Re: William Bolling 1731 to 1776 and D.A.R.
By Fred Hof October 17, 2003 at 07:26:18
Tracy, there's been a lot of controversy among Bolling family researchers and most of it is over descent from Pocahontas.I think, however, that the definition you're after is pretty straightforward.It's accurate, I think, to summarize the "red, white and blue" categories as follows:
1.The terms "red Bolling" and "white Bolling" refer very specifically to the descendants of Robert Bolling (1646-1709).Bolling first married Jane Rolfe, granddaughter of Pocahontas.They had one child: John Bolling (1675-1729).John Bolling and his descendants are referred to as "red Bollings" because of the Pocahontas connection.Robert Bolling's second wife was Anne Stith, who was not descended from Native Americans.Bolling-Stith descendants are referred to as "white Bollings."In 1781 a couple of red-white cousins (Mary Burton Bolling of Chellowe and Robert Bolling of Centre Hill, Petersburg) married and produced descendants who could claim both "red" and "white."
2.The term "blue Bolling" was, I believe, coined by the late Chester (Chet) Bolling who, like you, is a descendant of Benjamin Bolling.Like many Benjamin descendants Chet was raised with the story that Pocahontas was an ancestor.His own research, however, convinced him that this was not the case.In analyzing the work of genealogist Zelma Wells Price and others, Chet concluded that 12 names (including that of Benjamin) had been erroneously inserted into the family of John Bolling (1700-1757 -- the grandson of Robert Bolling and Jane Rolfe) and Elizabeth Blair Bolling.Chet (who passed away in early 2003) remarked to fellow researchers that the 12 names seemed to have "come out of the blue."These 12 then are referred to as "blue Bollings."
3.The central issue of the controversy you've observed in this forum revolves around whether some or all of the "blues" are red, white, or neither.You can, if you have the time and inclination, read all of the pros and cons.What I think I know for a fact is that one of the "blues" -- Powhatan -- is a red, but he's a grandson of John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling, not a son.What I personally believe on the basis of the preponderance ofevidence uncovered thus far is that none of the other 11 is red.How many -- if any -- of the 11 are white Bollings (descendants of Robert Bolling and Anne Stith) I do not know.Your cousin Chet was inclined to think that Benjamin was a white Bolling until DNA testing suggested that he might be from a different (Maryland-based, if I recall correctly) family entirely.
4.I think it's worth reemphasizing that this "red, white and blue" terminology refers to the descendants of a specific individual: Robert Bolling, who emigrated to Virginia from England in 1660.I would guess that most Americans named Bolling, Bowling, Boling or some variety thereof are NOT descendants of Robert Bolling.Moreover, this terminology is NOT, except in the very narrow sense of descent from Pocahontas, a commentary on ethnicity.Although I'm aware (thanks to this forum) that some red Bolling descendants continue to name children "Powhatan" and the like, I am not aware of a general tendency among red Bollings to continue the intermarriage example of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.If "Native American blood" were the basis of the definition, I would guess (based on postings in this forum) that the term "red Bolling" would be more applicable to many Bolling families that may have no connection to Pocahontas at all.
I hope the above is clear and accurate, but corrections are certainly welcome.Although anyone is free to broaden the definition of the Bolling "color scheme" to try to fit him/herself into one of the three categories, for most Bolling-Bowling-Boling-etc. individuals the technically correct answer might be "none of the above."Reds are descendants of Pocahontas via Robert Bolling and Jane Rolfe.Whites are descendants of Robert Bolling and Anne Stith.The "blues" are 12 specific 18th century names so labeled by the late Chet Bolling: names of people believed by some to be red, by others to be white, and by yet others to be neither.