Beda Ballard

born: Abt 1784
spouse: John MILLER
marr: 10 Sep 1806, Warren Co.,KY
Elizabeth MILLER
William K. MILLER
George Washington MILLER
Matthew MILLER

Pedigree Chart

           |          |
           |          |--------
  |------Reuben BALLARD (1748, VA or NC - 1820, KY)
  |        |
  |        |          |--------
  |        |          |
  |        |---------
  |                   |
  |                   |--------
Beda BALLARD (1784 - )
  |                   |--------Ralph BALLARD (1673, VA - 1722, NC)
  |                   |
  |        |---------Abraham BALLARD (1705, VA - 1754, NC)
  |        |          |
  |        |          |--------Sarah ( - )
  |        |
  |------Absilla A. ``Assala'' BALLARD ( - )
           |          |--------
           |          |
           |---------Elizabeth SUMNER (1715 - )

There is a lot of confusion over the family of Beda and I don't claim to have everything correct yet. I am getting a little closer, but I apologize for any mistakes remaining and ask that you please remember that very little of this is certain. There are a few indisputable facts: Reuben Ballard's will names a daughter Beda Miller and the Warren Co., KY marriage record of Beda Ballard and John Miller. Also, a Reuben Miller came to Iowa county, Iowa and founded the town of Millersburg in 1852. Several children of Beda's brother John Ballard also settled in this same part of Iowa. Reuben Miller was born in Kentucky and named one of his daughters Beda.

From here on it starts to get confusing. In 1988, descendendents of the Iowa Co., Iowa Ballards assembled a self-published family history. Beda Ballard Miller was included in this book and it tentatively assigned many children to Beda and John Miller, including Reuben Miller. Besides Reuben, most of the other Miller children also came to Iowa Co., Iowa, roughly in the 1850s or 1860s. I've generally used this Iowa Co. Ballards book (and other records from one of its authors) as my starting point for the family of Beda Ballard Miller.

Once they get to Iowa County, there are numerous records and historical mentions of the Miller children linking them back to Macon County, Illinois and then to Kentucky before that. However, there were several Miller families in Macon Co., Illinois in the 1830s-1850s when Beda and her family were there. Several of the Miller children assigned to Beda and John Miller by the Iowa Co. Ballard book have proved instead to be children of a Christopher Miller by Christopher's 1853 Macon Co., Illinois probate records.

Christopher's children mention in the probate records are William, Mary Harrill, James, Isaac (deceased), Abraham (deceased), Pheobe Scott, Lydia Springer, Annis Laymonds and Nancy Huffman.

These other Millers weren't necessarily related to Beda's John. I am not making any claims here on the ancestry of John Miller. To help untangle all these Millers, I will first present a few census facts:

There were two families headed by a John Miller in the 1840 census of Macon County. One John Miller household had a male age 40--50, a female 40--50, and nine younger males and 2 younger females. The younger males were 2 age 5--10, 3 age 10--15, 1 age 15--20, 3 age 20--30. The young females were one under age 5 and one age 15--20. The other John Miller household had a male age 50--60, a female 30--40, one male 15--20, one male 20--30, and a female aged 5--10. The census enumerations can include other members of the household such as hired hands.

There is a John Miller listed in the 1850 census of Iowa County, Iowa. He is age 75, born SC and has been blind 17 years. He is listed with Elizabeth, age 55, born Virginia, married, and they are two houses away from the households of George and William Miller in English Twp. George and William are presented here as sons of Beda and John Miller.

The second John Miller from Macon Co. in 1840 fits better with the John Miller found in Iowa County, Iowa in 1850. The age spread between husband and wife fits much better, especially.

Shirley Lillie, a family researcher related to other Millers of Macon Co., Illinois, has provided information which calls into question whether Beda Ballard Miller was the mother of all of the Iowa County Millers. Shirley's records contained a John Miller who was married first to Nancy Blair and then married about 1810 in Kentucky to Elizabeth Baker. Shirley's records listed Reuben, Samuel, George, Robert, and William as children of that John Miller. Those same children (and more) were assigned to John Miller and Beda Ballard by the Iowa Co. Ballard book. Shirley did not record her John Miller as being married to Beda Ballard. Her John Miller died in 1853 on way to Oregon on a wagon train and his wife Elizabeth died in 1852 in Iowa. He came to Kentucky with his brothers Christopher (the same one with the 1853 probate records mentioned above) , Dr. Samuel, Jacob, and William. His first marriage to Nancy Blair was on 30 Nov 1804 in Hardin Co., Kentucky.

We also know that Beda Ballard Miller was still living in 1820 when she was named in her father's will.

According to data supplied by Arlene Viceri and posted by Herb Clark (both descendents of Beda Ballard Miller), Beda died sometime before 24 Oct 1855 in Macon County Illinois (I don't know what specific document they got that date from), and Beda's husband John Miller had remarried to Phoebe Cheney sometime before 1853. And that John died in 1853. (Again, I have no idea what the proof of this is. It might be yet another John Miller confusing things.) That data also indicates that John Miller was born in 1783 in Pennsylvania.

Other researchers, as reported by a descendent of Robert Miller, indicate that that Robert and Samuel Miller (among several others) were children of of David Miller and Nancy McGee. That David Miller and his second wife, Jane Cooper, were parents of Jacob Miller who married Harriet Ballard. That David Miller family also lived in Macon Co., Illinois.

I'm not sure whether the John Miller in the 1850 census of Iowa County is the same as the husband of Beda Ballard. I am pretty confident that Beda Ballard was the mother of some of the Iowa County Millers, in particular, Reuben Miller, just from the first names used in his family. I am not close enough to this Miller family to know what family traditions they have for linking the rest of the Miller children to their mother Beda Ballard. I am mostly just following the Outline created by Dorothy Foubert.

Here are some of the possibilties I consider the most likely: Shirley Lillie's John Miller could be the same as the husband of Beda Ballard, but for some reason her family records forgot about his marriage to Beda and the 1810 date for John's marriage to Elizabeth Baker is off (it should be after 1820 since Beda was still living in 1820). Or somehow Elizabeth Baker is an ``alternate spelling'' or mis-remembering of Beda Ballard. That theory sort of ignores the Viceri-Clark information about John described above, though. Of course it is possible there were two completely independent John Millers, but my guess is there is some connection.

Census: 1840, Macon Co.,Illinois

Sources for this individual: @S1279@ @S1284@ @S178@ @S1285@ @S995@ @S1286@ @S1287@ @S1263@

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