Nancy, Hello from Andover, Massachusetts! Guess what! Today we went to Andover Historical Society and got more info on the early Ballards...filled in a few more names going back before the Revolution. Then we took a walking tour of old Andover and saw many early homes along the street where a number of Ballards and Abbots lived.
About your loss of Mary Ballard Ross's letters. Yes! I would love to help you transcribe. We will be home tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 13). Let me know how I can help you. Mary Prentiss Ballard Ross is buried in a cemetery in San Jose. I called the cemetery recently and got confirmation of that, as well as ordering a death certificate for her. She is my husband's great grandaunt. This trip has been so much fun. There is an old Congregational Church on the walking tour, with a large cemetery adjacent. We walked through it and found a number of Ballards and Abbots. There were quite a few Sons of the American Revolution markers with flags on graves. Quite a bit of history here!
Just e-mail me with any help I can be on transcribing letters.