Mashpee Indians in Massachusetts Sue for Recognition

I subscribe to Mass Moments daily posts about events in the history of Massachusetts.  I copied today’s (October 17, 2017) slug because of its relevance to my ongoing research into my Native American heritage.  What’s different about this article is this piece comes from our 20th-century history and not the 16th century, and shows that Native Americans are still fighting for recognition as a race or ethnic clan, if you will.Mass Moments-Mashpee Tribe

Please listen to the full synopsis from

Or, read the full story.

They Migrated From Maryland to Virginia – Just 300 Years Apart

Our eldest son moved his family from Maryland to Lynchburg in Virginia’s Southern Piedmont Valley about 12 years ago to allow his sons to attend christian colleges there.  He knew little of the area’s history, but found a home and a job just outside Bedford County and the City of Lynchburg.  As it turns out, he’s not the first of my family to migrate from Maryland to this part of Virginia.

Straight Line from Maryland to Virginia 1685

And, here’s how this story goes:

My Phelps-Bolling Connection

My sixth great grandmother was Martha/Mary Phelps (1737-1767) of Albemarle, Virginia.  She married my sixth paternal great grandfather Major Benjamin Bolling from Wilkes, North Carolina, when she was just 16. They had ten children in 16 years.  At age 29, she died in Flat Gap, Virginia, giving birth to their daughter Elizabeth Bolling.    Major Bolling married four more times before he passed away some 65 years later at age 98 when still residing in Flat Gap.

Martha was also called Mary or Polly.  Out of eight children, Martha was the fifth daughter born to Colonel John Phelps (1705-1772), of Albemarle County, Virginia, and Mary C. Gibson (1705-1763) originally of Hanover County, Virginia.

John Phelps Sr. 1683-1747

John Phelps Sr. 1683-1747 Picture Shared by Taylor Phelps and Shelly Phelps Barnett.

Colonel John was the son of John Phelps, Sr. (1683-1747), from Goochland County, Virginia, and Martha Margaret Talbot (1684-1747) born in Maryland.  John Phelps, Sr.  was the son of William Phelps and Ann Rachel Gorsuch (originally from Somerset, England).  John Phelps, Sr. along with his sons, had land grants totaling 8000 acres from George II of England in Henrico, Goochland and Bedford Counties, Virginia. (1727-1747)

Founding and Development of Bedford County

In fact, Bedford County was formed in December 1753 from the counties of Albemarle and Lunenburg.  It was this second John Phelps, who, with William Callaway, served as Bedford’s first two burgesses. He also served four assemblies in the House of Burgesses beginning August 22, 1754. At the time of his appointment, Colonel Phelps already enjoyed a reputation as a respected Justice in Lunenburg and Bedford Counties; he was a Coroner in Lunenburg, and an Anglican Vestryman in Lunenburg’s Parish of Cumberland.

From “Our Kin / The Genealogies of Some of the Early Families Who Made History in the Founding and Development of Bedford County Virginia,” by Ackerly, Mary Denham, and Lula Eastman Jeter Parker, Published by J.P. Bell Co., Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 1930, we learn that Colonel Phelps founded and developed Bedford County, Virginia:

John Phelps, the first of the name of whom we have any authentic record, was already settled in Brunswick County, Va., when Lunenburg was taken from that county, and was one of the first Justices of the new county. He, with Matthew Talbot and others, was present at the first Court of Lunenburg County held May 5, 1746. When the increase in population made it necessary to form still another county from Lunenburg’s territory, and Bedford came into being, we find John Phelps again at the head of affairs-“Justice of the Peace, and a Justice of the County Court in Chancery.” He and William Callaway were Bedford’s first representatives in the House of Burgesses, and from Hening’s Statutes, Vol. VII, we learn that he was a Colonel in the Colonial Army…


The House of Burgesses in the 1750s

Virginia House of Burgesses 1750-1774

John Phelps’ entered his first session as a burgess with fellow freshman Peter Jefferson of Albemarle County, father of future Declaration of Independence author, Thomas Jefferson. (Thomas Jefferson later represented Albemarle County in the House of Burgesses from 1769-1774). It is likely that Phelps was already acquainted with the family; in 1749 he was sworn in as Justice of the Peace and Justice of the Chancery with Field Jefferson, uncle of Thomas Jefferson, in Lunenburg County.   The two also served as Vestrymen in the Parish of Cumberland.

Further, Phelps served in the House of Burgesses with Augustine Washington (another of my distant relatives), of Westmoreland County, and father of George Washington. In fact, he served in the company of many Virginians who would later become venerable leaders of the American Revolution:  Peyton Randolph, Virginia Attorney General and later first president of the Continental Congress; Benjamin Harrison of “Berkeley” in Charles City County and George Wythe of Williamsburg, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and both representatives to the Continental Congress; Richard Bland of Prince George’s County, Maryland (and husband of my seventh great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Bland Blair Bolling), also a member of the Continental Congress. The oratorical and legislative experience these burgesses gained would serve them well in the years to follow when they would forge their own country after the defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781. The House of Burgesses was dissolved by the Governor in response to its actions against the Townsend Act, so named for Charles Townsend, British Chancellor of the Exchequer. Passed by Parliament in 1767, the Act placed a tax on common products imported into the American Colonies. These items included lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. In contrast to the Stamp Act of 1765, the laws were not a direct tax, but a tax on imports. The most public display of protest toward the Act was carried out in 1773 in what has become known as the Boston Tea Party. Rather than continue to pay the oppressive import tax, colonial Bostonians dressed as Indians raided British ships carrying imported tea and dumped the leaves into Boston harbor.

John Phelps Service in The French and Indian War (1754-1763)

French and Indian War - Rebel History

French and Indian War – Rebel History

Researcher, Mary Galgan, has done an amazing amount of research on the Phelps Family.  She writes that on August 20, 1756, then Captain John Phelps was commissioned to command a Company of Rangers to be raised in Bedford County to protect the settlers from the French and Indians in the area. There is also evidence that six years prior to his Ranger commission, John Phelps and other “Gentlemen” of Lunenburg County were sworn in as “Captains of the Foot in this County.”  For their service in “the defence and protection of the frontier of this colony, against the incursions and depredations of the French, and their Indian allies” members of the Militia of the County of Bedford were paid in September 1758. Captain John Phelps tops the long list of Bedford militia troops, receiving the sum of £2.8.0 for his service.

Captain Phelps returned to Bedford after the French and Indian War, living out the rest of his days quietly with his family on his land near Lynchburg. He died in Bedford County in 1772. His will, recorded in Will Book “A” page 137, lists wife,
Mary and children, Jane, Judith, Sarah, Ann, Mary, Betty, John, and Aggey. His son, Lt.
John Phelps d 1801, also served as an officer in the militia, and later, as an officer in the
Virginia line during the American Revolution.

The French and Indian War made life on the Virginia frontier particularly dangerous, especially for men like Colonel Patton and Captain Phelps who lived west of Albemarle County. During the conflict the majority of Indian tribes sided with the French, with the one exception of the Iroquois Confederacy who fought on the side of Great Britain and the colonies.

Trading posts and forts were used by both the British and the French forces whose
countries went to war over the disputed territory “the Ohio Country,” bounded east to west by the Appalachian mountains and the Mississippi river, and north to south by the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. While serving as Lieutenant Governor Virginia from 1751 to 1758, Robert Dinwiddie began granting patents of land in the Ohio valley to Virginia citizens after learning the French were entrenching themselves in the region (at the time, Virginia stretched from the Chesapeake Bay to the Mississippi). In the winter of 1753-54, Dinwiddie sent a 21 year old Virginia militia officer, George Washington, to deliver a letter on behalf of the Crown demanding the French vacate the region; however, the French refused. The years 1754 and 1755 included several clashes, but the war didn’t officially begin until May 15, 1756, when Britain declared war on the French, marking the beginning of what is referred to in Europe as the Seven Years’ War.  Washington suffered his first and only military defeat of his career during the war and mourned the death of his commander, Major General Edward Braddock whom he carried off the battlefield near present day Pittsburgh on 9 July, 1755. It wasn’t until 1758 that the British tide began to turn with victories in the north at Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) on Lake Champlain, and Fort Frontenac on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario. The war ended with the British victorious on 10 February 1763 upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

Update:  Post College and Outward Migration

Our three grandsons have since graduated college; two of the three serve in the United States Armed Forces and are stationed elsewhere; the only one who remains near his parents in Virginia and now a new homeowner works in Law Enforcement.  As for our now “empty nester” children–they just recently added a beautifully screened in porch over their patio and refinished their recreation room.  Their eldest son married and visits with his family that now includes a one-year-old.  We elders keep praying there will be outward migration closer to our home in Maryland, but I’m thinking God has other plans.  The good news is our children are just a five hour commute away!


The Statutes at Large; Being A Collection Of All The Laws Of Virginia, From The First
Session Of The Legislature In The Year 1619. Volume VII. Franklin Press, Richmond,
Virginia, 1820.

Our Kin: the genealogies of some of the early families who made history in the founding
and development of Bedford County, Virginia. Mary Denham Ackerly. 1930
Colonial Virginia Register, compiled by William Glover and Mary Newton Standard,1902.

The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1910–1911)

“Wingapo” – Welcome, My Beloved Friend

“Welcome, my beloved friend”

European colonists arriving in Virginia may have been greeted with, “Wingapo,”  (pronounced win-gà-po), which translated means “Welcome, my beloved Friend.”  So we know that the State of Virginia’s history did not begin in 1607. We are learning that Indians have lived in Virginia for thousands of years.  In fact, if you ask any Virginia Native American, “When did you come to this land?”, he or she will tell you, “We have always been here.”

Native American Tribes Led by Chief Powhatan

Little is known about Chief Powhatan’s life before the arrival of English colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. He apparently inherited the leadership of about 4-6 tribes, with its base at the “fall line” near present-day Richmond, and his Algonquin native name “Powhatan,” which means “at the falls,” and describes his people’s original lands. Through diplomacy and/or force, by the early 17th century, Powhatan had assembled a total of about 30 tribes that included an estimated 10,000-15,000 people.

According to early chroniclers, Powhatan’s father may have come to Virginia from either Florida or Maya territory in Central America. The Mayan word “Pohotun” refers to ancient ones. Their civilization had a history of conquest and tribal consolidation.

About the Powhatan “Confederacy”

The Powhatans populated the northeastern part of the United States at the time of its colonization [1492-1673].  Their boundaries in 1607 stretched from North Carolina to Washington, D.C., and onto the Eastern Shore region (about 16,000 square miles). [Note: A Washington Post map by Gene Thorpe dated December 13, 2006, showed the land and water areas were in fact between 18,700 to 19,250 square miles.]

Map Showing The Boundaries Of The Powhatan Confederacy 

Boundaries of The Powhatan Confederacy 1607

Boundaries of The Powhatan Confederacy 1607

Treaty Between The English And The Powhatan Indians, October 1646

The oldest Treaty in America dates back to  October 1646, two years after Pamunkey Chief Opechancanough, brother of Powhatan, ordered coördinated attacks on English settlements that killed about 500 people. The government of the colony and Chief Necotowance, son of Opechancanough, and nephew of Chief Powhatan, on behalf of the Powhatan tribes, negotiated a treaty that ended hostilities between the remnant of the Powhatan and the English Virginians. Later in the year, the British General Assembly enacted the treaty into law and adopted other laws to enforce its terms.

The substance of the “Treaty of 1646,” placed Indians in eastern Virginia under the control of the King of England.  In theory, it provided the tribes’ people protection from other tribes and from encroaching settlers. Yet, it imposed many restrictions on them by 1) confining them to land north of the York River; 2) prohibiting them from interfering with English settlements south of that river; 3) requiring them to communicate with the government by messengers while dressed in distinctive clothing; 4) requiring them to return all hostages, including “negroes,” 5) to turn in their guns; and, 6) to acknowledge and make tribute to the King for such protection by paying unto the King’s Governor 20 beaver skin’s annually  at the time the Geese migrated south.

From that time on, the colonies, governments, and Indian leaders negotiated treaties that allowed people of European origin or ancestry to settle in areas that Indians had formerly occupied. Often, these treaties put an end to open hostilities or organized warfare.  These legal doctrines also showed that Indians did not bear the same relationship to the colonial governments that free white men enjoyed. In fact, some colonial laws and practices treated Indians as foreign nations. And, when Indians resided in or near European settlements, they were not given the full rights of free white men. In the case of the Treaty of 1646, the affected tribes were known as “tributary nations,” because they were required to pay tribute to their victors who had imposed the terms of the treaty on them. As a result,  their required annual tribute by payment of beaver skins to the government compared to the European settlers taxation, which exempted Indians.

Our Constitution also included some of those same attitudes toward Indians residing within its boundaries:

  • Article I, Section 2, in providing for the counting of people for the purposes of assigning direct taxes and the number of members each state would have in the House of Representatives, exempted “Indians not taxed” from the population entitled to representation.
  • Article I, Section 8, empowered Congress to regulate commerce “with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes,” treating Indian tribes as if they were sovereign, foreign countries.
  • The authorization in Article II, Section 2, for the president to negotiate, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and make treaties was understood to include Indian tribes as well as foreign nation states. In fact, our first President and then President of the Constitution Convention of 1787, George Washington, clearly understood this clause and assigned agents to negotiate treaties with Indian tribes while during his term of office.

The status of Indians became even more complex after the new federal government concluded its own treaties with western Indians. Those treaties created different relationships with the federal government for western Indians than eastern Indians had negotiated with individual state governments.

Settlers Westward Expansion: 1787 – 1869

The constant westward expansion of the settlements by people not of Indian ethnicity and the recurring warfare with people of Indian origin led to more than a century of treaties and actions by the federal government, unlike any agreements or laws adopted that pertained to free or enslaved people.

Pamunkey John Watson Miles-Mills

Pamunkey John Watson Miles-Mills

Pamunkey John Miles-Mills was born in Hanover,  King William County, Virginia, in 1847 to Mary Frances Miles. It was often the custom for children of Indian women to carry the mother’s surname. Mary Frances was the daughter of the
Pamunkey Indian headman (chief) Isaac Miles and his wife Nannie Custalow Miles. The
Pamunkeys’ and the village of the same name were the main seat of the Powhatan Chiefdom.   King William County land records show Mills land (and Mills family including John Watson Mills, age 3 in 1850) near Aylett and Rt. 30 on the Pamunkey River, a tract of 110 acres called Pigeon Hill. The land was deeded to Edward
Mills by his uncle Captain Daniel Miles (spelled Mills, Myles, and Miles) a trustee of Delaware Town, or De La Warr Town, now called West Point. The land was originally owned by Opechancanough, Powhatan’s half-brother.  Like many Virginia Indians living away from the reservations, Pamunkey John saw many changes in his racial classification before he died in Fairfax County in 1923 and was buried in the Pleasant Grove churchyard.  You see, Indians were called “Indian,” as long as they remained on reservations. When they left, they were called fringe Indians, mulatto or mulatto, colored, negro and black. John married Martha Loretta Goings in Fairfax County July 18, 1876. On the marriage certificate, the bride and groom were designated “Black.”
Christopher Mills, John’s brother, married, at age 65, in King William County in 1908. His marriage record shows him as Indian. In the words of a Mattaponi philosopher, John and Martha “got called out of their race.”

Although the historic events and details of each tribe’s situation vary considerably, the legal rights and status maintained by Native Americans are the result of their shared history of wrestling with the U.S. government over such issues as tribal sovereignty, shifting government policies, treaties that were made and often broken, and conflicting latter-day interpretations of those treaties.

The result today is that although Native Americans enjoy the same legal rights as every other U.S. citizen, they also keep unique rights in such areas as hunting and fishing, water use, and Gaming operations. In general, these rights are based on the legal foundations of tribal sovereignty, treaty provisions, and the “reserved rights” doctrine, which holds that Native Americans retain all rights not explicitly abrogated in treaties or other legislation. Not even the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, which defined as citizens “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” conferred full civil rights and liberties on our Native Americans.



My Heritage: A View From The “Great” American Indian Wars

John Carpenter Ford

My post of January 12, 2013, mentioned my maternal great-grandfather, John Carpenter Ford, from Wake County, Raleigh, North Carolina.  John’s U.S. Army Enlistment Records of August 14, 1888, show his date of birth as January 15, 1864, which would have been just one year before “The ‘Great’ American Indian Wars began (1865-1890). His enlistment record also shows that this 24-year-old stood only 5’8” tall, had fair skin and grey-blue eyes.  He was assigned to Infantry Company D, 17th Regiment out of Washington, DC.

Fort D.A. Russell, Cheyenne, Wyo. 1910

After serving 3-1/3 years in the Infantry, Private John C. Ford, just shy of his 28th birthday, was discharged on December 10, 1891, from Fort D.A. Russell, in Laramie, Cheyenne, Wyoming. His record also included “General Order 80,” which was the U.S. War Department’s credit for battle participation and “Adjutant General Order 90.” The date of John’s discharge would also have been one year after the Wounded Knee, South Dakota, Indian Massacre. This regrettable and tragic clash of arms, occurred December 29, 1890. It was the last significant engagement between Indians and soldiers on the North American Continent, ending nearly four centuries of warfare between westward-bound Americans and the indigenous peoples.

On December 29th, the U.S. Army surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers under Big Foot, a Lakota Sioux chief, near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons. As that was happening, a fight broke out between an Indian and a U.S. soldier and a shot was fired, although it’s unclear from which side. A brutal massacre followed, in which 230 Indian women and children and 120 men at the camp were killed. Army casualties were 25 dead and 39 wounded. The total casualties were probably the highest in Plains Indian warfare except for the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The battle aroused the Brules and Oglala on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations, but by January 16, 1891, troops had rounded up the last of the hostiles, who recognized the futility of further opposition. Although he didn’t speak of his infantry service that I am aware, this engagement could have left deep emotional scars on John and have been the cause for his later irascible disposition.  When he passed away at age 97 on November 12, 1961, he was only one of two remaining Indian War veterans.

With his father, Robert Jackson Ford present as one of three witnesses to his Wedding Ceremony, John married Mary Susan Morris, age 20, also of Wake County, Raleigh, on September 23, 1894.  The irony of their relationship–she was full blooded Native American and just three years later he had put the Indian wars behind him, and John and Mary Susan found each other and were married.  Although, it appears that John may have lied to Mary Susan about his age as 27.  He listed his year of birth as 1867 on the marriage register of Wake County, North Carolina.  And the Decennial Census records beginning with the 1870 Census listed his year of birth as 1867.  I believe he used his brother William Sherman Ford’s year of birth instead of his own to keep the 10-year age span from his wife. I discovered further evidence of John’s birth year as 1864 when I looked at his brother William’s death records at  There, William’s year of birth was listed as 1867. And, our family always went with John’s military records–which means John was in fact 10 years older than his wife, Mary Susan.

The following link tells the story of the Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota in about four minutes:

As an American whose Native American heritage comes from my maternal great-grandmother Mary Susan Ford and my paternal 11th great grandmother, Pocahontas, my heart aches for all of those involved in these horrific injustices.  And it aches, too, for my maternal great-grandfather, John Carpenter Ford, who because of his enlistment in the Army became a part of this unforgivable moment in history that haunted him apparently for the rest of his long life.  You see, he and my great-grandmother separated in the early 1940’s because he was too difficult a man to live with.  He moved to the National Soldier’s Home in Washington, D.C. where he remained until his death in 1961.  Mary Susan lived with maternal grandparents until she passed away suddenly in her sleep.  She was 73 years and 7 months old–and I was just 14 months.

THE MAKING OF A NATION – by the Voice of America. (A podcast about the Sioux Indians and the Battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee.) 

I Remain in the Thicket, Hoping to Learn from our Children

Victoria Prooday

Just one month ago this week, I began writing this post about a two-month-old article I came across that was written by Victoria Prooday, an internationally-known educator, motivational speaker, registered Occupational Therapist, and founder and clinical director of a multidisciplinary clinic.  It speaks to a silent tragedy that is affecting our very own children all around the globe!  It interested me because I remain deeply concerned about our children and the futures and legacies being left for their generations to come; i.e., what we are teaching them and what healthy and helpful lessons are we leaving behind.  Are we truly building time-honored and loving relationships, generously sharing our wisdom, experiences, special stories, and the family histories and traditions that generations before us created to help make our lives easier, happier, emotionally and physically healthier as members of their families and communities so they can prosper? Ironically, life rudely interrupted my daily, somewhat uninspiring routine, and thrust me head first into this thicket of young people’s realities in the twenty-first century.  I guess the lesson for me was to experience up close and first-hand their daily routines, struggles, stresses, and yes, even some small successes along the way.

Even as I write today, I remain in this thicket of underbrush.  I consider myself a woman of the world, well-read and wise on so many topics.  Yet, I find I have been so un-under informed about this century’s daily and toxic demons that lay in wait to consume our children’s lives.  These amusing babysitting gadgets and high-tech “social media” lifestyles rob them of this world’s simple everyday joys that are around them and cheat them out of warm and loving connected family dynamics where they could share mutual trust, love, support, and respect for one another.  And when did this all start?  Was it World-War-II’s silent generation, the baby-boomer generation, the women’s rights movement? Regardless of when or why this estrangement from family unity and the lure of “anti-social” high-tech instant gratification, I agree with Victoria’s findings that the impact of modern-day parenting and high-tech lifestyle’s on our children’s nervous systems is a tragedy on life and society.  In fact, in the short two months, since Victoria released her article (that follows), 10 million people have already read it and the numbers of readers keep growing.  Every parent who cares about the future of his/her children and wants to keep informed on this subject will want to read it and weigh its message and tools for themselves. Victoria says if you follow her recommendations at the end, you will see positive changes in your child’s life and be further proof that the problem she describes is real and should be close to all parents’ hearts.   Please take a read.

“The silent tragedy affecting today’s children . . .”

There is a silent tragedy developing right now, in our homes, and it concerns our most precious jewels – our children. Through my work with hundreds of children and families as an occupational therapist, I have witnessed this tragedy unfolding right in front of my eyes. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! Talk to teachers and professionals who have been working in the field for the last 15 years. You will hear concerns similar to mine. Moreover, in the past 15 years, researchers have been releasing alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in kids’ mental illness, which is now reaching epidemic proportions:


How much more evidence do we need before we wake up?

No, “increased diagnostics alone” is not the answer!

No, “they all are just born like this” is not the answer!

No, “it is all the school system’s fault” is not the answer!

Yes, as painful as it can be to admit, in many cases, WE, parents, are the answer to many of our kids’ struggles!

It is scientifically proven that the brain has the capacity to rewire itself through the environment. Unfortunately, with the environment and parenting styles that we are providing to our children, we are rewiring their brains in a wrong direction and contributing to their challenges in everyday life.

Yes, there are and always have been children who are born with disabilities and despite their parents’ best efforts to provide them with a well-balanced environment and parenting, their children continue to struggle. These are NOT the children I am talking about here.

I am talking about many others whose challenges are greatly shaped by the environmental factors that parents, with their greatest intentions, provide to their children. As I have seen in my practice, the moment parents change their perspective on parenting, these children change.

What is Wrong?

Today’s children are being deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:

  • Emotionally available parents
  • Clearly defined limits and guidance
  • Responsibilities
  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
  • Movement and outdoors
  • Creative play, social interaction, opportunities for unstructured times and boredom

Instead, children are being served with:

  • Digitally distracted parents
  • Indulgent parents who let kids “Rule the world”
  • Sense of entitlement rather than responsibility
  • Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
  • Sedentary indoor lifestyle
  • Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification, and absence of dull moments

Could anyone imagine that it is possible to raise a healthy generation in such an unhealthy environment? Of course not! There are no shortcuts to parenting, and we can’t trick human nature. As we see, the outcomes are devastating. Our children pay for the loss of well-balanced childhood with their emotional well-being.

How to fix it?

 If we want our children to grow into happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and go back to the basics. It is still possible! I know this because hundreds of my clients see positive changes in their kids’ emotional state within weeks (and in some cases, even days) of implementing these recommendations:

Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT, not a friend

Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids if what they want is not what they need.

  • Provide nutritious food and limits snacks.
  • Spend one hour a day in green space: biking, hiking, fishing, watching birds/insects
  • Have a daily technology-free family dinner.
  • Play one board game a day. (List of family games)
  • Involve your child in one chore a day (folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table etc)
  • Implement consistent sleep routine to ensure that your child gets lots of sleep in a technology-free bedroom

Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges:

  •  Don’t pack your child’s backpack, don’t carry her backpack, don’t bring to school his forgotten lunch box/agenda, and don’t peel a banana for a 5-year-old child. Teach them the skills rather than do it for them.

Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens:

  • Don’t feel responsible for being your child’s entertainment crew.
  • Do not use technology as a cure for boredom.
  • Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, malls. Use these moments as opportunities to train their brains to function under “boredom”
  • Help them create a “boredom first aid kit” with activity ideas for “I am bored” times.

Be emotionally available to connect with kids and teach them self-regulation and social skills:

  • Turn off your phones until kids are in bed to avoid digital distraction.
  • Become your child’s emotional coach. Teach them to recognize and deal with frustration and anger.
  • Teach greeting, turn taking, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills,
  • Connect emotionally – Smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, or crawl with your child.

We must make changes in our kids’ lives before this entire generation of children will be medicated! It is not too late yet, but soon it will be…

Does Art Imitate Life or Life More Often Imitate Art?

In recent years, several excellent historical drama series have emerged that depict the life and times of ancient peoples and cultures.  We sit back comfortably in our chairs, on our couches, or even lay back on our bed pillows and watch in high definition color on our flat screens as peoples’ thirsts drive them forward at any and all costs in their quests for political and social stature, and even designs of world dominance.  And, whether dramatic art or in the reality of our own world today, we see individuals and groups wrestling for social and political power and world sovereignty.  I’d like to know who was right;  Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher (384 BC – 322 BC), who viewed art as an imitation of life; or the author from Ireland, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), who believed that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.  These series like The Tudors, Reign, Marco Polo, Medici-Masters of Florence,  Hell on Wheels, The Hatfields and McCoys, West Wing, and House of Cards, in fact, have inspired my subsequent research into the real stories behind them and to root out the naked truths.

In Art – Let’s start with The Tudors:

The Tudors included 38 episodes over four seasons and followed the life of Henry VIII from the time of his crowning until his death. His personal and political struggles and victories.  It also detailed his paranoia, his scandalous life that included many marriages and extramarital affairs, and his changes to the Catholic Church to create the Church of England–all for his own personal benefit.

Next – there was Reign:

Reign ran for four seasons and 78 episodes. Reign followed Mary, the dainty but fierce 15-year-old from Scotland, as she re-entered French court after spending her adolescence at a convent. She was torn between her duty to Scotland and her Scottish family’s political aspirations for her to marry Prince Francis, future King of France; and her blossoming love for this man, Francis, who she was betrothed to as a child and had spent much of her childhood with him as playmates.  Yet, throughout her life, even Mary had to remain ever-vigilant due to social and political threats against her life and crown.

In Reality – Executions at Tower Hill Ordered by British Royalty

What I quickly learned from these historical dramas and my subsequent research is that everyone had to be ever vigilant.  Their harsh realities–there were few who could be trusted loyal friends and many unknown enemies who were more than willing to strike them down in whatever fashion in their attempts to get ahead–and this scenario was especially true among the royals and their “closest” associates!

I found a couple of interesting resources: 1) Capital Punishment UK and 2) British Royal Family History. I used both of them when generating this Google Sheet that covers the “Executions on Tower Hill by English Kings and Queens (1377-1820).” As you can see, it spans nearly 500 years; seven ruling families; and, 18 blue-bloods who decided who amidst them would advance within the royal ranks and who they would execute at their sole discretion because they had in some way become “inconvenient” to them rather than genuine traitors.

The majority of these beheadings were at the behest of royalty and took place at the Tower of London. It is a 900-year-old castle and fortress in central London that is notable for housing the crown jewels and for holding many famous and infamous prisoners.

It seems the history of these beheadings by British Royalty goes back to early medieval England’s Anglo-Saxon times (about  450 A.D. to 1066 A.D.) and that beheading was widely used in Europe and Asia until as recently as the 20th century.  Even today, as barbaric as it is, we still are witness to political-based and/or jihad-inspired beheadings by peoples primarily on the continents of Asia and Africa in places like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi-Arabia, and Boko-Haram.  But among the British Royalty, beheading with a sword or axe was considered a more honorable and less painful form of death than other execution methods used at the time. (And, like hanging, it was a cheap and practical method!)

Throughout its history, the tower was used to imprison a wide range of prisoners, from deposed monarchs to more common criminals. Prisoners included Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for about a week in the 16th century before she was deposed by Mary I.

Also imprisoned there were two princes, Edward and Richard, ages 12 and 9, who were the sons of Edward IV (died 1483). They appear never to have left the tower alive and some thought they were killed by Richard III, their uncle who took the throne for himself.

Another notable prisoner was Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 attempted to blow up the House of Lords and the monarch by detonating gunpowder in the cellars below. He was imprisoned in the tower and tortured.

And, of course, King Henry VIII, one of the more notorious members of the House of Tudor, who ruled for about 38 years.  He had all but 5 his 31 “treasonous” country-men/women beheaded on Tower Hill.  If fact, he imprisoned two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard and later executed them. It also was Henry, who turned England into a Protestant country, and in doing so had a number of his dissenting clergymen committed to the tower and later killed, including his former counselor Sir Thomas More.

In all, just within the Tower of London or on an ancient scaffold on Tower Hill, 122 people were put to their deaths–many after also spending torturous times imprisoned within the walls of the Tower.

Of those executed:

  • 94 were beheaded
  • 12 were hanged
  • 11 were hanged and drawn and quartered
  •   3 were killed by firing squad
  •   2 were burned at the stake

You also can see on my google sheet that from the years 1649-1660, that 11-year-period between the reigns of King Charles I and King Charles II, that the British parliament and government ruled the Kingdom, and even then eight persons were beheaded for various “treasonous plots” against the Royals or their armies.  Included among them was British Monarch, Charles I–the only monarch ever to be executed by Parliament, but not in Tower Hill. He was beheaded on Tuesday the 30th of January 1649 on a raised scaffold in front of the Palace of Whitehall. He had been convicted of High Treason and “other crimes” for his activities during the civil war against the Parliamentarians led by Oliver Cromwell. An act of parliament had to be passed to set up a means to try him before a special court composed of Commissioners. The trial began on the 20th of January 1649 and the king refused to recognize the court or to enter a plea. In Charles’ case, the executioner was skilled and managed to sever his head with a single blow–unlike so many others put to their deaths by beheadings and orders of the blue-bloods.

So where does this leave us on the art imitating life or life imitating art question?  I’m not sure I am qualified to say.  If I’m to be honest (like TV personality Simon Cowell often says), we’ve each seen examples of art imitating life and life imitating art.  I guess it’s safe to say it’s like the chicken and the egg story–which came first?



Wharton’s – My Ancient Ancestors

Often when I’m researching family history, regardless of the branch, I feel a real connection and gain a greater understanding of familial traits and relationships.  Yet sometimes, especially in the ancient families’ histories, the facts seem so very surreal; especially as they unfold through the mix of aristocracies, the haughty “blue-bloods,” castles, manor houses, servants, and the underbelly of tawdry tales from historical accounts of my families’ lives and times.  So, as we continue this chapter about my paternal great-grandmother Mary Florence Wharton’s family’s branch we are exploring Scotland and England during the 12th through the 16th Centuries.  Along our way, we have learned that many of the Wharton’s descended from the family’s progenitor — Gilbert de Querton; that many became knights and amassed land as a result; and that others gained social ascension through their marriages into well-to-do families through Princesses, Kings, Dukes, etc..

The Wharton’s knighthood dates from 6 October 1292 when King Edward I granted to Gilbert de Querton “the Manor of Querton with its appurtenances.” (“Querton” was the earlier Latin spelling of “Wharton”).

On this map, I have highlighted the borderline between England and Scotland within the rectangular area that spans from Carlisle to Berwick in the East.  Many renowned families originated here.  Names like Armstrong, Bell, Carson, Graham, Hume, Irving, Nixon, Rutherford, and–Wharton.

For about 400 years (13th-17th Centuries), Wharton’s were among those who lived along this Anglo-Scottish Border region. It literally was a war zone.  Both Scottish and English families raided the entire Border country without regard to victims’ nationalities. Their heyday was perhaps in the last hundred years of their existence, at the time of their Kings:  The Tudors (1485 -1603) and The Stuarts 1603 – (1649 and 1660 – 1714 ).

Ruins of Lammerside Castle                             Photo courtesy of Graeme Dougal

Lammerside Castle existed before Gilbert de Querton (original spelling of the Wharton family name), received title to it. It was most likely built by a border branch of the Scottish Wauchope/Warcop family, who later intermarried with the Wharton family. This was part of that border region that switched back and forth several times between Scotland and England, before remaining under English control.


In Westmorland County (now known as Cumbria County), in a civil parish near Kirkby Stephen (circled in black on the map) stands the very impressive “Wharton Hall”  with a gatehouse, internal courtyard, and outbuildings built by Gilbert de Querton for himself and his wife, Emma de Hastings.  It is about one mile from Lammerside Tower and Pendragon Castle (mentioned in my earlier post).

After construction of Wharton Hall, both castles fell into disrepair and now exist only as ruins as shown in the images.

Thomas Wharton, 1st Baron Wharton (1495 – 23 August 1568), 4th line of descent from Sir Gilbert de Querton

Thomas was born in Wharton, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Wharton of Wharton Hall and his wife Agnes Warcop, daughter of Reynold or Reginald Warcop of Smardale. His younger brother was the English martyr Christopher Wharton. His father died around 1520, and in April 1522 he served on a raiding expedition into Scotland. Thomas was also a  follower of King Henry VIII of England. He is best known for his victory at Solway Moss on 24 November 1542.  For this victory, his title of Barony was created in 1544. Sir Thomas Wharton had previously served as a Member of Parliament for Cumberland.  (The letters patent stipulated that his Barony title could only be passed on to male heirs.) It was along this Anglo-Scottish border that “Lord Wharton” led 3,000 men. The battle took place between the rivers Esk and Lyne.  Here, the Scots found themselves penned in the south of the Esk in English territory between the river and the Moss (a peat bog).  After intense fighting, the Scots surrendered themselves to the English cavalry.  

Henry de Wharton, the 5th descendant of Gilbert de Querton

Sir Henry inherited Wharton family lands in today’s Cumbria which by then included estates in Ravenstonedale, Rengill, Norton, and Kellorth. Sir Henry had two sons, Sir Thomas de Wharton and Gilbert de Wharton. Upon Henry’s death, Sir Thomas inherited the lands of his father and added Croglin (Cumberland). Sir Thomas’ line is the origin of the first Lords of Wharton Hall. Sir Thomas was also a steward in the house of Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VII, and he fought with Henry the VIII against the Scots.

The youngest son of Henry de Wharton, Gilbert, married Joan (or Jane) Kirkby who was the heiress to the lands of Kirkby Thor. This included estates in Offerton, Dryburn, Gillingwood, Skelton Castle, Durham, and Yorkshire.

John Wharton, the 6th descendant of Gilbert de Wharton purchased Old Park (near Durham) in 1600 and from him, the Wharton’s of Old Park descended.

Lord  Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton in 1632, by Van Dyck.

Sir Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton (18 April 1613 – 4 February 1696), (7th line of descent), was an English soldier, politician, and diplomat. He was a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War.  Philip was named in honor of Philip II of Spain who married Princess Mary. King Philip himself stood as Godfather to Philip Wharton at his baptism.  He also was a Puritan and a favorite of Sir Oliver Cromwell.  After the English Civil War, Sir Philip frequently ran into difficulty with the Crown. In 1676 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and later (in 1685) fled the country when King James II came to the throne.

Sir Philip Wharton (8th line of descent), was active in the overthrow of King James II and in 1692 entertained King William and Queen Mary at Woodburn Manor. The inscription on his tomb reads “An active supporter of the English Constitution; a loyal observer, advocate, and patron of reformed religion; a model alike of good works and true and living faith.”  Lord Wharton gave much support to church ministers, particularly those who shared his perspectives. He also gave money to establish chapels at Ravenstonedale and Smarber and to provide for the ministers at both places.

Sir Thomas Wharton (9th line of descent), made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1708-1710, and was appointed by King George I as Lord of the Privy Seal in 1714; given several peerages, and made Knight of the Garter. He was also named the first Marquis of Wharton Hall in 1715.

Sir Philip Wharton (10th line of descent), (December 1698 – May 31, 1731), was eccentric, witty, and gifted — writing a ballad about the Archbishop of Canterbury. Philip was made the First Duke of Wharton in 1718, but the title was later forfeited when the Duke was declared an outlaw, and his inherited titles from his father became extinct upon his death.

Philip Wharton was also a Jacobite–a sympathizer with King James II, who was a suspected Catholic. Most of the people of England did not want a Catholic as King.    Thus, Glorious Revolution of 1688, where the English people deposed him and invited his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, to rule as joint sovereigns. This couple became King William III and Queen Mary II, from whom the College of William and Mary, in Virginia, was named. Philip was definitely a colorful figure of the period. He founded and was one-time president of one of probably three Hell-Fire Clubs in London. Hell-Fire Clubs were rumored to be meeting places for “high society” and politicians who were perceived to practice socially immoral acts. As publisher of True Briton from June 3, 1723, until February 17, 1724, Philip’s writings resulted in his printer, Samuel Richardson, being tried for libel and his own self-exile to the Continent where his service for the King of Spain in the siege of Gibraltar lead to a charge of High Treason. With his estates frozen, he was living in Rouen, France when he was outlawed on April 3, 1729, for not appearing on the charge of High Treason. He died in indigence at a Bernadine convent in Catalonia, May 31, 1731.

Unfortunately, the son of Sir Philip Wharton, Thomas Wharton (the seventh Lord Wharton and second Duke) died without having any children and the line of noble Wharton’s died out.

In 1682, a different Thomas Wharton (b.1644 d.1718), commonly called Thomas “The Immigrant,” left England for America. He was the son of Richard Wharton of Orton, Overton Parish, Westmoreland.  His son, Joseph Wharton, the first Wharton born in the North America,  (1707 – 1776), became a famous Philadelphia industrialist, a successful merchant, and the owner of “Walnut Grove,” a country place on Fifth street, near Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, on which the Mischianza of 1778 was held. His house was the finest of its day near that city. It was torn down in 1862, to make room for a schoolhouse. He was called “Duke Wharton”, because of his stately bearing. And, Joseph Wharton was the namesake for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and the benefactor of Swarthmore College in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He had several brothers, one of whom was named Captain John Wharton (married to Mary Dobbins), who settled in Chester County (possibly Delaware County today) and had Quaker leanings.

As a result of Henry VIII’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries”  between 1536 and 1541, a 7,702 acre mountainous Manor known as Langdale, in the township of Orton, in Westmorland County, (once the Priory of Watton), was sold to the Wharton family and now belongs to the Earl of Lonsdale.





Ancient Wharton’s “Rocky” Ascent to Nobility

At the close of my recent post Life and Times of Edward Boling and Mary Wharton, I stated that I must dig more deeply to learn about Mary Wharton’s family’s ancient beginnings.  Our first source was the Doomsday Book of 1086, where we discovered Wharton families in towns and civil parishes named after them in Westmorland, Cheshire, and Lincolnshire Counties, England. So let’s pick up from there.

The Wharton’s are descendents of Norseman who conquered the province of Normandy around 900 and settled near Caen in present day France. The first Wharton in England was an officer with William the Conqueror — Gilbert de Querton (as it was originally spelled) — who arrived in 1066 with the Norman invasion of England and married into the Hastings line.

Ruins of Lammerslide Tower (Photo courtesy of Graeme Dougal)

In 1292, Gilbert de Querton had proved title to the Manor of Querton, Appleby, Westmorland County. This manor was located in the southeastern corner of the county, less than a mile east of Kirkby Stephen. It consisted of a tower called Lammerside, and overlooked the village of Querton. The Eden River ran through the estate, which was bordered on three sides by high mountains.


In the early 15th century, Wharton Hall was constructed which the family made its official residence, vacating Lammerside.

Ruins of the 14th Century Pendragon Castle

Pendragon Castle

The image of today’s “Ruins of Pendragon Castle,”  shows what remains of the original castle where legendary King Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, (King of Camelot), was poisoned by Saxons.  The ruins stand in today’s most northwestern Cumbria County (formerly Westmorland), in England that borders Scotland to the north and the Irish Sea to the west.  This region centered around Ravenstonedale and Kirkby Stephen and retains the rich history in which the Whartons were featured prominently.  Note, however, that the stories were not always flattering with regard to their social achievements and business successes.

For instance, Lady Anne Clifford’s father was Lord Henry Clifford.  Lord Henry was one of Henry VII’s great lords. Unfortunately, he was a man of many mistresses.  His daughter, Lady Anne, even complained about his shameful extra-marital relations. It was Lord Henry’s second and much younger wife, Lady Florence, Marchioness Pudsey, that history has recorded.  She was considerably younger than Lord Henry, and the couple obviously had a turbulent relationship.  So bad, in fact, that they were estranged in 1521, ten years after they married.  Lady Florence then sued Lord Henry for conjugal rights.  (This may be the period when he fathered his illegitimate son, Anthony Clifford, Esquire.) In turn, Lord Henry publicly accused Lady Florence of adultery for the period of 1511 to 1514, and with who of all people?  With his trusted officer Roger Wharton, who at that time had charge of his nursery.  This was a serious accusation because it put doubt on the paternity of his children. During the years in question, Lord Henry had been in his late fifties, he kept his young wife away from him for long spells while he participated in the Battle of Flodden.  So, the ecclesiastical lawyer questioned Roger Wharton.  Roger repeatedly told the court what he said he had already told to Lord Henry.  That, it was a rather lame excuse and response to Lord Henry’s wife’s charges.  He then went on an said in so many words that although he would never deny it; “…for a man may be in bed with a woman and yet do her no harm.” Next, Roger added, that “And your lordship may ask Jayne Brown and she can tell your lordship all together.”  And this innuendo by Roger appeared to be enough for the court to kill Lord Henry’s counter-case of adultery.

There also seems to have been a long running feud between the Clifford’s, the Wharton’s and the Wauchopes/Warcops regarding estate boundaries.  All three families laid claims to large areas in the region. Lady Anne Clifford (1590–1676), had Pendragon Castle rebuilt and refurbished in 1660 as a Summer retreat.  Her ancestors used it as a hunting lodge, but, the security she had built into it was to make sure that local families, like the Wauchopes/Warcops and the Wharton’s, could not re-enter uninvited.

Lady Anne Radcliffe married Thomas Wharton (1520-June 14, 1572), who would later become the 2nd baron Wharton, after Anne’s death.  Thomas and Anne’s children were Philip (June 23, 1555-March 26, 1625), Anne (b.1557), Thomas, and Mary (b. 1559). Anne was part of the household of Princess (later Queen) Mary before 1552. She is mentioned as such in the 1551 will of one of her fellow gentlewomen, Margaret Pennington Cooke. She is also featured in an unverified yet often repeated story about Lady Jane Grey. Lady Jane is supposed to have visited Princess Mary at Beaulieu when, upon seeing Anne genuflection in the chapel, she made several rude remarks about Catholic practices.

It is my hope that this post gives you just enough ancient history with  some mishaps and melodrama along the way to paint an accurate picture that illustrates family life and relationships always has its ups and downs, rocky roads, and sometimes smooth sailings. Discovering the Wharton Family is obviously going to take more than just a couple of posts.  Until next time . . .



“We Live, We Love, We Let Go!”

A Harsh Reality

This week our church family was once again struck by a harsh reality–that we live, we love, and then we must let go.  That is, we should never take life, family, friends or God for granted.  We always should live our lives as though today might be our last.

Love God, Love People

Last Saturday, our dear friend and church elder was doing just that–Loving God, loving people–his everyday way of living. As usual, he was among his fellow elders, meeting and greeting visitors old and new in our church lobby before services. Right there, our heavenly father called this young and lively 56-year-old man home to be with Him.  In an instant all our lives changed.

Let Go

We are now in that time where we must learn how to graciously let go and move on once more with our living and loving knowing that  that time will inevitably come again.

The good news is our friend’s life and dying exemplified His faith in God and people. He openly taught and shared his gifts for living with others.  And, it showed when his amazingly strong family made him and all of us proud as son, daughter, and mother each rose and spoke of their love and respect and even comedic times with their loved one and friends.

Celebrate Life

As funerals go, it was a true celebration of life and a tremendous way for us to begin the process of letting go and moving on, satisfied that our friend lived his life on earth to the fullest and that we always will miss his presence on earth, and will continue loving and remembering him fondly.

Thanks, Dan, for sharing your love and life with us.

Life and Times of Edward Boling and Mary Wharton


Recently, I updated a surname report to cover all 12, 495 persons in my ancestral tree, which has grown from 10,772 since I produced my first post on surnames in 2014. Based upon my analysis of surnames, it turns out that my father’s family was much larger than my mother’s.  And, the gender ratio among all surnames is 1.05 males for every female–very similar to the gender ratios that I found in the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook.

Top 50 Ancestral Surnames

My word cloud to the right represents today’s top 50 family surnames in my tree. The larger the word appears, the more people within my tree who had/have that surname.

And, the larger appearing names affirm why many of my blog posts to date have focused on my paternal Bolling, Chambers, and maternal Lathrop families.

Introducing Mary Wharton

In this post we will take a first look at the Wharton family branch that begins with my paternal great grandmother Mary Florence “Flossie” Wharton Bowling (1878-1928). Mary Wharton was born and lived her life in the now infamous area known as “The Wilderness,” in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, Virginia.  Mary died at the age of 50 on January 1, 1929.  My father, her grandson, Frank Burton Boling was born just one month earlier on December 7, 1928.  The loss of the family’s mother possibly explains why we know only what I have been able to piece together through my personal research.  You see, typically the women in the family hand down the family stories through the generations.  In this instance, neither my dad’s paternal grandmother or his natural mother were a part of his life.

The facts I  assembled show that Mary Wharton was 20 years old when she married Edward “Bud” Vincent Bowling (May 9, 1898), in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.   It could be that Edward and Mary married in Eley’s Ford Baptist Church on Eley’s Ford Road in Fredericksburg, near the Chancellorsville Battlefield, where they and their families had lived and attended church there for generations.

Eley's Ford Baptist ChurchWe first visited Eley’s Ford Baptist Church in the Fall of 1981. Many of the graves in this churchyard have Bowling,  Bolling, or Boling surnames on their headstones  (including my great grandparents). Many other headstones, as we later learned have different surnames but are relatives through neighbors marrying neighbors.  What’s interesting about Mary Florence’s (or “Flossie,” as her husband called her) is that her surname is spelled “Boling,” instead of “Bowling” as her surname was spelled on most records about her.  This tells me that one of her seven living children at the time who spelled their surnames as “Boling,” filled out the request for the headstone.  Further, the year of her death was inscribed as “1928,” instead of “1929” as appears on her death certificate–this could have been the stone writer’s error because she died on the first day of the new year.

Mary and her husband Edward had eight children (5 boys and 3 girls) during their 30 years of marriage.  Their eldest child was Evelyn Barber Bowling (1899-1919).  She married Varian Mansfield Chewning when she was just 16.  Two years later in Chancellorsville, Evelyn gave birth to their son, Leslie Varian Chewning, who remained in Fredericksburg throughout his 83 years on this earth.  Evelyn was just 20, when she took sick with the flu.  It developed into pneumonia and she passed in the cold of winter on January 26, 1919.

003My paternal grandfather, Jesse Burton Boling, was Mary and Edward’s second child and firstborn son.  At age 26, sometime in the year 1928, Jesse moved away from Virginia and married Helen Louise Chambers.   They moved to the District of Columbia and a few years later crossed the District Line and moved into Maryland.   Jesse’s mom, Mary, was 50 years old when she passed away on January 1, 1929 in Chancellorsville.  Just as her daughter had done in January ten years earlier, Mary developed a flu that turned into pneumonia and she succumbed to it.

Jesse was a farm hand as a boy, and thus had only a second grade education.  He probably learned carpentry and cabinet making from his father, Edward.  Yet, we don’t know anything about their relationship or Edward’s relationship with his other children. Death records show that widower great grandfather Edward died of heart disease and congestive heart failure at age 74 on July 11, 1946–18-1/2 years after his wife Mary had passed.  His death fell just one day shy of a week after my parents Frank Boling and Norma Ford eloped to Ellicott City, Maryland, to marry.  Edward Vincent Bud BolingEdward’s headstone is next to Mary’s and one of 131 other interments in Eley’s Ford Baptist Churchyard Cemetery.  Most of them probably relatives.

I asked my dad today if he had ever heard or known any stories or facts about his grandparents. He said his dad, Jesse, never talked about either Edward or Mary.  I asked if he had ever visited them in Fredericksburg where his dad grew up. He said he remembers only one visit.  Dad and grandfather Jesse took a train from Union Station in the District of Columbia to Fredericksburg to visit his father Edward.  At the time, my dad said this visit must have taken place when he was a young teen because it occurred before my dad met my mother at age 15, which would have made it somewhere around 1942 or 1943, I’m guessing.  The only memory that sticks out in dad’s mind about this visit is that his grandfather was chewing tobacco.  He made only a couple of other visits there during the 1950’s and 1960’s to attend family funerals (probably his uncles). And, this is when I first learned what little I know about Fredericksburg and Eley’s Ford Road.

With so very little to go on regarding Mary Wharton’s Family, I  have started digging deeper.  From The Doomsday Book of 1086, The Wharton family’s earliest origins were found in towns and civil parishes named after them (located in Westmorland, Cheshire, and Lincolnshire, Counties, England). And this is where I will pick up in my next post.

Just maybe, over time and among my blog readers, a Wharton relative may pop up and give me some more detailed stories about Bud and Mary’s children and their lives together.