Reverend Jesse Bolling

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Reverend Jesse Bolling, Sr.

Also Known As: "Bowling", "Bolling"
Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Hillsboro, Orange County, North Carolina
Death: March 10, 1841 (82)
Quicksand Creek, Breathitt County, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Buckhorn, Perry County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Jesse Bolling and Martha Bolling
Husband of Polly Bolling and Mary Elizabeth Bolling
Father of John E. Bowling; Hannah Charity Huff; Polly Barger; Justice Tucker Bolling; Jesse Bolling, Jr. and 9 others
Brother of Joseph Bolling; Justice Bolling; Benjamin Bolling; Robert Bowling; James B. Bolling and 8 others
Half brother of Delaney Bowlin and Jeremiah Bolling

Occupation: Baptist Preacher; Revolutionary Vet, Judge, Soldier during the Revolutionary War, Baptist Preacher, County Judge, Primitive Baptist Minister
Managed by: Michael Vaughn Roush
Last Updated:

About Reverend Jesse Bolling

  • Daughters of American Revolution Ancestor #: A011824
  • Death: 8-15-1841 PERRY CO KENTUCKY
  • Pension Number: *S14974
  • Service Source: *S14974

Jesse Bowling

Rev. Jesse Bowling, born 22 May 1758 at Hillsboro, North Carolina, died 10 MAR 1841, on Quicksand Creek, Breathitt County, KY. He was son of Benjamin Bowling and Patty Phelps.

Jesse served in the North Carolina and Virginia Militia during the Revolution and was a Baptist Preacher, and County Judge of Perry County Kentucky 1821-1838.

Jesse was married twice, both times in Wilkes County, North Carolina. About 1776 he married Polly Green who died in 1778. They had one son, John E. Bowling, born in 1777 in North Carolina.

Jesse married for the second time, 6 JAN 1785, in Wilkesboro, Mary Pennington 18 NOV 1765 NC - 1843 Breathitt County, daughter of Capt. Micager Pennington and Rachel Jones.

After his second marriage, Jesse lived in North Carolina until 1793 then moved to Hopkins Co., TN.

While living in Hawkins Co., Jesse was baptized and ordained an Elder in the Primitive Baptist Church by Rev. Andrew Baker, his great great-uncle, at the Blackwater Church.

In 1795 Jesse and his family moved to Lee County, Virginia. At one time he was pastor of the Old Stony Creek Church at Fort Blackmore.

In 1810, Jesse and his family, and his father, Benjamin, moved to Kentucky and settled on the North Fork of the Kentucky River, just above the mouth of Grapevine Creek. Jesse's father soon returned to Wise Co., VA.

In 1818, Rev. Dan Duff and his family came from Harlan Co. and bought land adjoining that of Jesse so that he and Jesse could work together. About 1835 Rev. Duff moved to Quicksand Creek. In 1838 Jesse and his family also moved to Quicksand, near Rev. Duff, where they spent the remainder of their lives.

Jesse's brother William and his sister Hannah (Mrs. Soloman Osborne) also lived in Clay County. A number of Jesse's cousins, children of his uncle James Bowling and Sallie Blevins, came from Tennessee and lived in Clay County.

Reverend Jesse &Mary(Pennington) Bowling were among the founders of what was earlier known as the "Bowling District" and later known as "Bowlingtown Community," of Hazard, Perry Co, KY.

The Lost Community of Bowlingtown The story of a thriving community of hundreds that once prospered where Buckhorn Lake state park now stands. A plaque will be dedicated in its memory.

Bowlingtown 1800 -1960:

Long before Buckhorn Lake was created and the state park established in 1964, a small community flourished for many generations here, along the middle fork of the Kentucky River.

Early records refer to this area as the Bowling District, founded by Reverend Jesse Boling, his wife Mary Pennington, Reverend Duff and 50 other families. They were led to this remote area under the guidance of Daniel Boone. By the late 1800's Bowlingtown was a thriving community of hundreds. There was a post office, school, churches, grocery, saw mill, blacksmith and the Frontier Nursing Service. Local officials included a sheriff, magistrate, justice of the peace, and tax commissioner. The citizens were primarily farmers and coal miners. They were known to be patriotic, honest, kind, and well-educated people.

In 1960, when the construction of Buckhorn Lake began, Bowlingtown had to be abandoned and families relocated. Family graves (873) were re-interred to Buckhorn Cemetery. All were sad to leave their homeland of seven generations.

This exhibit is dedicated in their memory.

I was probably one of the last to be born in Bowlingtown. I started seven years ago to get the Buckhorn lodge or park renamed Bowlingtown. I did this in memory of my grandfather and also to prevent my birthplace from disappearing. When the Corp of Engineers decided to build the dam everyone was forced to leave. This place had been a homeland for seven generations of family and friends (mostly Bowlings/Bollings).

His family and friends from Bowlingtown were scattered to the four winds. That was the first time I saw him cry.


My grandfather was a strong man who farmed and mined most his life to build up a heritage to leave his children (16+ acres in Perry Co and 64+ acres in Leslie). The government gave him enough money to buy 1/2 acre "unfarmable, not even a garden" lot in Richmond, KY. His family and friends from Bowlingtown were scattered to the four winds. That was the first time I saw him cry. He refused to visit Buckhorn Lodge or the lake because he and many others were adamant that it should have been named Bowlingtown. Maybe now he can rest in peace and I'm sure he will smile once again for Bowlingtown.

The lodge sits on the hill where the original log cabin school house was built in early 1800's, which a white frame schoolhouse replaced in early 1900's. The beach and swimming area is where children and adults alike played baseball. The picnic area was where they dug up hundreds of graves, which my grandfather watched to insure all relatives were properly re-interred at the top of the hill across from the lodge. It was horrific and caused him nightmares.

So you see it has been very important to get a 2' x 3' sign installed in front of the lodge with Bowlingtown's history. The sign illustrates the river and where the various families lived (designated by numbers) with a list of family members associated with each house. The sign was designed by my Father, Floyd Hacker, who is 78 years old. He also provided all the family names/members and where each house was located. There is a sign inside the lodge with a history of the Bowlings/Bollings that goes back to 1066 in Bradford, England (Bolling Castle still stands today in memory of the Bollings).

It is important to note the source of the funds for this project: $2000 from Bowlingtown family and friends and $1000 grant from the KY Heritage Society; And without the KY State Parks co-operation this project still would be on the drawing board.

Jewell Gordon, Bowlingtown Project Mgr.

Served in the Revolution, in the Virginia and North Carolina Militia. He was a Baptist Preacher, and also served as a County Judge, for Perry County Kentucky, 1821-1838. Enlisted from North Carolina December 1780, applied for pension 1832, Clay County Kentucky. Claim allowed, age 74 years 5 months, when pension granted October 22, 1832. Served with Washington at Valley Forge.

Served in the Revolution, in the Virginia and North Carolina Militia. Enlisted from North Carolina December 1780,applied for pension 1832, Clay County Kentucky. Claim allowed, age 74years 5 months, when pension granted October 22, 1832. #149741 Served with Washington at Valley Forge

He was a Baptist Preacher, and also served as a County Judge, for Perry Co KY, 1821-1838

1790 census 10th company Wilkes Co North Carolina

Bolin, Jesse 1 3 3 0

1810, Clay Co., KY - listed as Jessee Boling

1820, Perry Co., KY #418 - listed as Jesse Bowling, Sr.

1830, Perry Co., KY #351- listed as Jesse Bowling

————————————————————————————————————————————— Information by:

  • Jeanine Jordan originally submitted this to "OurCrazyFamilyTreeAndItsManyBranches! on 12 Jun 2008
  • Mary Happy 50 added this on 5 Apr 2009

Revolutionary War Soldier Perry County Magistrate Baptist Minister s/o Benjamin Bolling and Martha "Patsy" Phelps Bolling, h/o Mary Pennington. f/o John E, Hannah, Mary Polly, Justice, Rachel, Elizabeth, Jesse, John P, Elijah, Margaret Patsy, Nancy, Thomas.

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Reverend Jesse Bolling's Timeline

May 2, 1758
Hillsboro, Orange County, North Carolina
January 9, 1777
Age 18
North Carolina, United States
April 28, 1785
Age 26
Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States

Family Data Collection - Births
Name: Hannah Bolling
Father: Jesse Bolling
Mother: Mary Pennington
Birth Date: 28 Apr 1785
County: Wilkes
State: NC
Country: USA
Source Information:
Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2001.

March 3, 1788
Age 29
Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States
January 5, 1790
Age 31
Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
Age 32
Age 33