Saturday, September 30, 2017

Just when you think you may have seen everything in family history…this happens!

Just when you think you may have seen everything in family history…this happens!
Grant and Ella when she married my grandfather Smith, 1904

Thanks to a new genealogy friend for this latest exciting bit of my family history…

Out of the blue, yesterday, in my secondary genealogy email account:

“Mate Kinnick’s daughter (Mabel Jones) married Joe Ballard, the son of Martin Luther Ballard with his first wife.  Martin’s son (by his second wife) was Monty Ballard – your grandmother’s first husband.   It is a small world.” under a simple subject line, “Ballard connection.”

Kinnick is my mother’s side of my family. I’ve done very extensive research there, and Mate is a daughter of Joseph Kinnick, brother of my great-great grandfather, Walter Watson Kinnick. She lived in Wyoming/Montana around 1900, and was always, until recently, a very mysterious person to me, but her name was most familiar.

The mention of “Monty Ballard” - that is my father’s side of my family. He was the first husband of my Dad’s mother…he died in 1900, very young - climbing on a ladder doing Christmas Tree lights, it is said, fell off, hit it head, and died - their first son was only a few months old. She married my grandfather a few years later and they had several children. They raised that first son, Grant, of course. We never knew a lot about his family, except they had lived in Nebraska.

It turns out that Monty’s father was Martin Luther Ballard, and he had two families. Monty was a son of the second family. In Montana, in 1913, a grandson of the first marriage married the daughter of Mate Kinnick. Note that Joe was a grandson, not a son of Martin Luther Ballard…that made confirmation of this information a fun exercise!! Ha! Small world, for sure.

Just had to share. Have you had an experience like this? A first for me. Always something new coming up. What fun!! ;-)

P.S. There is always 'more to the story' of course. Monty's younger sister was an active suffragette.
Both she and their father were life-long active lawyers. Here are their stories...


Her father: Martin Luther:

Her brother: Monte:

Families are Forever! ;-)


  1. I find these types of connections to be fascinating. It's sad when you find a family member that died young. On the other hand, these accidents are a fascinating part of family history.

  2. Yes, it is the exception that catches your attention. Had another Ballard story shared today (not ours). They were going west, by wagon, stopped to earn some money, in Kansas, to continue their trip. A single guy, met a girl, decided to settle down there. Isn't that sweet!! So much for the wagon train story... ;-)