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A Quick Summary on Mary Golden and Family


The Immediate Relevancy:


·         Mary Golden and Timothy W Riley were married in Stoneham, MA on March 9, 1869. TWR’s age was given as 24 (b c 1845), Mary’s as 18 (b c 1851), a first marriage for both. TWR’s parents were given as Timothy and Hanora, and his place of birth as St. John, NB; Mary’s parents were listed as Simon and Mary and her place of birth as Plattsburg, PA. Officiating at the ceremony was Silus Dran, JP.  (vol. 218, p 257)


·         Mary Jane Riley was born to the couple on December 25, 1869 in Marlborough, MA. In this file mother Mary’s last name is given as Golding and her place of birth is missing. Timothy is listed as a shoemaker and his place of birth as St. John, NB. (vol. 215, p 205)


·         The 1870 US census lists 20 year old Mary Riley living in Stoneham, occupation as a domestic servant, and birthplace PA. With her is daughter Mary J Riley, 6Mo, born in MA in December of 1869. Mary appears to be employed by Canadian-born Julius Clement, a retired grocer, who appears to be running a boarding house servicing seven Canadians, all 20-24, and all working in a shoe factory.


·         Timothy Riley has not yet been found in the 1870 census for MA. He next makes an appearance in the records in Digby, NS at his marriage to Mary Jane Cress in 1873.

 The immediate question is what happened to both Mary Golden Riley and, more importantly, TWR’s first daughter, Mary Jane Riley.


Finding Mary’s Family:

·         A search of the US 1880 census points to a Simon Golden with a wife Mary in Blossburg Borough, Tioga County, PA, near the NY border in the NE quadrant of the state. The census file lists Simon as a 56 year old (b c 1824) Irish-born, retired miner (suggesting he had probably been injured or had black lung); wife Mary is listed as 51 years old (b c 1829), a housekeeper, and also Irish-born.


·         The couple have the following children living in the household: William, 24, coal miner, born PA; Timothy, 23, coal miner, born PA;  Nora, 18, at home;  Katie, 10, attending school, and Selica, 8, attending school.


·         A review of the 1870 US census shows a Semon Gridon family living in Bloss Township in Tioga County with the following composition: Semon, 46 (b c 1824), coal miner, born in Ireland; wife Mary, 43 (b c 1827) born Ireland; William, 44 (sic), born PA, no school attendance during the year, Timothy, 13, attended school during the year; Hannah, 10, attended school, Cathern, 10, attended school. This would appear to be the Golden family of 1880.


·         A review of the 1850 census for Bloss Township shows the following family: Samuel Golden, 21, Laborer, born (c 1929) in Ireland; Timothy Golden, 13, born Ireland (c 1833), and Daniel Golden, 11, born Ireland (c 1839). Also included with the family is one Ann Harigan, 40, born Ireland (c 1810). The original interpretation was that the boys were part of a family unit but the woman may have been a hired housekeeper to keep track of the younger boys while breadwinner Samuel was at work. Of interest is the presence three houses away of the family of one Irish-born Timothy Haragan, miner, 45, and 21 year old Margaret Haragan also Irish-born. It was a comfortable assumption that Ann Harigan was actually the wife and mother from the Timothy Haragan household down the road picking up a few extra dollars acting as a live-in housekeeper, at least during the week.


·         The Simon Golden family was difficult to locate in the 1860 census. However, after much searching it appears that the family was living in Franklin Township, in adjoining Bradford Co., PA and was listed under the name of Samuel Walter. There is presently no reasonable rationale as to why the census taker might have assigned them the Walter surname.


·         The 1860 US census provides for the following information on the Samuel Walter family in dwelling 1183, p 22, July 13, 1860, recorded by H. B. McKenn:

    • Samuel Walter, 23, M, Miner, $40 (estate value), b (c 1837) Ireland
    • Mary Walter, 32, F, b (c 1828) Ireland
    • Mary Walter, 9, F, b (c 1851) PA
    • Ellen Walter, 8, F, b (c 1852) PA
    • Johanna Walter, 5, F, b (c 1855) PA
    • William Walter, 4, M , b (c 1856) PA
    • Timothy Walter, 2, M, b (c1858) PA
    • Hanora Walter, 2/12, F b (1860) PA


    • Of the above the significant inconsistencies in our information on the family are:
      • The last name of Walter for which we have no rationale
      • The use of the name Samuel as opposed to the more lasting and familiar Simon but we did see the use of the Samuel name in the 1850 census
      • Samuel’s age which should have been c 33/34 (attributed to a simple recording error).
      • The presence of a daughter Johanna  b 1855 who is not seen in any other files but who could have died in the 1860-1870 period
      • Location not in Tioga but in adjoining Bradford County


    • From the 1860 Walter census information the significant consistencies on the family are:
      • The use of the name Samuel consistent with 1850
      • The correct family order  from parents Samuel/Mary through children Mary/Ellen/William/Timothy/Hanora(Hannah/Nora)
      • Relatively correct ages for Mary/Mary/Ellen/William/Timothy/Hanora
      • Samuel’s occupation
      • Location in an adjoining county


    • The presence of a listing for daughter Ellen in both Bloss Twp (with her aunt and uncle – see below) and in Franklin Twp (with her parents) suggests i) that Ellen may have gone to visit her relatives in Bloss Twp between July 13, and July 30, 1860, when she was recorded in Tioga County, or ii) she was actually visiting in Bloss Twp at the time of the Franklin Twp census but was enumerated with her family in Franklin County as a regular and usual member of the family unit.


    • The Samuel Walter family does not appear in the 1870 or 1880 US census for Tioga or Bradford County, PA or in adjoining Chemung County, New York.


·         The 1860 census does list in Bloss Township the presence of one Irish-born Daniel Golden, miner, 21, (b c 1839). Living in the same household are Irish-born Hannah Golden, 50 (b c 1810) and one PA-born Ellen Golden, 7(b c 1853).


·         The initial interpretation of the above 1860 information was that the Daniel Golden of 1860 and 1850 are one in the same, and that Ann Harigan and Hannah Golden were also most likely the same individual, and given her use of the Golden surname in 1860, perhaps in actuality an aunt of the Golden boys of 1850. The presence of 7 year old Ellen awaited further rationalization. However, further research complicated the interpretation Hannah Golden as part of the Golden family.


    • In this regard of interest is an entry in the Boston Pilot of October 10, 1868 whereby one Hannah Miles, sister, is seeking one Daniel Golden, last heard of from Lexington, MO and formerly of Blossburg, PA. Contact address is given as W. H. Miles of Ithaca, Tompkins Co., NY. (The W. H. Miles present in the 1870 US census in Ithaca was a 19 year old shoemaker boarding with another family)


    • Follow-up on this lead via the 1850 US census shows a 23 year old, English-born William Miles, shoemaker, apparently boarding along with nine others in the household of J. S. George, shoemaker, of Stoneham, MA.


    • The MA vital stats (1850, v 46, p 129) gives the marriage on Dec 6, 1850, of one W. H. Miles, 23, (b c 1827), shoemaker, of Stoneham, to one Hannah Gould, 23, (b c 1827) of Stoneham (no other info).


    • The MA vital stats (1851, v 52, p 142) lists the October 6 birth in Stoneham of one William Henry Miles to William and Hannah Miles of Stoneham, originally of England and Ireland respectively. This is logically the 19 year old shoemaker of Ithaca, NY in the 1870 census.


    • This family appears to be listed in the 1860 census living in Richmond Township of Tioga County, PA. The ages are reasonably correct as is the name of the first child (Willie) and William Sr.’s occupation of shoemaker. However, Wm Sr.’s birthplace is given as Ireland, and Willie’s as PA. Three additional children have been added to the family Johnny, 6, George, 4, and James 4mo.


    • By 1870 the family has moved to Auburn, NY in Cayuga County where William continued to ply his shoemaker trade, William Jr. has by this time left the family circle, George is now working in a file? shop, Timothy (James) is at school and an additional son, Joseph, 8 has been added to the family and is attending school.


    • A second search in the Boston Pilot of interest is for Margaret Harrigan (m. n. Kane) wife of Timothy Harrigan formerly of Blossburg, PA. Couple had been married, “supposedly in NY City, but had lived separate for the past several years”. This search is probably referencing the 45 year old Irish-born miner Timothy Haragan, present 3 doors away from Samuel Golden et al as listed in the 1850 US census (see above).


    • Of interest in the above information is that the recorded age of the Ann/Hannah Harigan/Golden of the 1850/1860 census is Bloss Twp provided a consistent birth year of 1810. The birth year of Hannah Gould of Stoneham is consistent in two records as 1827. This leads to the interpretation that the 50 year old in the Bloss Twp 1861 census record   is likely Ann/Hannah Harigan and that she was attributed the Golden surname in 1860 via a recording error.  


·         Since we were aware from other information that Simon Golden arrived in Bloss Twp in 1848 it was a reasonable easy jump to the interpretation that apparent brother Samuel Golden of 1850 is most likely the Simon Golden of 1870 (Semon) onward. Supporting this interpretation is the fact that Simon named one of his male offspring Timothy after his brother, and that his grandson after Timothy was named Gerald Daniel, connecting back to the second brother from 1850. 


·         There is still no direct information indicating whether Simon and Mary were married in Ireland or in the US but the interpretation of Simon and Samuel of 1850 being the same individual strongly suggests that he married in Bloss Township, probably in 1850.


·         In 1900 census shows William Golden, 41, born PA 1859, single, and a coal miner, living in Blossburg with 30 year old single sister Catherine, b PA 1870, with no listed occupation, and with 26 year old single sister Alice, b PA 1873, listed as a dress maker. The family is listed as household 31 and appears to be living at the residence of Jane Roy on Gulack Street.    


·         The same file shows Timothy Golden and family to be living on Rail Road Street (household 256). Timothy’s family consists of himself, 40, born PA 1860, and a coal miner, his wife Mary, 41, born NY 1859, daughter Catherine, 15, b PA 1884, son Gerald, 5, b PA 1894.


·         Information from the Tioga County website provides the following for the family:

    • Simon Golden arrived in Blossburg in 1848 and was still living in 1897. (1897 Tioga County PA History – Chapter 53 – Bloss  Borough (Blossburg))


    • Simon Golden was one of four individuals who dug the foundation for St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church in Blossburg on October 9, 1850. (1883 Tioga County PA, Blossburg Borough History) so Simon was likely present in the Township at the time of the 1850 census.


    • The Golden Brothers ( i.e., William and Timothy) opened up a mine west of the river  (1897 Tioga County PA History – Chapter 53 – Bloss  Borough (Blossburg))


    • T. J. Golden was the first treasurer of the Blossburg Division No. 4, A. O. H. which was organized in September, 1890. (1897 Tioga County PA History – Chapter 53 – Bloss  Borough (Blossburg))


·         Hanford’s 1899 Directory for Tioga County, PA – Blossburg Borough lists the following Goldens:

    • Golden, Cecila, dressmaker, Williamson n Arnot bridge, home do
    • Golden, Simon, invalid, h Williamson n upper bridge
    • Golden, Timothy J., miner, h Morris
    • Golden, William, miner,  h Williamson n upper bridge


·         Anderson’s 1908 Directory for Tioga County, PA Blossburg Borough lists the following Goldens:

    • Golden Bros Wm. & T.G. coal operators office Granger St
    • Golden, Catherine, bds Granger St.
    • Golden Celia, housekeeper Wm Main St.
    • Golden, Timothy J. (Mary) (Golden Bros) coal operators, O, H Granger St. miner, h Morris
    • Golden, Wm. (Golden Bros) O H Main St.


·         Information from St. Andrews Cemetery, Blossburg, Tioga County, PA provides:

    • Golden Simon             1824-1898
    • Golden Mary               1826-1893
    • Golden, William           1858-1919
    • Golden, Nora              1864-1936
    • Golden Catherine        1870-1904
    • Golden, Cecelia          1874-1932

·      Cemetery records for Timothy and family are yet to be discovered as is a record for Simon’s daughter Johanna who appears to have died between 1860 and 1870.


·         Birth record for Tioga County recorded 1893-1906

    • Golden, William W, b 12/05/1900, Blossburg, parents T. J. and Mary Golden, Blossburg, Miner, recorded 6/17/1901 


·         The fourth draft registration for WW II identifies one Gerald Daniel Golden, born August 15, 1894, in Blossburg, PA


·         The Senior Goldens have not yet been found in  Ancestry  or ISTG immigration records


The Massachusetts Connection Expanded

·         We are aware that Mary Golden was in Stoneham by 1869. We are also aware that her aunt Hannah (Golden) Miles married there in 1850 and had her first child there in 1851. By 1860 Mary and her husband William Miles appear to have migrated to Tioga County, PA where she had three more children; by 1870 the family appears to have moved to New York State.


·         Further in depth review of MA vital records pointed to an 1874 marriage in Stoneham, MA of one Ellen Golden, 21, to 26 year old shoemaker John Desmond Jr.  John’s parents were John Desmond and Hannah Murphy of Cambridge, MA, and interestingly enough, Ellen’s parents were Simon and Mary Golden of Blossburg, PA, also the noted location of Ellen’s birth (vol. 263, p 190). It is reasonable to interpret this Ellen as the same Ellen Golden in the 1860 Bloss Twp census and the Franklin Twp census of Bradford Co under the name Walter.


·         A check of the 1870 MA census located 17 year old, PA-born, Ellen Golden working as a domestic servant in the household of George W Osgood of Stoneham.


·         Ellen indicated her 1874 marriage was her first; the couple was married in the Catholic faith.


·         Via US census, MA vital records and Stoneham directories the Ellen/John Desmond family is readily (?) traceable through to 1920. Ellen’s name is consistent throughout in its use of ‘Ellen’; in the record of the birth of her son Frances Simon Desmond on December 26, 1884 and in a 1917 Stoneham directory her middle initial is given as “L”.  Of additional interest is the fact that the name of the couple’s firstborn is ‘Mary Ellen’, born June 4, 1875 in Stoneham.


·         The couple resided in Stoneham all their lives and had the following children: Mary Ellen, 1875; Nora N, 1877; William D, 1879; Catherine, 1880; Henry B, 1883; Frank S, 1884; George C, 1888; Lewis Golden, 1890 (d 1903); and Florence N, 1893.


·         John Desmond Jr died Feb 12, 1913 and wife Ellen sometime after 1917.  


·         Nora Golden, sister of Ellen and Mary, is located in Stoneham in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census, unmarried and working as a domestic. She had returned home to Blossburg, PA by 1930 where she died in 1936.  


·         Nora Golden’s will was contested in court in Blossburg in 1837 by “Mary E Halpin and others of Massachusetts”. Ellen’s oldest daughter Mary Ellen was married to T Frank Halpin by 1930 and is undoubtedly the named party contesting the will. The will bequeathed to one Anna Fulton of Stoneham $500; Ellen’s second daughter Nora (Hannah/Anna) married James E Fulton in Stoneham c 1902 and was in all likelihood the recipient of the bequest.    


·         Analyzing the Information:

    • It would appear that Mary and Ellen and Nora Golden of Stoneham were sisters and the daughters of Simon and Mary Golden of Blossburg, Tioga Co., PA. Mary had arrived in Stoneham by 1869 and Ellen by at least 1870; Nora followed her sisters sometime between 1880 and 1900. The attractor to induce the older girls to move from Blossburg to Stoneham is presently not apparent but there is a likelihood that the same attractor would probably account for the presence of their aunt Hannah in Stoneham c 1855


    • The only record available to date that provides a direct connection between Mary Golden of Blossburg with the Simon Golden family of the same location is the 1860 census listing for the Samuel Walter family of Franklin Twp of Bradford County, PA. In spite of a number of inconsistencies listed above, the consistencies between the Golden and Walter families are remarkable enough to allow a reasonable interpretation that they are one in the same family.    


    • Beside the above, the connection between Ellen Golden and Simon in Bloss Twp is reasonably made through her presence in the 1860 census living with what is interpreted as Simon’s brother Daniel.


    • The Wellsboro Agitator newspaper, which serviced Blossburg, PA, noted Simon Golden paying an extended visit to “Boston” in early 1891. Likewise a September 11, 1912 edition noted that Ellen Desmond of “Boston” spent the summer visiting her brothers William and T. J. Golden in Blossburg.


    • There is as yet no direct connection in the MA records of Mary (Golden) Riley of Stoneham to sister Ellen Desmond and her family.  


Now all this family background is interesting but it still gives no clue as to what might have happened to Mary (Golden) Riley and daughter Mary Jane of Stoneham MA after 1870.


What Happened to Mary (Golden) Riley and Daughter?

·         As for Mary (Golden) Riley and daughter Mary Jane Riley post 1870:

    • Mary (Golden) Riley appears to disappear from the post-1870 record. The likelihood that she remarried is strong.


    • Mary Jane Riley, a “stitcher” (likely in a shoe factory) is recorded as having died at age 22 years, 10 months, and 14 days in Stoneham/ Marlborough, MA  on November 11, 1892 of pulmonary TB; father Timothy Riley of Boston and mother Mary of Blossburg, PA. (MA Vital Records Vol. 428, page 368)  


RAR -14.04.08

Updated - 15.02.13