William Ballard of Halifax County, North Carolina (c. 1710-1775)

The narrative of this work in progress is far from complete or fully documented.  Treat this as a placeholder.

This William Ballard was probably the son of William Ballard of Charles City County.

William married Elizabeth_______, who according to an unverified tradition that came down through the family of Walter Clopton Ballard, Elizabeth was the daughter of Walter Clopton and Mary Jarratt of New Kent county, Virginia.  Lucy Lane Erwin included notes in The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia (Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing Co., Inc., 1939):

From various sources have come scattered bits of information on Cloptons for whom we have not yet found definite connection with the Virginia ancestor, William Clopton.  We include such records herewith:

Letter of Clifton F. Davis, Attorney at Law, Shreveport, Louisiana, 11 Aug. 1938:

There is a family tradition of Walter Clopton back of William Ballard and his wife Elizabeth and there is every reason to believe she was Elizabeth Clopton, daughter of Walter Clopton and Mary Jarette.

The writer of the above letter states that William Ballard and his wife Elizabeth were of Lunenburg County, Virginia, where the first deed to him is dated 3 Dec. 1735.  About 1760 he removed to Scotland Neck vicinity, Halifax County, North Carolina, and there made his will 10 Sept. 1774 naming wife Elizabeth and children: Mary Allen, Joyce Langley, Elizabeth Freeman, Martha Finch*, Nancy Lenoir, Walter Clopton Ballard, Devereaux Ballard, Salumith Ballard, William Sorrell Ballard.

*Martha Ballard born 2 Nov. 1749 Lunenburg, Va.; died 5 Nov. 1827; married Edward Finch.

The writer had a letter from Edward Finch to General Lenoir, North Carolina, dated 11 June 1794, which refers to a journey to Charles City County, Virginia, with W.C. Ballard March 1st. 1794 and an impending law-suit “in case (Edward Finch) did not accompany W. C. Ballard.”  He believed that Elizabeth (wife of William Ballard) was daughter of Walter Clopton and Mary Jarett and there was also a son Richard Clopton born 1731.

In 1745, a William Ballard from James City County purchased 400 acres from James Tabor on the south branches of Deep Creek in that part of Goochland County that later became Cumberland County. Goochland County Deed Book, No. 5, p.81, Goochland County, Virginia: Wills 1742-1749 (Richmond, 1984) p. 43. On 16 January 16 1755, William and his wife Elizabeth sold this land to William Hudson of Amelia County. Cumberland County Deed Book No. 2, p.191.

3 December 1755.  John Martin & Mary his wife to William Ballard, for £50 curr. 80 acres in Lunenburg Co. adjoining point of Fork of Allens Creek, South Fork, etc. Recorded 6 July 1756.  Lunenburg Co. Va. Deed book 4, p. 285.  The same William Ballard patented adjacent land in 1760 (360 acres) and 1762 (400 acres). Cavaliers and Pioneers VI/382 (Patent Book No. 34/659) and VI/419 (Patent Book No. 34/991).

3 August 1756.  Richard Lunday and Mary his wife to William Ballard of Lunenburg Co., for £12 curr.  77 acres in Lunenburg Co. on both side Allen’s Creek, adjoining William Ballards etc.  Recorded Lunenburg Co. Va. Deed Book 4, p. 314.

20 October 1759.  William Ballard witnessed the will of Hugh Norvell, with Adam Thomason and James Smith.  The will names Hugh Norvell’s wife Mary Norvell, son Thomas Norvell, daughters Elizabeth Lanford and Mary Norvell.  It mentions “five children,” but does not provide all of their names.  Recorded 6 May 1760, Lunenburg Co. Va. Will Book 1, p. 320.  Abstract.  Lunenburg Co. Va. Wills, 1746-1825, by Landon C. Bell.

20 August 1760.  William Ballard, Patent, 360 acres in Lunnenburgh Co., on the branches of Allen’s Creek, adjoining the said William Ballard, Norvell, Mallet & Jackson.  Patent Book 34, p. 659.

25 March 1762.  William Ballard, patent 400 acres in Lunenburgh Co., on the east side of Allen’s Creek adjoining the creek, Norvell, Delong and Stuart.  Patent Book 34, p. 991.

1 October 1763. Mary Dodd and William Dodd of Lunenberg Co, Va. to William Ballard of Halifax Co., for 30 pounds of Virginia money. 150 acres on south side of Roanoke River “near the mouth of Pork Creek” The land given to said Mary Dodd by her father’s will. Mary Dodd (x), William Dodd Witnesses: George Maybury (x), John Maybury, Ben Ballard. J. : Jos. Monfort. Recorded 17 Jan. 1764. Halifax Co. NC Deeds, 1758-1771, p. 793 (389).

7 December 1763.  William Ballard and Elizabeth his wife of Halifax Co. in North Carolina to Henry Isbell of Lunenburg Co., Va. £200 curr. 500 acres in Lunenburg Co. Va. on Allen’s and Coleman’s Creeks.  Lunenburg Co. Va. Deed Book 8, p. 3.

19 May 1764.  William Ballard of Halifax Co. in North Carolina to Wm. Roffe of Lunenburg in Va. £70 curr. 200 acres in Lunenburg co. Va. on East side of Allen’s Creek.  Lunenburg Co. Va. Deed Book 8, p. 230.

11 March 1767; William Ballard of Halifax (NC?) to James Terrill of Mecklenburg; £40 for 200 acres on lower side of Allen’s Creek; Isbell’s line to Parks’ line and Hatcheles line to Ross’s line. Witnesses: Anselm and Edmund Bugg and George Freeman. Recorded 13 April 1767.  Mecklenburg Co. Va. Deeds, Vol. 1, 1765-1768, p. 362.

William Ballard wrote his will on 10 September 1774, and it was presented in Halifax court on 7 February 1775.

In the name of God Amen. I William Ballard of the county of Halifax, being much indesposed in Body, the in perfect memory, and calling to mind that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally, and first of all, I recommend my soul into the hands of God who gave it, and as to what temporal blessings it hath pleased the almighty to bless me with, I give and dispose of it in the following manner.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Allen, a negro wench named Anness and her increase that now is or may be hereafter.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my daughter Joyce Langley, a negro wench named Jean and her increase that now is or may be hereafter.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Freeman, a negro wench named Beck and her daughter Milly and their increase.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Finch a negro girl named Lydia and her increase.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy Lenior a negro girl named Judy and her increase.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my son Walter Clopton Ballard all my lands lying in this county as also a negro fellow named Cuffy.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my son Devereux Ballard a negro boy named Harry, a bay mare about one year and five months old, and one old gun.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my daughter Salumith Ballard a negro girl named Anness (?) and her increase, one feather bed and furniture, one horse of about ten pounds price Virg money and one woman’s saddle and bridle.

Item. – I give and bequeath unto my son William Sorrell Ballard a negro boy named Bristol and my small gun.

Item.- I give and bequeath unto my grand-daughter Elizabeth Ballard a negro girl named (?) Jean and her increase, also a debt due from John Hyde of Fifty pounds Virg. money and bond with interest thereon, but in case the said Elizabeth Ballard dies before she comes of the age of 21 years or marries, then and in such case, my daughter Salumith Ballard shall have the negro girl Jean and her increase (if any) and the debt due from John Hyde shall be divided as follows, to wit: twenty-five pounds to the said Hyde and the other twenty-five pounds to my daughter Martha Finch.

I give and bequeath unto my wife Elizabeth Ballard a negro girl named Cinder and it is my will and desire that my said wife shall have the loan of all the residue of my estate, as also all my debts, dues and demands whatsoever due to me from any persons, during her natural life, first paying my funeral expenses and all just debts due by me, and at her decease everything she has the loan off to be equally divided among my children. First letting my sons Devereux and William take their device of a negro apiece.

It is my will and desire that my son Walter C. Ballard give unto my son William S. Ballard, when he comes of age a horse of ten pounds Virg. money value.

It is my will and desire that in case my son Walter C. Ballard should die without heirs lawfully begotten, then the lands bequeathed unto him revert to my son Devereux Ballard, and in case he should die without heirs lawfully begotten then the said lands to revert to my son William S. Ballard, and if he should die without heirs lawfully begotten then the said lands to be sold and the money equally divided among my surviving children.

I do hereby constitute, ordain and appoint my beloved wife Elizabeth Ballard my executrix and Walter C. Ballard and John Faulcon, “exors” of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this tenth day of September, Anne Dom. 1774. Signed and sealed in the presence of Wm. Lenoir, Edward Finch and John Hyde. William Bal1ard and a mark

Halifax Co., Feb. 7 Court, 1775 Then this will was exhibited in open court by the extrix and proved by the oath of John Hyde a witness thereto. Whereupon the “Extrix” within named was qualified according to law and on motion ordered to be recorded. Test. Jos, Montfort C.C. County of Halifax, N.C. Order Book 2, page 5.

(This copy is from a pencil copy of this will loaned me May 22, 1931 by Mrs. Lavinia Lenoir Nifong of Columbia, Missouri.) CFD

Their children were:

possibly Benjamin, likely the Ben Ballard who witnessed a will with William Ballard in 1762, whose daughter Elizabeth Ballard is named in her grandfather’s will.

Mary, born 22 November 22 1738; baptized 18 February 1738/9 at St. Peters Parish, New Kent County. The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peters Parish (Richmond, 1937) p. 549.  Married ________ Allen

Joyce, married __________ Langley

Elizabeth,  married __________ Freeman

Martha, likely married Edward Finch, perhaps the Edward Finch who witnessed the will.  The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (Vol 5, No. 4) shows Edward Finch and Martha Ballard were married from 1799 to 1868.  (South Carolina Marriage Index, 1641-1965 (Ancestry online database).  Note that her brother Devereaux removed to South Carolina sometime after 1790, when he appeared in the 1790 US Federal Census in Halifax, North Carolina, and before 1800, when he appeared in the 1800 Census in Claremont, Sumter District, South Carolina.

Nancy, married _________ Lenoir, perhaps William Lenoir, who witnessed the will

WALTER CLOPTON, married Rebecca Taylor.

DEVEREAUX, married Mary ____________.

Salumith, married William Burt, Sr, who left a will recorded August 1823 in Halifax County, North Carolina (Halifax Co. N.C. Will Book 25, p. 178) (abstract): Wife Salumith Burt, all my lands in Warren County where I now live, including the mansion house, for her lifetime, also Negro Cinder.  Son William Burt, Negroes Daniel and Ralph now in his possession, also Negro Alfred after the death of my wife.  Son Jno. A. Burt, all my lands in Warren County where I now live after the death or marriage of my wife.  Daugher Salumith Sims, life estate in Negroes Ailsey, David, James and Eda with reversion to her children.  Sons Wm. Burt and Jno. A. Burt, in trust for my daughter Lucretia A. Garrett, Negroes Jesse, Henry and Rosena already in her possession, with reversion to her children, each one to take a share as he comes of age.  All remaining property to be kept together for the mutual interest and benefit of my wife and my three daughters Elizabeth, Ann and Harriet D. Burt and my son Jno. A. Burt as they come of age.  All my lands in Halifax County are to be sold and the proceeds divided among my five daughters.  Executors sons William and Jno. Witnesses: Henry G. Williams, John Brodie. See Records of Estates, Halifax County, North Carolina, Vol. I: Extant Loose Records, 1816-1823, 1865-1900, by David Gammon.  Salumith (Ballard) Burt left a will dated 3 April 1840 in Warren County, North Carolina:

In the name of God Amen I Salumith Burt being of sound mind and memory (blessed by God) do this Twenty Third day of April in the year of Our Lord one Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty do make this my last Will and Testament in Manner and form as follows

First – I commit my soul to God and my body to the Earth from whence it came and as to my worldly goods that the Lord hath blessed me with I dispose of as follows To Wit

Item – I give and bequeath to my son John A Burt all my right title and Interest that I have in the Tract of Land whereon I now live also one Bed and furnatur now in his possession my Cotton Gin with the aparattus thereto belonging and my youngest Yoak of Oxen one Bay Horse Colt two year old the first day of this month April (Called Black [Wawyer?) (Warrior) to him and his heirs forever

Item – I give and bequeath to two of my Daughters Elizabeth Burt and Ann Burt the following Negroes (to Wit) Rachel Cinder and her five children namedly Solmon Sam Lucinda Cuffy and William Plinty together with their increase And my will and desire is that if Either of my Daughters Elizabeth or Ann (Nancy?) Burt should die without a will that the surviving one should heir the above named negroes say Rachel Cinder Solmon Sam Lucinda Cuffy and William Plinty and their increase to them and their heirs forever.

Item – I also give and bequeath to my two Daughters Elizabeth and Ann (Nancy?) Burt one Bed And Furnature each my Carriage Horse my Carriage and Harness one Dozen Windsor Chairs My Side Board one sett China one Tea Tray one sett Knives and forks to them and their heirs forever

Item – I also give to my two Daughters Elizabeth Burt and Ann (Nancy?) Burt one Negro Man named Ellick

My Further will and Desire is that my two Daughters Elizabeth and Ann (Nancy?) Burt pay to my son William Burt one Hundred Dollars Each to be paid Twelve months after my death

Item – I give and bequeath to my Daughter Lucretia C Garrett Ten Dollars

Item – I give and bequeath to my Grand Daughter Harrit William Ballard Sims Ninety three Dollars Which is to be paid or Raised out of the perishable Estate that is now on the Plantation

Item – I give and bequeath to my Grand son Samuel Brown Garrett one Bed and furniture

Item – After paying all of my just debts I give Three fourths of my part of the crop that may be on hand at my death to two of my Daughters Elizabeth Burt and Ann Burt and the remaining one fourth I give to three of my Grand Children namely Leonard S Sims, Sarah E Bunn and Harriet William Ballard Sims [note: these are the cildren of Henry Sims & Sally Burt, her deceased daughter]

Item – I give and bequeath to two of my Daughters Elizabeth and Ann Burt Three fourths of my stock of all kinds and the residue of my property not before disposed of And the [one?] other remaining fourth I give and bequeath to three of my Grand Children namely Leonard S Sims Sarah Eliza Bunn (w/o William B Bunn Jr) and Harriet Wiliam Ballard Sims

And I do hereby nominate and appoint my Son John A Burt Executor and my two Daughters Elizabeth Burt and Ann Burt Execut[rix?] to this my last will and Testament Revoking all Other by me heretofore maid

Salumith Burt
Signed Sealed and delivered in the presents of
Witness: James Arrington, Littleton Arrington

William Sorrell, whose son Rufus Ballard was named in the 1801 will of his brother, Walter Clopton Ballard.  Rufus may have married (1) his cousin Lucy Ballard (Bond, 29 October 1814), the daughter of John Ballard, Jr of Mecklenburg County, Virginia (c. 1744-1803).   He is probably the William Ballard enumerated in the 1800 US Federal Census in Halifax, North Carolina with a household comprised of 1 male, under 10; one male, age 26 to 44; one female, under 10; one female, age 10 to 15; one female, age 26 to 44; 5 slaves.  1800 US Federal Census, Halifax, Halifax, North Carolina, Series M32, Roll 30, Page 288.  If this is the correct William, its likely that Rufus was his only son.

Rufus may have been the Rufus M. Ballard who appeared in a series of records in Limestone County, Alabama between 1819 and 1823 (records not yet examined by this compiler), and removed to Leon, Florida c. 1833 where he married (2) E. S. (Emily) Childs 18 September 1833.  Florida County Marriages, 1823-1982 (Ancestry database online).

In 1840 he was enumerated in the US Federal Census in Jackson, Florida Territory with a household comprised of one male, 10 to 14; 1 male, 20 to 29; one female 10 to 14, one female 15 to 19, three females, 20 to 29, and one female, 30 to 39.  1840 US Federal Census, Jackson, Florida Territory, Roll 36, Page 187, Image 398.  In 1850, he and Emily appear in Division 6, Franklin County, Florida: Rufus, age 58 (born c. 1792) in Virginia, employed as a lighthouse keeper; Emily, age 48 (born c. 1802).  The household includes Wm. Book, age 37, and Jeptha Brown, age 8.  1850 US Federal Census, Division 6, Franklin, Florida, Roll M432_58, Page 173A, Image 339.  A website dedicated to lighthouses shows Rufus Ballard was keeper of the Cape San Blas lighthouse in Franklin County, Florida from 1849 to 1851.

Rufus Ballard died between August 1853 and October 1853 in Decatur County, Georgia, where he left a will:

State of Georgia, County of Decatur, ss:

Knowing all men have to die and believing my time is near at hand and being of sound mind and memory and wishing to dispose of my effects to my satisfaction do make the following bequests.

1st.  I wish to be decently buried.

2.  I wish my debts to be paid, which are few.

3. I give and bequeath unto my dear wife Emily S. Ballard my two servants Sally & Sambo and my muel [“mule”} together with all my household & kitchen furniture etc.  Also to all debts dues & claims vs. individuals or government o have and to hold so long as she may live for her soul [“sole”] benefit and at her deat the above named effects to go to my son in law John Conally & my daughter Martha L. Conally & their children equally and forever.

I further wish my wife to give out of my effects to my son in law John Conally the sum of five dollars in cash and I further constitute and appoint my dear wife E.S. Ballard my Executor my last will & testament.  Given under my hand & seal 20th day of August 1853.

–Rufus Ballard {Seal}

Signed, sealed in presence of teste: Reuben Donalson, William R. Stuart, Wm. R. Stuart, A.E. Donalson, A.J. Stuart.

Georgia, Decatur County, ss:

Court of Ordinary in Chambers, Oct 4th, 1853.  Before me Joseph Law Ordinary of said county in vacation came Emily S. Ballard Executirx of the last will & testament of Rufus Ballard late of Franklin County & State of Florida but who lately departed this life in the county & state first aforesaid by her friend Jonathan Donalson and produced before me the within last will & testament of said Rufus Ballard, dec’d … It is ordered on the oath of Reuben Donalson one of the witnesses to the within last will & testament of Rufus Ballard dec’d that the same be admitted to probate.   J. Law.

Recorded Decatur Co. Ga. Wills, 1817-1913, pp. 87-89.

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