John Golden Jr died intestate at Laurens, SC, died before July 1814

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John Golden Jr died intestate at Laurens, SC, died before July 1814

I have no clue what family this John Golden Jr came from, although there were several Golden / Golding / Goulden familes of different origin in the area. He appears to have died unexpectedly and without family. The court orders that his estate be inventoried and sold off. A long line of correspondence is in his Laurens District probate file, but no family is ever mentioned.

>>> John’s property is valued at $487 … and $450 of that comes just from the value of one young slave named ‘Frank’. Frank is referred to as a ‘negro boy’ but chances are that Frank was older than 16 and less than 30.

“Junior” does not mean that John’s father was named John, although it may well mean that. It was common at the time to refer to two people of similar name in the community by ‘senior’ if they were older and ‘junior’ if they were younger. There was no requirement that they actually be related. However, a John Golden is known to have lived in the area and left three children during the Revolution — South Carolina gave them a small pension for their father’s service.

?? Any clues as to who this John Golden belonged to?

My thoughts are that John Golden was really a Golding. When his estate went up for sale in November 1814, many of the purchasers of parts of the estate were Goldings. The family of William Golding (1704-1782) and Elizabeth Foster (1704-1775), and descendants lived throughout the area since moving from Orange, Virginia  about 1772.

LWT John Golden Laurens SC LWT John Golden Laurens SC

James Hawthorn was the appointed administrator of this probate. Witnesses of the probate inventory include John Wait, J.P. Neely and (Noles) Jon Nedden.

The complete probate package for John Golden, Jr., can be found on Ancestry.


The Estate Sale

Most of the estate was sold in November 1814 to David Anderson, this included the purchase of Frank, the hides and the colored cotton.

Some items were purchased in smaller separate sales to (Wm) Golding, Richard Golding, Robert Golding, Joseph (Creeley), James Glover, James Cracker, Samuel (Chairs), Benjamin Glover and Samuel Young.


About Frank the ‘young negro boy’

Frank probably had important skills of some kind, and was probably not a farm slave.

Frank’s assessed value was well above the high end of a slave’s market value in 1814.

John Golden did not seem to have land to go with his possessions. John could have been a merchant or an artisan of some kind, and he may have passed along those skills to his slave Frank. This may be why Frank was sold with the cotton and what appears to be tools (for making shoes and possibly clothing).

John Golden - Frank
Info: U of Kansas, 1999 Study.
Slave Prices in the Lower South, 1722-1815
University of Kansas, 1999; Mancall, Rosenbloom and Weiss

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.