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Home: Surnames: Pocahontas Family Genealogy Forum

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Jane Bolling Clack
Posted by: Larry Burford (ID *****5599) Date: August 15, 2007 at 20:43:59
  of 1081

Here is the best explanation I have got so far.

So, this one is an educated guess using circumstantial data. At this point, there is no definitive data. I’ve hoped that DNA testing might some day either validate this theory. In the mean time, I keep the following notes in my file regarding the surname of Jane Bolling. Note the section on “Indian Descent”


"The Revd Thomas Read, is the son of Gwyn and Dorothy Read, who was the daughter of the Revd Mr. Clack & Jane his wife, born 24 August 1714." (Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 21, p. 326). This is copy of ancient record in the Bible of "The Revd Thomas Read."

It is presumed that Rev. James Clack was the only "Revd Mr. Clack" of Virginia of his era. Otherwise, mention of any other Rev. Clack would no doubt have been made in Meade's OLD CHURCHES, MINISTERS AND FAMILIES OF VIRGINIA. Moreover, the Anglican clergy of Virginia had a "usual Custome of meeting once a year" and their signed memorials reveal what may be considered a reliable roster of them.

"Address of the clergy to . . . Her Majtys Lieut. & Govern. Gen'l of Virginia: May it please your Excellency: In obedience to your Excellcys command, we are now assembled at Her Majty's Royall College of William & Mary, this 22nd day of February 1704-05, according to our usual Custome of meeting 'once a year," etc. (Signed 'by) JAMES CLACK (and 25 other clergymen) (Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 8, pp. 47-8). Similar addresses were sent to "his Grace the Lord Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Primate & Metropolitan of all England" to be presented to "her Majty after "having Congratulated her most Sacred Majty for the Glorious success of her Majty's Forces as the happy Effects of her Majty's Singular' Piety and Exemplary Charity" and to "the Right Houble Right Reverend Father in God, Henry, Lord Bishop of London."

Rev. James Clack had daughter, Jane, his oldest daughter. She and his son, James, each named their oldest daughter Jane, and his daughter, Dorothy, named one of her daughters Jane -- no doubt for Rev. James Clack's wife, the mother of James, Jane, and Dorothy.


No direct evidence has been found to definitely establish the maiden surname of Jane, wife of Rev. James Clack. It is inferred from circumstantial evidence that she was Jane Bolling.

Presumably her granddaughter, Sarah (Clack) Maclin, was reliably informed concerning her grandparents and it is certain that she claimed descent from the Bolling family and from the Indian chieftain, Powhatan, and his daughter, Pocahontas. Abundant cumulative evidence in all the various branches of her descendants is to that effect. Many of her descendants, early as well as later ones, were given the names, Bolling, Powhatan, and, Pocahontas.

The Bolling family could have been connected with her antecessors only by marriage of her grandfather, Rev." James" Clack, with a Bolling or of the father of her mother, Mary (Sterling) Clack, with a Bolling and we do not know of any such Sterling-Bolling connection.

According to Robertson's POCAHONTAS AND HER DESCENDANTS, its notable author having outlined the generally accepted information, Pocahontas, born about 1595, after her marriage in April, 1614, in Virginia to John Rolfe, visited England and died there 21 Mar 1616-7 leaving an infant son, Thomas Rolfe, their only child, born 1615 'in" Virginia, who after being educated in England returned to Virginia and married Jane Poythress, daughter of Lieut. William Poythress of Jamestown, and had an only child, Jane, who married in 1675 Col. Robert Bolling and died in 1676 leaving son, John, born 1676 whom the author states was the only child, but does not present evidence or refer to sources of information to support that statement which may be incorrect.

The author does not state the source of information of the dates stated; they may not be correct. There is some confusion in them, which, however, may have arisen from confusion between the old Julian and present Gregorian calendars.

Even if Jane (Rolfe) Bolling was married in 1675 and died in 1676, and had son born in 1676, those dates are not conclusive evidence that the son was her only child. She may have had a son born early in 1676 and a daughter born late in 1676 before her death in that year or a daughter born in 1675 and a son born in 1676.

It is quite likely that Jane who married Rev. James Clack, was daughter of Col. Robert and Jane (Rolfe) BoIling. If she were descended from this, Pocahontas line -- and it is believed that she was -- she was no doubt their daughter. She was born too early to have been daughter of any of later descent. The name Jane has come on down through succeeding generations. It is plausible that Jane (Rolfe) BoIling was ancestress of this succession of Janes.

In the absence of direct and definite proof, which is lacking on account of destruction of records we can only make educated guesses; although it seems to be as well established as it is usually possible to establish generally accepted lineages without direct documentary evidence.

--Source: Kinfolks: A genealogical and Biographical Record by William Curry Harlee, p. 2755-

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