Servant Ballard of Warwick County, Virginia (c.1700-c.1748)

Servant Ballard, the son of Francis Ballard of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, was born between 1700 and 1707; certainly no later than 1719/20.  He appears in very few records, which are listed below.

A Virginia Colonial Records Project Survey Report notes among the records of the Board of Trade is found the following endorsement: “Memorial of Loss, sustained by Samuel Smith of Virginia Owner of the Sloop Catherine (Servant Ballard Master) taken in February 1728.”1

Servant Ballard appraised the estate of Joshua Curle, Jr., with Anthony Tucker, John Moore and Richard Hawkins, on 21 February 1732.2

In May 1732, “Servant Ballard negro Boy Hampton is adjudged to be eleven years of age.”3

Servant Ballard witnessed the will of Bertrand Proby dated 4 November 1736 (in which Proby devised to his wife Sidwell; son Servant John Proby, with reversion to son Minson Turner Proby; son Bertrand; son Thomas; son Peter; daughter Mary Gilbert; daughter Rebecca; daughter Elizabeth; daughter Jane. Executors wife Sidwell and son Servant John Proby. Dated 4 November 1736, recorded 18 May 1737. Witnesses James Gilbert and Servant Ballard.4

In 1738, the following notice appeared in The Virginia Gazette: “Clear’d out.  Scooner Darby, of North Carolina, Sarvent Ballard, Master, for James River, with Pork, Corn, Wax, Tallow, &c.5

Servant Ballard, David Meredith & Thos. Faulkner witnesses to the Indenture of John Batts, which was recorded 21 May 1748.6   We need, however, to verify the date this document was executed.

The name of his wife is unknown.  We suspect, however, that she may have been Mary Roe, the daughter of Ann Roe, because of connections between the Meredith and Tarrant families.  Unfortunately she just as easily could have been the wife of Servant’s brother, Francis.

Ann Roe’s will dated 31 October 1747 names her daughter Mary Ballard.7

Will of Ann Roe (abstract).  To daughter Grisel; daughter Mary Ballard; daughter Ann Moore; daughter Sarah Cooper; daughter Elizabeth Merriday; daughter Cathrin Boutwell; daughter Margaret Merriday [likely Meredith]; daughter Ellenner Mitchell; daughter Luce Loyal.  Exs. Mr. John Moore and Abraham Cooper.  Recorded 8 June 1748.  Witnesses Robert Brough, John Bennett.  Abraham Cooper qualified security, Samuel Jones and Adam Boutwell.

But note that in the Elizabeth City County Order Book 1747-1755, there is a suit in Chancery that includes Mary Ballard, Jno. Moore and Ann, his wife, Sarah Cooper, Eliza Meredith, Adam Boutwell and Catherine his wife, Margaret Meredith, Grissell Roe, William Loyal and Lucy his wife, complainants against Ann Roe and Eliza Roe, Respondents in Chancery.  “It is ordered & Desired that the Heirs at Law pay unto the complainants £5, 14, 8, Each as their proportionate part of the appraised value of the slaves of Edward Roe Senior deceased & that the costs of this Suit be equally born by all the compet & the Defts8.  This entry tells us that Mary Ballard was a widow; had she been married, her husband would have been named in this suit.  Her husband probably died c. 1748.

Given that the 100 acres in Warwick County devised to him by his father, Francis Ballard, was later sold by his grandson Servant Ballard in 1792, we have proof that he had at least one son, James Ballard, whose name is recorded in the Order Books of Elizabeth City County.

Servant Ballard and ______________ had issue:

JAMES, born before 1748.


1. Survey Report No. 1376, Public Record Office Class C.O. 388/92, 1728-1730, Lists and Indexes No. XXXVI (List of Colonial Office Records preserved in the P.R.O.) p. 334.

2. Recorded Elizabeth City Co. Va. Order Book 1731-1747, p. 46.

3. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Order Book 1731-1747, p. 22.

4. Recorded Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1737-1749, p. 12. Original Will.

5. The Virginia Gazette, 25 August 1738, p. 3.

6. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Deeds & Wills, 1736-1753, p. 79.

7. Recorded Elizabeth City Co. Va. Book 1737-1749, p. 292.

8. Elizabeth City Co. Va. Order Book 1747-1755, p. 172.


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