James Ballard, Jr of New York, New York (1815-1882).

James Ballard, Jr of Albemarle, the son of James Ballard, Sr and the grandson of Thomas Horace Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia, was born in 1815.  We are still researching the details of the life of James Ballard, Sr, but present here what we know of his son, James.  At least one researcher claims James Sr removed to Kershaw, South Carolina, but in a list of children attributed to him failed to account for the existence of James, Jr.

The National Register nomination for the Ballard-Maupin House, also known as Plainview Farm in Albemarle County, Virginia, recounts this history of the property.  Our comments appear in brackets.

The Ballard-Maupin House (Plainview Farm) is significant under Criterion C on the local level as an example of a well-preserved, early vernacular domestic building in Albemarle County. Architectural evidence and archival research suggests that a portion of the house may date from the 1750-1790 period. This portion was probably built by Thomas Ballard, one of the earliest settlers in the Free Union area. Less than a dozen houses are known to date from this period in Albemarle County. The majority of the house dates from the 1800-1820 period and was probably built by one of Ballard’s sons. The level of craftsmanship evident in the extensive hand-carved woodwork and mantels is unusual for a vernacular house of this period. The house received several small additions in the 19~ century. The present owners have built a sympathetic addition on the north. The outbuildings are remnants of the working farm that was at his site well into the 1940s.

Historical Background

Although the earliest history of this property is unclear, it may have been part of a 400-acre parcel sold by William Ballard to Thomas Ballard in 1750 (Louisa County Deed Book A, page 403). The oldest part of the present house was probably built by Thomas Ballard sometime after this date. Only a few other houses from this period survive in Albemarle County, and, like the Ballard-Maupin House, they are simple, vernacular houses that have received several additions since their original date of construction. Thomas Ballard gave his house, spring, and all lands south of Rocky Creek to his son James Ballard, Sr., with the remaining land going to his other son John (Albemarle County Deed Book 13, page 475). [Note: Deed Book 13 spans the years 1798 to 1802.  This gift was confirmed in the 1804 will of Thomas Horace Ballard.]

Architectural evidence indicates an extensive remodeling and expansion of the house after 1800. This coincides with the transfer of the house and property with the death of James Ballard, Sr. in 1804 (Albemarle County Will Book 4, page 162). [Thomas Horace Ballard, James Sr’s father, died in 1804; James Ballard and his wife Ann were still living in 1850 at the time of the Census, age 83 and 76, respectively.  The author must have intended to name Thomas Horace Ballard, not James.]   The house was inherited by his son James Ballard, Jr. The architect-builder of this newly expanded residence for James Ballard, Jr. is unknown, but its uniformly high-quality woodwork is unusual for an otherwise vernacular dwelling in a relatively remote area of Albemarle County.

By 1854, James Ballard and his wife Sarah Ann had moved to New York City and had sold their 130-acre farm to Gabriel Maupin for $1,950. [Note: Presumably the deed recites James’ place of residence, i.e., “James Ballard of New York …”; this bears confirmation.  James Ballard, Sr probably died about 1854, hence the sale of the property once his interest vested.]  At Gabriel Maupin’s death in 1866, his holdings were divided among his children. Lucy Maupin (who had married her cousin James R. Maupin) inherited the 130 acres, the house, outbuildings, and the spring. In 1877, James R. Maupin sold the farm to another cousin, John D. Maupin.

James Ballard, Jr, the son of James Ballard Sr, was living in New York as early as 1842, when a petition for bankruptcy was filed in the District Court on Saturday, 26 March 1842: “James Ballard, Jr., of the city of New York, Clerk (and one of the late firm of James Ballard & Co., of Natchez, Mississippi.”  The Evening Post (New York), 28 March 1842, p. 2.  On 25 May 1843 another notice appeared: “In the matter of James Ballard, Jr.  His residuary interest in an assignment to Rice C. Ballard.  His interest in the business of James Ballard & Co.”  The Evening Post (New York), 25 May 1843, p. 3.  Rice C. Ballard, also known as Rice Carter Ballard, is by the archivists at the University of North Carolina as James Ballard, Jr’s brother.  We are still researching the exact nature of their relationship, but this connection may reveal erroneous conclusions in prior research.  For information on Rice Carter Ballard, see Benjamin Ballard, Jr of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1768-1864)).

The 1850 Federal Census finds him in Ward 17 of New York City.  James Ballard, 36, born in Virginia, is head of household; Occupation: Clerk.  His wife Sarah, age 29, is shown as born in New York, as are their two children, Mary M., age 3, and Georgeanna, age 1.  There are two servants from Ireland: Sarah Kirkpatrick, age 25, and Bridget Kelly, age 35.  1850 US Federal Census, New York Ward 17, New York, New York; Roll: M432_555; Page: 178A; Image: 359.

In 1860, the family is residing in Ward 18, District 4 in New York City, James is age 45, Sarah, 38, and there are two sons, James, age 7 and Wm. R., age 3.  Georgianna is age 10.  James is identified as a clothing merchant with real estate holdings worth $25,000 and personal property worth $5,000.  This time Sarah is shown as having been born in Virginia.  There are additional people living with them in the household: Hanna Lawson, age 28; Charles Lawson, age 8, and Catherine Fagin, age 6.  There are five domestics, all born in Ireland: Catherine O’Brien, 20; Mary O’Brien, 21; Bridget Boyle, 24; Ann Kearney, 26; Mary Kearney, 21.  1860 US Federal Census, New York Ward 18 District 4, New York, New York; Roll: M653_813; Page: 487; Image: 32.

By 1870, James is 55, Sarah is listed as 50, Georgianna, 21; James, 17; and William, 13.  This time, Sarah is shown as born in New York.  Members of the Lawson family still reside with them: Kate Lawson, 50; Agnes Lawson, 40; and Daniel Lawson, 40.  There are two domestics, both from Ireland: Bridget Crosby, age 20 and Margaret Hogan, age 40. 1870 US Federal Census, New York Ward 17 District 4 (2nd Enum), New York, New York; Roll: M593_1036; Page: 119A.

By 1880, James’ wife Sarah had died. The census of that year lists James, age 67 (“clothing store”), Georgianna, age 31 (“keeping house”), James B., age 26 (“clerk in P. Office”) and William, age 22 (“stenographer”).  1880 US Federal Census,New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 884; Family History Film: 1254884; Page:353B; Enumeration District: 361; Image: 0424.

James Ballard left a will dated 6 March 1875, recorded 13 May 1882, New York, New York Will Book 296, pp. 484-86.  He did not name his wife; she must have died between 1870 and 1875.

I, James Ballard of the City, County and State of New York do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament, that is to say:

First, I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be paid as soon as practicable after my decease.

Second, I give devise and bequeath all my estate and property real, personal and mixed which I may possess or in which I may be in any manner entrusted at the time of my death to my three children Georgiana Blair Ballard, James Peyton Ballard and William Rhodes Ballard, their heirs and assigns forever, the same to be equally divided among and between my said children.

Third, I do hereby nominate and appoint my friends John B. Lawson and Catherine Lawson both of the said City and County and State of New York the Executor and Executrix of this my last will and testament, and the Guardians of the person and estate of my infant son William Rhodes Ballard.

Fourth, all powers and authority of every kind herein given to said Executor and Executrix and Guardians I do hereby give to the survivor of them and to their substitute and substitutes, successors and successor in the administration of my estate and the estate of my infant son, by whatever name or designation such substitutes or successors may be known.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the sixth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five.

James Ballard (Seal)

Witnesses: Geo. W. Hidge, 371 Cumberland St, Brooklyn, NY; James De W. Wilde, Dobbs Ferry, New York; Sidney B. Wills, 13 West 129th St, New York.

Ordered recorded 13 May 1882.

James Ballard and Sarah ___________ had issue:

Mary, born c. 1847, presumably died young without issue before 1860.

Georgianna Blair, born c. 1849.

James Peyton, born c. 1853.

William Rhodes, born c. 1857.

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