When I did some research recently at the Indiana Historical Society to view some Ballard letters, I found these papers included:
Aaron Ballard’s second wife, Nancy Pearson, related these events to her granddaughter, Addie Burris who then told her granddaughters. I’m not sure who wrote them down or how they got included in the Ballard letter batch at the IHS, but I was shocked to find them there. I had read these memories online but to see them actually written and included with historic letters was completely awesome.
Aaron Ballard must’ve returned to Virginia from Kentucky sometime after 1825. He married Nancy Pearson in Franklin County, VA, on 5 January 1832. By the end of October 1832, he had land recorded in Henry County, IN. I learned in my session about pioneer migration after the War of 1812 that walking 600 miles took approximately 2 months. From Franklin County, VA, to Henry County, IN, is about 500 miles. I don’t know what route they took to get to Indiana, the Wilderness Road or the Great Wagon Road. Either way, it probably took them 2-3 months. And, in October 1832, Nancy Pearson Ballard was 3 months pregnant with their first child.
One major thing Aaron Ballard did in Henry County was help found a small Regular Baptist Church in his neighborhood. He was usually the clerk at their business meetings, and his record book survives. A half acre was deeded to the church for purposes of a burial ground, and that is where Aaron and Nancy Ballard are buried.
His neighbors described him as a kind, compassionate man who would willingly help others, either on their farm or taking people in. I found out that he carried his discharge papers from the War of 1812 with him until they were worn out so when he applied for his pension he had to request new papers. Unfortunately, on the 3-mile walk to town, he lost those papers. He was 78 at the time!
Regarding his first wife and child, it’s not up to me to speculate what happened then or why. What I do know is the man who came to Henry County, IN, was a hardworking, caring man who loved his family.
His children with Nancy Pearson Ballard were:
Elizabeth Mary, b: March 1833, m: Peter Coble
Harriett Salome, b: Nov 1834, m: Malachi Brothers
Thomas Pearson, b: 1838, m: Susannah Cripe
Amos Benton, b: 24 Feb 1840, m: 1) Hester Ann Cripe; 2) Olive Carver; 3) Hannah Katherine Hanby
Catherine Ann, b: 1843, m: George Garman
Peyton Everett, b: 24 Feb 1845, m: Jane Spell
On another note, I’ve been working hard on getting documentation together for my DAR application and my apps for the Indiana Civil War lineage society, to get them turned in by the end of this year. Possible trip to Sullivan County, IN, this week!