Col. John Fairfax Bolling

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John Fairfax Bolling, I

Also Known As: "Col. John Fairfax Bolling", "John Bolling", "Johannes Bolling", "Col Bolling", "Maj Bolling"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Kippax Plantation, Charles City County, Virginia, Colonial America
Death: Died in Cobbs Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Enon, Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Robert Bolling, I and Jane Bolling
Husband of Elizabeth Bolling and Mary Victoria Bolling
Father of Penelope Clark; Major John Kennon Bolling, II; Jane Randolph; Elizabeth Gay; Mary Fleming and 3 others
Brother of Jane Rolfe Clack
Half brother of Jane Bolling; Col. Robert Bolling, II; Stith Alexander Bolling; Edward Bolling; Anne Wynne and 5 others

Occupation: Colonel
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. John Fairfax Bolling

Additional Curator's Notes:

PLEASE NOTE - I HAVE HAD TO LOCK THIS PROFILE BECAUSE ADDITIONAL CHILDREN ARE ROUTINELY ADDED TO THIS PROFILE. No children may be added to this profile without proof of parentage. Read through this overview for a list of approved children and sources. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 10/20/2012.

John Fairfax Bolling (1676-1729) was the son of Col Robert Bolling and 1st wife Jane Rolfe.John was born January 26, 1675 at Kippax Plantation, Charles City County, Virginia. He died on April 20, 1729, at Cobbs Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia.

His mother Jane Rolfe (October 10, 1650 - c. 1676) was the granddaughter of Pocahontas. Jane Rolfe was born in what is now Henrico County, Virginia on October 10, 1650 to Thomas Rolfe and his English wife Jane Poythress. In about 1675, she married Robert Bolling of Prince George County, Virginia, and they had their only child, John Bolling, on January 26, 1676. Jane died about a year after the marriage. John Fairfax Bolling and his line are the only documented descendants of Pocahontas.

There are hundred-year old claims that John had a sister, Jane Bolling, (1675–1714) who married Rev. James Clack (1655–1723). Her mother is given as Jane Rolfe by Clack family records and traditions but no surviving documents have been found as direct proof other than the writings of granddaughter Sarah (Clack) Maclin and descendants. Read more on Jane's profile [Jane Rolfe Clack].

Major Bolling served in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1710 until his death. He was colonist, farmer, a politician in the Virginia Colony and served in the Virginia militia, rising to rank of major. 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 Indian."

He made his home at the Bolling family plantation "Cobbs" just west of Point-o-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). He was a successful tobacco merchant, trading with both the Indian population and the white. He maintained a warehouse in the 'Pocohantas district' of Petersburg, Virginia.

John Bolling married Mary Kennon, daughter of Richard Kennon and Elizabeth Worsham, in December 29, 1697 at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. Mary Kennon was born June 29, 1679 at Conjurer's Neck, Henrico Co., Virginia, and died June 29, 1727 at Cobbs. They had at least six children, whose names all appear in John Bolling's will.

Documented children of John Fairfax Bolling and Mary Kennon are:

  • John Kennon Bolling (1700–1757) married Elizabeth Bland Blair (who was the niece of James Blair, the first president of The College of William & Mary) in 1728 and had seven children.
  • Jane Bolling (1703–1766) married Colonel Richard Randolph and had six children.
  • Elizabeth Bolling (b. 1709), married William Gay and had three children.
  • Mary Bolling (1711–1744), married John Fleming and had six children.
  • Martha Bolling (1713–1737), married Thomas Eldridge in 1729 and had four children.
  • Anne Bolling (1718–1800), married James Murray and had six children.

Two children may be daughters of John Bolling and Mary Kennon but they were not named in his will. If they are his children, the mystery is why they were NOT named in the will. If they are not his children, then what are their connections to Bolling? These two children are not attached to this profile, and have disclaimers on their profiles.

  • Penelope Bolling (c. 1700-1776), married Captain Christopher Clark (his ancestry is unproven), 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."
  • Lucy Bolling (1719-1767), married Peter Randolph, son of William Randolph II and Elizabeth Beverley. She is more likely the daughter of John Fairfax Bolling's kinsman Robert Bolling, Jr.

Many thanks to all the Geni members who posted snippets on the overview. I have consolidated the data and used it to write this short bio. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 8/24/2011

Links to additional information:

"Thomas Eldredge married a daughter of

Colonel John or Robert Bolling of Virginia. Robert Bolling's wife was a daughter of Thomas Rolfe and Potthress (Indian) and granddaughter of Pocahontas, who died at Gravesend, England."

Here is how cited books and chart read: Thomas Eldrige married the daughter of Col John Bolling son of Col Robert Bolling. Col Robert Bolling married the grandaughter of Pocahontas who died at Gravesend, England. John Rolfe and Pocahontas had one son Thomas who married Jane Poythress.

On a personal note and as cited sources read Jane may have been Indian but more than likely English as Poythress name is promient in English History. 

Debra Ryon Weathers



Major John Fairfax Bolling (January 27, 1676 to April 20, 1729) was a colonist, farmer, and politician in the Virginia Colony.

He was the second son and only surviving child of Colonel Robert Bolling and Jane (Rolfe) Bolling. His maternal grandfather was Thomas Rolfe, the son of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.

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).

John Bolling married Mary Kennon, daughter of Richard Kennon and Elizabeth Worsham, in December 29, 1697 at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. They had at least six children whose names appear in John Bolling's will:

Jane Bolling (1698-1766), married Colonel Richard Randolph. John Bolling Jr. (1700-1757), married 1. Elizabeth Lewis; 2. Elizabeth Bland Blair. Elizabeth Bolling (b. 1709), married William Gay. Mary Bolling (1711-1744), married John Fleming. Martha Bolling (1713-1737), married Thomas Eldridge. Anne Bolling (1718-1800), married James Murray. Another child may be a daughter of John Bolling and Mary Kennon not named in his will:

Penelope (c. 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.

Major 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 Indian."

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, the Randolphs of Roanoke, Nancy Reagan, and John McCain.

Tomb Redicovered On Sunday, 5-15-2011 William Busby rediscovered John Bolling's crypt! Here is his description of the burial site: "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."

I want to specially thank Mr. Busby for his taking the time to photograph and share this information here and to post his great photos.

Inscription: Around this stone lie the remains of COL. JNO. BOLLING OF COBBS Great-grand-son of ROLFE AND POCHAHONTAS 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

WILLIAM ROBERTSON B. 1750----D. 1829 Member of Council of State His wife ELIZABETH BOLLING And their youngest son WYNDHAM ROBERTSON B. 1803----D. 1888 Sometime Governor of Virginia. And by whose direction this monument is erected.

(Transcribed by William Busby, May 2001)


Note: At the end of Riverview Ct, Chester, VA


Burial: Non-Cemetery Burial Specifically: Above-ground crypt, Cobb's Plantation, Cobb's Point, Chesterfield Co., Virginia, near Appomattox River.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=34656576

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Col. John Fairfax Bolling's Timeline

1675
January 27, 1675
Kippax Plantation, Charles City County, Virginia, Colonial America
1698
1698
Age 22
New Kent, New Kent, VA, USA
1700
January 20, 1700
Age 24
Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial America
1703
1703
Age 27
Cobbs, Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial America
1709
1709
Age 33
Hopewell, Virginia, Colonial America
1711
1711
Age 35
Henrico, Virginia
1713
1713
Age 37
Henrico, VA, USA
1718
December 12, 1718
Age 43
Virginia, United States
1719
1719
Age 43