Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and Conference

The IGS Annual Conference was hosted by the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society and held at University Hall on the Indiana State University Campus in Terre Haute, Indiana, on 25 April 2015, featuring Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, for four lectures. Four other lectures were offered, two about Terre Haute/Vigo County and two about DNA.

I decided to sit in on the Terre Haute/Vigo County sessions and then the final two Judy Russell speeches. Mr. Mike McCormick spoke first about the history of the settlement of Terre Haute. His speech was very informative and enlightening as to the history of the town. I was particularly interested in early business, i.e. breweries, and the Wabash-Erie Canal. Mr. McCormick is the county genealogist for Vigo County for IGS, and most of his speech was from memory!

Next up was a session about the website Wabash Valley Visions and Voices (WV3), which is a digital memory project. Donna Adams and Vikki Sordean are members of two of the charter partners, and they spoke about getting this project off the ground. The project includes partners, different regional repositories, who agree to share their digital collection online in this consortium form.  There are thousands of pictures, documents, and oral histories included on the site, searchable by subject, county, name. Much work goes on behind the scenes, including scanning fragile items, labeling them and tagging them to be found online. What a wonderful effort. I applaud them for their hard work and diligence.

image Donna Adams showing a steamboat picture (the Diana, a Wabash River steamboat) from WV3.

The annual meeting of IGS was held after lunch with general updates and an award ceremony. It was nice to hear firsthand what the Society is doing, where it is headed, and learning of achievements from all around the state. I was part of the 2014 inductions into the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, having my ancestor Paul Mayer proven. I hope to have my father and son Civil War ancestors added to the list next year.

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The certificate is beautiful in person.

The final two sessions I attended were both presented by Judy Russell…you can’t go wrong listening to her speak! Her speech, titled “Staying Out of Trouble: The Rights and Responsibilities of Today’s Genealogists,” I have actually heard before; it never hurts to hear this one again though!  Many things to consider when looking for records and when using records (I’m looking at you copyright!).  The final lecture was about the black sheep in the family, “Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions: The Family Black Sheep.”  I hadn’t really given it much thought, other than, say, criminals being black sheep, but Ms. Russell outlined three groups of black sheep characters: Law Breakers, Philanderers, and Deadbeats.  The black sheep of the family usually provide colorful records of the past, and, while those related to the black sheep at the time have to live through their blunders, the descendants of said black sheep can revel in the record-finding!

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All in all, I had a great couple days in Terre Haute, lots to learn and meeting new people. I am very much looking forward to the Annual Conference to be held 15-16 April 2016 in Fort Wayne, Indiana!

Third/Fourth Month and Hannah Katherine (Hanby) Ballard

Yes, I missed my 3-month update…ugh! Much has been happening on the genealogy/family history front here…a small family reunion, getting my DAR application put together, plus 2-3 Civil War applications. I have copies of copies of copies EVERYWHERE!

The family reunion was a nice get-together for my mother and her 2 living sisters and brother. It was nice to see them and the cousins and get pictures and share social media contact information. 🙂

My Mom found a good picture of my 2nd-great-GM, Hannah Katherine (Hanby) Ballard, so I thought I’d share a bit of her life with you.

Hannah Katherine (she went by Kate) was born on January 1857 in Darrtown, Butler County, Ohio, to William Clinton and Hannah Ann (Fowler) Hanby. She and her family moved to New Lisbon, Henry County, Indiana, when she was approximately 7 years old. Sometime during 1873-74, she met Dr. Amos Benton Ballard who was a newly-minted physician/widower/divorcee with one son (Everett Guy) and had set up shop in New Lisbon, IN, in the latter months of 1873. By 31 August 1874, Kate and Amos were married. Kate was 17 years Amos’ junior.

amoskate Dr. Amos B. Ballard and Hannah Katherine (Hanby) Ballard, picture taken probably shortly after they wed.

They began moving around East-Central Indiana, from Henry County to Jay County, then Randolph County. Their first child, a son, William Benton, was born in 1879 in Jay County and died 3 years later of “brain congestion.” I’ve searched Jay County for his final resting place but have been unable to locate it (Amos’ eldest son, Everett, actually took a picture of it that I have but he didn’t identify the location other than for saying “Green Township, Jay County”). In Randolph County, Dr. Ballard served as a physician and a preacher, marrying several different couples. During this time, three more sons were borne to them: Clarkson (“Clarkie”), George, and Harvey. Shortly after Harvey’s birth in October 1890, Kate took her three sons via train to visit her family in Henry County. Dr. Ballard stayed behind due to being busy as a country physician. Unfortunately during this trip, Clarkson and George fell ill with diphtheria. Kate returned to Randolph County where Dr. Ballard met them at the train. They lost Clarkson on 6 January 1891 at age 9 years old. George survived and wrote a letter detailing these events. George wrote that after Clarkson’s death, Kate’s grief was too much for her and they moved back to be near her family in New Lisbon. Finally, in 1894, their final child, another son, Willard Marion, was born. If Kate thought she was out of the woods as far as bad things happening to her, she was not. Her mother passed in 1894, then Dr. Ballard in 1897 while he was visiting his eldest son, Everett, in Madison County, IN.

filename-1(1) Not sure who the two young boys are between Amos and Kate, possibly the youngest two.

On the 1900 census, Kate is enumerated as living in Sulphur Springs, Henry County, IN, with her sons Harvey and Willard; George moved to Oregon shortly after Dr. Ballard’s passing. It is noted on that census that Kate reports 5 pregnancies, 3 surviving children.  On the 1910 census, Kate is still living in Sulphur Springs, now with just Willard, and again she lists 5 pregnancies, 3 surviving children. I have been unable to locate her on the 1920 census. The last census on which she was enumerated, the 1930 census, she was living with her youngest son, Willard, in Middletown, Henry County, IN. She died in 1936 and is buried next to Dr. Ballard and their son, Clarkie.

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Education: I mentioned on Twitter last week that I had received 3.5 hours of no-expense-to-me genealogical education via 2 webinars and my first-ever Google Hangout. The first one was entitled “Hunting for Henry: A Case Study Using Collaterals” presented by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG, and offered by the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Excellent case study regarding a German immigrant (see my Paul Mayer). The next day, I had the honor of listening to Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, discuss “Kinship Determination: From Generation to Generation.” This was offered by the BCG. Ms. Russell presented the material in such a way so as to remember that what we do is FUN! This also covered BCG Certification Requirement #7. Right now, I’m trying to decide what ancestor to begin with for my KDP (kinship determination project). Lastly, I sat in on a Google Hangout to cover how to get started using Evidentia. Evidentia is a software that captures your sources and gives them a voice. If forces you to cite your sources and analyze them and attach them to a subject. I won’t lie, it intimidates me and I was so glad that the software developer, Mr. Ed Thompson, decided to offer these beginner sessions.

Upcoming news: Going to a Genealogy/Family History Day at the Indiana State Library this weekend…this is exciting because I’m bringing my oldest son along with me. The library had ghost hunters do a year-long investigation of the library, and they will be discussing that. He is big into ghost hunting so I thought he’d enjoy it. Plus, big news on my research biz! Recently, I was inspired to go for it and get it started. I still work my regular day job but I’m moving closer and closer to taking clients!