Jesse James Golden – from Scotland, Virginia to Nebraska

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Golden - Jesse James - 1885-1934
Original photo shared on by MichaelofBowden

Jesse James Golden

Birth 21 Dec 1885 in Mondamin, Harrison, Iowa, USA

Death 20 July 1933 in Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, USA

How Jesse James Golden came by his name is not recorded.

Neither Jesse nor James are popular Golden boys names. Both are rather rare. However, Jesse did have an uncle named Jesse Golding, born 19 Sep 1804 in Fauquier Co, Virginia; this Jesse passed away 13 Aug 1888 in Union City, Auglaize, Ohio.

Was Jesse named after the bank and train-robbing Jesse James (1847 – 1882)?

Jesse James the outlaw had become a folk legend in the years just prior to Jesse Golden’s birth (1885).

Whether there is any relationship with either of the aforementioned Jesses is unknown.

YDNA Profile

No known male Goldens from this line have taken a YDNA test. Due to the origination of this family in Virginia before 1800, a YDNA test would probably be able to find a connection with other older Golden (or Golding, Goulden) families. To discuss, contact Bill Golden at

An unexpected death

Heat is blamed for death of Jesse Golden” reads the story headline in the local paper with the subtitle: “Well known farmer ended his life Friday afternoon near Tekumah. Died in Omaha hospital.

The newspaper article goes on to note: “Cause for the deed is attributed to the excessive heat.” This seems to have been a complete surprise to the Golden family, although Jesse had complained around noon of not feeling well. That afternoon, his wife Ellen Salsbury Golden had taken the children shopping for about an hour and returned to find him dead with a gunshot to the head.

Golden - Jesse James - 1885-1934 - of Omaha Nebraska with family
Happier times with family. Original photo shared on by MichaelofBowden

One daughter and three sons were born to the family:

  • Maude Lydia Golden (1910 – 1972)
  • Howard Fred Golden (1913 – 2005)
  • Odie M. “Slim” Golden (1916 – 1992)
  • Opal “Fat” Golden (1918 – 1993)

Family Origins

Jesse James Golden’s line tracks back to William Golding, born between 1750-1760, in Scotland.

Which Scotland is unclear.

Most family histories attribute William Golding’s birth as being in Virginia … where there is indeed a Scotland, Virginia which existed in William Golding’s era and exists even today as a quiet hamlet of about 200 people. This Scotland is just down the road from Williamsburg and  Jamestown. It is also just 36 miles from Gloucester County, Virginia. All three locations are historical first immigrant settlement areas for the Golding family in Virginia.

A few family histories list Scotland (UK) as William Golding’s birthplace. Both the Golding and Golden family names are almost non-existent in Scotland, United Kingdom, although there are some few families from Scotland bearing the name.

Sons of the American Revolutionary War emblemOther than his birthplace, William Golding’s life (c1760-1835) is very well documented.

Birth April  at some time between 1750-60 in (Scotland) Virginia
Death Sep 6, 1835 in Boone, Kentucky

William Golding is recognized for his Virginia Continental Line service during the Revolutionary War; his federal pension claim was S-31069. His service began in 1776 and continued through 1782. Kentucky awarded William Golding of Boone County, KY a pension for his recognized service as a private in the company of Capt. Coxe in the regiment of Col. Shepherd in the Virginia line for two years. William was placed on the Kentucky pension roll at $80 per annum under the Pension Act of 1832. Pension Certificate 25209 was issued 10 Dec. 1833.

Jesse James Golden’s lineage back to William Golding:

Jesse James Golden
Jesse moved his family from Iowa to Nebraska in 1901.

— Birth 21 Dec 1885 in Mondamin, Harrison, Iowa
— Death 20 July 1933 in Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska

married to Martha Ellen Salsbury
— Birth 28 Jul 1892 in Denver, Denver Co., Colorado, USA
— Death 8 Dec 1986 in Tekamah, Burt, Nebraska, United States of America
Martha would later remarry to Ralph “Bally” Purcell

Ralph Loftis Golden
Ralph moved from West Virginia to Iowa prior to 1872.

— Birth 3 Jan 1847 in Bridgeport, Harrison Co, West Virginia
— Death 21 Nov 1922 in Mondamin, Harrison Co, Iowa

Married to Polly Ann Thomas
— Birth 29 Jan 1857 in Iowa City, Wright, Iowa
— Death 11 Jun 1928 in Logan, Calhoun, Iowa

William Henry Golden
William moved his family to Harrison, West Virginia prior to 1847

— Birth abt 1818 in (Fauquier Co) Virginia
— Death Before 1855 in Virginia

married to Elizabeth Ann Hugill
— Birth abt 1823 in Virginia
— Death 25 Sep 1901 in Harrison, West Virginia

(George) Thornton Golding (Golden)
Thornton moved his family to Harrison, West Virginia at some time between 1840-1849.

— Birth 1773 in Fauquier Co, Virginia
— Death 8 May 1855 in Hoop Pole Run, Harrison, West Virginia

married to Margaret Elizabeth Tharpe
— Birth 4 Jun 1776 in Fauquier, Virginia
— Death 4 Jun 1840 in Harrison, Charles, Virginia

William Golding
William moved his family to Brownsville, Fayette, Pennsylvania around August 1777, and then moved his family again to Boone Co., Kentucky at some time before 1781.

— Birth in April between 1750-60 in (Scotland) Virginia
— Death Sep 6, 1835 in Boone, Kentucky

married to Peggy
— Birth in Scotland, Virginia
Death 1781 in Boone, Kentucky

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.