Category Archives: Blair

Harmonizing Ham Family

If ever there was a family that had musical talents, it surely is the Ham family. 

My father-in-law fondly remembers his Uncle Mack and Aunt Ruby beautifully singing in the church quartet at the Nazarene Church in Brownwood.  Uncle Mack was Samuel David “Mack” Ham (1891-1976 – son of Robert Montgomery Ham and Tabitha Clementine Kenady), and he was the Pastor of the Nazarene Church in Brownwood, Texas.   Aunt Ruby was Ruby Dora Barnett (1898-1989 – daughter of Berry Alexander Barnett and Elizabeth Martin). 

Uncle Mack and Aunt Ruby – on their wedding day – 1915

Uncle Mack and Aunt Ruby passed their musical talents on to their children.  Their son Norman Neely Ham (1923-1997) and wife Martha Eunice Sparkman (born 1928 – daughter of William Travis Sparkman and Alice Head) were very involved in the Texas gospel music scene, and in fact, were inducted into the Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame.  

Family of Norman Neely Ham

Norman Neely Ham and Martha Eunice Sparkman produced some talented boys!  Their son Warren Lee Ham was born in Tarrant County in 1952.  Warren is a gifted musician who has played along side of Cher, Donna Summer, Amy Grant, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross and Olivia Newton-John, just to name a few!  He plays the saxophones, harmonica, flute, keyboards – and as is the family tradition – he has a great voice!  During the early 1970s, Warren and his brother William Mack “Bill” Ham formed The Ham Brothers Band.  When Kerry Livgren left the rock band Kansas to form his own Christian rock band (AD), Warren went with him as the new band’s lead singer.

The attached video from YouTube is rather silly; however, it is Warren Ham singing with Olivia Newton-John – and he has a fantastic voice.  Listen for yourself:




Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Blair, Ham


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Lenora Adelina Ham

Lenora Adelina Ham was the second daughter born to Joel Ham and Mary Emily Montgomery.  She was born in Mississippi on 31 July 1846, probably Yalobusha County.  She came to Texas with her family some time around 1858 – and we can find her there in the 1860 census residing in Titus County.  

Blair Family – Photo from the collection of Lucy Echels Blair

(This photograph is from a book entitled, John Blair of Guilford County, North Carolina, written by Lucy Echels Blair.  It states that on the back row are:  Helen Blair, James Hester Blair, Nora (Lenora Adelina Ham).  In front are:  Effie Calidonia and Garrett Blair.  I believe the picture is mislabeled – Effie Calidonia was the older of the two girls.  Consequently, Effie is on the back row and Helen is on the front row.  The family looks very relaxed and comfortable together, don’t you think?)

On the 28th of December 1878, when Adelina was 32 years old, she married James Hester Blair in Johnson County, Texas.  James was the son of John Dickey Blair and Clarissa Fineta Leach, born 18 Feb 1843 in Gibson County, Tennessee.  John Blair was a Confederate soldier who enlisted into the CSA on 19 Mar 1862 out of Hill County, Texas.  He served with Company H of the 12th Texas Infantry (Young’s Regiment). 

Some time around 1903 the Blair family left Texas and relocated to Texico, Curry County, New Mexico which is about 15 miles southeast of Clovis, New Mexico.  Curry County borders the State of Texas.  We drove through Texico last year on our way to Santa Fe – and I have to ask – what were they thinking?!  It’s very un-lovely out that way 🙂

Curry County, New Mexico

James Hester Blair died there shortly after the move on 28 November 1906.  Lenora can be found living with her daughter Helen Norris and family in 1910 census and is listed as head of house and a widow.

Lenora Adelina Ham Blair was 71 years old when she died on 15 Jan 1918 in Texico, Curry County, New Mexico.  She is laid to rest in the Texico Cemetery with her husband.

Lenora Ham Blair - Texico Cemetery






Lenora and James had three children:

  • Effie Caledonia Blair was born 6 November 1879 in Johnson County, Texas.  (I am not 100% sure of the spelling of her middle name.)  Effie was only 20 years old when she died of measles on 12 Feb 1900.  She is laid to rest in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Franklin County, Texas.  It is unknown whether Effie married before her death.  Some members of the family maintain that she married to “Unknown” Rodgers, and had a son named “Jesse Rodgers,” the “radio singer.”   
  • Ethan Garrett Blair was born 16 Feb 1881 in Johnson County. Texas.  In 1911 he married Nettie Ola Balch.  The couple had three children:  Doris, Joseph and Helyn.  Ethan was the vice-president of Curry County National Farm Loan Association.  Ethan Garrett Blair died 14 March 1955 in Texico, Curry County, New Mexico.  He is laid to rest there with his family in the Texico Cemetery.  
  • Helen Blair was born in Quitman, Hill County, Texas on 11 Aug 1882.  She married John Calvin Norris on 29 Mar 1906 – he was about 24 years her senior.  This couple had two children:  James Henry Norris in 1907 and Beulah Beatrice Norris in 1910.  After the death of her husband in 1920, she married John E. Bingham in 1925.  Helen is also buried in the Texico Cemetery. 
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Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Blair, Ham


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