Re: Sources: the "Price" List.... decendent of the non-existent William & Amelia
By Fred Hof November 10, 2006 at 12:49:00
Cathy, please don't despair about Pocahontas.There are literally dozens of Bolling/Bowling/Bolen/Bolding/etc. researchers who are now pursuing real family histories after having been side-tracked, in some cases, literally for decades.In your case I don't think you need to give up.Although my research doesn't focus on your particular branch of Bollings, I've seen some very persuasive postings in this forum suggesting that the William Bolling in question may have been the husband of one Ann Sims.But I've also noticed that people from two distinct DNA groups seem to have been attracted to or indoctrinated in the "William Bolling-Amelia Randolph" myth, so this complicates things a bit.But by all means read all of the relevant postings and consult the DNA research sponsored by the Bolling Family Association.
I'm personally inclined to believe that the William and Amelia story is rooted in at least three historical facts: the Pocahontas craze that swept the US in the early 19th century, prompting many people with surnames of or like "Bolling" to think (or at least hope) they were descended from Virginia's most famous woman; the fact that there was a William Bolling who married a Randolph cousin (although, as you point out, it was a generation later and it wasn't "Amelia"); and perhaps most critically of all the failure of Wyndham Robertson to list the unmarried and "died young" offspring of John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling.Since there were 18 kids and Robertson only named seven, some people - perhaps with the best of intentions - plugged their ancestors into the gaps.
But there are still some major unknowns.Where, for instance, did the name "Amelia" come from?There just doesn't seem to be any record of any Randolph by that name.Who actually decided to "promote" a Henry County William Bolling from private to colonel, and why?Where are Zelma Price's papers now?I imagine you'd waive any claim to anything your great-grandmother "loaned" her if researchers could get easy access to the whole pile!
Anyway Cathy, welcome to the ranks of those of us who heard faulty but sincere tales of famous ancestors when we were kids, but who have found the search for actual ancestors and the stories of their humble lives to be infinitely more interesting.Fred