BALLARD is a collateral surname in my family history research - (Martin) Grant Ballard was a half-brother of my father. He appeared in my mother's 1939 diaries twice this week, sparking conversations among readers (here and here)… including on Facebook.
Doing a little background research, in census records, that I had not previously pursued, turned up some interesting aspects that I want to share today.
The pivotal U.S. Federal Census entry in 1900, Union Township, Carroll County, Iowa, where he is listed as a Farmer:
Monty G. (Montgomery Grant) Ballard, 26, with wife, Ella, 20, and son, Martin, 3/12.
Ella Preston first married Montgomery G. Ballard and had a son, Martin Grant Ballard on 2 February 1900. According to family tradition, Monty died on 30 Dec 1900, from a fall from a ladder, adjusting Christmas lights. Young Grant (as he was called as he grew up) was not yet a year old.
On 11 May 1904, Ellen Rebecca Preston Ballard married my grandfather, William Emanuel Smith. They had 10 children, including my father, Delbert Leverne. I have always wondered where that first name, which he never used, came from… Well, now, the "rest of the story!"
The 1880 U.S. Census for Blair, Washington County, Nebraska, discloses the following useful information:
Martin Ballard, 56, KY, KY, KY, Lawyer
Sarah Ballard, 40, OH, VT, VT
Adelbert, 14, IA
Hattie, 10, NE
Monte, 7, NE
Grace, 2, NE
I strongly suspect that Delbert came from Monte's older brother, Adelbert… what do you think?
Three other related federal census entries are instructive:
1900 Blair, NE
Sarah Ballard, 59, Wd, OH, VT, VT
Grace Ballard, 22
1910 Blair, NE
Sarah D. Ballard, 70
Grace Ballard, 32
1930 Blair, NE
Sarah D. Ballard, 89
Harriett Ballard, 55
Grace Ballard, 50
At this point, I do not know the story of how Monte got to Coon Rapids, Carroll Co, Iowa, to marry Ellen Preston. It may be in Smith stories, and I've forgotten. Newspaper stories may also disclose more on this, as well.
Finally, looking at the 1940 census, browsing Ballard names and their origins (birthplaces) discloses several other BALLARD families in Carroll, Guthrie and Greene Counties from different origins in the area; no reason any of them were related.
Always more to learn, when one studies Family History!!
Families are Forever! ;-)