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Monday, February 7, 2011

It's ALL about the NAME

As most of you know,  I have been working on Family History off and on for several years.  I have a program called Reunion 8 on my computer and believe it or not,  I have over 2200 names on this program… Many of these are not my direct line,  but may be brothers and sisters and their families…  You can imagine how many names I can come up with when I find a family of 10 or more kids --and then add in their families and their kids.  It just multiplies from there.

One family that I have done much research on is the BALLARD family.  My mother was a Ballard before marrying my Dad.  Her family has been fun and exciting to research,  and I have found a lot of information on that family.  I am especially interested in ODD names that run in families.   One such odd name in the Ballard family is the first name BLAND.  I have at least 12 BLAND BALLARD's on my program plus many more who used the word Bland as a middle name.  I have never heard of the name Bland used in many other families.

I have yet to find where that name originated --but thought that it was from my SIXTH Great Grandfather's wife.   Captain John Ballard of Yorktown, VA  (1693-1745)  was his name and he married a lady named Elizabeth BLAND (or so I thought).  BUT--after much more research,  we have found that she was not Elizabeth Bland --but was Elizabeth Gibbons.  SO--I still don't know where the name Bland began.



The earliest BLAND BALLARD I have is the son of a William Ballard (1682-1754) who was Capt. John Ballard's brother.  William and his wife Philadelphia Lee had a son named Bland  (1714-1792).  This Bland Ballard patented 230 acres in the fork of the Rappahannock River in Spotsylvania County, VA where he was living on June 2, 1747.  He married a lady named Mary Deering.  Bland had a total of 13 children --but I'm not sure all of them were the children of Mary Deering. Bland may have been married more than once.  However,  one of his children was named Bland……

The first Bland Ballard in my direct line was the son of Capt. John Ballard's son,  Thomas.  This Bland Ballard was named Bland William Ballard (1734-1782).   This Bland Ballard was my FOURTH Great Grandfather.  I'll have to blog about his life another time since it is quite interesting.  He had 15 children:  9 by his first wife and 6 by his 2nd wife…  Busy man, huh????? ha







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Anyhow,  while researching another side of my family,  the CARR side,  I have come upon another odd first name,  DABNEY.   My Great Grandmother Bruce was a CARR---so I have started doing more research on that side of the family.   Her name was Martha Matilda Carr (1849-1918).   On the Carr side of that family,  I have found at least FIVE DABNEY CARR's SO FAR, plus more used as middle names.  AND --my research is just getting started. 

This one may be a little easier to solve,  but I thought I had the other one solved too… ha…  Anyhow,  this Dabney Carr  (1743-1773) had a grandmother named Mary Dabney (1688-1748).   I haven't done much research on this yet --but if  Mary was a Dabney,  then maybe that's where the name started…Mary Dabney's father was Cornelius Dabney.  I will continue to check this out. 


I'm sure I have bored you to death with all of this Genealogy… BUT--it's a true passion of mine,  and I enjoy all of the research and detail-work which it takes.  NAMES really are important when doing Genealogy... My middle name is BRUCE, named after my mother's mother's side of our family.  I used to hate that name because it was a boys name.  BUT--now I love it and am proud to have it.  One of my sons is named Jeffery BRUCE.

After all of these words in today's post,  I will close with something cute for you.  Hope you enjoy it.
Hugs,

57 comments:

Mildred said...

Wonderful post Betsy. Congrats on all the hard work re your family history. I find the part about the names very interesting. Have a great day.

Tracy said...

Betsy,
I think it is ALL fascinating! Thank youf ro sharing and I can't wait to read more!
On a similar note, I've always disliked my name because it was a 'boys' name and kids use to tease me about being 'Dick Tracy'; ugh! but my Mom's name is FAnnie and I'm sure she disliked that name a great deal of her life; hah!
...love the cartoon at the end.
Have a great day! and I realized I had loaded two sets of my scrapbook pages; one to click on to enlarge and one not, and I inserted the wrong ones...UGH!!
Oh well...
Also, really last thing; Congrats to the Cheese-heads!

Valerie said...

OH I love this post -
Of course I have been swamped in my own genealogy history this past week. I remember you telling me about this Genealogy 8 program once before. I have to check it out. I had a subscription to ancestry.com - it makes me so mad we have to pay such an exorbitant amount to look at public records. I put it all on hold for several years cause I couldn't afford the subscription anymore. This week I found the census and several other places FREE at https://www.familysearch.org/

I found info on my great great greats - on both my moms side. They had some nice links to the town in Canada where they were from. (I learned that many folks who came from Europe - came to Canada first and then over the boarder to Buffalo. So I definitely have links now to England, Germany and Ireland. (I always wished I was Irish :)

But, Gosh I wish I could get back further than just the e greats and of course with my dad's side. I cant get past my great grandparents for either of my fathers family! Oh well - I will keep trying!

Hope you are well!
~ Valerie

diane b said...

It is fun digging into past families. I did it about 10 years ago but came up against a wall where I just couldn't track back any further and then I lost interest. Since then a cousin sent me a whole lot of new information but I still can't get the bug back to get into it again. I also have my grandmother's maiden name as one of my first names, Howard, and I too hated it because it was a boy's name. There has been a rumour in the family that it comes from Lord Howard in England.

SmilingSally said...

I have a friend named Jody Ballard. I wonder if you guys are related?

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Even with a name like Bland,I can't imagine these people were bland in nature.One has to wonder where some of these names come from.Have a great day.
Ruth

A Joyful Chaos said...

Bland - a rather interesting name to be saddled with for the rest of your life!

Neal said...

Patti and I like to go to old cemeteries and when we're at one we're all time pointing out names that are odd or that we've never heard of. Once in a while we run upon one and try to figure out whether it's a male or female name.

Neal said...

Patti and I like to go to old cemeteries and when we're at one we're all time pointing out names that are odd or that we've never heard of. Once in a while we run upon one and try to figure out whether it's a male or female name.

Mamma has spoken said...

Working in a school as many years as I have, I have had many 'unique' names cross my path. I get wanting names that are not overused but some of them are totally weird.

Out on the prairie said...

I gobble this kind of info up. I enjoy the history, but have always liked namesakes.Most of my male classmates in school had their fathers name for a middle name.I was named after a missionary in our family.My family tree was done in 1972 and it was fun to see possible names to use when I had kids. I was lucky not to had boys or I might not be here, they didn't fit with my wife.Both of my girls have my fraternal grandmother and my mom's names for middle names.A room in our library has just been redone to carry all the info a club has started and they meet once a month.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, that does sound like a lot of work but interesting. You are probably right about Bland being originally a last name. That was common custom, if not for a first name, definitely for the middle name.
I was surprised at John and Mary's persistance through the years. Remember the Moon Beams and Rainbows of the 70's? Cute cartoon.

From the Kitchen said...

This is something that I really want to do! When I'm ready, I'll be begging advice!

Best,
Bonnie

Karin said...

So glad you are having fun with your genealogy research and unique names discoveries! Hopefully there is also an interesting life-story for each one you find. Enjoy!!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Genealogy is fascinating. I traced my mother's family back to the Mayflower and then England. My husband is related to two people that came over on the Mayflower.

Once I get started with genealogy I get addicted and work with it for hours on end. It's kind of like trying to eat just one potato chip.
Sam

Peggy said...

My brother Don loves doing the family research and am blessed that he shares all his information with my brother Marshall and I. Love reading about our family history but am very glad I don't have to do the research.

amelia said...

I'm not in the least interested in finding out about my own family tree but I find names fascinating! I've always disliked my name but have made peace with it over the years I guess.
You have some very interesting names in your family, Bland being one of them!!! What a strange name!

Busy Bee Suz said...

{Oh, poor Mary!}
I can see how this would keep you very very busy. I love the unusual names....and having your family name as a middle name is awesome!

Barbara said...

Oh Betsy this is an excellent post, such a familiar one, searching the family tree, oh how nice, my husband did that a time back, and found out so many wonderful things about his family, bless you my friend, and hope you find all your are searching for.
Hugs Barbara

Dar said...

It's all amazing to me. I once started a family history and have miserably failed in continuing it. I will have to get serious about what my Aunt had so diligently started the hard way centuries ago, foot work rather than computer. What Geneology site do you use, if you don't mind sharing. Thanks for sharing this interesting entry. Names really ARE important and interesting.
BlessYourHeart

Melanie said...

Hi, Betsy~
I enjoy family history too. I like looking through pictures and records. You never know what you might find!

I think it's nice to use family names when naming children. My daughter has my mom's middle name.

That last cartoon was pretty cute.

Hope you have a good week.♥

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Yes, names are important - first names, middle names (if any) and surnames. Glad you are having fun doing genealogy. It is very hard but rewarding work. Have a great day today and enjoy the semi-sunshine!

Sandra said...

i am now suffering from brain freeze trying to just read about the research you did. i am glad there are people like you who love to do this. this way there is a record. with my persnaoalty nothing gets saved from things to names. those top names i have one of all those in our family. and i hate my middle name, Lucille and intended to change it when i got old enought. i did someone, my ss and all my legal records show me as M for my middle inital, for my maiden name. i did away with the Lucille except on my birth cert.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

My aunt, who is 84 years young, is really big into geneology so I don't need to get into it although it sounds like fun. She really loves digging for infomation and sharing what she learns. Great post, Betsy. The top baby names over the decades was very interesting. Have a good day!

Kim-Stuff could be worse said...

I am happy to hear about your Name history! The names are important, love the cartoon :)

cyclopseven said...

I know it is not easy, and is not going to be easy. I admire your effort and persistence. Good job.

Small City Scenes said...

Like the kid in the cartoon my name is Mary also. I always wanted a fancier name and not MaryBeth because no body ever was named MaryBeth and now there are several I occasionally see and then I get ruffled because that is MY NAME. LOL
My daughter is caught up in the family stuff. I don't think anybody has the pictures you have. A real history right there.

Diane said...

Every time I read about your work on your family tree I get a pang of guilt. I'm in the middle of ours and there's so much more to do. Just have been too busy making tags I guess. It's such a great thing to do for your kids and future generations.

Ginny said...

Well, I don't think that Bland goes well with Ballard, and probably got some teasing. Now I have heard of Dabney. Know the actor Dabney Coleman? I didn't know your middle name is Bruce, I'm learning something today! I love that cartoon at the bottom!

CottonLady said...

LOVED your post, Betsy! I have thought of doing geneology, just haven't started it yet. I have made pictorial albums of the pictures my mother has, but have many more boxes to go through!! It is so interesting.
The little cartoon is too cute!
Blessings!
CottonLady

Loren said...

Oh Betsy!! It is soooo very fascinating!! My Nana was one of 14 and I would LOVE to learn more about them! I have always Disliked my name or rather...the spelling of my name because it was the male version :) I can see why this becomes such a passion. The mysteries you solve and the information you find is sooo awesome! :) I hope you continue to share your findings with us!!

Cicero Sings said...

Genealogy is fascinating once you get going on it. So interesting how names evolve, become popular and fall into disuse again or forever.

Theanne... said...

I love genealogy too, have spent several years looking up Randolph(s), Meade(s), Phelp(s), Gornall(s)...found a UK "cousin" after I left a "Gornall" search comment on a Newcastle-on(upon)-Tyne website. We've been emailing for several years (and recently Skyped),he has found 2 more cousins here in the states. It's been fun and enlightening...each time a little piece of the puzzle falls into place it's just the best feeling! Trying to remember if the Randolphs had Bland relatives, I'm sure they did they were kin to almost everybody else in Virginia, back in the day!

Dorothy said...

Family history can be fun until you hit that proverbial brick wall and can't go any farther. BYW, my son's name is Joe BRUCE just because I liked the name.

imac said...

Romantic New Blog eh!.

When you trace yourself back to Adam and Eve, let us know Betsy.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Genealogy research is fascinating. I haven't engaged in it to any degree; I just know a few things about a few people, and not too many generations back.

Enjoy, Betsy!

Fred Alton said...

Very interesting post, Betsy. I would like to know more about my Dad's side of the family. His Dad died when my Dad was only three. I do know where he was buried and know that he was married more than once. There were Brannen's, Brannigans, Brannans, all from North Florida and somehow related. There are Branhams, Brandons, Brennans, and other similar names but I don't think they are related. Who knows? I just remember what my grandma used to quote from the Bible, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."

Linda said...

I'm just happy to let a cousin do all the family history work.....I just try and get pictures of the ones still with us before it's too late;)

KathyA said...

I envy you your ability to trace your family like that!

Brit Gal Sarah said...

My Uncle is doing something similar back in England and I find his reports fascinating to read. I can imagine this could keep you absorbed for hours, history is so interesting.

Love the cartoon, we have some very odd names in our Pre-K this year - Jarek, Allyn (girl), Savanna, Janeigh, Ellery, Brosch (boy)...I could go on! It's like the parents try to out do each other and it's getting a little crazy imho!

x

Catherine said...

You are sure doing a lot of work on your family history Betsy! Good for you! It will be fun to see who all you come from! :)
xo Catherine

Rose said...

Betsy, this is never boring!!! It is just my cup of tea. Have you ever kept a list of all the different jobs/careers/ways of making a living that your family members have had. I think that is interesting, also....

Pam said...

You missed your calling, Betsy. You would make a wonderful researcher. You seem to have a passion for it.

Hugs,
Pam

Daisy said...

It's neat that you can trace back so many of your family members, Betsy. It's fun to learn about their lives. :)

B. Meandering said...

I'm finally caught up on your posts. I loved your favorite pics of 2010. It be difficult for me to choose a favorite although the one of the mountains with all the red foliage in it would be in the top three.

I don't have the patience to do all the geneology research that you are doing, but I think it's great that you are. I wish I knew more about ours.

Names are interesting and we have our share in our family. A family name that is being passed on is Cash. It is my first mother-in-law's maiden name and is my ex's middle name. We gave it as a middle name to our son Doug and his son also carries it as a middle name. Doug got ribbed for it at first because his daddy was 'rich' and some guys thought it was a play on that. But he loved his Nina and Poppie Cash and he proudly told them where the name came from and may have backed up the pronouncement with his fist. He was never bothered again.

Enjoyed visiting here as always.
I'm working on getting more rest--getting closer to that goal. Thanks for your concern and encouragement.
Blessings--Beth

JDS said...

Gotta love a name like Bland Ballard! I am fascinated by genealogy and wish I had time to devote to it, but at least I know a fair amount of family history and we share it with our daughter. I think that being ignorant of your ancestry would be a tragic thing.

carolina nana said...

Very interesting post Betsy. Makes me want to get back to researching my ancestors as well. The names in years past could be very strange. On my mom's side in my family is where the odd ball names show up. There is a Mormon church near me and I've been told by several friends that I should go there because they have an extensive history on every family name. As soon as I get a chance I'm headed over there to see what I can find.
Have a blessed tomorrow
Marilyn

Together We Save said...

It is so neat you are having so much fun with your family history. I love the names you are coming up with.

Lola said...

Loved the post. How strange my father's mother's maiden name was Carr. Do let me know what you find out.

SquirrelQueen said...

Betsy, genelogy is never boring to me. I have been working on our families' histories for years. The name Dabney is interesting, my grandmother's maiden name was Abney. I have run across Dabney as a surname while reasearching Abney.

My favorite ancestor name I have run across so far is Pleasant Philemon Privette. He was my Great, great grandfather.

mudderbear said...

Betsy, Your post is thoroughly delightful, especially because I also have Carrs and Ballards on my lines. What fun it would be to talk shop with you and compare notes. I love family history, but it has been put away for a while with my "big move" and all.
Loved the cartoon at the end, and I think Bland sounds like a cool name.

Home Made Quilts By Granny said...

Genealogy is something I enjoy dabbing in at times...fascinating isn't it. Cute cartoon. Trish

Harriet said...

When my son started to school he hated his name (George). He wanted to know why I didn't name him a COOL name like Hunter. Then he asked could we change his name. I don't think he hates it now.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I never got into genealogy, although I do have some information on some of my ancestors. A couple of my cousins are the genealogists in my family. Bob's sister is the genealogist in his family.

Linda said...

I used to work with a man named Shirley. That seemed odd to me, but I've since heard of other male Shirleys. And then there's George Beverly Shea, one of my all-time favorite singers.

I also spent five years working part time at our county jail, and you talk about strange names. The jail roster was full of them. One that I remember was Kimothy. And there was Carhonda and her brother Carless. I wish my memory was better. I could regale you with many more. Sometimes I wonder if giving a child a weird name almost assures that he'll become a criminal. :)

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

Joanne Watson said...

We are related!! I am a Ballard descent as well. You mentioned Dabney Carr, is he the same Dabney Carr buried at Monticello near Mr. Thomas Jefferson?? If so, that's Mr. Jefferson's dearest friend and brother-in-law, as he was married to Martha Jefferson in 1765.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dabney_Carr_(Virginia_assemblyman)
I would love to share information with you and see how many times we connect...
Joanne Smith Watson jls2783@gmail.com