Saturday, November 29, 2014

Colby Family of Grand Rapids Michigan

Information furnished from Barbara Wilson, a descendant Also included records from and a little research of my own. If you would like a copy of this file please post or e-mail. Any contributions please e-mail.

Sarah Francis Colby Wood was born on 31 JUL 1839 in Haverhill, Grafton County, N H. She was the daughter of Luther Colby and Hannah Page. She married Arthur Wood on 6 DEC 1860 in Kent County, Michigan.

John Ball Line
From Ball Family History The Ball Family Lineage from their arrival from England to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1) Nathaniel (1618-1706) & Mary (Mousal) Ball
2) Nathaniel (1663–1725) & Mary (Brooks) Ball
3) Nathaniel (1692-1749) & Sarah (Baker) Ball
4) Ebenzer (1721-1790) & Sarah (Goodkin) Ball
5) Nathaniel (1751-1834) & Sarah (Nevins) Ball
6) John (1794-1884) & Mary (Webster) Ball

John Ball (1794–1884) photo circa late-1870s or early-1880s.
Joshua Ball son of Nathaniel
From Michigan Historical Collections, Volume 35
John Ball was born on Tenny Hill, Grafton county, New Hampshire, November 12, 1794. He was educated in country schools and at Salisbury academy. He worked his way through Dartmouth college and was graduated in 1820. During the next four years he studied law at Lansingburg, New York, and taught school. He was admitted in 1824. His brother-in-law, a business man of extensive interests, died soon after and John Ball settled his estate, which took several years. In 1832 John Ball crossed the continent by way of Pittsburg, St. Louis, Independence, the South Pass, and the Columbia river. He was gone two and a half years, during which time he visited much of the territory now composing Washington, Oregon, California, and also the Hawaiian islands.
For two years he practiced law at Lansingburg and then came to Grand Rapids as a land-broker for capitalists and investors in 1836. During the next few months he located much land in Kent county and in the spring of 1837 he opened a law office at Grand Rapids, where he practiced for nearly fifty years. He had at different times for partners, George Martin, S. L. Withey, Edward E. Sargeant, E. S. Eggleston, and James H. McKee. The partnership of Ball & McKee continued for thirty-two years, from 1852 to Mr. Ball's death. No law firm of the Kent county bar has had a longer existence. The firm was never active in litigation, but was engaged in money loaning, real estate and business matters and often acted as counselors. Mr. Ball died at Grand Rapids, February 5, 1884. He left a gift to the city of forty acres of land which now forms a beautiful park that bears his name. Mr. Ball traveled and saw much of life. He did not marry until late in life, but left a family of several children who have every reason to be proud of their father. He was a representative progressive citizen who won the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.
For a Complete Account of John Ball Publications of the Historical Society of Grand Rapids, Issue 1

The Page Line Hannah R. Page was born on 14 SEP 1805 in Dorchester, Grafton County, New Hampshire and died on 23 FEB 1870 at Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan.She was the daughter of Gov John Page and Hannah Merrill.

John Page moved with his parents to Rindge NH, helped build a log house, performed settler's duty and thus secured a lot of land there. He moved to the Coos meadow in September 1762, wintered on the Great Ox Bow, took charge of General Bailey's cattle, in company with one other man and a boy, worked for General Bailey, and thus paid for a right of land in Haverhill. He went to Lancaster, worked for his uncle David and paid for another right of land in Haverhill. He then came back to this town, built a log house on the meadows, and married Abigail Saunders, daughter of the first settler south of him, and who died twelve years after marriage, without issue. He married for his second wife, Abigail Hazeltine, of Concord NH, who died without surviving children, and then married, for his third wife, Mrs. Hannah Green, daughter of Samuel Rice of Landaff, who bore him four sons, namely, John, William G., Samuel and Stephen R. John, the eldest, was born in Haverhill, May 21, 1787, was fitted for college in his youth, but just as he was about to enter, his father became embarrassed through having become bondsman for another party, and was likely to lose his farm. His son therefore relinquished his high ambition, turned his attention to saving the homestead, which was done, and which afterwards came into his possession. When twenty-five years of age he married Hannah, daughter of Maj. Nathaniel Merrill, of North Haverhill, who bore him nine children, namely Frederick, William, John Alfred, Henry Harrison, Nathaniel Merrill, Stephen Rice, Sarah Hazen, George Washington, George Brackett and Edward Livingston. All of these, with the exception of George W., grew to adult age.

Rev John Merrill father of Nathaniel Merrill
See Havehill NH Historical Society

John Page was elected governor of New Hampshire in 1839 by a Democratic vote of 30,518, and re-elected in 1840 and 1841. Edward L. Page succeeded his father in the ownership of the homestead, was a successful farmer, and held various local offices. He served as selectman several years, during the civil war, when his patriotism and activity in securing recruits caused the burning of his buildings. He married Laura M. Batchelder, of Franklin in 1855. For seventeen years he suffered with consumption, and died November 4, 1878, aged forty-six years. His widow survives him.

Brother of Hannah Page John Page, JR

Fulton Street Cemetery
Grand Rapids
Kent County
Michigan, USA

SOURCE: "A Genealogy of the Descendants of Abraham Colby and Elizabeth Blaisdell, his wife Who settled in Bow in 1768" By one of them, Concord, NH Printed by the Republican Press Association 1895
History of the city of Grand Rapids Michigan 


  1. Do you have a Merrill Colby from Redford, Wayne County, Michigan in your line?

  2. Do you have a Merrill Colby from Redford (or Livonia), Wayne County, Michigan in your line?

  3. Cindy, 95% of all Colby's in the US decend from Anthony Colby and Susannah. Your Merrill Colby is the son of Ephraim Colby and Mary Merrill.