It was a regular hot July day of 2007…a day that changed my life.
A strange creature was perched on my desk. I timidly approached it…wondering, how do I tackle and subdue it? At my age should I take a chance?
I edged closer. It just sat there staring blankly back at me. Would it freeze up and die, or obey my commands? I slid into my chair, slowly put my hand out, touched the mouse and clicked.
With that click, I entered the technical age. I was on the internet!
It took awhile to overcome my fear of the unknown while searching for my ancestors. I kept repeating, “don’t be afraid, just do it”. I cautiously checked out Family Search and Ancestry along with others. Hey, I was catching on.
Then, in October, on Ancestry Message Boards, I found someone looking for “The Parents of Augusta Ballou”. The person inquiring was a Hubbard. Augusta’s two daughters married Hubbards. The answer came from a Ballou descendant. Really! Could this be my great, great grandmother, Augusta Ballou Davidson? I was also looking for her parents. Although the messages were from 2002, I boldly answered.
Bingo! I found Anne, the great, great granddaughter of Augustus, twin to my Augusta. Dear, dear Cousin Anne opened up an entire new family for me. I have been completely immersed in genealogy ever since that fateful October.
Ha!…Scary box, I conquered you!
This is our Happy 4th Anniversary, Cousin Anne. Thank you and the internet for expanding my world.
Below is the transcription of our first correspondence, taken from Ancestry.com
Posted: 13 Mar 2002 4:11PM GMT
Augusta Ballou married Welcome Davidson in 1870 at Du Page County, Illinois. The 1880 census shows the couple living in Iowa with children Lewis, Mattie, Mae, and Charles. The Wheaton Illinoian announced that Augusta died at the home of her sister ‘Mrs. Geer’ on November 16, 1886 at Wheaton, Illinois. Augusta had a twin brother ‘Augustus’. Does anyone have Augusta in their Ballou line?
Posted: 27 Apr 2002 1:43PM GMT
Hurray! I’ve finally found someone else looking for the DuPage Co. Ballou family! My great-great grandfather was Augustus “Gus” Marble Ballou, twin brother of your Augusta. Their parents were Levi and Mary Ballou. Levi was born in NY and is quite possibly the son of Stephen Ballou, brother of the infamous Hosea Ballou, founder of the Universalist Church. Levi purchased 80 acres in Milton Twp., DuPage Co. in 1845 for $1.25 an acre!! The family is shown as living there in the 1850 census – Augustus and Augusta were 5 years old.
Posted: 31 Oct 2007 1:35AM GMT
Augusta Ballou Davidson was my gggrandmother. According to my grandmother, Faye Augusta Hubbard Fredrickson, Augusta was a twin and French. I have a family tree by Mary Jane Switzer in 1959. Would like to exchange info.
Posted: 31 Oct 2007 1:29PM GMT
Augusta was the twin of my great-grandfather, Augustus “Gus” Marble Ballou. Gus was killed in a train accident a couple of months after my grandfather was born in 1892. My grandfather was Robert O. Ballou (1892-1977), a writer, publisher and editor-in-chief for Viking Press in NYC. His big “claim to fame” was publishing John Steinbeck’s first novel, “To a God Unknown”. (The book is worth over $10,000 now. Wish I had a copy!!)
I have much more as I have been focusing on this family for a long time and would be glad to exchange further information. Please contact me through this forum or via my email address below.
The four Neuhaus boys and two girls were born at Papillion, NE in a beautiful old house. By 1920 the family moved to Knox County, NE, where the six were raised.
In 1941, Dad’s youngest sister, Helen, left Knox County, moving to the Papillion area to teach. There Helen met and married Bernard Schram and spent most of her married life in the house where she and her siblings were born, raising her family of three boys and a girl.
When Helen was dating Barney, she should have had a clue that besides being a wonderful man, he loved to play jokes.
Once while on a date, they were driving down the farm lane from his parents place in a Model T. Barney asked, “Would you like to learn to drive?” Helen answered, “Yes.” She was quite shocked when he unscrewed the nut from the steering wheel and handed it to her, saying, “Now, you can practice.”
Helen enjoyed a lifetime of love and playful pranks with Barney, while Mom, Arlene of the “Turd Bird” fame, and Barney were always matching wits and trying to top each other. Besides Barney’s challenge for her to make turd birds, I remember another.
Barney owned a lot of land around Papillion. He decided to sell some allowing Papillion’s expansion. But he made a stipulation…two streets had to be named after his sister-in-law, Arlene and her daughter, Gayle.
If you visit Omaha, NE, take a tour of Papillion to the south to find Arlene Circle and Gayle Street. Actually, this is one prank that backfired on Barney. Mom was thrilled.
Helen and Barney’s son, Ron, is continuing his father’s tradition and I, Arlene’s daughter, am one he likes to tease. Ron is a fun cousin, but I am not feisty like my mom, so I just enjoy him.
Manic Monday…on Wednesday!
I returned from visiting my mother this past week. She has kidney disease and I was dreading the thought of her having to start dialysis. Well, her numbers are better and she is stable for the time being. It was such good news!
In other good news, my husband started a new full-time job and, even though I’m no longer working outside of our home, our lives can get back to some sort of normalcy…regular bedtime, meal times, etc. My thought was to wake up on Monday morning and start anew, refreshed. I would spend a good part of my day doing my genealogy research, read others’ blogs, work on my own blog, oh, and maybe get some housework done, and plan some wonderful meals using the end-of-the-season vegetables still growing in my garden.
So, on Monday morning, with all of my grogginess at 6am and with my first cup of coffee of the day, I plopped down in front of my little laptop. I started her up, she loaded fine and opened at Ancestry, my home page! How I missed it! How I miss my little Gateway when I’m gone, with all my passwords and favorite pages bookmarked for me! I am spoiled, for sure!
Well, I opened another page and oh, crud, my cursor became stuck…didn’t want to budge. I tried hitting “control, alt, delete” to start my task manager. Duh, nothing. Well, I tried a couple of other things, too, all to no avail. I had no recourse but to turn her off and turn her back on again. WRONG MOVE!! I guess she was angry with me for being gone so long and she refused to open Windows. I searched for hours on my tiny iPhone for a solution, but never found anything that worked. So, she is off to the computer hospital and, I’m stuck here at home praying for her survival!
My daughter has been kind enough to lend me her laptop while she’s working. No love affair with this one, but it’s letting me post. Thank God I remembered some passwords. However, I have no genealogy program or any pictures loaded on this computer, so my post is kind of blah. But, I just wanted to let you know I’m still around…waiting on my laptop’s diagnosis and prognosis, hoping she’ll get a good report like my mother did!
(Til I post again, here’s a link to History In Advance. I had never heard of the website before. My cousin, Elaine, has written a couple of articles that you might find interesting. Take a look around and join their mailing list…good stuff!!)
My grandmother, Sadie Elizabeth Brannon, daughter of John Clifton and Mollie Lavenia White Brannon, was adopted and raised by her maternal great-aunt, Sarah “Sadie” Elizabeth Joynes and her husband, August Hohenstein.