G2a Goldens from Gwaltney family of Pembrokeshire, Wales?

Golding/Golden/Goulding Family History on Facebook

Some G2a Goldens from Wales?

Some Golden family histories with Elender Eli Golden as their ancestor, indicate that these Goldens may be descended from the Gualmay/Gwaltney family of Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The name Gualmay is Welsh in origin and means “Field Hawk” or “Hawk of May”. Gualmay is a derivative of the Welsh Gwalchmai, which is a place name (in Anglesey, Wales) and is traced back to the Knight Gawain (King Arthur Legend).

Today the Gualmay name has largely passed into history and the descendents of the Gualmay family often go by Gwaltney, Gaultney, Galtney … and a few may go by Golden.

A Brief History

1613 – Thomas Gualmay, Sr., (b.1590) had a son, Thomas Jr., born at Llanycefn, Dungleddy, Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1613. Some family histories claim that Thomas was born in Ireland. I have never seen any documentation of the Irish connection and the Gualmay family appear to be found only in the Pembrokeshire, Wales area.

>>> 1630/1631 – Some family histories claim that Thomas married  Martha Mary Liburne (also known as Leyborn, a Swedish name) at Surrey, Virginia. No sources are provided for this marriage — AND Thomas had not even left Wales yet so …

1635 – Thomas Gualmay (b.1613) emigrated to Barbados at age 22 and was the first of the Gwaltney, Gaultney, and Galtney families in America.

c.1645 – Thomas marries Mary Atkinson; the marriage record indicates that Gualmay is now Gwaltney. His children were Ann, James, John, Katherine, Mary, Susannah, Ruth, Thomas, and William Gwaltney.

1659/1662 – In Thomas’ 1659 Will, filed in Isle of Wight County, Virginia he is again listed as Gwaltney. When the Will is proven in 1662 his name remains Gwaltney. // Note: Reference is made within his Will to a land patent called “White Marsh”. This land would later pass into my mother’s family, the Norfleets and Riddicks, almost 100 years later.

Gwaltney becomes Golden, or does it?

William Gwaltney (1675–1728), son of Thomas Gwaltney (b.1613), had a son: John Gwaltney (1703–1752). William’s wife was Alice Flake (1680-1733).

>>> Some Golden family histories acknowledge Alice Flake (1680-1733) as William’s wife, but say that William’s name was Golden. What documentation exists says that William was a Gwaltney.

John Gwaltney (b.1703) is married to a Mary (surname unknown) and they have 10 children — but only 9 are named Gwaltney (whose descendants are named Gwaltney, Gaultney, or Galtney).

The children of John Gwaltney: Benjamin, Elender Eli (Golden), Elizabeth, James, John, Joseph, Martha, Robert, Steven, and William Gwaltney.

For whatever reason Elender Eli is given or later chooses the name Golden.

Some Gwaltney genealogies, but not all, do not include Elender Eli as a Gwaltney son. Yet some do!

Six Gwaltney family genealogies include Elender Eli (b1729) as a son, although none list his name as Golden.

>>> It may be that Elender Eli is dropped from some genealogies for the same reason that some Golden family histories change William Gwaltney’s name to Golden: an inability to accept that there is a surname change.

Elender Eli Golden goes on to marry an unknown bride of supposed Cherokee birth and has two sons: Mark Golden 1762-1844  and  John Golden 1775-?. All of his siblings remained Gwaltney, and their children are Gwaltney.

Was Elender Eli Golden an Orphan?

Was Elender Eli born a Golden, orphaned and taken in by the Gwaltney family?

Historical documents exist for this time period, but have not found any confirming references that explain this unique relationship.

That said, traditional practice is that an orphan would not be considered a child of the family. Elender Eli has somehow managed to come down through multiple Gwaltney family histories as being a son, with no connotation as ‘not a Gwaltney’.

Relationship Confirmation

In an age of Y-DNA testing that can confirm relationships, it would be nice to know of any Y-DNA testing by male members of the Gwaltney family.

The descendents of Mark Golden test as haplogroup ‘G2a’.

If you have any information I would appreciate getting it. Send to Norfolk1956@gmail.com

Descendents of Mark and Richard Golden have taken Y-DNA tests with the result of being DNA halogroup G-M201 / G2a. Golden males from both lines match one another (2018).

Testing Kits:

  • FamilyTreeDNA testing kits showing kinship among these Golden males: 80596, 80674, 112874, 132521, 137336, 249807, 284940, 312329 and N20439.


2018.04.18 – Added note speculating that Elender Eli could have been an orphan, taken in by the Gwaltney family. Social norms would indicate that he was considered a Gwaltney and not an adopted orphan.

2013.07.25 – Added a note asking for Y-DNA information from any Gwaltney.

You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden, Norfolk1956@gmail.com

BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. Contact me at the email address above.