Found something in the McDowell County Heritage Book pub. 1992 that I thought you would like to know... It says that some of the earliest known settlers in McDowell County were: Richard Ballew, Stephen Ballew, Peter Ballew, Thomas Ballew (1776). This was in the Lake James area. I had all this info in one way or another, but it is nice to see it in print in an easy to read form. This means that your Joseph Ballew probably WAS born in VA, then moved to McDowell Co. (at that time a part of Burke) at about 6 yrs of age. His father was probably one of the aforementioned Ballews.
In my notes, Richard (b. abt. 1763 - not quite old enough to own land?) and Peter (b. abt. 1757) are brothers, father unknown; both probably ended up in Kentucky. I established their relationship through Rev. War records on Gwen Edmonds' Ballews Across America website.
Also in my notes, Stephen (b. abt. 1762) and Thomas (b. ?)are brothers, sons of Robert Ballew (b. Bef. 1744; d. Bet. November 30, 1810 - July 1811). Also established relationships by Rev. War records.
And here's how they're all related:
Richard and Peter's father, unknown, is Robert Ballew (b. 1744)'s brother. So, Richard and Peter are first cousins of Stephen and Thomas.
Now, which one is your Joseph's daddy? Good luck!!
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