Our earliest known ancestor in the Goldate family is Anton, who was born about 1625. Anton was an educated man as he was the Jockgrim village Anwalt (Lawyer) and Gericht (Magistrate). The best available information that I have found on our Gold/Goldate ancestors is that they arrived in the village of Jockgrim, Pfalz, Germany between 1600 and 1650.

At the time of Anton’s birth the family name was Gold. In the mid-1600s Anton changed the name to Goldate. However, before he settled on the new family surname of Goldate, Anton experimented with other variations of the name. There are a number of documents which show some of the other variations that Anton used.

Documents pertaining to Anton and his sister Anna Maria, who lived in a neighboring village of Jockgrim, show that they originated from the Tyrol region. Unfortunately, these documents do not provide the names of their parents or their village of birth. At that time in the Tyrolean region the names of Gold and Goll were used interchangeably. This multivariate usage of a name presents a significant challenge in research.

Anton’s son Simon was the mayor of Jockgrim for many years.

While living in Germany the extended members of the Goldate family primarily lived in the Jockgrim area. Upon arriving in Russia in 1808, Johann Josef and his descendants lived in the Kutschurgan village of Selz.

Catholic Church records from 1808 to 1830 for the Germans who were living in Russia no longer exist. Therefore it is almost impossible to retrieve documented Catholic Church data for that period. However, a good amount of civil records for that period do exist. Recently, I was most fortunate to find a civil record which shows that our ancestor Johann Josef married his second wife Margaretha Becker in Selz in 1811.

Our ancestor Johann Josef who immigrated from Jockgrim to Russia changed the spelling of the name from Goldate to Goldade. Later, after arriving in North Dakota, one branch of the family added an “R” to the name, thus starting the family name of Goldader.

The origin of the name Gold typically applied to individuals in the possession of, or related to the mining, refining and/or the use of gold. The names of Gold-ate and Gold-ade have no specific meaning in German. Hardships for our family did not end when our ancestors immigrated to the United States. Anecdotal history relates that my grandfather and some of his friends walked from Emmons County, North Dakota, to the Harvey/Selz area to stake their claim to a tract of land for a homestead. This is an estimated distance of about 110 miles as the birds fly. Additionally, after selecting a tract of land for their homestead, they had to go the Devils Lake, North Dakota to file the claim. The question is did they again have to walk? The distance from the Harvey/Selz area to Devils Lake is approximately 55 miles.