HISTORY: The Bolling Family Association was established in 1991 by a group of Bolling descendants after the publication of The Bolling Family - Eight centuries of Growth by Major General Alexander R. Bolling, Jr., a direct descendant of Robert Bolling, I, an English emigrant who arrived in Jamestowne in 1660 at the age of 13. Robert married Jane Rolfe, the granddaughter of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, with whom he had one son, John. Robert became a major landowner and influence in the colony. After the death of Jane, he married Ann Stith, with whom he had six more children and whose descendants include Alexander Bolling, Jr. The early focus of the BFA was on the descendants of Robert Bolling from both of his marriages and his seven children. Descendants of Robert were described as "Red" or "White" Bollings. General Bolling is a "white Bolling."
It soon became clear that there was a shared experience of descendants of other lines of Bollings, many with name spellings that were different, including Boling, Bowling, Bowlin, Bohlen, Bolen, Boland, Boulding, Bouldinge, and more. Many descendants of the same family line found that their ancestors had spelled the family name in a variety of ways. There was a great deal of confusion and many descendants thought they all had common ancestors. Extensive research found that there were at least 77 immigrants to the Colonies prior to 1800 with Bolling sounding names. BFA has developed an active DNA testing program which has tested over 250 males and identified at least 16 family groups with clear DNA connections. The BFA Database contains the names of approximately 80,000 and over 26,000 marriages. BFA now has identified eight major family groups with a significant number of members who share a common ancestor; however, the actual immigrant ancestor has been tentatively or positively identified for only five of these groups.
TODAY, BFA membership is open to anyone interested in ancestors who potentially had a Bolling sounding name. BFA has over 500 members in the United States , Canada , Great Britain , Australia , and Sweden (yes there are Swedish Bollings). The Family is highly organized with an elected Board of officers and directors who meet annually. The Family conducts extensive genealogical research using a team of volunteers nicknamed “The Gang”. BFA has a number of family related publications on Bolling ancestors, historic sites and cemeteries, and other information, and publishes a quarterly newsletter that is also distributed to libraries and museums. The Family has a Reunion in Williamsburg or Richmond every two years, and has organized trips to family sites in England in 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2008. Membership options include annual, life, and legacy.