William Golding, 1704-1782, Last Will and Testament

Golding/Golden/Goulding et al Family History on Facebook


Upated 2017.04.16

William Golding “of Ninety Six District” signed his last will and testament on 4 September 1777 in which he named all of his children.

The commentary made below about the Last Will and Testament is by an unknown source.

He gave them the following bequests:

“I give to my son John Golding the plantation I now live on containing 150 acres, also one tract lying between said land and land of Col. James Williams’ mill containing 146 acres {no doubt the 300 acre land grant on Long Lick Creek}, one feather bed and furniture, also five negroes Doll, Lucy, Jack, Harry, and Hannah. I give to my son Reuben Golding one tract of land that I purchased of James Daniel containing 300 acres lying on Little River adjacent the land I now live on, also one feather bed and furniture, with three negroes George, Joe, Cate. I give to my son Anthony Golding one tract of land containing 200 acres which I purchased of Capt John Caldwell lying and joining the land I now live on to the north east, also one negro named Jacob. I give to my son Richard Golding one negro boy Lankistor. I give to my daughter Mary Leonard four negroes Callamy, Ben, Milley, Lett. I give to my son William Golding two negroes Wagoner and Lucy he now has in his possession. I give to my daughter Milley Griffin one negro Jeni she has in her possession; I give to my daughter Sarah Foster one negro woman Nancy she has in her possession. I give to my daughter Elizabeth Tinsley one negro woman Jane she has in her possession; I give to my son Robert Golding one negro Nan and one named Poss. I give to my daughter Mary Leonard one feather bed and furniture. All rest and remainder of my stock, cattle, tools, wagons of every kind to be equally divided between my two sons John and Rueben Golding. I appoint my two sons John and Reuben Golding executors.”

The will was witnessed by his son-in-law Laughlin Leonard, James Griffin, and Peggy Golding (probably the wife of his son John).

Some have assumed that the Peggy Golding who witnessed this will was the former Margaret Griffin, the wife of Reuben Golding, but this is not possible since Margaret Griffin was only 16 years old in 1777 when William Golding made his will and was not yet married to Reuben Golding, so she would not have yet been named Golding. Since John Golding and his family were living with his father about the time of his father’s death as noted above, it seems logical then that John’s wife would be available to serve as a witness to her father-in-law’s last will.

This will of William Golding was probated in the Court of Ordinary of Ninety Six District Sc on 23 September 1782, thus establishing that William Golding had died sometime between 22 June 1781, when he provided provisions for the South Carolina state troops as noted previously, and 23 September 1782, the date of probate of his will. It is estimated that he died sometime during the summer of 1782 at his plantation on Little River in Ninety Six District (now Newberry County) SC. Since he made no mention of any wife in this will, it can be assumed that his wife Elizabeth had died probably in South Carolina sometime between the sale of their land and exodus from Virginia in the spring of 1771 and the date her husband made his will in September 1777.

Reference:  Ninety Six District SC Journal of the Court of Ordinary Inventory and Will Book 1781-1786, abstracted by Brent H. Holcomb, 1978, Southern University Press, p. 10.


William Golding petitioned for 300 acres of land on 8 July 1774

William Golding

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