An American Journey
The Genealogy of the Curbow-Montoya Family
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Joel Ham

Who Were the Parents of Joel Ham?

To date – and after many years of research – there are no clues as to who the parents of Joel Ham were. If we could solve this mystery – I believe there is a good likelihood that we could link Joel Ham’s family to the South Carolina or Virginia Hams. By about 1700 there appear to be about six different and distinct Ham family lines in America. I do not know which one Joel stems from.

During the 1860 census, while Joel is in Yalabusha County, Mississippi, there is living nearby a Mortimer R. Ham. His connection to Joel is probable but the relationship is unknown. Notes from researcher Marian Ham Miller: “I've always suspected there was a connection between Mortimer and our Joel, but I've never been able to verify it. However, in looking back at the file to answer your question, I realized that Joel Ham probably was born several years later than I have been using all these years. The first time I found him on the 1860 census of Titus County, Texas, his age was given as 44 (1816). The Ham bible only had his birth month and day - not the year, so I used 1816. However, in 1870, his age was given as 50, which would have made his birth about 1820. When I finally found him in 1850, his age was given as 25, which widened the span even more to 1825, This would make Mortimer R. Ham, shown as born in Tennessee, older than Joel, who was born in Georgia. I can verify that Joel was born in Georgia through the only place I have ever found where he was required to furnish his own information - the 1867 Texas Voters' Registration Information Form (required to reinstate voting rights following the Civil War.). He said he was born in Georgia and had been living in Titus County, Texas for 8 years.

I always have been interested in the Amherst County, Virginia Ham families and have quite a bit of information on them that has been shared over the years. Some of the families did come down into Georgia before going to Tennessee, but they left few records behind.”

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