Tag Archives: Smith

52 Ancestors – #14 John Floyd Ball

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us:52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week 14, and my fourteenth post.  This week, I will share information I have collected on my 3rd great-grandfather, John Floyd Ball.  I do not have a picture of him, and I know very little of him other than documentation I have collected and what was written in this note by my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia (Smith) Ball.

Venetia Smith Ball's Notes Side 1

Venetia Smith Ball’s Notes Side 1

John Floyd Ball was born about 1814 to (I have no documentation connecting him to his birth parents, this is an assumption and you know what they say about that) Issac Ball and Sarah Wheeler. On 24 Jan 1837, he married my 3rd great-grandmother, Hellen Mariah Dennard, in Stewart County, Georgia.

John F Ball and Hellen M Dennard Marriage Record

John F Ball and Hellen M Dennard Marriage Record

On the 1850 US Federal Census, he was recorded as living in Stewart County, Georgia with wife Hellen, and children Frances, Kenady, Caroline, Sarah and Mitchell.  There was also a William Cox and Jos. Chavers living with them.  I don’t know who they are, and can’t really tell what his occupation is.  I believe it says William Cox Farms. I would imagine that John farmed as well since the 1850 Slave schedule shows him having ten slaves.

1850 Census John Floyd Ball

1850 Census John Floyd Ball

John and Hellen had five children that I know of, Frances “Fannie” (Ball) Jenkins, Kenady Wade Ball (my 2nd great-grandfather), Caroline Ball, Mitchell Ball and Sarah (Ball) Ward. Hellen passed away on 8 Sep 1850, and John remarried Nancy Templeton on 30 Dec 1852.

John F Ball and Nancy Templeton Marriage Record

John F Ball and Nancy Templeton Marriage Record

John and Nancy had one son John Thomas Ball and shortly after, John was listed on the Morehouse Parish, Louisiana Mortality Schedule as passing away in July of 1859 after suffering with bilious fever for nine days. He was only 44 years old.  There are some Dennard’s listed on this record as well, so I wonder if some of Hellen’s family was here as well.

Mortality Schedule 1850-1885 John F Ball

Mortality Schedule 1850-1885 John F Ball

Nancy is found on the 1860 census, widowed with John and Hellen’s children Kenady, Caroline, Sarah and Mitchell, and then her own son, Thomas.

I’m not sure what brought John to Louisiana from Georgia, maybe it was the slave trade.  I find several ship manifests coming into Louisiana with a John Ball aboard, but I can’t say for sure this is him.

I had a Ball cousin that took a DNA test, and we seem to tie into Isaac and Sarah Ball, but I have not proven any kind of connection to them as far as a paper trail so I can’t say for sure they are John’s parents. I haven’t found where John was buried either, so there is still work to do!

This is how I descend from John Floyd Ball.

me to John Floyd Ball

Tombstone Tuesday – Hughes Knight Cemetery

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When I started doing research on my maternal grandmother’s family, back in 2007 one of the first things I learned about was the Hughes Knight Cemetery. It almost seemed like a secret. Granted the transcription for the cemetery was posted out on the internet, but there were no pictures any where and to get there you had to drive down this and that gravel road, climb through a hole in someone’s barbed wire fenced on private property and then take your chances by walking west a mile back into the woods, and hope you had climbed through the right hole in the fence, else you would be a mile back in the wrong woods and no cemetery in site.

Hughes Knight Cemetery in Woods

Hughes Knight Cemetery in Woods

As you can see from the above picture, once you leave the road, you go north, then it’s west, and then north again!

Last week, I went to New Boston, Texas and picked up cousin Nell Blackford and we went in search of the cemetery, trying to beat a rain storm coming in. We went down the gravel roads and arrived at the log house that you are supposed to stop and ask permission at, but no one was home. Very disappointed, neither Nell or myself wanted to trespass so I took Nell back into New Boston and we ate lunch and visited for a bit, and then I left to head back to Nedra’s house in Texarkana where I was staying.

I decided I would try one more time on my way out-of-town to see if anyone was home at the log house.

Victory.

Sweet victory.

A very nice man by the name of Ronnie Adams, had just gotten home and gave me permission, and told me just where to drive my car through his woods to a little path that would take me there. He doesn’t own the actual land where the cemetery is, but as long as he knows who is back there, it’s ok. He seemed concerned that I was going out in the woods by myself but I wasn’t. I have my nine and my conceal and carry license so I wasn’t worried a bit. I could shoot a snake, any snake if I needed to. :)

Ronnie was recovering from a work related injury and had a broken leg, and I could tell he wanted to go out there with me, but was limited due to the injury so I reassured him that I’d be fine because I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, I had permission and nothing was stopping me this time! It was a long seven years to wait to find this cemetery!  I drove on out there and was totally shocked at what I found.

Hughes Knight Cemetery, Bowie County, Texas

Hughes Knight Cemetery, Bowie County, Texas

A very well-kept cemetery, fenced in, deep in the woods with some stones so magnificent (and taller than me) it would rival any town cemetery. I was expecting a little country cemetery with overgrown stones and I fully expected that maybe some of them would be missing.

Hughes Knight Cemetery

Hughes Knight Cemetery

Not a single stone was missing from the cemetery transcription I had found online back in 2007. Another sweet victory. Some are leaning, and some are down, but you can tell this cemetery is taken care of. The fence is nice, it’s mowed all around it, and yes, it was covered in leaves, but the ground inside is maintained. Ronnie told me that he maintains the outside of the cemetery and the land owner, Jimmy Smith maintains the inside around the stones.

Hughes Knight Cemetery, Bowie County, Texas

Hughes Knight Cemetery, Bowie County, Texas

I took a picture of every stone and while I was doing this, Ronnie, bless his heart showed up on his four-wheeler, crutches and all and showed me around the cemetery. I pointed out the graves of my 3rd great-grandfather, Alfred Gatewood Hoskins, my 3rd great-grandmother Mary Lucinda (Henri) Hoskins,  and their daughter, my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson.

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins Headstone

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins Headstone

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins Headstone

Alfred Gatewood Hoskins Headstone

Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson Headstone

Mary Elizabeth (Hoskins) Anderson Headstone

My 2nd great-aunts are also buried here, Martha Catherine (Hoskins) Eubank, Henrie (Hoskins) Wever, and Isabella Jane Hoskins.

Martha Catherine (Hoskins) Eubank Headstone

Martha Catherine (Hoskins) Eubank Headstone

Henrie (Hoskins) Wever Headstone

Henrie (Hoskins) Wever Headstone

Isabella Jane Hoskins Headstone

Isabella Jane Hoskins Headstone

It was really cool to talk to Ronnie, as we figured out that he and his family were very good friends with my great Uncle James Harris and they spent a lot of time together. It was very nice to know that someone close to our family is now the keeper of my heritage.

Thank you to Ronnie Adams for his kind treatment of me, and the care he is giving to the cemetery. I put all the pictures of the headstones on Find A Grave, which you can find here: Hughes Knight Cemetery.

It was just as I took the last picture of the last stone, that the rain started. I call this one lucky day!!

Wordless Wednesday – Venetia (Smith) Ball and Wade Marshall Ball

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This is a photo of my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia (Smith) Ball and her son, my great-grand uncle, Wade Marshall Ball.  Thank you to Bonnie Marsh and Jim Marsh for sharing this photo.

Venetia Smith Ball and Wade Marshall Ball

Venetia Smith Ball and Wade Marshall Ball

Sunday’s Obit – Charles A Hooks, M.D.

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Charles A Hooks obit

I’m double related to Charles A. Hooks, III.  He’s my 1st cousin 2x removed.  His grandfather, Charles A. Hooks was the sibling of my 3rd great-grandmother, Jane Nancy Hooks Smith on my mother’s side of the family.  On my father’s side of the family, my great-grand aunt Minnie Williams Hooks is his mother.

I would really like to find a descendant of Charles’.  I find it very odd that I was able to buy his diary off of eBay and it really makes me wonder what has happened to all of his belongings. There have been several of his medical degrees offered up on eBay as well. See this post, Family Heirlooms on eBay for more information.

Tombstone Tuesday – Bathsheba A Ball

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Last April on our way back from Dallas, cousins Nedra Harris Turney and Karen Ball Cowan and I decided on a whim to see if we could find the old Ball Cemetery a cousin had mentioned to me when we passed through New Boston, Texas.

We got extremely lucky because they had just cleaned the Ball cemetery up the prior weekend and uncovered only two headstones. One headstone was that of Bathsheba A Ball.

Bathsheba A Ball Headstone

S A C R E D

to the memory of

Mrs. Bathsheba A. Ball

consort of

Isaac M. Ball

who departed this life

the 24th day of June, 1851

aged 21 years 6 months

and 26 days

Earth lost her, Heaven found her.

And you know what’s really cool about this being the one of the two headstones in the Ball Cemetery that they found? The fact that I had just heard this woman’s name two days prior when Karen shared a note written with me by my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia Smith Ball. Here is part of the note.

Venetia's Notes Side 2

I highlighted the area where she talks about Bathsheba. She basically states that she was the first wife of her husband’s cousin, Isaac Mitchell Ball. She also states that her name is Bathsheba Hooks and that she is her cousin.

Here is another view of Bathsheba’s headstone.  The scratch marks are from the tractor that dug it up.  It was broken as they removed it from the ground.

Bathsheba A Ball Headstone

And here is a view of the cemetery after all the weeds and brush were cut back and the two headstones uncovered.  You can still see the shovel stuck in the ground and standing up to the left of the other headstone.  I wonder if there are other graves there?

Ball Cemetery - Old Boston, Texas

Is that luck or what? I hope there is a descendant out there looking for information on Bathsheba and can find it here because I’m telling you, it was a small miracle to get the note, and find the grave all on the same trip. A grave that had been covered up for a long time.

My 2nd great-grandmother Venetia Smith Ball was the granddaughter of Warren Hooks, for whom the town of Hooks, Texas was named for. There have been several people that have done extensive work on documenting the lineage of the Hooks family. I did not find Bathsheba’s name in any of these, so I don’t know how she fits into the Hooks family.

I asked cousin Diana Smith Walker if she had heard of Bathsheba, and she had not heard of her either and did not have her listed in any of her information.

But, as Diana told me, “I love a good mystery!”

Maybe we can dig up more on Bathsheba besides just her headstone!

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