Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Ballard Family History


Some of you (if you have read my blogs for the past 3 yrs.) know that I LOVE working on Family History. I've always had an interest in details---so when I started seaching for family information, I just became addicted to it. First I worked on my mother's mother's side of the family (the Bruce's). I had much more information on that family. Then (in 2006-07) I started doing genealogy on my mother's father's side of the family, the Ballards.
I worked and worked and worked ----and could only find enough information that took me back to my Great Great Great Grandfather John Ballard (1772-1850). I ran into a brick wall trying to go any further... WELL---guess what???? I met a new cousin who found me due to some blogs I had written about the Ballards. Cousin Sue lives in Illinois ----and she and I are First Cousins Once Removed!!!! Our Grandfathers are brothers ---and we share the same Great Grandfather (William Alexander Ballard).
Isn't blogging just wonderful???? I would never have met Sue --except through the internet and my blogging. And here's the good news. Sue (through her research) helped me solve my mystery and crash my brick wall!!!!! Because of Sue, I now can take my Ballard Family history back to our 8 Great Grandfather, Thomas Ballard, who was born in 1630 in England. Is that not the neatest thing?????? I have been so excited.
The Ballards settled in and around Yorktown and Williamsburg, VA. I am learning more and more every single day about this neat family and its history. Above is a picture I featured in another blog when talking about the Ballards. I wanted you to see this picture again since the picture is of the Ballard Brothers. My grandfather (James Franklin Ballard) is the first one on the left. Sue's grandfather (Bland Eugene Ballard) is the 3rd one from the left. Below are more pictures with Ballard connections.




This is Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, VA. Our 8 Great Grandfather Thomas Ballard is buried there ---and there's a bronze tablet in the interior of the church with his name, and his name is on the name plate of a pew. Isn't that special? I was in W'burg in 2007---and I saw this church, but at the time I didn't know Thomas was my direct line relative. Now I need to go back!!!!




This was taken inside Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, an active parish since 1715. Note the high pulpit.




This bronze lectern was given in 1907 by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt.




Here is a close-up of part of this bronze lectern. The American eagle is on one side, and the British lion is on the other.




The inside of the church; the altar and communion rail are of black walnut.




I am standing in one of the ‘high box pews’--where President Thomas Jefferson sat. I didn't realize at the time that Thomas Ballard had a pew marked with his name... Darn!!!!




The pews--with doors--were designed to give warmth in the unheated church. My George is standing at George Washington's pew.




Here's one more picture of Bruton Parish Church. Today there are over 1400 members. Bruton Parish gets its name from an English parish on the River Brue in Somerset, England.




In Yorktown, we found a Ballard Street and this house, The Ballard House. This house belonged to my 6Great Grandfather, John Ballard. John was married to Elizabeth Bland, who was the daughter of Rev. William Bland. Captain John Ballard was a merchant in Yorktown and a Captain of the Militia.





This is the Ballard girl standing outside of her 6 Great Grandfather's home in Yorktown, VA. When I was there, I was only wondering if this could be a relative... And now---I know it is!!!!!! Do I feel special????? Yes-Sir-Ree- Bob!!!!
Sue, thanks so much for contacting me. I hope we will meet someday.. Right now though---here's to the Ballard cousins!!!!! Yeah Rah!
Hugs,

50 comments:

♥ Kathy♥ said...

Betsy that is really neat you have been able to trace you roots back so far. I know some of my cousins on my Dad side of the family have been doing this but have run into a brick wall on my Dads mother. Nothing can be found about her. No one can find any family and from what my Dad said she never talked about her family. No one even knows where she was born (no birth cerifciate) and have no ideal who her parents were.

Jayne said...

How fun Betsy! So great that you got to meet a distant cousin who could fill in the blanks for you. :c)

Beth said...

How exciting, Betsy! Exciting to have made the connection to your cousin and exciting to have discovered your family connection to Yorktown and Williamsburg. You are fortunate to have been able to trace your roots back so far.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Wow, how exciting for you...all of this is so interesting...thanks for sharing...

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

What an exciting story about your family, Betsy!! Your posts are such a joy to read. The photography is outstanding. Did I ever ask you what kind of camera you use? Let me know. My digital doesn't do the greatest job, and I would like a camera that zooms in really close so I can take pictures of the clouds and sunsets, etc. I've always like photography.

My husband traces his genealogy and he is distantly related to the notorious "Bart Thrasher" of Bibb County (who shot sheriffs, lol)...

Susie said...

Hey Betsy, how fun to find a cousin who helped you with the family history. I enjoyed reading and learning much.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so awesome. How wonderful for your cousin to find you and help solve the mysteries!!!
Love those pictures of the church and the actual Ballard house!!! You are famous Betsy. :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: Really neat visit to the church, thanks for sharing this neat trip.
You must have some Scottish heritage because Bruce is such a famous Scottis name.

Thistlebrooms said...

Betsy...
I'm SO happy you found the other pieces to your puzzle...How Exciting...

Now you REALLY have to go back for a visit...To beable to go back that far is so Special...

CHEERS for your cousin SUE!!!

My Best...Marilyn

Darla said...

Your enthusiasm is quite catchy you know. You amaze me with your family history and how you can keep it all straight. Hooray for internet and meeting not only neew friends but family as well!! Good job Betsy..

Kelly said...

Oh Betsy, I LOVE this post!!! I'm so happy you found the missing link! I went to Williamsburg a few years ago, and fell in love. I was born on George Washington's birthday and he's my favorite historical figure. How cool to know your relatives walked the same streets and went to church with him! I was in that church too....and I also recognize the Ballard House. Do you remember Shield's Tavern? That was my cousin's Great+ grandfather's place. We did the same thing...wondered if it was a relation, then we found out about a year later it was! I'm sooooo happy for you. You have to go back now.

JKoenig said...

Wow!! How exciting! My daughter has done a lot of family research the last couple of years using Ancestory.com. She has traced back both sides of her husband's family as well as my family. She is currently working on my husband's family, although a new baby has kind of put things on hold for a while. She was able to take my dad's side of the family back to the 1300's and discovered his relatives were some of the original settlers of Dorchester, Mass., and must have come over just shortly after the Mayflower. She has published all the information along with lots of pictures in two books, so far.

Last summer my parent's basment flooded, and we came across a box of my grandmother's pictures. My mom helped me with names and I scanned most of the pictures so they could be included in my daughter's research. She has since been contacted by other distant family members thruogh the internet;thanking her for pictures of their familes they never had.

I guess what I am saying by sharing all of this is, I can feel your excitment!!!

Have a great day...

Cicero Sings said...

How fun and how interesting! Enjoyed this post. Neat to have such a history ferreted out.

Dorothy said...

Betsy, this is a very interesting post and pictures! I enjoyed it!!

Small City Scenes said...

, how interesting. Not only interesting but you have such positive proof and tangible things to touch and feel and stand by. How fortunate. I am glad you met Cousin Sue. MB

Snap said...

How exciting, Betsy and a new found cousin to top it off! Congratulations! Wonderful photos, too!

Diane said...

Geneaology is incredibly interesting. That church is beautiful! The lectern is just wonderful. Don't let George stay there very long, he'll start giving sermons (if he hasn't already)

cherie said...

hihihi - ms. betsy, make sure not to lose your copy of this genealogy because your grandkids will surely want to to the same! what a fun post! (my eyes are sooo drooping...)

Cheryl /Ashton said...

I enjoyed this post immensely! The photos were great. How wonderful to find your cousin.

Diane AZ said...

The discoveries you've made about your genealogy are remarkable! I agree, the internet and blogging are wonderful. :)

Tricia said...

Betsy, I just love to see your smile! You're so photogenic! The camera really loves you - Great post, too!

Bird Girl said...

How cool is that? You are part of a famous family and to get to know all of this from your long lost cousin is so much FUN! Really too bad you didn't know about the Thomas Ballard pew - you'll have to go BACK! Neat post, Betsy. Those Ballard fellas are a handsome bunch!

Shelley said...

That is fantastic that you and Sue were able to cross paths and complete your family history! You have such a wonderful record already - so neat to see the house of your great, great, etc. grandfather! :-) My aunt is trying to put together our family history right now - it's a little difficult on my grandfathers side since my great grandparents emigrated from Syria(and none of us will going there anytime soon!)

A Brit in Tennessee said...

How exciting !
I think it is just mind boggling how people on the internet find relatives, love, happiness, entertainment.
The church is just beautiful, and I must mention those fella's are extremely handsome ;)
Wonderful post, Betsy !

SmilingSally said...

Family history is interesting, but finding a famous relative is super neat!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I got wrapped up in my family history a number of years ago. Now I just ignore it. More or less. I can't get a loaf of bread with it or buy one ounce of whiskey, so I wonder who benefited? Me. I guess. I did find out that the name came from a Roman garrisoned in what is now England and the country still has a lot of Lincoln names around.

My genealogy is not so neat as what you have turned up. Your photos of these places are excellent.

Thanks for visiting. I wanted to tell someone who understands more about photography than just pushing the shutter button that your visit will count and help make history. Pick a Peck of Pixels

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Betsy, this is so fascinating! And I could just sense the joy at finding your cousin Sue and your excitement over the details she was able to give you.

It's good for one to know from where she's come!

Rose said...

I opened this page this morn, saw that it was a family post, and decided to wait till Lorelei went home to take it all in. I almost get chills with you...how wonderful to find another relative through your blog! And for her to break down your brick wall in going back just adds to it. I am so happy for you!

Mary said...

How great to go somewhere connected to your family history. that must have been so interesting. My great-grandparents all came here from Germany, so I have very little history to trace in this country.

Becky said...

How neat!
The internet is a wonderful tool. How did we ever manage without it?

The Incredible Woody said...

I am so excited for you. Since I love genealogy too, I know that you are just beside yourself. You HAVE to go back to Williamsburg now.

A few years ago, Vol Fan and I visited Williamsburg. An acapella group from William and Mary did an evening show in Bruton Church. It was wonderful - all bathed in candlelight!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for sharing your joy and excitement with me via the blog.Blogging is great and who knows what you will find out because of it?
Blessings,Ruth

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Totally cool, Betsy. It's wonderful that you can trace your family so far back. Some of your family has been on this side of the Atlantic for a very long time.

Elaine said...

Betsy...how wonderful that you can trace your family back that far! I would just love to know how to do that but I have have very limited knowledge about how to go about it. You must do some future posts with some suggestions and tips because whatever you've been doing is certainly paying off!

Nina P. said...

Family is so very important. If you know your family history it's quite intriguing. I don't have the same drive as you but I do appreciate the dedication and time it took you to do all the searching. I'm so happy you found a long lost cousin as well as a long lost history!! Keep up the searching. Sounds like a family reunion is around the corner. Love and Light, Nina P.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Now that looks like a distinguished crowd ... and great it's an NPS site. (I'm an NPS hydrologist!!!)

Janie said...

How cool that you were able to break the barrier through an internet contact and trace your ancestors back so far!

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hello Betsy,

Well, isn't that something!! We have a good friend that is deep into geneology. I could sit and listen to the stories all afternoon...he is such a good storyteller.

The home we sold in north Alabama last summer had five acres with it. It included the towns original cemetary and has one of the last known road beds of the Trail of Tears. The lady that bought the property was heavily into geneology and could have cared less about the house..LOL she wanted that cematery!!

To answer your question...This house we are remodeling is 9 years old. The best we can guess is that the builder was also a local and didn't give a flip about the great views or else he would have done what we are now doing (to begin with)! :0)

I'll post the kitchen later on Wednesday..the electrician has to come back this morning and then I'll do an update.

Thanks for visiting,
Steph

NatureStop said...

This must be so exciting for you.Your distant cousin..mystery solved..WOW!!Really interesting post!

Shantana

Gena said...

I love when you post the old photos and family history. You have gone really far back. I've been working on my family tree some.
Fascinating!

Tammie Lee said...

Congratulations, this is a huge break through and a wonderful lot of information. I bet all sorts of folk in your family are finding this mighty interesting!

Spirithelpers

GeneaDiva said...

I'm always excited to get through one of those brick walls and how nice to meet a new cousin at the same time. I would call this a genealogy happy dance moment.

Congrats and may you break many more brick walls as you continue your research. :)

Ms. Fiddlesticks said...

What makes your visit to the church so special now is that you have pictures. Knowing about the history and your relatives part in it is wonderful. It is a wonderful and small world. Good luck in the rest of your search.

Daisy said...

Well isn't that cool that you were able to do that as a result of having a blog!

Adriel said...

Hey there! WE might actually be some sort of distant cousins too. My name is Adriel (Ballard) Helms. I'm related to The Virginia Ballards too. I wanted to know who the other two men in the top picture were. I'm related through Thomas Ballard. Please contact me anytime, I'd love it if we could share information! ahelms05@cinci.rr.com

marywsanchez said...

Good Morning. I too am related to the VA Ballards, Col. Thomas Ballard (1630-1689) was my 10great grandfather. So, we must be cousins somehow. :) If you would like to share any information, I would love to hear from you.
Thanks,
Mary Sanchez
marywsanchez@live.com

Betsy Adams said...

NOTE to some cousin of mine named BOGGS --who sent me an email... Somehow I lost the email ---so please email me again... So sorry!!! I do want to talk to you --if I can catch up with you!
Betsy

JessikaRutherford said...

Hi, My name is Anna Rutherford, but my maiden name is Ballard. I have been working on my family tree for a little while now and I have possibly traced myself back to this line of Ballard's through Bland Ballard. However, I can not prove a lot of it. Is there anyway you can share your information with me? My email address is abrutherford@att.net

Shkoehler said...

Betsy, I have a similar story to yours. I was at Bruton Parish Church in about 1990, but didn't know much family history. I didn't see my Ballard family name on the pew either. We are distant cousins also. My Ballards settled in Ohio. I can also trace my lineage to Thomas. I will be in Virginia this summer and am looking forward to doing more exploring. Would love to hear from you at shkoehler@aol.com. Are there any more photos I could take for you?
Sharon Ballard Koehler

Shkoehler said...

Betsy, my story is similar to yours. I was at Bruton Parish Church in 1990 but didn't know that my Ballard ancestor was prominent in that area. My Ballards settled in Ohio. I will be back in Williamsburg this summer and plan to do more knowledgeable looking. Thank you for sharing your story. You can reach me at shkoehler@aol.com.
Sharon Ballard Koehler