Back From the Future – Part 2


 A Quote from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, June 2014:

Christopher Columbus never reached the shores of the North American Continent, but European explorers learned three things from him: there was someplace to go, there was a way to get there, and most importantly, there was a way to get back. Thus began the European exploration of what they referred to as the “New World”.

A Quick Recap

  • So, we left 21st Century Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America (1607). Today, it is a living history of the 17th Century Jamestown Colony.
  • We resurrected and boarded the massive customized 300-ton English merchant sailing vessel, The Sea Venture–the same Virginia Company-owned ship that had 153 travelers and crew aboard and was to deliver the third supply to the Jamestown Colony in 1609.
  • We paused for a time to look back upon my 11th great grandfather, John Rolfe and others devastation, about 661 nautical miles short of their intended Jamestown destination.  This “tempest,” or hurricane, as we might call it today, was nearly the end of all of them.  But, they prevailed over the course of 4-days through their never-ending and tireless fight for their lives and the rescue of their ocean water-hemorrhaging ship. They finally steered the ship onto the surrounding reef to prevent its sinking then landed ashore on “Devil’s Isle.”  Bermuda, with its subtropical temperatures soon became a paradise to them and they replenished their souls and spirits.  The food, in fact, was plentiful because the island had an abundance of wild pigs, birds, and fish, tropical fruits, and even a freshwater lagoon.
  • When we last left our castaways, a year had nearly elapsed and it was springtime. Twenty-four-year-old John Rolfe’s wife, Sarah Hacker, had recently passed; his infant daughter, Bermuda, passed shortly thereafter.  Bermuda had been the first baby born there and Reverend Bucke performed the first marriage there, too. Today many go to Bermuda to marry or honeymoon.
  • I also learned that at some point before leaving Bermuda, John Rolfe may have grabbed up and secretly pocketed some tobacco seeds; possibly from an area today called Tobacco Bay on St. George’s Island, Bermuda.
  • The castaways are once again setting out to complete their voyage to Jamestown, but not before there are five separate mutiny attempts.  In general, some of the castaways questioned authority of their leaders in Bermuda and had fallen in love with the islands.  They weren’t willing to risk unknown hardships in little known Jamestown.   This time the remaining Jamestown-bound passengers and crew numbered only 138.  Eight had already left in a small boat never to be seen again; three died of natural causes; one sailor was murdered; one Indian was murdered; and one castaway, Henry Paine, was executed for sedition.  That left 138 to board the two ships they had built from salvaged steel and wood from the Sea Venture. And, these ships were named: Patience and Deliverance–How very understated yet so very appropo!
  • May 24, 1610 – Our English seafaring ancestors, headed by Sir Thomas Gates, now aboard the Patience and Deliverance, arrive at Jamestown–They find only sixty survivors of a winter famine, known as “the starving time”.

Onward to Heacham

We are journeying on, as well.  We are headed ENE, crossing further up the North Atlantic Ocean from our Bermuda latitude and longitude coordinates: 32.299507, -64.790337. Our destination once again: the time when John Rolfe’s family lived in Heacham, Norfolk, England (Latitude: 52.92 Longitude: 0.48), and where John and his father, Johannes Eustacius Rolfe, both were born–another 3,244 nautical miles.

The year is now 1585.  We have come to Heacham to learn more about John Rolfe’s family life and his early beginnings to better understand his quests.

But first, we need to learn more about the Heacham Village from which John Rolfe emerged.  Our 21st Century Heacham is a thriving village community and popular Norfolk coastal holiday resort situated three miles from Hunstanton and eight miles from Sandringham Village in Norfolk, England.  It is lit by breathtaking east coast sunsets and surrounded by glowing and aromatic purple lavender and scarlet poppy fields. Residents and visitors alike relish in Heacham’s sloping beaches and the soft rolling West Norfolk countryside, which has remained unchanged over time.  In fact, archeologists have discovered that Heacham has existed as far back as the stone age.  And that running water with fertile surrounding lands made Heacham an ideal location for early man to settle. What we know for sure is that there were inhabitants in Heacham around the 5th century when the Anglo-Saxon invaded present-day East Anglia.

lavender-and-poppy-fieldsHeacham–the home to the Rolfe family–History tells us that John Rolfe came from a farming family. For generations they farmed the land and traded on the nearby shores of the Wash.   Quite possibly, it was fields of lavender or poppies that they farmed.  Interestingly enough, Lavender is a plant rich in its own history and myth. With its roots going back to ancient herbalists, it’s properties as a disinfectant and antiseptic, lavender’s reputation grew throughout the centuries.  Lavender became known for its ability to even ward off the plague. And it’s popularity with English royalty also helped anchor it as a cosmetic herb. Queen Victoria had used it as a tonic for her nerves.

Heacham Hall before it burned down in 1941

Heacham Hall before it burned down in 1941

Sadly, Heacham Hall (the family home of the Rolfes) burned down in 1941.  My genealogical research traces the Rolfe family line back as far as 1455 when my 14th great grandfather, Robert Rolfe, also was born at Heacham Hall. But, it was October 17, 1562, when Johannes Eustacius “John” Rolfe, father of John Thomas Rolfe, our subject, was born there.  John Eustacius at the age of 20 married local Heacham, Dorothea (Dorothea/Dorothy) Mason on her 20th birthday, on Friday, September 24, 1582. Together they had five children in 10 years. Unfortunately, John Eustacius died two months after his 12th wedding anniversary. He was 32 at the time of his death, leaving John, age 8, and his other four siblings, with a 32 year-old widowed mother.

It is disappointing, to learn that not much more is known about John Thomas Rolfe’s childhood or education.  We do know, however, that his mother Dorothy Mason Rolfe, married a Dr. Robert Redmayne, LL.D. (Doctor of Law), on March 9, 1595, just a little over three months after John’s father’s death! Despite Robert’s preferred spelling of his last name “Redmayne,” he descends from Bishop Redman, whose family first settled in Cumberland, and then in Lancashire.  John Rolfe’s mother Dorothy, his stepfather, Robert Redmayne, and his father, John Eustacius Rolfe, are all buried in Heacham at Saint Mary the Virgin’s Church.

So, we can safely assume that John Rolfe’s skill, farming interests, and former family status in Heacham are likely the bases for his drive and desire to create a marketable crop in Jamestown.

We also know that John Rolfe and his second wife, Pocahontas, in April 1616 return from Jamestown to visit his family.

Much more history in John Rolfe’s life continues . . .

 

 

The Killing Spree . . . Our Ancestral Legacy


Attributing our traits to our ancestors

Some days when I look at myself in the mirror, I can see glimpses of my ancestors. My once beautifully brilliant blue eyes; I remember seeing these same eyes in my maternal grandfather, Roy (a Ford from Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina).  Unfortunately, I also get my thick midriff from either or both–my maternal grandmother, Loretta, (a Lathrop from Wyalusing, Bradford County, Pennsylvania), or my paternal grandfather, Jesse (a Boling from Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania County, Virginia).  Of course, it is a natural human instinct to attribute our traits to relatives we have known or through our family’s stories about them.  But, other similarities or differences don’t flow so naturally or with ease.  When we reflect back we tend to most often focus on the ‘good times,’ the ‘good traits,’ or happen upon a history that we’d as soon forget, or,  for fear that it might repeat itself.

Let’s look back about 150 years or so to April 9, 1865 in Appomattox, Virginia:    

After four years of conflict, General Robert E. Lee (commander of the Army of Northern Virginia), surrendered his beleaguered Confederate forces in Appomattox, Virginia, to General Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army, ending the Civil War.  (Grant in four short years would become our 18th President.)  The war bankrupted the South, left its roads, farms, and factories in ruins, and all but wiped out an entire generation of men. And this answers my family’s question about our ancient aristocratic Bolling family who had emigrated to Virginia from England, which was; “What happened to our family’s nobility–their societal standings, their wealth, and their great estates?”

As you can see from the map below, the Confederacy included 11 southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.  The North (called the Union) consisted of the remaining 25 states which were located in the north.

So . . .  This means that my ancestors were on opposite sides of the American Civil War.  I had direct relatives primarily in Pennsylvania (the Chamber’s, Lathrop’s, and Westler’s) and in Virginia and North Carolina (the Boling’s, Carpenter’s, Ford’s Morris’s, and Taylors).  Within each of these union and confederates states lived both my maternal and paternal relatives–truly brothers, uncles, cousins, and even in-laws. And, ninety percent of those men volunteered to fight for what they believed or to protect their families and livelihoods from “their enemies”.

One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania regiment at Falmouth, Va., April 24, 1863, nearly annihilated at battle of Chancellorsville, created by Andrew J. Russell, Library of Congress.

One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania regiment at Falmouth, Va., April 24, 1863, nearly annihilated at the battle of Chancellorsville, created by Andrew J. Russell, Library of Congress.

1“. . .The 141st Pennsylvania Regiment was known as the Bradford Regiment.  Most of these volunteer recruits came from Bradford County, Pennsylvania and  joined the Union Army in the summer of 1862.  Company A came from Wyalusing.  It had one of the most distinguished combat records in the Army of the Potomac, serving from the battle of Fredericksburg to the surrender at Appomattox.  In just two battles alone, from May 3 to July 2 at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, the regiment shrank due to combat casualties from 419 men and officers to 58 (56 percent casualties at Chancellorsville, and 73 percent at the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg. . . .”

I found my maternal great-great grandfather, Searle P. Lathrop, of Bradford County, at age 43, on the U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations List of 1864-1865.  His brother, Edward Lathrop, died as a member of the Union’s Company E, 171st Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteer Regiment, in New Bern, North Carolina, at the age of 38, on May 30, 1863, only two months prior to his 39th birthday.

My paternal great-great-grandfather, Lawrence T. “Larl” Boling served from 1861-1865 in the Confederate 30th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  They organized in Fredericksburg, Virginia, June, 1861. Men of this unit came from Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania, Caroline, Stafford, and King George–all counties where my Boling family lived.

2It was assigned to General J.G. Walker’s and Corse’s Brigade, and fought with the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days’ Battles to Fredericksburg. After serving with Longstreet at Suffolk, it was on detached duty in Tennessee and North Carolina. During the spring of 1864 the 30th returned to Virginia and saw action at Drewry’s Bluff and Cold Harbor. Later it endured the hardships of the Petersburg trenches north and south of the James River and ended the war at Appomattox.

The 30th Infantry regiment reported 1 killed and 4 wounded at Malvern Hill and 39 killed and 121 wounded in the Maryland Campaign. Many were lost at Five Forks and Sayler’s Creek, and on April 9, 1865, the 30th regiment surrendered with 8 officers and 82 men.

3Battle of Chancellorsville – May 1-4 1864

Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee’s troops fought Union Commander Joseph Hooker’s forces.  Together, they had 194,760 men engaged in this bloody battle (60,892 Confederate forces and 133,868 Union forces).

At its conclusion on May 6, 1863, the Battle of Chancellorsville became the bloodiest battle in American history. The 30,764 combined casualties eclipsed the losses suffered at well-known battles such as Shiloh (23,746), Second Manassas (22,180), Antietam (22,717), and Stones River (23,515).

By far the bloodiest day of the battle was its first (May 3, 1863), when Lee’s Confederates were forced to attack a larger, now-alerted Union foe, largely positioned in prepared defenses. The aggressive fighting at places like Salem Church produced more casualties than the entire Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run).

Chancellorsville’s title of bloodiest battle in American history would be short-lived, however. From Chancellorsville, Lee began his journey towards Gettysburg and the epic fighting to come on July 1-3, 1863. Yet, at the end of the American Civil War, Chancellorsville was still ranked as the fourth bloodiest battle of the Civil War, after Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Spotsylvania Courthouse.

Battle of The Wilderness –  May 5-7, 1864

My paternal great-great grandfather, Lawrence T. “Larl” Boling (mentioned above), married Sarah Tapp, daughter of the now famous Catharine Dempsey “Widow Tapp,” (making Widow Tapp my 3rd great-grandmother).  Widow Tapp and her daughter Eliza “Phenie” Tapp had the misfortune of living on the land that became known as the “Wilderness Battlefield,” in Fredericksburg, Virginia, during the Civil War.

There, Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee’s troops went up against Union Commander Ulysses S. Grant’s troops.  Together, they had 171,920 troops (Confederate forces: 61,025  and 101,895 Union forces), in the fields of this wilderness farm.  And together, over a 3-day period they lost 25,416 men (17,666 Union and 7,750 Confederate).

Widow Tapp Farm-Phenie Tapp 1930s

Nearly as many men died in captivity during the Civil War as were killed in the whole of the Vietnam War.  Hundreds of thousands died of disease.  Roughly 2% of our “American” population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty (more than any other war in American history).  Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million.

Civil War Resources GraphicThe official Reconstruction Era (where Union soldiers occupied the 11 southern states) covered a period of twelve years from 1865-1877. Southern states rebuilt and gradually were re-admitted to the United States (July 1866-March 1870). Virginia and Texas were the last two hold out states.  They rejoined the United States in 1870.

 

So, just how similar or different are our beliefs today based upon where we live in these United States?

Let’s take a look at today’s map below from electoral-vote.com.  Here, we’re looking at the status of electoral votes post 2016 presidential campaign conventions over these past two weeks.  Setting aside the presidential runners (which is another or several other posts that I won’t be writing), you can view our similarities or differences strictly at state levels based upon electoral votes.  When we compare my relatives who today live in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Virginia (13 electoral votes), Maryland (10 electoral votes), and North Carolina (15 electoral votes), (where my ancestors lived during the Civil War), we find that today’s generations are more alike than different and are “likely to strongly” democrat.

2016-07-31_electoral-vote

And, just how similar or different are democrats from republicans?

Comparison Chart:  Democratic vs. Republican Traits

Whether this information is comforting to all of us or not, based upon the example used, it would appear that our families have unified beliefs; that it is unlikely we would fight on opposite sides if, God forbid, the United States entered into another civil war.

However, it does seem, when compared to our ancestors of the Civil War era, that today’s generations who have more global and increased technological capabilities and therefore extended communications, may be just as uncivil to each other as those ancestors who chose to shoot at each other about 150 years ago.


1Wyalusing History Trail
2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30th_Virginia_Infantry
3Chancellorsville Civil War Stories

 

There’s Nothing Civil About War


General Robert E. Lee, the Man…

General Robert E LeeDescended from several of Virginia’s First Families, General Robert E. Lee was a well-regarded officer of the United States Army before the American Civil War. Born in 1807 to Revolutionary War hero Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee in Stratford Hall, Virginia, Robert Edward Lee seemed destined for military greatness. His decision to fight for the Confederacy was emblematic of the wrenching choices faced by Americans as the nation divided.

By the end of the American Civil War, General Lee was 58, a husband, married 34 years to Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (the witty, artistic great-granddaughter of Martha Washington), and a father of seven children, ages 19 to 33, to whom he was powerfully attached.

William Henry Fitzhugh leeMary Tabb BollingIn fact, I have become attached to General Lee in my own way.  It appears that General Lee’s third child William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, 28, married my second cousin (6X removed), Ms. Mary Tabb Bolling, just two years after the war ended and during the postbellum/reconstruction period.

General Lee had tied his anchor to the Custis-Lee Mansion and the family seat at Arlington, (known as the “Custis-Lee Mansion,” the “Arlington House,” and now the “Robert E. Lee Memorial”) with its splendid grounds and historical associations. Unfortunately, during the war,  the federal government confiscated the lands and the property because the Lees failed to show up in person and pay property taxes levied against it. The property was offered for public sale Jan. 11, 1864, and was purchased by a tax commissioner for “government use, for war, military, charitable and educational purposes.”

Arlington House painting in Welcome Center

It was on June 15, 1864, when Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, who commanded the garrison at Arlington House, appropriated the grounds for use as a military cemetery. Today, Arlington National Cemetery, is the most famous cemetery in the country and the final resting place for many of our nation’s greatest heroes, including more than 300,000 veterans of every American conflict, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just a short 5 years later, on October 12, 1870, Robert died at age 63, most likely from pneumonia at his home in Lexington, Virginia.  Three years later Robert’s wife passed at age 66. Neither Robert E. Lee, nor his wife, Mary Anna, ever attempted to publicly recover control of Arlington House. They were buried at Washington University (later renamed Washington and Lee University) where Lee had served as president. The couple never returned to the home George Washington Parke Custis had built and treasured. Mary Anna Randolph CustisHowever, Mary Anna Lee did visit Arlington just a few months before her death in 1873. Unable to get out of the carriage, one of her former slaves, brought her a drink of water from the well. 1“I rode out to my dear old home but so changed it seemed but a dream of the past—I could not have realized it was Arlington but for the few old oaks they had spared and the trees planted by the General and myself which are raising their tall branches to the Heaven which seems to smile on the desecration around them.”

General Robert E. Lee, the Surrender…

One hundred and fifty years ago, on April 7, 1865, with General Robert E. Lee’s army surrounded, his men weak and exhausted, he began exchanging a series of notes with union leader, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War. It was the final engagement of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army.

Lee, abandoned the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, after the ten-month Siege of Petersburg.  Even at the end of the campaign, on April 2, 1865, Lee evacuated more than 50,000 men out of Richmond and Petersburg, while Grant’s combined armies counted at least 110,000 men by that time. Although precise figures are hard to come by, the best estimates suggest 42,000 Union casualties and 28,000 Confederate casualties, in total. Lee and his men retreated west, hoping to join his army with the Confederate forces in North Carolina. However, Union forces pursued and cut off the Confederate retreat at the village of Appomattox Court House. Lee launched an attack to break through the Union force to his front, assuming the Union force consisted entirely of cavalry. When he realized that the cavalry was backed up by two corps of Union infantry, he had no choice but to surrender. After four years of Civil War, approximately 630,000 deaths and over 1 million casualties, the two men agreed to meet on April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse.

Ulysses S Grant2The contrast between the two commanders was striking, and could not fail to attract marked attention as they sat ten feet apart facing each other. General Grant, then nearly forty-three years of age, was five feet eight inches in height, with shoulders slightly stooped. His hair and full beard were a nut-brown, without a trace of gray in them. He had on a single-breasted blouse, made of dark-blue flannel, unbuttoned in front, and showing a waistcoat underneath. He wore an ordinary pair of top-boots, with his trousers inside, and was without spurs. The boots and portions of his clothes were spattered with mud. He had no sword, and a pair of shoulder-straps was all there was about him to designate his rank. In fact, aside from these, his uniform was that of a private soldier.

Lee, on the other hand, age 58, was fully six feet in height, and quite erect for one of his age, for he was Grant’s senior by about sixteen years. His hair and full beard were silver-gray, and quite thick, except that the hair had become a little thin in the front. He wore a new uniform of Confederate gray, buttoned up to the throat, and at his side he carried a long sword of exceedingly fine workmanship, the hilt studded with jewels. His top-boots were comparatively new, and seemed to have on them some ornamental stitching of red silk. Like his uniform, they were singularly clean, and but little travel-stained. On the boots were handsome spurs, with large rowels. A felt hat, which in color matched pretty closely that of his uniform, and a pair of long buckskin gauntlets lay beside him on the table. The meeting lasted about 2-1/2 hours and at its close the bloodiest conflict in the nation’s history was nearing its end. General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, at the home of Wilmer and Virginia McLean in the rural town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Keith Rocco Civil War SurrenderThere were 16 people known to have attended at least part of the meeting as shown in Keith Rocco’s painting. This event triggered the end of the American Civil War.

  • Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
  • Lt. Col. Ely Parker
  • Lt. Col. Orville E. Babcock
  • Maj. Gen. Edward O. C. Ord
  • Lt. Col. Horace Porter
  • Capt. Robert T. Lincoln
  • Lt. Col. Theodore S. Bowers
  • Maj. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan
  • Brig. Gen. John Rawlins
  • Brig. Gen. Rufus Ingalls
  • Lt. Col. Adam Badeau
  • Brig. Gen. George H. Sharpe
  • Brig. Gen. Michael Morgan
  • Brig. Gen. Seth Williams

General Lee, the Sad Departure from Miltary Service… 

2“At a little before 4 o’clock General Lee shook hands with General Grant, bowed to the other officers, and with Colonel Marshall left the room. One after another we followed, and passed out to the porch. Lee signaled to his orderly to bring up his horse, and while the animal was being bridled the general stood on the lowest step and gazed sadly in the direction of the valley beyond where his army lay – now an army of prisoners. He smote his hands together a number of times in an absent sort of way; seemed not to see the group of Union officers in the yard who rose respectfully at his approach, and appeared unconscious of everything about him. All appreciated the sadness that overwhelmed him, and he had the personal sympathy of every one who beheld him at this supreme moment of trial. The approach of his horse seemed to recall him from his reverie, and he at once mounted. General Grant now stepped down from the porch, and, moving toward him, saluted him by raising his hat. He was followed in this act of courtesy by all our officers present; Lee raised his hat respectfully, and rode off to break the sad news to the brave fellows whom he had so long commanded.”


1″Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial: Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee,” http://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/mary-lee.htm

2“Surrender at Appomattox, 1865,” EyeWitness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com  (1997).

Other Sources:

Our Descendancy–in Red, White and Blue…


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.”

First version of the Union jack used in England from 1606 and Scotland from 1707 – the Flags of England and Scotland superimposed.

First version of the Union jack used in England from 1606 and Scotland from 1707 – the Flags of England and Scotland superimposed.

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.

2nd Continental Congress Flag

The Bolling Family’s Red, White and Blue…

Writing about the flag was easy.  Next, comes “the rub” part of this post.  Some of you may already have researched the Bolling Family’s history and are aware of its “red” or “white” blood lines.  For those of you who haven’t, I’m about to give you a brief explanation below:
Red blood line Bolling’s go back to my 9th paternal great grandfather, Colonel Robert Thomas Bolling (1646-1709), and his wife, Jane Poythress Rolfe (1650-1676), who was a granddaughter of Pocahontas (daughter of Thomas Powhatan Rolfe–only son of Pocahontas and Jane Poythress).  Therefore, our  “red line” descendancy refers to our Native American heritage.
The White blood line Bolling’s go back to the same Colonel Robert Thomas Bolling (as, above); the children he bore with his second wife, Anne Merriweather Stith (1665-1710).
Colonel Robert Bolling and Jane Rolfe had a son named Major John Fairfax Bolling who married Mary Elizabeth Kennon and had 8 children– their children too, continued the Bolling’s red blood line from his mother.
Now–There is yet a third group who claims to descend from the marriage of Major John Kennon Bolling (son of Major John Fairfax Bolling and Mary Elizabeth Kennon) and Elizabeth Blair.  It seems that there was a book published about the descendants of Pocahontas and John Rolfe and after its publication,  a number of Bollings complained that their ancestors were omitted in the list of the children of John Kennon Bolling and Elizabeth Blair. Since they appeared “out of the blue”, they became known as the “Blue Bollings”.
I have done some research, but, it seems not enough.  More is needed starting with Robert Bolling’s Memoir, originally in French, written before 1764; next the English translation in 1803 by Judge John Robertson that 65 years later in 1868 went to print for the first time.  Some of its contents follow:

PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED RECORDS

MEMOIR:

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 Jr. E. Brown (Author); and, Further Corrections and Additions by Stuart E. Brown (Author), Lorraine F. Myers (Author), Jr. Stuart E. Brown (Author) Paperback – March 27, 2010

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…

More Than a Few Names or Mere Numbers


As an addendum to this week’s post What’s InTop 50 Family Surnames a Name?, I revised my Surname Report in Family Tree Maker™. This report shows that our family’s tree (including my spouse’s family) has 10,772 persons in it.  Of those persons (living and dead), 52 percent of them are male; making my database’s percentage of males three percentage points higher than the gender ratio in the 2010 U.S.Census of Population and Housing.  And, those 10,772 persons are related within the 2,170 surnames.

Largest Family Based Upon Surname

The largest number of families within the surname report originated within my maternal grandmother’s family.  The majority of  this family branch spelled their name as “Lathrop.”  Although, there were two other variations of this surname spelling (“Lothrop” and “Lathrope”) presented among the various data collections included in our tree of facts.  There were, in fact, 478 Lathrop families; 53 percent of these family members were male.  The Lathrop family name spans the years:  1450-1929 in our family’s history.

Similarly, the “Bowling” name, or the other 12 versions of its spelling dated from as early as 890 AD in France, where the family was known as the DeBoulogne’s.  Our most recent family members who spelled their name “DeBoulogne” date back to 1863.  This spelling spanned the years 891 AD – 1863:  972 years–just shy of a century!  The other spelling variations included among our tree of facts:   Baroling, Billung, Bolding, Boling, Boleine, Bollyng, Boulding, Bouldinge; Boulogne,  Bowlding, Deboulogne, and De Bolling.

Earliest and Newest People

The earliest entries of people in this report date back to 8 A.D. to Charlemagne (my 43rd great grandfather) and his son Louis the Pious of France (my 43rd great uncle).  The newest member of our family, Alaina Hazel, part of the Dickinson clan, blessed us with her appearance in April 2014–our third great grandchild.

Getting Past the Mere Numbers

Getting past the discussion of mere numbers, my somewhat random method for subject posts suddenly gets very logical. That is, my nearly 200 posts to date have focused on surnames that appear within the Top 50 Family Surnames in my word cloud, above.  [To create the word cloud I used wordle.net (advanced) with some simple word ratios (exported from my Family Tree Surname report into Excel).]

Estimated Ethnicity

Based upon my DNA testing, a map of today shown below, displays the countries from which my families migrated: Great Britain, Ireland, Europe West, and West Asia.

DNA Estimated Ethnicity

However, if we look back at a map of nearly 1,000 years ago to where many of my ancestors were before they migrated, we find ourselves near the end of the High Middle Ages (967 – 1050).   The world was divided into Kingdoms, Territories, Empires, and Dominions,Europe 1050 AD crusades abounded, and the Catholic Church in Europe was expanding its power base.  Here’s where the real stories first began.

For a detailed timeline that includes European history with interactive maps, I encourage you to visit worldology.com

 

Our Native American Heritage–A Follow On


 My post  just a few days ago focused on our native american heritage and the tribes who resided along the borders of the Chesapeake Bay.

Pocahontas

First Lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson

In my April 24, 2014 and December 3, 2012 posts we looked at our paternal Pocahontas ancestry–First Lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, and our lineage to Pocahontas through the ancient aristocratic Bolling family.  

 

John Carpenter Ford

My post of January 12, 2013, mentioned my maternal great grandfather, John Carpenter Ford, from Wake County, Raleigh, North Carolina and his native american wife Mary Susan Morris.  The irony of their relationship–he was the next to last survivor of the various Indian Wars that spanned 1865-1890–and four years after those wars ended we found them together in Washington, DC, where they married on September 15, 1894.

Once again, social media–this time, LinkedIn, helped me tie these people together and to understand the depth and the breadth of our Native American legacy across North America.  Within a discussion on LinkedIn was an article with maps by Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, OK.  The maps he designed pinpoints the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contacts with Europeans.   Pictures of the maps and the article about Carapellaand our Native American Tribes by Hans Lo Wang of NPR follow:

 The Map Of Native American Tribes You’ve Never Seen Before

by June 24, 2014 4:03 PM ET

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has designed a map of Native American tribes showing their locations before first contact with Europeans.

Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American tribes once lived.

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.

As a teenager, Carapella says he could never get his hands on a continental U.S. map like this, depicting more than 600 tribes — many now forgotten and lost to history. Now, the 34-year-old designs and sells maps as large as 3 by 4 feet with the names of tribes hovering over land they once occupied.

Carapella has designed maps of Canada and the continental U.S. showing the original locations and names of Native American tribes. View the full map (PDF).

Carapella has designed maps of Canada and the continental U.S. showing the original locations and names of Native American tribes. View the full map (PDF).

Courtesy of Aaron Carapella

“I think a lot of people get blown away by, ‘Wow, there were a lot of tribes, and they covered the whole country!’ You know, this is Indian land,” says Carapella, who calls himself a “mixed-blood Cherokee” and lives in a ranch house within the jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation.

For more than a decade, he consulted history books and library archives, called up tribal members and visited reservations as part of research for his map project, which began as pencil-marked poster boards on his bedroom wall. So far, he has designed maps of the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. A map of Alaska is currently in the works.

What makes Carapella’s maps distinctive is their display of both the original and commonly known names of Native American tribes, according to Doug Herman, senior geographer at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

This map of Mexico features both the original and commonly known names of some indigenous nations. View the full map (PDF).

This map of Mexico features both the original and commonly known names of some indigenous nations. View the full map (PDF).

Courtesy of Aaron Carapella

“You can look at [Carapella’s] map, and you can sort of get it immediately,” Herman says. “This is Indian Country, and it’s not the Indian Country that I thought it was because all these names are different.”

He adds that some Native American groups got stuck with names chosen arbitrarily by European settlers. They were often derogatory names other tribes used to describe their rivals. For example, “Comanche” is derived from a word in Ute meaning “anyone who wants to fight me all the time,” according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

“It’s like having a map of North America where the United States is labeled ‘gringos’ and Mexico is labeled ‘wetbacks,’ ” Herman says. “Naming is an exercise in power. Whether you’re naming places or naming peoples, you are therefore asserting a power of sort of establishing what is reality and what is not.”

Look at a map of Native American territory today, and you’ll see tiny islands of reservation and trust land engulfed by acres upon acres ceded by treaty or taken by force. Carapella’s maps serve as a reminder that the population of the American countryside stretches back long before 1776 and 1492.

Carapella describes himself as a former “radical youngster” who used to lead protests against Columbus Day observances and supported other Native American causes. He says he now sees his mapmaking as another way to change perceptions in the U.S.

“This isn’t really a protest,” he explains. “But it’s a way to convey the truth in a different way.”

Take a closer look at Aaron Carapella’s map of the continental U.S. and Canada and his map of Mexico. He sells prints on his website.

The Chesapeake Bay and Our Native American Heritage


Col Robert Bolling

9th Paternal Great Grandfather, Colonel Robert Thomas Bolling

This post focuses on our native american heritage who resided along the borders of the Chesapeake Bay.  Digressing just a little into my lineage, my paternal Bolling ancestors were among the first in Jamestown and my maternal Lathrop ancestors the first in New England.  My ninth great grandfather, Colonel Robert Bolling married Pocahontas’ granddaughter, Jane Poythress Rolfe, daughter of Thomas Powhatan Rolfe (the only child of Pocahontas [daughter of Powhatan and Chief of the Algonquian Nation] and John Rolfe) and his wife, Jane Poythress.

I am a native born Southern Marylander (the state named for the English Queen Henrietta Maria [1609-1669], wife of Charles I of England, and daughter of Henry IV of France).

King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria

King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria

I descend primarily from European emigrants (Great Britain [67%], Ireland [10%], and Western Europe [7%]), who helped found Jamestown, Virginia in 1607–America’s first permanent English Colony.  So, coming from Maryland and having ancient aristocratic ancestors who helped form the Commonwealth of Virginia (two states that border the Chesapeake Bay) as well as native american heritage I always have had a natural curiosity about the origin of the Chesapeake, its name,  and inhabitants along its borders.

The Chesapeake Bay At A Glance

Pictured below is the earliest map to show the existence of the Chesapeake Bay, called “Baya de Santa Maria.” Juan Vespucci was the royal pilot of Spain’s hydrographic office and nephew of Amerigo Vespucci, after whom North and South America are named. The information on this map came from a 1525 voyage by Pedro de Quexos.

Chesapeake Bay Map

Map of the World, Juan Vespucci, Seville Spain,1526

Because the Chesapeake Bay has been so important to the history of Maryland, charts have played a central role from the 17th Century forward.

From the Maryland State Archives website, I gleaned the following key points about the Chesapeake:

  • In North America, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary, a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with a free connection to the open sea.
  • Some 35 million years ago, a bolide, an object similar to a comet or asteroid, struck the present-day Delmarva Peninsula, creating a 55-mile-wide crater. The depression created by the crater changed the course of rivers and determined the location of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Bay, as we know it today, was created about 10,000 years ago when melting glaciers flooded the Susquehanna River Valley.
  • Today, fresh water from land drainage measurably dilutes seawater within the Bay. For ocean-going ships, the Bay is navigable with two outlets to the Atlantic Ocean: north through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in Cecil County, and south through the mouth of the Bay between the Virginia capes.
  • Native Americans living along its shores gave the Bay an Algonquian name. Chesepiook, meaning “great shell-fish bay,” was used to signify the abundance of Bay crabs, oysters, and clams.
  • In June 1608, Captain John Smith led two voyages throughout the Chesapeake Bay, and in its midst European settlers first landed at St. Clement’s Island, Maryland, in 1634.
  • Through the lower portion of the Bay, pirates settled and attacked ships off the coast. And, at its southernmost reaches during the Civil War, the first ironclads, the Confederate Merrimac and the Union’s Monitor, fought to a draw near Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862.
  • Many shipwrecks, remains of vessels sunk by natural forces, human error, or attack, lie deep under the Chesapeake Bay.

Native American Ancestors before the Europeans Arrived

Estimates vary, but according to the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Office which coordinates partnerships to develop and sustain national historic trails, it is likely that 50,000 or more people called the Chesapeake region home before the English arrived. Their ancestors had lived here for 40,000 generations—at least 10,000 years—so the ways of life of the native people were highly adapted to the geographic environment. Their economic, cultural, social, political, and spiritual systems were well established and sophisticated.

The First People of the Chesapeake

Chesepians were the Native American inhabitants of the area now known as South Hampton Roads in Virginia during the Woodland Period (1000 BCE to 1000 CE), and later prior to the arrival of the English settlers in 1607. They occupied an area which is now the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach areas. They were divided into five provinces or kingdoms: Weapemiooc, Chawanook, Secotan, Pomouic and Newsiooc, each ruled by a king or chief. To their west were the members of the Nansemond tribe.

The main village of the Chesepians was called Skicoak, in the present independent city of Norfolk. The Chesepians also had two other towns (or villages), Apasus and Chesepioc, both near the Chesapeake Bay in what is now Virginia Beach. Of these, it is known that Chesepioc was located in the present Great Neck area. Archaeologists and other persons have found numerous Native American artifacts, such as arrowheads, stone axes, pottery, beads, and skeletons in Great Neck Point.

Politically, the area was dominated by the Virginia Peninsula-based Powhatan Confederacy. Although the Chesepians belonged to the same eastern-Algonquian speaking linguistic group as members of the Powhatan Confederacy across Hampton Roads, the archaeological evidence suggests that the original Chesepians belonged to another group, the Carolina Algonquian. Powhatan, whose real name was Wahunsunacock, was the most powerful chieftain in the Chesapeake Bay area, dominating more than 30 Algonquin-speaking tribes. The Chesepians did not belong to Powhatan’s alliance, but instead defied him.

As English writer, William Strachey (1572-1621) documents in his book The Sea Venture, the “Chesapeake People” were murdered before our European ancestors arrived.

History books tell us that in 1609 Strachey, on the ship Sea Venture, headed to Virginia looking for adventure. A hurricane caused the Sea Venture to run aground at Bermuda. In The Sea Venture he writes of his ten-month long struggle for survival. (William Shakespeare used Strachey’s  The Sea Venture book as the basis for his play The Tempest.)

The castaways, while marooned on Bermuda, built boats from their wreckage and eventually made it to Virginia and Strachey then began documenting life in the new colony. Because of his fascination with the Native American inhabitants he also compiled a dictionary of Algonquin language. (The only other known record of Algonquin words was made by John Smith.)

In talking with the natives Strachey discovered information about them that few Europeans had learned. The Indians told him about the remarkable Chesapeake tribe.

He learned that a few years before the arrival of Europeans, the Algonquin priests informed Chief Powhatan that a great danger would arise from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay– so dire that it would destroy their empire, civilization and ways of life. They told him his Confederacy of 30 tribes would be gone, their villages burned, and all of his people dead.

The Algonquin priests repeatedly pressed Powhatan to take action against this small peaceful tribe of 300-400 Chesapeakes who lived near the mouth of the Bay.  At first Powhatan resisted because his priests could not give him specifics. Unfortunately for the Chesapeake Indians, Powhatan’s priests’ visions were persistent and became more compelling. And, sometime around 1606 the Powhatans murdered the entire Chesapeake tribe.

On returning to England in 1611 Strachey published his book, The Historie of Travaile Into Virginia Britannia where he described the stories he heard from the Powhatans about their destruction of the Chesapeake (Chessiopeians) tribe:

“...not long since that his priests told him how that from the Cheaspeack Bay a nation should arise which should dissolve and give end to his empire, for which, not many yeares since (perplext with this divelish oracle, an divers understanding thereof), according to the ancyent and gentile customs, he destroyed and put to sword all such who might lye under any doubtful construccion of the said prophesie, as all the inhabitants, the wereoance and his subjects of the province, and so remaine all of the Chessiopeians at this daye, and for this cause, extinct.

During the 1970s and ’80s, archaeologists discovered the remains of 64 Chesapeake Indians during development in the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach. Those bones dated to between 800 B.C. and A.D. 1600.  In April 1997, after decades of trying to recover these Native American remains, the Nansemonds’ reburied them near the English’s First Landing site in Virginia.

And yet today, we still can see evidence of our native american roots in our counties and place names along the Chesapeake regions.  We live in Calvert County that was originally established as Patuxent County in 1654 (named after the Patuxent people) and note that its name was changed to Calvert County after Lord Calvert of Baltimore in 1658.  Just down the road from us a piece is Chesapeake Beach, named for the Chesapeake people who were an Algonquian-speaking tribe who resided in Virginia.  And fortunately for us, there are many more words and names that remain as they were known centuries ago.

About Algonquian-Speaking Tribes

In the tables below, you will see references to “Algonquian-speaking tribes.”  The word Algonquian (or Algonkian) is a general linguistic/anthropological term used to refer to not only the small Algonquin tribe but dozens of distinct Native American tribes who speak languages that are related to each other.

  Native American County Names

Native County Names

  Native American Villages, Towns, and Cities Names

Native Place Names

From www.ethnologue.com (the comprehensive reference site that catalogs all the known living languages [7,106] in the world today), I discovered the various tribes that made up the Algonquian-speaking confederacy and are included in the Algic Family language classification system–one of the largest indigenous language families of North America. It consists of 44 languages, the overwhelming majority of which (42 languages) belong to the Algonquian branch. The bulleted list below shows the Alqonquian-speaking tribes and their countries of origin (Canada or the United States).  I have highlighted in green below the 12 Eastern Alngoquian-speaking tribes who resided in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia along the Chesapeake Bay borders:

Algic (42)

Ritwan (2)

Many Algonquian languages are extremely endangered today. Only a handful of them have a significant number of speakers. Of the original 42 Algic languages, only about 27 of them are used today. The largest group is Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi with 104,000 speakers, while the largest single language is Ojibwa with some 35,000 speakers. Ten languages are already extinct, and many are on the verge of extinction. Most surviving languages are spoken by older adults who are not passing their language on to their children.

Below the double lines, I included a more complete Chesapeake Bay History Timeline that spans (according to the scientists) 35 Million Years!



A Chesapeake Bay History Timeline as Created by Chesapeakebay.net

35 Million Years Ago
35 Million Years Ago

Image courtesy Nicolle Rager-Fuller/NSF

  • A rare bolide (a comet- or asteroid-like object) hits what is now the lower tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, creating a 55-mile-wide crater. This crater influences the shape of the region’s rivers and determines the eventual location of the Chesapeake Bay. As sea levels fluctuate over the next several million years, the area that is now the Bay alternates between dry land and shallow coastal sea.
10 to 2 Million Years Ago
10 to 2 Million Years Ago

Image courtesy Wing-Chi Poon/Wikimedia Commons

  • A series of ice ages locks ocean water in massive glaciers. The mid-Atlantic coastline extends 180 miles farther than its current location.
  • In warmer periods, a glacier melts into the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, carving a valley through Pennsylvania and pushing sediment into the Coastal Plain. In colder periods, conifer forests attract deer, bears and birds to the region.
18,000 Years Ago
18,000 Years Ago

Image courtesy Twelvex/Flickr

  • Glacial sheets from the most recent Ice Age begin to retreat. The region’s climate begins to warm.
15,000 Years Ago
15,000 Years Ago

Image courtesy Nicolas T/Flickr

  • As the climate continues to warm, a landscape that was once dominated by conifers begins to change. Oak, maple, hickory and other hardwood species appear.
11,500 Years Ago
11,500 Years Ago

Image courtesy Ficusdesk/Flickr

  • Paleo-Indian people arrive in the region. Over the next thousand years, the climate becomes increasingly humid and the landscape gives way to hardwood forests and coastal wetlands. Paleo-Indians modify their hunting technology accordingly, replacing Clovis points with spear-throwing devices that can be launched over expansive terrain.
10,000 to 7,000 Years Ago
10,000 to 7,000 Years Ago

Image courtesy Dru!/Flickr

  • Ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, flooding the Susquehanna, Potomac, James and York rivers. Water pours into the Atlantic Ocean and sea levels rise. The Chesapeake Bay’s outline begins to form.
  • Mammoths, giant beavers and other Ice Age creatures are now extinct.
5,000 Years Ago

5,000 Years Ago

  • Temperatures continue to rise. A mixed deciduous forest dominates the landscape. Acorns and other nuts become a key food source.
  • Diverse fish and shellfish populations are abundant in the region’s rivers. The first oysters colonize the Bay.
2,000 Years Ago
2,000 Years Ago

Image courtesy AerialOutline/Flickr

  • The Chesapeake Bay’s outline now resembles its current form.
  • Native American populations continue to develop more sophisticated hunting methods, including the bow and arrow.
  • The Bay’s waters are dominated by oysters, clams and fish, like bass and shad. Shellfish becomes an increasingly important food source.
1,000 Years Ago
1,000 Years Ago

Image courtesy brandoncripps/Flickr

  • Native Americans clear forests to create farmland. A reliance on agricultural crops like corn, squash, beans and tobacco leads to the creation of more permanent town villages.
1,000

Image courtesy brandoncripps/Flickr

  • The Chesapeake Bay region is home to a few thousand humans and many plants and animals, including 200 species of fish, 300 species of birds and 120 species of mammals
1500

1500

  • The Native American population reaches 24,000.
1524
1524

Image courtesy F. Allegrini/Flickr

Italian Captain Giovanni da Verrazano is the first recorded European to enter the Chesapeake Bay.

1561
1561

Image courtesy barxtux/Flickr

  • While exploring tidewater Virginia, Spanish conquistadors capture a young Native American. They name him Don Luis and bring back to Spain, where he receives a formal education.
1570

1570

  • Don Luis returns to the Chesapeake region as a guide and interpreter with the St. Mary’s Mission, a small group of Spanish Jesuits seeking to establish a religious camp. Don Luis quickly abandons the group and returns to his people. Months later, he leads a massacre against the St. Mary’s Mission, killing all but a young servant boy.
1607
1607

Image courtesy Jay I. Kislak Foundation

  • An expedition funded by The Virginia Company of London arrives in the Chesapeake Bay. They establish the first permanent English settlement in North America in Jamestown, Virginia.
1608
1608

Image courtesy National Park Service

  • Captain John Smith sets off on the first of his two voyages around the Chesapeake Bay. In his journal, he records detailed descriptions of his surroundings. In the years to follow, he draws an elaborate and remarkably accurate map of the Bay and its rivers.
1650s
1650s

Image courtesy Trevor Haldenby/Flickr

  • The tobacco industry is booming in the lower Chesapeake colonies.
  • Colonists clear land for agriculture and use hook-and-line to catch fish in the Bay’s shallow waters.
  • War and disease take their toll on Native Americans, whose population shrinks to 2,400—just 10 percent of the size it was when Europeans first arrived in the region.
1680s
1680s

Image courtesy Steve and Sara/Flickr

  • Virginia lawmakers pass legislation to prevent wasteful fishing practices on the Rappahannock River.
  • Colonists begin using hand tongs to harvest oysters.
1700s
1700s

Image courtesy Claude Moore Colonial Farm

  • English settlements grow rapidly as agriculture expands. The first signs of environmental degradation occur.
  • A patchwork of rural farming and fishing communities develops on the western and eastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
1750s
1750s

Image courtesy SoilScience

  • Colonists strip 20 to 30 percent of the region’s forests for settlements. As a result, shipping ports begin to fill with eroded sediment, becoming too shallow for boats to navigate.
  • Commercial fishing for species like shad and herring begins.
1770s
1770s

Image courtesy American Art Museum/Flickr

  • The colonial population exceeds 700,000.
  • Farmers begin to use plows extensively, starting a cycle of permanent tillage that prevents reforestation and leads to massive soil erosion.
1781
1781

Image courtesy John Trumbull/Wikimedia Commons

  • After eight years of fighting, the Revolutionary War ends when British Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, Virginia.
  • The former British colonies are on the verge of forming a new, unified nation. The Chesapeake Bay region will come to serve as a key economic and political center.
1785
1785

Image courtesy NCinDC/Flickr

  • Virginia and Maryland sign the Mount Vernon Compact, also known as the Compact of 1785. Virginia agrees to give vessels bound for Maryland free passage at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. In return, Maryland gives citizens of both states the right to fish in the Potomac River.
1800s

1800s

  • Oyster harvests increase dramatically.
  • New England fishermen travel to the Chesapeake Bay with a device that scoops hundreds of thousands of oysters from their beds. Virginia and Maryland eventually ban this equipment.
  • Maryland legislation states that only Maryland citizens can transport oysters in the state’s waters.
1820s
1820s

Image courtesy JRiver/Flickr)

  • Railroads, canals and steamboats offer new transportation options, benefiting the coal, steel and oyster industries.
1829
1829

Image courtesy Anthony Bley/Wikimedia Commons

  • The 14-mile Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is built, linking the Chesapeake Bay with Delaware Bay and opening undeveloped land to agriculture and the harvest of timber.
1840s
1840s

Image courtesy calwest/Flickr

  • Half of the region’s forests have been cleared for agriculture, timber and fuel.
  • The first imported fertilizers are used after ships bring bird guano from Caribbean rookeries and nitrate deposits from the Chilean coast.
1850s
1850s

Image courtesy swamibu/Flickr

  • Railroads, canals and steamboats have allowed the oyster market to reach consumers outside of the Chesapeake region.
  • The number of oysters harvested from the Bay has doubled in the last 10 years, from 700,000 bushels in 1839 to more than 1.5 million in the 1850s.
1860s
1860s

Image courtesy Wayan Vota/Flickr

  • Water supply systems are constructed to transport drinking water to Baltimore and the District of Columbia.
  • Sewer systems are built to send waste and runoff into the rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Brick, stone, iron and steel replace wood as the region’s source of heat, light and building material.
1880s
1880s

Image courtesy University of Delaware Library/Flickr

  • Wooden skipjacks—or vessels that are adapted to sail on Chesapeake Bay waters—are built in response to increased demand for oysters.
  • Twenty million bushels of oysters are harvested from the Bay each year.
1890s
1890s

Image courtesy Nick Humphries/Flickr

  • Sixty to 80 percent of the forests along the Baltimore-Washington corridor have been cleared for agriculture and development.
  • Coal-burning industries spew smoke into the air and send pollutants into the region’s rivers.
  • The construction of highways links cities and suburbs.
1900s
1900s

Image courtesy accent on ecelectic/Flickr

  • The replacement of railroad ties removes an estimated 15 to 20 million acres of eastern forests.
  • A dramatic drop in oyster populations starts to affect Chesapeake Bay health, and state and federal laws move to control the industry.
  • Scientists begin questioning the impact of human behavior on the Bay.
1910s
1910s

Image courtesy ghbrett/Flickr

  • A District of Columbia law restricts the height of city buildings, causing development to expand outward.
  • Baltimore installs separate wastewater and stormwater systems to filter water before it flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Migratory Bird Treaty Act establishes hunting seasons and limits on international migratory waterfowl.
1920s
1920s

Image courtesy Cyber Insket/Flickr

  • Swamps and marshes are drained to create room for waste dumps and new development.
  • The Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station, also known as the Conowingo Dam, is built at the mouth of the Susquehanna River. Upon its completion, it is the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the United States.
1930s
1930s

Image courtesy Beaverton Historical Society/Flickr

  • The Great Depression spurs public works projects that repair and expand the region’s roads, bridges, parks and electrical services into rural areas, encouraging population growth.
  • An interstate conference on the Chesapeake Bay recommends treating the Bay as a single resource unit rather than separate bodies of water.
1940s
1940s

Image courtesy Virginia Institute of Marine Science

  • The “suburb” is born.
  • People begin to use synthetic fertilizers on their lawns and fields, polluting local waterways. Maryland and Virginia create water pollution control agencies.
  • The fishing industry increases its range and mobility, causing local fish populations to decline.
  • Dermo, a disease that kills oysters, is discovered in the Chesapeake Bay.
1950s
1950s

Image courtesy Radio Rover/Flickr

  • The 4.2-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge is built, opening Maryland’s Eastern Shore to development.
  • Across the region, developers drain and fill wetlands to build new houses, stores and office buildings.
  • MSX, a disease that kills oysters, is found in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
1960s
1960s

Image courtesy Barabara Rich/Flickr

  • The 17.4-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opens, connecting Virginia Beach with Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
  • Interstates 66, 70, 83, 95, 270, 495 and 695 are completed. The personal car has become the choice mode of transportation for Americans.
1963
1963

Image courtesy Lossanjose/Flickr

  • The Clean Air Act is passed in an effort to lower air pollution.
1967
1967

Image courtesy David Clow/Flickr

1970s

1970s

1972
1972

Image courtesy Mr. T in DC/Flickr

  • The Clean Water Act is passed, establishing water quality standards and limiting the amount and kind of pollutants that can enter rivers, streams and other waterways.
1973
1973

Image courtesy Pulpolux/Flickr

  • U.S. Senator Charles Mathias tours the Chesapeake Bay shoreline and sponsors legislation that prompts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study on the Bay’s health. This marks the first time that the Bay’s degrading health is brought to the public’s attention.
  • The Endangered Species Act is passed, protecting endangered species and the ecosystems on which they depend.
1980s

1980s

  • The Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body that represents Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, is established to coordinate policy across state lines.
  • The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay begins a first-of-its-kind program that teaches citizen volunteers how to monitor water quality.
1983

1983

  • The first Chesapeake Bay Agreement is signed by Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the District of Columbia; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and the Chesapeake Bay Commission. The Chesapeake Bay Program is established and the Chesapeake Executive Council is named the chief policy-making authority in the watershed.
1984

1984

  • Maryland passes the Critical Area Act to better manage continued growth. The law leads to the formation of the Maryland Nontidal Wetlands Protection Program, which works to conserve, create and monitor nontidal wetlands, slowing the loss of this critical ecosystem.
1985

1985

  • Six years after Congress passes the Emergency Striped Bass Act, Maryland imposes a moratorium on striped bass fishing. Virginia soon follows suit, in hopes that a closed fishery will help the species recover from harvest and pollution pressures.
  • A Maryland ban on phosphate-containing laundry detergent reduces the amount of phosphorous flowing from wastewater treatment plants into the Chesapeake Bay.
1987

1987

  • The 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement sets the first ever numeric goals to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, aiming to lower the nitrogen and phosphorous entering the Bay by 40 percent by the year 2000.
1988

1988

  • Virginia passes the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, guiding local governments to address the environmental impacts of development and pushing communities to better manage urban and suburban growth.
  • Maryland State Senator Bernie Fowler’s Patuxent River Wade-In establishes the “sneaker index” as a measure of Bay health, boosting public interest in water quality.
1989

1989

  • Maryland and Virginia lift the ban on striped bass fishing. The fish is declared a recovered species six years later.
1990s
1990s

Image courtesy Airliners.net

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Waters Program acknowledges that air pollution contributes to water pollution.
  • The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay begins to host week-long paddling trips down some of the watershed’s biggest rivers.
  • The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration begins selling“Treasure the Chesapeake” license plates, which support the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
1992
1992

Image courtesy spike55151/Flickr

  • Amendments are made to the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement that aim to attack nutrients at their source: upstream tributaries that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Clean Vessel Act establishes a grant program to fund the construction of pumpout stations at marinas across the watershed, presenting a viable alternative to the overboard disposal of sewage.
1993

1993

  • A law passed in Pennsylvania requires certain farmers to develop and implement nutrient management plans, limiting the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that can run off of farms and into local waterways. In 1994, Virginia follows suit. In 1998, Maryland enacts similar legislation.
1994

1994

  • The Bay Program’s Riparian Forest Buffer Panel develops ground-breaking goals for the conservation and restoration of streamside forests. Federal and state incentive programs encourage landowners to install forest buffers on their properties.
1995
1995

Image courtesy adactio/Flick

  • The Local Government Partnership Initiative is signed to provide assistance to the 1,650 local governments in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
1996

1996

  • Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant begins to use nutrient removal technology to lower the amount of nitrogen it sends into the Potomac River and improve water quality.
  • Federal, state and private partners agree to restore Poplar Island using sand and sediment dredged up from the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay.
1997

1997

  • The Virginia Water Quality Improvement Act establishes a state fund that will support the prevention, reduction and control of nutrient pollution.
  • Maryland passes a package of legislation to combat suburban sprawl and direct smart growth. The initiative is praised as an innovative way to preserve natural resources and pursue sustainable development.
1998
1998

Image courtesy Joachim S. Muller/Flickr

  • The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission closes Atlantic sturgeon fishing along the East Coast. The 40-year ban is the longest fishing moratorium on record.
  • The Maryland Water Quality Improvement Act calls for the addition of a phosphorous-reducing enzyme to poultry feed, lowering nutrient levels in poultry litter.
1999

1999

  • The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation establishes the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund to help communities restore polluted rivers and streams. The fund awards $8 to $12 million each year to on-the-ground conservation.
  • The Virginia Land Conservation Act establishes a state tax credit to reward those who donate land or easements for conservation.
2000
2000

Image courtesy Brian Talbot/Flickr

  • Maryland records its lowest blue crab harvest: 20.2 million pounds.
  • Chesapeake 2000 is signed, establishing more than 100 goals to reduce pollution and restore habitats, protect living resources and promote sound land use, and engage the public in restoration.
  • The National Park Service and its partners launch the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network to connect people with the Bay’s places and stories.
2002

2002

  • More than 2,800 miles of forest buffers have been restored in the watershed, meeting the Bay Program’s goal for forest buffer restoration eight years ahead of schedule.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration establishes the Bay Watershed Education and Training program to fund the delivery of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences and advance environmental education in the region.
2003

2003

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues water quality criteria for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
  • Representatives from the Bay’s headwater states join the Chesapeake Executive Council.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Blue Ribbon Panel is created to find new financing opportunities for restoration work, and the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network is established to bring grantmakers together.
2005

2005

  • The Chesapeake Executive Council adopts an animal manure management strategy to reduce nutrient pollution from livestock operations.
2006
2006

Image courtesy Jane Thomas/IAN Image Library

  • The Chesapeake Executive Council adopts new directives to expand forest cover, reduce the amount of phosphorus in lawn fertilizers and increase funding for on-farm conservation programs.
  • The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is designated.
  • The Living Shorelines Summit furthers research on the use of living shorelines to control erosion.
2007

2007

  • The Chesapeake Executive Council signs the Forest Conservation Initiative, committing to conserve 695,000 acres of forests by 2020.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) is launched to report real-time environmental data.
  • BayStat is launched to track restoration progress.
  • The Bay blue crab harvest of 44.2 million pounds is one of the lowest recorded since 1945.
2008

2008

  • Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission issue emergency regulations on the harvest of blue crabs to help the species recover. The Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab fishery is declared a federal disaster.
  • The 2008 Farm Bill dedicates more than $180 million over the course of four years to agricultural conservation.
  • The invasive zebra mussel is found in the Maryland portion of the Susquehanna River.
2009

2009

  • President Obama signs an executive order that calls on the federal government to renew the effort to protect and restore the watershed.
  • The Chesapeake Executive Council sets two-year milestones to accelerate restoration and increase accountability.
  • Annapolis becomes the first jurisdiction in the watershed to ban phosphorous in lawn fertilizer.
2010
2010

Image courtesy Lydiat/Flickr

  • Maryland, Virginia and New York ban phosphates in dishwasher detergent to lower phosphorous pollution in local waterways.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency establishes the Total Maximum Daily Load to limit the amount of pollutants that can enter the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Bay Program launches ChesapeakeStat to improve communication about restoration goals, progress and funding.
2011

2011

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues a new Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Permit to the District of Columbia. It is the first of its kind to incorporate green infrastructure into its requirements, setting a national model for stormwater management.
2012

2012

  • Harris Creek becomes the first target of the oyster restoration goals set forth in the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order: to restore oyster populations in 20 Bay tributaries by 2025. In this Choptank River tributary, existing reefs will be studied, new bars will be built and spat-on-shell will be planted.
2013
2013

Image courtesy cplong11/Flickr

  • A federal judge rules that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can set pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay, thus upholding the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) that was challenged in court in 2011.
2014

2014

  • The Chesapeake Executive Council signs the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which contains goals and outcomes that will guide conservation and restoration across the watershed. For the first time, the Bay’s headwater states commit to those goals that reach beyond water quality.

Nearly 75 Years Later – A Family’s Unanswered Questions and Unsolved Mysteries Unravel


My Family of Secrets

A year ago, nearly exactly to the day, I wrote a rather long and personal post about my paternal grandparents and great grandparents–the Bolling’s and the Chambers.  From its title you can infer that there were some unanswered questions and mysteries surrounding these people and their relationships that dated back years before I was born and remained at the time of my post.

The Unexpected Christmas Present

Next, on Christmas weekend 2013, 7 months after this post, I had occasion to update it to say that an unknown grand uncle googled his dad’s name and hit upon my post that was about his father (my paternal great grandfather Chambers and half brother to my dad’s mom, Helen). Lo and behold, my grand uncle and his two younger sisters (my grand aunts) reached out to me through a comment to my blog post.  I updated my May 2013 post to express my surprise and total pleasure that a simple post uncovered some unsolved mysteries and untold stories for both families who never knew, but always suspected, that the other existed.

Family Members Meet for the First Time

This weekend was a continuation to our ongoing communications these past 6 months, my grand uncle came from the Pacific Northwest to visit my dad and me.

All of us came away from this surreal-feeling experience with a sense that within blood relatives (DNA, if you will) there are innate features, mannerisms, and instantaneous connections that immediately draw you close to each other and allow you to openly exchange information and stories of family times:

Maynard Chambers and Frank Boling 2014

  • My uncle was stunned by my dad’s physical features, posture, temperament, and even sense of humor that he likened to his dad’s.
  • My dad learned new information about his grandfather who was only a part of his life and family until he was 12.
  • He also learned about his grandfather from the perspective of a son vs. a former wife.  I felt deeply rewarded for my many hours and years of efforts into researching my family’s ancestry and storytelling about the people, their times, and their relationships through my blog.
  • And, dad and I gained a new family member who we will always be grateful to for reaching out to us and sharing intimate life stories that I believe brought a sense of closure to some old family questions and mysteries.
  • There were no whispers, no secrets, a few hardy laughs, and a few tear-filled moments–every moment together a treasure.

An extraordinary weekend–one that we plan to repeat as often as possible!

The Thornton Family’s Fredericksburg Mansion – Part I


My Thornton Family History

The Thornton Family is one of Virginia’s distinguished Colonial families. A large branch in my family tree includes Thornton ancestors and spans 24 generations. My Thornton family members date back to 1314 in Bolling Hall, Bradford, Yorkshire, England when Robert DeBolling (my 16th paternal great grandfather–Generation 2) married Elizabeth DeThornton in 1337, before the two surnames were shortened to Bolling and Thornton.

Fall Hill–Home of the Thornton’s

Fall Hill and the Thorntons

Fall Hill is an early 1700s plantation located on an 8,000 acre land established and patented by Francis Thornton I (1657-1727) around 1720.  It is located near the falls on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia.   Various members of the Thornton family lived at Fall Hill until 2003 (about 300 years). The present house was built in 1790 by Francis Thornton V (1760–1836)when he married Sally Innes and is located within the present-day town of Fredericksburg.  The architectural design supports the 1790 construction.

Fall Hill MansionThe Thornton family ran a grist mill on the Rappahannock River. Stories handed down over generations say that Francis Thornton III (1711–1749) built the house on Fall Hill to escape the heat of the original house that sat in the lower elevations near the river.

Francis Thornton III married Frances Gregory, daughter of Mildred Washington Gregory, aunt and godmother of George Washington. He served as a burgess, a trustee of Fredericksburg, and Colonel of the Spotsylvania Militia. In 1749, Fall Hill was inherited by Colonel Thornton’s son, Francis Thornton IV (1737–1794). However, he and his wife, Ann Thompson, maintained their primary residence at The Falls.

FrancisThorntonV-1767-1836

Francis Thornton V 1767-1836

Francis Thornton V was a Justice of the Peace in Spotsylvania County. Francis V was the last of the direct line of the Thorntons of Fall Hill plantation.  His son, James Innes Thornton, was born at Fall Hill. He moved to Alabama, became its third secretary of state, and established his own plantation, Thornhill. Francis Thornton V died in 1836 without a will. For nine years, until the estate was settled in 1845, Fall Hill was maintained by family slaves. Ultimately, the estate was deeded to Dr. John Roberts Taylor (1803-1884) in 1845. Dr. Taylor was the father-in-law of my 13th cousin, Butler Brayne Thornton.   It was Dr. Taylor who renovated the home in the 1840s.

Its proximity to the Rappahannock River made Fall Hill a strategic point during the Fredericksburg Campaign of the Civil War. Fortifications were built along the river at the house to protect the crossing. The breastworks were built by General Robert E. Lee’s soldiers.  According to long-time resident, Butler Franklin, at one point Lee ordered the mansion destroyed by cannon fire so he could better see the approach of the Union Army across the river. The house survived because the Union Army advance changed its direction.

In 1870 Dr. Taylor’s son, Murray Forbes Taylor, married Butler Brayne Thornton (my 13th cousin), a descendant of Francis Thornton V, which again brought Fall Hill into the Thornton family. Taylor and his wife lived with Doctor Taylor at Fall Hill from 1875 to 1877. In 1877, Murray Thornton and his wife Butler Brayne moved to California where Taylor managed the estate of Mrs. Phoebe Apperson Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst) at San Simeon, California. To show her gratitude to Murray Taylor when he retired from his job at San Simeon in 1908, Mrs. Hearst purchased Fall Hill for $25,000 as a gift for him. It was Mrs. Hearst’s wish that Butler Brayne Thornton Robinson Franklin inherit the estate.

Except for that period from 1845–1870, Fall Hill has been in possession of the Thornton family. Butler Franklin, who died in 2003 at the age of 104, was the last of the Thorntons to own the property.  Fall Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in June 1973.

Resources:

http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/va/Spotsylvania/state.html/
http://www.Virginiadescendants.com/john-roberts-taylor/

Two Pocahontas Descendants Became First Ladies


A wonderful post dated July 12, 2013 on the Edith Bolling Wilson Museum’s Facebook Page that includes many wonderful short snippets about Edith, her life, and museum artifacts, pictures, and events in Wytheville, Virginia was all the prompting I needed to adapt and expand it.

Pocahontas and Edith Bolling Wilson…
Strong Women and Role Models for Young Girls.

How many young girls can claim they descend from Pocahontas? I didn’t know much about my ancestors or my relationships to them when I was a girl, but I do now and I’m very glad that I took the time to learn more. In fact, this is my primary reason for writing these posts–to share the knowledge of our heritage with future generations.

pocahontas

Princess Pocahontas Matoaka Rebecca POWHATAN

To summarize one of my earlier posts written nearly two years ago, Pocahontas was a Virginia Indian notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.

In 1614, Pocahontas married John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer, and gave birth to Thomas Rolfe in 1615.  The marriage between John and Pocahontas was the first recorded interracial marriage in American history.  Soon after having Thomas, John and Pocahontas left for England where she became somewhat of a celebrity.

At age 22, Pocahontas, became gravely ill and died.  It was Thomas, her only child that began the lineage of Pocahontas descendants, including the First Families of Virginia, First Ladies Edith Wilson and Nancy Reagan, and astronomer Percival Lowell.

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan, First Lady to 40th US President

Mrs. Wilson, too, was very proud of her heritage.  She was the 9th generation descendant of Pocahontas, and her great-great grandmother was also sister to Thomas Jefferson.

Percival Lowell

Percival Lowell, Astronomer

Gown-Edith Bolling Galt Wilson

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, First Lady to 28th US President

 

 

I’m wondering if Edith’s large, poor southern family and being the seventh of eleven children born to William Holcombe Bolling and Sarah “Sally” Spiers White was the impetus for her becoming a strong woman and even a secret president (as she cared for her ailing husband, President Woodrow Wilson)?

Below is an excerpt from Edith Bolling Wilson’s book, My Memoirs, published in 1935 by the Bobbs-Merrill Company.  I understand used copies of this book may be purchased from the Edith Bolling Wilson Foundation by emailing them at:  info@edithbollingwilson.org.

Snippet--MyMemoir

The Genealogy of Edith Bolling Wilson

Edith Bolling Wilson and I through many generations, share the same direct descendants of the famous American Indian, Pocahontas, as shown below:

The genealogical path from Pocahontas

  1. Pocahontas and John Rolfe – son, Thomas Rolfe
  2. Thomas Rolfe and Jane Roythress – daughter, Jane Rolfe
  3. Jane Rolfe and Robert Bolling – son, John Bolling
  4. John Bolling and Mary Kennon – son, John Bolling, Jr.
  5. John Bolling Jr. and Elizabeth Blair – son, John Bolling III
  6. John Bolling III and Mary Jefferson – son, Archibald Bolling
    (Mary Jefferson was sister of Thomas Jefferson)
  7. Archibald Bolling and Catherine Payne – son, Archibald Bolling Jr.
  8. Archibald Bolling Jr. and Anne Wiggington – son, William Holcombe Bolling
  9. William Holcombe Bolling and Sallie Spiers White – daughter, Edith Bolling

The genealogical link to Martha Washington (includes Robert E. Lee)

  1. Martha Dandridge’s (Washington) first husband – Daniel Parke Custis
  2. Martha Dandridge and Daniel Parke Custis – son, John Parke Custis
  3. John Parke Custis and Eleanor Calvert – son, George Washington Parke Custis
  4. George Washington Parke Custis and Mary Lee Fitzhugh – daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis
  5. Mary Anna Randolph Custis and Robert E. Lee – son, William H. Fitzhugh Lee
  6. William H. Fitzhugh Lee married Mary Tabb Bolling, descendant of Colonel Robert Bolling and Ann Stith, Robert Bolling’s second wife

I encourage you to visit the museum:

Edith Bolling Wilson Museum
145 East Main Street Wytheville, VA 24382
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.