Virginia Families.

1. Blagrave of James City and Stafford Counties.

The Blagrave family is of some interest because of two records: (1) William Ballard, son of Thomas Ballard of James City witnessing a deed dated 1686 that is recorded in the records of Stafford county, Virginia; and (2) Henry Blagrave being named in 1719 as a legatee in the will of Ballard, son of Thomas Ballard of York county (William’s brother). The connection to Mssrs Gregg and Gowry in Stafford suggests a connection between William Ballard and the Thomas Ballard who left a will in Stafford county in 1730 (of which only a fragment survives; see page 275). This Thomas appears to have died without issue, but devised some of his Virginia property to a devisee in England on the condition that he come to America to claim it, providing yet another clue to the origin of the family in England. It is also interesting to chart the movement of the family from the Tidewater into the Piedmont and on to Kentucky and South Carolina.

2. Bland of Stafford County.

The Bland family that settled in Northern Virginia has been extensively researched by Charles Bland, author of Vision of Unity: The Bland Family in England and America (1982), a history of the Blands in Virginia. He has been able to distinguish the Northern Virginia Blands from the family that settled along the James River in Virginia. The Northern Virginia branch is the most likely source of the first Bland Ballard, given the consistent naming patterns used in both families; you will note that nearly all of the male names appear among Bland Ballard’s descendants, particularly George, James, and Benjamin. Unfortunately, the name of a likely daughter who married William Ballard has not been confirmed; most likely it was a daughter of George Bland, No. 2, below, for her to be of sufficient age to have children in 1700 (the traditional birth year of Bland Ballard). Researching these lines is extremely difficult due to the loss of records in King and Queen county, Caroline county, and Prince William county.

3. Gregg of Stafford County.

Associates of Thomas Ballard of Stafford county.

4.Head of Orange County.

Benjamin Head was associated with Bland Ballard of Spotsylvania County.

5. Shiflett of Albemarle County.

The Shilflett family that settled in Albemarle county is included here as an allied family, for they traveled the same route from Essex and Caroline (formed 1728 from Essex, King & Queen, and King William counties) into Orange and Albemarle counties as the Ballards that came from that part of Virginia. They also share, with maddening frequency and without explanation, the frequent and repeated use of the name “Bland,” suggesting that they are most likely cousins sharing a common Bland ancestor.

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