones.
Oct. 28, 1779, exhibited by Mary Golden, Thomas Stockson and Richd. Dicken, who gave bond with Thomas Adams and James Shelton, their securities.

March 11, 1780
JACOB GOLDING, (inventory)

March 11, 1780. Appraised by John Cammeron, William Taylor, John Dillard. Returned March 23, 1780.
Source: HENRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA – WILL BOOK 1, ABSTRACTS; 1779-1799 Pages 29-32 (2)

Important Relationship Notes:

A Mary Golden has been shown in various family histories (for at least 40 years) as being married to Thomas Stockton  (sic Stockson) on October 28, 1775. If this had been the case then it is a good guesstimate that Mary Golden could possibly be a sister of Jacob Golden. There is no known record of such a marriage although it appears as being official in a 1975 book (1). When examining the source it appears that an error was made some years ago that mistook Jacob Golden will confirmation date as being the marriage date (October 28th), with exception that the marriage date was listed as 1775 instead of 1779. Curiously, it is thought that Thomas Stockton married twice and both wives were named Mary, surnames are unknown. So could it be the case that the marriage really did exist but it was the date that was incorrect? Probably not as the witnesses and their securities were the same as in Jacob Golden’s 1779 will, and listed almost verbatim as in the will.

While the exact relationship of John Bender that witnessed Jacob’s will is unknown; Barbara Bender  (b1731 Switzerland – d1792 Virginia) was Jacob’s mother and his Golden father’s name remains unknown. Barbara Bender’s father’s name was John Wilkricks Bender, who also lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia until he passed in 1774. Their part of Pittsylvania later became Henry County in 1777. The John Bender that witnessed Jacob’s will is probably his mother’s brother John. Joseph Sowel (Sowell) would be Jacob’s maternal aunt Mary Bender‘s husband.

A Joseph Sowell and Mary Susannah Sowell settled in the Greenville County, South Carolina area, which is on the northside of Pickens County and not far from Edgefield, South Carolina where my own William and Nellie Golden lived. YDNA testing shows that our Goldens are not related.

YDNA Test Results

Two male Jacob Golden descendants have now tested and shown to be haplogroup R1b R-M269 R-Z255. 

R-Z255 is what some researchers call ‘Italo Celtic’. The highest modern density of these families today is along the western European Atlantic coast and in the British Isles.

The Italo-Celts were themselves impacted by other groups migrating into their areas and so they broke into two branches, one primarily migrating towards/to Italy and the other to the British Isles. This would have been in the period before 300 BCE, and well before any of these groups thought of themselves as either Celtic or Italian.

From the FamilyTreeDNA group devoted to research of R-Z255: “… those lineages that inherit the distinctive Z255 haplotype, which is mainly found throughout Great Britain and Ireland, but can also be found in Continental Europe, namely France, Norway, and Sweden. Z255 is also found in at least one sample in the Genome of the Netherlands (GoNL) project, and is located downstream of L21 and DF13.”


As Jacob was dying he suspected that his wife Mary was pregnant. She was. Jacob Jr was born in 1780.

Jacob Golden (b1756) inherited land from his grandparents, John Wildrick and Magdalen (maiden name unknown) Bender, in Henry County, VA, in 1774.

There is more to know about Jacob Choske Golden if you search for it.


Jacob Golden, Sr., 1756-1779 (Oct) born in Virginia
— Some genealogies show “Choske” or “Chosta” as a middle name: this appears to be an Indian name added at some time later by his descendants. Have not seen any source for it prior to being included in some modern genealogies. His son Jacob Golden Jr did marry Elsie Elizabeth Starr, a Cherokee, and perhaps Junior took on the nickname of “Choske” or “Chosta”, but have seen no source for that either.
1775 married to Mary Adams (1758-1833)
1776 Oct 29 – Daughter Anna Golden born at Henry Co., VA (1776-1832)
1777 Nov 14 – Son William Samuel Golden born at Henry Co., VA (1777-1833)
1780 Apr 13 – Son Jacob Golden, Jr., born at Henry Co., VA (1780-1855)


1 – DAVIS STOCKTON OF VIRGINIA, 1975; Henry County, Virginia, Marriage Book 1, October 28, 1775, THOMAS STOCKTON and MARY GOLDEN; THOMAS STOCKTON and Richard Dickens, bonds; Thomas Adams and James Shelton, sureties.

2 – HENRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA – WILL BOOK 1, ABSTRACTS; 1779-1799, P. 29-30 – JACOB GOLDEN, of Henry County, being weak in body, dated Sept. 17, 1779. Oct. 28, 1779, exhibited by Mary Golden, Thomas Stockson and Richd. Dicken, who gave bond with Thomas Adams and James Shelton, their securities.