When did "Golden" become Golding, or vice-versa?

+2 votes
77 views
I have a possible ancestor, Richard Golden, born in Virginia, in 1671, but his father is listed on Ancestry.com as William Golding? Is this the same name? I am mainly interested in trying to understand where in Europe my family came from, and so far, I've not found any immigrant ancestors. I'm very new to genealogy. Before this the interest was all my mother's. Thank you for any help.
in Genealogy Help by Nicole Golden G2G Rookie (200 points)

1 Answer

+4 votes
Spellings are often subject to the 'recorder' ie. probate or town clerk, minister, priest, solicitor  etc. and their training.  Many/most people in that time frame where not literate and so someone else recorded their document information and spelled out a name by 'what they heard'.  A clerk from on area of England or Holland might spell Golden, and one trained in a different setting might record Golding.  I have seen parish and town records, where the spelling for the 1st 3 children is spelled one way and the next 3 another, because the minister or clerk changed.

This is not limited to only very old records, census records can be the same.  They used to collect the census by knocking on your door and saying who lives here? So someone answering the door said there's me - Jake Smith, my wife Molly, sons Junior and BJ

They wrote what was heard, and likely didn't ask, and how do you spell that?  So Jacob Smythe became Jack or Jake Smith, wife Mary is Molly, sons Jacob Jr and William Jacob are now recorded as B J and Junior..

This doesn't confirm William as an ancestor, but it's a place to start. more research.
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (740k points)
Thank you very much for your kind answer. I am *very* new to this. My mother's family is well documented, but my father's is not, so I am all at sea. Thank you once again. NN

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