Robert Bolling

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Colonel Robert Bolling (December 26, 1646 - July 17, 1709) was a wealthy early American settler, planter, merchant and burgess.

Robert Bolling was born at Tower Street, All Hallows, Barking Parish, in London on December 26, 1646.[1] He was the son of John and Mary (Carrie) Bolling. His father was one of the Bollings of Bolling Hall near Bradford, England.[2] Robert could trace his ancestry back to Robert Bolling, Esquire, who died in 1479 and was buried in the family vault in the Church of Bradford. According to Bolling family tradition, the original deBolling family was Norman and came to England with William the Conqueror.

Bolling arrived in the colony of Virginia at the age of fourteen on October 2, 1660.[3] He married, in 1674, Jane Rolfe the daughter of Thomas Rolfe and Jane Poythress.[4] Her paternal grandmother was the Native American Pocahontas.[5] Jane died around the time their only child, John Bolling was born[6] on January 26, 1676 he married Mary Kennon and died on April 20, 1729. The descendants of John Bolling were termed the "Red Bollings".

In 1681 Bolling married Anne Stith the daughter of Major John Drury Stith and Jane Gregory.[7]

They had the following nine children together.

  • Jane Bolling (b. 1682), died young.
  • Robert Bolling Jr. (1682-1749), married Anne Mary Cocke. Ancestors of Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush and Mary Anna Randolph Custis, wife of Robert E. Lee.
  • Stith Bolling (1686-1727), married Elizabeth Hartwell.
  • Edward Bolling (1687-1720), married Ms. Slaughter.
  • Anne Bolling (1690-1750), married Robert Wynne.
  • Drury Bolling (1695-1726), married Elizabeth Meriwether.
  • Thomas Bolling (1697-1734)
  • Agnes Bolling (1700-1762), married Richard Kennon.
  • Molly Mary Bolling (b. 1702), died young.

The descendants of his second marriage are often referred to as the "White Bollings".

As a merchant and planter, Bolling acquired a large estate. He was colonel of the militia and was a member of the House of Burgesses from Charles City County in 1702.[8]

Robert Bolling died on July 17, 1709, and was buried on his plantation Kippax, in Prince George Co., Virginia, where his tomb still stands. However, in 1858, his remains were removed from Kippax to the Bolling mausoleum at Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia erected by his great grandson.

Archaeologist Donald W. Linebaugh, of the University of Kentucky, located the remains of Col. Bolling's house in Hopewell, Virginia in 2002.[9]

The Archaeological Conservancy is currently trying to buy the site of Kippax Plantation to protect it from development. Thomas Rolfe, the son of Pocahontas and Robert Bolling's father-in-law, is buried there. The Archaeological Conservancy is in the process of raising the $205,000 needed for the purchase.[10]


  1. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7, 1899, pages 352-353.
  2. Some prominent Virginia families, Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Edward Jaquelin, Martha Cary Jaquelin, page 305.
  3. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7, 1899, pages 352-353.
  4. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7, 1899, pages 352-353.
  5. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7, 1899, pages 352-353.
  6. A Memoir of a Portion of the Bolling Family in England and Virginia, Robert Bolling, John Robertson, Thomas Hicks Wynne, Chesapeake Book Co., 1868, page 19.
  7. William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, The Stith Family, Armistead C. Gordon, Volume 22, Number 1, July 1913, page 44.
  8. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 7, 1899, pages 352-353.
  9. UK Archaeologist Locates 17th Century Merchant's House, Plans Excavation with Students, Dan Adkins, March 8, 2002
  10. The Archaeological Conservancy

External links


  • American Presidential Families, Hugh Brogan and Charles Mosley, MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, 1993.
  • Pocahontas, alias Matoaka, and her descendants : at Jamestown, Virginia, in April, 1614, with John Rolfe, gentleman : including the names of Alfriend, Archer, Bentley, Bernard, Bland, Bolling, Branch, Cabell, Catlett, Cary, Dandridge, Dixon, Douglas, Duval, Eldridge, Ellett, Ferguson, Field, Fleming, Gay, Gordon, Griffin, Grayson, Harrison, Hubard, Lewis, Logan, Markham, Meade, McRae, Murray, Page, Poythress, Randolph, Robertson, Skipwith, Stanard, Tazewell, Walke, West, Whittle, and others : with biographical sketches, Robertson and Wyndham, J. W. Randolph & English, 1887.