Markham of Chesterfield
      Ancestors and Descendants of John Markham

Bio: Robert Markham Bolling


Robert Markham Bolling was the first born child of Linnaeus Bolling and Mary Markham. His parents married in December 1793, and he was born in 1794-95. His Markham middle name is not certain, but it is shown in some family sources.

As a young man Robert Bolling attended the College of Hampden-Sydney (Sidney), where he was influenced by a fellow student, Daniel Baker. During their student years together, Baker joined the Presbyterian church, and he later became a noted evangelist, and founder of Austin College (Texas). In his Reminiscences Daniel Baker recalled:

(26 September 1812) This session closes in sweet tranquillity; students all united in harmony and affection. I love and respect all my fellow-students, but feel a peculiar attachment to Mr. Bolling. How many pleasing hours have I passed with him lately! Not long since he was as wild, thoughtless, and profane, probably, as any student at the Seminary; but, blessed be God, for a fortnight passed there has been a great and visible change in him for the better . . . From his lately being much in my company, some of the students have taken occasion to call him "Baker's disciple" . . . The students have endeavoured to laugh Mr. Bolling out of his religious notions, but he has been supported. He appears daily to acquire new strength and firmness. Blessed be God, for this trophy of redeeming grace! I hope it may have a happy influence on others . . .
[source] The life and labours of the Rev. Daniel Baker, D.D., pastor and evangelist; Daniel Baker, William Mumford Baker; Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1858.

Robert Bolling was married three times, and had four identified children who survived through childhood. Robert Bolling was first married to Sarah Hobson about the year 1821. Sarah was the daughter of John Hobson and Mary Langhorne. Robert Bolling and his bride probably resided at Willow Hill (today's Willow Hill Farm in Buckingham county Virginia). Their identified children are Linnaeus Bolling born in 1822, and Pocahontas Bolling born in 1825. Family records indicate that Sarah Hobson Bolling died in March of 1834.

Robert M Bolling was married secondly to Mary Watkins; no recorded children. His third wife was Frances Brackett, who was born about 1810, daughter of Ludwell Brackett and Ann Harris Cox. It is not certain when they married, but their first child, Robert Bolling was born about 1846. They also had a daughter Susan Peyton Bolling born in 1851.

Robert Bolling was widowed for a third time before the 1860 census. In the census he is shown, at age sixty-five, with his younger children, Robert and Susan, in his household.

Census Records for Robert Bolling:

1840 Census of Buckingham county Virginia (Northern District)
Robert Bolling; 1m 15-20; 1m 20-30; 1m 30-40; 1f 15-20; 1f 20-30

1850 Census of Buckingham county Virginia
Robert Bolling; [55]
Frances Bolling; 40
Robert Bolling; 4

1860 Census of Buckingham county Virginia; New Canton
Robert Bolling sr; 65 (1795) Virginia; $50,000; farmer
Robert Bolling jr; 14 (1846) Virginia
Susan P Bolling; 9 (1851) Virginia

1870 Census of Buckingham county Virginia
Linneas Bolling; 48 (1822); MD
Amanda E Bolling; 39 (1831)
seven Bolling children
nearby -
Robert Bolling Sr; 75 (1795); $20,000
Robert Bolling Jr; 25 (1845); no occupation
Susan Bolling; 19 (1851)

Robert Bolling died in 1876, probably at his home in Buckingham county Virginia. A biographical statement, for the College of Hampden Sidney Dictionary of Biography indicates that Robert Bolling, "lived a quiet farmer's life, a zealous Methodist and a good man."

Do you want to know more?
Link to Robert Markham Bolling

Further notes from Pam Garrett on the research of others:

Researcher and descendent, Fred Hoff, has done considerable work on the Bolling family. He is a descendant of Robert Bolling and his third wife Frances Brackett, through their daughter Susan Peyton Bolling. I have followed, with interest, his postings in the forums of

I have recently (2015) been in correspondence with Patt Freedman who has shared her interesting work on the Bolling family at the FindAGrave website. She is a descendant of Robert Bolling and his first wife Sarah Hobson, through their son Linnaeus Bolling. She has worked to document the burial locations for descendants of Robert Markham Bolling and his three wives (Sarah Hobson, Mary Watkins, Frances Brackett) and four children (Dr Linneaus Bolling, Pochontas Bolling Meredith, Robert Bolling, Susan Bolling Cobb) Some of Patt's information is speculative, but it provides a helpful picture of this family. Some wonderful family photos are included at FindAGrave. Patt has particularly worked in these cemeteries:
Bolling-Cobb, Willow Hill Cemetery, Buckingham County Virginia; earliest family members (speculative)
Bolling Farm Cemetery, Buckingham County Virginia; Dr Linneaus Bolling and Amanda Harris family
Bolling Cook Cemetery, Buckingham County Virginia; descendants of Dr Linneaus Bolling and Amanda Harris
Mount Tabor Cemetery, Buckingham County Virginia; Cobb family descendants

Biography of Robert Markham Bolling; compiled by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2015.