Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's All in the NAME



If you have ever worked on Family History, I'm sure you have found some help along the way IF there is a common name which runs through the family. That's why I think (even moreso now than when I was younger) that it's important to pass along some family names to your children. The two last names on my mother's side of the family were Bruce and Ballard. My parents named all three of us using one of the family names. My oldest brother was Raymond Edgar Banks (Edgar being my father's middle name); my middle brother was James Ballard Banks (using the Ballard side); and I was Elizabeth Bruce Banks (using the Bruce side of the family).

When I got married, we had three sons.. My sons' father was a Junior--so we named our first son the Third. He now goes by Tre. Our second son was named Mark Edgar (using my Dad's middle name), and our third son was Jeffrey Bruce (using the Bruce side of the family). IF I had it to do over, I would name one of our sons, Ballard... BUT--back then, last names were seldom used as first names (like they are today).

Today, however, I'm going to share another common name which runs through the Ballard side of my family. That name is BLAND. I can go on my Family Tree info --and there are at least EIGHT Bland Ballards listed through the years, and that doesn't count the ones with Bland used as a middle name. To me, Bland is very unusual --so I did some research (with the help of cousin Sue whose mother was a Ballard) and we tracked the word, BLAND, back to my Six Great Grandfather Ballard, Capt. John Ballard of Yorktown, VA (1693-1745). John Ballard married a lady named Elizabeth BLAND (1697-1751). Elizabeth's father was Rev. William Bland, who in 1791 was named Rector of St. Paul's Church in Norfolk, VA. That is where BLAND started we think---and it's amazing how many Blands there have been since then.

I enjoy Family History, and the internet has brought people together (like Sue and me) --who are researching information on their families. This weekend, I got another email from someone searching for Ballard information. She is searching for a William BLAND Ballard who was born in VA. I have been searching my information ---and I'll bet there is a connection somewhere. So far though, we have haven't found it--but we will keep looking.

Today, I will show you some old black and white pictures of my parents and brothers, and some of the Ballard side of the family---all taken in the early 1930's (before I was born--in 1942). Above is a picture of my parents and my two brothers (Ray and Jim). All four of them are dead now --and I'm the only immediate family member left. Below are more.



These are my brothers, Ray and Jim, with Grandpa Ballard (my mother's father). He died in 1936. (Mom's mother died in 1904 --when Mom was only 4 yrs. old. Her Dad remarried, but Mom didn't live with him very much throughout her life. She was raised by her Bruce aunts in Big Stone Gap, VA.)




This is my mother (Edith Marguerite Ballard Banks) with her father, James Franklin Ballard. She lovingly called him "Papa".




This picture was taken on a different day, but still in the early 1930's. Brother Ray was born in 1922 and Jim was born in 1930. Grandpa Ballard is on the right --and the two ladies in the picture next to him are his daughters from his first marriage. I think he was married three time.



This is a picture of Grandpa Ballard's brother and sisters, his two daughters and his brother's wife. The one on the left is his brother BLAND Ballard. Bland is Sue's (listed above) Great Grandfather. I remember my Great Uncle Bland and his wife Myrtle. Bland was the City Clerk and Auditor of Bristol, VA for 31 years. He died in 1951 at the age of 77. Bland had a son, also named Bland (but called Gene) who died in 1964. Gene was Sue's grandfather.



Here's one more picture of the Ballard Family ---taken about 1931. At one time, there were 10 children in this family. I only knew FIVE: Bland and four of his sisters (Nancy, Aileen, Eunice and Lura).

Hope I didn't bore you too much with my Family History. I enjoy working on it SO much---but it gets frustrating when I hit a "brick wall".... Luckily, because of names like BLAND, I found it easier with the Ballard family.

Have a great Tuesday.
Hugs,

47 comments:

reanaclaire said...

Hi Betsy, great memories when looking back at the pictures, right? family history, I got to dig out mine too, all in black and white those day...

Beth said...

So wonderful, Betsy, that you've been able to trace so far back in your family history. And I love looking at your old family photographs. You are very fortunate to have so many---they are treasures.

Arkansas Patti said...

It is wonderful what you are doing for your children's sake. We should know our roots.
I have dabbled in my family history but lost patience. It is a shame for I am the only one interested and we did have a colorful past. It really does take detective work.
Nice job.

Daisy said...

Great old pictures, Betsy! So many memories surface when doing family histories, I think.

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing your family history. I enjoyed seeing the photos too. I try to pass family history onto my children.
Have a wonderful day too Betsy.

Harriet said...

You are so lucky to have these wonderful family pictures. Great information you have gathered.
I love finding someone on the internet who is researching the same family, it's great to share information and pictures.

Catherine said...

Family history can be so fun to investigate!

I found out several days after my son Kurtis was born that it was Wayne's family tradition that every first male born was to have the middle name of "Naylor". Luckily, we did not find this out until a few days after we had already named our baby Kurtis Chase. We could plead ignorance! :)

Have a lovely day Betsy! Enjoy working on your history!
xo Catherine

Bird Girl said...

It really is amazing what you can find about family history - but I tell you I can't believe just how many pictures you have of your family. Maybe that 'camera bug' gene runs in the Blands and Ballards - haha! I love seeing how the ladies dressed to the nines (another old saying ;-)

Dorothy said...

It's great that you have those old pictures and history! Genealogy rescearch is fun! Have a great day!

Sandra said...

great post Betsy, I love old photograph's even of people I don't know. I am really glad my mother did not name me Sandra Urquhart McCall. urquhart was my great, great, great grandfathers name.

Susie said...

How nice that you have all these wonderful pics Betsy. I love black/whites. Wish I had time to work on genealogy.

Cheryl said...

Such an interesting post Betsy. I loved the photos, how fortunate that you have them! I have a family member who is always working on our family tree, so very intriguing!

Pam said...

Your family photos are wonderful, Betsy. I am amazed how far you were able to go back into your families history. Interesting indeed!

Snap said...

Wonderful Betsy that you've been able to do so much! It's so much fun to trace family history, but also a lot of work. Well done! Love the photos.

Peggy said...

my brother loves working on family history and has gone as far as getting copies of birth, death, marriage certificates on all he can. I am blessed he makes copies of these and old photographs for his baby sister! Its so wonderful reading about past family members I never knew and seeing if I look like any of them in their photos

Sunny said...

Genealogy is so fascinating. Lots of 'B' names! I love old pictures and the fashion of the day.
Sunny :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Betsy, my father's family had traditions about naming the children. Oddly, if a child died at birth or at a young age, they would use that name again. Honoring previous generations was very important to them.

My mom's Irish family did have some tradition about naming children but they were not as strict.
Marnie

The Incredible Woody said...

When I first married Vol Fan, I told him that I wanted our child to have my maiden name as a middle name. He wasn't going for it....my maiden name is Nutt:)

My Dad liked to joke (I think) that the only argument he and my Mom had was over what to name me and my sister. He wanted to name us Ima and Youra.

Deb Pierce said...

You are fortunate to have so many old family photo's...and in such great shape too.

Mary said...

Bland is a very unusual name to find that often. It is true that families seem to repeat names. In my family it is Margaret....both of my grandmothers, my mother, my oldest sister are named Margaret. And a niece is Mary Margaret. Personally I don't like the idea of naming kids after family members...it takes something from their individuality it seems to me.

From the Kitchen said...

What's in a name? Everything! Your family photos look like my family photos. Well, not the same people but much the same era, clothing and hairstyles. And, I do know where Big Stone Gap is. Have you read any of Adriana Trigiana books about the area? About the lady pharmacist in Big Stone Gap?

O.K. Here's a question. As you know, I'm really learning from your photography. Of course, I know you didn't take those family photographs. I, however, don't have a clue as to how you got them on your blog!!

Best,
Bonnie

Karin said...

Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day, days in the week, etc. to delve into all these interesting things that are available to us on the net. It's amazing that I get any housework done at all, lol! So great to read about your family history and particularly to see all those lovely photos! Beautiful!

Kelly said...

...interesting. I've done a bit of research, but not nearly enough. I love all of your old photos...

EcoRover said...

Great old pics and family history. I grew up with marvelous tales of my Irish & ScotIrish ancestors--there's probably a geneology project in my future!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

You've done extensive research on your family history, I'm impressed!
Love seeing all the old black and white photos, and isn't it refreshing to see how everyone always dressed up in those days, even for the everyday activites. I remember my grandma always wearing hats, with every outfit.
My roots are Irish, when there's a gap in the family history it makes hard work, picking back up the trail, but I'll do it.
Lovely post Betsy !

Glenda said...

Old pictures like these certainly are treasures! Learning about our roots enriches our present lives,doesn't it? You've been able to do some deep digging into your genealogy, and that's so neat. We've recently learned more about my husband's family and visited a little family cemetery way back in the woods where his great-grandparents are buried.

nanny said...

My brother researched our ancestors and I need to get the info from him....very interesting. I love knowing about my family!

Small City Scenes said...

Alright Betsy! You are fortunate to have so many photos. My daughter has done extensive family history and seems to come to a brick wall now and the. And like you she will meet some one online looking for the same family name--only a different branch and hopefully they can help each other out. MB

Becca's Dirt said...

Betsy I think that's great that you are searching your family's history. I know it must be fun and rewarding. What's great is that you are having some success.

Got a question - I have posted a new daffodil today and was wondering if you could identify it with a name.

Ginny said...

Betsy, this Bland post was not bland at all!! I love looking at old pictures and it looks like your mom was pretty stylish; and pretty pretty! It is so sad to hear of all the others passing, I know how you feel, no family left older than me either. In fact, two years ago, my mom and Phil's both died around the same time. It was awful. Phil does have a lot of older family, but not me. You are so fortunate to have the very good pictures, though. It's fun to see the fashions of the day, as well. I have many old pictures and will post them sometime.

wildlifewatcher said...

I too, feel that it's good for people to know about their family heritage!

Rose said...

Betsy, LOVED this post...I love hearing tales of your family!

DayPhoto said...

Genealogy is a wonderful past-time. I read your post eagerly wondering if we were related.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Blissitydoodah said...

I've been just "blown away" by some wonderful discoveries I've made in my family history this week :) Yes, those brick walls can slow the fun down for sure!
My mother was a Buzzard (I know how you love birds :) and I learned our European ancestor came from Alsace where my reader Jojo Caramel's ancestors came from. So we are thinking our old dead relatives might have known each other :)

imac said...

MMM interesting --Now we have Billy Bob too?

podso said...

I also love family history, a love that my father first taught me. He researched and wrote a family history. And yes, it is interesting to see those names repeated over and over. I recently discovered family history in my mother's family going back to Holland and was amused to see the same family names, only in a sort of Dutch version or spelling, at least.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love how you used family names for your kids like your parents did....but, did your Sons continue this?
I wish I had more history from my family....

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I enjoy looking at old photographs. It is interesting seeing how people styled their hair and the clothing that they wore.

Bob's sister is into genealogy; I am not. We've been benefactors of her research in that we have met some of Bob's relatives whom we would not have known otherwise existed. From a genealogy perspective one of my blog posts from last year might interest you.

http://keystonestatephotographer.blogspot.com/2009/05/new-monument-dedication-and-family.html

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I enjoy seeing the old pictures.The dress style has changed so much,for which I am thankful.
Blessings,Ruth

Leedra said...

My son's middle name is Campbell, his grandfather's last name. His daugther has Campbell as her middle name too. I thought they were going to give Campbell as a first name, but changed their mind at the last minute.

Cicero Sings said...

Hi Betsy,

Family history IS fun. I'm working on two right now ... D's Mom's and my own. Not getting very far on my own as I've left it too long ... everyone is gone or senile!!!! My Mom was the youngest and 40 when she had me ... and she is a real hanger on at almost 96!!!

Diane said...

Working on family history is like untangling a giant ball of yarn, isn't it. But it's so interesting. Diane

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Family trees are so interesting. Wish I knew more. Love the pics with the ladies all in black. Aren't old photos great?!

carolina nana said...

Family history is a very interesting and surprising (sometimes) thing to look up. I need to take the time to put some info on my blog about my history for future generations. Wonder what the future generations will think of us when they read our blogs??? HAhahaha
have a blessed tomorrow MArilyn

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

Everyone one should know where they came from.I have a aunt that has dug up her family history on both sides and gave me copys of it.This is on my dads side.I'ts very interesting.Trish

SquirrelQueen said...

Digging into family histories can be so rewarding. That is an interesting observation about repeating family names, I have seen some but not a lot in my family. You have lots of great photos, each one is a treasure.

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