Ex Parte Jincey Ballard, Administratrix for James Ballard, dec’d, filed April 27th, 1824

We have, of late, been studying the records of South Carolina, particularly the Ballard families of that removed there from Albemarle County, Virginia in the 1770s.  Readers of this space know that records survive showing that several sons of John Ballard (c. 1719-1780) removed to South Carolina — namely his sons Thomas, David, John and Bland — but this researcher hasn’t devoted much energy to searching there until now.  

The FamilySearch website has buried in it many diverse records that can be difficult to find, but persistence pays off.  A large number of them aren’t indexed by computer, so one must search the microfilm images that appear as individual tiles.  Paper indexes (if they exist) are included in the files, which are presented as they were scanned in the 1950s.  One such microfilm is identified as coming from the South Carolina Court of Ordinary, Bound Volumes – Collection Record 1671-1977, Kershaw County Wills.  This microfilm actually contains three volumes:

  • Wills No. A1: 1782-1823
  • Wills No. 1: 1812-1824
  • Wills No. A: 1840-1868

Each has an index at the front of the volume.  However, while scrolling through trying to make sense of how to search the volume, when stopping on one page at random (image No. 200 of the microfilm), we happened upon an estate record for Lewis Ballard who died in 1817, the son of William Ballard of Orange County, North Carolina (c. 1734-1819) (we’ll save this item for another day).  This estate was not included in the index for the volume.  Which begs the question — which other estates are not indexed?  

The only way to answer this question was to page through the entire 807 images in the collection, and the effort was rewarded with the discovery of the record of the Estate of James Ballard, which was probated in 1821.  The estate record doesn’t reveal much about James or his life, other than he probably attended services at Beaver Church (the records of which unfortunately do not survive), and that he probably died in December 1820, given that the estate was opened January 5, 1821.

South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes 1671-1977, Kershaw County Wills, 1782-1868, p. 415

Estate of James Ballard

[p. 415]

State of South Carolina, Kershaw District }

By Thomas Salmond Esquire Ordinary of Kershaw District.

Whereas Jincey Ballard has applied to me for Letters of Administration, on all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits of James Ballard late of the District aforesaid, deceased.  These and therefore to cite and admonish all and secular, the kindred and creditors of the said deceased, to be and appear before me at our next Ordinary Court for the said district, to be holden at my office in Camden on Friday the twenty-sixth day of January next, to shew cause, if any, why the said administration should not be granted.

Given under my hands and Seal, this fifth day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty one and in the forty fifth year of American Independence.

Thos: Salmond {Seal}

This citation read by me to the congregation at Beaver Church on Sunday the 21st January 1821.  Charles Ingram, Pastor

[p. 416]

State of South Carolina, Kershaw District

In the Court of Ordinary Monday 16th April 1821.

I do solemnly swear that James Ballard, deceased, died without any will, as far as I know or believe; and that I will well and truly administer all and singular the goods and chattels rights and credits of the said deceased, and pay all his just debts, as far as the same will extend and the law require me; and that I will make a true and proper inventory of all the said goods and chattels rights and credits, and return a just account thereof when thereunto required.  So help me God.  

— Jincey Ballard

Sworn to before me Tho: Salmond

May the 11th 1821

Inventory of the goods & chattels of James Ballard Dec’d 

[there follows a list of households goods, livestock; no slaves]

We the appraisers do certify the above to be just and true.

Filed 17 May 1821.  Signed: John Bell, John Summervill, Hugh Summervill, David Ballard.

However, another record provides more information and context.  Jincey or Jincy (a diminutive of “Jane”) Ballard brought a suit in Equity against Samuel Caston to recover several slaves in his possession that Jincey believed belonged to her late husband’s estate.  This record is among Equity Court Records, 1791-1892.  We did not find this case in the index, either, but happened upon reference to it from the website of the Race & Slavery Petitions Project when conducting an Internet search for Jincey Ballard, which allowed us to find the file using the reference on the site.

We know from Thomas Ballard’s Revolutionary War Pension file that Samuel Caston of Lancaster County, South Carolina had married Thomas’ daughter, Susanna.  James Ballard had turned to Samuel Caston for help in 1809, when he obtained a mortgage against several slaves — including the slave named Sylvia who is the subject of the suit in equity.  He had borrowed $1,635.00 (a considerable sum), secured by assorted property, including “two negroes, viz, one negro woman named Sylvey about twenty-two years of age, one woman named Julett about eighteen years old with future increase of the females …” The return of the property conditioned on the payment of $1,817.50.  Dated 7 July 1809, recorded 20 July 1809, Kershaw Co. SC Deed Book F, p. 90.

A transcription of the suit follows (the spelling in the original document is used; some words could not be deciphered and are indicated by ???). 

Ex Parte Jincy Ballard, Administratrix of James Ballard

Petition. Filed April 27th 1824

I do certify that I have this day served Stephen D. Miller Esq. the Solicitor for Samuel Caston in the case written ??? with a copy of this petition & a motion indorsed thereon that the same has been filed and that on Friday next I would apply for the same to be read & for counsel to be heard on it & that a motion would thereupon be read to have the case off Jincy Ballard admin of James Ballard or Samuel Caston docketed & for such order to be made thereon that the said Jincy should have the benefit of a trial or rehearing in the court of law.

— C. Lecy

Sworn to before me this 27th April 1824

— Thomas T. Willisson

[p. 2]

On this evidence the presiding judge dismissed the bill of the aggrieved complaints claim to redeem the said negroes, to have the same reconvened to the representatives of her intestate; but sustained it so far as to order an account between the parties.

From this decision of his Honor the presiding Judge your Petitioner appealed for a new trial, or for a reversal of the decree of his Honor the presiding judge.

On the said case being called for hearing before your Honor, it appeared that the presiding judged from having lost his notes taken on the trial, was not able to give a full & detailed account of the evidence.  So that the merits of your petitioners claim for a new hearing or for a new trial several of the decree, was never fairly before your Honor, and application was therefore dismissed.

Your petitioner humbly suggests that on this state of things the case should have been sent back in order that the same should be re-heard & the evidence again obtained to be presented to your Honor.  & she concedes that by the accidental occurrence of the loss of the notes of the presiding judge she has been deprived of her just and equitable rights; & suffered great oppression.  Your petitioner feeling conscious that she has been placed in this situation by accident & from your honors not having proper information as to the merits of her claims, I humbly ??? upon that high ??? of justice which your honorable court has always manifested in the exercise of its powers.

[p. 3]

Pray your Honors that her case may be reinstated on the docket of your court of appeals, and that such order may be made thereon as will give to your petitioner the benefit of a new hiring of her case.

And your Petitioner will pray

— Lecy Furcoillie (?) for Petitioner Jincy Ballard

[p. 4]

Jincy Ballard admix v. Samuel Caston, Bill in Equity

??? testimony of the principal witness who was examined in the case; and I had little or no doubt but the court would leave made a decree in favor of the complainant.  In enter ?  injury ?? conversed with a number of the other attorneys, who were present at the trial of the case, and there was not one of other who differed with me, in the opinion which I had formed.  I have made this statement at the request of the attorneys who were engaged over the lack of the complainant, and with no discussion for the opinion of the judge who tried the case.  For his ??? and integrity I am certain the … (???) 

— Jono G. Caston (?)

March 10th 1824

[p. 5]

Jincy Ballard admx } Bill in Equity

of Jas. Ballard Dec’d } For negroes — Sylvia

vs. Samuel Cason } & 4 children —

I was present as a witness and heard the testimony of the witnesses and was clearly of the african (?) the sale of the complainants was made out and that the decree aught to have been in her favor and such has been the opinion of all the persons with whom I have conversed which has been many —

— Geo. M. Perry, J.P.

[p. 6]

State of South Carolina }

Kershaw District }

We the undersigned do swear or affirm according to the best of our recollection that the within testimony is that which was given in the trial of the case of J. Ballard Admix of J. Ballard vs. Sam Caston — and according to our opinions and that of all the persons with whom we have conversed in this the case of the complainants was fully proved.

Sworn to this 11th day of } Wm McWilliam

March 1824 before me } Alexander Caston

William B. Hart }

J.P. }

[pp. 7-8]

Proved that Ballard and Caston entered into the following agreement to wit — that Ballard shall pay 60 or 70 dollars witness was not certain which for the hire of the negroes during that year of which $60 was then paid — which witness considered to be in lieu or place of interest on the money paid out by defendant — Ballard then says it was the last year he would pay him for his own negroes and asked Caston the defendant if he would take cotton in payments of the redemption money or price of said negroes, — Cason said he would.  Ballard then say’d that in the course of three or four months he would let him have the cotton — and Caston afterwards in the December (?) of 18th told witness he had received the said cotton an witness asking him if Ballard had payed the cotton — and that the negroes had constantly from the year 1812 to 1820 remained in possession of plaintiff and her intestate — Nathaniel Barber

Sworn to before me Thos. D. Barr J.P.

George Perry Esq. on the part of the complainant proved — that in January 1816 — he was at Castons and Ballard came then — and Ballard and Caston went out together and witness was called on to witness the conversation — Caston said the money must be paid — Ballard said he could not pay it then — Caston said if I have the money to pay I will keep the negroes — Ballard then says Caston would you keep my four negroes for $450 — Caston then said pay up the money and I have no further demands against you — Ballard said he could sell one of the negro boys Reuben for $500 to Mr Thompson, and that the girl was work $400, besides the woman and child — Ballard then said keep the negroes under your covers to prevent other creditors from demanding and taking them — for he knew if he then payed up then money and took them out of Castons hand then they would take them for some of his debts — Caston to this proposition made no answer — nor did he object — and witness from all that occurred was left under the impression that Caston was to continue to hold the negroes for the benefit of Ballard.

— Geo. M. Perry J.P.

Capt. Deacon Graham — Heard a conversation between R. Patterson one of Ballards creditors and defendant — in which Patterson sayd to Defendant he aught to give up the negroes to Ballard — as he had payed him for them — Patterson further observed that he had let Ballard have $150 for the purpose of redeeming said negroes — Casting hen said he got just $100 of it — Patterson said to defendant he had gotten on the same account 3 bags of cotton, which defendant admitted — Patterson asked what is sold for Canton said at the rate of $30 per ??? — stated defendant was groggy but not so mi?? so as not to know what he was doing or how to tell the truth.

Thomas Ballard — Proved that he hauled a wagon load of seed cotton and a waggon load of picked cotton and delivered it to Canton for Ballard — in 1816 is satisfied that is the year from the number of years he successfully did for his father and others — the cotton must have been three bags — 

Benjamin Bineham on the part of the defendant proved that the sale was made in the year 1812 — and that the woman and Reuben the only child she then had brought $350 — The sale was a fair one as to price — but from the character of the negroes they were cheap — at the time of the sale Caston had the oldest execution in his office (as his witness was their Sheriff) against Ballard — and insisted on having a credit on the same for the price of the negroes — which the other creditors of Ballard resisted and afterwards succeeded in having Caston’s judgments set aside as fraudulent — and the money was applyed to other executions against Ballard.  Ben: Bingham, Sworn before Thos. V. Evans

John Ballard for defendant proved that in 1818 or 1819 he was requested by Caston to call on Ballard and tell him if he did not pay up the hire — he Caston would take the negroes.  Ballard sayd he could not help it if he did take them — Ballard stated something about selling the boy to redeem the negroes — that had doubts as to the propriety of doing so as if he did take them out of Caston’s hands the negroes were his — that talked about redeeming them in such a way as to appear to which he had a right to do so — That Caston had had the negroes two years in which time the boy Reuben had died — and further stated that Ballard was a very careless man and wanted to cover his property —

When which his Honor ordered or deemed the bill to be dismissed as to the claim for the negroes — but to be retained and referred to the Commissioners to settle the accounts between the parties.  Upon which an appeal is taken and the ground that the decree was contrary both to law and the evidence.

— Levy McWilliam

[pp. 9-10]

State of South Carolina }

Camden District }

To the honorable the Judges of the Court of Equity of the said state humbly complaining therewith unto your honors your Orator Jincy Ballard Administratrix of all and singular the goods and chattels rights and estates of James Ballard deceased; that the said James departed this life on the _______ day of _____________ in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seised and possessed of a certain negro woman named Sylvia and her four [sic. – five] children that is Reuben, Rachel, John, Ben, Sealy which said negroes Samuel Caston has since taken out of the possession of the said Jincy pretending that they were his property and that they were hired to the said James Ballard in his lifetime and this right to the said negroes accrued by a purchase of the same at a sale thereof made by the Sherriff of Kershaw District at which he was the purchaser.

But your Orator sheweth unto your honor that the sad purchase was made for the benefit of the said James and that the said Samuel dec’d could act that out and ??? paying to him the purchase money the said negroes should be the property of him the said James and your Orator further sheweth unto your honor that in conformity with the said agreement the said James paid to the said Samuel as our true sixty dollars at another time $1.00 and 3 bags of cotton when cotton was selling at $27 — per hundred weight  derives other payment at other times, the ???  of which is ??? to said oratrix — but your oratrix believes that it was sufficient to pay the said Samuel the amount of money he had leant out in the purchase of the said negroes at the time of the sale aforesaid — your oratrix further sheweth that at d??? time, she hath called on and applyed to the said Samuel to have what amount of money was still due and necessary for the redemption of the said negroes — and your oratrix hath also requested the said Samuel to come to a ??? and fair account with her ??? the said negroes account of money, paid for the said negroes, and also for what is due to her as principal and interest and the same, and your oratrix hath offered and doth ??? by offer to pay unto the said Samuel, with a fair account or installment may be due unto him, and ??? chargeable are the said negroes, ??? after settling the said accounts  — all which the said Samuel refuses to do pretending the legal title tot he said negroes is in himself.

— Levy McWilliam, Court Solicitor

The answer of Samuel Caston to the bill of Jincy Ballard — 

The defendant sayd that on the day of April 1812 — he purchased a negro woman Sylvia and her child Reuben at a Sheriff’s sale in Camden at the property of James Ballard and gave three hundred and fifty dollars and having an older execution against the said James refused to pay the ??? and then explained in words such proceedings we had that he was ??? and completed to pay the purchase m ??? interests and costs, amounting in the whole to ___ hundred and forty-four dollars which is a full price for the said negroes — which was ____ 1814 the negroes remaining in possession of the said James Ballard between the purchase and _____ ??? of the money and as soon as this defendant was compelled to pay the purchase money he told the said James the amount take possession of the said negroes — and the said James told this defendant to send for the said negroes and he would deliver them to him and then defendant paid for the said negroes and they were sent to him — and thereupon the said James came to this defendant and solicited to hire the said negroes from him and this defendant then hired the said negroes, to the said James at the rate of $70 per year — and he paid sixty dollars in part of the price and not in part of the consideration — and says there ?? any condition rs relative to the said purchase made by this defendant — and his right was absolute and unconditional, asd he says that it is absolute by ??? that this defendant consented the sa said James should have a right to redeem the said negroes, as that he agreed to a rent said negroes — after the negroes were sent to this defendant, after the payment of the 

[p. 11]

said sum of money, they were always held under the contract of the said James hiring then the said James never pretending any other claim to this defendant.  The cotton paid this defendant was paid toward the hire of the negroes in eighteen hundred and sixteen and seventeen — the cotton sold for nineteen cents and two pleas were rights ??? and the $100 charged to have been paid on account of the negroes was paid and applyed by this defendant to ?? by a different demand, with this direction of the said James, having this defendant for money ??? loaned, to him this defendant sayd the negroes have procreated from two to five, and are now in the defendants possession, and he denies that he has at any time named any manner at any time an accounting of the hire of the said negroes — and that he has ever agreed to resell the same as that his purchase of the same was a conditional one he says that the said James is still indebted to this defendant for negro hire and other matters to a considerable amount.

— L.D. Miller, Deputy Solicitor

Nathaniel Barber the first witness introduced on the part of the complainant proved that in the latter part of the year 1815 or first of 1816 he was present at a settlement between James Ballard the intestate and defendant where the defendant admitted and stated that’s all the said James owed him was four hundred and fifty or sixty dollars, which was on account of the price of redemption money of the negroes the subject of the present claim which defendant admitted he had bid of for Ballard at the Sheriff sale in 1812 —

[p. 12]

State of South Carolina, Camden District } In Equity

To the Honorable the judges of the Court of Equity of the said state.

The petition of Jincy Ballard administratrix of all and singular the goods and chattels rights of James Ballard dec’d sheath that your petitioner filed her bill in the Court of Equity, for the Equity District of Camden in the said state against Samuel Caston setting forth that the said James Ballard her intestate departed this life in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty, possessed of a negro woman named Sylvia and her children Reuben, Rachell, John, Ben, and Sealy, which said negroes the said Samuel Caston the defendant has since taken out of the possession of your petitioner, pretending that they were his property, and that his right to the same accrued by the purchase of the same at a sale held by Benj’m Bigham as Sheriff of Kershaw District.  The bill of your petitioner further states that the purchase at said sheriff’s sale, was made by said Sam’l Caston, as agent and for the benefit of your petitioner’s intestate, and the agreement was between said Samuel & the intestate, that the said Samuel should reconvey the said negores at any time to said intestate when he should satisfy the said Samuel for the monies he might pay on said purchase.  That in conformity to said agreement the said Jincy Ballard the intestate did pay to the said Samuel

[p. 13]

Caston at the time Sixty Dollars, at another time One Hundred Dollars and three bales of cotton, when cotton was selling at twenty seven dollars per hundred weight, besides other payments at other times, sufficient as your orator believes to satisfy the purchase money.  

The bill further states that your petitioner hath at divers times called on said Samuel Caston to ask what amount of money was due to him, for the redemption of said negroes & to come to a fair and just amount with her & that she was ready & willing to pay to him immediately any balance which may remain unpaid.  She is still ready to pay the same: all which the said Samuel aways refused to accede to or to receive the money pretending that the legal title is in him.  Your petitioner prayed for an account and that the said Sam’l should be compelled to deliver up said negroes & reconvey them JC.

To this the defendant Sam’l Caston answered that on the _____ day April 1812 he purchased negro woman Sylvia & her child Reuben at Sheriffs sale for three hundred fifty dollars in Camden, as the property of James Ballard; & having an older election against the said   James refused to pay the same; that whereupon afterwards such proceedings were had that he was compelled to pay the purchase money interest & costs, amounting in the whole to four hundred & forty four dollars, which was in 1814; the negroes remaining from the time of the purchase up to that time in the possession of David Ballard.  That on demand at that time the negroes were delivered to him by said Ballard & thereupon he hired them to said Ballard at the rate of $70 per year.  That the sixty dollars and the other payments was for him & not for the purchase money: and that the purchase by him was unconditional & that it is absolutely untrue that he never gave Ballard the right to redeem: and that the said James is still indebted to him for the hire of said negroes.

This case was tried at Camden before his Honor Judge James in June 1823 and on said trial, Colo. Nathaniel Barber and George Perry Esqr were sworn as witnesses for your petitioner in that case & disposed in effect that in the last of 1815 or beginning of 1816 they heard a conversation between James Ballard & said Sam’l Caston in which was acknowledged and stated by Caston, that but about four hundred & fifty or sixty dollars was then due for the purchase of said negroes, & that Ballard had the right to redeem, as he Caston had bid them off for him at Sheriffs Sale in 1812.  That the said parties agreed that Caston would receive cotton in payment of the redemption money, Ballard should pay $60 or $70 dollars per year hire until he paid up.  That 60 dollars was then paid in lieu of place of interest.  That Ballard was in the course of four months to let him Caston have the cotton agreed for.  That in the summer of 1816 Caston acknowledged he had received the cotton of Ballard.  That the negroes remained in Ballard’s possession from that time till 1820.  Perry further proved that a proposition was made by Ballard, and not disagreed to by Caston, that Caston should hold 

[p. 14]

the said negroes under cover, so that Ballard’s creditors should not trouble them.  Thomas Ballard proved that in 1816 he delivered to Canton a waggon load of seed cotton & one of picked cotton for James Ballard and that they could not have amounted to less than three bags.

Captn Deacon Graham proved that Caston acknowledged the receipt of three bales of cotton of James Ballard in payment of said negroes & that he sold the cotton for thirty cents per pound, & that Caston further acknowledged the receipt of One Hundred Dollars cash of said Ballard at one time on the same account.

Benjamin Bineham proved the purchase at Sheriffs Sale by Canton in 1812 of the said negro woman & her child Reuben, the sale was a fair one as to price but from the character of the negroes they were cheap.  Witness was then Sheriff.  Caston claimed the purchase money on execution he had against Ballard & offered to credit it to the amount of the purchase money of the negroes, his execution being the oldest.  The other creditors of Ballard ??? Caston’s claim; and such proceeds were had that a suggestion was filed, & ??? made up to try the question whether Caston’s judgement & execution was bona fide or fraudulent and on such trial it was determined to be fraudulent & the purchase money paid to younger executions.

John Ballard was sworn for defendant whose evidence your petitioner does not conceive insured her case, or suffered the defendants defense.

The Case of William Akin v. Thomas P. Ballard

We know from Jincey Ballard’s lawsuit that other Ballards were involved who gave testimony or were mentioned, but unfortunately the record does not state a relationship — namely Thomas Ballard (probably Thomas Parks Ballard, since by that time Col. Thomas Ballard had removed to Gwinnett, Georgia, as the reader will see below), John Ballard, and David Ballard. 

Another lawsuit involving Caston provides a bit more information about the family.  The Chancery case Wm. Aikin, Adm’r of Wm. Aikin, v. Thos. P. Ballard (14 S.C. Eq. 13, 1 Rice Eq. 13 (1838)) was an appeal from a decree of the county chancellor, which stated:

On the 13th of November, 1820, William Aikin, deceased, obtained a judgment in Kershaw District, against Col. Thomas Ballard, sen’r, for $580.74, and a judgment against David G. Ballard, and Thos. Ballard, sen’r. for $1421.19.  In both cases a fi. fa.* was lodged, 5th December, 1820.  There was evidence that these were the oldest unsatisfied liens against the property of Thomas Ballard, sen’r.

The object of the bill was to compel the defendant to surrender certain negroes, which he held under alleged fictitious transfers from Thomas Ballard, sen’r.

It appears from the testimony, that in 1821, Thomas Ballard, sen’r, removed to Georgia, leaving in the possession of his son-in-law, Samuel Caston, seven negroes, which had been transferred to him as an indemnity for his suretyship on a debt to Col. Peay.  I infer from the testimony that he carried with him to Georgia, Mary and her children.  In February, 1830, Thomas Ballard returned for a short time to this State, induced the negroes left with Caston, to leave his possession, and then transferred them to the defendant for $1000.  It is very clear that the defendant at that time was aware of Aikin’s lien on the negroes, but in the language of the witness, he was willing to take the risk of that claim.

The object evidently was to defeat Caston …

In 1830 or 1831, the complainant’s intestate caused a suit to be instituted in Georgia, against Thomas Ballard, founded on the judgments already mentioned.  Col. Ballard, having then in his possession Mary and her children, and fearing they would be taken to satisfy this debt, removed them back to Carolina in April, 1832, and placed them in the possession of the defendant, where they have ever since remained.

Col. Ballard was examined for the defendant, who is his son.– He stated that he sold Mary and her children, to the defendant, in February 1830, when he sold the other negroes, but that they were to remain in his possession until his son sent for them.  No bill of sale or other written evidence of title was produced.  Col. Ballard was aged, and as I thought, infirm both in body and mind, and testified indistinctly.  If there had been ever any bona fide transfer of Mary and her children, (of which I was by no means satisfied,) I do not doubt that the account of John Ballard was the true statement of the transaction.  He was in Georgia in 1830, when Aikin’s suit against his father was pending.  The woman and her three children were then in his father’s possession.  “He understood both from his father and the defendant, that the defendant was to give $500 or $550, for the woman and her three children.  The negroes were to remain in the possession of Thomas Ballard, sen’r during his lifetime — he was to have them as long as he lived.”  Col. Ballard testified that Aikin obtained judgment against him in Georgia — that he sent Mary and her children to this State shortly afterwards, as he thought he might be levied on, and his son be put to trouble.

*Fi. Fa. — Writ of Fiere Facias, an order to record a lien on a judgement debtor’s property.

The suit names Samuel Caston as his son-in-law; also mentioned are sons John Ballard and Thomas P. Ballard; and there is one mention of David G. Ballard, who is most likely another son.  Most genealogies only name the children mentioned in his Revolutionary War Pension record — Mary, Susanna and Thomas Parks Ballard, yet the 1800 census shows his household with eight males and seven females.

What Became of Jane (Jincey) Ballard?

The 1810 census shows James’ household two names away from Col. Thomas Ballard, suggesting that they lived in close proximity to one another.  In 1820, the names are next to one another, but note that the enumerator roughly alphabetized the list.  Given that Thomas had acquire a vast amount of acreage in Kershaw, it makes sense that a son would take possession of a tract of land belonging to his father and live close by.  

Indeed, the deed records show that Thomas did, in fact, convey one of the parcels he patented in 1785 to David Ballard, who is probably the David G. Ballard named in the Aikins lawsuit.  That conveyance was for 200 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek in Kershaw County, for 38 pounds, to David Ballard by deed dated 10 March 1794, but not recorded until 12 October 1807 in Kershaw Co. SC Deed Book E, p. 401 (see original plat below).  The witnesses to that deed included William Miller, John Ballard and William Ballard (William’s signature is indicated by “his mark”).  William is possibly another son of Thomas — and if that is the case, here we may have the names of Thomas’ five sons who were counted in the 1810 census (James, John, Thomas, David and William). The 1810 census shows only one female age 45 and over, and one female age 10 to 15; Thomas’ daughter Susanna had married Samuel Caston by this time, leaving Mary as the sole daughter in the household. Much more study is needed to establish whether this hypothesis is true.

Plat for Thomas Ballard, 200 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek, 1785

The James whose name appears alongside Col. Thomas Ballard in the 1820 census shows James and his wife with five young males and two young females in the household.  Unfortunately the enumerator roughly alphabetized his lists, so proximity isn’t particularly helpful.  However, in an effort to identify James’ and Jincey’s children, we traced Jincey after 1820.  Here’s what we found:

1820 – James Ballard in Kershaw, South Carolina – three males < 10 (born between 1810-1820), two males 10 to 15 (1805-1810), one male 26 to 44 (1766-1794), two females < 10 (1810-1820), one female 26 to 44 (1766-1794).

1830 – Jane Ballard now residing in Madison County, Tennessee – one male age 10 to 14 (1816-1820); one female in the same range (1616-1820), one female 15 to 19 (1811-1815), one female age 30 to 39 (1791-1800).  Also eight slaves.

1840 – Jane Ballard now living in Fayette County, Tennessee – one female 15 to 18 (1821-1825), one female 20 to 29 (1811-1820), one female 40 to 49 (1791-1800).  This is most likely Jane and her two daughters.

1850 – Still in Fayette, Tennessee, there are substantial additions to the household.

  • Jane Ballard, 64, born in SC (1786)
  • Burbon B. Ballard, 40, SC (1810)
  • Jane Graham, 31, SC (1819)
  • Jincy Ballard, 15, GA (1835)
  • Mary Ballard, 14, GA (1836)
  • Martha Ballard, 13, TN (1837)
  • Mary Graham, 6, TN (1844)
  • Walter Graham, 4, TN (1846)
  • Thomas Graham, 1, MS (1849)

Burbon is likely to be one of her three sons.  There is a marriage record for Jane Ballard and James C. Graham from 1841 in Tennessee.  Since the younger Jane was years old 22 when she married in 1841, she couldn’t be the mother of Jincy, Mary and Martha.  A reasonable conclusion is that those three are the daughters of Burbon; his wife probably died in childbirth (that is just a guess).  The three Graham children are most likely Jane’s children.  Thomas Graham’s birth in Mississippi is a mystery; so is the whereabouts of Jane’s other daughter (whose identity we learn later) and James Graham; there are additional Graham children in 1860, and James doesn’t appear in that census, either.

Burbon has not been found in any other records (yet), but Ancestry points to a B.L. Ballard in Mississippi who married a Winifred Graham as her second husband.  Census records show Winifred was born in Alabama, and her parents were born in South Carolina.

1860 – Still in Fayette County, Tennessee – 

  • Jane Ballard, 70, SC (1790)
  • Mary Ballard, 43, SC (1817)
  • Jane Graham, 40, SC (1820)
  • Molly (Mary) Graham, 16, TN (1844)
  • Walter Graham, 14, TN (1846)
  • Thomas Graham, 11, MS (1849)
  • Jimmie Graham, 7, TN (1853)
  • Jinsey Graham, 4, TN (1856)
  • Julia Graham, 16, MS (1844)

Mary Ballard and Jane Graham are Jane Ballard’s two daughters, which becomes clear later with the 1880 census.  The addition of Jimmie, Jinsey and Julia is perplexing, again because there is no sign of James Graham, and Julia is the same age as Molly, which suggests that she is not a descendant of anyone in the household (as well as her being listed at the end, out of age sequence); she could be a cousin who was taken in.  There is a Julia Graham in a Stevenson household in 1850 in Fayette County, but more research is needed to determine if she is, in fact, the same person. 

1870 – Now identified as Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee –

  • Jincie Ballard, 81, SC (1789)
  • Mary Ballard, 57, SC (1813)
  • Jane Graham, 51, SC (1819)
  • Walter Graham, 24, TN (1846)
  • Sarah Austin, 21, TN (1849)
  • James Graham, 17, TN (1853)
  • Jennie Graham, 14, TN (1856)

We have no idea who Sarah Austin is or her relationship with the family.  Again, no sign of James Graham. 

1880 – Still in Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee –

  • Mary Ballard, 68, SC – Father: SC, Mother: VA [Mary is head of household; a milliner]
  • Jane Ballard, 94, SC – Father: VA, Mother: VA [identified as Mary’s mother, and a widow]
  • Jane Graham, 60, SC – Father: SC, Mother: VA [identified as Mary’s sister, and a widow]

There is also one servant in the household.

There are trees in Ancestry indicating that Jane Ballard died in 1895, but we haven’t found corroborating information.  We have found nothing on the death of Jane Graham, either; she last appears in the 1880 census.  Mary died in 1902; her will is recorded in Fayette County, Tennessee.  She devised all her property to her nephew Thomas Graham and his children, with whom she was living at the end of her life.

So what are next steps?  There is a wealth of information in the Court of Equity files, so that’s a logical place to continue, given the possibility of other unindexed files. Even among indexed records, there are tantalizing nuggets of information to tease out. For example, the index includes a case dating from 1827 that names yet another James Ballard and his wife Mary; a quick perusal of the file reveals that the case involved an interest in property that had belonged to Mary’s father, and the documents name all of siblings (her last name was Kelsey). This may be James Ballard, son of John Ballard of Kershaw District (1765-1838) whose will was recorded in Union County, South Carolina (the Caston connection argues for Jincey’s James being the son of Col. Thomas).  But checking those files page by page? That will be quite a tedious project, but hopefully worth the effort.


One thought on “Ex Parte Jincey Ballard, Administratrix for James Ballard, dec’d, filed April 27th, 1824

  1. Yes, I feel your struggle. I have sat in the records room in Camden turning page by page but it usually is well worth it. The Graham and Ballard families go back to Virginia together – Elizabeth Graham and Thomas Ballard are my 5th g grandparents. The Caston/Floyd/Ballard families are also related – all cousins up my line. Searches through these lines take me from Camden up into Lancaster where deeds, wills, etc… are available. Always happy to meet a fellow researcher in SC. Thank you for sharing your results.

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