Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy &
History by Joyce M. Tice
Families of the Tri-Counties
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
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the site by using the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the
What's New Page? Family pages are listed on the Family list but
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You have done some really good work
on this site and I just wanted to drop a line and express appreciation
for all your fine effort.
I have been chasing the Simon Golden
family from Bloss Tp/Blossburg and with the assistance of your site have
been able to piece together sufficient records to close off my PA efforts,
at least for the present.
Simon’s daughter Mary (b 1851) married
by GGF Timothy W Riley in Stoneham, MA in 1869; daughter Mary Jane Riley
was born on Xmas day of that same year. I find mother and child in Stoneham
in the 1870 census with GGF no where to be seen. He next shows up in Nova
Scotia marrying my GGM in 1873. Although I have a reference for and the
trail of Mary’s sister Ellen in Stoneham from 1870 to 1917 neither Mary
nor daughter have to date been identified in later records.
Since there were some interesting challenges
in pulling the Simon Golden family together I have attached a bit of a
bullet point summary of the experience as a repayment for your hospitality.
If it can be used, please feel free; if not, then use the old delete button.
Thunder Bay, ON
A Quick Summary on Mary Golden and
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 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 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.
The immediate question is what happened to both Mary Golden Riley and,
more importantly, TWR’s first daughter, Mary Jane [Golden] Riley.
Timothy Riley (RAR’s GGF) 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.
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
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, 1850, recorded by H. B.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 Tri-Counties website provides the following for
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
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:
Cemetery records for Timothy and family are yet to be discovered.
Golden Simon 1824-1898
Golden Mary 1826-1893
Golden, William 1858-1919
Golden, Nora 1864-1936
Golden Catherine 1870-1904
Golden, Ceceila 1874-1902
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
Now all this family background is interesting but it still gives no
clue as to want might have happened to Mary (Golden) Riley and daughter
Mary Jane of Stoneham MA after 1870.
The Senior Goldens have not yet been found in Ancestry or ISTG immigration
What Happened to Mary (Golden) Riley and Daughter:
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.
Analyzing the Information:
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
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.
It would appear that Ellen and Mary Golden of Stoneham were sisters
and the daughters of Simon and Mary Golden of Bloss To, Tioga Co., PA.
There is as yet no direct connection in the MA records of Mary (Golden)
Riley of Stoneham to sister Ellen Desmond and her family.
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.
There is a record of the death of one Mary Jane Riley in Stoneham in
1892 (our Mary Jane would have been 23) in the MA death index (Vol. 428,
page 368) but the image to confirm her parents is missing from the electronic
file on the NEHGS website.
A Mary H Riley, 7, born MA, was listed in Stoneham in the census of
1880 as the daughter of Fergus and Delia Riley but she died on October
2, 1881 of diphtheria.
Another possible Mary Jane Riley is listed in the 1880 census as a 22
year old, born Boston, and whose parents were Timothy and Hannah, and who
married one James Foley, 26, Irish-born laborer in Boston on July 19, 1891
(v 497, p139).
One other possible though more unlikely candidate for Mary Jane Riley
is found in Boston in 1880 as an 11 year old living with mother Mary Riley,
40, a tailor, both listed as Irish-born.
Joyce Tip Box -- December 2007 -
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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
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