About Nathaniel Green Golden (NGG), Sr: We do not know his exact birth and death date. We do not have a marriage certificate or record. There is no birth registry for his children.
NGG Sr was probably born in South Carolina after 1776, and his birth date was most likely after 1780/1 … 1783 is a generally agreed upon date.
1776 was the year that his probable namesake Nathanael Greene zoomed from obscurity and being a private in the Rhode Island Militia to becoming Major General Nathanael Greene. General Greene became the local hero in South Carolina in late 1780 and 1781 when he took over as commander of Continental forces in South Carolina.
The Keowee area is so close to North Carolina that he could easily have been born there as well, or his family came from North Carolina. This area of South Carolina was just barely being settled in the several decades before the American Revolution.
YDNA has since identified NGG’s parents as William and Nellie Golden.
We have no records that establish NGG Sr’s age at any point in time. However, we do have census records that record the age of his wife Rachel Isabella Morgan. Her birth year is approximately 1776 per the 1850 census, when she was recorded as being 74. She was listed as the ‘head of household’ in the census in both 1830 and 1840. It would appear that Rachel Isabella and NGG Sr had either split in their marriage before 1830 or NGG Sr had passed away. It is my belief that he lived until at least 1846.
We do have the Morgan Family History which records his marriage to Rachel Isabella Morgan: 1799. We also have an atDNA match between myself and other descendants of the family of Rachel Isabella Morgan.
There are believed to be at least four children born to NGG Sr and to Rachel Isabella:
Nathaniel Green Golden, Jr. (1812-1882/3)
— Being named after his father could indicate that NGG Jr was the first son, or perhaps born on his father’s birthdate. YDNA has been collected and matched on three different branches of NGG’s descendants. Numerous descendants of this line belong to our Facebook (FB) family history group.
John Richard “Richard” or “Dickey” Golden (1815-1887)
— Richard Golden appears in numerous documents (land transactions, 1830/40/50 census) and it would appear that he was very close to his mother, residing with or next door to her until her death. It appears that in the 1850 census that Rachel had her own abode next door to Richard as she appears separately but in the next dwelling on the census report. In all the documents that I have seen, ‘Richard Golden’ is closely identified with Rachel Isabella and there is no reference to a ‘John Richard Golden’. There are no known descendents of John Richard Golden within this our FB group.
Joseph James Golden (1818-aft 1900)
— YDNA testing has confirmed that Joseph James Golden is a son of NGG Sr. Descendents of this line belong to our FB group. At some point after August 1850, Joseph James and his family moved to Jackson, North Carolina.
Jane Golden (born c1814-1845)
— Jane married Harvey Capehart (1802 – ??), a neighboring family, in 1841.
We have legal property records showing interaction between NGG Sr., NGG Jr., Rachel Isabella, and Richard Golden (John Richard “Dickey” Golden). We have South Carolina legislative orders appointing NGG Sr as the Roads and Ferry CoCommissioner for the Pendleton/Keowee area (1818, 1821), which is where he lived.
Nathaniel Green Golden, Sr, is noted in all documents as “Green” and his last name is variously spelled Golding, Golden, or Goulden.
Due to his name, the location of his birth, and approximate date of his birth, it is a safe assumption that he was named after Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene.
Our Golden family preferred ‘Nathaniel’ over ‘Nathanael’. It is said per family lore that NGG Jr, who also commonly went by ‘Green’, preferred to spell his name as ‘Greene’ … although there are no known instances of him writing his name surviving.
Nathanael Greene (1742-1786, frequently misspelled Nathaniel) was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, known for his successful command in the Southern Campaign, forcing British general Charles Cornwallis to abandon the Carolinas and head for Virginia. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington’s most gifted and dependable officer.