Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.
–Samuel Smiles (1812-1904)
Anyone beginning the study of family history might be overwhelmed by the possibilities, with so much published, so many records to go through, and seemingly endless possibilities. But what is the goal? Filling in blanks on a chart as far back as one can go? Some take that approach, often with a religious fervor. Others are self-described “one namers” who devote themselves to a single line. This certainly makes the adventure more manageable, but it leaves living descendants of some branches feeling neglected.
We follow the tact of the “one namers” and take solace in the fact that it mimics the pattern of the y-DNA results, and is probably the best way to corroborate the information gleaned from genetic testing. So what “progress” has been made?
I started this post intending to highlight which pages were edited or added to, but after some reflection decided it was too tedious to recount, because minor tweaking goes on all over the place. I’ll stick with the pledge to limit such announcements to major breakthroughs. Perhaps most newsworthy is the fact that I did just upgrade to the 111-Marker test offered by Family Tree DNA, and to date no exact match has been found in the Ballard DNA project. I do know that my exact match at the 67-Marker level has taken the upgrade, and those results are some weeks away. With that information, we may be able to narrow the most recent common ancestor time frame with greater precision, which may help us sort out the relationships among and between the Ballards that settled in Buncombe county, North Carolina after the American Revolution, those that remained in Albemarle county, Virginia, and those who removed to Kentucky. Click here for a discussion of DNA test results in the Ballard DNA Surname Project to date.
I’ll reiterate a request: if you come to these pages seeking your family history, take what you want or need, but return the favor: please have a y-DNA test done on yourself (or, if female, your nearest male relative) and join the Ballard DNA Surname Project, especially if your family history is well documented and you have no doubts of your origins. It could help many fellow researchers overcome those pesky “brick walls” that are so much a part of research in the Southern colonies, where record losses have made this avocation such a challenge.