In Memoriam

James Edward Bolles #2853, Connecticut





James Edward Bolles was born August 7, 1926, in Washington, D.C., the son of Kenneth Ward Bolles and Julia Gregory Bolles. Jim passed away January 27, 2014, in West Haven CT, at the age of 88.

Jim married Norma Faith Noble, daughter of Charles George and Isadell Howard Noble, at New London CT August 31 1947. She predeceased him November 3, 2011.

Children of this marriage were Wade Noble Bolles May 24, 1948; Lealyn Bolles January 22, 1952 (deceased February 10, 1997); Laurie Anne Bolles, September 18, 1953.

He is survived by grandchildren Alonda Lea Baird, Aaron Stewart Bolles and Rebecca Lyon Bolles.

At the mention of Jim Bolles we think of a true gentleman, the enthusiastic and knowledgeable "Founder" and "Mentor" of the Bolles Family Association, and his illustrious career as a free-lance commercial Illustrator with offices in New York City while driving daily from Westport CT.

Jim was one of the three Founders of BFA, along with George Williams and Joseph Bolles. Jim worked diligently and tirelessly to promote Bolles genealogy and the Bolles Family Association. In 1994, Jim was honored by the Association as a Life Member. George Williams’ book, "A Genealogy of the Descendants of Joseph Bolles of Wells, Maine, Volume II’, was dedicated to Jim.

Jim and Norma hosted five Bolles National Reunions in the U.S. They traveled extensively investigating Bolles genealogy and ancestral sites in the U.S. and England. Jim led four Bolles Family Tours to the lands of our ancestors through his company ‘Ancestral Tours to Great Britain’.

Jim held a plethora of information whether it was about his personal ancestral line, overall Bolles lineage to Charlemagne and English royalty, bank robber Black Bart or the alleged-witch Martha Carrier hanged in Salem MA. 

Jim created the Bolles Family Coat of Arms. He was active in the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. Jim created a slide presentation, "What’s His Name" about the Bolles Family and Genealogy in general which he used in speeches to organizations and students, and at every annual meeting/reunion. He said he found it best to use his own ancestors to avoid controversies.

He formed the Bolles Family Association in 1978 in New London CT with 104 ‘cousins’ in attendance at the charter meeting. Jim gathered a list of "Bolles Places to Visit in England" and went exploring. Jim discovered on former Bolles property in England the Scampton Gate, the entrance to the country estate of Sir John Bolles. Jim was instrumental in raising funds from American descendants to help with restoration.

Jim was self-supporting since the age of 15. With the consent of his parents, and because it was wartime, World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and volunteered for Submarine service. He received his training at New London Submarine Base, which stands on Bolles-donated land, and served on three submarines, i.e. R-14, Sea Robin, and Sablefish. After the surrender of Germany, he volunteered to join a ‘Prize Crew’ to bring the captured German U-Boats to America to New London Submarine Base, an assignment which lasted for one year.

Upon discharge, Jim went to New York City with an advertising agency as an Illustrator while he attended evening art school. In 1950, he was recalled by the Navy for duty in the Korean War. After a year he applied for and received a ‘hardship discharge’ as he had a wife and three children to support. He then went to Denver CO for five years where he is still remembered as Founder of the Art Dealers Club of Denver. He then returned to New York City as an Illustrator. Proof of his excellence as an Artist is in the fact that during his career he performed work for each of the Fortune 500 Companies in the U.S.


Compiled by Barbara & Randall Bolles from "A Genealogy of the Descendants of Joseph Bolles of Wells, Maine, Vol. II", and various articles in The Bolles Family Association Newsletters.


See also The Bolles Family Association History at: