This is the first time I ever thought to look on the Bouldin site for my family. I am descended from a man with a mysterious set of parents--very elusive people. His name is James P. Bolding and he was a medical doctor who lived from 1812 to 1889.
There are two factors that may have misled my research in the beginning. For one, many of the Boldings are thought to have been Bollings. In fact, his name was written "Bolling" in one census record, but apparently the census taker wrote all the Boldens, Boldings, etc. as Bollings. My man apparently never spelled his name any way but Bolding, judging from information prior to the census record. His daughter's name was spelled "Boulding" in the 1910 census. The second thing that misled me is that he married a woman who descended from Bollings.
He was born in Bowling Green, Warren Co., Kentucky. I find no trace of Boldings settling there, and it appears that the Bouldins I found there a short time later didn't settle for long. They seem to have disappeared shortly after 1820. I would not have thought to look for settlers who spelled their names "Bouldin" except for a Thomas Bouldin whose name is all over the land deeds belonging to Virginia residents who were buying up Kentucky land right and left.
My James P. Bolding was not a Melungeon, judging by his profession, social status, and birthplace. One other clue is that my family had a story that Bowling Green was named for the family. I thought that was preposterous until I read that another Bouldin family had the same story about themselves! Historians do not know where the name came from either, but I suppose it's possible it was a play on words if it was originally named for the family. One Bolding family crest was covered with bowls as a play on words.
Does anyone have any insight whatsoever about a family that might match this man's background? There are also two women surnamed West who are connected to this man. He married a woman named Fisher. I have found several groups of Bolling/Fisher/West, but they are all unrelated. Some are Melungeon and some not. Any clues out there?
One other hint: Unlike most of the Bollings, Boldings, and other similar sounding names, my family did not pass on a legend of Pocahontas.