Today I am prompted to share on “Tombstone Tuesday” a bit about my ancestor, Marana Almira Ward.
Marana was born on August 30, 1789, in Connecticut, to Elijah & Marana Colburn Ward. Elijah was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. (More on Elijah in the future.) Because of his service, Marana was a “real daughter of a Revolutionary War Soldier” and her grave was marked in 1934, by the Anan Harmon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
A little bit about Marana – well, before she was 20 years old, she met and married Ebenezer Ballou. (Not much is known of Ebenezer. Several accounts state he was born in Newark, NJ. There were some Ballous living in that area prior to 1770, but no further information has been found to suggest his parentage. Another “brick wall!”) Together they raised six children (only 4 are known, so far!) in Jordan, Onondaga Co., NY and in Oneida Co., NY. Ebenezer died young, about 1822, leaving Marana to raise the children alone. Her youngest, Elijah, was just an infant.
In 1824, Marana married Orrin “Aretus” Powers and had 3 daughters. When Aretus died only 8 years after their marriage, I’m sure it must have devastating for Marana to lose yet another husband. In that same year, she lost her father, too! I can’t imagine how she managed, especially since the little girls were only 4, 2, and the baby, Charlotte, just a newborn!
It was just a couple of years later that the whole family, Ballous and Powers’, left New York and headed west by covered wagon. What an arduous trip that must have been! In a journal written by Marana’s great-granddaughters, it’s stated, “[they] packed all of their belongings into covered wagons and started for the new West. There were many hardships along the way, including almost impassable roads. One day, just at its close, they camped on swampy ground near a great lake – Michigan. It was a spot where a great city was to stand some day – the city of Chicago.”
The family arrived in Lombard, near Wheaton, in DuPage County, Illinois. Levi, Marana’s son and my great-great grandfather, took up a claim there and settled with his family and later bought the property and farmed there for a few years. By 1850, Marana and some of her children, along with Levi and family, were living in Milton Towship, also near Wheaton.
Marana remained in Milton until later in life. She moved to Chicago with daughter, Cordelia, sometime before 1870. When she died in 1871, her body was taken back to DuPage County and she was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Glen Ellyn. More on Marana and her family in a future post, so keep coming back!
UPDATE! One great thing about “doing genealogy” is that so many people are searching their roots and, as I mentioned before, documenting is so necessary! So, when you make a mistake or are misinformed, it’s vital to correct it ASAP! Even though I just recently posted this information, I have to change some thing. Charlotte, mentioned above, is NOT the daughter of Orrin and Marana. She’s related in some way, but not a daughter. Sorry ’bout that!