Tracking Mark Golden in pre-1800 Georgia

Golding / Golden / Goulding et al Family History on Facebook

Note to all: This is very much a work in progress. I welcome your thoughts, notes AND documents:

Mark "Markus" GoldenMark is a fairly rare name among Southern Goldens, but various family histories indicate that there were two Mark Goldens living in (Lincoln) Wilkes County, Georgia at the same time.

There are circumstantial indications that they may be related, maybe even they are the same. One line has been YDNA tested: Mark Golden c1762-1844. This line is ‘G’.

The other Mark Golden listed in many family histories is Mark Golden, c1765–1833. This Mark is claimed to have come from Virginia, and to have been born there, son of William Golden, Jr, and Elizabeth Ellender.

?? Are the two Mark Goldens actually the same? Has misinformation found its way into Golden family histories? Could Mark Golden, c1765–1833, actually be a father and son whose information has been blended?


Golden families by YDNA type
The green border area indicates the approximate boundary of Wilkes County, Georgia in 1777.

It is thought that Mark Golden, born c1762, may be descended from or closely related to Richard Golden of County Tyrone, Ireland, born c1746. Or maybe not … both lines have been YDNA tested. Both are ‘G’.

There are slight discrepancies in the YDNA test results that indicate a genetic split in this family line some generations before.

What this means is that they undoubtedly did share a common grandfather in the past, although it could have been hundreds of years before coming to Georgia.

This area of Georgia was heavily settled by Ulster Scots (Irish of Scottish descent and Christian Protestants) that often came from the same area, even the same village. A family could have lived in the same place for hundreds of years, been related, and yet experience a genetic change in the YDNA — happens about once every 250-300 years on one of the primary 12/25/37/67 markers tested.

There could have been an entire extended family of Goldens, that included Richard Golden, c1746, that came to the Wilkes County area at the same time, around 1770 or in the mid-1770s. Documentation for this time period is non-existent so not knowing is normal.

The upper Savannah River area was opened up to settlement in 1763 when local native American tribes reached an agreement with the British to move farther west, west of the Appalachian mountains. Actual settlement began about 1767. The largest group to settle in this area at this time were Ulster Scots from northeastern Ireland.


Mark Golden, c1765–1833  supposedly had a son named Mark born c1795. Nothing is known of him.

Mark Golden c1762-1844  had a son Mark born 1790 or 1805. We don’t know much about Mark Golden c1790/1805 but it is suspicious that he supposedly died the same year as his father: 1844. It could be that a record for the elder Mark was interpreted as being a son, and Mark Golden of 1790/1805 never existed at all.

—- >>> OR, we are really just most likely experiencing a father-son duo, both named Mark, with some of the facts having become blended. One way or the other, this line of Mark Goldens ended up in Chambers County, Alabama with Mark Golden passing away in January 1844.

Mark and Elizabeth Golden — A Mark Golden married an Elizabeth in 1832 at Wilkes County. A Mark Golden lived in Chambers Co., Alabama and bought property in 1840, and is believed to have been married to an Elizabeth.

Nancy Parks — a huge mystery! Some claim that she was the wife of Mark Golden c1762-1844. … Yet, she is also listed as the daughter of William Golden Jr, 1750–1810 of Lincolnton, Wilkes Co., and a sister to Mark Golden.

Ellender — Elizabeth Ellender, 1737–1778, is supposedly the wife of William Golden Jr, 1750, and the mother of Nancy Parks. Yet, Mark Golden c1762-1844 is claimed to be son of Elender Eli Golden, 1729–1829, in some family histories.

?? The presence of the Ellender name in both Mark Golden families is suspicious. No documentation exists for either Ellender. Could we have a situation where Mark Golden c1762 was married to an Elizabeth, and his son Mark Jr. was also married to an Elizabeth?


Scottish Highlanders settled the coastal Georgia region as far northwest along the Savannah River as the Augusta area beginning about 1735. Highlanders are not Ulster Scots. The point is that Scots were in the area with healthy numbers by the mid-1700s (an estimated 10,000). Most Ulster Scots are of Scot descent, separated by only 150-200 years, of migration to Ireland, so the DNA of the two groups will have many similarities, or even indicate same direct descent.

Most Scot immigration just prior to and during the Revolutionary war were Ulster Scots from Ireland. One reason for this is that Highlander Scots were generally loyal to the British monarchy and became unwelcome. Numerous Highlander Scot families left the southern colonies and went to Canada.

Numerous other Golden families lived (and went forth and multiplied) in the immediate vicinity of Wilkes County, Georgia at this same time. None are known to have a Mark Golden … although they have numerous Richards and Williams, just as do the other Golden families.

My Golden family is R1b/25, the Golding/Golden line of William Golden and Elizabeth Foster is R1b/24, and the Golden family that settled Lincolnton, Wilkes Co., Georgia and claims descent from John (William) Golden (Golding), 1721 VA – 1801 GA, is I2.

ALL of these Goldens and Goldings lived within 30-40 miles of each other at the same time, and among each other, along with the G2 Golden line.

Several of my Goldens have been found listed as members of the other Golden families — but we now know via DNA which family they belong to.


Golden families by YDNA type
The green border area indicates the approximate boundary of Wilkes County, Georgia in 1777.

The map illustrates the general central location of Goldens and Goldings by YDNA type about 1780-1790. Reality is that the families lived among each other and had a fondness for giving their kids the same names … with one exception: Mark. Mark was very popular among YDNA haplotype G/G2 families.

A general guide to understanding who the patriarchs of the different YDNA groups were:

G = Mark Golden, born about 1762 in the Wilkes County area, Georgia

G2 = Richard Golden of County Tyrone (Ireland), born about 1746. Little is actually known about Richard but his son Stephen Golden is very well documented and there is an annual family reunion for this Golden line.

I2 = This may be John (William) Golden/Golding, born about 1725 in Essex, Virginia.

R1b24 = William Golding, born about 1704 in Essex, Virginia; married to Elizabeth Foster.

R1b25 = William Golden/Goulden, born about 1750 … where is unknown … this is my line … married to “Nelly”.

>>> R1b24 and R1b25 refers to a key marker in the YDNA sequence. My Goldens are uniquely identifiable by the marker value being ’25’.

Goldens and Goldings from the Ninety Six District, South Carolina can be quickly be identified by the first two markers of their YDNA: 13/24 or 13/25 (my line).

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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