An American Journey
The Genealogy of the Curbow-Montoya Family
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The Life and Times of Joel Ham
Joel Ham was born on Christmas Day 1815 in Georgia. (We know that Joel was born in Georgia because he states this in his own hand on the 1867 Texas Voters’ Registration Information Card which was required to reinstate voting rights following the Civil War.) Joel is our brickwall Ham ancestor – we do not at this time know who his parents or siblings were. If and when we discover his parentage, it is thought that there is a good chance that he can be linked to the South Carolina or Virginia Ham families – who are very well documented.
On 23 Dec 1840 Joel married Mary Ellen Montgomery (1821-1874) in Carroll County, Tennessee. Mary Ellen was the daughter of John G. Montogomery and Joannah DeMoss.
By 1841 Joel and Mary Ellen can be found living in Yalabusha County, Mississippi where they are living north of the Yalabusha River. Also in the county is a Mortimer Ham and family. I suspect that there is a family connection but I have not been able to verify it.
By 1858 Joel and family have migrated to Texas – they are living in Mount Vernon, Titus County, Texas during the 1860 and 1870 census periods.
Joel Ham died on 28 April 1874 in Grandview, Johnson County, Texas. His wife Mary Ellen Montgomery Ham died just ten days later on 7 May 1874 in Grandview, Johnson County, Texas. According to Ham/Ballard Family members they are laid to rest together in the Grandview Cemetery. (This has not yet been confirmed.) It seems that perhaps they suffered an illness or an injury together given that they died fairly young and only ten days apart.
Joel and Mary Ellen had four children: John Montgomery in 1841; Joannah in 1843; Lenora Adelina in 1846; and Robert Montgomery in 1852.
A special thanks to Marian Ham Miller for reviewing and confirming all of our Ham genealogy work. She has been researching this line of the Ham family for decades. Many of the names and dates for Joel Ham and wife Mary Ellen Montgomery and children are contained in the Montgomery-Ham Bible which she owns and which Marian generously shared with us.