Will of Alexander Ballard, Sr of Hawkins County, Tennessee (1751-1839).

We chanced upon this will (which has been published elsewhere) while researching Ballard families with roots in eastern Tennessee. Our current project is trying to solve the riddle of the ancestry of Samuel Ballard, Sr (c. 1802-1862) who married into Cherokee families and accompanied the tribe to the new Cherokee Nation in what is now Oklahoma during the infamous Trail of Tears in the late 1830s.

DNA analysis of several of his descendants link him to the families in Lineage Group I of the Ballard DNA Project, so figuring out how he connects is of great interest to us. Disparate sources –a Federal census record and several oral histories by descendants — point to Tennessee as his place of birth.

We’ll publish our thoughts on his ancestry in due course, but in the meantime thought we’d share this will found in the records of Hawkins County, Tennessee. Two versions are available: the original handwritten will is in the Hawkins County, Tennessee Loose Wills, 1779-1975, while a transcribed version appears in Book 1, page 52 of the bound records (both may be viewed on Familysearch.org).

At Creech’s Chapel Cemetery in Whitesburg, Hamblen County, Tennessee, is a funerary monument dedicated to the memory of Alexander Ballard, Sr (Hamblen County was created 8 June 1870 out of parts of Grainger, Jefferson and Hawkins Counties). The plaque reads:

In loving memory of
Alexander Sr and Rachel Ballard
Alexander Ballard, Sr., born in the township of Oxford, Philadelphia, PA first of our forefathers to settle in what is now Tennessee in the year 1795.

Robert A. Trent
4th Great Grandson

A relatively new gravestone marks the grave:

Common Sailor
Capt. Griffin’s Company
Continental Navy
Revolutionary War

Will Book 1, Page 52
6 May 1839

May the 6 day one thousand height hundred and thirty nine to all whom these may concern, I, Alexander Ballard, Sen’r., in the Name of God, Amen, being sound in mind and memory but frail in body do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

First. I give and bequeath unto my grand daughter, Sary Ann Ballard, the daughter of my son Alexander Ballard, Junior my dwelling house and all my household furniture, to wit: One bed and furniture, one corner cupboard, one chest and one table and two chairs, one pot, one frying pan. To the said Sary Ann Ballard, for her service to me in my old age, to be the said grandchild’s forever after my death.

In witness whereof I have set my hand this day and year above written.

Alexander x Ballard, Sr. (his mark)

Test: Andrew Coffman
Thomas [X] White (his mark)

May the 6th day one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine. To all whom these presents may concern. I Alexander Ballard, Senior in the name of God, Amen, being sound in mind and memory, but frail in boddy do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

Second my will is that my grandson, James Mauley [or Manley] Ballard, son of Alexander Ballard, Junior unto first, my saddle and bridle and big coat, the same to be James M. Ballard’s after my death, and also he — the said James Mauley Ballard, is to have one hundred dollars in silver when he is twenty one years of age, which I will to him after my death.

And last of all, my will is that my son, William Ballard or his heirs, one dollar; John B. Ballard, one dollar; David Ballard one dollar; Joshua Ballard, Alexander Ballard, Jr., George and Jesse Ballard one dollar each, and to my daughter Jane [in original smudged, omitted in the Will Book transcription, the first letter appears to be “W”], one dollar.

All my burial expenses paid out of my estate. In witness whereof I set my hand this date and year as above written.

Alexander X Ballard, Sen’r (his mark)

Test: Andrew Coffman
Thomas [X] White (his mark)