Historical Research

Family Histories


The McOmber Family of Orleans County
This compiled family history documents the immediate family of Otis McOmber (1835-1928), the life of his father Van Rensselaer McOmber (1807-1864), the lineage of his mother, the deaths of his brothers Lorenzo and Charles during the Rebellion, and his own service with Company B of the 76th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Invited Presentations


Ballard, M. (2016). “Lights Out Lecture: Infamous Criminals of Orleans County.” The Cobblestone Society Museum, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). “Stories that Kill: Infamous Criminals of Orleans County.” The Cobblestone Society Museum, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). “The Lost Generation: Orleans County in World War I.” The Cobblestone Society Museum, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). “Veteran Vignettes: Stories of Five Local Veterans.” WNYLRC 50th Anniversary, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). “The Sloopers: Birth of Modern Norwegian Immigration.” Holley-Murray Historical Society, Holley, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). “Liquor & Lies: The Story of the Spencer Family of Oak Orchard.” Orleans County Genealogical Society, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). “What’s New in Orleans County: A Primer on Genealogical Resources.” Rochester Genealogical Society, Rochester, NY.

Ballard, M. (2015). “The Sloopers: Origins of Norwegian Immigration to America.” Orleans County Historical Association, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2015). “Development of Cobblestone Masonry in New York State.” Hurd Orchards, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2015). “Brothers in Blood, Brothers in Arms – The McOmber Family of Orleans County.” Genesee Community College, Civil War Initiative, Medina, NY.

Ballard, M. (2015). “Introduction to Polish Genealogy.” Ogden Farmers’ Library Genealogy Group, Spencerport, NY.

Ballard, M. (2014). “Development of Cobblestone Masonry in New York State.” Eastern Niagara Retired Teachers Association, Lockport, NY.

Ballard, M. (2013). “History of Albion’s Polonia.” Orleans County Genealogical Society, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2013). “Emerging Technology & Genealogy Research.” Orleans County Genealogical Society, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2012). “Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.” Knights of Columbus/Catholic Daughters of America, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2011 & 2012). “Polish Genealogy I & II– Researching German-Polish Catholics.” Genesee Area Genealogists, Batavia Family History Fair at Batavia, and Orleans County Genealogical Society, Albion, NY.

Ballard, M. (2011). “Archiving Your Family History – Introduction to Archival Methods.” Orleans County Genealogical Society, Albion, NY.

Media Presentations


Ballard, M. (2016). “Unknown Stories of Western New York – Pullman Strike & Labor Day.” WGRZ, Buffalo, NY.

Ballard, M. (2016). Historian, Orleans County. Television appearance pending – anticipated spring of 2017.

Ballard, M. (2015). “Unknown Stories of Western New York – Cobblestone Masonry.” WGRZ, Buffalo, NY.

Orleans County Histories


Old-Time Orleans – 2 Volumes, 52 Issues
Weekly column written for the Orleans Hub relating to Orleans County history.

Overlooked Orleans – 2 Volumes, 52 Issues
Weekly column written for The Batavia Daily News relating to Orleans County history.

Other Works – Contributor


Gunnison’s Octagonal House – Grand Rapids Historical Commission
This piece includes a digital drawing extracted from a piece I compiled on cobblestone masonry in Orleans County.

Ricci-Canham, H., & Canham, A. (2016). Mom & pop farming in Orleans County, New York. Medina, NY: Printshop. (Forward)

Ricci-Canham, H., & Canham, A. (2012). Legendary locals of Orleans county. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing.

Ricci-Canham, H., & Townsend, A. A. (2006). Images of America: Carlton and Point Breeze. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing.