Allen County (IN) Public Library research trip

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) is a mere 2-hour drive from home for me. So, I decided to take a day trip there to work on some different family issues.

~My 6th-great-GF is proven by the DAR as providing patriotic service. William Ballard, b: 1715,  is Aaron Ballard’s great-grandfather. I copied the pages from a book listing people and how they helped the cause.

~William Ballard, b: 1715, has been a challenge to Ballard researchers over the years because of the uncertainty of his parents. However, while at ACPL, I found Lynne Miller’s, noted Ballard genealogist, books about the descendants of Thomas and Anne Ballard of Williamsburg, VA, revised in 2001. It clearly states that William, b:1715, was the son of William, who was the son of Thomas, who was the son of Thomas and Anne Ballard.

~Got a copy of the index of Aaron and Nancy Pearson Ballard’s marriage bond. I already have copies from the microfilm regarding the license, plus I found in all my papers a copy of the actual bond.

~Worked on the Christian Eby line a bit. Christian Eby is said to have been the father of Catherine who married William Joseph Hickman, whose daughter Elizabeth married Thomas Pearson. Thomas Pearson was the son of Rev War soldier, Thomas Pearson. Whew!

~Worked on the Ford line a bit. I’ve been trying to tie John Ford and Lyman Ford together as father/son, which I probably can do with death certificates but I don’t have those yet, so I checked the Sullivan County, IN, sources at ACPL. I happened across an article/interview with John’s oldest daughter from his second marriage where she, in great detail, described them moving from Ohio to Indiana and also mentioned Lyman as being John’s son from his prior marriage!! Happy dance for that one!

~Next issue: Trying to find whether Nathaniel Ford, who served in the War of 1812, had filed a pension (or his widow). Nathaniel is my 4th-greath-GF, father to John mentioned above. I can find his service index card but no pension filed, for either him or his wife. John, in his autobiography for Sullivan Co, IN, said his father Nathaniel had married Prudence Bennett and they had had 13 children (John being born in 1808). When John was 7, they moved to an area in the Holland Purchase in New York, which turned out to be Genesee County, per census records. I can find Prudence on the 1820 census living in Elba, Genesee, New York, next door to a younger Nathaniel. In a history about Genesee County, it is stated that Nathaniel Ford moved there in 1820 and left his farm to his descendants. My assumption is he died around 1820; thus, no War of 1812 pension. Prudence is on the 1830 census but not the 1840 census; thus, no War of 1812 pension. I imagine I’m going to have to pony up $30 and send off a request to NARA for Nathaniel’s War of 1812 compiled service record and see what’s up. Also, John stated that his grandfather was a captain in the Revolutionary War. Would that be a Ford or a Bennett? I have no idea! I’ve been working on ruling out Fords. I find a Captain Ford who has a son Nathaniel but then I find Nathaniel is not married to Prudence. Also strange, I can find no evidence at all of a Nathaniel Ford marrying a Prudence Bennett! I have found a Nathaniel married to a Persis, a Mary, and a Rebecca, all during the time frame, but no Prudence. My next route is to try to find marriage records in NY for the children of Nathaniel and Prudence. I’ve noted some male Fords living in Genesee County on the 1830 census, possible sons. My ancestor, John, I know was married in Jackson County, OH, in 1831, but on the 1830 census I believe he’s listed in his mother’s household. A lot to do on this line. John seems to be an interesting character so I might portray him next.

I couldn’t resist:


While at ACPL, I snapped photos of everything I copied, just in case. The library is wonderful!

ETA (9 Dec 2014): I just realized this draft has been sitting out there, waiting to be published. As an update, I have unearthed new details about the Fords!!! Will put that in the John Ford post that I’ve started.

Aaron Ballard~Part Two

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!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun…Survey of Genealogy Activities!

I was unable to answer on Saturday night since I had just arrived back home from Midwestern Roots 2014 but I still want to play! See:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) Answer these questions in my survey about genealogy resources and usage:

a)  Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?

Roots Magic 6.

b)  Which online family trees have information submitted by you – in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

FamilySearch Family Tree

c)  For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription?

None! Shocker, I know.

d)  Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

FamilySearch, Heritage Quest (through my library…thank you!), FindAGrave, Google

e)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online?  [Note:  not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider].  Estimate an average number of hours per week.

15-20 hours

f)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

1 hour

g)  How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

2 hours

h)  How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

1 hour

i)  How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)?   Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

3-4 hours

j)  How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media?   Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

2-3 hours

ETA: Since I consider genealogy a “part-time job” right now, adding up my hours above comes to approximately 30 hours/week…seems about right. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on my full-time job and family stuff.

Evidentia 2.0

In addition to Roots Magic 6, I’ve added Evidentia to my arsenal of genealogical tools. Evidentia is software that I discovered about a year or so ago. I’ve just now gotten around to installing it on my computer. It’s different from typical genealogical software in that you first document your sources and cite them, then catalog your claims, and then attach those claims to a subject, including conflicting evidence. At that point, you can analyze what you have and write out your summary or argument based on your claims. I have plenty of sources to add!

For more information, please check out:

Since I began this post, there has been a big update…Evidentia is now FamilySearch Certified! I can’t wait to start working with both!