Prompt #141

I’ve missed some days! Since I moved to part-time hours at my day job, I have never been busier! In the last few days, I’ve had to present a DAR award and help with two school tours at the museum, keep up with the social media for the museum, and take care of a few things with ECIGA, such as getting our second newsletter out.  BUSY!

First of all, though, I need to publish a mea culpa…Joan Jett and the Blackhearts! Not the Heartbreakers. I’m old!

Today is day #141 of the year 2016.

#141: Which ancestor would I most like to meet and why.

This is actually really difficult. First of all, I don’t even know who all of my ancestors are! And, I’m sure all of the ones I do know about would be equally as informative and entertaining.  I most definitely would like to meet William Ballard (b: 1715) and find out who his parents are! He is my 6th-great-GF and lived in Virginia.  He is on my maternal side.  On my paternal side, I’d like to meet John Ford (b: 1809) and talk to him about his family and his travels.  Thirdly, I’d like to meet Ailesann (Dyer) McGuire (b: 1811).  I’d like to know who her parents and siblings are and what it was like growing up in newly-minted Indiana.


What ancestor would you like to meet? Share in the comments!

FFF~Week #33

Ancestor: My paternal 3rd-great-grandmother (Mary Hill)


  1. Married John Ford on 23 September 1831 in Gallia County, Ohio.
  2. On the 1840 census in Spencer County, Indiana, John Ford is listed living with a female age 20-29, putting Mary’s birth year approximately 1811-1820.  My best educated guess, using the year they wed, would put her birth year around 1810-1812.
  3. On the 1830 census for Gallia County, Ohio, the Hill heads of household who included a female of Mary’s age included: Betsey, Isaac, and Sarah.  And that’s presuming the Hill family lived in Gallia County as of 1830.  When I attended the OGS Annual Conference in April 2015 I did do some research on Hills in Gallia County.  I found Isaac Hill’s sons’ names but not his daughters’ names.
  4. According to family lore, John Ford and Mary Hill had 3 children together between the time they married, 1831, and the time he remarried in 1847.  Two of the children died, as did Mary.  Lyman S. Ford was born in 1832 and survived.  On the 1840 census, there is another child listed, a female under 5 years of age.  As for the third child, I’ve not yet found any piece of evidence about him/her.  Also, I have not yet found anything about Mary’s demise.
  5. Only 4 facts this time until I have the chance to flesh out the Hills of Gallia County.

FFF~Week #32

Ancestor: My paternal 3rd-great-grandfather (John Ford)

Facts:  I’ve discussed John Ford before, a very interesting person.  Since posting about him prior, I’ve received his CMSR (Compiled Military Service Record) and pension records from NARA.  Those were very enlightening.  I learned about an injury he incurred while in Cartersville, Georgia, in 1864 where a mule kicked him in the thigh/groin, which incapacitated him for basically the rest of his life.  One of the deponents to his pension case was Nathan Hinkle, a Revolutionary War patriot, who also lived in Sullivan County, Indiana.

jf_0046 Letter written by John Ford, found in his pension file

One-Year Blogiversary

Time flies!

It’s nice to have basically an electronic journal of what I’ve done or attempted to do for the last year.  There were a couple slow months, I know.  I’ll take this time to list my achievements and goals for the next year.

What I Have Done (June 2014-June 2015)

Started this blog on 24 Jun 2014.

Approved for Society of Civil War Families of Indiana (SCWFI) (Civil War ancestor: Paul Mayer).

Approved for NSDAR (Patriot: Thomas Pearson).

Attended the OGS Conference.

Attended the IGS Conference.

Finished my indexing project.

Had a family reunion.

Began researching for a portion of my BCG portfolio.

What I Want to Do (June 2015- )

Start a local genealogy society (officially by 1 Jan 2016).

Volunteer more hours at local historical society.

Swearing-in ceremony for Sarah Winston Henry Chapter of INDAR (Sept 2015).

Create the yearbook for Sarah Winston Henry Chapter of INDAR (Sept 2015).

Attend regional INDAR meeting (Aug 2015).

Add two more of my ancestors to SCWFI (John Ford and Lyman S. Ford).

Begin working on NSDAR supplemental for William Ballard (born 1715).

Finish studies through NGS (got this in under the wire! Signed up for the NGS Guide to Documentation and Source Citation!).

Attend OGS Conference (Apr 2016).

Attend IGS Conference (Apr 2016).

Attend Midwestern Roots 2016 (July 2016).

Attend FGS Conference (Aug/Sept 2016).

Attend APG’s PMC (Sept 2016).

Join PALAM (Oct 2015).

Become an aunt again!! (July or August 2015)

Put together another family reunion (Oct 2016).

Go “on the clock”???

Apply for First Families of Ohio (James A. Fowler and his wife Elizabeth Devore).

My Experience Using a Pro Genealogist for Document Retrieval

Background: I’ve been wanting to order my 3rd-great-GF and 2nd-great-GF’s compiled military service records (CMSR) and Civil War pension records from NARA for some time now.  It was cost-prohibitive to me in that it would take literally months for my request to be filled and even then the people who are contracted to copy do just that, copy what’s in the file in whatever order it’s in (not really reading the article looking for further clues).  Not to mention the fact that I was concerned I’d send the wrong file numbers to NARA and waste my money.  So, on the advice of a member on the APG list to contact fellow APG members in the DC area willing to do lookups and searches at NARA, I did just that.

In 17 days, I had over 230 pages from the files of John Ford and Lyman S. Ford.  The genealogist I hired is Pamela Loos-Noji, Ph.D. who gave permission to share her name and services here.  My copies were sent to me via Dropbox, which I then saved to my computer.  Excellent copies of the documents and in order!  And, really, what I paid to Ms. Loos-Noji is comparable to what I would’ve paid NARA.

To put it mildly, I am thrilled!  So thrilled, in fact, that I will most likely use her services again in the future for my other ancestors with Civil War military history (I’m looking at you, Paul Mayer!).

jf_0046 Written by John Ford himself!

lyman_0078 One image from Lyman S. Ford’s file

I haven’t had time to explore all the images and analyze anything so I chose one of John’s in his own handwriting and a random image from Lyman’s file.

Needless to say, I am extremely pleased with the results.  Check out if you need to find a pro to do some work for you!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun-Your Ancestors or Cousins Born on Your Birthdate

For all the details, see Mr. Randy Seaver’s post!

My birthday is 21 June 19–. The first day of summer. The longest day of the year. Am I a Gemini or Cancer? I’ve always identified with Gemini.

So, I used my RootsMagic7 program and came up with a list of birthdays. Eight were in June, none share 21 June. The closest to my birthday is my maternal grandfather’s sister, Beatrice Elizabeth Ballard, who was born on 17 June. My mother has her name as a middle name; Beatrice died as a young child. We named our stillborn daughter Isabella Bea. The others who share June birthdays with me include both my mom and dad, John Ford, Peyton Pearson (son of Thomas), and William Maxwell (my paternal grandmother’s father).

I’ll be keeping an eye out for an ancestor or collateral relative who shares my birthday!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~(BSGO) Bright Shiny Genealogy Objects

Check here for more information!

BSGO are items you happen upon in your research, somewhat serendipitously, and you must follow that lead, sometimes falling into a genealogy black hole!  Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

1.  I do stumble upon BSGO every once in awhile.

2.  My most recent BSGO was while looking through unindexed record sets on FamilySearch dot org.  I was looking at land records for Genesee County, NY, for the early 1800s as John Ford said his father bought land in the Holland Purchase about the time he was 7 (1815).  Lo and behold, I found land sold to Nathaniel Ford by an Archibald Bennett in 1816. !!! Since I had yet to connect Prudence Bennett, Nathaniel’s wife, to anyone at all, seeing these two names together in a land transaction gave me hope!  I took Archibald Bennett’s name and ran with it.  I found out Archibald Bennett had applied for a Revolutionary War pension from Decatur County, IN, in 1837, one of the witnesses being John Ford (I’ve established that John Ford was in Indiana in the late 1830s).  Archibald Bennett’s Rev War pension application gave his date and place of birth as being Antietam, Maryland, in 1762, and that he was recruited as a Frontier Ranger while living in Washington County, PA, during the Rev War.  The year of birth, 1762, made him too young to be Prudence’s father, so I’m guessing a brother or uncle.  At any rate, just finding that land record opened a lot of doors for me!  I imagine I spent a good hour chasing leads.

3.  If I find something promising, I go after it then and there if at all possible.  If not possible, I make a note of it in Evernote or jot it down.  It depends on the situation how disciplined I am about being mesmerized by BSGO. 🙂

Genealogy Do-Over~Week 2

Week 2: 9 Jan-15 Jan 2015

*Setting Research Goals

  • Who was John Ford’s birth family? Particularly his 12 siblings’ names. For females, I need to find marriage records for Genesee Co, NY, and surrounding areas for female Fords of that time. I do have a list of male Fords that could possibly be brothers.
  • Who was John Ford’s first wife and his three children with her? I know he married a Mary Hill in 1831 in Ohio, and his first son Lyman was born in 1832 (my 2nd-great-GF). There were 2 other children, but something happened to the first wife and 2 other children. I haven’t found anything that explicitly says Mary died or that John and Mary divorced. On the 1840 census in IN, John Ford is living with Mary, Lyman, and one of the other children in a county on the Ohio River so cholera is always a possibility. John remarried in 1847 in Ohio so sometime during the 1840 census and his remarriage in 1847 something happened to his first family.
  • In the process of this research, I’ve found that John had a younger brother named Lyman. John and Lyman were in Ohio in the early 1830s and both married then.  Lyman moved to Indiana (on the 1850 census) for a time after that, to the county next to John’s, but then returned to Ohio by 1860 where he lived the rest of his life. In 1850, John was in California during The Gold Rush, working as a trader. In 1860, he is back on the Indiana census. It is interesting to note that Lyman was married in Washington County, PA, where Archibald Bennet had enlisted as a Frontier Ranger during the Revolutionary War…more connections! Lyman lived in Monroe County, OH, and John married Mary Hill in Gallia County, OH, both very close to Washington County, PA. Furthermore, John married his second wife Caroline in Noble County, OH.

*Conducting Self-Interview

  •  Completing Family Group Sheets: My own is done but I need to work on aunts, uncles, and cousins, will focus on Fords at this time.
  • Need to create my autobiography. Can I fit it all onto 1 page? Not sure.

*Conducting Family Interviews

  • I plan on asking members of a family Facebook group to share what they know about the family, their memories. Also need to set a 2015 reunion date. This is not the Ford family, though.
  • See if I can find a Ford Family group on the internet to share info with. Darn near impossible.
  • Get my Dad to take a DNA test! (He’s a Ford.)

ETA: At the end of Week 2, I have accomplished completing Family Group Sheets for each generation of my Ford line back to John Ford. I did this in RootsMagic7 with the help of censuses. John Ford had a total of 8 known children (3 from his first marriage and 5 from his second marriage), his son Lyman had 10 known children, his son Joseph had 4 known children, his son Harold had 1 known child, and his son is my dad with 2 daughters. FindAGrave dot com was a big help in this endeavor, especially for folks more than 50 years gone.

Evidentia: You and I come face to face tomorrow! I’m taking my laptop to the library where I can get some serious work accomplished!

Revisiting Paul Mayer

For some background on Paul Mayer, see this post.

I found out yesterday that the application I completed to join the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana (SCWFI), honoring Paul Mayer, had been approved! He served 3 months in 1861 in the 8th IN Regiment and saw action at the Battle of Rich Mountain in West Virginia with his regiment. I’m still working on finding Paul Mayer’s parents in Wuerttemberg, Germany!

I’m still working on my father/son Civil War veteran combo. I have no trouble linking myself to the son, but the link between father and son will be harder to prove as there is very little documentation linking the two together (the father being John Ford, my Do-Over research ancestor).  Both John and Lyman Ford served in the 59th IN Regiment from 1862 until the war was over.

My DAR application must’ve recently been sent in because my check was finally cashed!

More info on the SCWFI: Indiana Genealogical Society

Genealogy Do-Over~Week 1

Week 1: 2 Jan-8 Jan 2015

I’ve decided to work on a do-over with my research on John Ford, my 3rd-great-GF (paternal), or, more precisely, John Ford’s parents and family.

*Setting Previous Research Aside
I’ve decided to modify this a bit since I’ve accumulated quite a bit of information about Mr. Ford himself. I’m going to get what I have better organized. I have digital information, hard copy information, stuff saved in Evernote…all of this needs to be properly organized and cited.

*Preparing to Research (Further)
I am going to devise a research plan to make better educated searches for information. In Indiana, I need to better search the county where John Ford lived, I need to request his compiled service record from NARA, I need to better research the county in Ohio where he was first married, Sacket Harbor in NY where he was discharged in 1829, why he lived in Arkansas, etc. Oops, I about fell down the rabbit hole! Thus, I need a written research plan combined with a research log, possibly in Excel, to track research progress. Luckily, a member of the Genealogy Do-Over FB group shared an Excel template for a research log, and it is excellent! (Thank you Ellen Coulter!)

*Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
I’m using RootsMagic7 and have added Folder Marker to my computer to match folder colors to RM7 colors for family lines.
I need to learn to add source citations to images (practiced doing this on this post).
I need to do this as soon as I scan the image into the computer…NO WAITING!
Save digital info to Evernote to my main folder, then move to appropriate family folders to keep organized, using appropriate note titles and tags.
Use Evidentia to its fullest potential for citing my sources, beginning with building a case for the Ford family.
Become BFFs with Evidence Explained!

On a side note, this first day of Genealogy Do-Over I actually did a bit of research for the project I’m working on for future BCG certification. This project will require further research in Ohio; I hope to attend the OGS annual conference in April to work on that. Fingers crossed!

ETA: I began this post on 2 Jan 2015. Since then, I’ve figured out how to add citations to images and save as .pdf files, I’ve color coded my folders on my hard drive to match my family lines in RootsMagic7, I have done some digital organizing of said files, and I have spreadsheets for research logging and census tracking. I have the next couple days off work so I plan to begin adding sources to Evidentia!