Richard W. Goulding of Louth, Lincolnshire, UK – 1868 to 1929 – Archivist, Researcher, Writer and in search of … his grandfather?

Louth Lincolnshire UK founded 1551
Image from Louth Gov website.

This Goulding family left behind large amounts of written documentation as to their community’s and family’s journey through life and history.

Preservation and care for this record archive collection appears to conclude in 1929 with the passing of Richard William Goulding, notable for his devotion to history and ensuring that it would be passed to future generations. This includes a lifetime of devotion to local history as well as familial.

From the Louth Museum webpage on Richard W Goulding:

Richard W Goulding (1868 – 1929) was one of a group of teenage boys whose meetings in the 1880s led to the foundation of Louth Museum. Like many boys of that time he had collected butterflies, moths and beetles. At the age of 15, in 1884, he and four friends started the Louth Naturalists’ Club. This eventually became the Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society, still a thriving society today. It is always referred to locally as the ‘Ants and Nats’, and is the society which owns and is responsible for Louth Museum. He remained interested in the natural world throughout his life, and wrote many articles for leading journals of the day.

Richard Goulding was born in Louth, where he lived and worked until he moved to Welbeck Abbey, near Worksop, in 1902. There he was the private librarian of the 6th Duke of Portland. He was perhaps appointed because of his wide interests, as well as his background in the family stationers’ and printers’ business in Louth. His own extensive library forms a research collection in Louth library. The catalogue of this runs to 150 A4 pages. Goulding wrote many papers and books himself on a variety of subjects, including a catalogue of the Portland miniatures at Welbeck Abbey. In 2013 it will be possible to see artworks from the Portland Collection as part of a tour of the Welbeck Abbey State Rooms.

Richard’s death is recorded on page 496 of the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966.

Richard William Goulding

Richard’s parents were John William Goulding (1845 – 1922) and Sarah Ann Ashton (1837 – 1892). He had two sisters: Gertrude (1876-aft 1929) and Annie Elizabeth (1879-??).

There are some peculiarites about Richard’s grandparents which needs clarification — they are named in the 1861 census as Thomas Graham Sidgwich, b1829 (1861 occupation: cabinet maker) and Mary Ann Sidgwich, b1812 (1861 occupation: milliness and dress maker). John William Goulding was listed as Goulding, not Sidgwich, in the 1861 census; his occupation was ‘printer and composites apprentice’ a skill which would later contribute to founding of a family printshop and business.

The census records in the decades after 1861 maintain the age difference between his parents, of the name Sidgwich. My guess is that Mary Ann was married to a Goulding at the time of John William Goulding’s birth in 1845, as Thomas Graham Sidgwich would have been only 16 years of age at the time.

Certainly this must have caused great curiosity in the grandson Richard William Golding about his grandparents (the Sidgwiches) and his Goulding father.


There is a free eBook available online that goes into some detail about the founding of the museum, and early attempts by Richard W Goulding to create a local historical archive.

Richard W Goulding was not only a collector but a researcher and a writer as well. A listing of his many historical information papers is available online at, kindly posted online by Catherine Gauldin, a tireless family researcher of GFolks.