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Roby Randall

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Roba "Roby" R. (Randall) Ettiman Ball, 1837-1869

Roby Randall
              with husband John Ettiman and son George

Roba "Roby" R. Randall was born in 1837 in the state of New York, possibly in the township of Dayton in Cattaraugus Co. which is where her parents had moved around 1838. Roby was the third of six children born to Reuben and Margaret Randall. Reuben was a farmer and the farm was located at what is now 9970 Mosher Rd., South Dayton, N.Y. Roby is listed as 13 in the 1850 census, 17 in the 1855 census, and 22 in the 1860 census of Dayton. Roby married John Ettiman/Eitterman about 1854 and their son George was born in November 1855 (the above photo of Roby, John, and their son George was apparently taken about 1858 judging from the size of George). John was also a farmer in Dayton and he apparently died shortly before the June 1860 census. George, age 5, was living with his grandparents at the time, while Roby was listed as a servant in the neighboring household of Thomas Newcomb. There is a bit of a question mark about when Roby's son John was born but it is clear that he was born in Illinois (the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 census all list his birthplace as Illinois). Apparently shortly after the June 1860 census Roby moved to Illinois where John was born (Roby's brother and sister both moved to Iroquois Co., Illinois, in the early 1870's, so perhaps there was a relative who lived in that vicinity?). Also, apparently around that time (in the fall of 1860) Roby married George Nichols Ball (note that George's parents were living in Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., in 1860). According to records from his pension application George Ball "came to Sheridan [Montcalm Co., Michigan] in the fall of 1860... at that time he was living with his wife Ruby [Roby]..." George Ball had been married previously to Charlotte Dow and they were living in Leon Twp., Cattaraugus Co., in 1850. George enlisted in Co. D, 21st Michigan Infantry and served in the Civil War from Sept 1864 through June 1865. Roby's third child, Charles Ball, was born on 13 May 1866 in Montcalm County but shortly before his third birthday Roby died on 15 Feb 1869 in Sheridan at the age of 32 (Roby's death date is from the pension application of George's, third wife, Louisa Bennett Ball). The 1870 census lists Charles Ball, age 4, living with Roby's sister, Runett, in Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., but by 1880 Charles had returned to Michigan to live with his father and step-mother. According to Roby's granddaughter, Madia Eitterman Mesler, Roby died of "heart trouble" and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery at Sheridan in an unmarked grave.

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