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Gerald Finley Ballantine 1911 to 1988

Gerald Finley Ballantine 1911 to 1988

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This is an oral history of the Ballantine family including a tale that the family originated from Italian mercenaries serving in a Spanish Armada in 1588.
This is an oral history of the Ballantine family including a tale that the family originated from Italian mercenaries serving in a Spanish Armada in 1588.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Michael D. Ballantine on Jan 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/24/2013

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Recollections of the Ballantine side of our family – Gerald Finley BallantineGrandpop B. (Gerald Finlay) was born in “the village of Maghera across the riverBahn” as he was fond of telling my father. This would have been in County Derry,N. Ireland, in 1848 as nearly as I can find out. His father’s name was Robert,vocation-school teacher, who moved from Scotland; apparently between the twodevastating potato famines. Grandpop’s mother’s maiden name was Catherine Orr.Beyond that I have no definite knowledge except that other intermarried familynames were Finley, Graham, McMillan. Great grandfather Robert was repute tohave a full knowledge, speaking, reading, and writing of Latin and Greek.At the age of 9 yrs Grandpop emigrated to the US, it must have been under thesame aegis as that of his sister Margaret who later married a Dickey. (Naturalized 9-3-64) They were the ones who settled in Rich nominally Pawtucket, but only knewthem to be in a suburb of Lonsdale. The only survivor in our generation now (April’83) is Isabelle.Grandpop reportedly was one of seventeen, Margaret was the only one who alsocame to the states. He was the only one who also came to the states. He wasconfirmed in Newburgh, NY by Bishop Horace Potter, 1869. Why the move here(USA?), I never heard. I know that other brothers and sisters emigrated to othersections of the British Empire, one specific place was Christ Church, New Zealand.Grandpop died in February 1911, the year of my birth, and that is probably why Iwas named for him. He was the one that insisted on the spelling of Finley, ratherthan the ending of lay.On the Chestnut side (Grandmom B., b. 1850, d. 1938) the immigrant was Benjamin(naturalized __-8-46), who arrived a generation before the B’s. I have bothcitizenship certificates. Grandmom’s name was Rose Anna, and she had a sisterMary (Glasgow) and two brothers who went out west. One of them, Tom,apparently pretty much settled in Silverton, CO; and I donated an early photo thathad been sent here to their l of l and got many thanks for it, since it was unique. Ididn’t mention that the Chestnuts came from Loleraine and Portrush, both not farfrom the Giants Causeway.Now to deal with Dad’s immediate family. There were eight children. In order;Catherine, Benjamin, Mary, Gerald, Jennie, Robert, Rose and Bess. Jennie diedyoung. Since a family of that size required all that could be brought in, Ben went towork at age 11 for his uncle John Glasgow. Eventually, he rose in that same line of work, grocery, to the important post in the American Stores he eventually held.Gerald was placed with Lupkins at 13 years, first in the office, and then, when it wasfound he couldn’t sit, out in the shop where he eventually learned his iron-workerstrade, and stayed with it till he was 65. Believe me, quite a guy! Dad tried a coupleof jobs, one was with the jewelers Kind, before he wound up with the Penney. Hewent to night school to learn Gregg and typing and gradually advanced to being a

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