Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Sign up today for our newsletter and receive a free video explaining what a “coat of arms” is!

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Gainsborough, co. Lincoln). Gu. a chev. ar. betw. three bezants. Crest—A dragon’s head erased vert, collared and lined or.
2) Ar. three trefoils triple-fitched vert. Crest—A cinquefoil ppr.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Golden Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Golden Origin:

England, Germany

Origins of Name:

The surname of Golden is determined to be an unusual one, but comes from an Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a nickname. This nickname was determined to be used for a person who had bright yellow, or golden yellow hair, referencing the color of the metal—gold. The nickname comes from the Old English pre 7th Century word “gylden” which literally translated to mean “golden haired” or “one with golden hair.” It is important to note that many surnames in medieval England derived from nicknames, which were given for many reasons, from occupation to distinguishing characteristics about a person.


More common variations are:

Goulden, Goolden, Gold, Golding, Goulding, Goolding, Gouwlden, Gowlden, Goulden, Goelden, Goldeen, Geoldeni, Goalden, Goldien



The first recorded spelling of the surname of Golden was found in the year 1212. This surname was recorded and reported in the Hampshire Curia Rolls as one named Walter le Gelden, in the year 1212, which was decreed and recorded under the reign of King John, who was commonly referred to as the “Lackland” and ruled from the year 1199 to the year 1216. Other early mentions of this surname include Hilde Golden, who was recorded in 1297 in Cambridgeshire, Henry le Gulden, who was recorded in the year 1316 in London, and Roger le Gildene who was recorded in the year 1327 in Somerset. In church records, Thomas Golden and Mary Fouler were recorded as being married at St. James in Clerkenwell, London on November 6, in the year 1669. In England, those with the surname of Golden can primarlity be found in he counties of Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Norfolk, Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Hampshire, and the city of London.


Those with the surname of Golden can be found in Lanarkshire and Angus, and other spellings of this surname commonly found in this country are Golding, Goldin, Gouldin, and Goulten.

United States of America:

During the 17th Century, there was a large migration from European countries to the United States of America, which at that time was referred to as The Colonies, or the New World. These settlers were seeking out a better life for them and their families, and America promised freedom from religious persecution, a life without an overarching ruler, and better living conditions. This migration was reffered to as The Great Migration, and is also referred to as The European Migration. The first of these settlers who bore the surname of Golden was one George Golden, who was said to have settled in the state of Virginia in the year 1652. It is possible that someone bearing this surname was en route to the United States of America before the year 1652, and died on the way, thus never being recorded. Those who were coming to the United States were transported in boats that had many people on them, thus creating cramped living conditions. Many of these people died from starvation or disease, and those who made the voyage began their lives in the New World riddled with these ailments. Those who bear the surname of Golden in the United States of America can be found in high concentrations in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, California, and are often found in the state of Mississippi.

Golden Today:

United States 58,496

Nigeria 9,934

South Africa 2,867

England 2,484

Algeria 1,607

Canada 1,537

Brazil 1,510

Ireland 1,327

Tanzania 1,253

Mexico 1,073

Notable People:

Charles A. Golden (born in 1914) who was an American politician, and the Mayor of Monroe, Michigan in the year 1889, and was a Circuit Judge in Michigan in the 38th Circuit from the year 1909 to the year 1914

William Lee Golden (born in 1939) who is an American country music singer, best known as being the baritone singer in the country music group The Oak Ridge Boys

Michael Henry Golden (1851-1929) who as an American MLB player

William Nelson “Pop” Golden (1868-1949) who was an American football and baseball coach

Martin J. Golden, who is an American politician, and a Member of the New York State Senate in the 22nd District from the year 2003 to present

James Stephen Golden (1891-1971) who was an American politician, and a U.S. Representative in Kentucky in the 8th District from the year 1949 to the year 1955

Henry Lewis Golden (1902-1981) who was born with the name Hershel Goldhirsh, and was an American Jewish writer and newspaper publisher

Golden Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Golden blazon are the trefoil and bezant. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and vert.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 4. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 5. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 6. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 7. The trefoil may originally been a representation of a specific plant (perhaps shamrock) but it has been used as a symbol almost since the beginning of heraldry and over time has adopted a stylised aspect. 8. Guillim believes that it signifies “perpetuity…the just man shall never wither”. 9

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 10xz`, and the bezant Is a typical example of this, and in British Heraldry always takes the tincture or. It shares the same root as the name Byzantium, being associated with the gold coin of that city and indeed, in some heraldic traditions is represented as a coin-like disk in perspective. Wade suggests that the use of this device refers to ” one who had been found worthy of trust and treasure.” 11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Trefoil
  • 9 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P109
  • 10 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P122