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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Smith Grandparents - Post 1 - Sentimental Sunday

Smith Grandparents - Post 1 - Sentimental Sunday

In the 1980s and early 1990s my Smith Aunt LVene (Dad's sister) published a handful of copies (for her siblings) that was essentially a family tree of her/their Smith grandparents, the Michael Smith family. It was full of vital records/genealogy detail as it was available to them during the 1980s through family correspondence and some library visits.

My recent research, with the intent to publish an updated Michael Smith family history book, has disclosed that whereas most of the births, deaths and marriages of this extended family were included in the earlier work, there are large gaps in what the family was actually doing and just where they were for large blocks of years, especially around that "family history black hole" 1885 to 1910 (many of the family are yet to be found in the 1895 & 1905 state census as well as the 1900 US census - not to mention the missing 1890).

My grandparents also met and were married during this period. It is my next research project to search for more details on this very important set of relationships. I will record and share what I find in this series of posts as the weeks and months unfold.

Here are some stats to get us started:

William Emanuel SMITH, b. 5 May 1869, Rock Island County, Illinois
Ellen Rebecca PRESTON, b. 1 Apr 1880, Deer Lodge, Powell County, Montana

William and Ellen were married 11 May 1904 in Coon Rapids, Carroll County, Iowa. He was 35, she was 24. It was the first marriage for William, it was the second for Ellen.

Ellen graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1987 and married Montgomery (Monty) BALLARD in 1898. A son, Grant BALLARD was born 2 Feb 1900, in Coon Rapids, Carroll County, Iowa.

As I use my WorldConnect information to write this, I click on the Ancestry.com "suggestion" on Monty BALLARD - there are Monty, Ella, and son, 'Martin' in the 1900 US Census.

Union Twp, Carroll County, Iowa - on the farm she had inherited from her Grandfather Miller (based on the neighbor information in the census) - where she lived out her life.

269 273 BALLARD, Monty G, Head, WM Sept 1873, 26 M2, NE, VA, OH, Farmer
BALLARD, Ella, Wife, WF Apr 1880, 20 M2 1 1, MT OH OH
BALLARD, Martin, son, WM Feb 1900, 3/12, S, IA, NE, NE

Note from Aunt LVene's book: "BALLARD... died December 30, 1900 from effects from a fall which occured before Christmas.

So, I decided to look at all 39 pages (images) of Union Township, including the town of Coon Rapids, to look for William Smith - on about the 30th page, there he was: 228 230 Smith William (looks like Urlliam) Head, WM Dec 1869, 32, S, IA OH OH, Well Driller! (Months not employed - 0)
228 231 was a Salesman
228 232 was a Laborer - a "triplex" we would call it, today.

Grandfather William Smith, whom I was named after - SURPRISE! - continued being a well driller after he married Ella, moved to the farm and was also a farmer, that is known history. He also had a "shop" - a large building full of tools, including blacksmithing tools - his father was a farrier - a blacksmith - in the Civil War. Willam died four months after I was born. The shop was still there, intact, when I was a youngster.

Progress. Enough for today. Thank you for your interest and attention.

Families are Forever! ;-)

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