Friday, August 5, 2011

Ballou, Oui?

I was fortunate that the Ballou genealogy is available in a published format.  The original book (love this title) An Elaborate History of the Ballous in America, was published in 1888, followed by 1937 and 1942 addendums.  It was interesting that the 1937 addendum was compiled by the Historical Records Survey, Division of Women’s and Professional Projects, Works Progress Administration. 

But on to the family history—

Sarah Ballou was my 5x great-grandmother.  She was born in Wrentham Massachusetts (now Cumberland, RI), in 1713, the daughter of James Ballou and Catherine Arnold.  After her marriage to Uriah Jillson around 1734, she lived in Rhode Island.  (To clarify some of the jurisdiction name changes, see the comments and maps in my previous post)

Sarah’s parents were James Ballou and Catherine Arnold.  James was born in what is now Lincoln, RI, but was then Providence, in 1684.  James and Catherine moved from Providence (Smithfield) to what was essentially a wilderness region that would eventually be Cumberland, RI.  He built his home there, became a landowner of multiple tracts, and eventually donated the quarter acre property on which the Elder Ballou Meeting House was situated.

James was the son of James Ballou and Susanna Whitman.  He was born in Providence, RI, likely in 1652.  He inherited several tracts of land and added to them with later purchases,  eventually allowing James and his three sons sufficient land to all have homesteads on the property.  Prior to his death, James conveyed the land to his sons equally.  In his 1734 will, his other property was given to his children, with most going to His son Samuel who had cared for his father during his declining years.  James died sometime after 1741 when he made his final arrangement of his affairs.

The senior James was the son of Maturin Ballou (also Bellowe and Belloo) and Hannah Pike.  Nothing definite is known of Maturin’s origins or when he first came to America.  Some believe he was born in Devonshire, England around 1626, but as far as I can tell this is speculation.  He first appears in the Providence records in 1645, but was likely there earlier.  Some of the town records were destroyed by Indians in 1676, during King Philip’s war, so early documentation was lost.  Maturin is recorded as having signed a 1645 agreement giving him and others 25 acres each, but they would not have a right to purchase the land or vote until they were received as freemen of Providence.  Maturin was recorded as becoming a freeman in 1658.  He died between 1661 and 1663.

Maturin’s will was very detailed and divided his estate equitably among his wife and children.  It specified that his three sons and their heirs were to be equally responsible for the care of his wife Hannah and daughter Hannah.  Subsequent to Maturin’s death, both his wife and daughter required special care and chose Maturin’s son James to provide the assistance.  In exchange, they gave James their portion of the inherited estate.  Maturin’s other living son, John, was unhappy with this result and left the legacy of dissatisfaction to his son, John, who took legal action against his uncle.  In the end, the expense of care provided was deemed to exceed the value of the land and James retained the land rights.

In the Ballou book, the author claims the Ballous’ French origins are prior to the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and that after that some descendants remained in England and that possible Huguenot origins have been debunked.  I wonder…I found it interesting that a quick search on found this:

Naissances et baptêmes de Haute-Bretagne, France, 1501-1907   
(Upper Brittany, France Births & Christenings, 1501-1907)
Mathurin Balue
26 août 1629 (26 Aug 1629)
Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine
Record Type:
ABGH Parchemin
Full Text:
BALUE Mathurin, Fils de Jean & Christine GUERARD, 26 08 1629
Source Information: Upper Brittany, France Births & Christenings, 1501-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: association ABGH Parchemin. Base de données indexées à partir de registres de naissance et baptême. Rennes, France: ABGH Parchemin.
This database contains birth and christening data indexed from original parish and civil vital records by members of ABGH Parchemin, a genealogical association in France. Records approximately cover the years 1501-1907 for Upper Brittany, France. Information contained in the database includes: name of child, birth or christening date, and birth or christening place

No comments:

Post a Comment