Sarah Emily Golden, 1835–1881

Golding / Golden / Goulding et al Family History on Facebook

Sarah Emily Golden was born at some time between late 1834 and in 1837. Almost all family researchers agree that her parents were Isaac Golden and Ruth Sheehan.

However, numerous Golden family histories still list her father as being Isaac, the son of Richard Golding (b.1744, d.1788) and Susanna Wilmoth (b.1744, d.1837).

YDNA testing has shown that this is not the case, as Isaac (and Ruth Sheehan’s) DNA match the family of William and Nellie Golden and not Richard Golding and Susanna Wilmoth.


Elijah Ballard and Sarah Emily Golden - circa 1857-1860
Elijah Ballard married Sarah Emily Golden – circa 1857-1860

Is Ruth Sheehan the mother of Sarah Emily Golden?

Ruth Sheehan is almost always listed as Sarah Emily’s mother — but Ruth would have been quite mature for having children when Sarah  Emily was born: Ruth would have been 61-63 years old depending upon when Sarah Emily was actually born. There were also two sons born in the several years before Emily’s birth.

Perhaps Isaac had a younger wife that passed away and she was Emily’s mother. If so there are no claims or records known to support such a claim. Although, it may be true that there was an earlier wife as the oldest son William Harvey Golden was born in 1811, and all other children were born between 1828-1835. It is not likely that there would naturally be a 16 year gap between child #1 and #2.

Known: We have the 1850 and 1860 censuses which record the ages of family members. Isaac Golden and Ruth Sheehan were married per the census … and in both census reports, Ruth was 11 years older than Isaac, Isaac being born in 1786.

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.