Old Wills

1846 Will of Dread Bolling – Boyle County

A preview of the Bolling family from an article in Kentucky:  A History of the State, Battle, Perrin & Kniffin, Volume 5, 4th edition, 1886

Dr. John Brisco Bolling was born August 24, 1825, seven miles west of Danville, Kentucky, and he has always retained his residence in that part of Mercer now known as Boyle County. 

His father, Dread Bolling, a native Albemarle County, Virginia, was brought in childhood by his parents, to Mercer County, Kentucky, where they located on Shawnee Run.  He was a soldier in the War of 1812, a major in the militia, represented Mercer County in the Legislature six times as a Democrat, was a farmer and slave owner, and died in 1847, at the age of fifty-eight years.  He was the son of William Bolling, a Virginian, a farmer and correct business man, who died in 1835, at the age of seventy-eight years.  He married Mary White (cousin to Hon. Hugh L. White, of Tennessee), and from their union sprang Dread, Mary (Wilson), Knight, Glover and Howell.

Dread was twice married, first to Miss Mary, daughter of Thomas Davis, of Mercer County (died in 1832), and to them were born Elizabeth (Greenwood), Nancy (Curry), Silas, John Brisco and Jeremiah.  Dread’s second wife was Mary Kimberlain, of Washington County, and their offspring were Thomas M., George, Mary E. (Dorsey) and Rachel (Bottom).

John Brisco was first married in 1847, to Miss Susan, daughter of Dr. Nelson and Jane Crane, of Perryville (born in 1823, died April 10, 1876), but from this union there was no issue.  May 15, 1877, he espoused Miss Lucy J., daughter of David and Lucy (Kirk) Cleaver of Lebanon, Kentucky, (born May 31, 1842).  In 1843 Mr. Bolling commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Nelson Crane, and in 1850 graduated at the medical department of the University of Louisville, and since that time has been successfully engaged in the practice of his chosen profession at Perryville.  After the disastrous battle of Perryville, Dr. Bolling, though entertaining Southern sentiments, was for several months employed by the General Government as a surgeon in the hospitals in the vicinity, and received ample compensation for such service.  Dr. Bolling is a member of the I.O.O.F., and of the Baptist Church, is an aggressive prohibitionist and a Democrat.

From the above information of Dread Bolling being a soldier in the War of 1812, I found he was in Unit 6 (Davenport’s) Mounted Kentucky Volunteers.

Dread Bolling Will

Boyle County Will Book 1, Pages 50-51

I, Dread Bolling, of Boyle County, Kentucky, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others by me made. 

First.  I wish all my just debts be paid out of the proceeds of my property, both real and personal, except what is reserved.

Second.  It is my will and desire that my wife, Mary E. Bolling, shall remain in full possession of one hundred acres of the land on which I now reside, including the house and off of the west end of said farm, during her natural life, at her death to be sold and the proceeds equally divided among a portion of my children (viz.) Silas, John, Thomas P. M. and George Washington Bolling.  Also, two choice horses, ten hogs, all of the household and kitchen furniture, all that she may want of the farming utensils, one yoke of oxen and ox wagon, all of which to remain in her hands during her life, at her death to be divided as above between – Silas, John, Thomas P. M. and George W. Bolling.  In case of the death of one or more of the above-named children, their part to merge into the general stock and be equally divided among the balance of the above-named children.

Third.  I give and bequeath unto my two youngest daughters, Mary Ellen and Rachel Ann Bolling, two Negro girls, one named Elizabeth, the other Patsy, to be divided with the increase if any, when the eldest arrives to the age of twenty-one, or either of them should marry in case the two Negroes and when divided should not be valued at one thousand dollars, the deficiency to be made up out of my estate, should Mary E. or Rachel A. Bolling depart this life before said division the survivor only to be entitled to her portion and the other portion to

Be divided among my sons Silas, John, Thomas P. M. and George W. Bolling.

Fourth.  I give and bequeath to my son Jeremiah one gray filly which he calls his, also one bed and furniture and one saddle, also one Negro boy, Jordan.

Fifth.  It is my desire after the payment of my debts and the specific legacies are settled the residue, if any, to be applied as follows (viz.) to be equally divided among the following named children – Elizabeth Greenwood, Nancy R. Currey, Silas, John and Jeremiah Bolling until they receive an equal amount with what may be left my younger children (viz) Thomas P. M., George W., Mary E. and Rachel A. Bolling by their grandfather, John Kimberlain, after which, should there still be a balance I wish it equally divided between all my children.

Sixth.  I hereby constitute and appoint John A. Burton my Executor to this my last will and testament, fully authorizing him to carry all its provisions into effect.  Given under my hand and seal this the 12th day of December 1845.  Also authorize him to convey by deed the land sold, title and on this day and date above.

                                                         D. Bolling

Test.  O. Clemons, S. E. Bottom, Elihu Booth, Jeremiah Briscoe

State of Kentucky, Boyle County Court

I, Thomas B. Nichols, Clerk of the County Court for the county aforesaid, do certify that this last will and testament of Dread Bolling, deceased, was produced in open court to said court at the January term, 1846, and proved by the oaths of S. E. Bottom and Jeremiah Briscoe, subscribing witnesses thereto, to have been duly executed by the said Dread Bolling as and for his last will and testament and ordered to be recorded.  Whereupon said last will and testament together with the foregoing certificate hath been duly admitted to record in my office.

Given under my hand, this 19th day of January 1846.  Thomas B. Nicholas, Clerk

2 replies »

  1. My goodness! I wonder why his parents named him Dread? Perhaps it was somehow biblical. From the itemization of his estate in his will, it looks like he was a successful farmer.

Any thoughts?

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