When I turned 40 years of age I became increasingly conscious that I was the last male in our strand of the Golding family gene pool. Both my father and grandfather died a long time ago. My dad had had one brother who remained a bachelor to his death and I am an only child, so the name ends with me.
Ever since I can remember there had been discussions within our family about the origin of our surname - Golding. It had long been assumed that the name was of Jewish origin.
I have now discovered that the name was first recorded in England in the 7th century and is of Anglo Saxon in origin. Ing at the end of a name translates as 'son of' and the Gold is a reference to the profession of the person, in this case a craftsman working with gold or alternatively a person having blonde hair. So . . . son of a goldsmith - that's the name question answered so now - who am I?
Well my fathers family originally farmed land in the village of Ashen on the border of Suffolk and Essex and had done for over 200 years.
For some reason my great grandfather brought his family up to the North East of England in the 1870's, first to Blackhill in Consett and finally to Sunderland. He spent the remainder of his life working in the brewing industry.
In the recent TV series Who Do You Think You Are the actress Barbara Windsor traced on strand of her family - the Goldings - to Suffolk. It turns out we are related and she also discovered that she is related to the artist John Constable - so I suppose I may be too.
Now I have given myself a past I can be far more excited in my families future. I have one child, a daughter, who is about to marry and hopefully have children of her own thus continuing the gene stand if not the family name, for generations to come.