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, his wife Pocahontas and two-month-old son, Thomas departed Jamestown in the spring 1615 for Heacham, Norwich, England, to visit his mother now Lady Dorothea (Dorothea/Dorothy) Mason Rolfe Redmayne.

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



“It Shines Like Liquid Gold–Sparkles Like Amber Dew”

Many of the men in our family in their younger days were beer drinkers.  Today, not so much.  In fact, at our family gatherings for the past 30 years we have had only non-alcoholic beverages.

The Beginning of My Family’s Beer Drinking Days

My dad was an attractive but scrawny child, who in 1949, three years after marrying my mom at age 18, asked his doctor what he could do to gain weight.  Dr. Brainin, our family doctor, suggested that he drink one beer a day with his dinner each night.  And, that began his beer drinking days that lasted until 1985 when he suffered his first stroke at age 57–30 years after his first drink and 125 years after the Busch family came from Germany to settle in St. Louis, Missouri and to sell beer.

Budweiser’s Story

Budweiser’s story began in ­­1857 when a young man, Adolphus Busch, with his meager inheritance —he was one of 22 children—bought a brewery supply company.
In the mid-1800s, most Americans preferred robust, dark ales. And Busch, after traveling Europe to observe and study the latest brewing techniques, became the first person in the United States to pasteurize beer and to make a lighter and tastier ale. His pasteurization also allowed the ale to remain fresh during cross-country trips. He owned the company that built the railroad cars that transported his beer; owned the company that made his bottles; and, even owned a coal mine that fired his plant.

Ebert Anheuser, on the other hand, owned a failing brewery. He was one of Busch’s buyers and was a wealthy soap manufacturer. His Bavarian Brewing Company produced such horribly tasting beer that “people would spit it back across the bar at bartenders,” so says National Public Radio’s investigative reporter, William Knoedelseder.

Eventually Busch took over the company, changed the recipe, changed the name, and Anheuser-Busch was born.

Anheuser-Busch introduced this light bohemian lager in 1876 under the brand name Budweiser. Beer became the national drink, and Anheuser-Busch was reeling in the profits, “They were selling a million barrels a year, which was just unthinkable back then,” says Knoedelseder.

And, just over 50 years after coming to America, about 10 years before prohibition laws (1919-1933) in the United States,  we can see below an example of Budweiser’s novel marketing in newspapers around the country where they claimed Budweiser was the end-all, be-all, and the King of All Beers.

Clipped from Daily Industrial News, Greensboro, NC,  20 Aug 1908, ThuPage 6George Washington and Budweiser

And, in the 1980’s, 72 years after “The King of All Bottled Beers,” appeared in the Daily Industrial News on 20 August 1908, Budweiser changed its beer title to “King of Beers,” and that title stands today.

In 2008, after four generations of the Busch family owning the company, it was purchased through a hostile takeover by a recently new company in the industry, InBev, and  the reign of the Busch family was over.  Yet, its appealing targeted marketing still makes its brand one of the highest selling beers in the United States, and available in over 80 markets worldwide.  In fact, many fans of football’s Super Bowl tune in just to see the highly expensive, highly creative, commercials–always among the top:  Budweiser’s “King of Beers.”     Budweiser produced the following tribute commercial after 9/11. They only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it – they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event …

Honoring our Family’s King–from Car Park to Cathedral

Over Two Years Earlier…

King Richard III

Photo made available by the University of Leicester, of King Richard III’s skull. Richard III was the last king to fall in battle.

This writing follows up on my post in February 2013 about my Royal and sometimes controversial Plantagenet family and whether I would choose to claim them.  That article was sparked by the forensic archaeological discovery of King Richard III‘s remains under a parking lot in the English city of Leicester.  Now, 25 months later, all the forensic studies have been done and King Richard the III’s reburial over 530 years later on March 26, 2015, in Leicester Cathedral is a funeral befitting a King–drawing over 70,000 spectators!

King Richard III for my non historian readers was killed at the Battle of Bosworth on 22 August, 1485.  This battle ended the 30 year Wars of the Roses (the traditional name given to the intermittent struggles (1455–85) for the throne of England between the noble houses of York (whose badge was a white rose) and Lancaster (associated with the red rose) and began the reign of the Tudor family.

After the battle, legend states that Richard’s crown was found in a hawthorn bush near where he died. Regardless, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, was crowned king later that day on a hill near Stoke Golding. Henry, now King Henry VII, had Richard’s body stripped and thrown over a horse to be taken to Leicester. There it was displayed for two days to prove that Richard was dead. Moving to London, Henry consolidated his hold on power, establishing the Tudor Dynasty. Following his official coronation on October 30, he married Elizabeth of York!

Today’s Forensics Identified King Richard’s Most Likely Cause of Death


The Death of Richard Artwork from the Battle of Bosworth by Graham Turner Osprey Publishing Ltd.,

Modern forensic analysis of the King Richard’s skeletal remains revealed that three of his injuries had the potential to cause death quickly—two to the skull and one to the pelvis.  The full study can be found on


Roses, Wars of the

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.


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:


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.

ISO Family Athletes and Olympians

Origin of the Olympic Games

Greek Olympic GamesThe Olympic Games began in ancient Greece about 3,000 years ago.   From the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., the Games were held every four years in Olympia, in Southern Greece’s western peninsula, Peloponnese.  The Games honored the Greek God Zeus, who was the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian Gods.  After the Roman Empire conquered Greece in the mid-2nd century B.C., the Games continued, but their standards and quality declined.

Emperor Theodosius I Bans all “Pagan” Festivals

In A.D. 393, Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, called for a ban on all “pagan” festivals, ending the ancient Olympic tradition after nearly 12 centuries.  In November 1892 (about 1,500 years after the end of the ancient Greek Olympics,  Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) of France (dedicated to promoting physical education), at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris, revived the idea of the Olympics as an international athletic competition held every four years. Upon approval two years later, he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which would become the governing body of the modern Olympic Games.

The First Modern Day Olympics

The first modern-day Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years.

By the time the 8th Olympic Games were held in Paris in the summer of 1924, more than 3,000 athletes from 44 nations (including 100+ women), competed and for the first time the Games featured a closing ceremony. And, included among the competitors was Frederick “Morgan” Taylor of Sioux City, Iowa, who went on the win the Olympic Gold Medal in the 400 Metre Hurdle Competition.

Where are My Family’s Athletes?

F_Morgan_TaylorMedal RecordNow, if you have followed my blog posts, here’s where you might ask about whether Morgan Taylor might have been one of my paternal Taylor ancestors from my great grandmother “Lottie Taylor Chamber’s” branch.  Obviously, I would like to think so, but I have not uncovered any facts to prove such a statement at this time.  However, this does beg the question; “Did I descend from any ancestors who may have been athletes or even Olympians?” Our Bolling, Taylor, Chambers, and Ford ancestors were prominent within their society’s times for many reasons.  For example, they were freedom fighters, ministers, musicians, artists, writers, scholars, academicians, local and national government leaders, founders of cities, universities, and leaders among farmers and businesses.

As the televised ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics Games comes to a close this Sunday, February 23, at the symbolic hour of 20:14 local time, I am hopeful that I might have heard from some of my followers about family members who are or were athletes during their lives.  And, if I do, you can count on me to update you.  Meanwhile, Hooray to all America’s Olympians!

More Perspectives Into Our Southern Ancestry

Since its founding in 1845, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has been helping its members to research, record and tell their own unique family stories.

The following story was published in the American Ancestor Magazine in April 1986 and lends yet another perspective into my southern ancestry.  I have added some sketches, pictures, maps, and clarifications to add to your reading experience.; e.g., my relationship to Captain John Rolfe and Pocahontas:Relationship to John Thomas Rolfe

Notable Kin: Some Descendants and Kinsmen of Descendants of Pocahontas: An Excursion into Southern Genealogy

By Gary Boyd Roberts

Tidewater Planters and Migratory Pioneers

Southern Colonies Southern ancestry, colonial southern families, and most local forebears of present-day southerners can be readily divided into Tidewater planters and migratory pioneers. [The Tidewater planters were those who logically settled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.  This location allowed for ease of shipping crops between their plantations and buyers in Europe and Barbados.]

Virginia Aristocracies and Dynasties–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Harrison, Tyler, and Taylor

These coastal planters produced the Randolph-Carter-Lee aristocracy of post-1660 Virginia, the Virginia dynasty of early American presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, the Harrison’s, Tyler, and Taylor), the Charleston patriciate that led the secession movement, such Maryland families as the Calvert’s, Carroll’s, and Key’s, and many early national statesmen, Confederate and later generals, and explorers. Branches of this aristocracy also settled in Kentucky and parts of the Deep South.

Migratory Pioneers Modern Descendants–Presidents: Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter

18th Century ImmigrationThe migratory pioneer stocks included, among other groups, the Pennsylvania Germans of the Shenandoah Valley and western North Carolina, the Scots and Scots-lrish of the Carolinas and Tennessee especially, and the often English and sometimes Tidewater-derived lesser planters and small farmers of south side Virginia (below Richmond), central North Carolina, and “upcountry” South Carolina. These groups moved heavily into the Deep South and border states after 1820. Modern descendants have included our three recent southern-derived presidents – Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter.

The Bolling Progeny from Indian Princess Pocahontas

Americans with southern ancestry descend largely from the migratory pioneers. Most of us, however, also have a few links to the Tidewater aristocracy. These observations are well exemplified in a study of the descendants — and kinsmen of descendants — of the Indian “princess” Pocahontas, Matoaka, or Rebecca, daughter of the Algonquian Chief Powhatan, who in April 1614 married (a second time for each) the Englishman John Rolfe, and before leaving for England in 1616 (where she died in March 1617, aged 22 or 23) gave birth to a son, Thomas P. Rolfe, who eventually inherited much of his father’s Virginia land.

Thought to be Pocahontas and her son Thomas P. Rolfe

Thought to be Pocahontas and her son Thomas P. Rolfe

The best modern biography of this “first American princess” is Frances Mossiker’s Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend (1976). A superb new article by Elizabeth Vann Moore and Richard Slatton, “The Descendants of Pocahontas: An Unclosed Case” in Magazine of Virginia Genealogy 23 (1985): 3-16, suggests that Thomas Rolfe moved to North Carolina in 1663, where he was granted land on the Pasquotank River, and left two sons, Thomas, Jr. (aged about 68 in 1713), and William, the former of whom certainly left children and both of whom probably have descendants who figure among later migratory pioneers. Pocahontas’s only other, and earlier known, descendants were those of Thomas P. Rolfe’s almost certain sole daughter, Jane Poythress [my 9th great grandmother],(whose mother, often called a daughter of Francis Poythress [and Mary Frances Sloman], is actually unknown and was probably Thomas’s second wife), [Since this article was written in 1986, Thomas’s first wife has been identified as Elizabeth Washington].   According to Bolling and Randolph family traditions that are almost certainly accurate, Jane Poythress Rolfe [my 8th great grandmother] married Col. Robert Bolling of Prince George County, Virginia, and left an only son, Col. John [Fairfax] Bolling of Cobbs (1676-1729), member of the House of Burgesses, long thought to be Pocahontas’s sole great-grandchild, who married Mary Kennon. [My personal research shows also a second son, Major Robert Bolling, Jr. (1682-1749].

The progeny of Col. John [Fairfax] Bolling and Mary Kennon, for probably a century at least, belonged almost exclusively to the Virginia planter aristocracy.  Major John Fairfax BollingMary Kennon Bolling ColorIn 1796 Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect and engineer, charted four generations of their descendants — a pedigree published in The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1972) 1:111-122. The same number of generations were traced by Wyndham Robertson in Pocahontas, alias Matoaka, and Her Descendants (1887; reprint, 1968), and much supplemental data appeared in William Glover Stanard’s “The Ancestors and Descendants of John Rolfe With Notices of Some Connected Families,” published [75] between 1913 and 1918 (see Genealogies of Virginia Families From the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography [1981] 5:200-55). Quite recently these works were vastly expanded, and updated in some lines to the present day, in Pocahontas’ Descendants: A Revision, Enlargement, and Extension of the List As Set Out by Wyndham Robertson in His Book Pocahontas and Her Descendants (1887), by Stuart E. Brown, Jr., Lorraine F. Myers, and Eileen M. Chappel (the Pocahontas Foundation, 1985).

The total living progeny — if all lines were traced — probably numbers tens, but not hundreds, of thousands, or not over 250,000 at most. It includes, however, a section of the great Randolph clan (Jane Bolling, daughter of John and Mary, Jane Bollingmarried Col. Richard Randolph, one of the eight children who left issue of the immigrant William Randolph of Turkey Island), both a brother-in-law and son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson, the Boston Coolidge family (descendants of Joseph Coolidge, 1798-1879, a nephew of architect Charles Bulfinch, and Ellen Wayles Randolph, 1796-1876, Jefferson’s granddaughter), the wives of Chicago mayor Carter Henry Harrison and IBM founder Herman Hollerith, and the first seven of the 10 figures (or their spouses) treated below.Colonel Richard Randolph of Curles


This Bolling progeny —

The only known descendants of Pocahontas traced beyond the early 18th century — is also related to the descendants of the immigrant Col. Robert Bolling and his second wife, Anne Stith; to the descendants of Mary Kennon’s parents, the immigrant merchant and Henrico County Burgess Richard Kennon and Elizabeth Worsham; to the descendants of Mary Kennon’s maternal grandparents, early Henrico settlers William Worsham (there by 1640) and Elizabeth ____ [Littlebury], and to the descendants of Mrs. Elizabeth Worsham and her second husband, Francis Epes, Jr. The Bolling-Stith progeny also belonged largely to the planter aristocracy and the Epes descendants stayed for several generations in Charles City County, between Richmond and Williamsburg. Various Kennon, Worsham and Ligon descendants — these last of Mary Worsham. William and Elizabeth’s second daughter, [ Mary Worsham married Richard Ligon],  Alexander R. Bolling, The Bolling Family: Eight Centuries of Growth (Gateway, 1990) and Richard Ligon — moved slowly, however, over several generations, into various southside counties and North Carolina.

Through these migratory pioneers the descendants of Pocahontas are related to a very large number of present-day southerners. Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, head of the Genealogy Section of the Dallas Public Library, is a Worsham descendant and is collecting material for a major monograph on this family. I am a Worsham and Ligon descendant, as were Governor Thomas Watkins Ligon of Maryland,

Gov. Thomas Watkins Ligon Governor of Maryland, 1854-1858 (Democrat)

Gov. Thomas Watkins Ligon
Governor of Maryland, 1854-1858 (Democrat)

Lt. Gov. Robert Fulwood Ligon of Alabama (two of whose great-grand-daughters married respectively Massachusetts Republican official Josiah Spaulding and Russell Errol Train, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency), Governor Benton McMillin of Tennessee, and Mrs. Preston Hopkins Leslie, wife of a governor of both Kentucky and the territory of Montana. In addition, my own closest well-known kinsman, a twice-over fifth cousin and fifth cousin once removed and the last figure listed below, is Hamilton Jordan, President Carter’s White House Chief of Staff and a fitting symbol of the “New South” created in large part by descendants of 19th century migratory pioneers.

More Information

For further data on these kinsmen of Pocahontas’s descendants, see, in addition to the numerous Bolling sources cited in the Virginia bibliographies by Robert A. Stewart and Stuart E. Brown, Jr.:

Genealogies of Virginia Families From the William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine (1982) 3:265-77 (Kennon);

Elizabeth J. Harrell, The Osbornes and Related Families: Jones, Worsham. Fowlkes, Robertson and Gayle (1983), 131-39, and Clara Lorene Cammack Park, Francis Moody (1769-1821), His Ancestors, Descendants, and Related Families (1984), 226-314 (Worsham);

William Daniel Ligon, Jr., The Ligon Family and Connections, 2 vols. (1947-1957; a third volume was published by Earle Ligon Whittington in 1973)

Margaret Hardwick Miller, Ligons and Their Kin of Graves County, Kentucky (1978);

Eva Turner Clark, Frances Epes, His Ancestors and Descendants (1942).

Outlined below, in the same manner as my “Additional Noted American Cousins of the Princess of Wales” (NEXUS 2 [1985]:125-27, 159-60) are seven major historical figures — or their spouses — descended from Pocahontas, plus one Bolling, one Kennon, and one Worsham descendant among their kinsmen. These last three — Mrs. Robert E. Lee, Mrs. J. J. Crittenden, and Hamilton Jordan — represent respectively the very apex of the Virginia aristocracy, its “Bluegrass” Kentucky cousin, and the pioneer-created “New South” of the last few decades.

Mrs. Lindsay and to some extent Mrs. Wilson are examples of 20th century southern connections to the North.

For Pocahontas’s descendants I have outlined only the descent from John Bolling and Mary Kennon; for John Randolph of Roanoke I have also shown descent from Robert Bolling and Anne Stith.

For Mrs. Lindsay the recent book by Brown, Myers and Chappel lists only her father, Randolph (Carter) Harrison, #24246642. He is, however, treated in various editions of Who’s Who in America. The 10 major notable descendants — or kinsmen of descendants — of Pocahontas:

Harry Flood Byrd

Senator Harry Flood Byrd

1-2. HARRY FLOOD BYRD, 1887-1966, newspaper publisher, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Virginia, and Richard Evelyn Byrd JrRICHARD EVELYN BYRD (JR.), 1888-1957, naval officer and explorer, discoverer of the South Pole, brothers;  Richard Evelyn Byrd & Eleanor Bolling Flood; Joel Walker Flood & Ella Faulkner; Henry De la Warr Flood & Mary Elizabeth Trent; Joel Walker Flood & Elizabeth Bolling West; Thomas West & Elizabeth Blair Bolling; Robert Bolling & Susan Watson; John Bolling, Jr., & Elizabeth Blair; John Bolling & Mary Kennon.

3. JOHN VLIET LINDSAY, JR., b. 1921, congressman, mayor of New York City, 1965-1973John Lindsay JR (wife, Mary Anne Harrison; Randolph Carter Harrison & Mary McCaw Hawes; John W. Harrison & May K. Willson; Carter Henry Harrison & Alice Burwell Williams; Carter Harrison & Janetta Fisher; Randolph Harrison & Mary Randolph; Thomas Randolph & Jane Cary; Archibald Cary & Mary Randolph, grandparents of Mrs. Gouverneur Morris, below).

4. GOUVERNEUR [WILLIAM HOWARD] MORRIS, 1752-1816,Gov William Howard Morris revolutionary statesman, diplomat, and U.S. Senator (wife, Anne Cary Randolph; Thomas Mann Randolph & Anne Cary; Archibald Cary & Mary Randolph; Richard Randolph & Jane Bolling; John Bolling & Mary Kennon).

John Randolph of Roanoke5. JOHN RANDOLPH (JR.) OF ROANOKE, 1773-1833, the congressman, U.S. Senator, and orator; John Randolph & Frances Bland; Richard Randolph & Jane Bolling, Theodoric Bland & Frances Bolling; John Bolling & Mary Kennon (parents of Jane), Drury Bolling & Elizabeth Meriwether (parents of Frances); Robert Bolling & Anne Stith (parents of Drury).

6-7. First Lady MRS. EDITH BOLLING GALT WILSON, 1872-1961,

Edith Bolling Galt and Woodrow Wilson

Edith Bolling Galt and Woodrow Wilson

second wife of (THOMAS) WOODROW WILSON, 1856-1924, 28th U.S. President, Governor of New Jersey, and president of Princeton University; William Holcombe Bolling & Sallie Spiers White; Archibald Bolling, Jr., & Anne E. Wigginton; Archibald Bolling & Catherine Payne; John Bolling III & Mary Jefferson, sister of Thomas Jefferson; John Bolling, Jr., & Elizabeth Blair; John Bolling & Mary Kennon.

8. ROBERT EDWARD LEE, 1807-1870,General Robert E Lee the Confederate commander (wife, Mary Anne Randolph Custis; George Washington Parke Custis, step-grandson of George Washington, & Mary Lee Fitzhugh; William Fitzhugh & Anne Randolph; Peter Randolph & Lucy Bolling; Robert Bolling, Jr., & Anne Cocke; Robert Bolling & Anne Stith).  Gov John Jordan Crittenden

9. JOHN JORDAN CRITTENDEN, 1787-1863, congressman, U.S. Senator and Attorney General, Governor of Kentucky (third wife, Elizabeth Moss; James Wynn Moss & Mary Woodson; Josiah Woodson & Elizabeth Woodson; John Woodson & Dorothy Randolph [parents of Josiah]; Josiah Woodson & Mary Royall; Joseph Royall & Elizabeth Kennon; Richard Kennon & Elizabeth Worsham).

Hamilton Jordan10. (WILLIAM) HAMILTON (MCWHORTER) JORDAN, known as HAMILTON JORDAN, b. 1944, White House Chief of Staff under Carter; Richard Lawton Jordan & Adelaide McWhorter; Hamilton McWhorter & Helen Gottheimer; Robert Ligon McWhorter, Jr., & Mary Elizabeth Boyd; Robert Ligon McWhorter & Winifred Jones, Hezekiah Boyd & Julia Tuggle; Hugh McWhorter & Helena Ligon (parents of R.L. & Mary Anne), Littleberry Tuggle & Mary Anne McWhorter; Joseph Ligon & Mary Church; Matthew Ligon & Elizabeth Anderson; Richard Ligon & Mary Worsham; William Worsham & Elizabeth ____.

One final note: The Elwyn family of Thurning, Norfolk, England, claims that Anne Rolfe, “cousin and adopted” daughter of Anthony Rolfe of Tuttington, Norfolk, and wife of Peter Elwyn of Thurning (1623-1695/6) was also a daughter of Thomas Rolfe, Pocahontas’s son, by an early English wife. Brown, Myers, and Chappel accept this claim; Moore and Slatton do not, and I am skeptical also. Margaret Wake, a great-granddaughter of Peter and Anne, married William Tryon (1729-1788), colonial Governor of North Carolina and New York. English sources for the Elwyn progeny include R. T. and A. Gunther, Rolfe Family Records, Vol. 2 (1914): 289-91, and Patrick Palgrave-Moore and Michael J. Sayer,A Selection of Revised and Unpublished Norfolk Pedigrees (Norfolk Genealogy, Vol. 6, 1974, published by the Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society), 56-59 (Elwyn); and The Ancestor 2 (1902): 183-84 and 4 (1904): 256-57 (Wake, Tryon).

Mother of the Modern Hospice Movement: Rose Hawthorne Lathrop/Mother Mary Alphonsa

Here’s yet another story of our Lathrop family lineage that adds to our long and growing list of notables…

It further exhibits their societal/cultural status as well as their talents and gifts for writing, painting, illustrating, and their lifelong philanthropic dedication and commitment.

Rose Hawthorne
Founder of the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer (1851-1926)

Rose Hawthorne gently smilingThe first half of Rose Hawthorne’s life held many sorrows — her parents’ early deaths, the loss of her only son, her husband’s alcoholism — yet it offered relative security.  At age 45, with no family surviving and her marriage over, she found herself on her own.  She could have sought out comfort and ease.  Instead, she developed an overwhelming compassion for those far worse off: impoverished cancer patients, stricken with a disease believed at that time to be contagious and met by most people with dread and repulsion.  “A fire was then lighted in my heart,” she explained, “where it still burns.”  Gratefulness for the circumstances of her life helped turn her adversity into impassioned work for the greater good.
— Margaret Wakeley, Vocalist, Recording Artist, and Community Development Coordinator for A Network for Grateful Living (ANG*L) at

NathanielHawthorneRose Hawthorne Lathrop, third and favorite daughter of American novelist and short story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864; author of The Scarlet Letter), was born in Lenox, Berkshire, Massachusetts on May 20, 1851, to Nathaniel and his wife Sophia Peabody Hawthorne  (September 21, 1809 – February 26, 1871), painter and illustrator.

Nathaniel & Sophia Hawthorne’s Children

Hawthorne's 3 Children

Una Hawthorne (1844-1877)

Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934)

Rose Hawthorne (1851-1926)

Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne

Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne, Age 36, Picture courtesy of : Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Before Nathaniel’s death in 1864 (when Rose was only 13), the family lived in Massachusetts, Liverpool, England, then London, Paris, Rome, and Florence, Italy. They returned to Concord, Massachusetts in 1860. Her mother and the family moved to Germany, then England.

After her dad’s death Rose tried to become an author, like him. She wrote book of poems, Along the Shore, which was published in 1888. She later decided to rededicate her life to restoring her family’s reputation after her brother’s illegal activities and prostitution attempts.

When Rose was 20, her mother died and shortly thereafter she married author George Parsons Lathrop,  (my maternal 4th cousin 4x removed), whom she had met in Europe in 1871–making Nathaniel Hawthorne father-in-law to George Parsons Lathrop.

George Parsons Lathrop

In 1876, George and Rose had a son, Francis, who died of diphtheria at the age of four. Their grief over the loss of their son and George’s alcoholism destroyed their marriage.   But, for a time they were attracted to Catholicism and converted to it in 1891.  Rose had thought this might help save her marriage.  But in 1895 they formally separated and George died in New York on  April 19, 1898.

Rose now in her forties, had devoted most of her  27 years of marriage to her husband and their “societal obligations.”  Now alone in New York City, she felt called to more fully express her faith. She was aware of the terrible plight of impoverished victims of cancer (i.e., Most 19th Century people feared them because they thought the disease was contagious).  Because no hospitals would treat cancer patients,  these people were banished to die on Blackwell’s Island (known today as Roosevelt Island).

Rose Hawthorne with cancer patientRose found cheap lodging in a neglected immigrant quarter of the Lower East Side and then took a nursing course.  She first visited cancer patients in their homes and next invited them to her apartment where she offered them ‘sanctity of life’ until they passed.  Contributions from her friends kept her services afloat. In great contrast to her refined upbringing and meticulous nature, Rose, day after day washed cancerous sores and changed the dressings and bed linens of her impoverished sick.  But Rose always extended them friendship, respect, and conveyed a sense of dignity to her outcast sick.  Inspired by the example of St. Vincent de Paul she borrowed his motto to describe her mission”  “I am for God and the poor.”

In 1900, Rose became a nun, and in 1906, as Mother Mary Alphonsa, OP, (Order of Preachers), she was inspired by “The New Colossus”, a poem penned by her close friend Emma “The Fridge” Lazarus, to found a community of Dominican religious, now known as the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne.[1]


St. Rose HomeRose Hawthorne Lathrop was awarded an honorary Master of Arts (postgraduate) from Bowdoin College in 1925. She died a year later on July 9, 1926, at the mother house of her congregation in Hawthorne, New York.  The work of her congregation continues today in a number of homes around the country.  According to the strict rule she established, no money is accepted from patients, their families, or even from the state.

Rose’s trust in providence later inspired Dorothy Day, who was reading Rose’s biography decided to launch the Catholic Worker.  Hawthorne, Day observed, had not waited for official authorization or financial backing before beginning her charitable mission, working out of her tenement apartment and trusting that if it were God’s work, money and support would follow.

So the influence of Rose Hawthorne has extended in many directions.  The modern hospice movement was begun without reference to her example.  But she may fairly be credited with pioneering this new attitude toward “death and dying.”  In her ministry she affirmed the sanctity of life, even in its most distressing guise, even in its final moments.

Mother-Rose AlphonsoIn 2003, Edward Egan, Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York approved the movement for Lathrop’s canonization.   She now has the title “Servant of God” in the Catholic Church.


1.  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2.  “Exhibit highlights connection between Jewish poet, Catholic nun”. The Tidings. Catholic News Service (Archdiocese of Los Angeles): p. 16. 17 September 2010.

External links

To read Rose Hawthorne’s books online, please see the Project Gutenberg site.

Concord Magazine Blog– Rose Hawthorne, Candidate for Sainthood–

Diana Culbertson, O.P., ed., Rose Hawthorne Lathrop:  Selected Writings (New York:  Paulist, 1993); Katherine Burton, Sorrow Built a Bridge:  A Daughter of Hawthorne (New York:  Longman, Green, 1937).

Our 28th President, His First Lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, Pocahontas, and Me

In Celebration of November –  Native American History Month

President Woodrow Wilson – husband of my 3rd paternal cousin Edith Bolling Galt Wilson

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was the 35th First Lady of the White House. President Wilson’s daughter, Margaret Woodrow Wilson served as first lady for a brief period following the death of President Wilson’s first wife, Ellen Axson Wilson (December 18, 1915), before his marriage to Widow Edith Bolling Galt Wilson in December 1916.


Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States, in office from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. With the Republican Party split in 1912, he was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.

Personal Details of  President Wilson

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (1872 – 1961) – My 3rd cousin 6x removed

father of Edith Bolling
father of William Holcombe Bolling
father of Archibald BOLLING
father of Colonel John Blair BOLLING
son of Major John Kennon BOLLING
daughter of Robert BOLLING Jr
daughter of Rebecca “Jane” BOWLING BOLLING
son of Elizabeth “Betsy” GARRISON
daughter of Joseph James HIGGINBOTHAM
son of Elizabeth “Betsy” LEWIS
son of Lawrence T “Larl” BOLING
son of Edward Bud Vincent BOWLING Sr
son of Jesse Burton BOLING
daughter of Frank Burton BOLING

Native American Princess Pocahontas Matoaka Rebecca POWHATAN (1595-1617)

Princess Pocahontas was my 10th paternal great grandmother and Edith Bolling Galt Wilson’s 6th paternal great grandmother.  Hence, our commonalities.  The post by Gena Philbert-Ortega is reposted from the November 13, 2013 post as it appeared at


First Lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson & Her Ancestor Pocahontas

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this guest blog post—in celebration of November being Native American Heritage Month—Gena searches old newspapers to find stories about First Lady Edith Wilson and her connection to her famous Native American ancestor, Pocahontas.

When we think of great Native American leaders throughout U.S. history, names like Cochise, Geronimo, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull come to mind. But what about Native American women? Most Americans know the names of only two Native American women: Pocahontas and Sacagawea. Pocahontas, whose mythology was immortalized in a song sung by Peggy Lee and a Disney movie, might be the most familiar Native American woman because she left a sizable number of descendants through her son Thomas Rolf.

Who can claim descent from Pocahontas? At least one First Lady, numerous politicians, and even Confederate General Robert E. Lee, to name just a few. It was estimated in the 1980s that Pocahontas’ descendants probably numbered around 250,000. According to genealogist Gary B. Roberts, those who claim this lineage are through the Bolling line, which are the only known descendants traced beyond the early 18th century.*

Mrs. Woodrow Wilson’s Native American Ancestry

One American whose Pocahontas lineage was well reported was Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, the second wife of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. From the time she became engaged to the president, her family history was a frequent topic in the newspapers.

photo of First Lady Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, married to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson

Photo: Edith Bolling Galt Wilson. Credit: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.

This 1915 newspaper article provides some information about Edith’s family history. It reports that ever since the engagement was announced “there has been a live inquiry for the correct data.” The article provides that data by tracing Edith’s direct line to Pocahontas and proclaims Edith Bolling Galt the ninth in descent from Pocahontas.

Fiancee of the President Is Undoubtedly a Direct Descendant of Pocahontas, Idaho Statesman newspaper article 14 November 1915

Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho), 14 November 1915, page 5

In writings about Edith’s foremother, emphasis was placed that someone with “Indian blood” would now reside in the White House. This announcement about Edith’s lineage was also the catalyst for impromptu history lessons found in newspapers across the country. The short life of Pocahontas has been retold often, and—as with any well-told story—inaccuracies creep in. This old newspaper article provides readers with information and images reportedly of Pocahontas.

Unhappy Pocahontas, Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper article 24 October 1915

Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), 24 October 1915, page 43

The widow Edith Bolling Galt married President Woodrow Wilson in December 1915. Undoubtedly, any presidential wedding results in gifts from a diverse range of well-wishers. The Wilson wedding was no different.

According to this 1916 newspaper article, one item that Edith received was a Pocahontas statuette presented by the Pocahontas Memorial Association. The article points out that Edith Bolling Wilson was related to Pocahontas through her paternal line.

Indian Statuette for Mrs. Wilson; Figure of Pocahontas, Her Ancestress, a Bridal Gift, Broad Ax newspaper article 8 January 1916

Broad Ax (Chicago, Illinois), 8 January 1916, page 3

The news article included this picture of the Pocahontas statuette.

photo of a statuette of Pocahontas given to her descendant, First Lady Edith Wilson

The statuette was not the only Pocahontas-related gift that Edith received while in the White House. Other gifts related to her Native American ancestry included dolls and a portrait of her ancestress presented by the heritage membership organization Colonial Dames.

Pocahontas' Picture Gift; Private Copy of Original Portrait to Be Sent Mrs. Wilson, Oregonian newspaper article 3 March 1919

Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 3 March 1919, page 14

When Edith Wilson visited England in 1918, this Duluth newspaper article heralded the visit of a descendant of Pocahontas—pointing out it was a little over 300 years since her ancestor made a similar trip. The newspaper article claims: “Only one other American woman [Pocahontas] ever has been received in England with the social and official courtesies which will be lavished upon Mrs. Woodrow Wilson.” The news article goes on to trace Edith’s roots to Pocahontas and even to her early Bolling English roots.

To Be Greeted as Was Pocahontas in 1616; England Prepares for President's Wife, Duluth News-Tribune newspaper article 3 December 1918

Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota), 3 December 1918, page 12

Pocahontas Research Resources

Are you a descendent of Pocahontas? You may be interested in the book Pocahontas’ Descendants: A Revision, Enlargement, and Extension of the List as Set Out by Wyndham Robertson in His Book Pocahontas and Her Descendants (1887), by Stuart E. Brown, Jr., Lorraine F. Myers, and Eileen M. Chappel (the Pocahontas Foundation, 1985).

Gary B. Roberts’ article Notable Kin: Some Descendants and Kinsmen of Descendants of Pocahontas: An Excursion into Southern Genealogy on the American Ancestorswebsite has additional sources you may be interested in.

Whether or not you have Native American ancestry, dig into GenealogyBank’s historical newspaper archives to find out more about your ancestors, discovering the stories that help fill in the details on your family tree.


*Notable Kin: Some Descendants and Kinsmen of Descendants of Pocahontas: An Excursion into Southern Genealogy by Gary B. Roberts. American Ancestors. 1986. accessed 11 November 2013.

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Written by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master’s degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women’s studies and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States and virtually to audiences worldwide.

Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines including Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, GenWeekly, FGS Forum, APG Quarterly and the WorldVitalRecords newsletter. She is the author of the books, Putting the Pieces TogetherCemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) and From the Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012).

Gena is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s journal Crossroads. An instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Gena has written courses about social media and Google. She serves as Vice-President for the So. California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, board member of the Utah Genealogical Association and is a Director for the California State Genealogical Alliance.

Her current research interests include social history, community, social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women’s lives.

Author’s Website

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My Other Uncle John–Blair, that is…

Historic Governor's Palace at Williamsburg

Historic Governor’s Palace at Williamsburg

John Blair, Sr., 4-term Acting Governor of Virginia:

The Reverend Doctor James Blair He sat on Virginia’s Governor’s Council for over 25 years and was favorite nephew of James Blair (1655-1743), an Anglican Minister and Founding President of William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. Among John Blair’s many personal and professional accomplishments that follow, he also was father of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice John Blair, Jr. (1732 – August 31, 1800), who in his own right was an American politician, founding father, and jurist. John Blair’s son, James, was my paternal first cousin 9 times removed, based upon my family’s lineage as follows:

     John BLAIR, Sr. (1687 – 1771) Bruton Parish Cemtery, Williamsburg, VA

Bruton Parish Cemtery, Williamsburg, VA

My 8th great grand uncle—Father of John Blair, Jr.

Dr. Archibald BLAIR (1657 – 1736) Father of John BLAIR Archibald Blair's Storehouse Today, Williamsburg, VA

Archibald Blair’s Storehouse Today, Williamsburg, VA Colonial Williamsburg® Digital Library 

Nov. 18, 1700. Lot #46 on which stands the so-called Storehouse of Dr. Archibald Blair, on Duke of Gloucester Street,—was among the first (1700) of the deeded lots in the City of Williamsburg. Its original owner is recorded as Archibald Blair, a brother of the more famous James Blair, founder of the College of William and Mary. For an understanding of the place of Dr. Archibald Blair in the local community, we should recall his activities as a merchant and trader within the town. He was also an “apothecary” and is known to have practiced his semi-medical profession as surgeon and physician. 1719 In May, 1719 there is a transfer of property recorded which gives the accepted name of the building, as follows: “One certain lot or half acre of land lying and being in the City of Williamsburg denoted in the plat of the said city by the figures 47, and adjoining on the Great Street2between the Storehouse of Mr. Archibald Blair, and the house of Henry Gill . . .” York County Deeds, III Card 259 Research Department. There are several subsequent mentions of the storehouse, down to 1729, see Research Report on The Storehouse of Dr. Blair. 1719-1765 John Blair Sr. was in partnership with Dr. Archibald Blair for a period of years and following the death of Archibald Blair in 1734, he continued his business activities in association with various members of the Prentis family. It is believed that these activities were carried on at this building. It is presumed that there was a supplementary warehouse at one or both of the Williamsburg landings, or elsewhere in the town.

Mary Elizabeth Bland Blair BOLLING (1709 – 1775)

Elizabeth Blair (c) Bradford Museums and Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Elizabeth Blair
(c) Bradford Museums and Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Daughter of Dr. Archibald BLAIR

Robert BOLLING Jr (1730 – 1775) (Third Robert Bolling buried in Blandford Cemetery Mausoleum, Petersburg, VA Bolling Family Mausoleum

Bolling Family Mausoleum

Son of Mary Elizabeth Bland Blair BOLLING

Jane BOWLING BOLLING (1750 – 1795) Daughter of Robert BOLLING Jr

Elizabeth “Betsy” BOWLING BOLLING GARRISON (1765 – 1826) Daughter of Rebecca “Jane” BOWLING BOLLING

Joseph James HIGGINBOTHAM (1797 – 1877) Son of Elizabeth “Betsy” GARRISON

Elizabeth “Betsy” LEWIS (1805 – 1892) Daughter of Joseph James HIGGINBOTHAM

Lawrence T “Larl” BOLING (1838 – 1910) Son of Elizabeth “Betsy” LEWIS

Edward Bud Vincent BOWLING Sr (1872 – 1946) Son of Lawrence T “Larl” BOLING

Jesse Burton BOLING (1902 – 1978)

Jesse Burton Boling & Sisters (1954)

Jesse Burton Boling & Sisters (1954)

Son of Edward Bud Vincent BOWLING Sr

Frank Burton BOLING (1928 – )


Son of Jesse Burton BOLING

Joanne Carol BOLING DICKINSON JoanneQuillPen - Copy

Daughter of Frank Burton BOLING

John Blair’s Life’s Time Line Follows:  You can read the full article  first published on July 29, 2010 and last modified:  August 9, 2013–Contributed by John C. Van Horne and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography:

John Blair’s Life – Time Line:

  • 1687 – Around this year, John Blair is born in Scotland to Archibald Blair and his first wife.
  • 1715 – Either John Blair (ca. 1687–1771) or a namesake cousin is named keeper of the royal storehouse in Williamsburg.
  • August 17, 1724 – John Blair takes the oaths of office as justice of the peace for York County. He holds the office until 1745.
  • 1726 – John Blair buys Chowning’s Tavern, a property in Williamsburg he continues to own until sometime before 1739.
  • 1726 – In about this year, John Blair marries his first cousin Mary Munroe. They will have at least eight daughters and four sons.
  • February 5, 1727 – John Blair is appointed naval officer for the upper district of the James River. He holds the position until 1728.
  • August 15, 1728 – John Blair is appointed deputy auditor general of Virginia, a position he holds until his death in 1771.
  • 1733 – Archibald Blair, brother of James Blair and father of John Blair, dies. Blair and his son had partnered in a Williamsburg business known as Dr. Blair’s Store.
  • 1734 – John Blair succeeds his father, who died in 1733, as burgess for Jamestown.
  • 1736–1740 – John Blair serves as burgess for Williamsburg.
  • 1740–1759 – For about fourteen years during this period John Blair partners with John Blair Jr., the son of a cousin, in a Williamsburg store.
  • April 22, 1741 – John Blair begins service as clerk of the governor’s Council.
  • October 15, 1741 – John Blair ends his service as clerk of the governor’s Council.
  • 1742 – John Blair sells Raleigh Tavern, a property in Williamsburg that he had rented to a succession of tavern keepers.
  • 1744 – Beginning as early as this year, John Blair serves as a vestryman of Bruton Parish.
  • November 15, 1744 – King George II names John Blair to the governor’s Council.
  • 1745 – John Blair and seventeen other men receive a grant for one hundred thousand acres of land on the Potomac and Youghiogheny rivers.
  • 1745 – John Blair serves on the committee of three councilors and six burgesses appointed to revise the laws of Virginia.
  • February 1745 – Virginia governor William Gooch recommends that John Blair be appointed to a vacant seat on the governor’s Council. A recent inheritance has raised Blair’s estimation in the governor’s eyes, but Gooch does not know the king has already named Blair to the Council.
  • August 6, 1745 – John Blair takes his seat on the governor’s Council, serving until 1770.
  • 1747 – John Blair sits on a committee that oversees the rebuilding of the Capitol after it burns.
  • 1749 – By about this year, John Blair is a churchwarden for Bruton Parish.
  • 1751 – John Blair (ca. 1687–1771) is probably the John Blair who serves as mayor of Williamsburg.
  • August 1757 – John Blair becomes the senior member, or president, of the governor’s Council.
  • 1758 – John Blair serves on the board of visitors for the College of William and Mary, which was founded by his uncle, James Blair.
  • January 12, 1758 – With the departure of Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie, John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, becomes acting governor of Virginia.
  • March 31, 1758 – In response to an address by the acting governor, John Blair, relaying the ministry’s request that Virginia raise an additional force for offensive operations against the French in the Ohio Valley, the General Assembly votes to create a second regiment.
  • June 5, 1758 – With the arrival of the new lieutenant governor, Francis Fauquier, John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, ends his service as acting governor of Virginia.
  • September–October 1761 – John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, serves as acting governor of Virginia while the lieutenant governor, Francis Fauquier, is in New York to consult with General Jeffrey Amherst during the French and Indian War.
  • 1763 – John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, is appointed to a committee to correspond with Virginia’s London agent.
  • September–December 1763 – John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, serves as acting governor of Virginia while the lieutenant governor, Francis Fauquier, is in Georgia. • March 1768 – Following the intentions of Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier, who has recently died, Acting Governor John Blair calls the General Assembly into session.
  • March 4, 1768 – After the death of Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier, John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, begins service as acting governor of Virginia.
  • April 1768 – Acting Governor John Blair transmits to London the General Assembly’s addresses to the king and Parliament challenging the asserted right of Parliament to tax the colonies. The ministry is so offended that a new governor, Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt, is speedily appointed and sent to Virginia.
  • October 26, 1768 – With the arrival of the new Virginia governor, Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt, John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, ends his service as acting governor.
  • 1769 – The public hospital for lunatics is established and John Blair, president of the governor’s Council, is appointed to sit on its board of trustees.
  • October 15, 1770 – In ill health, John Blair ends his twenty-five years’ service on the governor’s Council. He resigns rather than serve as acting governor upon the death, also on this day, of Governor Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt.
  • November 5, 1771 – John Blair dies in Williamsburg and is buried in Bruton Parish churchyard.

Further Reading

Van Horne, J. C., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. John Blair (ca. 1687–1771). (2013, August 9). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from Gentry, Daphne and Brent Tarter, “The Blair Family of Colonial Williamsburg: A Research Note,” Magazine of Virginia Genealogy 32 (1994): 103–112. First published: July 29, 2010 | last modified: August 9, 2013

The Tudors and Taylors: My British Connection

The TudorsThe Tudors

Two years ago, we watched on Netflix, almost incessantly, 38 streamed episodes of Showtime TV’s monumental, award winning series The Tudors.  The Tudors originally aired from
April 1, 2007 to June 10, 2010. It starred the 35-year-old Golden Globe award-winning Irish actor, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers,  (2nd from left in the photo), and this year’s 30-year-old, British born actor, Man of Steel star, Henry Cavill, (bottom right in photo),  and many More.

The timeline of the historic Tudor dynasty began in 1485 with King Henry VII (Henry Tudor), the first of the Tudor monarchs.  He had a claim to the throne through his mother, Margaret Beaufort who was the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt (son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault). Henry’s Lancastrian forces defeated those of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth and Richard III was killed. Henry seized the throne and married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York, represented in the Tudor Rose.  This is also about the time that King Henry VII and my Taylor ancestors came to meet each other for the very first time.
The TV show starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII, a charismatic and notoriously amorous figure with a lust for life, and for the beautiful women at court. His dutiful wife Catherine had served him lovingly for more than a decade, but the wife of a king in 1520 must do more than serve – she must produce an heir. As the young monarch contended with each advisor playing their own interest in the threat of war with France, fear over the security of the Tudor line grew steadily in his mind, so much so that he became involved with the bewitching and ambitious Anne Boleyn.  This scenario sets off a chain of events that would change history – igniting an onslaught of tumult and intrigue that would rage on for years, serving as the catalyst for political divide, religious war, and romantic betrayal. John Taylor’s biography that follows links and interwines his life, education, and professional accomplishments to both monarch’s (Kings Henry VII and VIII) and many of prominent “notables” of his day. Many of these fellow men and women were portrayed in The Tudor TV series.  The series was rife with notables of the day–very few of them were what I would consider honorable men.  In fact, as history has it, many of them were despicable men and women out for personal gain and power at whatever the cost to God and country.  Hmmm…

The British Connection

But, little did I know when viewing the intrigue of The Tudors  with all of its history that my ancestors would be directly in the throes of their power, politics, love, religion, and blasphemy and probably aligned with the most controversial royal line ever among England’s monarchical dynasties. You might ask; “Well, just how did this British Connection begin?”  And there’s just one answer.  The Taylor’s were connected by time, geographic proximity, and quite frankly and most importantly, the anomaly of a multiple birth that bore healthy triplets–an extraordinary event 500+ years ago.  

The Taylors
Cottage_in_Needwood_Forest_by_Joseph_Wright_1790About 1477, in Barton-under-Needwood, a large village in Staffordshire, England, triplet sons were born to Joan, wife of one William Taylor who was employed as a game warden in the Forest of Needwood.  John Taylor, the first born of the triplets, along with his brothers Rowland, Nathaniel and their sister Elizabeth lived in a cottage to the north-east of the Church Lane, where several of the village’s timber-framed cottages stood. Members of the Taylor family had lived in Barton since 1345, and William Taylor and his wife, Joan, took possession of their cottage in 1471.  To the best of my knowledge, local maps of today’s Church Lane in Staffordshire, Stafford, England appears to be about 30 or so miles from Buckingham, where today’s Queen Elizabeth resides.
It was this John Taylor (1477-1534) who was son of William Taylor (1450-1477) and Margaret De Fairsted (1457-1546) of Shadoxhurst, Kent, England that is my 13th paternal great grandfather. 
King Henry VII (1457-1509)

King Henry VII (1457-1509)

The story of the triplets’ life had a folk-tale quality to it.  Robert Plot’s History of Staffordshire 1686) tells of three babies being presented to King Henry VII because of the rarity of multiple births.  However, Henry VII  took the throne in 1485.  So,  it’s likely that the King saw the triplets as three young boys.  It is rumored that he also envisioned them as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.  It was then that King Henry VII promised to educate the three boys if they survived into manhood and he kept his word.

Additionally, the triple birth, inspired Queen Victoria’s Royal Bounty for Triplets which remained in effect until sometime during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign that began in 1952. All three boys were educated at a University ‘beyond the seas’, probably in France or Italy.

John Taylor’s Biography

About 1503 John Taylor was ordained Rector at Bishop’s Hatfield. Soon afterwards he often went abroad on official business.  He was, in fact, a  House of Tudor civil servant. In 1504, he became Rector of Sutton Coldfield. By 1509 he had become Prebendary  (similar to a non-residentiary Canon) of Eccleshall in Lichfield Cathedral and was one of the Royal Chaplains at Henry VII’s funeral.

IKing Henry VIIIn the same year, the new King Henry VIII appointed him King’s Clerk and Chaplain and two years later he was made Clerk to the Parliament and given other positions. The detailed diary of a French campaign he undertook with the King is preserved in the British Museum. He wrote Royal Speeches, met Ambassadors and was rewarded by more ecclesiastical promotions, including that of Archdeacon of Derby in 1515 and later Royal Ambassador to Burgundy and France and Prolocutor of Convocation. In 1516 he also became Archdeacon of Buckingham. He was incorporated by virtue of his degrees of Doctor of Civil Law and Doctor of Canon Law at Cambridge in 1520 on the occasion of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey’s visit there and shortly afterwards in 1522 at Oxford, also.

1520:  The Field of the Cloth of Gold – Meeting between France and England

Field of the Cloth of GoldThe famous meeting between Henry VIII and Francois I of France called took place in June 1520 in Northern France. It was intended to strengthen peace ties between France and England. Masterminded by the great Cardinal  Wolsey, each king and Court strove to one-up  the other. Henry was accompanied by 5,000 people and spent in excess of £13,000 on the splendor of the occasion. In attendance were ten chaplains, including John Taylor. The King ordered each priest to be clothed in damask and satin and each to be followed by his own attendants, not exceeding ten persons and four horses. The English built a palace-like pavilion of wood and canvas with expansive windows. The Flemish glazier Galyon Hone created the windows. Fine wines flowed from drinking fountains.

The first church built in 1157 was a chapel of ease in the parish of Tatenhill and was possibly situated near to the present Church in a field called Hall Orchard, the location of Church Lane. A chest from that medieval church dated from between 1100 and 1300 is all that remains. John Taylor inherited his father’s land and endowed his new church there. Work commenced in 1517, as carved on the south side of the tower, with completion in 1533 the year before John Taylor died. The register dates from 1571 in the reign of Elizabeth I. The church is a rare example of a church being completed in one lifetime. It was originally dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene but when things Catholic fell from favor in the middle of 16th century the church changed its name to St. James. The church has a three-sided apse, a rare form in this county, part of the John Taylor design. Inscriptions over alternate pillars of the nave tell of John Taylor’s career, together with representations of his coat of arms, the head and shoulders of three children and a Tudor rose.

It was begun in 1517 which date appears on the tower. Inside, inscriptions over alternate pillars of the nave tell of John Taylor’s promotions and illustrious career, between these are representations of the coat-of-arms he adopted.

By the time the Tudor Church was finished and dedicated in 1533, John Taylor was already a sick and troubled man. In 1527 he had become Master of the Rolls, the peak of his appointments, he was travelling to and from France on Royal business and he had been appointed one of the commissioners to try the validity of the King’s marriage to Lady Catherine of Aragon. It seems possible that Cardinal Wolsey had used John Taylor in a vain attempt to find a suitable French princess for a future Queen of England should the divorce be granted. His dread of Anne Boleyn was well-known.

In 1528 he became Archdeacon of Halifax. At the peak of his career Taylor was suddenly under pressure to surrender his prebend at St. Stephen’s, Westminster, another of his appointments, and he was suffering badly with a diseased leg. Whether his health failed or he incurred Royal disfavor is not known, but he wrote his will and resigned as Master of the Rolls, and Lord Thomas Cromwell (doomed also to fall from Royal favor) was his successor.  John Taylor died in 1534. The place of John Taylor’s burial has not been traced, though there is thought to have been a monument to him in St. Anthony in London’s Threadneedle Street.

There is a touching sentence in his will (in Latin of course) “nothing in the world is more fleeting than human life and that nothing follows more certainly than death, and that nothing is more uncertain than the hour of our death and how transitory are the worldly goods provided for us by the goodness of God”.

He left various bequests to churches at Shottesbrooke in Berkshire and Bishop’s Hatfield and Lincoln Cathedral. His servants and his sister Elizabeth, his executors, nephews and cousins shared the contents of his considerable household in his home at Bethnal Green.


Field of the Cloth of Gold;