An American Journey
The Genealogy of the Curbow-Montoya Family
Curbow Collage
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There seem to be a myriad of thoughts and ideas among researchers as to where the Ham surname originated. In fact, it is a very ancient name - Noah in the Old Testament had a son named Ham. The Celtic word ham means home or farm. The Old English word hamm meant an enclosed piece of land or a low lying land by a stream. The most common Old English terms describing habitation are ham and tun. The term tun originally meant fence or hedge and then eventually came to mean an estate or manor - then gradually came to mean a hamlet or village. Today, the version of tun that we are familiar with is now called a town.

Our Ham family research focuses primarily on those individuals who migrated from Georgia to Mississippi and then on to Texas and includes the following individuals and their families:

Joel Ham - Joel is our brickwall ancestor. If we could identify his parents - then there would be a good possibility of linking our Ham family branch to the South Carolina or Virginia Hams - who have been well documented by others and traced back to the immigrating ancestors who came from England. Joel was born on Christmas Day 1815 in Georgia. He married Mary Emily Montgomery on 23 Dec 1840 in Carroll County, Tennessee. Mary was the daughter of John G. Montgomery and Joannah DeMoss. By 1841 Joel had moved his family to Yalobusha County, Mississippi where they lived north of the Yalobusha River. The Joel Ham family left for Texas in 1858 and settled in Titus County where they lived for many years. Joel and his wife Mary died within days of each other in Grandview, Johnson County, Texas.

Robert Montgomery Ham - Robert was born June of 1852 in Jackson, Mississippi. He came to Texas with his parents as a small boy and spent his childhood in Titus County. Robert married Tabitha Clementine Kenady on 1 July 1875 in Johnson County, Texas, where the couple lived their lives and raised their children; and then later moving on to Kaufman County, Texas. Robert died young of pneumonia in North Forney, Kaufman County, Texas on 9 Dec 1905. He is laid to rest there in Lone Elm Cemtery.

William Neal Ham - William was born 9 July 1874 in Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas. On 25 Sept 1898 he married Julia Emma Stone (the daughter of John Asa Stone and Mary Emma Parker) in Kaufman County, Texas. William farmed and ranched in various Texas counties, including Brown, Henderson, and McCulloch. He and Julia had a very large family consisting of twelve children. William suffered a heart attack on the banks of the Nueces River while on a fishing trip - he died October of 1941. He is laid to rest in Cenizo Hill Cemetery in Mathis, San Patricio County, Texas.

Allie Ernestine Ham - Allie was born 8 July 1905 in Elmo, Kaufman County, Texas, one of twelve children. During her childhood she spent time in Brown County and later in McCulloch County. She met and married Roy Oliver Curbow in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas. Allie and Roy raised three sons in Brownwood, Texas. After the death of her husband Roy, Allie eventually moved to Williamson County to be near her youngest son and grandchildren, where she died 21 May, 1987 in Round Rock, Texas. Allie is laid to rest with her husband in Eastlawn Memorial Park in Early, Brown County, Texas. Allie was known to her grandkids as NanNan. She is dearly missed and this Ham genealogy is compiled by Mary Curbow and Judy Curbow in her memory.

This website was launched in June of 2011. I am busy incorporating 5,000+ pieces of media, which includes stories, documents and pictures of our Ham ancestors. If you don't find what you are looking for, please check back often or feel free to contact me. Should you wish to contribute any information or media to this genealogy database you can feel free to contact me or alternatively you can upload a photo and/or a document directly to this website. Additionally, I have written a good bit on the Ham family on my blog which you can access at If you are researching any of these Ham family lines (or any related families), I would love to hear from you