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William J. Ross - Bernadine Gillis Ross - My Maternal Grandparents

This is the first of 4 monthly blog posts in which I will outline information about one of my 4 grandparents and their ancestral line.

I started doing family research (genealogy) in 2000, using old fashioned methods.  I went back generation by generation using records on microfilm at the National Archives branch in NYC, the New York Public Library, and the NY Muncipal Archives - and obtained birth, marriage, death, census, passenger list, and naturalization documents for each ancestor.  After several years and many generations, I reached brick walls in each line, due to lack of existing records.  In the process I met distant cousins through genealogy message boards, and became friends and co-researchers with many of them.

I recently read that CURRENT genealogic researchers rarely use Genealogy message boards, but instead "google" names of interest, so blogs are now the most important method of making connections.  I therefore decided I would post information on each of my 4 ancestral lines here on my blog - which is usually used to share my art and textile passions.  This will be an extra post each month.



William J Ross was born in 1890 in Jersey City NJ to Lindsay Ross (born 1867 Ballynaghy, Seagoe Parish, PLU Lurgan, County Armagh) and Anna Elizabeth Ballance (birth record not found in Ireland, but siblings were born in Co. Armagh). 





Both Lindsay and Anna immigrated to the United States from County Armagh in Northern Ireland in 1888 (Apr and Sept. respectively).  They sailed separately and married here in Dec 1888.  Lindsay died in Feb. 1891, when my grandfather William was one year old and Anna remained in America, raising her son.  They lived in Paterson NJ (Passaic County) and then Totowa NJ (Passaic Co.) until their deaths in 1980 (Wm) and 1953 (his mother Anna).  I have both wooden chests that Anna brought to this county with all of her belongings, her gold wedding ring, and silver thimble).

Lindsay's Mom, Sarah Curry Ross came to the US with her 3 youngest children after her husband William Ross died in County Armagh in Dec 1890.  She died in New York City in Dec. 1903.

Anna's Mom, Mary Johnston Ballance, came to America in Mar 1891 to help Anna with her new son and she died in Passaic Co, NJ in Sept. 1908.  Her husband James, a linen weaver, died in County Armagh Ireland in 1899.

The family names in this ancestral line include:  William Ross, Sarah Curry Ross, James Ballance, Mary Johnston Ballance, James Johnston, George Ross, John Curry Jr,, Elizabeth Lindsay Curry, John Curry Sr. and Mary Atcheson Curry.

I would be delighted to exchange information with anyone researching these Irish families. 

NEXT MONTH:  My maternal Grandmother Bernadine Gillis Ross' Flemish ancestors.



I find genealogy fascinating, your lucky to have such good photographs. I researched all my family lines too, those that ended up in Ireland came to a dead end too as many Irish records were destroyed in a fire.

Thank you for this truly wonderful description of your process for creating a journal. The test is clearly written and the accompanying photos encourage me to begin to snoop for books on my next walk through the used booksellers store. The development of one's own personally designed and constructed journal sounds like a new layer of appreciation of the journal keeper's self. My muse is calling out suggestions as I write this comment to you. Thank you for opening wide with a bright guiding light the door to a new addition to my arsenal of journaling supplies!

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