Think about fragmentary records from burned counties, references to forgotten patents, testamentary proceedings such as inventories and accounts much darkened with age, voices speaking out from long dead depositions, long-standing social connections, a marital separation and a love story, and imperfect indexes. What do these records have in common? Along with an unusually detailed will, the combination of these seldom-searched records are essential threads which helped reweave and make much more vivid the correct saga concerning the first four generations of Bouldins.
This research also provides a valuable lesson for less experienced researchers about never giving up on burned counties or overlooking any source, no matter how initially insignificant they might appear. Moreover, proof sometimes can occur years after an event.
Special thanks go to the terrific staff at the Library of Virginia and the Maryland State Archives. All the Virginia records are located at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, while the Maryland records are located at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Maryland.
'The Bouldin Saga' in the December 2007 issue of the "Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin" by Katharine Harbury provides previously unavailable and unknown evidence which corrects and adds to the first four generations of the Bouldin lineage. It outlines the difficulties of probable but unproven link to Thomas Bouldin the Immigrant of 1610 and William Bouldin I. This paper also spells an end to many incorrect myths found in various older publications, and can be obtained from the Maryland Genealogical Society for a small fee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to lack of a "paper trail" which is mandated by genealogical societies today, no descendant can yet claim Thomas Bouldin the Immigrant as their ancestor. While the article does eliminate all other known possible contenders as the father of our earliest proven ancestor, William Bouldin I of Gloucester County, Virginia and Baltimore County, Maryland, we cannot prove that William Bouldin I was the son of Thomas Bouldin the Immigrant. While this paternity remains quite likely, DNA testing will be required to prove -or disprove -William Bouldin I's connection to Thomas Bouldin the Immigrant once and for all.
William Bouldin I's legal wife was Rachel, who may or may not have been nee' Lewis. Perhaps due to their childless marriage, he made provisions for his wife's future welfare and then left for what is now Cecil County, Maryland with his two sons by his next love, Mary Thwaite. She had been unusually well educated back in England and could write in a very neat and tiny script. After acknowledgement of his two sons by Mary, he made provisions for them and made Mary their guardian. No other family members or executors were mentioned. Recognizing Mary's extraordinary qualities, the court officials for once did not strictly follow the law and granted her rights as if she was William’s legal second wife. She would later remarry three times during the next ten years and bear a number of children. None survived except for one son, William Bouldin II, and probably one daughter who was probably a half-sister instead of step-sister to William II.
William Bouldin II married Thomasin Nash and raised a number of children, some of whom stayed in Cecil County, Maryland for decades while others eventually moved away to other locations, such as Delaware, Virginia and South Carolina. A lot of confused relationships concerning the children of this fourth generation are also presented and cleared up. After Thomasin's death, William Bouldin II and his son Alexander Bouldin moved to parts yet unknown after April 1734, but the location was within traveling distance of New Castle, Delaware. Many Bouldin descendants distinguished themselves during the Revolutionary War and were appointed to high offices.
By Kathy Harbury