Biography of Israel Ballard Family, 
Richland, NY

By Esther Rancier

This Ballard family began in America with William Ballard 1 (1617-1689) John 2, Sherebiah 3, John 4, Israel 5 (1748-1810), to Israel 6.  This part of the family went into central New York in 1792 and remained there for many years into the 20th century.  The Richland, Oswego Co., NY arm still owned land into the 1930’s.
William Ballard of Andover, MA arrived in America on the ship "Mary and John" which left England on 26 March 1634.  By 1645 William owned land in Newbury, MA.  He died 10 July 1689, the father of 10 children.
William’s great-great grandson Israel Ballard bought land in Plainfield, CT 17 June 1779.  

In the 1790 first U.S. census Israel and his family were enumerated still in Plainfield.  On 15 February 1792 the Plainfield property was sold.  The family removed to Whitestown, Oneida Co., NY. This area of almost solid woods lay nearly uninhabited. On 29 April 1795 Israel was elected an elder in the United Presbyterian Society of Whitestown.  He died in 1810 still living in Whitestown.
        His son, Israel Ballard, Jr., born in Willington, CT on 13 January 1776, married Pamela Nichols about 1802 in Whitestown.  Soon they traveled to Watertown, Jefferson Co., NY where in 1809 they purchased property from Henry Westcott.  It contained about 100 acres.  This land was sold 19 December 1825 to Jotham Ives.  In the 1820 census the family were listed as residents of Rodman, Jefferson Co., NY. No details remain available regarding their time in Rodman.
        The family then moved to Oswego County, NY.  On 12 April 1837 Israel purchased 101 acres in Scriba in an area that later became located on the line between Richland and Mexico.  This property was deeded to his son, Norman and later it belonged to grandson, Clinton.  
        His wife, Pamela Nichols died at Watertown in 1814 after the birth of her sixth child, Norman.  In 1815 Israel married again, widow Mrs. Lydia (Abbott) Ferrell at Watertown.  She became the mother of two daughters who died young. She also became the stepmother of several ill children needing full time care.  Israel’s two sons, Daniel and Joel, suffered from Scarlet Fever and became blind as a result.  They lived in the home all their lives, never marrying.  Their younger sister, Jane, was never a well child and died young.  For a time before he was 21, Norman lived with his sister, Freelove, who cared for the motherless boy and his sickly sister Jane.  
        Israel died 15 June 1852.  Lydia died at age 70 on 6 August 1858. They were both buried in the Willis Cemetery in South Richland at Fernwood.  They both have tombstones, but the family children who were buried there  have no markers. 
        Children of Israel and Pamela:

1. Freelove Ballard b. Watertown, NY 27 June 1803; m. John A. Cross who d. 16 Jan. 1887; d. 15 Feb. 1888 Lake, WI. Both buried Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI.  Issue: 7 children.  Two of these children were born in Mexico, NY:  Elizabeth Cross b. 21 Mar. 1825; d. 29 June 1849 Fond du Lac Co., WI and Israel Ballard Cross b. 10 Oct. 1826; m. Francis Keltner; d. 24 May 1918.  They had 5 children all born in WI given in 1880 census of Lake, WI.
2. Zilpha Ballard b. Watertown, NY 3 May 1805; m. Watertown 1825 Horace Ashael Gillett who d. 25 May 1891; d. 25 May 1891 Watertown.  Both buried Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, NY.  Issue: 5 children all born at Watertown except for Ashael Gillett at Hounsfield, NY.  All are buried near parents in Brookside Cemetery except Clarissa Gillett who d. Chippewa Falls, WI.
3. Daniel Ballard b. Watertown, NY 1809; d. after 1850.  Unmarried. Buried Willis Cemetery.  No stone.
4. Joel Ballard b. Watertown, NY 1811; d. after 1850.  Unmarried.  Buried Willis Cemetery.  No stone.
5. Jane Ballard b. Watertown, NY 1813; d. bet. 1845/50.  Buried Willis Cemetery.  No stone.
6. Norman Ballard b. Watertown, NY 13 Sept. 1814; m. 14 Aug. 1849 Emily Ferrell; d. 13 Sept. 1891 Mexico, NY.  Buried Willis Cemetery.  No stone.  Issue: 1 son.
Children of Israel and Lydia:
7.  Lucy A. Ballard b. 1825; d. 29 May 1845.  Buried Willis Cemetery   No stone.
8. Mary Ballard b. 1827(?); d. 17 Nov. 1845.  Buried Willis Cemetery.  No stone.   
Norman remained lifelong in Oswego County, taking over his father’s farm.  After 1831 Norman lived with his sister, Freelove, for a time.  He married a daughter of his step-mother Lydia (Abbott) Ferrell.  By 1850, Norman and his wife, Emily (Ferrell) Ballard were living in the household of his father, stepmother and two blind brothers.  Emily’s life is little known but she wrote of the death of her half-sister in 1845, “Lucy" is no more.  She was in her 19th year and was a very interesting young lady.” 
Emily became the mother of one child, Frank Clinton Ballard.  She was still living at age 60 in 1880, but her date of death and burial place remain unknown.  Norman died 13 September 1891 in Mexico, NY.  His will was probated 7 January 1892.  The farm went to his only heir.  

Norman and Emily’s only son, Frank Clinton, born 3 May 1851 in Mexico, NY, married in July 1873 at Fernwood, NY to Ada F. Simmonds, born 1854, daughter of James D. and Sabrina (Tripp) Simmonds.  In the 1870 Richland census, Frank was enumerated still in his parent’s home.  It was the only official time the name Frank was mentioned by anyone except family members.  Frank, as an adult, chose to be called "Clinton Ballard".  

Ada became the mother of three daughters: 1) Rena Amelia b. Richland, NY 28 May 1877; m. 14 Jan. 1896 George Caleb Halsey; d. 1897; 2) Blanche Louise b. Mexico, NY 4 June 1884; m. ca. 1908 George Cleator; and 3) Ada Bessie b. Oswego 7 Feb. 1895; m. 3 Nov. 1932 Legrand Maines. After the birth of Bessie, Ada died in 1895.  It was highly probable that she was buried at the Willis Cemetery without a marker.

In the 1910 Richland census, Bessie was still living on the farm with her widowed father, Clinton, and her sister Blanche who had married George Cleator, ten years her senior, a man of Manx lineage. The couple had stated in the census that they had been married two years with no children.  The farm, like most in Richland, was devoted to dairy farming.  
 On 15 July 1912 Margaret Elizabeth Cleator was born, a daughter of Blanche and George’s.  This baby was a great grandchild of Israel Ballard’s.

By 1920 all his children had left the farm. Clinton lived as a boarder, but continued working the place. Between 1920 and 1929 Clinton removed to Syracuse, NY probably to remain close to his daughter, Blanche and her family who resided there.  On 3 December 1929 Clinton, died in Syracuse.  He was buried at Willis Cemetery at Richland without a stone.  He was likely placed near his daughter Rena who died in 1897.  Her grave also lacked a marker.

By 1935 Bessie had married Legrand Maines from Pennsylvania.  They were also living in Syracuse.  The farm in Richland remained the property of the two sisters.

A debt of gratitude is due M. Patricia Caldwell for her detailed research which allowed the rich detail in the above sketch.  There have been other works on the Ballards of Andover, MA but they have not covered the Richland descendants. 


Caldwell, M. Patricia.  Ballard Family Genealogy.  Available [online] [16 Apr. 2003]
 Family Group Record.  Available [online] [17 Apr. 2003]
IGI Individual Record.  Available [online] [20 Apr. 2003]
  Letter written by Emily (Ferrell) Ballard.  Original in Oneida Historical Society Library, Utica, NY.
 Letter written by Norman Ballard to John A. Cross.  Original in Wisconsin Historical Library, Madison, WI.
 U.S. Census Plainfield, Windham Co., CT 1790.
 U.S. Census Deerfield, Oneida Co., NY 1800.
 U.S.  Census Rodman, Jefferson Co., NY 1820. 
 U.S.  Census Pulaski, Oswego Co., NY 1880.
 U.S.  Census Richland, Oswego Co., NY 1830, 1840, 1850, 1870, 1880, 1910, 1920.
 U.S.  Census Lake, Milwaukee Co., WI 1880.  
 Willis Cemetery, Fernwood, Town of Richland, Oswego Co., NY.  Available [online] [20 Apr. 2003]
 WorldConnect Project.  Available [online] [18 Apr. 2003]

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Copyright © Dec. 2003 Esther Rancier
Copyright © Dec. 2003 Patricia Caldwell
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Dianne Thomas

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