Col. 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Mary Elizabeth Kennon Bolling
Rebecca Jane Bolling Pendergrass
Around this stone lie the remains of
COL. JNO. BOLLING OF COBBS
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
B. 1750----D. 1829
Member of Council of State
And their youngest son
B. 1803----D. 1888
Sometime Governor of Virginia.
And by whose direction this monument is erected.
(Transcribed by William Busby, May 2011)
Gravesite Details At the end of Riverview Ct, Chester, VA