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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mary Ann Golden/Golding

One of my first cousins just ask me a week or so ago about this ancestor and what I knew about her and so I thought well here is the next week’s ancestor story #40 for the year.  The ancestor I will be talking about this time is from my Daddy’s side, through his mother Jessie Doss.  Mary Ann Golden/Golding was my fourth great-grandmother and she was born about 1774, probably in Orange County, Virginia.  Mary Ann was the daughter of Richard Golden/Golding and Susanna Wilmoth.  Family stories say that Mary Ann was Cherokee and the daughter of Chief Golden of the Cherokee Tribe.  However, from all the research I have done I do not believe that was the case.  Also, my DNA and my Daddy’s did not show any Native America, but the amount Mary Ann may have had in her may have been small enough that it does not show up in our DNA mixture, if she did indeed have Indian blood in her that is.  I believe if there were any Native American it may be on her mother, Susanna Wilmoth’s side, because so far I have not been able to find out anything about Susanna’s ancestry.   Another old family story says that Mary Ann’s father, Richard Golden/Golding was a large land owner and was stabbed to death by one of his German renters in 1788.  The man was brought to court, tried, found guilty and was hung by the neck that same afternoon.  I have not looked for any actual court records, but that is something I need to do, to see how close to the truth this story may be.  On week #27, I wrote about Mary Ann’s husband, Joseph Clark.

You can see Orange County, Virginia circled on the following map and you can find this map and other United States county maps at this link: http://www.censusfinder.com/county-maps.htm

I do know that before 1776, Mary Ann and her family are leaving Virginia and moving down to South Carolina around the area that would become the Abbeville District.  Her father Richard Golden/Golding had served in the Revolutionary War in the 9th and 13th Virginia Regiment’s and may have gotten land warrants for his service, but so far I do not have any records to prove this.  I have found the following records in Land Grants of Abbeville County, South Carolina Book A, page 94 where we read: “Richard Golding as a citizen, granted 640 acres of land situated on 12 Mile River bounding on all sides on vacant land surveyed by John Martin on the 24th day of June last as appears by his certificate with the form and marks as platted and recorded this 17th day of August 1784, signed Robert Anderson”. 

From what I have found so far, I believe the Golden/Golding family was from England, but my Golden/Golding line has been here in America starting out in Virginia, since at least the 1660’s, possibly even a little earlier than that and by 1775 or so in South Carolina, before scattering all around the United States.  The Foster/Forster family that my 6th great-grandfather, William Golding married into goes back to Royalty lines in England.

Mary Ann was the second of the seven known children of Richard Golden/Golding and Susanna Wilmoth and these children were the following: William Golden 1772-1848, who married Sarah Newbourne; Richard Golden 1776-????, who married Ann Walton; Reuben Golden 1778-????; Elizabeth Golden 1780-1837, who married James Nathaniel Henderson Cansler; and Foster Golden 1782-????.   Another family story I have heard says that Mary Ann’s sister, Elizabeth Golden Cansler, was supposed to have smoked a corncob pipe and slept on the floor and somehow that translated to some, that she was an Indian and that is why she never slept on a bed.  Unfortunately, smoking corncob pipes and sleeping on the floor does not always mean someone was of Indian birth, quite a few people did that and they never said they were of Indian blood.

I have Richard Golding’s letters of administration for his estate after his death, granted to his wife Susanna Golding on October 7, 1788 in Abbeville County, South Carolina.  So far I have not been able to locate his actual will, to see what other children may have possibly been mentioned, I also have the inventory papers for his estate, the following are these papers.

I have found Mary Ann’s grandfather, William Golding’s, will which was written on September 4, 1777 in the Old Ninety-Six District of South Carolina.  William Golding’s will mentions the following sons and daughters in this order: John Golding, Reuben Golding, Anthony Golding, Richard Golding (my direct line), Mary Golding Leonard (Wife of Capt. Laughlin Leonard who was killed by Tories at Hays Station during the Revolutionary War.), William Golding, MIlly Golding Griffin (wife of James Griffin), Sarah P. Golding Foster (wife of Anthony S. Foster, Sr., possibly her cousin), Elizabeth Golding Tinsley (wife of Isaac Tinsley) and Robert Golding.  I don't know for certain these children are listed in birth order, but it is a good possibility.  William’s sons John and Reuben are made the executors to his will.  This will was brought to probate on September 23, 1782.  His wife Elizabeth is not mentioned because she had died in about 1775.  Following is a copy of that will and I have underlined in red every time he mentions one of his children by name.

Mary Ann soon met and married Joseph Clark, a son of Bowling Clark and Winifred Buford.  I have yet to find the actual marriage date for Joseph and Mary Ann, but I am assuming they married in South Carolina, since that is where their first six children were born in what was then Pendleton District, but is now part of Anderson and Pickens Counties.   Marriages for South Carolina especially during this early time period are few and far between, some being lost from fire, flood, war or just plain old neglect.  The following map shows where these counties are located in the state of South Carolina.

Joseph and Mary Ann had at least eleven known children, six of which were born in South Carolina before they left and moved to Christian County, Kentucky in about 1803, where their other five children were born.  These eleven children were: James Cansler Clark 1791-1875 married Hannah Henderson and then Tyressa Johnson; Lemuel Marion Clark 1793-1847 married Anna Henderson; Rachel Clark 1795-after 1841, married her cousin David Clark; Alfred Clark 1798-1809; Susannah Clark 1800-1809; Eusiba Clark 1802-1822, married Dr. John M. Brown; Jonathan Clark 1804-after 1841, married Betsey Journegan; Joab Clark 1807-1882, married Elizabeth Brasher, then Mary A. Brasher and finally Nancy B. Brasher; Lucetta Clark 1809-1883, married Reed Renshaw (my direct line); Samuel Clark 1810-before 1839, married Marcella P. Pennington; and Harriet Clark 1811-1869, married Larkin Tarrence Brasher.  These Brasher spouses were all siblings and children of Thomas Brasher and Catharine Croft.  Also, Alfred and Susannah both died in 1809, less than a month apart, which has always made me wonder if perhaps there was some kind of an epidemic or something going on at that time.

I don’t have many pictures for this part of my family but the following pictures I posted in the story on Mary Ann’s husband, Joseph Clark, and so I am posting them again here in case someone didn’t see them there.   The following is a picture of Joab Clark that was in the History of Christian County, Kentucky.  I wish I had a clearer picture, but he was a handsome man.  The next picture is of James Cansler Clark which I found on www.findagrave.com added by David Sterling May a distant cousin.  James Cansler Clark in the year 1833 or 1834 was elected to the Kentucky State Legislature, serving one term and he also served as Justice of the Peace in Kentucky for many years.  The next picture I posted in a previous ancestor story on Reed Renshaw (week #18) and may be of Lucetta Clark and her husband Reed Renshaw.  I wish I had pictures of some of the other children of Joseph Clark, but at least I have the following ones.

From her birth in Virginia, to her growing up years in South Carolina, to the wilds of the growing state of Kentucky, Mary Ann endured and saw quite a bit during her short life.  She had lost at least four of her children before she passed away.  Her father had fought in the Revolutionary War, some of her uncles died during that war, other family members fought in the War of 1812, namely her oldest son James Cansler Clark, who received a pension for his service during that war.   What these women went through while their men were off at war is probably hard to understand unless you have gone through something like that yourself.  One of my daughters had to go through that while her husband served a tour of duty for a year in Afghanistan.  I know she was a nervous wreck and probably didn’t show us half of the emotions she was probably feeling while he was gone.  My daughter was strong and I am sure our ancestors were too, they did not have time to set and bemoan their lives or their fate, they just had to get up and go every day no matter what.  One of my first cousins son is Special Forces and is gone again into the fighting, for at least his fourth or fifth tour overseas.  She has no idea where he is except that he is not on vacation, but she is staying strong too.

I do not have a death date for Mary Ann, but I know it was after 1830 and before 1839 in Christian County, Kentucky.  She was not even 65 years old, but life on the frontier was hard back in those days, especially for the women.  You worked from dawn to dusk, making sure your family was fed and clothed, and you worried constantly about the threat from Indians, highwaymen and the like.  A lot of the times your husband would need to go off hunting for food or work and I am sure you probably wondered when he left, if you would ever see him again.  Such was the life of frontier women, but without them none of us would be here, not all our family were born in big cities or lived the life of luxury, just poor honest working people trying to raise their families and stay alive. 

She is another ancestor I can be proud of, my 4th great-grandmother, Mary Ann Golden Clark.


  1. Hi Vickie, I just love love love your family stories! Keep em coming. In you latest story you mention DNA testing. How does one get this done? Is it expensive? Many thanks and hugs,

    1. Thanks for your kind comments and DNA testing is not very expensive if you watch for the sales you can really get some good prices. Ancestry.com and familytreedna.com are both good sites to use.

  2. Hi Cousin Vickie, I'm a maternal ancestor of Caleb Golden(1780-1860)a brother of Mary Ann Golding Clark. My ancestor moved to Georgia and his descendants can be in various states. davidlevy1331@yahoo.com

    1. I always love hearing from new cousins and it is sure nice to meet you.