Re: THE MYTH OF WILLIAM BOLLING AND AMELIA RANDOLPH
JoAn, I have to confess to you that I do not know who your mid-18th century ancestors were.I don’t know all of mine either, but I’ve never been tempted to think I got here through anything other than the usual way.
On the subject of William and Amelia (Randolph) Bolling two things are clear: no one has produced a shred of 18th century evidence of their existence; and plenty of people have produced very careful analysis indicating that the story itself is a fabrication.
Point one strikes me as important, though you may disagree.These two people supposedly came from two of Virginia’s “first” families.And yet, unlike all of their “siblings,” they’ve left not a trace of contemporary evidence of their existence.The actual children of John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling generated evidence that they were here: wills, marriage records, writings – all the usual stuff one would expect from people whose parents were in the Virginia elite.I’m aware of the Zelma Price theory that William and the other “older” disputed children left home and “disappeared” into the frontier.But even the original fabricator of William wasn’t content with that: he or she made him a “Colonel” in the Revolutionary War.Only there’s no “Colonel William Bolling” to be found anywhere.Likewise, there’s no “Amelia” found in any of the records of the Randolph family.
Point two is substantiated by many postings in this forum and more importantly by the systematic work undertaken by the Genealogical Committee of the Bolling Family Association (BFA).I’m not a BFA member, but I understand that many, many years of work by researchers representing many different Bolling, Bowling, Boling (etc.) lineages finally came to the conclusion that William and Amelia were fictional characters.
I must also confess that this "God dropped us out of the sky" argument mystifies me.Are you saying that your personal status as the product of human evolution depends on whether or not William and Amelia existed; that your place as a full member of humanity is up in the air or "on hold" until the correct names are identified?I don’t get it, which normally means I’m missing something.Like you JoAn I have an incomplete family history no doubt filled with errors, more often than not based on the well-meaning but flawed testimony of relatives.But I've never considered a gap or mistake in my research to be the basis for such a drastic conclusion.And I've never challenged anyone who's identified an error in my own family history to correct it.You seem to be saying something like, “OK wise guy, if William and Amelia didn’t exist, who were my gggggrandparents?Are you saying my relatives and I were just dropped here?”If that’s all it is then here are my answers: “I don’t know” and “no.”
If I don’t know the names of the real couple pushed aside in favor of William and Amelia, does this make the fictional couple any more real?I think not.But I understand your frustration.In message number 2896 of this forum the names William Bolling and his wife Anne, of Orange County Virginia, are offered as having been the ones “upgraded” by later writers of genealogical fiction.But I take it this is a different DNA group from yours, which means that even people not related to you have insisted in the past on descent from William and Amelia.
I think we might agree that the pursuit of famous dead ancestors is a harmless pastime.In the past, however, some information pertaining to Pocahontas descent was doctored, whether innocently or not, misleading a lot of people about their actual ancestries.You are, I think, more interested in building an accurate family history than in defending the errors made by others many years ago, but you’re finding it hard to replace errors with fact.Trust me, you’re not alone.As for William and Amelia, they were never born so, in a sense, they’ll never die.I imagine Jamestown 2007 will spark a new surge in Pocahontas-related genealogy, as will Jamestown 2107 and every film yet to be produced featuring Pocahontas.The fictional Bolling-Randolph couple will always be there on the internet and in certain books.They'll seduce and mislead family historians for generations to come.Your desire to move past this story has hit a brick wall, and for that I’m really sorry.But if it were easy it wouldn't be so much fun, right?Fred