My Theoretical Family of Golden Ancestors – Origin: Pittsylvania, Virginia before South Carolina?

Golding / Golden / Goulding et al Family History on Facebook

Updated 2015.12.25

‘My Golden Family’ Theoretical Structure

My Golden line tracks back to William (c1750-1808/9) and Nellie Golden/Goulden (c1755-1810_) via their son Nathaniel Greene Golden/Goulden (c1783/4-abt 1846) and  to Rachel Isabella Morgan (1788-1850).

William may have had a brother named Thomas Golden that settled in the Pickens County, South Carolina area in 1763 when he received 200 acres at the point where Matthews Creek connects to the Saluda River.

What Census Records Tell Us

The census records do not directly link Isaac in a parent-child relationship, and there is no census record at all that links Nathaniel Green Golden (aka NGG) to any Golden before 1830.

America’s first census was 1790. It gave only the name of the Head of Household and just gave a count for all other family members. (Example: Adam + 1; family history has it that her name was Eve). This was the standard approach until 1850.

1800 Census // Edgefield County, SC: William Goulden is listed with the following in his household: x1 male under 10 years of age; 1 male between the age of 10-15; x1 male age 45+; x2 females under the age of 10; x1 female between the age of 10-15; x1 female age 16-25; x1 female age 45+. Summary: William and his wife are age 45+ (ergo, born before 1755). If all the children in the household are their children: there is one male and two female children born since 1790. One male child was born between 1785-1790 as was one daughter. There is an older daughter born at some time between 1775-1785.

>>> The son born since 1790 would be Abraham Golden, b1791. The son born between 1785-1790 would be Isaac Golden (YDNA connected), b1785. None of the daughter’s names are known.

1810 Census // Edgefield County, SC: William Goulden probably died in 1808 or 1809. Four ‘Goldens’ listed: Goldin, Isaac (pg 74) … Golding, James (pg 73) … Goldin, Nelly (pg 91) … Goldin, Samuel (pg 88).  To appear within this census you would need to be a minimum of 16-20 years old (16 if married) so all Goldens listed were born before 1794.

>>> Theory Gremlins: There is also an Isaac Golden in the 1810 Census living at Pendleton, South Carolina with his family. Within this family there is an ‘older woman’ between the age of 26-44. Isaac’s wife Ruth Sheehan is believed to have been born in 1774, 11 years older than Isaac. Could Isaac have had land and lived at both locations and have been double counted?

>>> Who are James and Samuel Golden/Goldin? Based upon the required year of birth to appear in the census they did not live in Edgefield in 1800, not unless they were overlooked in the census count; not uncommon.

>>> Within my records online you will see that I have constructed a family that looks like the one below. Some of my logic for constructing this family structure is shown below.

I am pursuing YDNA tests on all branches — where I show YDNA by a name: I have positive YDNA tests showing our family relationship. Names in parentheses indicates that I believe this to be the correct name.

Unknown Golden and Barbara Bender (1731-1792)

—— William Golden (bef 1755-1808/9) and (Mary Elizabeth) Nelly (Nalle) (bef 1755-1810)

——— Samuel Golden (1770-1857) and Lydia Unknown (1776-1860); this Samuel could also be the child of another Golden brother that is unknown to me. The middle name of Samuel appears several more times in the children and grandchildren of Jacob Golden, Sr. (1759-1779). A descendant of this line is currently being YDNA tested.

——— There is room here for two to three other children. Could one be named James?

——— (Matthew) Thomas Golden (1780-aft 1830) and Ellen Unknown (1812-1880).
——— FREE YDNA TESTING: If you are a male Golden related to (Matthew) Thomas Golden and will take a YDNA test please contact me at

——— (atDNA) Margaret Frances Golden and William Cotney (1773-1819).

——— (YDNA) Nathaniel Greene Golden (1782/3-1846) and Rachel Isabella Morgan (1788-1850)

——— (YDNA) Isaac Golden (1785-1860) and Ruth Sheehan (1774–1860)

——— Abraham Golden (1791-1870) and Barbara Plymale (1810-1853)
——— FREE YDNA TESTING: If you are a male Golden related to Abraham Golden and will take a YDNA test please contact me at

—— Jacob Golden Sr (1756-1779) and Mary Ann Adams (1758-1853)

——— Anna Golden (1776-1832) and John Thompson (1777-1831)

——— William Samuel Golden (1777-1833) and Sarah Haworth (1776-1827)

——— Jacob Golden Jr (1780-1855) and Elsie Elizabeth Starr (1781-1837)

———— DNA Evidence: There is one known YDNA sample of some claiming descent from Jacob: FTDNA Kit #234441, Haplotype: R-Z255 aka R1b1a2a1a2c1e. This YDNA sample, if confirmed by a second sample, is incompatible with my my Golden line’s Haplotype: R-Z307 aka R1b1a2a1a1c1a.

———– FREE YDNA TESTING: If you are a male Golden related to Jacob Golden and will take a YDNA test please contact me at

Corrolary Theories:

— William Golden (c1756-1808/9) is the brother of Jacob Golden (1759-1779) of Henry County (Pittsylvania), Virginia. Their father died very early in life, soon after Jacob’s birth. Jacob’s mother was Barbara Bender (1731-1792) a German-Swiss immigrant from Marthalen, Zurich, Switzerland. John Wildrichs Bender was Barbara’s father and in his will left his land to Jacob Golden, acknowledging him as his grandson. There appears to be no record or reference to the name of Jacob’s father, and although many Bender family records exist I can find no similar evidence of a male Golden living in the area.

— William and Nellie Golden may have come from Henry or Pittsylvania or Albemarle County, Virginia. There is a reference in ‘The History of Upshur County, Virginia’ (now West Virginia) that William and Nellie were the grandparents of Moses Ray Golden (1802-1894) who married Rebecca Bell Rittenhouse (1806-1900). Moses was actually the grandson of Jacob Golden Sr (b1759-1779) — this error lead me to believe that William and Nellie acted as godparents and had fulfilled that role for so long that memory confused who the real grandparents were.

— Nellie’s last name may be Nalle, adopted as her nickname. The ‘a’ in Nalle would be unlauted, an inflection mark in German spelling that would cause Nalle to be pronounced Nell-lay, Englicized to Nellie.  There were numerous Pennsylvania Dutch families (who were actually German; ‘Dutch’ is an Englicized ‘Deutsch’, which means ‘German’) living in the vicinity of Albemarle, Halifax, Henry and Pittsylvania counties. Nellie’s formal name may be Mary Elizabeth.

Searching for the Home Origin of Our Goldens

When William Golden (c1750-1808) was born the three counties of Halifax, Pittsylvania and Henry were all Halifax County, Virginia.

Pittsylvania was formed in 1767 from Halifax County. In 1777 the western part of Pittsylvania County became Patrick Henry County, which we know simply as Henry County. Patrick Henry did not make it even a year as a county — splitting later in 1777 into Patrick County (western end of Patrick Henry) and into Henry County, Virginia.

The gravitas for this entire region is Danville in Pittsylvania and Martinsville in Henry County. If there are records about our family then they should be there.

MAP 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.

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