CHAPTER 1

THE FORDS
by
W D Ford, Jr

I've been interested in genealogy as long as I can remember. I was born in Louisville, Ky. June 12, 1930. My grandparents lived all the way across state from us. (Tompkinsville, Ky.) The first I can remember is about the age of 2 when we moved to Madison County, Kentucky, We were about the same distance from my Grandparents, around a hundred miles, or a all day trip by automobile in those days. My Grandfather, Samuel Ford died 28 years before my birth. My Grandmother, Eliza, died when I was about 5 years old. and My Grandfather Benjamin Price Ford died when I was about 7. The one remaining Grandmother, Bell Ford, lived until I was about 26.
She knew very little about her ancestors. I did search her mind while she was still in good health, but really very little information was gained. "The folks came from the (Old Country), in a wagon train. There was some kind of trouble and they left in the middle of the night!" So, before her, her husband, and my Dad's parents, I had little information. Also, I soon found that any kinfolk I talked with knew less about our ancestors than I. The feeling I got was that they didn't know, and they could care even less. A couple of exceptions were Flavil Ford and Sandy Speakman Poe.
Flavil Ford is the only first cousin I stayed acquainted with throughout the years. He died about 3 years ago. His son, Michael is now interested in the family tree.
Sandy Speakman's Father,"Floyd", and his Brothers, Joe and Amos,and I, were childhood playmates and remained best friends. Joe was killed in the Korean War and Floyd died a few years back. Amos and his wife still visit us at the time of this writing, and we visit them. They live in Madison County, Ky. Amos is retired from his very successful career with IBM.
What triggered my intense search for knowledge of my Ancestors? Why the search? I think that all my Uncles and Aunts are dead. A few of my first Cousins are still alive, but not one could I find, or recognize should I meet them on the street. I have spoke to my only Sister only once since our mother died. I have no ideal what my nephews and nice are doing.
Perhaps a catalyst in the search was I needed something to occupy my thoughts. In 1969, I lost my job just to be reinstated in it over a year later. I was a Electronic Engineer working for the Army Corps of Engineers in charge of a Test and Evaluation Laboratory. The Laboratory Chief of Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, of which my Lab. was one, was a Military Col. that took a dislike to me. When ordered to reinstate me, my Laboratory was dissolved and I was given a meager job with no challenge. I had too many retirement credits to give up and it was not feasible to relocate with a bad reference. So, "I became one of those reinstated government employees that never work out.", I survived by finding other interest.
I think at this point of my search I know that if I don't finish what I have searched out, and recorded, it will be lost forever, while if I can leave a record, someone may at a later date be able to search even further into the past. With Internet becoming popular and more genealogy sites appearing, searching will become easier, and searching overseas will be possible from sitting in our own living rooms.
Man is the only being capable of leaving individual records of past generations that can be read and understood by future generations and he doesn't brother to do so. Isn't that a waste ?
What was my Father and Mother like ? My Dad in his later years was inflicted with arthritis and bored to death by inactivity. He had been a farmer and had managed a 600 acre tobacco farm in the heart of the Blue Grass of Kentucky for James Stone,who was Secretary of Agriculture under Hoover. I once said to Dad, "Why don't you write a book ?", well, he didn't even want to talk about it. Till this day I don't know if he didn't think he had the talent to do it. Or the knowledge.
I don't think I really knew my parents. Sure, I know Dad liked watermelon, open beef sandwiches, like to eat in Greek Restaurant. Liked to play cards, to shoot craps, like to fight (but didn't much). He wanted his children to get all the education they could. My Mother ?, a very hard working woman, milked cows, raised chickens, raised a garden, did the house work, cooking, raising of the children, quilting, sewing. listened and watched soaps on the radio and TV. She spent about 4 years in bed during the time I was in the 5th, 6th, 7th,8th and 9th, grade. I did the housework and look after her while home and going to school. She was treated for diphtheria, which she didn't have, heart problems and almost died before she was found to have a deficiency of vitamin K.
Although I have traced the Fords back to 1679, that seems very little when compared to the history of mankind.