John Bolling
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John Bolling (1676 - 1729)

Colonel John Bolling
Born in Charles City County, Colony of Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half], [half], [half], [half], [half], [half] and [half]
Husband of — married 29 Dec 1697 in St. John's Church, Richmond, Colony of Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Cobbs Plantation, Conjurer's Neck, Henrico County, Colony of Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Oct 2010 | Last significant change: 2 Oct 2021
15:21: Russ Livingston proposed a merge of John Fairfax Bolling (1676-1729) and John Bolling (1676-1729). [Thank Russ for this | 1 thank-you received]
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US Southern Colonies.
John Bolling resided in the Southern Colonies in North America before 1776.
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Matoaka Amonute Powhatan
John Bolling is a descendant of Pocahontas. Here is the trail.
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John was a Virginia colonist.
Notables Project
John Bolling is Notable.

John Bolling (1676-1729) was the son of Col Robert Bolling and 1st wife Jane Rolfe (granddaughter of Pocahontas). John Bolling and his line are the only documented descendants of Pocahontas.

John was born January 27, 1676 at Kippax Plantation, Charles City County, Virginia.[1][2]

He died on April 20, 1729, at Cobbs Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia.[1]

John Bolling was born at Kippax Plantation, in Charles City Co., Virginia a site which is now within the corporate limits of the City of Hopewell. He made his home at the Bolling family plantation "Cobbs" just west of Point of Rocks on the north shore of the Appomattox River downstream from present-day Petersburg, Virginia. (Cobbs was located in Henrico County until the area south of the James River was subdivided to form Chesterfield County in 1749).

Bolling served in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1710 until his death in 1729. In 1722, he opened a tobacco warehouse in what is now the 'Pocahontas' neighbourhood of Petersburg. William Byrd II of Westover Plantation is said to have remarked that Major Bolling enjoyed "all the profits of an immense trade with his countrymen, and of one still greater with the Indians."

He is commonly referred to as "Major" John, as distinct from his son "Colonel" John, but he may have attained the rank of Colonel, and is so described on his modern monument (erected long after his death).

He owned "Cobbs Plantation." married Mary Kennon (1679–1727), daughter of Richard Kennon and Elizabeth Worsham, on December 29, 1697 in St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia.[3] They had at least six children, whose names appear in John Bolling's will:[1]

The children:

  1. John Bolling Jr. (1700–1757) married Elizabeth Blair (who was the niece of James Blair, the first president of The College of William & Mary) on August 1, 1728 and had children, including John Bolling, who married Mary Jefferson, the sister of United States President Thomas Jefferson.
  2. Jane Bolling (1703–1766) married Colonel Richard Randolph in 1714 or 1720 and had six children.
  3. Elizabeth Bolling (born 1709), married William Gay of Scotland and had three children
  4. Mary Bolling (1711–1744), married John Fleming and had eight children.
  5. Martha Bolling (1713–1737), married Thomas Eldridge in 1729 and had four children.
  6. Anne Bolling (1718–1800), married James Murray and had six children.

Disputed child:

  • There is an ongoing dispute about another possible child named Penelope.[4]
Penelope (circa 1700-1776), married Captain Christopher Clark, and had a son Bolling Clark, two grandsons Bolling Clark, a grandson Bolling Clark Anthony, and several other descendants named "Bolling," "John Bolling," or, indeed, "Rolfe Bolling."
Penelope may alternatively have been the daughter of Edward, the son of Arthur Johnston, and Elizabeth Walker. Indeed, this is the more likely of the two possible origins of Penelope, as a birth record of daughter Penelope has survived. In this case, the various descendants of Penelope named Bolling would have been named in honor of a member or members of the Bolling family.

John was buried at Cobbs Cemetery in Enon, Chesterfield County, Virginia.[5]

His will (dated April 29th 1727, proved in Henrico County Oct 1729) mentions his wife Mary, his son John, his daughter Mary and her husband Mr John Fleming, his daughter Elizabeth Bolling, his daughters Martha and Ann, and his grandson Richard Randolph.

John and Mary Bolling's descendants are the only American descendants of Pocahontas, and include Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, wife of U. S. President Woodrow Wilson, Percival Lowell who mathematically discovered Pluto, Harry Flood Byrd and Richard Evelyn Byrd, John Randolph of Roanoke, Nancy Reagan, and John McCain.[6]

Tomb Rediscovered

William Busby rediscovered John Bolling's crypt. Here is his description of the burial site:[citation needed]

"I happened on a large stone marker and above-ground crypt surrounded by a stone wall. It is by itself on a rural property near the Appomattox River here in Virginia. It is for "Colonel Jno. Bolling of Cobbs" who died in 1729. The marker is in good condition, though somewhat darkened. In addition to the usual gravestone information, it has a rather lengthy inscription in a script style that I was unable to read from the other side of the protective stone wall. I am not an expert on 18th Century burials but this grave site strikes me as unusual. The above-ground stone crypt is somewhat larger than a coffin. The grave site is on a hilltop high above the Appomattox with no apparent water table problems. It has a great view of the river (and I-295). The protective stone wall appears to be the same vintage as the rest of the site."
"This is in Chesterfield County in a small residential area on Cobb's Point, near Point of Rocks and west of Hopewell. It is just north of the Appomattox and a short distance west of I-295. I am quite sure this would have been on his own land. Some distance away near someone's front yard and facing Enon Church Road there is a small historical marker stating this was the site of Cobb Hall owned by Colonel Bolling, a great grandson of Pocahontas."

Mark Fisher, a resident of Williamsburg, Virginia provided some information for this memorial. He gathered info from various libraries including the Library of Congress, the Library of Virginia, the Richmond Library and the College of William and Mary as well as the Virginia Historical Society.

Around this stone lie the remains of
Great-grand-son of
B. 1676 ----D. 1729

He was prominent in his day. Represented his County (Chesterfield) in the House of Burgesses and was long Lieutenant an office of great dignity and importance. Being the only great-grand-child of Pocahontas he was the ancestor of all who derive their lineage from her.

Also, lie here unmarked the remains of a large number of her descendants whose tomb--save one--that of Elizabeth eldest grand-daughter were destroyed during the occupancy of Cobbs by the Federal troops in 1864. Among those buried here were:

B. 1750----D. 1829
Member of Council of State
His wife
And their youngest son
B. 1803----D. 1888
Sometime Governor of Virginia.
And by whose direction this monument is erected. [7]

Research Notes

Otis Fuller wrote on February 7, 2019:

John Bolling brought my ancestor, Richard Dean(e) from Cripplegate Ward Hospital/Orphanage, London, England, to Henrico Co., VA, in 1713-1714. Richard was raised by John Bolling, and lived next to him on Mohawk Creek, in Henrico Co. I have the document of his release to John Bolling, and also documents re his appointment to Clerk of the Vestry, Henrico Parish.
We believe Richard may have been descended somehow from Sir Anthony Deane of the Royal Navy. Richard was presented by Sir Edward Dummer, who was also connected somehow to the Royal Navy.

There is an unsourced claim that middle name is Fairfax, but this is doubtful.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Ancestors and Descendants of John Rolfe", in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 22, no. 1 (Jan 1914), p. 105-107.
  2. The flyleaf [of what?] gives the year as 1676. New Style dating can be found in informal writings long before 1752. At any rate, whether by carelessness, deliberate interpretation, or deliberate ambiguity, the year is invariably given as 1676, not 1677 or 1676/7, in secondary sources, including the Memoir.
  3. Moore, J. Staunton (1904). History of Henrico Parish, p. 227.
  4. From "Pocahontas Descendants" by Brown, Myers & Chappel: (note: Penelope is not listed as a child, but she is referenced as their child in another publication)
  5. Find A Grave Memorial 34656576
  6. The Lowell, (Robbins) Reagan and McCain lines aren't yet known to WikiTree or Famous KIn. The old Gary Boyd Roberts article (1986) has nothing to add.
  7. Transcribed (from where?] by William Busby, May 2011

See also:

  • "Historical and Genealogical Notes", in William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 5 no. 4 (Apr 1897), p. 275. The flyleaf.
  • Stith, William: History of Virginia (1747), p. 146.
  • Randolph, Richard (as "R.R."): "Historical Memoranda", in Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. 25, issue 2 (Aug 1857), p. 123. Deed for the sale of the Fort at Chickahominy, giving the pedigree.
  • Bolling, Robert: Memoir of the Bolling Family (1764), p. 3.
  • Some Prominent Virginia Families, Volume 4. By Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Edward Jaquelin, Martha Cary Jaquelin, accessed 2014-04-26, amb.
  • Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. "Bolling Family". Some Prominent Virginia Families IV. Lynchburg, Virginia: J.P. Bell Company. pp. 304–314
  • WikiPedia: John_Bolling
  • "Pocahontas & her Descendants", published by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 1968.
  • Bolling, Alexander R., Jr. The Bolling Family, Eight Centuries of Growth, Gateway Press, Inc, Balt., 1990, p113ff. (Obtained from Jim Phleger, 30 May.1990. Shows the "Red Line" back to Pocahontas. NOTE: Bolling line evolved down to Uroth Murray whose family moves during the revolution to Tennessee, and later Flat Lick K.Y.
  • Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 10/20/2012
  • Dodd, Jordan. Virginia, Marriages, 1660-1800 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997. Original data: Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Virginia.
  • Original data: National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, online National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, acquired 2007.
  • Marcus Abbott Haskins, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #1060, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Jan 31, 1999.
  • E. Jay Stith, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 1, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #5156, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Feb 2, 1999.
  • Biography by Carolyn Murray Greer
  • Morenus, David. The Real Pocahontas website, "Pocahontas Descendants" chart, 3.
  • Robertson, Wyndham (1887). Pocahontas and her Descendants, p. 31 (gen 3), p. 32 (children).
  • Roberts, Gary Boyd (1986). "Notable Kin: Some Descendants and Kinsmen of Descendants of Pocahontas: An Excursion into Southern Genealogy". American Ancestors website, NEXUS Archive Vol. II.
  • Marriages of some Virginia residents, Wulfeck; page 139; Quote: John, Maj., m. 29 DEC., 1697, Mary Kennon. 5V90; 32V390; Henrico, p. 227. He b. 1676; d. 1729. She dau. of Dr. Kennon of “Conjuror’s Neck.” Pocahontas, p. 31.

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Comments: 28

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Bolling-1305 and Bolling-10 appear to represent the same person because: B-1305 was In the rejected match list... Clearly this Is a duplicate and this and other family members need to be merged...
posted by Russ Livingston
the only documented children of Mary kennon and John bolling are as follows

Jane Bolling John Kennon Bolling Jr Elizabeth Bolling Mary Bolling Martha Bolling Anne Kennon Bolling there are no other children documented

posted by Wendy Browne
Agree, need to remove Hannah, she is not a documented child in this well documented family.
I've detached her from John and Mary.
John has two extra children listed here, Judith and Hannah. He left a will which names his children.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
edited by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
Virginia Project, could you please attend to the inaccurate children attached that Kathie has pointed out? Many thanks!
posted by Jillaine Smith
How can I add Col. John Fairfax Bolling as the father to Jane (Kennon) Bolling on my family tree? I'm related through Winniford "Winney" Randolph. Thank you in advance for your help!
posted by LaQuita Holland
i was wondering if there was a daughter named Susan born around 1720? I've seen other lists of Red Bollings with her on it. just inquiring
posted by Darrell Gabbard II
I am trying to find out about a possible daughter of John Bolling named Elenor, born in 1702. She married Originall Wroe, it has been said a descendant of theirs Rebecca Wroe is a direct descendant of Pocohontas.
posted by Shannon Broughton
Someone on GenMed asked about the 'middle' name of Fairfax and if there was any source proving such a name. Profile managers do you know where the name Fairfax comes from?