Quantico National Military Cemetary, Triangle, Virginia … and the Hammer of Thor

Quantico MCB, Triangle, Virginia

Quantico National Military Cemetary is just down the road about 15 miles from my home. For just as many years I have meant to visit it. Yesterday was beautiful weather and so I found another Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) to make the short road trip with me. (Two chiefs are more than a tribe!)

Al Alborn
Al Alborn (USA, Ret) was my travel companion to visit the Quantico National Cemetary.

While the cemetary sits adjacent to Quantico Marine Corps Base, it is truly a national cemetary with members of all branches of military service resting there.

Do you have a relative buried in a national cemetary? Just curious? There is a central database of all burials for all national cemetaries provided by the Veterans Administration: Search Now.

One of the more curious aspects of the visit was discovering various kinds of religious symbols on some of the gravestones. Below is an example of just some — to include a symbol for Atheists and another that is ‘The Hammer of Thor’.

Gravestone Religious Symbols

There are many other (almost 60) approved religious symbols that can appear on a veteran’s gravestone. The Veterans Administration refers to these symbols as ‘Emblems of Belief‘.


Being a family historian I did some quick research on all Goldens interred at Quantico and have added some information about their lineages. Anyone with additional information is welcome to write to me at Norfolk1956@gmail.com


Clinton E. GoldenGolden, Clinton E
TN // US Coast Guard
War Service: Korea
Birth: 05/20/1931
Death: 04/10/1993
Buried At: Section 7 Site 247

Race: Black/African-American
Descended from: Edward Golden (1875 – aft 1931) and Alice Howard (1875 –  aft 1931), both born in Louisiana.


Harold K. GoldenGolden, Harold K
MM2 // Navy and Us Army
War Service: World War II
Birth: 11/18/1915
Death: 08/26/1995
Buried At: Section 11 Site 504 FindAGrave

Race: White/Causcasian
Descended from:  Richard Golden (1740 – 1795) and Mary Francis ‘Frankie’ Lowe (1750 – 1812), both of Ireland and immigrants to Georgia, later living in Kentucky.

and his wife: Golden, Elsie K
Birth: 02/06/1917
Death: 06/27/2000


Linwood GoldenGolden, Linwood
TEC4 // US Army
War Service: World War II
Birth: 06/15/1924 VA
Death: 11/05/1994 VA
Buried At: Section 6 Site 487

Race: Black/African-American
Descended from: James Linwood Golden (1903 – aft 1924) and Irene Proctor (1910 – aft 1924), both born in Virginia.

and his wife Golden, Alice
Birth: 12/17/1917
Death: 12/05/1994


Ronald Blair GoldenGolden, Ronald Blair
PFC // US Army
War Service: Korea
Birth: 11/16/1934 WV
Death: 03/18/2014 WV
Buried At: Section 25 Site 58


Race: White/Caucasian
Descended from: Scott Paine Golden (1836 – aft 1890) and Harriett Brown (1855 – 1932), both born in (West) Virginia.


William Arthur Golden SrGolden, William Arthur Sr
SGT // US Army
War Service: Korea
Birth: 01/08/1933 DC
Death: 01/09/2003 VA
Buried At: Section 18 Site 391

Race: White/Caucasian
Descended from: Robert Francis Golden (1855 DC – 1920 DC) and Ataway (“Addie” ??) Bailey (1863 DC or MD – 1909 DC)


Willie Franklin GoldenGolden, Willie Franklin
PFC // US Army
War Service: World War II
Birth: 11/04/1926
Death: 11/10/1991 VA, Fredericksburg
Buried At: Section 10 Site 500

Race: Unknown
Descended from: Unknown

Find Your Relative
National Military Cemetary Search

All gravestone images are courtesy of Findagrave.com. The Park Memorial to ‘Combat Veterans Wounded’ is from the Veterans Administration website for the Quantico National Cemetary. Photos of Linwood Golden and Ronald Blair Golden are from obituaries that I found online. The photo of Al Alborn was taken by myself, Bill Golden.

My last 180,000 genealogic years of wandering the earth per National Geographic Geno 2.0 DNA testing

Golding / Golden / Goulding et al Family History on Facebook

My GENO 2.0 DNA test results from National Geographic are in.

My maternal line is: H1
My paternal line is: R1b1a2a1a1c1a U106
— The GENO test advanced my YDNA ISOGG definition from R1b1a2a1a1a (U106) to R1b1a2a1a1c1a U106/R-Z307

GENO 2.0, by National Geographic, is different from many other DNA tests in that it provides a deep look back in time. Its objective is to create an anthropological view of our lives, not a genealogic view … although you can upload the results to FamilyTreeDNA.com where it can be used for some genealogy purposes.

Quick Review of GENO 2.0:

For women, the mtDNA test given by FamilyTreeDNA is considered superior in almost every way if your intent is to use the results for genealogy.

For men, the test results are roughly equivalent to taking FamilyTreeDNA’s 111 marker test — the only problem being that almost no one takes the 111 marker test so you very rarely have any results to compare your results against.

For both men and women, the value of taking the GENO 2.0 test is 1) it heavily tests for hundreds and thousands of known SNPs and confirms their existence in your DNA. Just testing for one SNP normally costs $39, so GENO 2.0 is an incredible bargain if you are a serious genetic genealogist; and 2) the GENO 2.0 test provides an interesting geolocational timeline of both maternal and paternal haplogroup evolution back to the earliest identifiable SNP within your DNA … which in my case was 180,000 years in the past for my maternal line.

If your primary interest is making genealogical connections then GENO 2.0 is not the best test for you.

GENO 2.0 outlines a person’s evolution according to their genetic changes (markers) across time. These markers are called SNPs (pronounced snip or plural snips // Single Nucleotide – Polymorphism). A newly evolved SNP is unique to an individual at a single instance of time, although similar SNPs with similar origins can come into being. EXAMPLE: During a plague or outbreak of disease, an ancestor developed a unique biological resistance which recorded itself within a person’s DNA and which provides some protection for future generations against that same kind of disease or plague. That would be a SNP that every descendent would then inherit … and even though multiple people in the same plague may develop similar immunity the SNPs passed on to their descendents would always be slightly different and thus trackable across time.

We carry along these markers from generation to generation, but there was a specific time in the past when these markers came into being. Identify the marker and you may be able to identify a point-in-time from the past as to when and where the SNP was created.

We pass along these markers to our children, leaving a forensic trail that allows science to look backwards in time. Not all SNPs are known as to their meaning, but they do act to correlate the evolution of related individuals across time and space.

My Maternal Lineage

Maternal line testing - H1

My mother’s direct maternal line derives from a direct ancestor born in East Africa about 180,000 years ago. From East Africa, this lineage spread across northeastern Africa. Between 60-70,0000 years ago my maternal line moved then from Africa and settled in the eastern Mediterranean region (the area from modern Turkey to the modern Caucasus region). Western migration into Europe began about 22-30,000 years ago. This maternal line (H1 which evolved from H, HV, R0, R, N and L3) slowly spread across western Europe (Germany, Alps/Tyrolia, British Isles) as the last ice age continued its retreat.

Below is the evolution of my DNA maternal tree.

mtDNA timeline
mtDNA timeline measured in years from time of identifiable origination

My Paternal Timeline

My paternal line has genetic markers tracking back approximately 140,000 years. My family’s modern ancestry originated in the British Isles. However the path taken out of Africa to reach the British Isles took a much more scenic route than did my mother’s maternal line.

Both my maternal and paternal family lines originated in the British Isles before arriving in North America during the 1600s.

Paternal line testing R-Z307

Below is the evolution of my DNA paternal tree.

YDNA timeline
YDNA migration timeline measured in years from time of identifiable origination.

Neanderthal Fraternization

At some time more than 30,000 years ago there was a Neanderthal grandparent, or two, introduced into the family tree. However, there is a 0.0 percent trace of Denisovan DNA.


The Denisovans are a fairly recently identified predecessor line to modern humans. It is generally thought that they lived and thrived mostly in southeast Asia and central Siberia, but Denisovans have been confirmed as having been present in southwest Europe in Spain about 400,000 years ago.

You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden, Norfolk1956@gmail.com

BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. Contact me at the email address above.