Life and Times of Edward Boling and Mary Wharton


Background

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

Top 50 Ancestral Surnames

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

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

Introducing Mary Wharton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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