Thomas Ballard of Charles City County, Virginia (c.1690-1754).

Thomas Ballard, the son of William Ballard of Charles City County, Virginia, was likely born between 1690 and 1700, and dead by April 1754 when his wife Elizabeth was appointed administratrix of his estate.  We distinguish him from his son, also Thomas, on the belief that his son took out a license for an ordinary in 1742, renewed it in June 1748, and on 7 May 1760 was identified as surveyor of the road leading from Ballard’s Ordinary to Hickes Bridge.   See Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 195.

2 October 1727.  Deed from Edward Dean of Blissland Parish, New Kent Co. to John Pasteur of Bristol Parish, York Co., peruke maker, for 24 pounds, land Edward Dean purchased of George Coley and Dorcas his wife, in Westover Parish, 400 acres, upon White Oak Path, Col. Epes’s line, John Poval’s line, Maj. Benjamin Harrison’s line; with all houses, etc.  Witness: Wm. Acrill, James Gunn, Thos. Ballard.  Signed: Edward (ED) Dean, Mary (M) Dean.  Recorded 1st Wednesday in October 1727.

Feb. Court 1738. Thos. Ballard & Thos. Collin and David Stokes, Inspectors, Saml. Harwood Sherifff and John Southall Deputy Sherriff & James Williams Constable sworn as ye law directs to qualify them to act in their several respective offices & ordered that ye same be certified & etc. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737, p. 75.

August Court 1739.  Deed of John Lide to Thomas Ballard recorded.  Sarah, wife of John, relinquished her dower right.  Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 96.

October Court 1740.  Deed from John Day and Elizabeth his wife to Thomas Ballard recorded.  Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 143.

February 1741.  Thomas Ballard & Mary his wife agt. Francis Dancey in Chancery respondent by his attorney provides time to put in his answer to the complainant’s bill & the suit is referred for tryal.” February Court 1741. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 190.

September 1741. Thos. Ballard et uxor. against Frances Dancey in Chancery on the motion of the respondents attorney hath twice given him to put in his answer to ye complainants bill ye next court. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737, p. ?

December 1742. Thos. Ballard & David Stokes giving bond as Inspectors at Kennons Warehouse took the oath appointed by a late act & had their commissions accordingly. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. ?

December Court 1742.  Thomas Ballard & Mary his wife et al complainants against Francis Dancy respondent in Chancery on hearing the bill answer and other pleadings. It is decreed by the Court that the remainder of the slaves in the will of Fran. Dancy, deceased, namely Jane, Betty, Bristord devised to Amey Dancey for life & after her death to be equally divided amongst his children, his eldest son & daughter excepted is a good limitation to those.” Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 228.

March 1742. In a suit in Chancery brought by Thos. Ballard & Mary his wife agt. Francis Dancey the Matter in Difference being by a rule of this court referred to Saml Harwood, Edward Brodnax, Richard Kennon & John Williams, Gent. or any three to audit and settle who accordingly returned this report in these words Vzt In obedience to an order of Court we the subscribers have considered the matters in dispute to us referred and find that the estate of Amey Dancey and Samuel Dancey have been Justly accounted for, but that there is a balance due from the estate of Ann Dancey to Thos. Ballard & Mary his wife of one pound twelve shillings & 3 pence current money Febr. 28th 1742. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 241.

Feby. Ct. 1743. Thos. Ballard, et uxor, agt. Fran. Dancey continued. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737, p. 286.

Nov. 1744. Ordered that John Southall pay Thos. Ballard for one days attendance. Charles Co. Va. Order Book 1737-50, p. 343.

Nov. 1744. Thos. Ballard agt Daniel Carrol, no prosecution, if dismissed. Charls Co. Va. Order Book 1737050, p. 345.

Febry. 1745. Ordered that Hubbard Bates Williams pay Thos. Ballard, seven days attendance as evidence for said Williams & Henry Soane. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-50, p. 343.

November Court 1745.  Churchwardens bind the children of Martha Wallace, Philip and Lucy.  On her petition she is discharged from service of Thomas Ballard.  Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-50, p. 388.

July Court 1747.  Will of Samuel Harwood of Oriham, dec’d presented and proved.  Edumnd Eppes, Henry Soane, James Alain and Thomas Ballard to appraise estate.  Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-, p 445.

May Court 1748.  Deed Charles Collawn to Thomas Ballard recorded.  Joanna, wife of Charles, relinquished her dower right.  Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-50, p. 474.

April 1754. Elizabeth Ballard adm. of Thos. Ballard Pet. Against Littlebury Cocke & Rebecca Hubbard his wife. In case. Continued Apr. 1754. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-1750, p. 404.

March 1757. Elizabeth Ballard admx. Of the Admx. Of the Goods etc of Thos. Ballard deceased Pet. Versus Benjamin Marrable & others Deft. In Debt. Continued to the next court. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1757, p. 404.

3 January 1758.  Elizabeth Ballard admx. & etc. of Thos. Ballard deced.  Plt. against Richard Kennon Deft.  In Debt.  By consent of Parties by their attornies these causes are continued till the next court.  Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 96.

May 1758. Ballard admix. Plt. against Southalls extor. Deft. Upon a petition. Continued until the next Court not he motion and Costs of the Defendant. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 11.

3 May 1758. Marstons exor. Plt. against Ballards admx. Deft. In case. Continued to the next court by consent of parties. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 14.

2 August 1758. Marstons exors. Plts. against Ballards admix. Deft. In Case. The Plts not further prosecuting ont he motion of the Defts. by her Counsel, It is ordered that this Suit be dismissed and that the Plts pay unto the Defts. her Costs. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 37.

2 August 1758. Upon the petition of Elizabeth Ballard admrx. of Thomas Ballard against John Southall Executor of Jno. Southall dec’d. for one pound, nine shillings and ten pence due by account the parties by their attorney being fully heard, it is considered by the court that the Plts. recover against the said Defts. the said one pound, nine shillings and ten pence and her costs by her about her suit in this behalf expended, to be levied of the goods & chattels of the said Testor in the hands of the said Deft. if so much thereof he hath in his hands to be admonished but if he hath not then the cost to be levied of his own proper goods and chattles. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 41.

2 August 1758. Richard Kennon Plt. against Elizabeth Ballard admix. of Thomas Ballard decd. Deft. In Case. This day came the parities by their attorneys and thereupon came also a Jury to wit John Southall, John Gregory, John Dudley, Richard Riddlehurst, John Sherman Gregory, Gideon Christian, Stephen Bowry, Philip Southall, Wm. Green Munford, Benjamin Marrable, John Bradley & John Christian who being selected Tried and Sworn the Truth to speak upon the Issue us Joined in this cause went out of court to consult of their verdict, and returned into court to render the same the Plt. was solemnly called but came not neither in his suit further prosecuted therefore on the motion of the Defts. It is considered by the court that the Jurors from rendering their Verdict aforesaid be discharged and that the Plts. be non suited and together with his pledges & etc. be in Mercy & etc. and the said Deft. go hence without Day and recover against the said Plts. damages according to law and her Costs by her about her Defense in this behalf expended. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 45.

20 September 1758. Richard Kennon Plt. against Elizabeth Ballard Deft. In Case. Non assumpsit pleaded Issue Joined & trial referred til next court. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1758, p. 14.

He was married and living in Charles City in 1737, where he lived in Ballardville; prior to which there are few coherent records pertaining to the county.2  He died between September 1750 and April 1754.3  He married Mary Dancy, who was living 28 February 1742, and was the daughter of Francis Dancy and Amey _____.4  He married second Elizabeth _____, who was living as late as 2 August 1758,5 and had no issue.

James Branch Cabell in The Majors and Their Marriages (Richmond: W.C. Hill Printing Co., 1915) gives an account of him:

The younger Thomas Ballard was born circa 1695, and was in consequence fifteen or sixteen years old at the time of his father’s death.  He seems to have been bound apprentice, under the terms of Colonel Ballard’s will, to his brother-in-law John Major, and to have been reared in the latter’s household in Charles City.  He was at all events married and living in Charles City in 1739, prior to which year, as has been said, there are no coherent records pertaining to that county.

A deed from John Lide and his wife Sarah to Thomas Ballard was acknowledged at the August court 1739.6  Thomas Ballard and his wife Mary had a suit against Francis Dancy in April 1742, which was prolonged until December 1742.7  The verdict in this case shows that Ballard’s wife was the elder daughter of Francis Dancy and his wife Amy, who had left issue: Francis Dancy, the eldest son, defendant in the suit; Mary Dancy, the elder daughter, married to Thomas Ballard, and, with her husband, one of the complainants; Samuel Dancy, dead without issue in 1742; Ann Dancy, dead without issue in 1742; and Edward Dancy.  William Dancy, and Benjamin Dancy, these last-named three being plaintiffs with Mary Ballard.  The older Francis Dancy had by his will left certain slaves to his wife, to be divided at her death among her children equally, excluding his eldest son, Francis, and his elder daughter, Mary: and the main question at issue was, Amy Dancy being dead, what disposition was to be made of these slaves, now that two of the younger children had died intestate.  It was ruled that the limitation held, excluding Mary Ballard and Francis Dancy from any interest in the slaves; but that, none the less, Francis Dancy, as the heir at law, inherited after Samuel and Ann, and so was entitled to their two shares in the division.8

Thomas Ballard was appointed inspector at Kennon’s Warehouse in August 1742.  At the May court 1743, “On the petition of Thomas Ballard, he is permitted to keep an ordinary at his house, he having given bond as the law directs.”  The license was renewed 14 March 1743-4, and several times afterward; and Thomas Ballard appears to have maintained this inn until the close of his life.9

At a court held the first Wednesday in September 1750 he brought suit “on behalfe of himself & our Lord the King” against Daniel Boyce, for retailing liquor illegally–an infringement of the law which touched Ballard professionally.  The outcome is not recorded.  Thomas Ballard died not very long afterward, as in March 1756, and again in June 1756, his administratrix, Elizabeth Ballard, was bringing a Chancery suit against Richard Weir.10

He had married, first, Mary, daughter of Francis Dancy, and second, Elizabeth _____, by whom he had no children.  By his first marriage Thomas Ballard of Charles City county had issue:

Elizabeth.  Cabell reports (without providing a source) that she married Henry Talman, the son of William Talman, and resided in New Kent county.  We believe Henry Talman married Ann/Anna Ballard, the daughter of William Ballard and Elizabeth________.

Mary, born 1728, died 1770; married in 1745 James Major of Charles City county, who was born 1720.  A Revolutionary War soldier, he was the youngest son of John Major and Anna Ballard, who was the daughter of Thomas Ballard, Jr.

THOMAS, married Sarah _____.


 Endnotes

1. 28 September 1728. Patent of Thomas Ballard of York county: 330 acres on the North side the Northanna and on the South side the main road. Beginning at two black oaks of Augustin Moores standing in the county line. Land Office Patents No. 13, 1725-1730 (V.1 & 2 p. 1-540), p. 452 (Reel 12). This assumption remains unproven, though he is the most likely candidate for patentee of this land.

2. James Branch Cabell, The Majors and Their Marriages (Richmond: W.C. Hill Printing Company, 1915), p. 86. Research in Charles City county is extremely difficult due to the loss of many of the early court records. Subsequent to Cabell’s writing, however, an early Deed and Will book from the 1720s reappeared, having been stolen by a Union Soldier and returned to Virginia in the 1970s.

3. April 1754. Elizabeth Ballard adm. of Thos. Ballard Pet. Against Littlebury Cocke & Rebecca Hubbard his wife. In case. Continued Apr. 1754. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-1750, p. 404.

4. Cabell states that there is little data available on the Dancy family, but notes an interesting story. Mary Dancy was the granddaughter of the John Dansey who patented 100 acres near Checkroes Neck on 4 June 1636, described as adjoining land granted him by an earlier patent, and on the same date patented 350 acres in James City county “A mile up Chickahomony river, on the north side, and bounded by a creek called Tanks Pasby hayes creek. Due, 50 acres for the personal adventure of his wife Alice Dansey, and 300 for the Transportacon of six p’sons,” whose names are given. He patented another 100 acres in James City county, 25 May 1637 “on Tanks Pasbye hayes Creeke.” The second grant comprised what was then known as Dansey’s Point, today called Dancing Point, on the Chickahominy river. On Fry and Jefferson’s map of Virginia the place is called Dance’s Point, which was readily corrupted into Dancing Point, and the well-known story invented to explain its name, of how the devil and Mr Lightfoot of Sandy Point once held a dancing contest there, with a quantity of marsh land as the stake. “Mr Lightfoot, as is notorious, is reputed to have outdanced the devil, and thus to have won the Lightfoot plantation.” Cabell, p. 88.

5. March 1757. Elizabeth Ballard admx. Of the Admx. Of the Goods etc of Thos. Ballard deceased Pet. Versus Benjamin Marrable & others Deft. In Debt. Continued to the next court. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1757, p. 404.

6. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 96.

7. “Thomas Ballard & Mary his wife agt. Francis Dancey in Chancery respondent by his attorney provides time to put in his answer to the complainant’s bill & the suit is referred for tryal.” February Court 1741. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 190.

8. Cabell, pp. 86-87.

9. Cabell, p. 87.

10. Cabell, p. 87. “Thomas Ballard & Mary his wife et al complainants against Francis Dancy respondent in Chancery on hearing the bill answer and other pleadings. It is decreed by the Court that the remainder of the slaves in the will of Fran. Dancy, deceased, namely Jane, Betty, Bristord devised to Amey Dancey for life & after her death to be equally divided amongst his children, his eldest son & daughter excepted is a good limitation to those.” Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 228.

“In a suit in Chancery brought by Thos. Ballard & Mary his wife agt. Francis Dancey … referred to Saml Harwood, Edward Brodnax, Richard Kennon & John Williams, Gent., … & find that the estate of Amey Dancy & Samuel Dancey have been justly accounted for & that there is a balance due from the estate of Amy Dancey to Thos. Ballard & Mary his wife of £1.12.3. Charles City Co. Va. Order Book 1737-51, p. 241.

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