An Approximate History of our Golden Family

~~~ Abbreviated Version v.1, 20 Feb 2021 ~~~



I have promised to compile my notes since 2012. Have not done that. That is probably for the better.

Along the way I have learned a lot about our family and extended family. Have accumulated boxes of records and books with regional history and biographical notes. Three fields trips have been made to the South Carolina Upper Country where our family’s history begins with some documentation. More is needed.

Rather than eventually get around to it, I am issuing this very short version of our approximate family history with just the basics included.

Am always available for questions and to share more info.

Please join me online at my research website … where I research all Gold/Gould -en -in -ings that lived in the USA before 1800 and even many by name internationally.

Our Goldens did not leave many breadcrumbs so am using the Pokemon approach: collecting them all! William ‘Bill’ Golden



Our Ancient History and DNA

The truth is that we would have almost no known family history before the 1830s if it were not for the use of DNA. For some branches of our Golden family, knowing the family history just since the Civil War was a stretch for some.

I have used DNA tracking extensively to seek out and to identify our family.

Male-line yDNA testing connects us positively with living cousins today in the Baltic region of Scandinavia and northern Germany. There are no records, but yDNA SNP testing matches us with living cousins in Norway and Sweden. DNA testing results indicates this was our home around 3500 BC.

Our Golden male line is R-U106 R-Z406 DF98. Those are our branches on the DNA tree of life.

SNPs are unique genetic mutations that are inherited. Some grandfather was born with or experienced a change in his life that caused a genetic mutation to appear before the next male in the line was born.

That SNP was inherited and passed down to our current living generation.



One of the defining SNPs in our DNA is S18823, part of the Germanic tribes that migrated across northern Europe, up through Denmark and then into Norway and Sweden. At some later time, our grandfather and kin probably arrived in the English Isles as Vikings after 900AD, perhaps even later.

There is a uniqueness to our male line yDNA and the grandfathers that came after S18823: We lived in relative isolation with a very low population to share our DNA with. Our male line has kin in the United Kingdom but very few that match our SNPs. Our home turf when it comes to having living male cousins is in Scandinavia.

Ireland — Our ancient male line had an uncle or cousin branch that went to northwestern Ireland before 500AD. Today, approximately 80% of Irish males descend from that line. That is not our direct line.

Analysis shows that we could have branched off some 1500-2000 years earlier.

We know that the Irish is not our line due to a unique difference on a particular marker in their male DNA. They are descended from a legendary Irish King called ‘Niall of the Nine Hostages’ or by DNA-type they are M222.

It appears that we remained in Scandinavia or our line probably settled in the remote reaches of Scotland, possibly just northeast of Wales in the area of modern Staffordshire and Derbyshire during the Viking period after the mid-800s AD, or possibly later. We appear to have a strong DNA relationship with the Staffordshire area of England. Vikings arrived there about 875 AD.

Based upon the SNPs in our male yDNA: our line spent no time ever in Ireland … and if we did: we left no DNA evidence behind — just passing through.

I emphasize the ‘no connection to Ireland’ of our DNA only because for some reason there is an assumption by many Goldens in our family that we did come from Ireland.


Are Our Goldens Jewish?

A frequent question. Simple answer: no. Due to intermarriage and such things, it is possible for Jewish males to have yDNA not associated with the Middle East. Possible, rare and probably some historical interaction involved.

The most common male yDNA types for Jewish males is of Middle Eastern origin: E1b1b, J1, and J2.

Our Goldens are yDNA type: R-U106 Z407 DF98. We descend from the earliest settlers of Europe as the last ice age finished retreating over 4,000 years ago.



Before Coming to America

England appears to have been our homeland just prior to coming to America.

YDNA testing offers some insight as to our pre-American origin. We match a Keeling family from southwestern England, near to Wales. The James Keeling family immigrated to New York in 1837 while living not far from Southhampton (lower end of the boxed area in this diagram).


Most Keelings originate closer to Manchester, just south of it is Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Both Staffordshire and Derbyshire have the highest concentration of Keelings of any location.


Our Goldens match 62 of 67 yDNA markers with the James Keeling family of 1837 immigration to New York. This level of match indicates a probable late 1500s kidship.

Oddly for our Goldens … oddly due to the hundreds of thousands of high-level yDNA tests that have been given since 2012 … this Keeling family is the only 67 marker DNA match that we have. I would expect to have 15-30. I know of one Golden family with 120+ 67 marker matches.

The lack of more high-level DNA matches indicates to me that we came from an isolated area with a low population and with less chance to share our DNA with others.

>>> 67 marker tests are good for matching male lines within the last 14 generations with a high degree of confidence.


>>> SNP testing is more advanced and specific than either the 67 or 111 marker yDNA tests. These are the tests that link us to living cousins in Norway and Sweden. None in the UK or elsewhere.

As part of my search for our Goldens, I became a Family Tree DNA ‘Golden Family’ surname project administrator in 2014. I know what the test results look like for many different Golden families. We are unique in having just one 67 marker match. This seems to reinforce that we lived in a very isolated area. We did not go forth and multiply. Not much … although we have thrived since arriving in America.

We have no yDNA match with any American male line beyond our own Goldens appearing in the 1760 Newberry, South Carolina area.



Coming to America

There is no record of our arrival in America. Our family story begins in 1760 in Newberry, South Carolina with a farmer by the name of Thomas Goulden (Golden).




How and when Thomas Goulden arrived in Newberry is uncertain. He arrived probably after summer of 1755 when the ‘Treaty of Saluda’ was signed with the Cherokee Indians. This treaty opened up settlement in the present South Carolina counties of Spartanburg, Cherokee west of Broad River, Union, Newberry, Laurens, Greenwood, Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield, Saluda and a part of Aiken. This is our known origin.

Thomas lived near to the approximate intersection of modern Union, Newberry and Saluda counties.

Thomas Golden’s property is believed to be approximately where Helena exists today. You cannot see the waterway, but Helena is where Beaverdam Creek runs through, going southward past and around Little Beaverdam Church. Beaverdam Creek continues on southward until it reaches modern Saluda County, near to Bush River.





War broke out between the Cherokee and the new settlers in 1759. Records naming names are almost non-existent. Thomas Goulden settled in Newberry by early 1761 at the latest. He had time to till, plant, grow and harvest a crop.

In December 1761, accounts are settled between the Newberry Council and those that contributed to supporting the settlers. Thomas Goulden is mentioned by name as being a farmer that provided food. There is a ledger book receipt entry for that in the South Carolina Archives.


Thomas Goulden would be recognized in 1762 and a land grant request approved by the Newberry council. This went to the capital in Charleston and was approved. A survey of land was done in 1763 for Thomas’ land.

1763 – The Cherokee lost the war, or tired of fighting. They agreed to move to the western side of the Appalachian ridgeline which was almost in Georgia and Tennessee. Due to concerns about aggravating the Cherokee further, they were given five years to resettle their families. Settlers was forbidden to settle the new lands without approval. Thomas Goulden’s land was resurveyed again in 1767 once five years had expired.

Land was granted based upon family size. Thomas’ land grant indicates that there were four in his family: Probably him, his wife and two children.

No names of family members are ever given. We know them only as the family of Thomas Goulden.



Who were Samuel and Thomas W. Golden?

There are no records linking Samuel Golden (c1770-1859) and Thomas W. Golden (c1775-1839) to

Thomas Golden of 1761 at Newberry, SC.

There are also no records linking Samuel Golden (c1770-1859) and Thomas W. Golden (c1775-1839) to William Golden (c1750-1809) who lived near to Thomas Sr and Thomas the junior on Beaverdam Creek, Newberry, SC.

YDNA testing says we are all Goldens from the same line.

>> Theory: Samuel and Thomas Golden may be brothers to William Golden, born c1750, d1809. Thomas Sr probably had two children in 1760. During the gap years of 1762-1770 when Samuel Golden was born (1770), there appear to be no other known unidentified Gouldens or Goldens living in the immediate Newberry area.


++++++ After 1770, the William Golding and Elizabeth Foster family of Orange County, Virginia arrived. They lived in close proximity to our Goldens — living just west of Newberry towards Laurens. The family of Anthony Golding, a son of William and Elizabeth Foster Golding often appears in Newberry records. These Goldings are yDNA-tested and are not male-line related to us. They are however cousins through intermarriage.

++++++ There was also the Henry Golden (1740/46 – 1784) family living near to what became Spartanburg, Greenville County, South Carolina. Married to Sarah Newsom. This line is also yDNA- tested and is not related to our male-line Goldens. They are however cousins through intermarriage.


William, Samuel and Thomas W. Golden Relationship

+++ William Golden, probable son of Thomas Goulden, was born about 1750. He would have been of age in 1770 and 1775 to have children.

+++ Yet again, children born to William Golden in 1770 and 1775 leaves a significant time gap until the remainder of his children began arriving on a regular basis after 1783. This time gap is no different than if Thomas the senior was the father of Samuel Golden and Thomas W. Golden the younger.

By the time records were regularly kept in the early 1800s, Samuel Golden’s line had moved off to Tennessee after the 1810 census (in South Carolina in 1810, son born in Tennessee in 1811), and Thomas W. Golden’s family moved to Mississippi after 1822.

I am in almost daily contact with Nancy Golden of Arkansas, who descends from Samuel Golden. Upon occasion I will hear from a Thomas W. Golden descendant.

We know quite a lot about Samuel Golden and Thomas W. Golden’s lives after they left South Carolina. Were it not for DNA testing, we would not know they were our Goldens.

I will cover their lives more in the next version of this history.



William and Nellie Golden

William was born about 1750. There is no evidence or hint for when or where he was born. We are guesstimating his birth year based upon when his first known child was born per the census: Nathaniel Greene “Green” Golden Sr, c1783–after 1822.

William Golden held property. English legal tradition was generally very unwavering to who could own or buy property: Age 21 or older. This indicates that William should have been born before 1752 if Nathaniel was born in 1783.

William Golden had a close relationship with Nellie Golden. There is no written documentation of their exact relationship. There is no record of their names being associate with one another.

Based upon census records, it has always been assumed that Nellie Golden was William Golden’s wife. I believe that remains a good assumption.

Certainly the children in the census under William’s name (1800 census) and later under Nellie’s name (1810 census) are the same children based upon age and gender.

A neighboring family, the Warrens, claims that ‘Nellie Golden’ was their mother and married to Charles William Warren (1738–1802). Their Nellie Golden Warren, born c1745, passed away just before the 1810 census: 25 Oct 1809. This could not have been the Nellie Golden in the 1810 census.

>> The Warrens were a Virginia family from the Amherst County. Amherst is due west of Richmond, adjacent to the Great Wagon Road that led down into the Carolinas. Prior to Charles Warren living in Amherst, the Warrens lived for some generations in the Essex County and


Spotsylvania area. This Virginia location would consistently reappear in many other circumstantial hints of our Golden family origin.

>> Nellie Golden and Charles Warren probably married about 1767, the same year Thomas Golden got his land grant near to that of the Warrens.

Mystery: With exception to the 1810 census, I have not found any documented reference to a

Nellie (Nelly) Golden.

For purposes of tracking two Nellies, I list a Nellie Golden as daughter of Thomas Golden and as an older sister to William Golden in my Ancestry genealogy, as well as one being William’s wife.



DNA and Census Records – Children of William and Nellie Golden

Census records before 1850 did not list the names and birth years or places of birth for those in the census. Gender was listed and year groups provided for family members. This lets us know approximate year range of birth and whether children were male or female.

Based upon census record and DNA matches, these were the children of William and Nellie Golden:

  • Nathaniel Greene “Green” Golden Sr (1783–1822)

— Married to Rachel Isabella Morgan (1786–1850)


  • Isaac Golden (1784–1860)

— Married to Ruth Sheehan (1774–1860)


  • Margaret Frances Golden (1784–1875)

— Married to William Cotney (1773–1819)


  • Daughter, Name Unknown, born between 1785–1790


  • Abraham Golden, 1790–1870, married to:

Elizabeth LNU (1797–1843)

Barbara Plymale (1810–1851) married 1843.

Barbary Smith, born c1815, married 1855.

Mary Rutherford, married about 1860 per some genealogies. No record found.


  • Daughter, Name Unknown, born between 1792-1800


  • Sarah Frances Golden (1796–1819)

— Married to Peter Elijah Funderburgh (Funderburk, 1790–1872)

William’s siblings or children per yDNA but not through census records or any other documentation:


  • Samuel Golden (1770–1857)

— Married to Lydia Parrish (1775–1859)


  • Thomas Golden (1775–1839) married to:

— Name Unknown (c1775-bef 1821)

Martha R. Roxanna (bef 1805-1848)

—— There are no clues as to Martha’s birth year. Her first child was born 1821, so she probably was age 16 or older in 1821, born about 1805 or earlier.

All of these Golden family lines continue to thrive today. None have gone extinct. I will explore these lines more in future editions of our family history.



Life Before South Carolina, 1760

There are no documentary hints as to Thomas Golden or William and Nellie Golden’s place of origin.

Documentary evidence for settlement in the Newberry area by anyone is almost non-existent. Histories generally record that a large number of Virginians and Pennsylvanians settled the area. Few names are available.

Just to the east of Newberry there were a number of settlements with newly arrived foreign-born immigrants. These immigrants were quite often recorded by name and place of origin. Primary places of foreign origin were Ulster Scots, German, and Welsh descent.

Ulster Scots, also known as ‘Scot Irish’, came from Northern Ireland. Most had lived in Ireland only two or three generations. There is rarely actual Irish bloodline despite the name. By bloodline I mean that Ulster Scots did not descend from the Irish that lived on the land before them. When the Ulster Scots arrived to the ‘the Ulster Plantation’ they largely displaced the Irish already living there.


Ulster Scots were protestant Christians primarily from Scotland. They could also come from Wales or England. They were first brought in to settle northern Ireland as a colony in 1606. Settlement was so dense that eventually Ulster (northern Ireland) became Northern Ireland (1921), entirely separate from Ireland.

>>> From a male DNA perspective, most of these Scot Irish settlers had a high probability of being from the same major haplotype as our Goldens: R-M269 (R1b). Most Irish males are also R-M269.


As previously noted, yDNA analysis shows that we are distantly related to the Irish — our lines splitting well before 500 AD. We can track the different male lines and approximately where they lived in time using DNA STRs and SNPs.

In 1760, South Carolina’s population was incredibly sparse. By 1770, the entire state population per Family Search was barely 50,000 … there was also a large population of over 30,000 slaves. The population for both would grow dramatically by 1790’s census: 140,000 South Carolinians and 109,000 slaves.


Sometimes the best records and most well-documented South Carolinians are the foreign-born settlers of the 1700s (1730-1770). Recently arrived immigrants from Europe and the United Kingdom often still have existing documentation because their records are in both the UK and South Carolina archives. All were documented to some degree because arriving automatically meant receiving a land grant and often meant receiving two years of settlement support: farm tools, animals, materials for a cabin and food stuff.

There is no indication within these records that we were among them.

Local Records Loss: The region where Thomas Goulden settled in 1760 was part of the Ninety Six District. Locally-created legal records were usually sent to Charlestown for archiving by the colony’s chancery, what we call today ‘office of secretary of state’.

Many of these records still exist in paper form. Some are digital, which is how we acquired land plat documentation for Thomas Goulden’s land survey of 1763 and 1767. It is unclear what records were kept locally. We do know that records for the Ninety Six District were kept at a repository in the town of Ninety Six. This repository burned during the Battle of Ninety Six during the American Revolution (1775).




American-born settlers largely undocumented. Newberry, South Carolina of 1755-1760 was largely settled by families already living in America. A great many of these families came from Pennsylvania or Virginia. There was probably little documentation of these familie. They just arrived and applied for land.

The Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania and Virginia did not reach South Carolina until 1763. It largely followed Cherokee and local Indian trading routes … so settlers arriving before 1763 had a more difficult journey but they did find their way south beginning in the 1750s.

SUMMARY: There is not an iota of documentary evidence for our presence or arrival in the wilderness of Newberry, South Carolina before 1760.



Circumstantial Evidence for Virginia as pre-1760 Origin

Not finding records, I began sponsoring DNA tests and collecting DNA data from Goldens in 2013. Have collected more than 230 datasets on male Goldens.

We have no cousins named Golden that are DNA-related to us, not unless they originated in Newberry in 1760-1761.

DNA matches that tend to match with us seem to originate in what was Virginia’s ‘Old Rappahanock County’ … this county no longer exists. It was broken into 7-8 counties by 1696. The area runs from northeast of Richmond, Virginia to the Potomac River.




My theory is that we descend from the line of Edward Gouldman, 1660–1710, and Martha Tomlin, 1680–1721.

Edward’s parents were Thomas Gouldman c1640–1684 and Alice Awbrey 1643–1698. Thomas was born influential and wealthy, although we know nothing of his life before age 21-22.

There is no record of any Gouldman arriving in Virginia or Maryland. There is no record of a Gouldman in Virginia before Thomas Gouldman.

The Gouldman name first appears in Virginia history when Thomas Gouldman began acquiring large amounts of land (2000+ acres) throughout the 1660s via importation of settlers (paying their transportation and resettlement), he became a captain and colonel in the militia, cofounded the Virginia port of Tappahanock (1680), established a line of business with an Ulster, Ireland merchant, and was a member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses.

NOTE: About arriving in Maryland or Virginia, the record of arrival literally often depended upon which side of the Potomac River you stepped foot upon. One side was Maryland and the other was Virginia. Many Virginians arrived in Maryland, and Marylanders arrived in Virginia. There is no record of Gouldmans ‘arriving’ in Maryland or Virginia.

DNA: If you search your matches for Aubrey, Awbrey, Awbry, you should find plentiful matches that lead back to the Gouldman-Awbrey line, or to early Virginia (pre-1700) Awbreys that are probable descendants of Henry Awbrey, 1610–1694. The Awbrey line came from Tredomen, Breconshire, Wales. Awbrey kin still live there. Henry Awbrey was father to Alice Awbrey, wife of Thomas Gouldman.

Edward Gouldman, son of Thomas, had three brothers:

  • Francis Gouldman (1658–1716) died childless per his
  • Robert Gouldman (1663–1700) is not known to have married and has no claimed
  • Thomas Gouldman (1670–1698) died young with a daughter: Elizabeth Gouldman. We have DNA matches with Elizabeth’s descendants.

The names Francis and Thomas was popular then and remains popular now within the Gouldman family.



Edward Gouldman as our Goulden Line

Thomas’ son Edward Gouldman married to Martha Tomlin (1680–1721). If you look, you should find DNA matches with the Tomlin or Thomlin line from early pre-1700 Virginia lines. These matches can be independent of the Gouldman line indicating a relationship with the Tomlin DNA, which should come from descent with Edward Gouldman.

I believe that Edward Gouldman and Martha Tomlin are our grandparents. A yDNA test could confirm the Gouldman line. Unfortunately, no Virginia male Gouldman, or male Goldman of Georgia and South Carolina, are known to have taken a yDNA test.


I have approached several Gouldman males to take a yDNA test. Has not worked out. Just not interested. They are skeptical that the name Gouldman could become Goulden or Golden. They also seem unaware of the existence of a third son to Edward Gouldman — I explain below how we know this son exists.

NOTE: We also have DNA matches (atDNA) with Georgia and South Carolina Goldmans that descend from Francis Gouldman (1770 VA–1847 GA). Francis was married to Millicent “Millie, Milly” Hawes (1769 VA–aft 1815 GA).

This Francis Gouldman is a great-grandson of Edward Gouldman and Martha Tomlin via their son Francis Gouldman and his son Richard Gouldman 1735-1799. We are atDNA matches with the Georgia and South Carolina Gouldmans. Some descendants go by the Goldman name since the 1800s.

DNA across all of our male Golden lines show multiple DNA matches with descendant family lines of both Edward and his brother Francis Gouldman.

Our William and Nellie Golden lines known to have DNA matches with Gouldman families are Nathaniel Greene Golden (b1783), Isaac Golden (b1784), Abraham Golden (b1790), and Samuel Golden (b1770)

>>> NOTE: I do not have searchable access to the DNA of Thomas W. Golden (b1775), Margaret Frances Golden (b1784) or Sarah Frances Golden (b1796). If you descend from these lines I would appreciate you sharing your DNA matches with me at or Ancestry User: wgolden188

Edward Gouldman married Martha Tomlin 1680–1721. If you go look, you should find DNA matches with the Tomlin or Thomlin line from early pre-1700 Virginia lines. These matches can be independent of the Gouldman line indicating that we carry the Tomlin DNA, which can be assumed to come from descent with Edward Gouldman

Edward and Martha Tomlin Gouldman had two sons per his 1709 will.

  • Francis Gouldman, 1695–1763. Francis married to Winifred Claiborne 1714–1770. DNA matches with Claiborn, Clairborne families should be in your DNA. However, these matches will almost always point to lines descended from Francis Gouldman, not to independent Clairborne lines. This significantly lessens the chance that Francis Gouldman, son of Edward Gouldman, being our grandparent else we should have Clairborne
  • Thomas Gouldman, 1705–1729, died unmarried and childless. He did leave a will, so we know his family situation. His will was dated 7 Oct 1729 and probated on 18 Nov 1729. He left his property to his cousin Elizabeth Gouldman Waring, b1698, and her four children. Elizabeth was daughter to Thomas Gouldman, 1670–1698, his

Of note, Edward Gouldman believed that his wife Martha was pregnant and documented this in his 1709 will.

Martha Tomlin Gouldman was indeed pregnant and delivered a child in 1710. Sons Francis and Thomas Gouldman Gouldman acknowledged the child as kin — Thomas’ 1709 will stipulated a share of his estate for any child born and survived. There is no record of Francis or Thomas suing to challenge this.


There are no shortage of Gouldman lawsuits in Virginia courts of the era. Court records still exist. There was no challenge to there being a third son born in 1710.

Per Martha’s husband’s Thomas Gouldman’s will, his estate was managed by son Francis. Francis was responsible for supporting Martha and any child. The name of the child is unknown but Winston family history records that it was a son.

Francis could be late with support payments. Mother Martha sued him in Essex County, Virginia court on several occasions to collect. Francis always paid up. This legal trail gives us documentation of a third child but not a name — I believe this to be our Goulden line’s point of origination.

Mother Martha Tomlin Gouldman remarried to William James Winston (1668-1727) in 1714. Martha died in 1721 leaving her third child, name unknown, orphaned at just age 11. While the documentary trail goes cold, DNA and Winston family history (the family Martha married into) offers very strong hints about her unnamed child.


Source Information Winston of Virginia and allied families [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Torrence, Clayton, Winston of Virginia and allied families. Richmond, Va.: Whittet & Shepperson, 1927.



Note: 1721 is when mother Martha nee Tomlin married to Gouldman and Winston died. Property rights were granted at age 21. It is odd that Francis along with Thomas is said to have chosen Captain Thomas Waring as their guardian in 1721. Francis was supposedly born in 1695 so he would be age 26 in 1721. The fact that his mother sued him for child support payment for the third son indicates that he was of legal age and controlled his own property and money – he should not have needed any legal guardian since 1716 or thereabout. Perhaps this reference to


Francis was a mistake and really intended to refer to her third son. A will for Martha is unknown to me.

Was the orphaned third Gouldman son sent to live with the family of Elizabeth Gouldman Waring in 1721? Elizabeth herself was born the year her father Thomas Gouldman died (1698). She may have been sympathetic to the young orphan’s plight — certainly she would later inherit Gouldman property of all kinds with the later death of nephew Thomas Gouldman in 1729. The Waring guardianship of Thomas Gouldman would have expired in 1726 or 1726.

NOTE: Part of Elizabeth’s inheritance was “Goldsboro” the Gouldman family plantation. Some photos of Goldsboro (aka Goldberry and Gouldsborough) can be found on with descendant family members posing in front of it.

Having looked, I can find no record or mention of the guardianship years for Gouldman sons with the Waring family history. Elizabeth lived until 1748. Can find no will for her where she may have shared the legal portion of Edward Gouldman’s 1709/1710 estate portion set aside for the third son. The ‘guardianship’ reference to Francis and Thomas Gouldman further confuses what happened to the acknowledged third son of Edward Gouldman and Martha Tomlin.



Winston Family History Clue About Third Gouldman Son

A huge ‘thank you’ is due to the Winston family: they left copious notes behind about their family relations and interactions with other families.

One entry in the 1927 Winston Family history is that Elizabeth Noel, believed to be daughter of Daniel Noel (c1665-1755) married            Gouldman.

As the Winstons noted elsewhere, they did not know the name of Edward’s third son.

>>> DNA provides many DNA matches with various descendant branches of Daniel Noel’s family. Noel bloodline runs deep in our Gouldens and Goldens.

Daniel Noel’s family was close to the Gouldmans Daniel Noel Jr (1700-1770) married Elizabeth Gouldman (c1702-aft. 1744), daughter of a Francis Gouldman (born bef. 1682) and an Elizabeth LNU. The exact relationship of these Gouldmans is unclear. They exist at the right place and time to be related to the other Gouldmans but am unable to place them within the Gouldman tree.


Our Gouldman / Goulden Tree

This tree represents what I believe to be correct at this time.



Some Loose Ends and Questions

  • How does Barbara Goulden (c1720-1794) fit in the Gouldman tree? Does she? Who exactly is she to our Gouldens and Goldens? We have no shortage of DNA matches with her and her husband John Rains (1715–1785).


There is no documentary evidence for Barbara’s existence. Barbara married John Henry Rains about 1745. Rains (Raines, Reins) family history records their origin as being from the ‘Goulden and Rains Corner’ area. This area is still on maps but disappeared in 1942 when the Army took the land to consolidate real estate to create Fort Lee, Virginia.


— ‘Goulden and Rains Corner’ had Goulding and Rains family members still living in the area in 1942. These Goulding are believed to have been Gouldins, which were once ‘Goldings’. I yDNA tested three Gouldin descendants from this area and all are related, but not related to our Golden male line. They are yDNA matches for the William Golding c1704-1782 and Elizabeth Foster c1704-1775 family.


— ‘Goulden and Rains Corner’ is located just some few miles from Rappahanock Academy, Gouldman home turf. This land was also incorporated into Fort Lee in 1942.



  • DNA matches exist across all of our Golden branches with Rains families claiming Barbara Goulden in their trees. Several Rains’ family researchers have noted that they can find no documentary evidence for her existence — yet the choice of ‘Barbara’ as a name is not a likely selection for someone inventing an ancestor in Virginia. Barbara as a name is well known due to its prominent popularity in the USA from the 1930s onward; was #3 most popular girls name in the 1930s within the


— The name of Barbara in colonial Virginia is virtually non-existent.

— Traditionally, an English family would have probably chosen ‘Babary’ or ‘Barbry’, and an Irish family would have chosen ‘Bairbre’ or ‘Baibin’. There appears to be no Welsh version of the name. ‘Barbara’ was not an unknown name among English-centric families. Its use did exist. My point is that we have some DNA connection to a specific person that existed. She existed in the same community as did Gouldmans, and the family she married into call her ‘Barbara Goulden’.


  • Are the Keelings of Old Rappahanock County, Virginia just a coincidence of yDNA match with our known English Keeling yDNA match?

1676: Edward Keeling (born before 1656) inherited land in 1676 with Thomas Gouldman (c1640-1684) from Ralph Warriner. The land was split almost in half, each getting the land opposite the river bank of the other’s newly inherited land on Mill Creek, Old Rappahanock County, Virginia.

1684: When Thomas Gouldman passed away, Edward Keeling intervened and posted bond to secure Thomas’ widow Alice against a debt owed to Robert Synock.

1687: June 1687, Edward Keeling is dying. He writes his will naming Edward Gouldman

(1660-1710) as his godson. Edward is son of Thomas Gouldman.

—— Edward gives Edward a cow named ‘Pretty’ and all of Pretty’s increase (calves, and their calves once they can reproduce) are to be used for Edward Gouldman’s education.


Until 2019, I believed that Edward Keeling was probably related to the Keelings of Princess Anne, Virginia. I found Keeling males from the Princess Anne (now Virginia Beach) Keeling line and yDNA tested them: we are not compatible. They are yDNA haplogroup J-M267 (J-BY56688). Our Goldens are R-U106 DF98 R-FGC20581.

Was Edward Keeling related to the Princess Anne Keelings? I do not know. Edward’s history before becoming a close associate of Thomas Gouldman is unknown. They could be family and we just do not know how.

Have collected ‘arrivals’ of other Keelings. One was a George Keeling who arrived in Maryland in 1635. That arrival would be just across the waterway, the Potomac River, from Old Rappahanock County, Virginia.



About Princess Anne, Virginia Keelings

YDNA has answered the question as to whether we descend from them. No, we do not.

Yet our DNA matches are full of matches with Keelings that descend from the Princess Anne Keelings, aka Lower Norfolk in the records of the 1600 and early 1700s.

At the time that the Gouldmans and Keelings of Old Rappahanock County roamed the earth in the 1670- 1680s, Virginia had perhaps 35-45,000 citizens (US Census Bureau). People were few enough that in areas with records we can sort them out. Virginia and Maryland are both blessed with generally good records from this time period, at least for recording heads of household and legal proceedings. There were few laws so suing one another was almost a common occurrence when one person felt wronged.


FYI — German Goldman DNA Matches

There are some German Goldmans that show as DNA matches with some branches of our larger Golden family.

Some of these Goldmans have become Gouldman. This can get confusing when going through DNA match results. I have not encountered any of these German Goldmans as being related in genealogies, just in DNA matches.

I list them in my Ancestry tree to keep them all easily referenced.


These German Goldmans appear to connect with us through via Carolina and Virginia intermarriages with descendants of the Starns/Starnes/Stearns families. I have no record how we connect these families either.


German Goldmans and where DNA will usually lead to;


Friederich ‘Frederick’ Starhing ‘Starnes’


married to Mary Goldman (1703–1742)


daughter of

Johann Conrad Goldman


Anna Ursula Ritz




Next Version of Our Family History

Will try to update and to expand our family’s history by summer of 2021. I do have a larger manuscript that exists.

The next edition will contain footnotes to document facts and ponderings.

My goal with this edition was just to finally get something down in writing. Am not getting younger. Yours,

William “Bill” Golden