Monday, October 22, 2012

Jacob Golding - 1839- 1907

I was surprised when a rather thick white A4 envelope arrived on my desk this morning.  Yes! it was one of those Family History Surprises.    A couple of weeks ago I had sent an email to the Historical Society in Kaniva, (a small country town in northern Victoria, Australia), asking if they could give me the contact of anyone in the town who did family tree research.  I was looking for some more information on my Great Great Grandfather Jacob Golding.

A wonderful lady from the Kaniva District Historical Society had found quite a few bits and pieces including death notice and an application for land. This extra information has inspired me to write the little I know about Jacob Golding.

He was born in 1940 in Oakington, Cambridge, England, the seventh child of Edward Golding (1806-1873) and Maria Gee (1801-1892).  In 1852 the family along with some of Jacob's Aunts, Uncles and cousins made the decision to immigrate to Adelaide, South Australia.  Twenty members of the family left from Plymouth on the 30th April 1852 on the Epamidonas arriving in Adelaide on the 2 August 1852.  The family settled in the Strathalbyn district of South Australia.

At the age of 17 He married Rebecca Anne Taylor, who had immigrated from Ireland in the late 1850's.  They lived and farmed in the Strathalbyn and Narracoorte Districts for a number of years. Time were difficult, and the farming life was hard.  In one year all his crops were destroyed by fire and then two years later ruined by floods.*

Jacob Golding Land Application

Jacob and Rebecca were blessed with a number of children, however their first two children Jacob (1858-1860) and Eliza (1860-1861) died in early infancy. Looking to improve living conditions for their family Jacob and Rebecca moved to Victoria with their family of eight surviving children (William, b. 1863, Margaret (1865-1949), Priscilla Ann (1870-1905), Eliza (my great grandmother) (1872-1953), Jacob (b. 1874), David (1877-1956), Jemima (1879-1945) and Henry Edward (1881-1946).  The family first moved to Tattiara and then four years later took up a selection of 320 acres in the parish of Kaniva.  Jacob then rented an additional 320 acres and as outlined in (Victoria and its Metropolis, Past and Present, vol 11, 1888, p. 128) he cropped 360 acres annually. 
Wheat farming in Kaniva District
In 1886 he was elected as a member of the local Lowan Shire, he was re-elected as valuer and later elected to the position of Shire Secretary. He held this appointment until the day of his death.  His obituary describes him as a

"self-educated man with a natural shrewdness which enabled him to fulfil his difficult clerical position with rare ability, and the auditors invariably recorded highly favorable minutes concerning his admirable book-keeping methods". 

 Jacob was a very busy man fulfilling roles of valuer, overseer of works, thistle inspector of the shire, shire secretary and secretary to the Lawloit Waterworks Trust. 

Jacob and Rebecca Golding with their daughter Pricilla

Family stories relate that he was a very strict family man who adhered to the ways of the Methodist church. The family story, of when my great grandmother Eliza Golding had a child out of wedlock, was that she was forced to give the child up for adoption and her father (Jacob) arranged for her to travel with her brother David to Western Australia where he had arranged her marriage to Charles Palin. His obituary reports that he was,
 "a prominent member and highly useful worker of the Methodist denomination, and frequently occupied the pulpit as an acceptable local lay preacher."

On the 7th of July 1907, a Sunday evening, Jacob died unexpectedly of heart failure.  It was a great shock to the family and community.  Just prior to his death, he had been in his study, and had written a number of letter to local businessmen, one of which was arranging a meeting with the local Shire Secretary.  As the South Australian Advertiser reported his grand-daughter had the misfortune to discover him. 

"Mr Jacob Golding secretary of the Lawloit Shire Council at Kaniva ate a hearty tea and retired for a smoke.  His granddaughter went into the room and saw that his head was leaning on his shoulder, and his eyes closed.  The pipe was still between his teeth.  The girl first thought her grandfather was pretending to be asleep but as he did not move she became alarmed and called her uncle, who thought he was dead.  Dr Drew was immediately called in, and announced it to be a case of heart failure." **
Jacob Golding - death Certificate

It cannot be denied that Jacob lived a full life rising from very humble beginnings, traveling to  a new country with his family as a young boy. 

 He spent many years struggling to make a living to support his family and with  his hard endeavour he managed to leave his mark on the local community of Kaniva and the surrounding area.

Those who are researching the Golding family in Australia know that they had a great influence on colonial South Australia and Victoria, and I think Jacob's story definitely holds its place amongst the pioneers of early Australia.


** South Australian Advertiser, 17 July 1907


  1. Hi Diane I just stumbled on your blog, I am related to Jacob too, I am a descendant of Jacob's brother Uriah, he is my gt, gt, gt, gt grandfather. I'd like to include your information in my family tree and just wanted to get your ok.
    Wendy Cook

  2. Hi Wendy,

    Only too happy for you to include my info on your family tree! Have you heard of Ray Golding's book on the Goldings?

    also I think I have some info on Uriah Golding that Ray sent to me a long time ago. You can contact me on