DNA Study

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Welcome to the BFA Bolling Surname DNA Study

When the Bolling Family Association was formed in 1991, most members thought that they descended from a common male Bolling/Bowling/Bolin ancestor.  Most of our early genealogical efforts were focused on trying to trace the written record of our individual ancestors back to that common ancestor. In the Spring of 2001, the BFA undertook a y-chromosome DNA study to try and define the various Bolling/Bowling/Bolin/Bouldin families and the immigrants that came to the United States.
Today, this DNA study is one of the larger surname projects in the U.S. with over 300 men having been tested.  Results have proven that the individuals tested do not descend from one male Bolling ancestor, but rather than from over 20 different biological families (groups). The males in each these DNA groups share a common Bolling ancestor.  In some cases, where there is general agreement among the testees, that male's ancestor who first immigrated to the United States can be identified. For example, the descendants of Robert Bolling 1646-1709, progenitor of the Red and White Bolling lines is clearly defined in Group 1.  However, in Group 5, there is no agreement on a Most Recent Common Ancestor, MRCA.
By determining the DNA biological family, a member can better focus his/her research efforts by eliminating those that are not directly related. If you are interested in participating, you must be a male with the Bolling (any spelling) surname. The cost for the basic test is approximately $99. To enroll send an email to Larry along with your mailing address and a brief family tree from you to your earliest known Bolling ancestor. The kit and an invoice will be mailed to you. Results take about two months.

The current results can be found on the Family Tree DNA website.   To see all participants, please choose the Y-DNA12 option from the Markers dropdown when you visit one of the Y-DNA Results page such as the Y-DNA Classic Chart for the Bolling study.

If you are interested in how DNA is used in genealogy, the Blair Genealogy DNA project has some web pages on the subject:

  • DNA 101 discusses the basics of DNA and the Y-Chromosome and how they apply to genealogy.
  • DNA 102 discusses Interpreting DNA Test Results.
  • DNA 103 discusses the methods I use in the Blair DNA Project to group participants after receiving their test results.



Female Testing

The Bolling Family DNA project looks specifically at the "Y" chromosome, therefore females are not eligible for the project.