Re: William Holcombe Bolling to Wyndham Robertson
Thanks very much Jerry for your comments on my posting of the William Holcombe Bolling - Wyndham Robertson letter.In the following sentence from the letter -- "That brings me down to my own generation, and leaves me the sole __________ in the male line of my father" -- the missing word appears to be "representative."
You've focused on Governor Robertson's stubborn refusal to change "Martha Jefferson" to "Mary Jefferson" and asked the question, "Did he leave out the Blue Bollings on purpose?"That's pretty dramatic!
It's been noted elsewhere in this forum that at least one 19th century secondary source mistakenly identified John Bolling's wife as Martha.Maybe Robertson and his assistants decided to go with that source instead of accepting the word of William Holcombe Bolling.
In any event, choosing Martha over Mary was an error.Wyndham should have gone with cousin William.But I'm having trouble making a connection to the Blue Bolling controversy.Lots of people who write family histories make mistakes.It doesn't necessarily mean that they're part of a grand, multi-century conspiracy aimed at ousting hundreds or thousands from the family.If there were such a plot, wouldn't someone spill the beans?
You're right to say that Robertson's book shouldn't be revered "as though it's the Bible."To be honest with you Jerry, I don't know anyone who does.The successor volumes to his work -- the Pocahontas' Descendants series compiled by The Pocahontas Foundation -- have corrected many of Robertson's errors and are themselves works in progress.If you read the things I've written about Robertson's book you can extract a list of errors I cited.In fact, I charged Robertson with committing the "original sin" of Bolling family genealogy: not naming all of John Bolling's children, including the 10 who died before reaching adulthood.He didn't even name Edward!So who is it that's taking this book as holy scripture anyway?
For the sake of getting to the truth about the Blue Bollings it's OK to start, if you want to, with the hypothesis that there's been a cosmic conspiracy and Wyndham Robertson was one of the key perpetrators.But if the "Martha-Mary" mistake is the "evidence," I'd hate to go to court with it!
The key to developing the hypothesis that 12 people and their descendants have been denied their Red Bolling heritage is to find contemporary 18th and early 19th century evidence linking those 12 people (or any of them) to John Bolling of Cobbs.The reason there's no dispute about Thomas, John, Robert, Mary, Edward, Sarah, Archibald and Anne is because those linkages exist.Although the search goes on, no one YET has been able to find anything indicating that any of the 12 Blue Bollings were fathered by John Bolling.It's as simple as that.Wyndham Robertson's "Mary-Martha" mistake doesn't solve that problem and doesn't suggest -- to me at least -- that he left several hundred people out of his book, on purpose or not.
I agree with you that we need "more pieces of hard evidence like this letter."For those who want to prove that their Blue Bolling ancestor was a child of John Bolling, the hard evidence they need will not be found in any of the books written about the descendants of Pocahontas.If contemporary evidence can be found linking the eight uncontested children to their father, what's the problem with the other 12, the "Blue Bollings?"Whatever it is, it really shouldn't be blamed on Wyndham Robertson.