Re: Benjamin 1734-1832 and Jeremiah Bolling
Hello Jim.I appreciate your comments and will try to do them justice in this reply.First let me say that I can’t exclude the possibility that your illegitimacy thesis is correct for one or more of the 12.I believe it may have first been proposed by Bud Bolling of the Bolling Family Association (BFA) as a means of trying to reconcile various “blue Bolling” traditions with the orthodox genealogy associated with Wyndham Robertson and others.
I agree that the “paper trail” left by the eight consensus children of John Bolling who reached adulthood would not be replicated in cases of illegitimacy.This is not to say that contemporary evidence would not exist; only that it would be harder to find.It’s safe to say that to date nothing has been found.Short of the “smoking gun,” therefore, what do we have to work with?
1.To the best of my knowledge none of the blue Bolling family traditions – except perhaps the one mentioned recently in connection with Benjamin – reflects illegitimacy.Indeed, the William Bolling tradition was embellished to the point of a marriage at Curles and the rank of colonel.It seems that Zelma Price and her informants very much insisted on legitimacy, even to the point where Price and like-minded authors have tried to debunk the 1749/1757 will of John Bolling instead of offering illegitimacy as an explanation.Again, except for one Benjamin-related story I’m just not aware of any blue Bolling descendent claiming a legacy of illegitimacy.But I may be wrong and I’d be very interested to know if such traditions exist.
2.If you’re willing to accept (which you don’t have to!) my conclusion that Powhatan made it onto this list by mistake, is it possible that this isn’t just an isolated error?Put differently Jim, if you personally believe that one particular “blue” was an illegitimate child, is it correct to assume that any of the other ten had the same status?Why would illegitimacy be the common denominator?What are the odds?
3.Speaking of odds, it seems remarkable that most of the blues were given birth dates falling within gaps created by Wyndham Robertson's failure to list the ten children of John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling who died young.Why would the list creator have gone to this trouble?
4.As I’ve mentioned in previous postings, I’m not a member of the “DNA as Silver Bullet Club,” mainly because I don’t fully understand the science.But as I read the results of the BFA-sponsored DNA tests to date, I’m not seeing any support for the idea of a blood relationship between John Bolling and any of the male blues.Would you agree, or am I missing something?
I’m open-minded to the possibility that John Bolling fathered children out of wedlock.At the same time I’m inclined to believe that the lack of contemporary evidence linking the 12 blues to John Bolling is exactly what it appears to be: an indication that these folks had no blood relationship to him.The four points listed above seem to support this inclination, but I’ll be happy to stand corrected.
Thanks again Jim for the very thoughtful comments.