Francis Ballard Sr of Elizabeth City County, Virginia (c.1675-1719/20).

Francis Ballard, son of Thomas Ballard of James City County, Virginia, was born probably c. 1675 in James City County.  In 1693 and 1694 was sub-Sheriff of York County,1 and sheriff of Elizabeth City County in 1705.2

He appeared on the Quit Rent Roll of 1704 with 460 acres in Elizabeth City County (with the notation next to his name, “per Selden”).  He may have lived in Hampton, Elizabeth City county, for on 18 September 1718 he sold a lot in the town.3  On 2 December 1718 he purchased another lot in Hampton that he had previously purchased, but probably failed to build on.4  In 1704 he served as justice of the peace and again in 1716, and in 1705 Sheriff of Elizabeth City County; in 1710 to 1712 he was a Burgess for Elizabeth City County.  He was appointed with Henry Irvine and Joseph Curle to dispose of several lots in Hampton.5

He married circa 25 December 1699 Mary Servant,6 who died before 10 March 1719/20.7

Besides the marriage record, we have found mention of Mary Ballard in one other document, when on 19 March 1713, she witnessed the will of Sarah Curle, which named her daughter Mary Jenkins; son-in-law Captain Henry Jenkins; daughter Sarah, wife of Joshua Curle; daughter Judith Bayley; son Joshua; son John; son Nicholas.  Other witnesses were: Elizabeth Jenings and Euphan Roscow.8

Mary (Servant) Ballard was the daughter of Bertrand Servant, who was born c. 1632 in France.  He died between 1 November 1707 and 18 November 1707, when his will was recorded in Elizabeth City county.9

In the Name of God Amen, the first day of November in the year of our Lord God 1707.

I Bertrond Servant in Elizabeth City County in Virginia gentlemen being very sick & weak in Body but of perfect mind & memory Thanks be given to God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my Body & Knowing That appointed for all men once to Die do make and ordain This my Last will and testament principally and first of all I give and recommend my Soul unto the hands of God that gave it and for my Body I recommend to the earth to be Buried in a Christian like manner at the discretion of Executors nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God and as Touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

Imprimis, I give and bequeath to my Dearly Beloved Daughter Frances George the sum of one hundred Pounds sterling to be raised & levied out of my Estate.

Item I give and bequeath to my Dearly beloved Daughter Mary Ballard the sum of 100 pounds to be Raised & levyed out of my estate and the benefit of half the stock upon the plantation and to Enjoy the plantation peaceably between Mary & my beloved son James till he becomes of age at 20 years and that if Francis Ballard my son in law will go to the charge of Runing the Plantation That Sam Selden has called the Strawberry Banks to Keep it and enjoy it for himself & his Heirs and in case That the goods come in Safe from England which are mine to be divided between my Three children Frances George, Mary Ballard and son James Servant but my grand children to have fifty pounds more.

Item To my Daughter Mary Ballard I give Mortenique, Hannah & Sue for her and her Heirs.

Item I give an bequeath to Elizabeth Marinburgh my cow Browing & a feather bead with Bolster pillow & Blankets belonging. Item I give and Bequeath each of my grand children the sum of 50 pounds a piece an in case my goods arrive safe from England here I give and bequeath to each of them 50 pounds more.

To Peter Proby 50 pounds, Rebecca Long 50 pounds onely and to my grand children Servant Ballard & Francis Ballard 50 pounds each but in case the goods come safe 50 pounds more Rebecca Long Excepted I give my grand daughter Frances George the sum of 50 pounds & 50 pounds more in case the goods come safe.

Item I give and bequeath to my dearly Beloved son James Servant all my lands and houses in Town and my plantation and houses in Town to him and his Heirs and Tony Judy Emmanual, Jack Samson & Toffe these negroes to him forever. I likewise make and appoint and constitute and ordained my Executors of this my will and Testament my friend and loving Son James Servant and Frances Ballard and my loving friend James Burtell and John George my sole Executors of this my last will and Testament by them to do justice and I doe hereby utterly disallow Revoke and disannull all every other former Testament Wills and Executions. Desire James Burtell to manage my sons Business for him till he comes of age. I disallow my Executors By me any ways before this Testament Willed and Bequeathed Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament. Witness hereof set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Signed Sealed Published and Provened and Delivered by the said Bertrond Servant as his Last Will and Testament in the Presence of us the Subscribers. Joshua Curle, James Howard, Thos Faulkner (seal) Elizabeth City County. Proved in Cur. the 18 day of November 1707 by the oaths of Joseph Curle, Thos Faulkner two of the Witnesses and admitted to Record. Tests. Charles Jennings cl Cur.

On 24 December 1716, F. Ballard, with Thomas Howard and William Bossell appraised the estate of James Burtell.10  On 17 May 1718 he was an appraiser of the estate of Major William Armistead, Sr, with John King and Joseph Banister11 On 1 September 1718 he appraised the estate of James Gilbert, with James Ricketts and William Smelt.12   [interestingly, Mary Gilbert was qualified as security with Joseph Wragg and William Winterton; Mary Gilbert’s bond was signed by Henry Robinson and William Sorrell on 18 June 1719,13 — could this be a connection to a progenitor of the William Sorrell Ballard who resided Southside?].  Francis Ballard was appraiser of the estate of Captain Henry Jenkins, again with John King and Joseph Banister on 17 August 1719.14

Francis Ballard was dead after 10 March 1719/20, when his will was written in Elizabeth City county (some sources give a date of 12 March 1719/20) and recorded in Elizabeth City County on 16 March 1719/20.15

Francis Ballard of Elizabeth City County, Lawful Debts and funeral charges paid.   Son, Servant Ballard one Silver Tankard, My silver hilted sword and my silver watch.

Daughter Frances Ballard six silver spoons a cordial silver cup and the cover six silver guilt tea spoons the choyce of feather beds one pair holland sheets one boulster 2 pillows a silk guilt and calecow curtains & c.

Daughter Mary one silver Paringer and one silver spoon one silver Salner The second best feather bed boulster and 2 pillows one pr of holland sheets.

Daughter Lucy one silver Porringer one silver spoon and a dram silver Tumbler one feather bed one boulder 2 pillows one Rugg two blankets one pair sheets.

Daughter Ann one silver porringer and one silver spoon and one small silver spoon.

Son Francis one Point silver tumbler and a silver Tobacco box and ½ peut tumblers.

Remainder of plate to be equally Divided betwix 2 sons Servant and Francis.

Daughter Mary one rugg and one pair of Blankets one new black hood.

Daughter Ann one feather bed one boulster two new pillows one Rugg and Pr Sheets Two blankets.

Daughter Francis a silke Scarfe and the best black hood.

Daughters Mary and Ann a Remnant of Callico to be equally divided and all the Remnant of stuff to be divided between my daughters Lucy and Ann.   Rest of personal Estate sold at Public auction.

Son, Servant Ballard all my land upon James River side joining on Mr. Jennings Containing 100 acres to him and to The male heirs of his body lawfully begotten for ever.

Son Francis Ballard the remainder of my land being 84 acres being the remainder of my pattent be it more or less to him and to the male heirs of his body lawfully begotten forever.  Should Servant and Francis dye without male issue said land to be equally Divided betwix my four daughters Frances, Mary, Lucy and Ann.

54 pounds to be paid to Mr. Perry out of my personal Estate. Mr. John Curle Senior, Mr. Alexander McKenzie, and Son Servant Ballard Executors.

Francis’ will fails to name his wife; presumably she pre-deceased him.

A word should be included on the death of a number of members of the family in 1719 and 1720.  Francis Ballard, his nephews Matthew Ballard and William Ballard of York county all died in 1719; Francis and Matthew just days after writing their wills and William dying intestate.  Given that two of the three had the wherewithal to write their wills during their last days, most likely their lives were claimed by a virulent respiratory disease, such as influenza or pneumonia, for the Boston News-Letter reported that in 1720 it was a “sickly” time in Virginia and that many persons were dying “of a Fever with a pain in their Side and Breast.”16

The children of Francis Ballard and Mary Servant were:

SERVANT, born before 1707 (having been named in the will of Bertrand Servant), likely c. 1700.

Frances, likely born c. 1701; was living 10 March 1719/20.  She may have married Charles Bailey.  See James Ballard of Warwick County, Virginia.

Mary, likely born c. 1702; was living 10 March 1719/20.  She may have married Carter Tarrant.  See James Ballard of Warwick County, Virginia.

Lucy, likely born c. 1703; married Samuel Galt (1700-1761).  She is probably the Lucy Ballard who witnessed the will of Ann Wallace on 14 March 1739, with John Selden.  Ann Wallace devised property to her granddaughter Mary Westwood; grandson James Westwood; the children of her daughter Ann Armistead; grandson Matthew Ballard [the son of Matthew Ballard of York County]; grandson George Wythe; granddaughter Mary Wallace; daughter-in-law Martha Wallace; son James Wallace.  The executor was her son, James Wallace.17

Anne, likely born c. 1704.  Many researchers have assumed that this Anne married Captain Henry Talman, but this is probably incorrect.  The will of Elizabeth Ballard of Charles City County (contained in the page for her likely husband, William Ballard of Charles City County) specifically names her daughter Anna Talman; Cabell names an Anne Elizabeth Ballard, the daughter of Thomas Ballard of Charles City County as the wife of Henry Talman.

FRANCIS, likely born. c. 1705.  Born before 1707, like his brother Servant received a bequest from his father’s will of land that was located in Warwick County, Virginia. His was a smaller allotment (and named second in order of succession), so we assume that he was the younger son.


1. “25 June 1694. Mr Francis Ballard, an appointee of his brother Thomas Ballard, High Sheriff of this county, was sworn to the performance of office as under sheriff.” York Co. Va. Records Book 10, p. 4.

2. Cabell, p. 101.

3. Deed from Francis Ballard, Gent., Parish & Co. Of Elizabeth City, to [George?] Sweny, Gent., Town of Hampton, Parish & Co. Aforesaid, Lot in Hampton.” Recorded 15 October 1718, Elizabeth City Co. Deeds & Wills, 1715-21, p. 151.

4. “Francis Ballard of Parish & Co. Of Elizabeth City, 5 shillings current. Lot in Town of Hampton, co. Elizabeth City (which said Lott was by the said Francis Ballard purchased of Nick Carter, Gent., one of the feoffees of the co. Aforesaid, by deed dated 18 May 1708.” Elizabeth City Co. Deeds & Wills, 1715-21, p. 184.

5. “Francis Ballard, Henry Irvine & Jos. Curle feofees appointed by order of Elizabeth City Co. To dispose of the several half acres of Lotts of town land to the purchasers or takers up thereof.” Elizabeth City Co. Deeds & Wills, 1715-21, p. 154.

6. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Deeds, Wills, Misc., 1688-1702, p. 218 (133).

7. The William & Mary College Quarterly, Volume 5 (1897) p. 57.  Cabell writes that the date is 12 March 1719.

8. Recorded before 15 September 1715, Elizabeth City Co. Va Book 1715-21, p. 13.

9. Recorded Elizabeth City Co. Va. Deeds & Wills, 1704-30.

10. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1715-1721, p. 86.

11. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1715-21, p.113.

12. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1715-21, p. 225

13. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1715-21, p. 206 and 285

14. Recorded Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1715-1721, p. 208.

15. Recorded 16 March 1719, Elizabeth City Co. Deeds & Wills, 1715-21, p. 244.

16. Boston News-Letter, No. 830, March 7-14, 1720, cited by John Duffy, Epidemics in Colonial America (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971) p. 190. There were no newspapers published at that time in Virginia; The Virginia Gazette did not begin publication until 1736.

17. Recorded 18 February 1740, Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1737-1749, p. 99.


7 thoughts on “Francis Ballard Sr of Elizabeth City County, Virginia (c.1675-1719/20).

  1. Lucy Servant married Samuel Galt of Williamsburg, and they are both my ancestors. Do you know the date of their marriage, and how they met? Do you know who Samuel’s father was. I would appreciate any more information about either of them.
    Ginger Galt Epley
    Portsmouth Virginia

    • Hello, I’ve had no reason to study the Galt family — I haven’t a clue who his father might be, or the circumstances of his meeting Lucy Servant.

  2. […] Francis Ballard (c.1675-1719/20) of Elizabeth City county, Virginia, son of Thomas Ballard of James City County (1630-1690). Francis Ballard was dead after 10 March 1719/20, when his will was written in Elizabeth City county (some sources give a date of 12 March 1719/20) and recorded in Elizabeth City county on 16 March 1719/20. He was survived by two sons and four daughters. […]

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