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.” As to the significance of our flag's … Continue reading Our Descendancy–in Red, White and Blue…

Help Save Portrait of Bolling Family Founder


Portrait of Robert Bolling (1646-1709), Oil on Canvas Photo Courtesy of Muscarelle Museum of Art - Williamsburg, VA This portrait depicts Colonel Robert Bolling, founder of the Bolling family, one of the "First Families of Virginia", where he became a wealthy landowner and an active participant in the political affairs of the colony. He arrived … Continue reading Help Save Portrait of Bolling Family Founder

Our Deaf Heritage


I have had the following post in draft form for several months during which time there have been some Boling, Bolling, Bowling family members discussing whether deafness and hard of hearing runs in our family.  The answer is, in fact, that there have been Boling family members who were born deaf and some of those … Continue reading Our Deaf Heritage

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, … Continue reading More Perspectives Into Our Southern Ancestry

My Other Uncle John–Blair, that is…


John Blair, Sr., 4-term Acting Governor of Virginia: He sat on Virginia's Governor's Council for over 25 years and was a 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 … Continue reading My Other Uncle John–Blair, that is…

Honoring a Couple of Bolling Cousins, Among America’s Wartime Vets


OBITUARY:  Dr. Robert Hagedorn Bolling--My Third Paternal Cousin (Descendant of Robert Bolling, Jr. of Petersburg, VA (Also cousin to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, too...) PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, February 18, 1927 – Dr. Robert Hagedorn Bolling, cousin of Mrs. Woodrow Wilson and Chief Surgeon of the United States, died in the Chestnut Hill Hospital this afternoon following an operation on … Continue reading Honoring a Couple of Bolling Cousins, Among America’s Wartime Vets

My Family of Secrets


Helen Louise Chambers Boling (1 Jul 1911 - 16 Mar 1944) My Paternal Great Grandmother: Obituary On Thursday, March 16, 1944, at Baltimore, MD., Helen L. Boling, the wife of Jessie Boling, mother of Frank, Dolores and Barbara Boling and daughter of Frank and Lottie Chambers. Services at the Chambers funeral home, 517 11th st. … Continue reading My Family of Secrets

Up Close and Personal in my Ancestor’s Home–The American Revolutionary War


Towns of Petersburg, Blandford, and Pocahontas and the suburbs of Ravenscroft and Bollingbrook become one town called Petersburg. (My 7th paternal great grandfather's home.) The colonial town of Petersburg, Virginia, was established by law in 1748. Petersburg elected John Banister (father-in-law of my 7th great grandfather), as it's first mayor in 1781. It achieved the dignity of … Continue reading Up Close and Personal in my Ancestor’s Home–The American Revolutionary War

Exposing Inner Spirits from Our Pasts


"...to just write a simple post..." I just finished responding to a fellow blogger 's comments to my Dad-Daughter Relationships post.  She was thanking me for my "moving words" and giving me encouragement, too, during this season in my life with my octogenarian dad.  And, not so coincidentally, I was readying to write today's post, and, at this … Continue reading Exposing Inner Spirits from Our Pasts

Bowlingtown, Kentucky–A Lost Communiy, but not Forgtten


This post tells the story of the Bowling's/Boling's and Bowlingtown-- a story as viewed by ancestors and living relatives; it includes a famous colonizer; a single woman's efforts to keep Bowlingtown and its families on the map and in our memories; and, a local newspaper's documentary about them all. A Brief History Daniel Boone, the … Continue reading Bowlingtown, Kentucky–A Lost Communiy, but not Forgtten

It’s a Small World…


A Follow-On to I’ve Got the Music in Me–and Oh, How it Moves Me! – Part 3 On February 25, 2013, I published a blog I’ve Got the Music in Me–and Oh, How it Moves Me! – Part 3.  It included a song with lyrics sung by C. Daniel Boling, who shares the surname,talents and heritage of the Boling family. … Continue reading It’s a Small World…

‘…And That’s the Way They All Became The Brady Bunch’


But, What About the Boling Bunch--How did Dad Get his Middle Name? Ignoring the variations in the family members spelling of the last name, my dad, Frank Burton Boling (84), ever since he was a child, has wondered where his middle name came from.  As most women will tell you, mothers/female family members are generally … Continue reading ‘…And That’s the Way They All Became The Brady Bunch’

Walt Whitman’s Battles of Chancellorsville: Horrific Wounds, Night Fighting, and Other “Strange and Fearful Pictures”


Mysteries and Conundrums blogs about Civil War Battles in Virginia stir deep emotions in me as I try to imagine the fear. horrors, and impact of families during these times. The Bolling family, my grandfather, 3 great grandfathers and their families (descendants from the Bolling family originally from England) and descendants of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, lived for decades (1802-1946) on Elys Ford Road immediately adjacent to major Civil War Battles at Chancellorsville, Five Forks, and the Wilderness Farms. In fact the now infamous “Widow Tapp” was my 3rd great grandmother. The bulk of the Bolling descendants also lived in Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties, and in Petersburg. Where Widow Tapp lived a simple and poor life in Spotsylvania County, Robert Bolling IV in 1823 built the Bollingbrook Mansion, known today as Centre Hill Mansion Museum. Thank you again for these wonderful posts.

Mysteries & Conundrums

from: Harrison

This year’s sesquicentennial commemorations of the Battle of Chancellorsville will build upon long traditions of eyewitness, published narrative and non-eyewitness scholarship.  Yet I’ve been fascinated lately to realize that Chancellorsville inspired Walt Whitman to make, forcefully, one of his earliest contrarian forecasts for writing about the Civil War, a view that he later expressed in the now-famous sentence, “The real war will never get in the books.”

Whitman’s longest-known rumination on Chancellorsville, dated May 12, 1863, asked

Of scenes like these, I say, who writes—who e’er can write, the story?  Of many a score—aye, thousands, North and South, of unwritten heroes, unknown heroisms, incredible, impromptu, first-class desperations—who tells?  No history, ever—No poem sings, no music sounds, those bravest men of all—those deeds.  Nor formal General’s report, nor print, nor book in the library, nor column in the paper, embalms the bravest, North or South, East or West.

(If…

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THANKFUL THURSDAY: The Best Things In Life Are Free – Part 1


The best things in life are free, especially the gifts of our ancestors whose trailblazing contributions started first in the colony of Virginia (Jamestown, 1607) and then in Plymouth (1620) over 400 years ago. These settlers from England, Wales, Scotland, Holland, and Ireland bonded together to form our religious, social, business and industry, government, education, … Continue reading THANKFUL THURSDAY: The Best Things In Life Are Free – Part 1