America’s Red, White and Blue…
On June 14, 1777 in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white, in a blue field representing a new constellation.”
As to the significance of our flag’s colors–they came from England’s “Union Jack Flag,” our Founding Fathers were very familiar with it. Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, explained the colors for America’s flag; “white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue–vigilance, perseverance and justice”. That’s the long and the short of the story behind America’s Stars and Stripes.
The Bolling Family’s Red, White and Blue…
PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED RECORDS
Robert Bolling, a son of Major John, wrote “A Memoir of a Portion of the Bolling Family” in French, before 1764. It was translated into English in 1803 by Judge John Robertson and later “fell into the hands of John Randolph of Roanoke.” Sixty-five years later in 1868, it was returned to Judge Robertson and put in print for the first time.
On page 5, Robert mentioned the marriage of Major John to Elizabeth Blair, stating that they had many children, some of whom died in their infancy and that ” ….. those who survived him (he died on January 6, 1757) are:
Thomas, 18 July, 1735
John June, 1737
Robert 28 August, 1738
Mary 28 July, 1744
Edward, 9 September, 1746
Archibald, 20 March 1749 (second son of that name)
Sarah, 16 June, 1748 (second daughter of that name)
Anne, 7 February, 1752 (second daughter of that name)
If Memoir is correct with respect to the children of Major John who survived him, then all of the children born before Thomas, 1735, died. The first five children on the VOLTA and OMSS lists – all died young; the first eight children shown on the PRICE list all died young, were never born, or were not Major John’s children. It’s hard to believe.
The list in MEMOIR was duplicated in “Pocahontas and her Descendants” by Wyndham Robertson who said Major John had nineteen children though he named only seven of them. He omitted Edward, 1746, even though Edward had been included in MEMOIR. CHART says that eleven other children died without issue. therefore MEMOIR, Robertson’s list and CHART are of limited value in identifying the “mysterious Bolling.”
The VOLTA and OMSS lists are essentially identical – they constitute one list, which can be compared to the PRICE list. The difference between these lists identifies the names of these children, real or purported, who should be researched further. See Note 1
POCAHONTAS AND HER DESCENDANTS:
This book was published in 1887 and re-printed in 1982. As mentioned above, it states on page 32 that Major John had nineteen children even though it lists only seven, Edward being omitted.
In the preface to his book, Robertson states:
I have to lament the want of completeness I sought as a genealogy, baffled in part by ignorance of the sources to apply to, and in large part, also, by the indifference of many to the object in view. To these causes are owing the many bare and unsightly limbs it exhibits, that disappoint the eye by want of their proper foliage. I hope, however, that these very defects themselves will serve to stimulate many, who will regret to see them, to yet supply these waste places, in some future reprint, with their proper garniture. I submit it as it is, however, with all its defects If I have succeeded in laying a safe foundation whereon others may raise a more complete structure, I shall be content.”
Robinson’s flowery prose almost obscures the point he is trying to make, but obviously he thought his book was incomplete and hoped that future writers would fill in the gaps. Since he knew that Major John had nineteen children, one of whom was his grandfather, Thomas 1735, it is puzzling that he couldn’t name at least some of the other twelve children. Thomas and his wife, Elizabeth Gay, were first cousins.
The gaps in Robertson’s list are interesting. If Major John had fathered only the seven children named in Robertson’s book, Major John and Elizabeth would have had no children during the first seven years of their marriage, three children between 1735 and 1738, then no children during the next six years until Mary was born in 1744, followed by four more childless years, then three more children between 1748 and 1752. These irregular gaps were filled by later researchers. For the names of the spouses of the seven children listed by Robertson see Note 2.
I believe the updates to the memoir above, are within the books listed below. Hopefully, we can further clarify the issue and perhaps even find the answers.
POCAHONTAS’ DESCENDANTS: A Revision, Enlargement and Extension of the List as Set out by Wyndham Robertson in His Book Pocahontas and Her Descendants (1887) Paperback – 1997; Fourth and Fifth Corrections and Additions to Pocahontas’ Descendants Paperback – June 1, 2009 by Further Corrections and Additions by
And, there is yet another source: HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA PUBLICATION 9 – 1975 – THE BOLLINGS OF WISE COUNTY By:
W. S. Rose.
Sorry to leave you hanging on the topic of the blue blood Bolling lines. If any of my readers have access to any of these books, I would greatly enjoy hearing from you about your findings.
Until next time…