Re: Definition of Blue Bolling
JoAn, I think I understand your frustration with the genealogical roller coaster ride known as the "blue Bolling" controversy.Believe it or not I've experienced a similar "what in the world is going on here" feeling while doing family history research on other lines.Please don't think that I minimize or dismiss the sincerity of what you're saying.
There's only one thing of any importance we disagree about: whether the comatose state of "blue Bolling" claims is the result of manipulation by "the chosen few."I think it's important - at least for the state of our hobby - because the conspiratorial explanation is factually incorrect and can send people down a genealogical dead-end, clinging to baseless legends instead of trying to discover their actual families.
Let me be specific.I know of no one who's ever contributed to this forum who lobbied the DAR to make any changes.The fact is that the DAR cleaned up its own act, starting with the "Colonel William Bolling and Amelia Randolph Bolling" fraud.The sad thing is that the baby - Private William Bolling - went out with the bath water ("Colonel" William Bolling).The fraud seems to have originated with some wealthy folk in South Carolina who wanted a fancy lineage to match their worldly possessions.They found a genealogist willing to oblige.But the actual Revolutionary War ancestor - Private Bill Bolling - had to be "promoted" to Colonel to make him the son of Pocahontas-descended gentry.The DAR doesn't care about the Indian Princess.But it draws the line on fraudulent manipulation and placed Private Bill - a real person - in limbo thanks to the game playing of his wealthy descendants.
JoAn, I'm certain that your grandfather and his parents had nothing whatsoever to do with this or any other genealogical hocus pocus.The reason why many people incorrectly think they're descended from Pocahontas goes back to the Pocahontas craze that swept America in the early 1800s.This frenzy was accompanied by the revelation that the "Bolling family" was the main line of descent.People named Bolling, Boling, Bowling, Bolding and so on honestly but incorrectly believed that they were descended from the First Lady of Virginia.Apparently many did not know that there were several Bolling-Boling-Bowling-Bolding families in early America, that most of the descendants of Robert Bolling (the immigrant) were "white" Bollings (through his second wife) and that "red" Bollings had to be descended from one specific person: John Bolling of Cobbs (1700-1757).
Once the above became more or less common knowledge, the name of the game changed for those interested in "proving" Pocahontas descent.The failure of Wyndham Robertson in his 1887 book to name all of the children born to John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling opened a window that people still try to crawl through, even though the window is nearly shut thanks to recent research and DNA testing.Robertson named only the seven Bolling children who had kids of their own, ignoring Edward Bolling and the ten or so who died young.This enabled fraudsters and innocents alike to place their ancestors on the bare branches of the family tree.The sad thing is that Robertson knew - from the family Bible first used at Cobbs - the name of every single "died young" Bolling.And there's no evidence whatsoever about young men and boys bolting for the backwoods from this prominent, well-recorded, highly documented Virginia family.
JoAn, does all of this sound to you like data manipulated by a royal priesthood?Would it shock you to know that many people named Lincoln grow up thinking they're kin to Abe or that thousands of Kennedys are told by well-meaning relatives that there's some kind of connection to JFK?Does it take a "chosen few" to separate fact from fiction?
Those who have done the homework on this subject are neither chosen nor few.No one dictated to the DAR or manufactured the DNA.If you think this is just a matter of opinion and that one opinion is as good as another, try using that standard if you have a tax or auto repair problem.I'm sincerely sorry that you have a problem with the way Pocahontas-related Bolling family research has evolved from the dark ages of "blue Bolling" claims.Nothing I say will change your opinion.Fine.Just be aware that when you tell people that it's all a plot by "the chosen few" you're not doing them any favors.Fred