The Death of William James Hall Ballard (1840-1895) in Hull, England.

The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.
― Czesław Miłosz, The Issa Valley (2000).

Sometimes it seems this business of genealogy is all about tying up loose ends. The failure to resolve an issue often turns on whether the right question is even being asked to begin with, because if the question is incorrect, the research may be flawed, too. Such is the case of our research of (first conducted in 2016) of William James Hall Ballard, who was born in 14 June 1840 in Orange County, Virginia, the son of Garland Ballard (1798-1851) and Georgianna Blair (1801-1883). Our 2016 research failed to discover what became of him after 1880, where he appeared in the census that year residing in the Burlington Hotel on West 30th Street in New York City. He is identified as a “boarder” and employed as a stockbroker (age 42), and his wife, Mary A. (age 37) appears on the following line. Ancestry’s algorithms don’t recognize them as a family in this instance because of their residence in a hotel. That census shows William and his parents were all born in Virginia, while Mary was born in Vermont, and her parents in New York (Year: 1880; Census Place: New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 880; Page: 131C; Enumeration District: 281).

Garland Ballard (1798-1851), a merchant in Orange County, Virginia, was the son of James Ballard, Sr (1767-1853) and Anne Rhodes (1775-1852) of Albemarle County, Virginia. James, Sr was the son of Thomas Horace Ballard (c. 1732-1804) and Mary Elizabeth Ballard (born c. 1730, died bef. 1802), and Thomas Horace was the son of Thomas Ballard (c. 1711-1782) of Albemarle. It isn’t clear (to this researcher) which wife of the first Thomas (assuming we haven’t conflated two individuals) was the mother of which children, or even if he is indeed the Thomas Ballard active in Caroline County, Virginia in the 1740s (the Thomas present in Caroline was married to a woman named Sarah). We do know that Thomas Ballard “of Caroline County” acquired a patent in 1738 in Hanover County in a section that became Albemarle County, and sold that land in 1758, then joined by his wife Susannah, who is identified in most genealogies as Susannah Hesson (we have not verified her maiden name in any primary sources).

We started this inquiry intending to discover the source of the name “Horace” in this line (as is the case of the Susannah mentioned above, we’ve seen no primary records, only secondary sources) but got distracted by our loose ends concerning William J.H. Ballard. So what became of him?

In 1850 he appears (age 10) in the household of his parents Garland and Georgianna with his sisters Helen P. and Janette. (The National Archives in Washington D.C.; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census; Record Group Number: 29; Series Number: M432; Residence Date: 1850; Home in 1850: Orange, Virginia; Roll: 967; Page: 258b). The family’s fortunes changed dramatically in the intervening 10 years — Garland died in 1851, but the family had sufficient means to send William to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where he earned his A.B. degree in 1857 ( U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012). By 1860 William is living in New York City in the household of his older sister, Helen (The National Archives in Washington D.C.; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census; Record Group Number: 29; Series Number: M653; Residence Date: 1860; Home in 1860: New York Ward 9 District 1, New York, New York; Roll: M653_797; Page: 948; Family History Library Film: 803797), who had married 10 January 1855 John D. Lawson (1816-1896) (Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA; Virginia Marriages, 1853-1935). John D. Lawson was a successful merchant who later served one term representing New York’s 8th District in the United States House of Representatives (Wikipedia).

John D. Lawson’s sister, Sarah Ann Lawson, had married William’s uncle James Ballard (1813-1881) who removed to New York City c. 1840.

In 1866 William married May Anna Beardsley of St. Alban’s, Vermont, the daughter of Herman and Abigail Beardsley. The marriage record gives her age as 24, which corresponds with subsequent census records showing her birth c. 1842 (New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; State of Vermont. Vermont Vital Records through 1870). However, the 1870 census shows Wm Ballard, born c. 1842 in Maryland (no occupation listed) and Annie Ballard, also born c. 1842 in Vermont (US Federal Census, Year: 1870; Census Place: New York Ward 21 District 21, New York, New York; Roll: M593_1010; Page: 625B. The building they lived in that year shows a remarkable diversity of incomes and occupations — among them a retired cotton manufacturer from Massachusetts, a mining operator from New York, a portrait painter from New York, assorted clerks and domestics from all over, including South Carolina, Georgia and Connecticut, and a few residents from Ireland and England.

Through the 1870s the couple made near annual crossings to Liverpool; in each instance William’s occupation is listed as “merchant” (see, for example, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Year: 1872; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 47; List Number: 864). In the 1880 federal census, as already noted, William gave his occupation as “stockbroker”; from that year, we drew a blank absent discovery of his tombstone in at Greenwood Cemetery in St. Alban’s, Vermont bearing only “W.J.H. Ballard”, with no dates. His widow is also interred there, her stone of similar design reading “M. Anna Ballard”. We learn from her death certificate that she was living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and never remarried; her parents, Herman Ruggles Beardsley (1800-1878) and Abigail S. Webb Beardsley (1808-1874) are also interred at this cemetery ( U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012). William and Anna apparently had no children.

Georgianna Blair Ballard’s 1883 will named only her daughters; the omission of William suggested that he had pre-deceased her, but now we learn that is not the case. The numerous crossings to Liverpool suggested business dealings in England, and a search of English newspapers revealed notice of William’s untimely death in the city of Hull on 1 June 1895 where he served as United States Consul (“Sad Death of a Hull Consul”, Hull Express, Saturday, 8 June 1895, p. 6, col. 3). He had a distinguished career, and we’re thankful to know a little more of his story — and his end.


The Life Story of Rev. John H. Ballard, 1924.

Directing our attention to other branches of the Lineage Group I Ballards, we’ve been focused on the families that migrated from Virginia to North Carolina and Tennessee. There are at least three men in the Ballard DNA project that trace to John Ballard (born c. 1755) and Elizabeth James.

While trying to make sense of the families that settled around Buncombe County, North Carolina, Roane County, Tennessee and other parts of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, by chance we looked at a story uploaded to Ancestry by a user (regrettably we did not make a note of the source) called the Life Story of Rev. John H. Ballard, 1924, which describes Reverend Ballard’s descent from John Ballard and Miss James. The most striking information he relayed, however, is that John Ballard and Miss James raised twelve children — ten boys and two girls. Unfortunately, he knew the name of only one of those sons — his own grandfather, Joseph (1794-1884), and the married names of the two girls — Aldrage, who settled in Macon County, North Carolina, and Byrd, who settled in Yancey County, North Carolina.

We have not been able to identify the daughter who married Mr. Byrd, but we find that on 1 April 1825 a Susan Ballard married Francis Aldridge in Roane County, Tennessee, and they removed to Scott County, Virginia sometime before 1850; the 1850 federal census for Scott County enumerates Francis Aldridge, Sr, age 68 (born in North Carolina); Susan Aldridge, age 52 (born in Tennessee), Isaac N. Aldridge, age 14; Susannah Aldridge, age 16; Sarah E. Aldridge, age 12; and John M. Aldridge, age 11; the children all born in North Carolina). By 1860, Francis Aldridge, Sr had died and his widow resided in the household of their daughter Susannah, son Isaac N. Aldridge in Scott County, Virginia with is wife Nancy J. (Lane) Aldridge and their son Ira. The fact that Francis Aldridge is identified as “Sr” indicates that he had a son Francis, and we find also in Scott County, Virginia a Francis Aldridge, Jr who was born in Kentucky about 1824 (age 26; perhaps the enumerated transcribed the two, given the marriage in 1825; Francis was probably born in 1826), showing that Francis and Susan briefly resided in Kentucky.

But what of the nine other sons of John Ballard? One clue is the name Isaac N. (probably “Isaac Newton”, but we don’t have proof of that), used by Francis and Susan Aldridge; the name “Newton” also appears in John H. Ballard’s family, for he had a brother named Joseph Newton Ballard (1853-1935). There was also a Newton Ballard, born 1804 in Tennessee and found in Roane County in 1830 (spelled “Nuton” that year), but removed to Cooper County, Missouri by 1840 when he appeared there in that year’s census (“Newton Ballad”). We believe Newton Ballard is another son of John Ballard and Elizabeth James. In fact, a researcher noted in an online message group that

John Ballard lived in Roane County, Tenn from about 1826 to 1839, when he and his son Newton moved to Cooper CO, Missouri where they both appear on the 1840 Census. John is then listed as  70+ years old. The inspiration for the name Newton Ballard, apparently came from Rev. George Newton, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Swannanoa, just east of Asheville in Buncombe County, and was also the founder of Newton’s Accademy in Asheville. Rev Newton later moved to Tennessee.

A biography of George Newton appears in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography and is posted online, with a copyright notice prohibiting further distribution. The biography corroborates the statements of the researcher noted above concerning Rev. Newton.

The 1840 federal census for Cooper County, Missouri does show “John Ballad” as head of a household comprised of one male age 5-9; one male age 20-29; one male age 70-79, and one female age 60-69. The eldest male would have been born between 1761 and 1770, and the eldest female between 1771 and 1780, making her too young to be the mother of the Thomas Ballard who married Elisabeth Dalton, or the William Ballard born in 1781 (more on them below) which has us wondering that if Elizabeth James had died and this is a second wife whose name we do not know.

Another likely son of John Ballard and Elizabeth James is the William Ballard (1781-1852) who was born in Virginia and died in Roane County, Tennessee; married Mary Polly Eblen (1787-1849). While we have not yet found direct evidence, the circumstances and vicinity argue for this being another son of John and Elizabeth.

Yet another possibility is the Thomas Ballard (born c. 1780) who married Elisabeth Dalton in Rutherford, North Carolina on 26 May 1801; they had two sons, Lewis and Thomas. One researcher on Ancestry gives Thomas’ middle name as “James”, but we have not found proof of this assertion. A Charles Ballard appears in the 1830 federal census in Roane County, Tennessee, but we have not found him in any other record. There are other candidates in other counties, but we haven’t found sufficient proof to argue that they are sons of John Ballard and Elizabeth James, though there are several trees on Ancestry that claim a number of men as sons and many more daughters than what we learn from John H Ballard’s history.

But what of the first John Ballard’s ancestry? We believe his is the son of the John Ballard who pre-deceased his father, Thomas Ballard, whose will dated 30 June 1779 and recorded 9 May 1782 stated, in part:

I give and Devide to my sons Thomas Ballard & Bland Ballard and their heirs for ever all this my land they suffering my daughter- in-law, Mourning Ballard to live on, use and occupy that part of it whereon she now lives during her natural Life and I will and …. the land to be equally divided between them so that Bland enjoy that part whereon he now lives.

We learn that Mourning is the widow of John Ballard from a document that appears in the records of Buncombe County, North Carolina, proving the existence of the will (now lost) of John Ballard, son of Thomas and husband of Mourning:

Know all men by these presance that I Samuel Ballard of the county of Buncombe and the state of North Carolina do hereby bargain, sell, convey and transfer unto Robert Patton of the said county and state for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty Spanish Mill dollars to me in hand paid by the said Robert Patton the receipt where of is here by acknowledged for all my right title and claim to all that legacy or heirship left or bequeathed to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony which legacy is to become due to me at the death of my mother Morning Ballard. I do hereby vest said Robert Patton and his heirs with full power and lawful authority to ask, receive, sue for and recover and to appropriate to his own use or to the use of his heirs all that estate or legacy with real or personal bequeathed to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony and to all intents and purposes I do place said Patton and his heirs in my room and sted as heir to that whole legacy to me bequeathed by my father in as full and as ample a manner as I myself am or could be by virtue of sd last will and testimony or by virtue of law & further suit all claim sd legacy warranting, defending it to sd Patton and his heirs from myself and my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns from all other person and persons claiming my right as heir to my devidend of sd estate, given under my hand this 20th day December 1798.  Test : Aaron Patton, George Newton

Buncombe Co. North Carolina Deed Book 3, p. 198.

Also in Buncombe County appears “a deed or letter of Attorney from John Ballard to Robert Patton for all that part of his father John Ballard’s estate that was bequeathed to him by the last will of John Ballard, deceased, was proved in open court by the Reverend George Newton, One of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” January Court 1800, Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 98. This confirms that both Samuel Ballard and John Ballard were associates of George Newton (there was only one George Newton residing in Buncombe County, according to the 1800 federal census), and were the sons of the John Ballard and his wife Mourning from Albemarle County, Virginia.

Excerpted below is the first few paragraphs of the Life History of Rev. John H. Ballard. You may view the entire document here.


JOHN H. BALLARD, in the eightieth year of my age, will endeavor to write a short autobiography of my life, with a brief, traditional history of my ancestors. Ballard is said to be a Welch name, from which other names have been derived, as Bollard, Bullard, etc. Some spell it with one I, while it is usually spelled with two l’s. Some accent the last syllable, while others pronounce it as though it was spelled Ballard, accenting the last syllable.

At some unknown date, but soon after the Revolutionary war, there was one, John Ballard, a soldier who fought for our independence, who migrated from Virginia and settled in Powell’s Valley (which is now in the state of Tennessee). The said John Ballard had married one Miss James, by whom he raised twelve children, ten boys and two girls. One of the girls married a man by the name of Aldrage, of Macon County, North Carolina. The other girl married a man by the name of Byrd, of Yancey county, North Carolina. Of the boys I know nothing except for one, Joseph, my grandfather who was born November 9, 1794, and died November, 1884, being 90 years old. The said Joseph Ballard married Sallie Arwood, a daughter of one James Arwood, a Pennsylvanian who served in the Continental army during the Revolutionary struggle for independence. He first served under Washington in the North, being in the battle of Monmouth and others. He, with others, was afterwards transferred to the South, where they fought under Generals Green and Marion and was in the battle at King’s Mountain, and many skirmishes with the Indians and Tories. The said James Arwood altefwards [sic] married one Miss Bryan, and entered on and bought a large boundary of land on the Paint Fork of Little Ivy, which is now in Madison county, N.C., where he settled and raised a large family of boys and three girls. The boys with one exception were frequently drunk and fighting, and thus reduced their father to poverty paying them out of difficulties, and yet when said boys were sober they were tender hearted and inclined to be religious. ‘Ere long the old soldier, my great grandfather Arwood died at the advanced age of 100 years in poverty, while his wife lived to be 102 years old.

Joseph Ballard and wife, my grandparents, raised seven children: first, Susanah; second, John; third, David; fourth, James; fifth, Elizabeth; sixth, George; seventh, Ruth. David Ballard, my father; was born April 25, 1823 A. D. and lived to be almost 83 years old.

Said David Ballard married Vian Harwood, daughter of Squire Harwood, who had married Miss Sallie Dewese, daughter of Rev. Garret Dewese, who was one of the pioneer preachers of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. David Ballard and wife raised eight children: first, John Henry; second, James Robert; third, Sarah Louisa; fourth, Squire Washington; fifth, Joseph Newton; sixth, Erner Lucinda; seventh, David Alexander; eighth, William Woodard. John H. Ballard, the writer, was born October 23, 1844, A. D., on the waters of Jacks Creek, in Yancey county, N. C., and was removed from place to place until his father was able to purchase land of his own, his first purchase being on Gabriel’s Creek, a tributary of Big Ivy in Madison county, N. C. He soon sold said land and bought a mountain farm, on the north prong of Reems Creek, in Buncombe county, N. C. where I have my first recollection. We remained there until I was six years old, and attended one short session of school taught by one Mrs.

Hughey. At that age I was so timid that I could scarcely talk enough to recite my lessons. About the year 1850 my father sold his land on Reems Creek and bought land and moved to Mountain Creek in Cherokee county, now Graham County, about one mile from Robensville, the county seat, where we remained about two years and had no opportunity for schools or churches, it being a backwoods settlement and our neighbors being mostly Cherokee Indians. And yet with these disadvantages before I was eight years old, and scarcely able to read the New Testament, I had some religious impressions, and perhaps would have accepted Christ as my personal Savior at that early age, if I could have had the proper encouragement, but while my parents were strictly moral, they were neither of them religious at the time.

After two years my father sold his property there and moved back to Buncombe county, and bought land on the South fork of Reem’s Creek, where I had the advantage of Sunday schools, and short terms of public schools, about two months each autumn. The balance of the year I had to look after the stock, and the labor on the farm, but while I had some advantages, I was often surrounded with wicked associates and my head grew hard, notwithstanding I had frequent awakenings, and felt very serious, under the preaching of the gospel, or when attending funerals, and yet with an open Bible before me, and with the moving of God’s spirit pressing for my heart’s affection, I stubbornly resisted His overtures until I was almost eighteen years old, while I was always under the conviction that I was resisting the power that sought my well-being, while by force of will I had overcome my natural timidity. I was full of levity and being a pretty good mimic, I spent much time in rude company, mimicking preachers and politicians who frequently stumped the county, either Whig or Democratic. Often while mocking the preacher I would choke with emotion, my own words bringing conviction to my heart. This pastime was not because of any disrespect I had towards the preachers, as I always did respect the man who condemned sin, and espoused the cause of Jesus Christ. Perhaps my negligence about being religious was the reasoning of Satan, who prompted me to think that religion was morbid, and full of gloom and doubt. Something seemed to say to me, “You are destined for a long life, get pleasure out of the world. You see your parents, while very moral, are still worldly-minded, striving by all honest means to make money, giving themselves no rest day or night, and while they often counsel you to be moral and law abiding, they seldom if ever say anything to you about being religious. You are likely to live to be old; religion is more suitable for the old people. See you parents are not uneasy, your grandfather is not religious yet, and you need not wonder at your grandmother’s piety, as she is sorely afflicted, being paralyzed as she is, it behooves her to be religious and if your great grand parents, who have reached the century mark, are religious, you have never heard them say anything about it, so be contented until you grow old and decrepit. Religion is only meant to keep people from going to hell anyway.”

On the 15th day of July, 1862, A. D., it was my privilege to hear a sermon by one James Jones of the Methodist church, who seemed to preach directly to me, which produced great seriousness on my mind, and while striving to get rid of my convictions that afternoon, I had a narrow escape form death. A tree fell on my brother and myself, crippling my brother and killing the horse which he was riding, while I and my horse escaped with minor injuries. I believe that said accident, as it is called, was Providential to make my conviction permanent for from that day on my struggle was intense, until I found peace.

I made the mistake that thousands of others make, by trying to bring myself into favor with God, by much prayer and good works, and thus I continued for about three months. About this time Rev. W. W. Ramsey and others held a protracted meeting, when with experienced Christians as instructors. I was enabled by faith to accept Christ as my personal Savior, realizing that He had paid the penalty for all who would come to God with repentance and faith in the atonement. I was converted on the 15th day of October, 1862. The next thing to do then was to decide on what church to unite with, my people being mostly of Missionary Baptist sentiment, and that church was very prosperous in the community, as also were the Methodist and Presbyterian, the Free Will Baptist on the other hand, was very weak. While I agree with the larger Baptist church on the mode of baptism, yet the communion question settled my convictions, and on the 14th day of December in the year 1862, I was baptized and united with the

Free Will Baptist church at Union Valley, Buncombe county, N. C. Believing that the Lord required the labors of even the weakest talents in his vineyard, I began at once to assist in prayer meetings, to visit the sick, and converse with the unsaved of the neighborhood, with some success among the young people, to whom I confined my labors almost exclusively. Here a sudden trouble comes into my life. The Civil War is on. The young men are volunteering, and going into the Confederate army. What shall I do? I am of Revolutionary descent. My father is an uncompromising union man. I hold a conference with my father, the decision is for me to stay at home as long as possible, rather than raise arms against the flag and union for which our fathers fought, but, on the conscript law comes to take all from 18 to 45 years of age. I was small and beardless so I kept my age a secret for a time. The war went on and I was taken to camp, but I refused to take the prescribed oath, so after much wrangling with threats to send me to Castle Thunder, a prison at Richmond, Virginia. Eventually Captain Wm. Fortune decided to arm me and place me in his company as a private, where I remained for a short time then took another soldier, younger than myself, Henry Bias, by name, and we made our way through the mountains into East Tennessee, and joined the Federal army, where I served under the Star Spangled Banner, as a corporal in Company C Third Regiment North Carolina Infantry volunteers, having bid my parents good-bye, determined to take the course I did, with the decision that if the South should succeed in establishing a Confederacy, I would never return to the old home again. With this decision of course it was a sad parting. Of the part I took in the war I shall say but little, suffice it to say I tried to make a good soldier, participated in several minor engagements and was exposed to the cold on a battlefield, contracting a cold which resulted in bronchitis and caused me to spend some time in a hospital. Said trouble left me an invalid from which I have never fully recovered, (and for which I received a pension after the war.) However I recovered sufficiently to return to my command and serve my company as secretary, making out all the payrolls, etc., until discharged by general order at Knoxville, Tennessee, on the 8th day of August, 1865. So much for my war record. I have said but little about it because I detest war and think all controversies should be settled by arbitration instead of war, however, the Civil war settled two questions, viz: Slavery and State Supremacy. Soon after my return to my home I met a young school Miss, by the name of Mattie J. Honeycutt, daughter of Rev. Stephen Honeycutt. My acquaintance with the school Miss soon ripened into love and courtship, and notwithstanding my physical disability, we decided to enter into matrimony, and on the 23rd day of September, 1866 A. D., we were married by Rev. Jno. Arwood at the residence of the bride’s father in Yancey county. This union proved to be a happy one and to it was born nine children as follows: first, Hester Ann; second, Loretta Leticia; third, Theodore Vasco; fourth, Virgil Adkins; fifth, Channey Marks; sixth, John Bunyan; seventh, Benjamin Randall; eighth, Curtis Nichols; ninth, Effie Haselton. . . .

Life History of John H. Ballard, 1924

James Ballard and Mary Kelsey, in Equity in Kershaw County, South Carolina (1827).

Continuing our survey of the Kershaw County, South Carolina Equity Rolls, we came across a suit brought by James Ballard and Mary his wife against her mother, Sarah in 1826 (who subsequently married David A. Moore in 1827). Sarah’s late husband William Kelsey died “last April or early in May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five;” Sarah was named administratrix and disposed of the estate, but apparently kept all the proceeds, for she failed to convey funds owed Mary and her brother and sisters William, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Jane and Suckey (who married Thomas Gardner). By law, since William died intestate (that is, without a will), Sarah would have been entitled to 1/3 of the estate, and the remainder belonged to William’s children.

In 1791, South Carolina revised its intestacy law. As noted by John E. Crowley, in “Family Relations and Inheritance in Early South Carolina” (Histoire sociale — Social History, Vol. XVII, No. 33, May 1984, pp. 35-57):

Relative to other states, South Carolina’s reform of inheritance law was distinctly liberal. South Carolina differed from virtually all the other states in the thoroughness of its reassessment of traditional attitudes toward the relations of property and family. After the Revolution, the new state went furthest in giving family members equal property rights. Its reformed inheritance law had the least patrimonial and patrilineal definition of kinship and it made the fullest break with English conceptions of the intergenerational relations of family and property. The revision of its intestacy law in 1791 made little distinction in the distribution of real and personal property: sons and daughters shared equally, and, far more striking, widows received outright ownership of one-third of the estate’s real property rather than just lifetime use of it. A widow could still claim dower in lieu of any legacy by testament, but in doing so she would be giving up new possibilities of independence with property.

John E. Crowley, “Family Relations and Inheritance in Early South Carolina” (Histoire social — Social History, Vol. XVII, No. 33, May 1984, pp.38-39 (citations omitted).

While the outcome of the case doesn’t really concern us, the record does contain a wealth of genealogical information — it recites that William was a posthumous child, born eight months after the death of his father in April or May of 1825; that sisters Elizabeth and Rebecca had married and moved to another part of the state, but the complainants do not know the names of their husbands or where in the state they could be found. Not knowing such vital information about Elizabeth and Rebecca suggest that James and Mary were residing some distance away, likely in Georgia, where so many Southern families settled to take advantage of the land lotteries that arose following the termination of Indian rights there — and where their eldest children were born (Elizabeth, c. 1820 and Isaac, c. 1822), according to census records.

An excerpt of the initial complaint is transcribed at the end of this post.

Knowing Mary’s maiden name is Kelsey provides a link to (and confirmation of) a family enumerated in the 1850 census in Clarke County, Mississippi. Due to an indexing quirk on Ancestry, James Ballard and Mary Ballard, both age 46, both born in South Carolina c. 1804 appear at the bottom of one page, numbered 313 in the upper right corner, and their children Samuel (age 19, born in South Carolina), Elizabeth (age 16, born in South Carolina), William (age 12, born in Alabama) and Reuben (age 27, born in Alabama) appear on the following page (numbered 314 in the upper left corner). We probably have an error here by the enumerator; in the subsequent 1860 and 1870 federal census, Reuben’s place of birth is given as South Carolina. Most importantly, however, is the fact that the full name of the youngest son is “William Kelsey (or Kelsie) Ballard”, so we are informed by a researcher studying this branch of the Ballard family (Ancestry records show only that his middle initial is “K”). We were informed of William’s full name before finding equity suit.

Where do these two “fit?” We’ve established that the James Ballard who married Jincey and died in 1820 in Kershaw was the son of Thomas Ballard (1751-1843) who married Elizabeth Graham (c. 1755-c. 1798). At one time we believed that this James (born c. 1804) was the son of James Ballard (c. 1778-c. 1853) and Martha Brady (c. 1787-c.1860), but we now believe that he was the son of John Ballard (c. 1765-1838) who left a will recorded in Union County, South Carolina, and that James who married Martha Brady is the son of John Ballard and Elizabeth James of Tennessee. Diverse records point to the family spending time in Georgia before settling in Alabama, then Mississippi. More on that later, as more sources are developed.

The State of South Carolina, Camden District }  In Equity

To the Honorable Waddy Thompson and Henry W. Dessafanes (?) Esquires Chancellors of the State of South Carolina.

Humbly complaining shew unto your Honors your Orator and Oratrix James Ballard and Mary his wife and your Orator William Kelsey; that William Kelsey formerly of Kershaw District and state aforesaid departed this life intestate about the last of April or early in May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five possessed at the time of his death of some valuable real and personal estate in the said District of Kershaw and state aforesaid, and leaving his wife Sarah Kelsey and his children your Oratrix then Mary Kelsey, Elizabeth Kelsey, Rebecca Kelsey, Jane Kelsey, Suckey Kelsey now intermarried with Thomas Gardner; that the said Elizabeth Kelsey and Rebecca Kelsey are married and reside in the lower part of this state but where they live with certainty or what in the name of their respective husbands your orator and oratrix do not know.  That your orator William Kelsey is a posthumous child of the intestate and was born within eight months after the death of the intestate father.  Your orator and oratrix further sheweth unto your Honors that the said Sarah Kelsey soon after the death of her husband the intestate obtained from the Court of Ordinary of Kershaw District in the said state, Letters of Administration of all and singular the goods and chattels rights and credits which were of and belonging to the said William Kelsey took possession of the whole personal of the Intestate that the notes and accounts due to the intestate and which came into the hands of the said Sarah Kelsey to be administered amounted to two hundred and twenty nine Dollars and upwards as appears by a return filed in the office of the Court of Ordinary of Kershaw District by the said Sarah Kelsey, a copy of which is herewith filed as Exhibit A.  That it appears by said return that the said Sarah as administratrix was in possession of said notes and accounts before the twenty ninth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five.  That on the twenty seventh day of July in the same year the said Sarah Kelsey as administratrix as aforesaid sold the personal estate of the said William Kelsey deceased goods, chattels, negroes and effects to the account of at least twelve hundred and eighty in Dollars and Twenty nine cents but your orator and oratrix believe that they will be able to shew that said sale amounts to thirteen hundred and five Dollars and seventy eight cents a return of which said sale was afterwards filed by the said administratrix in the Ordinary’s Office of Kershaw District of copy of which said return is contained in Exhibit A herewith filed, which said Exhibit as your orator and oratrix pray leave to have reference to as often as they may deem necessary in this case.  Your orator and oratrix further sheweth unto your Honor that they are informed and believe that the notes and accounts due to the said William Kelsey at the time of his death were good debts and the persons owing them were solvent and this they expect to  prove if as this court should deem this proof necessary on their part; and the said debts they believe have been collected and such of them as have got they charge to believe to have been lost by the neglect of the said administratrix and no charges the part to be that the said Sarah Kelsey the administratrix about the latter part of the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven intermarried with David A. Moore.  That from the time of the death of the intestate the said Sarah occupied the bed the full possession thereof, and by grant and profits of the real estate of the intestate …

Kershaw County, South Carolina Equity Rolls, Roll No. 258

Ex Parte Jincey Ballard, Administratrix for James Ballard, dec’d, filed April 27th, 1824

We have, of late, been studying the records of South Carolina, particularly the Ballard families of that removed there from Albemarle County, Virginia in the 1770s.  Readers of this space know that records survive showing that several sons of John Ballard (c. 1719-1780) removed to South Carolina — namely his sons Thomas, David, John and Bland — but this researcher hasn’t devoted much energy to searching there until now.  

The FamilySearch website has buried in it many diverse records that can be difficult to find, but persistence pays off.  A large number of them aren’t indexed by computer, so one must search the microfilm images that appear as individual tiles.  Paper indexes (if they exist) are included in the files, which are presented as they were scanned in the 1950s.  One such microfilm is identified as coming from the South Carolina Court of Ordinary, Bound Volumes – Collection Record 1671-1977, Kershaw County Wills.  This microfilm actually contains three volumes:

  • Wills No. A1: 1782-1823
  • Wills No. 1: 1812-1824
  • Wills No. A: 1840-1868

Each has an index at the front of the volume.  However, while scrolling through trying to make sense of how to search the volume, when stopping on one page at random (image No. 200 of the microfilm), we happened upon an estate record for Lewis Ballard who died in 1817, the son of William Ballard of Orange County, North Carolina (c. 1734-1819) (we’ll save this item for another day).  This estate was not included in the index for the volume.  Which begs the question — which other estates are not indexed?  

The only way to answer this question was to page through the entire 807 images in the collection, and the effort was rewarded with the discovery of the record of the Estate of James Ballard, which was probated in 1821.  The estate record doesn’t reveal much about James or his life, other than he probably attended services at Beaver Church (the records of which unfortunately do not survive), and that he probably died in December 1820, given that the estate was opened January 5, 1821.

South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes 1671-1977, Kershaw County Wills, 1782-1868, p. 415

Estate of James Ballard

[p. 415]

State of South Carolina, Kershaw District }

By Thomas Salmond Esquire Ordinary of Kershaw District.

Whereas Jincey Ballard has applied to me for Letters of Administration, on all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits of James Ballard late of the District aforesaid, deceased.  These and therefore to cite and admonish all and secular, the kindred and creditors of the said deceased, to be and appear before me at our next Ordinary Court for the said district, to be holden at my office in Camden on Friday the twenty-sixth day of January next, to shew cause, if any, why the said administration should not be granted.

Given under my hands and Seal, this fifth day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty one and in the forty fifth year of American Independence.

Thos: Salmond {Seal}

This citation read by me to the congregation at Beaver Church on Sunday the 21st January 1821.  Charles Ingram, Pastor

[p. 416]

State of South Carolina, Kershaw District

In the Court of Ordinary Monday 16th April 1821.

I do solemnly swear that James Ballard, deceased, died without any will, as far as I know or believe; and that I will well and truly administer all and singular the goods and chattels rights and credits of the said deceased, and pay all his just debts, as far as the same will extend and the law require me; and that I will make a true and proper inventory of all the said goods and chattels rights and credits, and return a just account thereof when thereunto required.  So help me God.  

— Jincey Ballard

Sworn to before me Tho: Salmond

May the 11th 1821

Inventory of the goods & chattels of James Ballard Dec’d 

[there follows a list of households goods, livestock; no slaves]

We the appraisers do certify the above to be just and true.

Filed 17 May 1821.  Signed: John Bell, John Summervill, Hugh Summervill, David Ballard.

However, another record provides more information and context.  Jincey or Jincy (a diminutive of “Jane”) Ballard brought a suit in Equity against Samuel Caston to recover several slaves in his possession that Jincey believed belonged to her late husband’s estate.  This record is among Equity Court Records, 1791-1892.  We did not find this case in the index, either, but happened upon reference to it from the website of the Race & Slavery Petitions Project when conducting an Internet search for Jincey Ballard, which allowed us to find the file using the reference on the site.

We know from Thomas Ballard’s Revolutionary War Pension file that Samuel Caston of Lancaster County, South Carolina had married Thomas’ daughter, Susanna.  James Ballard had turned to Samuel Caston for help in 1809, when he obtained a mortgage against several slaves — including the slave named Sylvia who is the subject of the suit in equity.  He had borrowed $1,635.00 (a considerable sum), secured by assorted property, including “two negroes, viz, one negro woman named Sylvey about twenty-two years of age, one woman named Julett about eighteen years old with future increase of the females …” The return of the property conditioned on the payment of $1,817.50.  Dated 7 July 1809, recorded 20 July 1809, Kershaw Co. SC Deed Book F, p. 90.

A transcription of the suit follows (the spelling in the original document is used; some words could not be deciphered and are indicated by ???). 

Ex Parte Jincy Ballard, Administratrix of James Ballard

Petition. Filed April 27th 1824

I do certify that I have this day served Stephen D. Miller Esq. the Solicitor for Samuel Caston in the case written ??? with a copy of this petition & a motion indorsed thereon that the same has been filed and that on Friday next I would apply for the same to be read & for counsel to be heard on it & that a motion would thereupon be read to have the case off Jincy Ballard admin of James Ballard or Samuel Caston docketed & for such order to be made thereon that the said Jincy should have the benefit of a trial or rehearing in the court of law.

— C. Lecy

Sworn to before me this 27th April 1824

— Thomas T. Willisson

[p. 2]

On this evidence the presiding judge dismissed the bill of the aggrieved complaints claim to redeem the said negroes, to have the same reconvened to the representatives of her intestate; but sustained it so far as to order an account between the parties.

From this decision of his Honor the presiding Judge your Petitioner appealed for a new trial, or for a reversal of the decree of his Honor the presiding judge.

On the said case being called for hearing before your Honor, it appeared that the presiding judged from having lost his notes taken on the trial, was not able to give a full & detailed account of the evidence.  So that the merits of your petitioners claim for a new hearing or for a new trial several of the decree, was never fairly before your Honor, and application was therefore dismissed.

Your petitioner humbly suggests that on this state of things the case should have been sent back in order that the same should be re-heard & the evidence again obtained to be presented to your Honor.  & she concedes that by the accidental occurrence of the loss of the notes of the presiding judge she has been deprived of her just and equitable rights; & suffered great oppression.  Your petitioner feeling conscious that she has been placed in this situation by accident & from your honors not having proper information as to the merits of her claims, I humbly ??? upon that high ??? of justice which your honorable court has always manifested in the exercise of its powers.

[p. 3]

Pray your Honors that her case may be reinstated on the docket of your court of appeals, and that such order may be made thereon as will give to your petitioner the benefit of a new hiring of her case.

And your Petitioner will pray

— Lecy Furcoillie (?) for Petitioner Jincy Ballard

[p. 4]

Jincy Ballard admix v. Samuel Caston, Bill in Equity

??? testimony of the principal witness who was examined in the case; and I had little or no doubt but the court would leave made a decree in favor of the complainant.  In enter ?  injury ?? conversed with a number of the other attorneys, who were present at the trial of the case, and there was not one of other who differed with me, in the opinion which I had formed.  I have made this statement at the request of the attorneys who were engaged over the lack of the complainant, and with no discussion for the opinion of the judge who tried the case.  For his ??? and integrity I am certain the … (???) 

— Jono G. Caston (?)

March 10th 1824

[p. 5]

Jincy Ballard admx } Bill in Equity

of Jas. Ballard Dec’d } For negroes — Sylvia

vs. Samuel Cason } & 4 children —

I was present as a witness and heard the testimony of the witnesses and was clearly of the african (?) the sale of the complainants was made out and that the decree aught to have been in her favor and such has been the opinion of all the persons with whom I have conversed which has been many —

— Geo. M. Perry, J.P.

[p. 6]

State of South Carolina }

Kershaw District }

We the undersigned do swear or affirm according to the best of our recollection that the within testimony is that which was given in the trial of the case of J. Ballard Admix of J. Ballard vs. Sam Caston — and according to our opinions and that of all the persons with whom we have conversed in this the case of the complainants was fully proved.

Sworn to this 11th day of } Wm McWilliam

March 1824 before me } Alexander Caston

William B. Hart }

J.P. }

[pp. 7-8]

Proved that Ballard and Caston entered into the following agreement to wit — that Ballard shall pay 60 or 70 dollars witness was not certain which for the hire of the negroes during that year of which $60 was then paid — which witness considered to be in lieu or place of interest on the money paid out by defendant — Ballard then says it was the last year he would pay him for his own negroes and asked Caston the defendant if he would take cotton in payments of the redemption money or price of said negroes, — Cason said he would.  Ballard then say’d that in the course of three or four months he would let him have the cotton — and Caston afterwards in the December (?) of 18th told witness he had received the said cotton an witness asking him if Ballard had payed the cotton — and that the negroes had constantly from the year 1812 to 1820 remained in possession of plaintiff and her intestate — Nathaniel Barber

Sworn to before me Thos. D. Barr J.P.

George Perry Esq. on the part of the complainant proved — that in January 1816 — he was at Castons and Ballard came then — and Ballard and Caston went out together and witness was called on to witness the conversation — Caston said the money must be paid — Ballard said he could not pay it then — Caston said if I have the money to pay I will keep the negroes — Ballard then says Caston would you keep my four negroes for $450 — Caston then said pay up the money and I have no further demands against you — Ballard said he could sell one of the negro boys Reuben for $500 to Mr Thompson, and that the girl was work $400, besides the woman and child — Ballard then said keep the negroes under your covers to prevent other creditors from demanding and taking them — for he knew if he then payed up then money and took them out of Castons hand then they would take them for some of his debts — Caston to this proposition made no answer — nor did he object — and witness from all that occurred was left under the impression that Caston was to continue to hold the negroes for the benefit of Ballard.

— Geo. M. Perry J.P.

Capt. Deacon Graham — Heard a conversation between R. Patterson one of Ballards creditors and defendant — in which Patterson sayd to Defendant he aught to give up the negroes to Ballard — as he had payed him for them — Patterson further observed that he had let Ballard have $150 for the purpose of redeeming said negroes — Casting hen said he got just $100 of it — Patterson said to defendant he had gotten on the same account 3 bags of cotton, which defendant admitted — Patterson asked what is sold for Canton said at the rate of $30 per ??? — stated defendant was groggy but not so mi?? so as not to know what he was doing or how to tell the truth.

Thomas Ballard — Proved that he hauled a wagon load of seed cotton and a waggon load of picked cotton and delivered it to Canton for Ballard — in 1816 is satisfied that is the year from the number of years he successfully did for his father and others — the cotton must have been three bags — 

Benjamin Bineham on the part of the defendant proved that the sale was made in the year 1812 — and that the woman and Reuben the only child she then had brought $350 — The sale was a fair one as to price — but from the character of the negroes they were cheap — at the time of the sale Caston had the oldest execution in his office (as his witness was their Sheriff) against Ballard — and insisted on having a credit on the same for the price of the negroes — which the other creditors of Ballard resisted and afterwards succeeded in having Caston’s judgments set aside as fraudulent — and the money was applyed to other executions against Ballard.  Ben: Bingham, Sworn before Thos. V. Evans

John Ballard for defendant proved that in 1818 or 1819 he was requested by Caston to call on Ballard and tell him if he did not pay up the hire — he Caston would take the negroes.  Ballard sayd he could not help it if he did take them — Ballard stated something about selling the boy to redeem the negroes — that had doubts as to the propriety of doing so as if he did take them out of Caston’s hands the negroes were his — that talked about redeeming them in such a way as to appear to which he had a right to do so — That Caston had had the negroes two years in which time the boy Reuben had died — and further stated that Ballard was a very careless man and wanted to cover his property —

When which his Honor ordered or deemed the bill to be dismissed as to the claim for the negroes — but to be retained and referred to the Commissioners to settle the accounts between the parties.  Upon which an appeal is taken and the ground that the decree was contrary both to law and the evidence.

— Levy McWilliam

[pp. 9-10]

State of South Carolina }

Camden District }

To the honorable the Judges of the Court of Equity of the said state humbly complaining therewith unto your honors your Orator Jincy Ballard Administratrix of all and singular the goods and chattels rights and estates of James Ballard deceased; that the said James departed this life on the _______ day of _____________ in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seised and possessed of a certain negro woman named Sylvia and her four [sic. – five] children that is Reuben, Rachel, John, Ben, Sealy which said negroes Samuel Caston has since taken out of the possession of the said Jincy pretending that they were his property and that they were hired to the said James Ballard in his lifetime and this right to the said negroes accrued by a purchase of the same at a sale thereof made by the Sherriff of Kershaw District at which he was the purchaser.

But your Orator sheweth unto your honor that the sad purchase was made for the benefit of the said James and that the said Samuel dec’d could act that out and ??? paying to him the purchase money the said negroes should be the property of him the said James and your Orator further sheweth unto your honor that in conformity with the said agreement the said James paid to the said Samuel as our true sixty dollars at another time $1.00 and 3 bags of cotton when cotton was selling at $27 — per hundred weight  derives other payment at other times, the ???  of which is ??? to said oratrix — but your oratrix believes that it was sufficient to pay the said Samuel the amount of money he had leant out in the purchase of the said negroes at the time of the sale aforesaid — your oratrix further sheweth that at d??? time, she hath called on and applyed to the said Samuel to have what amount of money was still due and necessary for the redemption of the said negroes — and your oratrix hath also requested the said Samuel to come to a ??? and fair account with her ??? the said negroes account of money, paid for the said negroes, and also for what is due to her as principal and interest and the same, and your oratrix hath offered and doth ??? by offer to pay unto the said Samuel, with a fair account or installment may be due unto him, and ??? chargeable are the said negroes, ??? after settling the said accounts  — all which the said Samuel refuses to do pretending the legal title tot he said negroes is in himself.

— Levy McWilliam, Court Solicitor

The answer of Samuel Caston to the bill of Jincy Ballard — 

The defendant sayd that on the day of April 1812 — he purchased a negro woman Sylvia and her child Reuben at a Sheriff’s sale in Camden at the property of James Ballard and gave three hundred and fifty dollars and having an older execution against the said James refused to pay the ??? and then explained in words such proceedings we had that he was ??? and completed to pay the purchase m ??? interests and costs, amounting in the whole to ___ hundred and forty-four dollars which is a full price for the said negroes — which was ____ 1814 the negroes remaining in possession of the said James Ballard between the purchase and _____ ??? of the money and as soon as this defendant was compelled to pay the purchase money he told the said James the amount take possession of the said negroes — and the said James told this defendant to send for the said negroes and he would deliver them to him and then defendant paid for the said negroes and they were sent to him — and thereupon the said James came to this defendant and solicited to hire the said negroes from him and this defendant then hired the said negroes, to the said James at the rate of $70 per year — and he paid sixty dollars in part of the price and not in part of the consideration — and says there ?? any condition rs relative to the said purchase made by this defendant — and his right was absolute and unconditional, asd he says that it is absolute by ??? that this defendant consented the sa said James should have a right to redeem the said negroes, as that he agreed to a rent said negroes — after the negroes were sent to this defendant, after the payment of the 

[p. 11]

said sum of money, they were always held under the contract of the said James hiring then the said James never pretending any other claim to this defendant.  The cotton paid this defendant was paid toward the hire of the negroes in eighteen hundred and sixteen and seventeen — the cotton sold for nineteen cents and two pleas were rights ??? and the $100 charged to have been paid on account of the negroes was paid and applyed by this defendant to ?? by a different demand, with this direction of the said James, having this defendant for money ??? loaned, to him this defendant sayd the negroes have procreated from two to five, and are now in the defendants possession, and he denies that he has at any time named any manner at any time an accounting of the hire of the said negroes — and that he has ever agreed to resell the same as that his purchase of the same was a conditional one he says that the said James is still indebted to this defendant for negro hire and other matters to a considerable amount.

— L.D. Miller, Deputy Solicitor

Nathaniel Barber the first witness introduced on the part of the complainant proved that in the latter part of the year 1815 or first of 1816 he was present at a settlement between James Ballard the intestate and defendant where the defendant admitted and stated that’s all the said James owed him was four hundred and fifty or sixty dollars, which was on account of the price of redemption money of the negroes the subject of the present claim which defendant admitted he had bid of for Ballard at the Sheriff sale in 1812 —

[p. 12]

State of South Carolina, Camden District } In Equity

To the Honorable the judges of the Court of Equity of the said state.

The petition of Jincy Ballard administratrix of all and singular the goods and chattels rights of James Ballard dec’d sheath that your petitioner filed her bill in the Court of Equity, for the Equity District of Camden in the said state against Samuel Caston setting forth that the said James Ballard her intestate departed this life in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty, possessed of a negro woman named Sylvia and her children Reuben, Rachell, John, Ben, and Sealy, which said negroes the said Samuel Caston the defendant has since taken out of the possession of your petitioner, pretending that they were his property, and that his right to the same accrued by the purchase of the same at a sale held by Benj’m Bigham as Sheriff of Kershaw District.  The bill of your petitioner further states that the purchase at said sheriff’s sale, was made by said Sam’l Caston, as agent and for the benefit of your petitioner’s intestate, and the agreement was between said Samuel & the intestate, that the said Samuel should reconvey the said negores at any time to said intestate when he should satisfy the said Samuel for the monies he might pay on said purchase.  That in conformity to said agreement the said Jincy Ballard the intestate did pay to the said Samuel

[p. 13]

Caston at the time Sixty Dollars, at another time One Hundred Dollars and three bales of cotton, when cotton was selling at twenty seven dollars per hundred weight, besides other payments at other times, sufficient as your orator believes to satisfy the purchase money.  

The bill further states that your petitioner hath at divers times called on said Samuel Caston to ask what amount of money was due to him, for the redemption of said negroes & to come to a fair and just amount with her & that she was ready & willing to pay to him immediately any balance which may remain unpaid.  She is still ready to pay the same: all which the said Samuel aways refused to accede to or to receive the money pretending that the legal title is in him.  Your petitioner prayed for an account and that the said Sam’l should be compelled to deliver up said negroes & reconvey them JC.

To this the defendant Sam’l Caston answered that on the _____ day April 1812 he purchased negro woman Sylvia & her child Reuben at Sheriffs sale for three hundred fifty dollars in Camden, as the property of James Ballard; & having an older election against the said   James refused to pay the same; that whereupon afterwards such proceedings were had that he was compelled to pay the purchase money interest & costs, amounting in the whole to four hundred & forty four dollars, which was in 1814; the negroes remaining from the time of the purchase up to that time in the possession of David Ballard.  That on demand at that time the negroes were delivered to him by said Ballard & thereupon he hired them to said Ballard at the rate of $70 per year.  That the sixty dollars and the other payments was for him & not for the purchase money: and that the purchase by him was unconditional & that it is absolutely untrue that he never gave Ballard the right to redeem: and that the said James is still indebted to him for the hire of said negroes.

This case was tried at Camden before his Honor Judge James in June 1823 and on said trial, Colo. Nathaniel Barber and George Perry Esqr were sworn as witnesses for your petitioner in that case & disposed in effect that in the last of 1815 or beginning of 1816 they heard a conversation between James Ballard & said Sam’l Caston in which was acknowledged and stated by Caston, that but about four hundred & fifty or sixty dollars was then due for the purchase of said negroes, & that Ballard had the right to redeem, as he Caston had bid them off for him at Sheriffs Sale in 1812.  That the said parties agreed that Caston would receive cotton in payment of the redemption money, Ballard should pay $60 or $70 dollars per year hire until he paid up.  That 60 dollars was then paid in lieu of place of interest.  That Ballard was in the course of four months to let him Caston have the cotton agreed for.  That in the summer of 1816 Caston acknowledged he had received the cotton of Ballard.  That the negroes remained in Ballard’s possession from that time till 1820.  Perry further proved that a proposition was made by Ballard, and not disagreed to by Caston, that Caston should hold 

[p. 14]

the said negroes under cover, so that Ballard’s creditors should not trouble them.  Thomas Ballard proved that in 1816 he delivered to Canton a waggon load of seed cotton & one of picked cotton for James Ballard and that they could not have amounted to less than three bags.

Captn Deacon Graham proved that Caston acknowledged the receipt of three bales of cotton of James Ballard in payment of said negroes & that he sold the cotton for thirty cents per pound, & that Caston further acknowledged the receipt of One Hundred Dollars cash of said Ballard at one time on the same account.

Benjamin Bineham proved the purchase at Sheriffs Sale by Canton in 1812 of the said negro woman & her child Reuben, the sale was a fair one as to price but from the character of the negroes they were cheap.  Witness was then Sheriff.  Caston claimed the purchase money on execution he had against Ballard & offered to credit it to the amount of the purchase money of the negroes, his execution being the oldest.  The other creditors of Ballard ??? Caston’s claim; and such proceeds were had that a suggestion was filed, & ??? made up to try the question whether Caston’s judgement & execution was bona fide or fraudulent and on such trial it was determined to be fraudulent & the purchase money paid to younger executions.

John Ballard was sworn for defendant whose evidence your petitioner does not conceive insured her case, or suffered the defendants defense.

The Case of William Akin v. Thomas P. Ballard

We know from Jincey Ballard’s lawsuit that other Ballards were involved who gave testimony or were mentioned, but unfortunately the record does not state a relationship — namely Thomas Ballard (probably Thomas Parks Ballard, since by that time Col. Thomas Ballard had removed to Gwinnett, Georgia, as the reader will see below), John Ballard, and David Ballard. 

Another lawsuit involving Caston provides a bit more information about the family.  The Chancery case Wm. Aikin, Adm’r of Wm. Aikin, v. Thos. P. Ballard (14 S.C. Eq. 13, 1 Rice Eq. 13 (1838)) was an appeal from a decree of the county chancellor, which stated:

On the 13th of November, 1820, William Aikin, deceased, obtained a judgment in Kershaw District, against Col. Thomas Ballard, sen’r, for $580.74, and a judgment against David G. Ballard, and Thos. Ballard, sen’r. for $1421.19.  In both cases a fi. fa.* was lodged, 5th December, 1820.  There was evidence that these were the oldest unsatisfied liens against the property of Thomas Ballard, sen’r.

The object of the bill was to compel the defendant to surrender certain negroes, which he held under alleged fictitious transfers from Thomas Ballard, sen’r.

It appears from the testimony, that in 1821, Thomas Ballard, sen’r, removed to Georgia, leaving in the possession of his son-in-law, Samuel Caston, seven negroes, which had been transferred to him as an indemnity for his suretyship on a debt to Col. Peay.  I infer from the testimony that he carried with him to Georgia, Mary and her children.  In February, 1830, Thomas Ballard returned for a short time to this State, induced the negroes left with Caston, to leave his possession, and then transferred them to the defendant for $1000.  It is very clear that the defendant at that time was aware of Aikin’s lien on the negroes, but in the language of the witness, he was willing to take the risk of that claim.

The object evidently was to defeat Caston …

In 1830 or 1831, the complainant’s intestate caused a suit to be instituted in Georgia, against Thomas Ballard, founded on the judgments already mentioned.  Col. Ballard, having then in his possession Mary and her children, and fearing they would be taken to satisfy this debt, removed them back to Carolina in April, 1832, and placed them in the possession of the defendant, where they have ever since remained.

Col. Ballard was examined for the defendant, who is his son.– He stated that he sold Mary and her children, to the defendant, in February 1830, when he sold the other negroes, but that they were to remain in his possession until his son sent for them.  No bill of sale or other written evidence of title was produced.  Col. Ballard was aged, and as I thought, infirm both in body and mind, and testified indistinctly.  If there had been ever any bona fide transfer of Mary and her children, (of which I was by no means satisfied,) I do not doubt that the account of John Ballard was the true statement of the transaction.  He was in Georgia in 1830, when Aikin’s suit against his father was pending.  The woman and her three children were then in his father’s possession.  “He understood both from his father and the defendant, that the defendant was to give $500 or $550, for the woman and her three children.  The negroes were to remain in the possession of Thomas Ballard, sen’r during his lifetime — he was to have them as long as he lived.”  Col. Ballard testified that Aikin obtained judgment against him in Georgia — that he sent Mary and her children to this State shortly afterwards, as he thought he might be levied on, and his son be put to trouble.

*Fi. Fa. — Writ of Fiere Facias, an order to record a lien on a judgement debtor’s property.

The suit names Samuel Caston as his son-in-law; also mentioned are sons John Ballard and Thomas P. Ballard; and there is one mention of David G. Ballard, who is most likely another son.  Most genealogies only name the children mentioned in his Revolutionary War Pension record — Mary, Susanna and Thomas Parks Ballard, yet the 1800 census shows his household with eight males and seven females.

What Became of Jane (Jincey) Ballard?

The 1810 census shows James’ household two names away from Col. Thomas Ballard, suggesting that they lived in close proximity to one another.  In 1820, the names are next to one another, but note that the enumerator roughly alphabetized the list.  Given that Thomas had acquire a vast amount of acreage in Kershaw, it makes sense that a son would take possession of a tract of land belonging to his father and live close by.  

Indeed, the deed records show that Thomas did, in fact, convey one of the parcels he patented in 1785 to David Ballard, who is probably the David G. Ballard named in the Aikins lawsuit.  That conveyance was for 200 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek in Kershaw County, for 38 pounds, to David Ballard by deed dated 10 March 1794, but not recorded until 12 October 1807 in Kershaw Co. SC Deed Book E, p. 401 (see original plat below).  The witnesses to that deed included William Miller, John Ballard and William Ballard (William’s signature is indicated by “his mark”).  William is possibly another son of Thomas — and if that is the case, here we may have the names of Thomas’ five sons who were counted in the 1810 census (James, John, Thomas, David and William). The 1810 census shows only one female age 45 and over, and one female age 10 to 15; Thomas’ daughter Susanna had married Samuel Caston by this time, leaving Mary as the sole daughter in the household. Much more study is needed to establish whether this hypothesis is true.

Plat for Thomas Ballard, 200 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek, 1785

The James whose name appears alongside Col. Thomas Ballard in the 1820 census shows James and his wife with five young males and two young females in the household.  Unfortunately the enumerator roughly alphabetized his lists, so proximity isn’t particularly helpful.  However, in an effort to identify James’ and Jincey’s children, we traced Jincey after 1820.  Here’s what we found:

1820 – James Ballard in Kershaw, South Carolina – three males < 10 (born between 1810-1820), two males 10 to 15 (1805-1810), one male 26 to 44 (1766-1794), two females < 10 (1810-1820), one female 26 to 44 (1766-1794).

1830 – Jane Ballard now residing in Madison County, Tennessee – one male age 10 to 14 (1816-1820); one female in the same range (1616-1820), one female 15 to 19 (1811-1815), one female age 30 to 39 (1791-1800).  Also eight slaves.

1840 – Jane Ballard now living in Fayette County, Tennessee – one female 15 to 18 (1821-1825), one female 20 to 29 (1811-1820), one female 40 to 49 (1791-1800).  This is most likely Jane and her two daughters.

1850 – Still in Fayette, Tennessee, there are substantial additions to the household.

  • Jane Ballard, 64, born in SC (1786)
  • Burbon B. Ballard, 40, SC (1810)
  • Jane Graham, 31, SC (1819)
  • Jincy Ballard, 15, GA (1835)
  • Mary Ballard, 14, GA (1836)
  • Martha Ballard, 13, TN (1837)
  • Mary Graham, 6, TN (1844)
  • Walter Graham, 4, TN (1846)
  • Thomas Graham, 1, MS (1849)

Burbon is likely to be one of her three sons.  There is a marriage record for Jane Ballard and James C. Graham from 1841 in Tennessee.  Since the younger Jane was years old 22 when she married in 1841, she couldn’t be the mother of Jincy, Mary and Martha.  A reasonable conclusion is that those three are the daughters of Burbon; his wife probably died in childbirth (that is just a guess).  The three Graham children are most likely Jane’s children.  Thomas Graham’s birth in Mississippi is a mystery; so is the whereabouts of Jane’s other daughter (whose identity we learn later) and James Graham; there are additional Graham children in 1860, and James doesn’t appear in that census, either.

Burbon has not been found in any other records (yet), but Ancestry points to a B.L. Ballard in Mississippi who married a Winifred Graham as her second husband.  Census records show Winifred was born in Alabama, and her parents were born in South Carolina.

1860 – Still in Fayette County, Tennessee – 

  • Jane Ballard, 70, SC (1790)
  • Mary Ballard, 43, SC (1817)
  • Jane Graham, 40, SC (1820)
  • Molly (Mary) Graham, 16, TN (1844)
  • Walter Graham, 14, TN (1846)
  • Thomas Graham, 11, MS (1849)
  • Jimmie Graham, 7, TN (1853)
  • Jinsey Graham, 4, TN (1856)
  • Julia Graham, 16, MS (1844)

Mary Ballard and Jane Graham are Jane Ballard’s two daughters, which becomes clear later with the 1880 census.  The addition of Jimmie, Jinsey and Julia is perplexing, again because there is no sign of James Graham, and Julia is the same age as Molly, which suggests that she is not a descendant of anyone in the household (as well as her being listed at the end, out of age sequence); she could be a cousin who was taken in.  There is a Julia Graham in a Stevenson household in 1850 in Fayette County, but more research is needed to determine if she is, in fact, the same person. 

1870 – Now identified as Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee –

  • Jincie Ballard, 81, SC (1789)
  • Mary Ballard, 57, SC (1813)
  • Jane Graham, 51, SC (1819)
  • Walter Graham, 24, TN (1846)
  • Sarah Austin, 21, TN (1849)
  • James Graham, 17, TN (1853)
  • Jennie Graham, 14, TN (1856)

We have no idea who Sarah Austin is or her relationship with the family.  Again, no sign of James Graham. 

1880 – Still in Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee –

  • Mary Ballard, 68, SC – Father: SC, Mother: VA [Mary is head of household; a milliner]
  • Jane Ballard, 94, SC – Father: VA, Mother: VA [identified as Mary’s mother, and a widow]
  • Jane Graham, 60, SC – Father: SC, Mother: VA [identified as Mary’s sister, and a widow]

There is also one servant in the household.

There are trees in Ancestry indicating that Jane Ballard died in 1895, but we haven’t found corroborating information.  We have found nothing on the death of Jane Graham, either; she last appears in the 1880 census.  Mary died in 1902; her will is recorded in Fayette County, Tennessee.  She devised all her property to her nephew Thomas Graham and his children, with whom she was living at the end of her life.

So what are next steps?  There is a wealth of information in the Court of Equity files, so that’s a logical place to continue, given the possibility of other unindexed files. Even among indexed records, there are tantalizing nuggets of information to tease out. For example, the index includes a case dating from 1827 that names yet another James Ballard and his wife Mary; a quick perusal of the file reveals that the case involved an interest in property that had belonged to Mary’s father, and the documents name all of siblings (her last name was Kelsey). This may be James Ballard, son of John Ballard of Kershaw District (1765-1838) whose will was recorded in Union County, South Carolina (the Caston connection argues for Jincey’s James being the son of Col. Thomas).  But checking those files page by page? That will be quite a tedious project, but hopefully worth the effort.

The Will of Bland W. Ballard of Aquilla, Hill County, Texas (1824-1924).

This compiler recently turned his attention to this branch of the family because of a research study by Kathleen Kerwin, one of the administrators of the RL 21 CTS4466 South Irish Group with FamilyTreeDNA, which studies the ancestry of certain haplogroups endemic to Southern Ireland. The Ballards who placed in Lineage Group I bear this marker, suggesting ancestry in Ireland rather than England as is commonly assumed. One researcher in the group speculated that perhaps a Ballard was among the Welsh archers who accompanied Strongbow to Ireland in 1170.

Anyway, Kathleen asked about any old family lore that might shed light on the origins of the earliest ancestors, and I recalled this biography of Bland William Ballard and his family that appeared in A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892) pp. 534-37. The author of the sketch noted His grandfather, Bland, had emigrated to Virginia from Wales long before the war for independence, in which he took a part.  While this sentence is referring to Bland Ballard (c. 1735-1788), the author could very well be conflating him with that Bland’s father, the first of the name in Virginia, who first appears in a land patent taken 27 January 1734. Still, the explicit statement that the family came from Wales is extremely interesting, and is likely family lore that has been passed down.

However, our cursory sketch did not include Bland William Ballard’s will. We are admittedly less interested in studying 20th century records (they don’t present the same challenges as 17th, 18th and early 19th century records), but the omission is easily remedied and here we present Bland William Ballard’s will. Bland dispenses with his elder surviving children by devising them each one dollar, since he recites that he had already provided for them, and leaves the remainder of his real and personal property to his youngest daughter, Anna, who cared for him when his wife Parthenia Cull became an invalid and after Parthenia’s passing in 1888. in light of the information contained in the biographical sketch, this outcome is perfectly understandable. It states that When but a child the mother’s health threw much of the burden of housekeeping on Anna, and since her death she finds it a pleasure to make glad the declining years of her father.

Bland W. Ballard left a will dated 7 January 1901, recorded 21 March 1904 at Aquilla, Hill County, Texas:

A Will.  In the name of God, I Bland W. Ballard of Aquilla, Hill County, Texas, being of sound mind, and realizing that all men must die, do make my last will and testament on earth.  After defraying any funeral expenses, and paying all my just debts, I will my sons John E. and Ben W., J. T. and E. N. Ballard and my daughter Mary A. Thompson [Hampson?]* one Dollar each, having given them money and property previously.  Now give by this will my daughter Anna E. Ballard the remainder of my property, consisting of lots 8 and 9 and part of 6 & 7 Block 20 with my dwelling and all improvements, also all stock and household goods I may have.  Also lots 1, 2 and 3 in same block, also lot 1 in Block 21 together with my storehouse and any and all goods therein; to have and to hold the same in consideration of her long painstaking care of me in my old age.  I hereby annul all former wills made by me.  This seventh day of January, one thousand nine hundred and one.  I appoint my son J. T. Ballard my sole executor.

Bland W. Ballard

Witness.  E. R. Boyd

Filed 21 day of Mch 1904, M.L. Wiginton Co. Clerk, Hill County, Texas by respondent

Codicil, Aquilla, Texas, Feby 2, 1904

In the name of God I Bland W. Ballard being of sound mind and knowing death comes to all men I desire to make this my last will and testament, having previously made my will I desire to add this much more to said will which was duly signed by E.R. Boyd in said will for the kindness and care that I have received from my daughter Anna E. Ballard I gave most of my property.  Now since said will was written I have accumulated some other properties all of which I desire my daughter Anna E. Ballard shall at my death after paying all of my just debts and funeral expenses than and as in former will I appoint my son James T. Ballard  my executor.

Bland W. Ballard

Witness E. R. Boyd

Filed Mch 21st 1904, M.L. Wiginton, Co. Clerk, Hill Co. Texas

Recorded Hill Co. Tx. Probate Minutes, Vol. 18-19, 1896-1902, pp. 242-243.

* The will excerpt noted above gives the name of Bland’s eldest surviving daughter as “Mary A. Thompson [or “Hampson].” This is a transcription error by the clerk who recorded this in the county records. According to a correspondent (who we thank for pointing out the error), Mary Adeline Ballard on 20 January 1873 married James Volentine Hampton at the home of her parents in Marshall, Saline County, Missouri.

End of the Line for Francis Ballard

Of late we’ve been researching maternal lines, but recently turned our attention to some long-neglected unfinished business.  While reviewing notes concerning descendants of Thomas Ballard of James City County, Virginia (1630-1690), I noticed an unresolved entry for one Francis Ballard, who died after 1804, the son of Thomas Ballard of Charles City County, Virginia (c.1730-1791)— what became of him, and did he marry and have children?

Most family historians studying the Ballard family are well acquainted with Thomas Ballard, a formidable figure who was member of the Governor’s Council and Speaker of the House of Burgesses.  There are differing opinions on which lines do (or do not) descend from him; this compiler presents his evidence in this blog, and as always, invites evidence that proves contrary conclusions. The lacunae created by record losses compel creative solutions and the ferreting out of bits and bobs of information from the slimmest of evidence.  Sometimes that is all we’ve got.  One such bit of evidence is the recurrence of distinctive names, like Francis, or patterns of names recurring in each generation. Consequently, naming patterns are important in threading this needle.

Thomas Ballard had three sons who produced issue: Thomas, Francis and William.  

We’ve previously written in detail about Francis (c. 1675-1719/20), after taking a deep dive into the Records of Elizabeth City County (see this link). The last of his line bearing the name was a great-grandson who died without issue, leaving a will in Elizabeth City County, Virginia dated 1802 in which he freed his six slaves and devised his real property to Jane Lattimore, the daughter of James and Priscilla Lattimore.  See William Ballard Sr of Hampton, Virginia (c. 1721-1782).

Sons Thomas (c. 1655-1710) and Francis (c. 1675-1719/20) are fairly well documented, and it is this writer’s opinion that Thomas’ middle son William (c. 1668-c.1725) settled in Charles City County, Virginia, that his descendants lived there and eventually dispersed west into Southside Virginia and North Carolina.  This is contrary to many researcher’s conclusion that he settled in the Northern Neck and was the progenitor of the Spotsylvania and Albemarle County lines, but I believe the evidence weighs in favor of his settlement in Charles City County. We wrote at length on this previously — see this link.

Our conclusion in that report is that the Elizabeth Ballard who left a will dated 22 May 1726 in Charles City County was the widow of William Ballard, son of Thomas of James City. That will names her children Martha, Thomas, Francis, Rebecca, Anna, John, Elizabeth and William.  

Elizabeth’s son Francis appears three times in the records of Charles City County — one entry concerns a lawsuit, and the other two concern the estate of Mr. Francis Ballard — the inventory presented by administrator Thomas Ballard dated 7 June 1727, and an accounting presented 3 April 1728; Francis presumably died unmarried.  Elizabeth’s son Thomas (c.1690-1754) married Mary Dancy, and their children were Elizabeth, Mary and Thomas; this son Thomas (1730-1791) married Sarah (possibly Talbot) and the marriage produced Elizabeth, Sarah, Lucy, John, Thomas, William Talbot, and Francis Dancy.  

We were seeking additional information on Francis Dancy Ballard. The records indicate that he was born c. 1771, and was living 13 August 1804 when he was named a devisee in his brother Thomas’ will. After that — nothing. Prior to 1804 there were several conveyances of land in the Charles City County records, but Thomas’ will was the last mention of him we’ve found anywhere.  Incidentally, brothers John, Thomas and William left no issue, as shown by their wills that survive in the Charles City County records (please note that we have not seen John’s will, but are relying on a notation by James Branch Cabell in The Majors and Their Marriages (1914) that the will indicates he died without issue).  For transcriptions of the wills of Thomas and William see this page).

Elizabeth’s son John (c. 1715-1787) married Faitha Edmunds removed to Mecklenburg County, Virginia; his children were named Rebecca, Martha, Betty, John, Robert and William. His son John (c. 1744-1803) married Mary Garland and had five daughters — Mary, Martha, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Lucy. 

The elder John’s youngest son William (c. 1738-1812) left a will in Mecklenburg County naming his children Faitha, Mary, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Francis and Martha. The name of his wife is not known.

There are scant records of this latter Francis, but our recent research shed some light on him.  He was mentioned in his grandfather’s will dated 1783, which directed that he was to receive slaves devised to his father William following William’s death. Francis died in 1808, leaving a nuncupative will, devising 175 acres in Lunenburg county to his niece, Faithy Ballard Overton, the daughter of John Overton (his sister Martha married John Overton on 10 November 1806).

This is the only nuncupative will this researcher has encountered in the Ballard family.  A nuncupative will is one given orally by a person too ill or sick to execute a written will — essentially, deathbed instructions.  So apparently whatever befell him, he did not die immediately.  But what happened?  While searching for information on Francis Dancy Ballard, we found nothing on him, but discovered this proclamation:

Virginia Argus, 9 September 1808, p. 4

This explains the reason for the nuncupative will — Francis must have survived his assault long enough to dictate a will. We have not, however, been able to ascertain whether John Dawes, the suspected murderer, was ever brought to justice.

So it appears that for want of issue, the name Francis died out in each Ballard line in the early 1800s.

In Chancery, Anne Boyd vs. John Thomas Holland, John Ballard, Robert Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard, and Edward Ballard (1798).

Below is the transcript of what today we would call a suit to quiet title.  The suit was brought by Ann Boyd, the widow of one Dr John Boyd, who devised his real and personal property to his wife in his will dated 19 January 1790.  The subject of this suit is a parcel of land called Darley Hall that had been owned by Jonathan Plowman but conveyed to Dr Boyd by Robert Ballard, who was acting as administrator of the estate of his father-in-law Jonathan Plowman, Robert having married Jonathan’s daughter, Rebecca Plowman.

Dr Boyd failed to record the deed, so in order to perfect her title in the property, Ann Boyd had to initiate this suit. Since Robert Ballard died in 1793, Ann Boyd needs to compel Robert Ballard’s heirs to acknowledge and relinquish any interest they have in the property, and have the Chancery Court decree that title is in fact vested in her.

While the outcome of the suit does not concern us (she was successful), what is important to us here is that it names all of the surviving children of Robert Ballard and Rebecca Plowman, who are all infants (i.e., under the age of 21) in 1798:  John Ballard, Robert Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard.

Curiously, the answer filed by the Ballards names only sons John, William, Henry and Edward, omitting Robert.  Was the inclusion of the name Robert earlier an error?  The suit was initiated 24 January 1798, and the Ballard’s answer was not recorded until 23 March 1799 — he could have died in the meantime. We’ve found no evidence of Robert (or John, for that matter) after 1799.

Chancery Court (Chancery Record) Ann Boyd vs. John Thomas Holland, John Ballard & others, 1798, Vol 40, page 623 [SE37-48]


Be it remembered that heretofore on the 24th day of January 1798 came Anne Boyd by Samuel Johnston Esq. her solicitor into the State of Maryland Court of Chancery and exhibited therein her petition against John Thomas Boyd and John Ballard, Robert Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard in the words following.

To the Honorable Alexander Contee Hanson Esquire Chancellor of Maryland.

The petition of Ann Boyd of Baltimore Town in Baltimore Town widow of Doctor John Boyd of the same place physician humbly sheweth that a certain John Thomas Holland of Baltimore County and Robert Ballard of the same place administrator of the goods chattels rights and credits of Jonathan Plowman late of Baltimore County deceased unadministered by Rebecca Plowman in her lifetime the executrix of the said Jonathan Plowman with his will annexed by their certain Indentured tripartite bearing date the twelfth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five for the consideration therein mentioned did grant bargain sell alien[ate] release and confirm unto the said John Boyd in his lifetime his heirs and assigns forever all that part of a tract of land called Darley Hill distinguished on the plat thereof by the number sixty nine contained within the metes bounds courses and distances following, that is to say beginning for the same at the end of forty perches from the intersection of two roads leading through the said tract of land called Darley Hall three perches wide each being the most south westerly corner of the said lot and running thence with and bounding on one of the said roads north forty degrees east twelve perches thence running with and bounding on the south sixty seven degrees and a half east three hundred and forty perches out line of the whole of the said tract of land thirty-three perches thence south forty degrees west twenty-one perches thence north fifty degrees west thirty-two perches to the place of beginning which indenture was on the day of the date thereof duly acknowledged as by the said Indenture hereunto annexed which your petitioner prays may be deemed and taken as a part of this her petition more fully appears.

That the said John Boyd being seized and possessed of the said part of the tract of land aforesaid departed this life about the beginning of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety but had neglected to have the said Indenture recorded according to law.  What the sad John Boyd before his death duly made and published his last will and testament in writing bearing date the nineteenth day of January in the year last aforesaid and thereby devised and bequeathed to your petitioner after the payment of his debts and the legacies therein mentioned the one equal half part or moiety of all his real and personal estate forever and also the use of the other moiety thereof for life with power to dispose of such part of said other moiety as shall be sufficient if necessary for her comfortable support and maintenance during life and lay out the same for that purpose as by the said last will and testament duly proved according to law a true copy whereof herewith exhibited more fully appears.  That the said Robert Ballard departed this life sometimes in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three intestate leaving John Ballard, Robert Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard his children and heirs at law who are all minors under the age of twenty-one years.

That the said John Boyd having neglected in his life time to record the said Indenture in due time the same cannot be now done without the degree of this honorable court.

May it therefore please your honor to grant your petitioner the states writ of subpoena directed tot he said John Thomas Holland, John Ballard, Robert Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard to appear in this court to a certain day and under a certain penalty thereto to be mentioned to answer the premises and that this honorable court may order and decree that the said Indenture may be recorded according to law and that your petitioner may have such other and further relief in the premises as to this honorable court shall seem moot and your petitioner will ever pray.

Saml. Johnston, Solicitor for Petitioner

[page 632]

And at the same term came the commissioners named in the commission and made return thereof and of their proceedings in the premises as follows.

To the Honorable the Chancellor of the State of Maryland

We whose names are hereunto subscribed to derby certify that by virtue of the within commission we have called before us the within named John Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard and have assigned and appointed Edward Johnson to be their guardian by whom they may answer and defend the within suit, and we hav also taken the answer of the said Edward Johnson as their guardian sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God to the truth thereof as by the within commission we are commanded.  Sam’l. Moale, John Roberts.

The joint and several answer of John Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard all infants under the age of twenty one years the children and heirs at law of Robert Ballard, late of Baltimore County deceased by Edward Johnson their guardian specially appointed by virtue of a commission hereunto annexed to the petition of Ann Boyd of the same county, widow.

These defendants by their said guardian Edward Johnson for answer to the petition of the said Ann Boyd to so much thereof as they are advised is necessary or material for them to answer unto they severally and not the one for the other, answering say they admit that the said John Thomas Holland and the sad Robert Ballard, the father of these defendants in his life time did make and executed the Indenture tripartite in the said Ann Boyd’s petition mentioned to the said John Boyd in his lifetime his heirs and assigns forever for all that part of a tract of land called Darley Hall as particularly mentioned and described in the said Indenture to which these defendants crave leave in refer for greater certainty.

These defendants further answering admit that the said Indenture was duly acknowledged by the said John Thomas Holland and Robert Ballard according to law, and also admit that the said John Boyd died seized of the said land about the time in the said petition of the said Ann Boyd mentioned and that the said deed or Indenture aforesaid had not been recorded according to law but for greater certainty thereof these defendants crave leave to refer to the said Indenture.

These defendants further answering say they are strangers to the last will and testament of the said John Boyd or in what manner he disposed of his estate thereby, otherwise than by the said petition but cares leave for the certainty thereof to refer themselves to the said last will and testament or a copy thereof as exhibited by the petitioner.

And these defendants further answering say they have no objection to the said Indenture being recorded and admit that the same should be done in such manner as this honorable court shall decree the same to be done, and therefore these defendants pray here to be dismissed with their reasonable costs and charges. — Edward Johnson, Guardian of John, Henry & Edward Ballard [inadvertently omitting William, whose name is recited in the paragraph following].

Baltimore County, to wit.  On the 23rd day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine before the subscribers two of the commissioners named in the commission whereunto annexed personally appeared Edward Johnson the guardian appointed by us for the within named John Ballard, William Ballard, Henry Ballard and Edward Ballard all minors under the age of twenty-one years and made oath that he verily believes that the facts stated in the above answer are true.  Sworn before Saml. Moale, John Roberts

Administration of the Estate of William Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1822).

William Ballard EstateA few weeks ago, documents from the Spotsylvania County Chancery Causes published online by the Library of Virginia appeared in the Ballard Family History and Genealogy page in Facebook. With the pandemic resulting in more idle moments than anticipated, it seemed prudent to study the records and determine which family these documents describe.

In the case Administrator of William Ballard vs. James Ballard etc, Index No. 1823-005 (Original Case No. 16), we find a handful of documents that describes actions taken in 1822 by William Carter, the administrator of the estate of William Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

In the worshipful, The Justices of the County Court of Spotsylvania in Chancery sitting – Humbly complaining your orator William Carter respectfully represents that a claim William Ballard departed this life intestate on or about the ____ day of _______ and that your orator administered upon his estate in full form of law in the sd. County court of Spotsylvania, that your orator as admin. has possessed himself of four negros belonging to the estate of the intestate whose names are Frank, Caroline, Elizabeth and Tener and also of a small tract of lease land of inconsiderable value, which negroes together with lease of ?? are subject to the distribution amongst the children of the intestate. That the intestate left the following children who are his heirs at law, to wit. James and Lewis Ballard who are about the age of 21 years. Betsy and Mary Ballard who are infants (to defend whose rights in this suit your orator prays that a guardian may be appointed by the court) and Sally who intermarried with Winslow Parker – that from the number and relative value of the negros aforesaid an equal allotment cannot be effected amongst the children afoursaid so entitled to distribution – and your orator believes that it would be highly detrimental to the interests of all concerned that the sd. Negros should be kept together for the purpose of cultivating the leased land afoursaid, he wishes therefore in order to just distribution of the sd. Negroes and lease, that a sale thereof may be desired by the court, and the proceeds of such sale, rather than the property itself, distributed amongst the children aforesaid. To which end he prays that the said James, Lewis, Betty & Mary Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife may be made parties to this bill and may be required to ensure the same – and to state whether they have any and if any, what objection to a sale of the negros and lease aforsaid for the purpose aforsaid.

The joint answer of James & Lewis Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife formerly Sally Parker on bill of complaint published against them in the county court of Spotsylvania in chancery by a certain William Carter admin of William Ballard dec’d. These respondents for answer to the sd. Bill saith that they are willing to a sale of the negros and lease mentioned in the plaintiff’s bill.

The joint answer of Betsy and Mary Ballard infant children of William Ballard dec’d by Charles Lewis their guardian appointed by the county court of Spotsylvania to defend them in this suit instituted against themselves and others in the sd. Court of chancery ??? thereof, by a certain William Carter admin. of William Ballard dec’d. These respondents for ??? to the plaintiff’s bill say that they have no objection to a sale of the negros and lease mentioned in the said bill – being infants they submit their rights to the court.

The second document in the file appears to be a draft of the more formal and dated third document, transcribed below.

At a court held for Spotsylvania county the 7th day of January 1822

William Carter administrator of William Ballard, dec’d, plaintiff, against James and Lewis Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife formerly Sally Ballard, Betsy and Mary Ballard infants under the age of 21 years by Charles Lewis their guardian ad litem appointed by the court, which said James, Lewis, Sally, Betsy and Mary, are children of William Ballard, dec’d, defts [defendants].

In Chancery

This cause came on this day to be heard upon the bill of the plaintiff, the joint answer of James and Lewis Ballard, Winslow Parker and Sally his wife – and the joint answer of the infant defts, Betsy and Mary Ballard by Charles Lewis their guardian appointed by the court to defend them in this cause, and was argued by counsel. Upon consideration whereof the court doth adjudge order and decree that the plaintiff William Carter sell by public auction upon a credit of 12 months the slaves and lease in the proceedings mentioned, taking bonds with approved security for the purchase money, payable to himself as admin. of William Ballard dec’d, and that he make report of his proceedings to this court in order to a final decree.

A copy Teste
R. L. Stevenson

A fourth document appears to conclude the matter.

Pursuant to the annexed decree, I did on the 11th day of January 1822, after having given three weeks notice in the Virginia Herald, expose to sale by public auction to the highest bidder the slaves & Lease therein referred to also all the personal effects of the late Wm. Ballard, as will appear by the act [account] of sales herewith returned – [account not included in the file].

William Carter, Admin. of Wm. Ballard, dec’d.
1st Augt. 1822

A guess from a first reading, given what is known of the family, was that the late William Ballard was a son of Benjamin Ballard, Sr (c.1725-1814), which proved to be correct. This is confirmed by another chancery record, James L. Leavell & Wife etc. vs. James Ballard, Index No 1841-055.  This case identifies these children as the heirs of William Ballard, the son of Benjamin Ballard. The suit was initiated by Nancy (Ballard) Leavell in order to obtain a “fair” division of 304 acres of land once owned by her father among his eight heirs (and if no longer living, their heirs per stirpes).  The relevant document is written in a cryptic script and is very difficult to read, so it is transcribed only in part below.

James L. Leavell & Nancy his wife, Jesse Wayt & Peggy his wife, James B. Lewis and John Montague adult heirs of Hannah Herring, dec’d, Charles Lewis & Mary his wife, Benjamin Ballard, James, Lewis, Winslow Parker & Sally his wife, Betsy & Mary, adult heirs of William Ballard, dec’d; Beverley, Thomas, Benjamin, Lucy & Mary, adult heirs of George Ballard, deceased; which said Nancy, Peggy, Hannah, Mary, Benjamin, William, George together with James (hereafter ??? defendant) are the devisees of the real estate of Benj. Ballard deceased respectfully ??? represents their ??? Ballard acct in Dec 1812 dividing up a tract of land ??? containing about 289 acres his will to bequeath the same (upon directing 25 acres given to his son Charles) to be equally divided amongst his children …

Searching Ancestry, we found a couple of census records for Winslow Parker and Sally Ballard.  The 1850 census found them residing in the Eastern District of Spotsylvania county, Virginia: Winslow Parker, age 60 (born c. 1790), Sally Parker, age 54 (born c. 1796) and their children Horace, Sarah, Ann and Frank.

We have not, however, been able to identify the name of William’s wife. Evidently she pre-deceased him, since she is not named in the 1821 administration of William Ballard’s estate, nor have we uncovered a marriage record.  Nothing was found in William Armstrong Crozier’s Virginia County Records: Spotsylvania County, 1721-1800 (New York: Fox, Duffield & Co., 1905; Reprinted: Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1990).  Perhaps a search of the surviving Spotsylvania county land records created between 1800 and 1822 might provide an answer.


Great fears of the Sickenesses here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 30 April 1665

We’ve been here before, and survived these things before.

While trying to concentrate on getting on with life, I am drawn back to a small cluster of deaths among the Ballard family in Tidewater Virginia in 1719. If anything, revisiting them helps this compiler gain perspective, and derive a small measure of comfort in the fact that humans have experienced these things before, survived, and went on with the business of living.

Noah Webster’s A brief history of epidemic and pestilential diseases; with the principal phenomena of the physical world, which precede and accompany them, and observations deduced from the facts stated. : In two volumes (Hartford: Hudson & Goodwin, 1799), pp. 225-228) describes the circumstances of a plague that swept over Europe in 1719, and likely made its way to America.

In 1719 malignant fevers were prevalent in many parts of Europe, marking a pestilential principle of great extent. The winter of 1719-20 in America was very cold.
In these last years raged malignant pleurisy in Hartford, in Connecticut, with great mortality.

In March 1719 an immense meteor passed the heavens, illuminating the earth and bursting with a tremendous report. Its diameter was calculated by Dr. Halley at a mile and a half.

At this time the plague appeared in Aleppo, and carried off by report 80,000 people. Russel agrees that this disease came from the north, altho he has given us few particulars. It raged, as usual, for two or three years.

In 1718, 19, 20 and 21, says Dr. Rogers, the greater number of those who lived near the slaughter-houses at Cork, died.

In 1720 happened the last great plague in Marseilles, on which occasion has been published “Traité de la peste,” a treatise in quarto, by Chicoyneau, under the sanction of the French king, in which great efforts are made to prove the disease to have been imported from the Levant.

The proofs of importation stand thus. “Capt. Chataud left Said in Syria in January 1720, with a clean patent. The plague was not then in Said, tho it broke out soon after. On the passage, several persons died, and the physicians at Leghorn, where the ship stopped, pronounced their disease to be “a malignant pestilential fever.”

The ship arrived at Marseilles, and some persons who had concern with the goods, died in May. The suspected goods were subjected to fifteen days retreat and purification—they were forbid to be introduced into the city—the porters were shut up; but all regulations were fruitless. In June, deaths appeared in the city with distinctive marks of the plague.”

On such flimsey evidence do the sticklers for the sole propagation of the plague by infection, ground all their assertions respecting the disease at Marseilles!
But it happens in this case, as in most similar instances, that the pretended proofs of infection carry refutation in the very face of them.

In the first place, it is an acknowledged fact, that at the time the ship left Said, the plague had not appeared in that port, or town. It was at Aleppo and in other places far distant in 1719, but had not broke out in Said. How, in the name of reason, could men or goods be infected, when the disease did not exist in the place?

To overcome or rather to evade the force of this objection, the writers on the subject are compelled to resort to supposition. They say it is possible, the plague might have been in the place, tho not known or generally admitted. And here rests their whole argument!
It is true, that some of the seamen or passengers died on the passage, with a malignant pestilential fever. But in this case, the malady originated on board the ship—and the infection is not traced to the Levant ports. There is an end of the chain—the disease began without infection, on board the ship, as malignant fevers have done in thousands of other ships.

Again, it is admitted by Dr. Mead himself, p. 255, that from the time of the sailors’ death, after the ship arrived, it was full six weeks before the disease was known in the city of Marseilles; a circumstance that renders it nearly impossible that there could have been any propagation of the distemper by infection. To remove this objection, the advocates of infection again resort to supposition. They suppose it possible some latent seeds of the disease had been concealed in goods, or clothes—and such ridiculous suggestions are made the grounds of assertion.

But what completely refutes all these idle suppositions, is, that we have full evidence, that the plague in Marseilles was generated in the city, and gradually arose from milder diseases. In the beginning of the “Traitè de la peste,” it is stated from Mon. Didier and not denied, that “the preceding year 1719 was a barren year—the corn, the wine and the oil, were defective. The heat of spring was excessive and followed by great rains, with westerly winds—the fruits were bad. In this year a pestilential fever appeared in Marseilles, of which many died, and in some, appeared buboes, carbuncles and paroitides.”

Here we observe facts that always exist, before the plague, and which demonstrate the uniform operations of the laws of nature. The year 1718 began to exhibit malignant diseases in greater numbers than usual. In 1719 the plague broke out at Aleppo, and in the north and west of Europe, malignant fevers became in many places, epidemic and pestilential. In 1720, the pestilential state of the air, arrived at its crisis in Marseilles. The pestilence in Europe exhibited a regular progress, from ordinary typhus fever to the plague. A fatal small-pox and spotted fever prevailed in Piemont.

To demonstrate this fact, the reader will only turn to the bills of mortality in London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Dresden, &c. for the years under consideration, and observe every where the effects of a general unhealthy state of air, in the increase of the number of deaths.—The bills of mortality in Boston and Philadelphia also prove this state of air to have extended to this country; and the malignancy of it seems to have abated in America after 1721, in which year the small-pox was very mortal in Boston.

The accounts of diseases in America, at this period, are few and imperfect. Tradition has preserved the memory of desolating sickness, at various times and in various places, some of which, I suspect, refer to this period, but I am not able to ascertain the dates, with any certainty.* By accident however, I am able to determine positively the pestilential state of air in America in 1720. A genuine letter is extant, from Thomas Hacket of Duck Creek, now in the state of Delaware, dated April 10th 1720, in which he states that a mortality prevailed in that place, which exceeded that in London in 1665, and almost depopulated the village. I have seen the letter in possession of Dr. Rush.

So – while it may be coincidental, who might have succumbed to possible plague during this time?

We have three candidates: Francis Ballard, his nephews Matthew Ballard and William Ballard of York county all died in 1719 (in Francis’ case, in 1719/20, under the old Julian calendar); Francis and Matthew just days after writing their wills, and William dying intestate. The only contemporary account we have found is a report in the Boston News-Letter 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.” (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.

Matthew Ballard (c.1685-1719), the eldest son of Thomas Ballard, Jr. of York county, Virginia, died between 13 May 1719, the date his will was written, and 18 May 1719, the date his will was entered into the York county, Virginia records. Matthew was survived by his son Matthew, who in turn died without issue in 1741.

William Ballard, a younger son of Thomas Ballard, Jr. of York county, Virginia, was a minor on 26 September 1706 when his father’s will was drafted; James Branch Cabell in his history of the Major and allied families simply notes that “he seems to have died unmarried.” (James Branch Cabell, The Majors and Their Marriages (Richmond: W.C. Hill Printing Co., 1915) p. 76). William Ballard died in York county before 21 September 1719, for on that date his brother “Robert Ballard came into Court and made oath that William Ballard departed this life without making any will so far as he knows or believes. Said Robert Ballard gave bond with Philip Lightfoot & John Gibbon his security and was appointed administrator of the Estate of the said William Ballard decd.” (21 September 1719. York Co. Va. Deeds, Orders, Wills Book 15, p. 485; p. 489. Inventory recorded, p. 505.) We know this William Ballard died without issue when his estate is presented in court by Thomas Vines, Edwd Baptist, Walter Butler and Robert Ballard, and consists solely of “a Negroe girle of about 19 years old which we value to 30 pd.” (17 December 1719.  Presented in Court 21 December 1719. York Co. Va. Deeds, Orders Wills, 1718-1720, p. 527. Note that William Ballard was devised two slaves in the will of his father, “negro Giles, Molatto Kate with her Increase” and ten pounds Sterling.). No provision was made for a wife or orphans.  Perhaps the absence of children is the reason no will was drafted.

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.

Two lines died out, and a third prospered for several generations.  Such is life.

The Will of James Ballard, Sr of Albemarle County, Virginia (c. 1767-1853).

We haven’t seen this will published elsewhere.  In fact, several secondary sources fail to name him at all while giving accounts of his brothers and sisters.   With Rootsweb currently unavailable (as of this writing on 10 April 2018), we cannot check to see what, if anything, was published about him.  Research in the land records could give a fuller picture of his life, of course (if time ever allows), but in the meantime we will spend a few hours on the descent of his son Thomas, noted below in a Federal census record as living at a farm adjacent to James in 1850, and confirmed by being named in the will as living on adjoining land.

James Ballard, Sr, of Albemarle County, Virginia, was the son of Thomas Horace Ballard of Albemarle County, Virgina. He reportedly served in the Light Infantry from 1794 to 1802, and married 10 May 1790 in Albemarle County Ann Rodes (Rhodes), who was born 20 February 1775, died 25 September 1852. Ann Rhodes was the daughter of David Rhodes (died 1793) and Mary Mills (died 10 April 1781).1

James Ballard and his wife Ann were still living at the time of the 1850 US Federal Census, which listed James Ballard, age 83, and Ann Ballard, age 76. In the household were two females, Julia A. Day, age 40, and Julia N. Day, age 15. 1850 US Federal Census, Albemarle, Virginia, Roll M432_932, Page 216B, Image 437. James Ballard likely died about 1853, for the following year his son James Ballard, Jr of New York, New York, joined by his wife Sarah, sold his farm to Gabriel Maupin.

James Ballard left a will dated 23 February 1846 with a codicil dated 16 May 1851. It was presented for probate 7 February 1853.

In the name of God: Amen

I James Ballard of Albemarle County and state of Virginia. Being in usual health of body and of sound state of mind memory and understanding do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following. And at the same time declaiming ??? to be … of all former wills made by me.

Item 1st. After my just debts are paid I lend my wife Anna Ballard all my estate. Both real personal chattel etc of every kind & character during her life and at her death to be subject to the following conditions, viz.

Item 2nd. At the death of my wife I give my son James Ballard the site or tract of land upon which my dwelling house stands and deeded to me by Thos. Ballard dec’d containing one hundred and nineteen acres more or less.

Item 3rd. At the death of my [wife] I give my sons Garland & Thomas Ballard the balance of my tract of land which I now hold, known by the name of Jones Tract, adjoining the land of Thos. M. Douglass and others to be divided equally between them in quantity and quality. But the deciding line shall become between my land and my son Thomas dwelling house. My will and specially instruct (?) is that my son Garland shall have the side which contains my barn and that Thomas shall have the side upon which he now lives, with the privilege and ??? and listed right to use water at any and all times at pleasure and of my using family spring as long as he or any of his posterity may own said land.

Item 4th. At my wifes death, my will and special ancetions is that my daughter Salina Bohannon, Judith Ann Day, Frances E. Cleveland and my grandchildren viz. Eliza Ann, Sarah Ellen, and Mary Frances Oakes shall have such a portion of my estate as will make what they and their mothers had had equal in amount to Three hundred and fiteen dollars 25 cents, the sum I have charged against my daughter Mary Thompson, dec’d.

Item 5th. At the death of said wife Anna Ballard I will that all of my property and estate which I have not specifically willed or given away shall be sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds of such sale equally divided amongst my children and grandchildren namely, Garland, Thomas, Selina Bohannon, Judith Ann Day, James & Frances E. Cleveland my children. Eliza Ann Sarah H. & Mary F. Oaks children of my daughter Sophia Oaks dec’d. John, James, Mary Ann, William and Nicholas Thompson, my grandchildren, with the following conditions, viz: I wish it to be specially understood that my three grandchildren named Oaks and the five named Thompson all of whom are named above shall have such a part or portion of my estate as would have fallen to their mothers were they living and each mothers part to be equally divided amongst her children, and be given to them and shall ???; I have given my son David Ballard and daughter Susan Shelton as much as I feel able to give them consequently I give them nothing by this will.

Item 6. My will & special desire is that my exector or executors to this my will shall hold in his or her hands the legacies of those of my grandchildren named above who may be single and under the age of twenty one until they marry or arrive to the age of twenty one years. At which time they (my exors) shall pay such their legacy or legacies with legal interest whereupon from the time he or they have had it in possession by the authority of this will.

Item 7. It is my will and wish that my daughter Judith Ann Day shall live her mother until she marry or during the life of her mother.

Item 8. My will is that the buildings upon the lands given to Garland & Thomas Ballard by me shall not be valued to them with the land, but the lands shall be valued and divided as though there were no buildings upon either.

Lastly I constitute and appoint my son Thomas Ballard and my son in law Porter Cleveland or either of them executor or executors to this my last will and testament in witness whereof I hereunto affix my hand and seal this 23rd day of February Eighteen hundred and forty six.

James Ballard {Seal}

Signed, sealed a& acknowledged in the presence of Ed. I. Thompson, Wm. Mallory, Nathaniel Thompson Jr.


I James Ballard do add the following codicil to my will above written and assigned and dated 23rd Feby 1846. Viz. All the property given by me to my son Garland Ballard in the above named will I do now revoke: and I give him nothing in his ??? and ???. But I lend to my son Garland Ballard all the property named and specified in my above named will in trust for the benefit of his children namely Alex’r B. Helen [somewhat illegible] & Mary E. Bennett & Wm. H. Ballard. My said son Garland Ballard is by this my last will & testament fully authorized to sell any part or the whole of the property lent him in trust by me: and invest the proceeds therefrom in such property or properties as he may think best for the benefit of his aforesaid children; and the amount of property arising therefrom to be applied annually to the support of his children above named. The property is to be kept so together during the life term of my said son Garland; and at his death to be equally divided amongst his above named children. No security is to be required of said son for carrying into execution this trust fund. Given under my hands and seal this 16th day of May 1851.

James Ballard {Seal}

Signed in the presence of Ed. J. Thompson, Nicholas Thompson, Julia N. Day

At a court held for Albemarle County the 7th Feby 1853.

The instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of James Ballard dec’d was offered for proof by the exor therein named Thereupon Thomas L. Shelton and Nelson Foster appeared and expressed the same.

And at a court held for said county the 8th March 1853 – This day came the??? By their attorneys, whereupon on hearing it is conceded by the court that the said writing be recorded as the last will and testament of the said James Ballard, dec’d.

Recorded Albemarle County, Virginia Will Books, Vol. 22-23, 1852-1856, pp. 122-124.

James Ballard and Ann Rodes had issue:

GARLAND, married (1) 5 May 1818 Eliza Burt; married (2) 2 November 1826 Georgianna Blair.

JAMES, married Sarah __________.

Thomas. This is most likely the Thomas Ballard and his family residing in the farm adjacent to James Ballard, Sr in the 1850 Census, which enumerated Thomas Ballard, age 45 (born c. 1805); Lucy Ballard, age 40; Ann E. Ballard, age 18; George Ballard, age 16; James Ballard, age 12; Thomas E. Ballard, age 3; and Eliza A. Duke, age 30. 1850 US Federal Census, Albemarle, Virginia, Roll M432_932, Page 216B, Image 437.

DAVID, married Elizabeth __________.

Susan, married Thomas L. Shelton.

Selina, married Thomas Bohanan.

Judith, married Nimrod Day.

Frances, married Porter Cleveland.

Sophia, married Hudson Oakes, died before 1846.  Issue: 1. Eliza Ann Oakes; 2. Sarah H. Oakes; 3. Mary F. Oaks.

Mary, married William Thompson.  Issue: 1. John Thompson; 2. James; 3. Mary Ann Thompson; 4. William Thompson; 5. Nicholas Thompson.

1. “The Rodes Family,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 7, No. 1 (July 1899) pp. 84-85. Virginia, Marriages, 1740-1850 (Ancestry database).

The Will of Elizabeth Ballard of Norfolk, Virginia (1785).

We have, of late, turned our attention to the problem of Reuben Ballard (c. 1748-1820) and his wife Apsilla, whose ancestry and origins remain a mystery.  Apsilla is believed by many researchers to be the daughter of Abraham Ballard of Perquimans County, North Carolina.  She may be, but we have not seen any proof — but that is a matter to explore in another post.

In the course of re-visiting our incomplete research of the various Ballards that settled in Southeast Virginia and that part of Virginia that landed in North Carolina with the boundary adjustment of 1728, we stumbled across the following will, written by an Elizabeth Ballard of Norfolk, Virginia and preserved among Norfolk, Virginia Original Wills, Vol. 1, 1774-1779.

In the name of God amen I Elizabeth Ballard of the County of Norfolk in the State of Virginia being of sound mind and memory do make this my last Will & Testament in manner & form following, that is to say –

I desire that all my just debts be first paid then it is my desire that what worldly goods I possess may be disposed as followeth.

Imprimis, I give to my granddaughter Elizabeth Andrews the negro Girl Hannah that that has for some years lived with her, with the whole of the increase of said Hannah.

Item, I give to my granddaughter Ann Ballard my Negro girl Betty.

Item I give to my granddaughter Catharine Boush my young wench Grace Sister to Betty.

Item I give to my granddaughter Elizabeth Hutchings & Catharine Hutchings three Certificates for money I put into the Treasury amounting to Five hundred & four pounds or thereabouts.

Item I give to my son William Ballard a Bond signed by Mordecai Booth, Francis Whiting & James Paisley the said Bond being the same on which a suit was brought in the General Court some years past.

I likewise give to my said son William Ballard my Negro Boy Joe son of Frankey.

I give my largest truck to my granddaughter Elizabeth Hutchings.

I give my chest of drawers to my granddaughter Catharine Hutchings.

I further give to my said son William Ballard my bed which I lie on.

Signed with my seal & dated this eight day of July One thousand seven hundred & eighty-five.

— Elizabeth Ballard

Sealed & signed in presence of: Travis Tucker, John L[illegible]


Eliz. Ballard
Sept 6, 1787 proved
Sept Court 1787
admin granted

Recorded and (?)
Jno. Bousch cnc (perhaps “Clerk Norfolk Court”?)

This Elizabeth Ballard is none other than Elizabeth Gibbons, the widow of John Ballard of Yorktown, Virginia (1700-1745). This is clear from the family relationships she outlines in her bequests, namely:

  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Andrews – Elizabeth was the daughter of Elizabeth Gibbon’s son Robert Ballard of Princess Anne County, Virginia (1733-1770) and his wife Anne Newton. Elizabeth married Reverend Robert Andrews of York County.
  • Granddaughter Ann Ballard, most likely Elizabeth’s sister Ann, about who we know very little and who likely never married.
  • Granddaughter Catherine Bousch – Catherine was another daughter of Robert Ballard, who married Robert Boush.
  • Granddaughters Elizabeth Hutchings and Catherine Hutchings – These are children of Elizabeth’s daughter Ann, who married (1) ________ Ramsey and (2) John Hutchings.
  • Son William Ballard – We know his brothers predeceased him: Thomas — lost at sea in 1747; John — while his death is not documented anywhere that we can find, we know from the York County land records that his younger brother Robert came into possession of the real property devised to him in the will of their father, which means John had no heirs to claim it; and Robert, who removed to Princess Anne county and died there in 1770, leaving William the sole surviving male in this family.

Note that there is no mention of Robert’s daughter Margaret, who must have been dead by 1785.  For details on all of the above, please see John Ballard of Yorktown, Virginia (1700-1745) and Robert Ballard of Princess Anne County, Virginia (1733-1770).

And what became of William?

We know from assorted land records in York County that William had removed to Norfolk and that his mother Elizabeth joined him there.  Tax records identify a single William Ballard residing in Norfolk at the time, and a newspaper notice published in the Norfolk Gazette and Public Ledger (p. 2, Col. 4) on 20 March 1812 announced: “Died – Yesterday  morning, Mr. William Ballard, in the 69th year of his age, many years since a Merchant of this place.” That age puts the year of his birth as 1743, which is the year recorded in the John Ballard Family Bible.

Could William have had children not named in Elizabeth’s will? We have not come across a marriage record for him, nor evidence of children. More study is needed on that point, though truthfully this researcher is inclined to think that William is the last male of this particular branch of the descendants of Thomas Ballard of James City County, Virginia (1630-1690).

The Ancestry of Lewis Francis Ballard of Copiah County, Mississippi (1761-1833).

One would think that all of the men documented among Revolutionary War Pension records would be proudly traced, but in a few cases the male line died out, or perhaps they were overlooked because of confusion arising from something as simple as using a different name.

Apparently that is the case with the pension record of one Francis Ballard, whose pension record states that he was born January 1761 and served three enlistments as a private in the American Revolution, and ultimately removed to Copiah county, Mississippi, in 1803 and died there 30 October 1833. The Pension Application states that when he was a child, he moved to Edgecombe County, North Carolina in that part that later became Nash County. In June 1777 he enlisted and served three months as a substitute for his brother, William Ballard, as a private in Captain Solomon Carpenter’s company, Colonel Axom’s North Carolina regiment

About a year after the termination of this service, he enlisted and served for more than two months, dates and officers’ names not given. He enlisted in March 1781, and served three months under Colonel Linton in the North Carolina troops and was in the battle of Guilford Court House. Some five or six years after the Revolution, he moved to Pensacola, Florida, c. 1788; lived there about ten years, then moved to Adams County, Mississippi and after that to Copiah County, Mississippi, where he had lived for five years when pension was allowed on his application executed June 24, 1833. The Mississippi land had been previously cultivated by Robert Holloway in 1801 .21  (The Natchez Court Records 1767-1805, Abstract of Early Records, Vol II.   Mississippi Territory (Adams County) Land Claim #1234 (26 Mar 1804); Mississippi Territory (Adams County) Certificate D-154 issued 16 Dec 1806).  His Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files (Soldier S65533) are preserved in the National Archives, and is transcribed below.

In 2004 researcher DeeDee Debenedetto pointed out that in the 1830 census, a single Ballard resided in Copiah County, Mississippi — Lewis F. Ballard, and reached the conclusion (with which we concur, as have several other researchers) that his middle name was Francis.  The name recurs in later generations, most notably his likely son, Lewis F. Ballard, who in 1850 was living in Smith County, Texas.  In that enumeration we learn that Lewis F. Ballard was born c. 1792 in Florida; his wife Mary, 1813 in South Carolina, and that all of their children were born in Mississippi: Susan C., age 22; Lewis F., age 20; James M., age 16; and Charles C., age 14.  1850 US Federal Census.

We found records related to Charles C. Ballard, but our interest lies not in bringing these lines to the present, but in pushing them back to their origins in Colonial Virginia.

His pension application states with specificity that he was born 7 miles from Petersburg; this places the family in either Dinwiddie, Prince George or Chesterfield Counties.  Dinwiddie is home to Bath Parish, where the rector was Devereaux Jarratt (1733-1801).  The name Devereaux occurs in the family of William Ballard of Halifax County, North Carolina (c.1710-1775) who named a son Devereaux; its believed the name came into the family from William’s marriage to Elizabeth Clopton, whose mother was Mary Jarratt of New Kent County.  It is not clear what degree of relation exists between Devereaux Jarratt and Elizabeth Clopton, if any.

The pension record also mentions his brother William, and residency in North Carolina in Edgecombe Count from c. 1765 to 1777, when Nash County was cut from the county.  What do the land records show?  Most of these transactions are deeds; exceptions are noted.

Edgecombe County Deed Books

The deed index for Edgecombe County shows the following transactions:

1763 – George Sellers al to Edward Ballard, recorded Book C, p. 61.

1767 – Arthur Taylor to Edward Ballard, recorded Book OO, p. 233.

1767 – Arthur Taylor to Edward Ballard, recorded Book C, p. 447.

1774 – Duncan Lamon to Edward Ballard, recorded Book 2, p. 59.

1788 – Alexander Cromwell’s Heirs to Benjamin and Sarah Ballard (release), recorded Book 4, p. 732.

1799 – Wyatt and Salley Ballard to Michael George, recorded Book 9, p. 278.

1800 – Joseph Morgan to Benjamin Ballard, recorded Book 9, p. 389.

1800 – Wyatt and Salley Ballard to Michael George (acknowledgement), recorded Book 9, p. 441.

1804 – Wyatt and Sallie Ballard to Thomas Wiggins, recorded Book 11, p. 162.

1807 – Bengerman Ballard to William Billips, recorded Book 12, p. 222.

1809 – Benjamin Ballard “Est by Shf” (Estate by Sheriff?) to Gray Little, recorded Book 13, p. 157.

1811 – Kinchen Evertt to John Ballard, recorded Book 14, p. 32.

1815 – John Ballard to Kinchen Everitt, recorded Book 15, p. 312.

Nash County Deed Books

The deed index for Nash County has the following transactions:

Grantor Index:

1787 – William M. Ballard to William Poulan, Book 1, p. 326.

1787 – Christopher Ballard to Jacob Joiner, Book 1, p. 353.

1788 – Christopher Ballard to Joseph Joiner, Book 1, p. 370.

1787 – William Ballard to Allen Baker, Book 1, p. 383.

1785 – William Ballard to William Powlan, Book 3, p. 305.

1791 – Christopher Ballard to William Ballard, Book 5, p. 51.

1792 – William Ballard to Cornelius Joiner, Book 4, p. 128.

1792 – Peter Ballard to Nathan Joiner, Book 4, p. 143.

1798 – William Ballard to Uriah Hatcher, Book 6, p. 300.

1799 – William Ballard to John Bone, Book 6, p. 397.

1799 – Peter Ballard to Amos Hatcher, Book 6, p. 425.

1817 – Edward Ballard to William Lindsey, Book 7, p. 405.

1815 – Edward Ballard, Sr to William Ballard, Book 9, p. 171.

1816 – William Ballard “Est by Exr” to John Vick, Book 9, p 269.

1786 – David Ballard to Henry Barler, Book 3, p. 444.

Grantee Index:

1780 – Joseph Lindsey to David Ballard, Book 1, p. 129.

1785 – William Whiddon to Peter Ballard, Book 1, p. 151.

1785 – Henry Barlow to Peter Ballard, Book 1, p. 156.

1782 – James Baker to Christopher Ballard, Book 1, p. 190.

1782 – Henry Atkins to Christopher Ballard, Book 1, p. 221.

1785 – State of NC to Christopher Ballard, Book 3, p. 134.

1791 – Christopher Ballard to William Ballard, Book 4, p. 51.

1792 – Jacob Brantley to Peter Ballard, Book 4, p. 153.

[no date] – William Sellard to Peter Ballard, Book 5, p. 116.

1815 – Edward Ballard, Sr to William Ballard, Book 9, p. 171.

We find the following abstracts online on a page dedicated to research of the Brantley family:

DB 1-156 – Henry Barlow of Nash Co to Peter Ballard of same, Feb 17 1785, for 6- pds specie a tract of 90 acres on the S side of Saphony Creek adjoining John Brantley. Edward Ballard, and Benjamin Smith. Wit: Wilson Vick and Amos Gandy.

DB 4-153 – Jacob Brantly of Nash Co to Peter Ballard of same, Aug 12, 1791, for 200 pds. two tracts of land: (1) 112 1/2 acres on the south side of Saphony Creek along a dividing line made by John Brantly between his sons, Jacob and Matthew Brantly, it being a tract bequeathed to the said Jacob Brantly by his father; (2) 240 acres adjoining Edward Ballard, Matthew Brantly, Joseph Seley, Wm Sellers, and Peter Ballard, it being a tract granted to said Jacob Brantly by the state on Oct 25, 1782. Wit: William Linsey and Edward Ballard. (Doc on File)

DB 4-114 – State of NC grant to Jacob Brantley by Gov Alex Martin, Oct 25 1782, a tract of 240 acres on Sapony Creek adjoining Edward Ballard, Matthew Brantley, Joseph Seley and Wm Sellers.

DB 6-208 – Asa Brantley of Nash Co. to William Poulan of same. Dec. 31, 1796, for 39 pds. a tract of 150 acres on the north side of Jacobs Swamp adjoining said Brantley and Poulan. Wit William Ballard and Curtis Joyner.

DB 6-316 – Wm Lindsey of Nash Co to Nathan Joyner of same, Sep 29, 1797 fro 50 pds a tract of 200 acres on the north side of tar River adjoining John Brantley, John Bone, Wm Ballard, Christopher Taylor, and Arthur Sellers. Wit: Wm Ballard and Jordan Williams

Nash County Deed Book E, page 355 (34) Christopher Ballard of Nash County, NC to Jacob Joiner of same 16 Sept 1786 for 100 pounds current monety of said State one certain tract of land and plantation on South side of Sapony Creek, begining at Ben Smith’s corner a hickory tree, running along his line West 140 pole to a poplar John Joiner’s Corner, thence Joiner’s line up a small branch South 30 degree East 152 pole to a pine in Thomas Kersey’s line, thence along his line North 38 pole to Simmon tree, thence Kersey’s other line East 115 pole to a pine near Samuel Bottoms’ corner, thence Bottoms’ line 88 pole to a black oak, thence West to the begining, containing 223 acres more or less. Christopher Ballard. Wit: Jesse Joiner, John Joiner.  February Term 1787, Wm Hall, CC

The first Ballard to appear in Edgecombe County records, and later in Nash County records, is an Edward Ballard, who acquired 650 acres in Edgecombe County from George Sellars and his wife Fatha Sellors by deed dated 20 February 1763, for £30 Virginia money.  The land was “on the north side of Tar River, just above the Long Branch and near Poplar Branch adjoining an old line made for Arthur Taylor, Jacob Braswell, and the Jacobs Swamp, it being a Granville grant to Jacob Braswell bearing date Dec. 6, 1760.”  Witnesses: Arthur Taylor James Ferguson.

According to Frederick Holmes Cron, Distant Voices as Heard From The Water’s Edge (Wyandotte, OK: Gregarth Publishing Co., 1999), he married Sarah _______ [no source given] and died prior to 11 July 1767.  They had a son, Edward, born before 1755, who died c. 1819.  Edward married Ann _________, who died before 1795.  Ann is believed to have died c. 1795 because of a series of Guardian Bonds in the records.  As Mr. Cron notes,


Original guardian bonds are not a rarity. A guardian was appointed to the several children in a family when their father had deceased, whose function was to look after the proportionate share of the estate of each child. This did not always happen. Many times in the petitions of Nash County there were references to children of deceased fathers who were without guardians. Also, when the mother died, there were few cases of guardians being appointed for, at that time, the property of a wife became that of her husband. In some cases a father was appointed guardian to his own children, usually because of a legacy from a grandparent or other relative.

Guardian bonds were required by law to be renewed every year. This matter was often overlooked. Also, a return of the account of the property of the orphan was filed every year for court approval. Many guardian returns were not made every year, as the law required, but sometimes covered a period of two or more years. This often happened when the child became an orphan at an early age and the guardianship was extended over a long period of time.

There were many instances of changes of guardians. In the majority of cases, this was caused by the death of the guardian. Another frequent reason was the coming of age of one of the male children, who took over this responsibility for his brothers and sisters.

The importance of this listing is with regard to Edward “Neddie” Ballard the close friend of John “Jack” Bone.

Ballard, Billy, son of Edward Ballard. Bond May 12, 1795 by his father, Edward Ballard, gdn.

Ballard, Edward, son of Edward Ballard. Bond May 12, 1795 by his father, Edward Ballard, gdn.

Ballard, Mourning, daughter of Edward Ballard. Bond May 12, 1795 by her father, Edward Ballard, gdn.

Ballard, Nanny, daughter of Edward Ballard. Bond May 12, 1795 by her father, Edward Ballard, gdn.

Ballard, Polly, daughter of Edward Ballard Bond May 12, 1795 by her father, Edward Ballard, gdn.

Mr. Cron continues with an interesting observation regarding Edward Ballard, the third of the name in Nash County:

I believe Edward Ballard (III) had considered and had chosen to leave North Carolina at least as early as April 10, 1812, for on that date he had obtained $300 in lieu of his intended inheritance of 150 acres from his father, Edward Ballard (II).

This indenture made this the tenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve between Edward Ballard Sr. of the County of Nash and State of North Carolina of the one part and William Ballard of the County and State aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that the said Edward Ballard for the in consideration of three hundred dollars to his son Edward Ballard in hand paid before the signing sealing or delivering of these presents doth give grant and convey to the foresaid William Ballard the track of land that he intended by a will to give to his son Edward Ballard which gift of land to him and his heirs is forever void and nul and I theafore sd Edward Ballard sn doth give grant and convey to the aforesd William Ballard the same tract and parcel of land lying and being in the county and state aforesaid and bounded as followeth to wit beginning at the Reedy Branch on Jepe Joiners line thence east along sd line to a pine corner in sd Joiners line thence] a south cource to a comer oak Curtis Joiners John Bakers comer thence west to the 4 sd Reedy Branch thence down the manders of said branch to the first begining containing by estemation one hundred and fifty acres be there the same more or less to have and to hold all and singularly the above granted premises to him the sd William Ballard his heirs executor administrators and assigns forever free from all manner of incumberences whatsoever and 1 the 4 sd Edward Ballard Sr. for myself my heirs executors administrators or assigns for ever warrant the write and title of sd land and premeses to him the 4 sd William Ballard his heris and assigns forever in witness where unto I have set my hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Signed and Sealed and Delivered in Presents his of us Edward X Ballard (Seal) (His Mark)

Witnesses: William Lindsey, Pollev X Ballard (Her Mark)

Nash County, February Session 1815.  The foregoing deed was proven in open court by the oath of William Lindsey and on motion ordered to be registered. Wm Hall CCC and is registered.  Recorded Nash Co. N.C. Deed Book 9, p. 171.

Edward Ballard left a will dated 22 October 1819, which is found among a number of unrecorded wills, though account records were entered May Term 1822.  The sale was conducted by his executor Nelson Bone on 9 June 1820.

In the name of God amen I Edward Ballard of Nash County and State of North Carolina being weak in body but of perfect mind and desposing memory blesses be God do this twenty second day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nineteen make and publish this my last will and testament in form and manner following that is to say I give my soul to almighty God that auther of it and my body to be buried at the discission of my exector hereafter named.

Item – My will and desire is that all my worldly goods should be desposed of in form and manner following

Item -I give to my beloved daughter Charity Lindsey five shillings to her and her heirs for ever

Item -I give and bequeath to my beloved duaghter Patsey Van Landanham five shillings to her and her heris forever.

Item -I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Nancy Tucker one feather bed and furniture and some money to her and her heirs forever.

Item -I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Mournin Bone three feather beds and furniture and all the other part of my property that I bring here to Nelson Bones.

Item -I give and bequeath to my beloved grand daughter Pheriba Ballard four hundred dollars which is due me in notes but not to be on interest until after my death to her and her heirs forever lawfully begotton of her body if any and if none it is to return and be equally divided between my lawfull heirs.

Item -I give to my beloved son Edward Ballard five shillings to him and his heirs forever.

Item -I give and bequeath to my two beloved daughters namely Nancy Tucker and Mournin Bone one hundred dollars in money to be equally divided between them and to them and their heirs forever.

And I do hereby constitute and appoint my tru friend Nelson Bone exeter to this my last will and testament in witness where of I have here unto set mv hand and seal the day and year above written.

Signed and Acknowledged his in presents of Edward  Ballard (Seal)

Witnesses: Sen Fischel, Wm Cooper

Edward Ballard and Ann _________ had issue (what follows is information provided by Mr. Cron and not yet corroborated):

Nancy, born c. 1770-1780, died after 1840 in Wilkinson County, Georgia; married Barna Tucker.

Martha (“Patsey”), born 1779, died August 1860n Cairo, Decatur (now Grady Co., Georgia).  Married c. 1793 Peter VanLandingham, who was born April 1765, died 2 January 1832, Decatur (now Grady Co., Georgia).

Mourning, born  1784, died 1823; married  c. 1813 Nelson Bone, who was born c. 1782, died July 1866.

William (“Billy”), born  c. 1784-1790, died 6 January 1815; married 16 January 1813 Chasity “Anna” Babb.

Edward, born  c. 1790-95, married 5 June 1830 in Decatur (now Grady Co., Georgia)  Jinsev W. Bowen.

Charity “Polly”, born c. 1794, died before 27 February 1829; married  William Lindsev, who died 16 February 1817.

Edward’s son William left a will dated 23 September 1814, immediately prior to enlisting in the North Carolina Militia.  William Ballard served in the War of 1812 with Co. B., Capt. Isaac Watkins Company, First Regiment North Carolina detached militia. He enlisted on 24 September 1814 for a period of six months. He was enlisted as a private at the pay of $8/month.

In The Name of God Amen I William Ballard of Nash County in the State of North Carolina being weak in body but of sound and desposing memory do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following viz I recommend by soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it my body to be buried al the discretion of my executors here after to be appointed.

Item -I gave and bequeath unto my wife Anna Ballard one feather bed and furniture one cow and calf one saddle one chest one wollen wheel all my kitchen furniture and as much pcrvision as will support her and the child one year.

Item – My desire is that the land I bought of my brother be sold and all the remainds of my property and my just debts be paid.

Item -1 give and bequeath unto my daughter Pheraby the money the [w]hole of my property brings after paying my just debts.

I do hereby constitute and appoint my friend Elijah Atkinson executor to this my last will and testament.

Signed Seald(sic) and Acknowledged this the 23 day of September in the year of our Lord God one thousand eight hundred and foreteen.  William Ballard (Seal) (his mark)

In presents of her Fanny X Babb

His son William Edward Ballard is not mentioned in the will, but appears in subsequent guardian records; presumably his wife Anna was with child but not known to him when the will was written.  Anna died c. 1815 (perhaps in childbirth) and William Lindsey, the husband of William’s sister Charity was named guardian in 1817; on Lindsey’s death in 1817, the next guardian was John Babb, Anna Babb Ballard’s brother.

Ballard, Phereba “Fcrrcba” Jane Thomas. Bond 1817 by William Lindsev. gdn Bonds 1824-27, returns 1825-26-27-28-29 by Nelson Bone, gdn Received legacy from estate of Edward Ballard

Ballard, William Edward Bond 1817 by William Lindsey, gdn.

In conformity to an order of Nash County Court Nov term 1817 to us the under signees directed for the purpose of settling the accounts of Richard Holland Esquire, executor of William Lindsey, deceased who was former guardian to Phiriby J. T. Ballard and Wm. E. Ballard, orphans of William Ballard deceased with John Babb present guardian to the said orphans, and on a due examination made we find that the Richard Holland Esquire as executor of Wm. Lindsey deceased ows to the said John Babb the present guardian to the said orphans of William Ballard deceased, the sum of four hundred and sixty-six dollars and sixteen cents given under our hand and seals this 13th day of November AD 1817.

D. W. Ricks (Seal) Jepe Joiner (Seal) Jo Wbell (Seal)

Mr. Cron further notes that William Lindsey became guardian to Phiriby Jane Thomas Ballard as well as her brother William E. Ballard, until Lindsey died prior to 16 February 1817.  John Babb was their guardian on 13 November 1817.

Recall that Pheriba was the devisee of $400 from her grandfather Edward Ballard in his will of 22 October 22 1819. Pheriba was not of legal age, being born after 1813, since her parents William Ballard and Anna Babb were not married until 16 January 1813.

Nelson Bone, husband of Edward’s daughter Mourning, was appointed executor of Edward Ballard’s estate, and later guardian for Phereby in 1825.

Phereby Ballard died prior to 27 February 1829 in Henry County, West Tennessee.  Edward’s will recited that  if she did not have heirs “lawfully begotton of her body if any and if none it is to return and be equally divided between my law full heirs,” which is what occurred.

On 27 February 1829 there was a division ($140.22) between the children of Charity Ballard Lindsey and William Lindsey (deceased): 1. John Wesley Lindsey, born 16 February 1817;  2. Asbury Lindsey;  3. Jerusha Lindsey; 4. John Wesley Lindsey for his brother Edward Buxton Lindsey; 5. Betsey Lindsey; 6. Polly Lindsey,”to Hudson Finch in right of his wife Polly Lindsey and $104.20.”

On 16 November 1829 there was a further division between Peter Van Landenham ($125.78) husband of Martha Ballard, and Barna Tucker ($125.78) husband of Nancy Ballard. Also Nelson Bone the husband of Mourning Ballard received the fifth share.

Given that Francis was born January 1761, the most reasonable assumption, given that (1) Francis’ family moved to that part of Edgecombe County what became Nash County when he was a child; and (2) Edward Ballard was the first of the name who purchased land in Edgecombe County in the part of Edgecombe that became Nash County in 1777, it stands to reason that Lewis Francis Ballard who ultimately removed to Copiah, Mississippi was a son of the Edward Ballard who purchased land in Edgecombe in 1763, and had two additional sons: William and Edward (and possible unknown daughters).

Which begs the question of the whereabouts of his brother William, for whom he substituted in the war.  Substitutes in the Revolutionary War were usually accepted in place of draftees whose service at home was deemed too valuable for the household to lose; its likely William was most likely the eldest son and was overseeing the family farm after their father’s death, so Lewis Francis entered service in his place.

Until we have access to the early records of Nash County and Edgecombe County, we are limited to making educated guesses about these family relationships.  We’ve enquired of professional genealogists but have not yet found one that works in those counties.

The name “Lewis” also points to possible connections to William Ballard of Orange County, North Carolina (c. 1734-c. 1819), who named a son Lewis, and possibly the Lewis Ballard mentioned in the 19 February 1759 will of William Eaton recorded in Lincoln County, North Carolina; Eaton owned land in Dinwiddie County, where Francis Ballard was probably born. Hopefully an examination of the early records of these two counties will help us tease out the relationships among the Ballards living in Nash County in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century that appear in the land records cited in the indexes above — namely William, Christopher, Peter, Wyatt and Benjamin.


Revolutionary War Pension Application of Francis Ballard

S6553 fn17NC, Transcribed by Will Graves

State of Mississippi, Copiah County

On the 24th day of June 1833 personally appeared in open Court before the Probate Court now sitting in and for the County and in the State aforesaid, Francis Ballard aged about 75 years a resident of said County and State, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.

That he was born in Virginia about 7 miles from Petersburg in January 1761 and removed while a child to North Carolina to the County of Edgecombe and to that part afterwards called Nash County from which place he entered the service of the United States as a substitute for his brother William Ballard who was a drafted militia soldier about June in the year 1777 and marched with his company commanded by Captain Solomon Carpenter up the Cape Fear River, crossed over the Yadkin and proceeded some 20 miles on the other side in pursuit of the enemy without overtaking them, when they returned, recrossed the Yadkin and encamped near its banks until the expiration of his term of service which was three months. During this term of service Col. Axom [sic, Benjamin Exum ?] commanded the Regiment in which he served and there was also a body of troops in company with them he believes from Virginia commanded by one Colonel Sowell [sic, Benjamin Seawell or Sowell of NC?]. He also recollects a Captain Richards who commanded a company in the Regiment to which he belonged, but the names of the other officers and of the particular places through which they marched have gone from his memory and he cannot recall them.

He was drafted as a private soldier about the year after the term of service above specified, for three months and served in the vicinity of Rocky River more than two months but was discharged a short period before his term of service expired but he was in no engagement nor can he recollect the names of the officers with whom he at this time served, or any places in particular through which they marched [several words of text obliterated] feels confident that he was out on service at the least two months.

He was a third time drafted in March of the year 1781 as a private soldier for the term of three months and rendezvoused at Halifax on the Roanoke River, and from thence he marched with the Regiment under the command of Col. Linton and joined the regular Army under the command of General Green [sic, Nathanael Greene] and proceeded to Guilford Court House where an action took place between the American and British Army in which he took a part, but received no injury. After this action he retired with the Army to Hill’s Iron Works [sic, Troublesome Iron Works] with the Army, and was one of the detachment selected by order of General Greene to return home with the supernumerary horses of the militia light horse while the remainder of the Army marched on for Camden at this time he served three months. And he feels very confident that in the whole he served during the war eight months and believes he served longer, but would not state it at more on account of his imperfect recollection of matters that occurred at that distance of time, and his inability to procure any documentary evidence which can cast any light upon the subject.

He believes that he received a written discharge at the expiration of his first term of service which has long since been lost or destroyed and that the other discharges at the expiration of the two other terms were merely oral, but he cannot state positively, nor can he recollect the names of the officers who discharged him on account of the extreme imbecility of his memory occasioned by age and infirmity. He further states that some five or six years after the close of the revolution he removed to Pensacola in East Florida where he resided for about 10 years and from thence to Adams County in this State and came to this County about five years ago where he has resided ever since, that he has no record of his age nor has he any documentary evidence by which he can prove the length of his revolutionary services nor does he know of any living witness who can testify to the same or any part thereof from personal knowledge.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid. S/ Francis Ballard [Jesse Scrivner, a clergyman and Benjamin Kennedy gave the standard supporting affidavit.] [veteran died October 30, 1833].

A Line Clarified: Thomas Ballard of Surry County, North Carolina (c. 1755-1794).

One of our hopes in publishing this blog is that people with a fresh perspective or information unknown to us will come forward and supply something new that helps us sort out the various lines we are attempting to document.  We received just such a message yesterday, offering vital information about the family that is the subject of this newspaper notice:


Surry County.

In Equity.

John Bryson, vs. the heirs of Thomas Ballard, dec’d. David Blackwell and Elizabeth his wife, David Hains and Mary his wife, Ann Ballard, Charles Ballard, Sadell B. Brooks and Sarah, his wife, William Ballard, and ——– Roberts, and Susannah his wife — Petition to compel a conveyance of land.

It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that these defendants are not inhabitants of this state. It is ordered and decreed by the court that publication be made in the Raleigh Star for six weeks, that the said defendants appear at our next court of equity to be held for said county, on the first Monday in March next, at the Court House in Rockford, and plead, answer or demur to said petition or the same will be heard exparte at the next term.

Witness, JAMES PARKS, Clk in our said court, at office the fir[s]t Monday in Sept. 1819.

The North Carolina Star, Fri, Mar 17, 1820

Here is the message:

I have some information on your post John Bryson vs. The Heirs of Thomas Ballard, dec’d.

My ancestor is Lucy Jane Ballard, daughter of Thomas Horace Ballard of Albemarle. She is listed in her father’s will as Lucy Harvey. She married Joseph Harvey in 1778 in Albemarle Co, VA. In 1855 Barren County, KY Lucy Harvey’s son, James Harvey of Barren County, KY applied for the funds that were due his mother based on her deceased husband’s Rev. War service. At that time she was 88 years old. She states that they were married in Orange Co, Virginia. The application was suspended, as Lucy died before the case was settled.  Included in the application is the following statement made by James Harvey (her son) Statement by James Harvey, Monroe co, KY:

“ father’s fellow soldiers of whom I have heard him speak (viz) Jacob Burrus or Burroughs, Thomas Ballard (my mother’s brother) and one (Jonathan?) Davis – Said Burrus was our neighbor when we lived in Surry County North Carolina – and he moved to either Smith or Sumner County Tennessee where he died many years ago (I forget whether before or since my father, before I think. Thomas Ballard died when I was a young boy and his widow Betsey married David Blackwell.”  source: eFold Pension Record of Joseph Harvey.

One of Lucy Ballard and Joseph Harvey’s daughters, Olive, married John Bryson. The 1790 and 1800 census of Surry Co, NC show these families living next to one another: Thomas Ballard, John Brison, John Brison Jr and David Blackwell.

Lucy’s sister Elizabeth Ballard married Frost Snow, son of John Snow.

The entire Pension Application of James Harvey is transcribed below.

This is an exciting revelation.  We tried mightily to find a place for this Thomas Ballard, but he didn’t quite fit, but this information puts us in an entirely different direction.

What this information tells us is that this Thomas Ballard is an otherwise undocumented son of Thomas Horace Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia (c. 1732-1804).  He was not mentioned in the better known Albemarle Ballard family histories, namely Edgar Woods’ Albemarle County in Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.: Michie Co., 1901) and William H. Miller’s History and genealogies of the families of Miller, Woods, Harris, Wallace, Maupin, Oldham, Kavanaugh, and Brown (illustrated) : with interspersions of notes of the families of Dabney, Reid, Martin, Broaddus, Gentry, Jarman, Jameson, Ballard, Mullins, Michie, Moberley, Covington, Browning, Duncan, Yancey, and others. (Richmond, Ky.: Transylvania Co., 1907).  This isn’t unprecedented, given that these same books overlooked the existence of Thomas Horace Ballard’s grandson James Ballard, Jr of New York, New York (1815-1882).

When Thomas Horace Ballard made his will on 14 December 1802, he named his sons John Ballard and James Ballard, daughters Ann Bruce, Mary Davis, Lucy Harvey, Betsy Snow and Patty Pettit, and granddaughter Justina Burruss (this last devisee begs the question — whose daughter was she?).   Evidently the younger Thomas was not named in the will because he was dead by 1794, as shown below.

From the information here, we now know that Thomas Horace Ballard had a son Thomas who lived in Orange County, Virginia, and from there went to Surry County, North Carolina, where he died.  We have not yet ascertained the subject of the suit in the newspaper notice, but its now clear that it names his widow Elizabeth (Betsy) Blackwell, and presumably names their children Mary (Ballard) Hains, Ann Ballard, Charles Ballard, Sarah (Ballard) Brooks, William Ballard and Susannah (Ballard) Roberts.  While it’s a reasonable assumption that these were his children, we’d be more comfortable with proof of some sort.

An apparent connection between Thomas Ballard and John Bryson appears in the records of Orange County, Virginia.  On 24 March 1742, John Snow of Louisa County, planter, conveyed to Thomas Ballard of Orange County planter, Lease and release for £25 current money. 200 acres in St. Thomas Parish near the Head of Blew Run corner to a tract formerly belonging to John Bryson. . . brow of a hill. . . Mathias Gale’s corner.”  Signed: John Snow.  Witnessed by John Allen, George Taylor, Thomas Scott.  Recorded Orange Co. Va. Deed Book 7, pp. 209-211.  Given the date of this conveyance, however, this is probably Thomas Horace Ballard and not the son named in the newspaper notice, who was likely born in the 1750s since he fought in the American Revolution.

This 200 acres conveyed by John Snow to Thomas Ballard of Orange County was conveyed by Thomas to a William Ballard by “deed dated 15 February 1758 from Thomas Ballard of Orange Co. & William Ballard of same, for £20; 200 acres near head of the Blue Run … bounded land formerly belonging to John Bryson.” Witnessed by Frs. Jones, Barnett Franklyn, Jas. Griffith. Recorded 23 February 1758, Orange Co. Va. Deed Book 12, pp. 432-36.   To our knowledge, Thomas Horace Ballard did not have a brother named William, though he certainly had a cousin William Ballard, son of John Ballard of Albemarle.  We are told that this William “lived below Mechum’s Depot” by both publications listed above; we have not tried to trace his family, but this connection suggests that this may be the correct William, so we may have a starting point.

A probate record in Surry County, North Carolina dated 1794 is an inventory of the estate of Thomas Ballard by his wife Elizabeth Ballard, who was appointed Administratrix, which tells us that Thomas died without a will (if he had one Elizabeth would have been Executrix, if named so in the will).  We have an accounting of his belongings, but apart from the name of his wife, there is no information of genealogical value.

Incidentally, the Frost Snow who married Elizabeth Ballard (Thomas and Lucy’s sister) also removed to Surry County, North Carolina and left a will there dated 6 February 1837, recorded Surry Co. NC Will Book 4, p. 325.

Since Thomas died in 1794, what prompted John Bryson to initiate his suit against the heirs of Thomas Ballard in 1819?  Additional research is needed on that point.  Still, its gratifying to find a place for that particular piece of the puzzle.

Pension application of Joseph Harvey R4711 Lucy Harvey f97VA

Transcribed by Will Graves 2/26/14

State of Kentucky Monroe County: Sct.

On this the 23rd day of May 1850 personally appeared before me Samuel Gearhart an acting justice of the peace in and for the County aforesaid Lucy Harvey a resident of said County aged Eighty Eight years past who being first duly sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed July 4th 1836, that she is the Widow of Joseph Harvey who was a soldier in the Army of the Revolution he enlisted under Francis Coward in arrange [presumably Orange] County State of Virginia in the early part of the War for two years and served to the end of his enlistment, he was first marched to Williamsburg then through the various Counties in Virginia she thinks he took up winter quarters on Schuylkill River and then at Philadelphia she recollects of no particular Battles that he was in but heard him speak of many skirmishes he was again drafted for three months in the spring of 1781 and served out the said three months but cannot recollect his Officers and he never went in the Army after. She further declares that she was married to the aforesaid Joseph Harvey on the 12th day of November 1778, that her husband the aforesaid Joseph Harvey Died on the 25th of March 1828 and that she has remained a Widow ever since that period as will more fully appear by reference to the proof hereto annexed. She further states that the Family record which is here with file for proof of marriage is the true and original record of their own and the ages of all of their Children and that the same is in the hand writing of her husband the aforesaid Joseph Harvey.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year above written before me.

S/ Samuel Gearhart, JP MC                                               S/ Lucy Harvey, X her mark

[p 5: On July 19, 1855 in Monroe County Kentucky, Henry Bushong and Ann Harvey gave testimony as follows: Henry Bushong testify that he is 84 years old; that he was intimately acquainted with Joseph Harvey who died in Barren County Kentucky about the year 1828; that he knew him for many years prior to his death; that Harvey told him he was raised in Virginia; 2 of Harvey’s sons married to of the affiants daughters; affiant was himself in the Indian wars and the War of 1812; that Harvey always told the affiant that he served in the Regular Army in Virginia; Ann Harvey, 56, gave testimony that she was intimately acquainted with Joseph Harvey; that she knew him for 10 years or more prior to his death; that he told her he had been in the Virginia Regulars during the war; that her husband Austin Harvey (now deceased) was a son of Joseph Harvey and his wife Lucy; that Joseph Harvey died in Barren County Kentucky March 25, 1828; that the widow Lucy Harvey died in Monroe County Kentucky in October 1851; that the names of her children living when she died were Betsey Lawrence, a widow, James Harvey and William Harvey all now living in this County – Martin Harvey and Abner Harvey in Missouri and Patsy Davis a widow now living in Cumberland County Kentucky; that both Abner Harvey and his widow have since died leaving the following children: Greensville Harvey, Jane Harvey, Almarine H. Harvey, Joseph Harvey and William Harvey.

Both affiants signed their affidavit with their mark.]

[p 9: family record:

Betsey Harvey Daughter of Joseph Harvey and Lucy Harvey his wife was born the 14th day of October 17 [last 2 digits written over and illegible]

John Harvey was born the 30 day of September 1781

James Harvey was born the 21 Day of February 1784

Thomas Harvey was born the 8th day of January 1787

Wilson Harvey was born the 28th day of September 1789

Martin Harvey was born the 10 day of February 1792

William Harvey was born the 20 Day of September 1794

Austin Harvey was born the 3 Day of August 1797

Abner Harvey was born the 1 Day of October 1800

Patsey Harvey was born the 26th of November 1804

Joseph Harvey was born the 12 day of November 1754

Lucy Harvey was born the 9 November 1761]

[p 12]

This is to certify, that it appears from a list in this office of such Officers and Soldiers of

the Virginia Continental Line as settled their accounts and received certificates for the balance of their full pay, according to an act of assembly, passed the November session 1781, directing the Auditors of Public Accounts to settle and adjust the pay and accounts of said Officers and Soldiers from the first January 1777 to 31st December 1781, (see Hening’s Statutes at Large, vol. 10, p. 462,) that a settlement was made on the 30th day of July 1783 in the name of Joseph Harvey as Soldier of Infantry and evidence of the indebtedness of the State to him was £16.15.0, delivered to John Burton but as the original settlements or copies thereof or not to be found in this office, the term of service embraced therein cannot be stated.

Given under my hand at the First Auditor’s Office, Richmond, this 23rd day of March 1850.

S/ Ro Johnston

[No Seal of Office] Auditor Public Accounts

[p 18: On July 18, 1855 in Monroe County Kentucky, James Harvey, 71, gave testimony that he is one of the children of Joseph and Lucy Harvey who he has always believed were legally married in Virginia some time above 5 years before he was born; affiant remembers the names of some of the fellow soldiers who served with his father including Jacob Burras or Burroughes, Thomas Ballard (his mother’s brother) and one Jonathan (?) Davis; that Burras was a neighbor of theirs when they lived in Surry County North Carolina and moved to Smith or Sumner County Tennessee where he died many years ago; that Thomas Ballard died when the affiant was a boy and his widow Betsey married David Blackwell; Davis the affiant believes died in the service; that his father died in Barren County Kentucky March 25, 1828; that his mother died in Monroe County Kentucky October 4, 1851 and left at her death the following children surviving:

  1. Betsey Lawrence a widow Monroe County Kentucky number
  2. James Harvey this declarant
  3. Martin Harvey Cooper County Missouri
  4. Abner Harvey, Moniteau County Missouri, Abner has since died leaving a widow who has since died survived by Greensville Harvey, Jane Harvey, Almarine M. Harvey, Joseph Harvey and William Harvey all living in the same County
  5. William Harvey, Monroe County Kentucky
  6. Patsy Davis a widow Cumberland County Kentucky;

The affiant makes the declaration in his capacity as executor of the estate of Lucy Harvey for the purpose of applying for and receiving the old whereas of pension money due her at her death.

The affiant signed this document with his mark.]

[p 24: Clarissa H Huffman, 29, and James W Harvey, 26, children of James Harvey gave testimony that Lucy Harvey the mother of James Harvey died at the widow of Joseph Harvey in Monroe County Kentucky October 4, 1851 having never remarried]

[p 27: On July 19, 1855, John R H Palmore, 72, of Monroe County Kentucky gave testimony that Joseph Harvey told him that he came from Albemarle County or an adjoining County in Virginia; that he served in the Virginia regulars; that affiants father Pledge Palmore served in the Virginia troops, the militia he believes. He signed his affidavit with his mark.]

[p 39: On July 18, 1855 in Monroe County Kentucky Matthew Amyx gave testimony that he was intimately acquainted with Joseph Harvey who was reputed to have been a soldier in the Virginia regular troops; that he had frequent conversations with him regarding his services; that affiants father Matthew Amyx served in the Virginia troops in the revolution and was an invalid pensioner on the Kentucky rolls on account of wounds received in the war.

[He gave another affidavit posted on p. 86]

The Ancestry of Samuel Ballard of Cherokee Nation West (c. 1802-1862).

Cherokee Territory c. 1830 is the area identified as No. 36.
Cherokee Territory c. 1830 is the area identified as No. 36.  Note that it includes parts of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Researching the Cherokee Ballard lines has proven to be an interesting proposition. In some corners, there is a wealth of information, in others, a yawning chasm. To appreciate the full story, one must understand the saga of the five tribes, and in this instance, the Cherokee Nation, and the shameful history of the notorious Trail of Tears, which at least provides specific movement of the families whose history we seek to reveal.

The purpose of this project is to determine which Ballard families intermarried with members of the Cherokee tribe prior to 1850 in the Southern United States. Our goal is to document which branch or branches of the Ballard family intermarried with Native Americans so we can properly place those descendants who participate in the Ballard yDNA Project. Later Native American generations are extremely well documented because of the Federal government’s practice of taking an annual census from 1885 to 1940, so we won’t concern ourselves with them (for now).  Today we focus on Samuel Ballard, Sr, a white American who joined the Cherokee and lived in the Cherokee Nation in Georgia, took part in the Trail of Tears, and left descendants in Oklahoma.  We will work back from him to show his likely ancestry.

We’ll start with a review of the limitations of certain records we commonly rely on. The US Federal Census is of no value in the early years; in fact, Native Americans were not enumerated until the 1860 census, and even that year the instructions to enumerators (according to James P. Collins, “Native Americans in the Census, 1860-1890”, in Prologue (Summer 2006, Vol. 38, No. 2) stated:

“Indians not taxed are not to be enumerated. The families of Indians who have renounced tribal rule, and who under state or territory laws exercise the rights of citizens, are to be enumerated.”

Essentially – Indians living on reservations generally were not enumerated — though there are rare exceptions, with variations in each census. Prior to 1860, generally speaking, Native Americans were not enumerated. Recall the original purpose of the census, which is to count all citizens to determine representation in Congress.

We did find, however, that Samuel Ballard, age 58 (born c. 1802), a farmer, born in Tennessee, was enumerated in the 1860 US Federal Census in the Koo wee Skoo wee District, Indian Lands, Arkansas (this was prior to the organization of the state of Oklahoma, which occurred in 1907.  1860 US Federal Census, Koo wee Skoo wee District, Indian Lands, Arkansas, Roll M653_52, Page 1174, Image 702.

His white ancestry may explain his omission from the Drennen Roll of 1851 (named for the compiler, John Drennen), which was the first enumeration of Indians after the Trail of Tears.  It documented payments made to Cherokees living in the west who removed as a result of the Treaty of 1835, Article 9.  Family groups are listed in the districts in which they resided.  Samuel Ballard’s family appears as Group 367, in Delaware District:

  • Sarah Ballard
  • Samuel Ballard, Jr.
  • Martha Ballard
  • Manirva Ballard
  • Thomas Ballard
  • Sarah Ballard, Jr.
  • Johnson Ballard

Trail of Tears Map, Showing Indian Removals, 1830-1838.
Trail of Tears Map, Showing Indian Removals, 1830-1838.

We have evidence of Samuel Ballard’s activities during the Trail of Tears from contemporary correspondence of the military personnel responsible.  From Correspondence on the Subject of the Emigration of Indians Between the 30th November, 1831 and 27th December, 1833 (Washington: Duff Green, 1834).

Emigration of Indians,

Office Commissary General Subsistence, August 17, 1833.

          SIR: Yours of the 12th July is received, together with your accounts for the second quarter 1833. You state that, in consequence of a request of General Gratiot, you proceeded to Red river to pay a few individuals moneys due them on account of improving the navigation of that river, and “whose accounts could not be settled without your presence.” That, being on board the Lioness steamboat when she was blown up, you lost, among other money “two hundred and forty one dollars and seventy-eight cents of the money for the removal and subsistence of the Indians,” and you say you are not willing to lose this amount, unless I am of opinion that the loss should be your own. It is very sure that you are charged with a certain sum of the public funds, and that you cannot be released by this department, except through the medium of your expenditures. No power short of Congress can give you relief on the score of your having sustained a loss.

You will not hereafter leave the neighborhood of the tribe unless with the sanction of the department. Mr. Currey informs me that Samuel Ballard and John Rogers, two white emigrants at the head of Indian families, have returned to the old nation.

You report having made over issues to several persons in consequence of Captain Vashon’s statements not agreeing with Mr. Currey’s muster-roll, which latter was not furnished to you until after the issues were made. The cost of the over-issues must be stopped by Captain Vashon from any moneys to which those persons may be entitled. Hereafter, take the pre caution to make no issues except upon Mr. Currey’s roll, a copy of which Captain Vashon should hand over to you as soon as received. He will be requested to do so.

Respectfully, &c., GEO. GIBSON, C. G. S.

To Lieutenant Washington Seawell,

Disbursing Agent Cherokees West, Fort Gibson, A. T.

CHEROKEE AGENCY, July 11, 1833.

The War Department having, under the directions of the President, ordered the opening of books, and authorized the Governor of Georgia to appoint two persons to aid me in enrolling the names of such as give their assent to a treaty on the terms heretofore proposed to the Cherokee people, as well as to send off such of the reservees under the treaties of 1817-19, as are ready to remove, a disbursing agent will be required to meet the requisitions necessarily attending the progress of these measures.

Whether this disbursing officer shall only pay out moneys, or whether he shall attend generally to transportation and subsistence, has been a matter of doubt. Will you be so good as to decide the question, and give instructions accordingly?

For this station, would it not be well to despatch an officer whose views are known to accord with those of the Executive of the United States?

The assistant enrolling agents are to be on a per diem allowance of $4, besides their expenses: they will each be furnished an interpreter at $2 50 r day.

The superintendent will also have an interpreter, employed at the same allowance. Whether any, or what number of the reservees will remove shortly, is uncertain; but there are some families in the nation, who, under former enrolments, have signified a wish to remove early in the fall.

Samuel Ballard and John Rogers, two white emigrants at the head of Indian families, having returned, in violation of their engagements, will be proceeded against as directed in similar cases hereafter.

I have the honor to be,

Most respectfully,

Your very humble servant,



Samuel Ballard appears on the 1835 Henderson Roll, which was a census of the Cherokee Nation in Georgia.  That census shows Samuel Ballard at Red Clay in McMinn County, Tennessee; Red Clay was the site of the last seat of Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.   The Cherokee government moved there after being forced out of New Echota, Georgia.

The 1838 Muster Rolls, part of the collection of the National Archives Cherokee Emigration Rolls, 1817-1838 (specifically, in this instance, the Muster Roll of B.F. Currey (Benjamin F. Currey), are lists compiled by those completing the removal of the Cherokees.  The Muster shows Samuel Ballard’s household consisted to two males under age 25, two females under age 25, and one male over age 25.

Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909, were applications for shares from a fund appropriated by Congress in 1906 in favor of the Eastern Cherokee.  Applicants provided extensive information about their families to support their claim, which is a gold mine of information about these families.  Below is transcribed that of Thomas Ballard, one of the sons of Samuel Ballard.  Lines left blank are omitted.

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington D.C.


I hereby make application for such share as may be due me of the fund appropriated by the Act of Congress approved June 30, 1906, in accordance with the decree of the Court of Claims of May 18, 1905, and May 28, 1906, in favor of the Eastern Cherokee.  The evidence of identity is herewith subjoined.

1 State full name —

English name: Thomas Ballard

2 Residence: Vian

3 Town and post office: Vian

4 County: Cherokee Nation

5 State: Indian Territory

6 Date and place of birth: About 1848 – Delaware Dist., Cherokee Nation

7 By what right do you claim to share?  If you claim through more than one relative living in 1851, set forth each claim separately:  Emigrant ancestors, self – Alex Drumgool Jr and Father Calomasky (?) Durmgood grand mother.  George Drumgool uncle.  Alex Drumgool uncle.  Jim or James Drumgool uncle.  Alex Drumgool uncle.  Sarah Drumgool mother.  Ruth & Charels Collins/Drumgool aunt & uncle.  Thomas Ballard, self.  Sam Ballard, brother

8 Are you married?  Yes

9 Name and age of wife or husband: Susan Ballard, 45 white.

10 Give names of your father and mother, and your mother’s name before marriage.

Father — English name: Samuel Ballard white

Mother — English name: Sarah Ballard

Maiden name: Sarah Drumgool

11 Where were they born?

Father: Don’t know (white man)

Mother: Georgia in Old Nation

12 Where did they reside in 1851, if living at that time?

Father: Delaware Dist, Cher. Nation

Mother: ”          ”          ”             “

13 Date of death of your father and mother —

Father: 1862   Mother: About 1869 or 70

14 Where they ever enrolled for annuities, land, or other benefits?  If so, state when and where: 1851 Delaware Dist — Cherokee Nation

15 Name all your brothers and sisters, giving ages, and if not living, the date of death:

(1) Samuel died 1862 or 63

(2) Martha

(3) Minerva

(4) Thomas self born 1848 } twin [of Eliza]

(5) Eliza born 1848} twin [of Thomas]

(6) Delilah (Sarah [Wood?  Illegible] & Fannie) not in 51 Roll

16 State English and Indian names of your grandparents on both father’s and mother’s side, if possible:

Mother’s side: Alex Drumgool, Colomasty (?) Drumgool

17 Where were they born? Old Nation —

18 Where did they reside in 1851, if living at that time?  Grandmother lived in Delaware Dist, Cher. Nation.

19 Give names of all their children, and residence, if living; if not living, give dates of death. [Note:there appears to be confusion in filling out the form, with names listed consecutively, ignoring the requested information of English name, Indian name, Residence].

George dead before Nov 61

Alex — dead “

Jimmie or James dead “

Sarah (mother) 1869 or 70 died

Ruth (Collin) dead long time now

Eliza Welch dead 1858 or 59

Can’t give exact dates of death — but all are dead —

20 Have you ever been enrolled for annuities, land, or other benefits?  If so, state when and where.  1851-1874 Delaware Dist.  1880, Illinois Dist. (1883-1886, 1890 [illegibile] 1893. Illinois Dist. Appl for [illegible] 1904.

21 To expedite identification, claimants should give the full English and Indian names, if possible,of their paternal and maternal ancestors back to 1835: Alex Drumgool, Grandfather; Calomasky (?) Drumgool Grandmother, Samuel Ballard (white man), Sarah Drumgool Ballard.


(Under this head the applicant may give additional information that he believes will assist in proving his claims.)

I am doing the best I can to make out my claim.  These are the only “strain list” (?) [illegible] that I know.

I solemnly swear that the foregoing statements made by me are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

(Signature.) Thomas Ballard

[followed by a notarial seal and affidavit of witnesses]

NARA M1104. Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909, Application No. 1056.

Note that Thomas did not know where his father came from while his mother came from Georgia, yet later generations state that Thomas came from Tennessee.  Could they have derived that information from the fact of temporary settlement in Tennessee following the tribe’s removal from Georgia?

An Indian Pioneer Oral History Project conducted through the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression (and stored at the Oklahoma Historical Society) includes an interview conducted 20 July 1937 with a William Ballard of Braggs, Oklahoma.  We have not yet determined his relationship to the other part-Cherokee Ballards, but the interview states:

William Ballard was born at Whiteoak, 18 miles South of Tahlequah, in 1876. He is a ½ blood Cherokee Indian.

His father’s people came from Tennessee, his mother’s people from North Carolina. They came by wagon train drawn by oxen and horses. His grandmother died on the way and a grave was dug a few yards from the road. Where she was buried, the grave marked by a stone with no inscription.

None of his people took part in the run of 1889. His ancestors were farmers and hunters, also fishermen.

Two interviews were conducted in 1937 and 1938 with Elizabeth Ballard Sanders, the daughter of Thomas Ballard whose Application to the U.S. Court of Claims appears above.  Curiously, in the first interview (in 1937) she states that Thomas (whose family came from Tennessee) ran away when he was 16 and joined the Union Army, while in the second (in 1938) she states that he joined the Confederate Army at the age of 17.

 I was born January 19, 1868 in the Cherokee Nation in what was known as the White Oak settlement, nine miles East of Braggs, I.T.

My mother’s people came here from Tennessee with what was known as the first settlers. My great-grandmother died on the way over here. My grandmother was only nine years old at the time. She (Betsy Riley Romine) and her father came on alone. She grew up and married Wright Romine who was my mother’s father. He died and she later married Jacob Bushyhead, an uncle of Chief Dennis Bushyhead.

My father’s people came here from Tennessee also, but they came later as emigrants when the Indians were driven West. My people were not full bloods. There was some white blood in the family, but I don’t know just what per cent. My father, Thomas Ballard, ran away from home when he was 16 years old and joined the Northern Army and fought in the Civil War. I can just remember hearing him say he fought in the Battle of Bull Run and that of Bunker Hill. They are the only battles I can remember hearing him mention. He and my mother were married after the war was over in 1865.

In the second interview, conducted 18 January 1938, Elizabeth Ballard Sanders stated:

My grandparents on my mother’s side were Wright Romine and Betsy Riley. Grandfather was an Irishman who came into the old Cherokee Nation in the early days and married my grandmother, a half breed Cherokee. They started westward with the first colony of Cherokees, known as “old settlers” in 1834. As they were crossing the Mississippi river on a ferry boat, my grandmother (Betsy Riley Romine) died. My mother was a small child and never had any very distinct recollection of her mother but said she well remembered after her mother’s death that they opened a large chest that contained her clothes and she saw a lot of gold money in the chest. They halted on their journey and buried her beside the river. Her sister, Mrs. David Carter and her husband who were in the party took charge of my mother and reared her.

When they reached their destination they located in the vicinity that was afterward known as Park Hill, near Tahlequah. Grandfather (Wright Romine) was a large slave owner and had brought his slaves with him. With the help of the Negroes they erected comfortable log houses in which to live and house the Negroes.

When the Cherokee Female Seminary was established in 1846, mother (Caroline) was enrolled in the first class. Mrs. Jane Ross, niece of Chief John Ross, was one of the teachers. Martha Schricmaher, mother of Mr. William Gulager, was a classmate.

I have heard my mother relate many amusing and unusual incidents that occurred during her childhood in a new country. One was when the children killed a sheep. Her uncle David Carter raised sheep as did many of the Cherokees. In the herd was a ram that would chase the children whenever he saw them and they had been warned against him. One day he attacked them and my mother did not run and when the ram came in reach she grabbed him by the horns and gave his neck a twist and he fell to the ground. Another child ran for the ax and they chopped his head off.

At the beginning of the Civil War, all of the slaves owned by her uncle ran away one night and as that left them entirely without servants much of the heavy work devolved upon her. As she was not accustomed to it, it was very distasteful. Later her uncle’s family refugeed to Texas as did many of the Cherokees. Mother did not go but preferred to stay with friends and other relatives.

My father, Thomas Ballard, a ¾ Cherokee Indian, joined the Confederate Army at the age of 17 and served under General Stand Watie. His Captain’s name was White Catcher. He participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge and all the skirmishes in that section of the country. After the war was over he met and married my mother, Caroline Romine. They established their new home in the Cookson Hills two miles from the Illinois courthouse. I was born there January 19, 1868. Jack Cookson for whom the community was named was one of our neighbors, a highly respected man and a leader in the community. Mr. Cookson operated a general store and cotton gin at Garfield. His son, Levi Cookson served several years as a member of the Cherokee council. Tom Madden who married my sister, was a pardner in business with Mr. Cookson. My father engaged in farming and stock raising. The chief source of his income was from cattle which were no great expense to raise as the range was fine and free.

And finally, records of the Confederate Army show that a Sam Ballard was a member of the 2nd Cherokee Mounted Volunteers.  A Company Muster Roll for the period September 30 to July 14, 1863 records that Sam Ballard “Died Dec 1862 in prison.”  Some researchers may have taken this as proof of the death of the elder Samuel Ballard, who would have been 60 years of age in 1862.  We believe this records the death of Samuel, Jr., for the first conscripts in the war were between the ages of 18 and 35; it was not until later in the conflict that older (and younger) men were pressed into service.  The claim record transcribed above does give 1862 as the year of the death of the elder Samuel Ballard, though we have not been able to corroborate the information with another record.  Several online sources give a date of death of the elder Samuel as 16 March 1863, but again we have not been able to corroborate this with a primary record.

Samuel Ballard in Tennessee.

In order to try to pinpoint the senior Samuel Ballard’s ancestry, we return to where we began — the 1860 Federal Census, in which he states he was born in Tennessee.  Having joined the Cherokee Nation, he would have had contact with them and their lands in Southeastern Tennessee, so we began our search there.  Not having access to local records, we enlisted the services of Amy Mays Emert, a professional genealogist in Powell, Tennessee, close to Knoxville with easy access to the Knox County Archives and the McClung Collection, a repository with many records for the region.

She began her search in Anderson County records, given the tax record that identified a Samuel Ballard residing there in 1805, but found no evidence of Ballard families settled in the area.  “Not finding anything in Anderson County regarding Samuel Ballard, I turned my focus to neighboring Knox County.  Anderson County was formed in 1802 from parts of Knox and Grainger Counties.  I first searched the Wills and Estate Settlements, hoping to find one for Samuel Ballard [none found].”

The court records reveal some interesting interactions with neighbors.  Court cases occurred in two courts: Circuit, and Pleas and Quarter Sessions.  In some cases the case files were too large to copy; in others the document was damaged and illegible, or even empty.  Ms. Emert provided a summary of the larger cases; transcribed below are the more interesting cases.

In July 1812, John Dudley assaulted Rebecca Ballard:

State of Tennessee, Knox County } July Sessions 1812

The grand jurors for the State impanneled sworn and charge to enquire for the body ot the County of Knox upon their oats do present that a certain John Dudley late of the County aforesaid Laboror on the _____ [blank in original] day of June 1812  with force and arms attorned in the County aforsaid in and upon the body of one Rebeckah Ballard in the peace of the state than and there being an assault did make and her the said Rebeckah Ballard did then and there beat, wound, and ill treat and mur [illegible] then and said [illegible] Rebeckah Ballard to the great  [illegible] of her the said Rebeckah Ballard to the evil example of all like offenders and against the peace and dignity of the state.

William C. Mynall, Solicitor for Knox County

Knox County, TN Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (Rebecca Ballard vs. John Dudley) Docket #3166/365, Box 3B, July Session 1812.   A similar complaint was made by a Patsy Ballard who was also assaulted by John Dudley.

In retaliation, Samuel Ballard, Sr, his sons Samuel Ballard, Jr and James Ballard beat up John Dudley and threw stones at his house.

State of Tennessee, Knox County }

Personally appeared John Dudley before me Robert Lindsay a Justice of the Peace in and for said county and being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God to speak the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Saith that on the night of the 9th last at his house in the county aforesaid, Samuel Ballard and his two sons viz. Samuel & James with sundry other persons to him unknown did make an assault on his house and on his person, and him the said John Dudley died beat bruise would & ill treat by throwing stones at him & at his house in a most violent manner, and did break open his window & throw in stones thereat to the great terror & danger of his family.

Sworn to & subscribed before me this 10th day of Novr. 1812 R. Lindsay. }

Jno. Dudley

State of Tennessee, Knox County }

To any lawful officer of said county,

Whereas complaint hath been made this day oath by John Dudley to us Robt Lindsay one of the Justices of the Peace in and for sd county, that on the night of the Ninth inst. at the house in the county aforesaid Samuel Ballard and his two sons viz Samuel & James with sundry other persons to him unknown did make an assault on his house and on his person and him the sd John Dudley did beat, bruise, wound & ill treat in a most violent manner by throwing stones at him & at his house & breaking open his window and throwing in stones thereat to the terror and great danger of his family — There are therefore in the name of the State to command you forthwith to apprehend the sd Samuel Ballard & his two sons Samuel & James Ballard and bring them before some Justice of the Peace for sd. county to answer to the above complaint & be further dealt with as the law directs.

Given under my hand & seal this 10th day of November one thousand eight hundred & twelve.

Robert Lindsay {Seal}

Summon Teresa McAffrey and William Hancock, witness in behalf of the state.  Ro. Lindsay }

Samuel, James and Rebecca Ballard were involved in another legal scrape in 1819, in which they were accused of beating and bruising John Low at their house.  Knox County, TN Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (John Low vs. James, Rebecca and Samuel Ballard), Docket #3527 & 3528, Box 3D, 16 February 1819.

James Ballard was again called before the Court in July 1819 for pulling a gun on the County Constable.  Knox County, TN Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (State of TN vs. James Ballard, Docket # 3529, Box 3D, 19 July 1819.

In 1823, a Mourning Ballard is called before the Court on the charge of Bastardy; in the record she names Isaac Bond as the father of the child.  Knox County, TN Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (State of TN vs. Mourning Ballard) Docket # 6318/841, Box 4D, 12 December 1823.

James Ballard was yet again in court in 1829 for assaulting William Scott.  Knox County, TN Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (State of TN vs. James Ballard), Docket # 7263/1086, Box 4I, 23 September 1829.

Deed books and tax records reveal additional relations.  On 25 October 1838, Samuel Ballard purchased 100 acres of land on the Holston River from D and M Shields & Company.  Knox Co. TN Warranty Deed Books, Book B, Vol. 2 (February 1838-March 1839), recorded 12 November 1838.  Two years later on 22 April 1840, Samuel conveyed this land to Matthew Ballard.  Note that a wife did not join in the conveyance or relinquish dower.  Knox Co. TN Warranty Deed Books, Book D, Vol. 2 (March 1840-February 1841), recorded 26 April 1840, pp. 48-49.

On 25 April 1840, Samuel conveyed personal property to Leroy Carpinter and Thomas Scott — “hath this day bargained sold and conveyed the following … one young bay hourse about five years old, one roan mare, one mans new saddle and riding bridle, one blind bridle one pair of harness chains …” Knox Co. TN. Warranty Deed Books, Book D, Vol 2 (March 1840-February 1841), recorded 15 June 1840, pp. 110-112.

A tax list for the year 1842 shows three male Ballards in District No. 11 of Knox County; Andy Ballard (Andrew) is shown with 100 acres of land, valued at $225; the next on the list is Sam’l Ballard, with no land or value next to his name, followed by Mathew Ballard, also with no land or value next to his name.  While Matthew Ballard legally held title, the fact it was listed this way suggests they were viewed as a family unit and were a single household.  Ancestry Tennessee Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895 (database online).  Federal Census records help us understand Andrew and Matthew, while James, for now, remains a cipher and the subject of additional research.

Andrew Ballard, born c. 1813, is believed to be the Andrew J. Ballard who married Nancy Franklin 22 April 1837 in Knox County.  They and their children were enumerated in the Knox County Federal Census in 1840, and in Blount County, Tennessee in 1850, 1860, 1870, and back in Knox County in 1880 (Nancy died between 1870 and 1880).  Their children were: 1. Nancy Ann, b. 1840; 2. Louisa, b. 1842; 3. Samuel, b. 1844; 4. Whitson, b. 1846 (“Whitfield” in the 1850 Census); 5. Rebecca, b. 1849; 6. Berthina, b. 1856; 7. Mary, b. 1859; 8. Naoma, b. 1864.  It’s worth noting that the 1880 Census indicates that Andrew’s father was born in Virginia.

Matthew Ballard, born c. 1821, on 25 April 1846 married Susan Jane Lawhorn (certificate).  Curiously, the 1850 Federal Census lists his place of birth as “Not Known,” but in subsequent enumerations he listed Tennessee. He was not consistent with reporting his age; in 1850, the Census records 24 (born c. 1826); in 1860, 38 (born c. 1822), in 1870, 50 (born c. 1818) in 1880, 59 (born c. 1821).  He and Susan had one daughter, Rebecca, born c. 1848.

Andrew, James and Matthew Ballard found themselves in court in 1845, which to our benefit demonstates a familial connection, though the subject of the dispute is not known:

State of Tennessee, Knox County }

Circuit Court June Term, Eighteen Hundred and Forty-four.

The Grand Jurors for the State of Tennessee, being duly summoned, elected, empannelled, sworn and charged to enquire for the body of the county of Knox within the State aforesaid upon their oath present that Jame Ballard, Matthew Ballard, Andrew Ballard, Israel Scott and James Nipper, late of said county, laborers, on the ninth day of June eighteen hundred and forty-four, with force and arms, in the county aforesaid, unlawfully, riotously and routously* did assemble and gather themselves together to disturb the peace of the state aforesaid, and being so assembled and gathered together, in and upon one Milly Hensly, in the peace then and there being unlawfully, riotously and routously did make an assault, and the dwelling house of the said Milly Hensley, with force and arms, riotously routously and unlawfully did then and there begin to pull down and did then and there unlawfully riotously and routously batter the walls of the said dwelling house of the said Milly Hensley, she, the said Hensley, being then and there in the said dwelling house and did then and there pull down the chimney to the said dwelling house in a riotous and unlawful manner to the evil example of all like offenders and against the peace and dignity of the state.

Robert B. Reynolds, Attorney General

Knox Co. TN Circuit Court (State vs. James, Andrew and Matthew Ballard), Docket #3422, Minor #2471, Box 25 (June Term 1844).

*Routously  — archaic :  uproariously, noisily

What of the Other Samuel Ballards in Tennessee?

Census and other records show two other Samuel Ballards residing in Tennessee in the 19th century.

There was a Samuel Ballard born in 1816 who on 26 August 1841 married Nancy Scott (1817-1885) in Knox County.  We have not yet determined who his parents were, but the circumstances show that he was not the son of Samuel Ballard, Sr.

Since he was born well after the 1812 court case naming Samuel Sr and his sons Samuel Jr and James in the altercation with John Dudley, we can comfortably eliminate him as that Samuel.   In 1850 the family resided in Knox County, and in 1860 in Blount County.  Samuel and Nancy are interred in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Blount County; Samuel died 12 June 1865, and Nancy Scott on 3 July 1885.  Their children were: 1. Marcus, b. 1843; 2. Samuel, b. 1845; 3. Mary, b. 1849; 4. Martha, b. 1850; 5. Nancy, b. 1852; 6. William, b. 1854; 7. Ann, b. 1857.  We believe this Samuel is a relation of the other Knox County Ballards (perhaps a son of Samuel’s son James; the 1800 Federal Census for Buncombe County, North Carolina shows Samuel with two sons born between 1790 and 1800), but we have not yet determined where he fits in.

Another 19th century Samuel Ballard resided in Memphis, Tennessee.  His obituary appeared in the Memphis Daily Appeal Tuesday, 21 April 1857 (p. 3), and shows he was a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  Probate records accessed via Ancestry do not show that he had any descendants, though he left behind many creditors.

In this city on the morning of the 20th instant, after a protracted illness, Samuel O. Ballard, aged forty-one years. [born 1816]

The remains of the deceased will be removed to Somerville this morning, there to be interred by those of his wife.

The deceased, we believe, was a native of Baltimore, but from early manhood, has been a citizen of West Tennessee and was, at the time of his death, Collector of Customs at this port.  He possessed a warm and genial nature, and has left behind him troops of devoted friends to mourn his death.

Where Did Samuel Ballard of Knox County Come From?

There are two participants in the Ballard DNA Project who descend from Samuel Ballard, and are part of Lineage Group I.  This group is comprised of descendants of Thomas (c.1717-1781) and John Ballard (c.1719-1780) of Albemarle County, Virginia, Bland Ballard (c. 1713-1791) of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and Richard Ballard (c. 1692-c. 1779) of Essex County, Virginia.  Some researchers claim that these men descend from Thomas Ballard of James City, Virginia (1630-1690), but participants in other lineage groups (which are genetically unrelated) claim descent from him as well.  Neither group has presented sufficient evidence to prove this descent (to the satisfaction of this researcher), so the ancestry of these men further up the line remains unsettled in these pages.

The above mentioned Thomas Ballard of Albemarle’s eldest son, John (c. 1739-c.1779) predeceased his wife and father.  John had married  Mourning __________, who was named in his father’s will of 30 June 1779 on land that he devised to his sons Thomas and Bland:

Item I give and Devide to my sons Thomas Ballard & Bland Ballard and their heirs for ever all this my land they suffering my daughter-in-law, Mourning Ballard to live on, use and occupy that part of it whereon she now lives during her natural Life and I will and …. the land to be equally divided between them so that Bland enjoy that part whereon he now lives.

The existence of the will (now lost) of John Ballard, son of Thomas and husband of Mourning  is proven by the following deed recorded in Buncombe County, North Carolina:

Know all men by these presance that I Samuel Ballard of the county of Buncombe and the state of North Carolina do hereby bargain, sell, convey and transfer unto Robert Patton of the said county and state for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty Spanish Mill dollars to me in hand paid by the said Robert Patton the receipt where of is here by acknowledged for all my right title and claim to all that legacy or heirship left or bequeathed to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony which legacy is to become due to me at the death of my mother Morning Ballard. I do hereby vest said Robert Patton and his heirs with full power and lawful authority to ask, receive, sue for and recover and to appropriate to his own use or to the use of his heirs all that estate or legacy with real or personal bequeathed to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony and to all intents and purposes I do place said Patton and his heirs in my room and sted as heir to that whole legacy to me bequeathed by my father in as full and as ample a manner as I myself am or could be by virtue of sd last will and testimony or by virtue of law & further suit all claim sd legacy warranting, defending it to sd Patton and his heirs from myself and my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns from all other person and persons claiming my right as heir to my devidend of sd estate, given under my hand this 20th day December 1798.  Test: Aaron Patton, George Newton

Recorded Buncombe Co. North Carolina Deed Book 3, p. 198.

Samuel Ballard and John Ballard both appear in the 1800 North Carolina Federal Census as being 26 to 45 years of age. Also in Buncombe County appears “a deed or letter of Attorney from John Ballard to Robert Patton for all that part of his father John Ballard’s estate that was bequeathed to him by the last will of John Ballard, deceased, was proved in open court by the Reverend George Newton, One of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” January Court 1800, Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 98.

The children of John Ballard and Mourning _____________ were:

Samuel.  Born c. 1770, Samuel Ballard removed from Albemarle County, Virginia to Rutherford, North Carolina before 1790, where he appears on the US Federal Census that year and is enumerated as a male over age 16 (born before 1774) in a household that includes two females.  1790 US Federal Census, Rutherford, North Carolina, Series M637, Roll 7, Page 133, Image 85.  He must have settled in that part of Rutherford that was cut off (along with part of Burke County) to form Buncombe County in 1791, for in 1800 he is enumerated in Morgan, Buncombe County as head of a household with a wife of approximately the same age (between 26 and 44), two sons under age 10, a daughter between 10 and 15, and two daughters under age 10.  1800 US Federal Census, Morgan, Buncombe, North Carolina, Series M32, Roll 29, Pag 163, Image 108.

Samuel’s brother John Ballard is also found in Morgan, Buncombe, North Carolina in 1800.  The Federal Census that year enumerates a male head of household age 26 to 44, and the household includes a female age 16 to 25, two males under age 10, three females under age 10, and one female over age 45 (born before 1755).  We are inclined to believe that the older female is Mourning, John and Samuel’s widowed mother.  1800 US Federal Census, Morgan, Buncombe, North Carolina, Series M32, Roll 29, Page 160, Image 105.

As noted above, on 20 December 1793, Samuel Ballard executed a quitclaim deed for his interest in his father’s estate to Robert Patton that was recorded in Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 3, p. 198.  In  1799 (the deed fails to name the month: “This indenture made the 29th day in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine …” Samuel Ballard purchased from James McMahan “a certain tract of land lying and being in the county of Buncombe on a creek called Forgey’s Creek of Swanannoa …” (100 acres). Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 3, p. 317, and acknowledged in January Court 1801 and recorded. Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 135.  This same 100 acre parcel was sold by Samuel Ballard to William Edmunson (Edmundson) on 16 July 1802, recorded Buncombe Co. N.C.  Deed Book 7, p. 285, and acknowledged October Court 1802.  Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 205.  Note that no wife joined in the conveyance; could she have died between 1800 and 1802?

No Samuel Ballard is found in North Carolina in the 1810 Federal Census, but a Samuel Ballard appears on a tax list dated 1805 in Anderson County, Tennessee.  We believe that after selling his North Carolina land, Samuel Ballard removed to Anderson County, Tennessee.  Unfortunately Anderson County lost its Federal Census records for 1810 and 1820, so verifying this is problematic and we turn to the court records for additional information, and are amply rewarded with tales of mayhem.

John.  A John Ballard on 25 November 1798 purchased from Joseph Dodson 200 acres on Bold Mt. Creek.  Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 3, p. 246.  On 10 June 1805, John Ballard conveyed 50 acres on Ball Mountain Creek to a Richard Ballard.  Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 10, p. 336.  We do not know the relationship of the John to Richard; likely father and son.  Richard Ballard purchased 238 acres on Bald Mountain from John Strother et. al. on 24 October 1805, recorded 1 April 1807 Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book A, p. 153.

Thomas, for an 1800 a British Mercantile Claim reported the whereabouts of a Thomas Ballard, son of John, then resident in North Carolina; the supplier of the information appears to be “Thomas Ballard of Albemarle, an uncle of Thomas Ballard, son of John.” The likely informant being Thomas Horace Ballard, to wit:

“Thomas Ballard, son of John, Albemarle. £7.9.0 by account. He removed to North Carolina during the time the Convention Troops of Gen. Burgoyne were stationed in Albemarle, which must have been about 1779 or 1780. He carried with him some slaves and other property and was generally reputed solvent. He lives near the hanging rock in North Carolina. Thomas Ballard of Albemarle is an uncle of Thos. Ballard, son of John.” British Mercantile Claims (cited in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 29, No. 4, p. 299).

On 1 August 1816 a Thomas Ballard purchased 290 acres on French Broad River from Jerremiah R. Pace.  Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 11, p. 63.  On 25 December 1820, Thomas Ballard conveyed 50 acres on French Broad River to Charles Stewart.  Recorded 23 December 1831 Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 16, p. 392.


We believe, based on the evidence above, the fact that we can account for the other Samuel Ballards living in Tennessee in this time frame, and yDNA evidence, that the Samuel Ballard born c. 1802 in Tennessee who joined the Cherokee c. 1830 and ultimately removed to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma (and died, according to his son’s application to the U.S. Court of Claims cited above, in 1862, though several online sources state he died 16 March 1863, but do not provide the source of this information) is the son of Samuel Ballard (c. 1770-aft. 1840), who removed from Virginia to Buncombe County, North Carolina, then to Knox County, Tennessee, and who was, in turn, the son of John Ballard (c. 1738-c. 1779) of Albemarle County, Virginia, the son of Thomas Ballard (c. 1717-1782) of Albemarle County.

We’ve seen no evidence of the name of Samuel, Sr’s wife.  Recall that when he sold land in Buncombe in 1802, no wife joined the transfer to relinquish her dower interest (and no wife joined in the conveyance by Samuel to Matthew Ballard in 1840), but if living, she may have been named in one of the Knox County court cases, or if deceased, then all of the females named in those records were probably his daughters.  An educated guess would be that her name was Rebecca, and perhaps the Rebecca named in the cases was his wife, given that the name is in his household, and his sons Andrew and Matthew named daughters Rebecca.  Yet we know from Census records that Andrew and Matthew were born after 1802; could it be that she was still living, and the legal formality of dower release was ignored or overlooked?  If she died, was there another wife?  Nevertheless, his likely children (in no particular order) are: Rebecca; Patsy; James; Mourning; Samuel, Jr.; Andrew; Matthew.

There are still more details to fill in to tell the story about the Ballards who settled in southeastern Tennessee and in Buncombe County, North Carolina, which is a bit outside of the scope of this post.  Future posts will take a closer look at Andrew Ballard, who named a son Whitson, which seems a corruption or variation of “Winston,” a name used in the family of Micajah Ballard who lived in Campbell County, Tennessee and removed to Lawrence County, Ohio.  A Winston Ballard appears on a tax list in Anderson County, Tennessee in 1837 (one line away from a Joseph Ballard), on the Federal Census in Campbell County in 1830 and 1840, and he appears to have removed to Greene County, Illinois by 1850.  Curiously, the Greene County Illinois census enumerator failed to list the ages of anyone in that household, though he noted that they were all born in Tennessee except the last, Sarah, who was born in Illinois (the list included Winston R. Ballard; Isabel; James; Emeline; Mary Ann and Sarah).  Also in Campbell County, Tennessee was a Richard Ballard who married Frances James, the daughter of Rolling James.  And there is a Ballard family in Roane County, Tennessee we have yet to study.  There is still much to do here.

Many thanks to Amy Mays Emert for the work she undertook on our behalf at the Knox County Archives.

James E. Ballard of Ray County, Missouri (1817-1893).

About eight years ago we stumbled on a curious legislative act among the Laws of Kentucky and at the time did not pursue researching it, until now.   In a volume entitled Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Passed at December Session, 1847 (Frankfort: A.G. Hodges & Co., 1848), pp. 254-55, we found the following.

AN ACT for the benefit of James L. Ballard and Matilda, his wife.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That it shall be lawful for Matilda Ballard, wife of James L. Ballard, to join in the sale and conveyance of her interest in a tract of land that descended to her from her brother, William Flournoy, deceased, lying in Washington county; and a deed of conveyance executed by her and her said husband, James L. Ballard, in conformity with existing laws, shall be effectual to vest the title, in fee simple, in the grantee, as if the said Matilda were of full and mature age: Provided, that no such conveyance shall pass the title to said land until the said James L. Ballard execute bond, with one or more good securities, in a penalty double the value of said Matilda’s interest in the land to be conveyed, payable to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in the Clerk’s office of the Washington County Court, conditioned that the proceeds of the sale shall be vested in lands in the State of Missouri, and the title to be secured to and vested in the said Matilda Ballard; which bond shall be preserved in said office, and it may be put in suit by the said Matilda Ballard, or her heirs, for any breach thereof.

Approved February 25, 1848.

This tells us that the couple sold the property she inherited from her brother William Flournoy (who lived in Washington County, Kentucky), Matilda was under the age of 21, and the couple was moving to Missouri but needed this act to legitimize the conveyance.

Given that this occurred just before the 1850 census, we turned first to the census records to try to find the couple. At the time there was only one couple named James and Matilda Ballard in Missouri, but that James had the middle initial “E.” Presumably the “L.” in the legislative act was a transcription error.

The 1850 Census enumerated James E. Ballard, age 33, born in Virginia; Matilda Ballard, age 22, born in Kentucky, and Adeline Ballard, age 1, born in Missouri. 1850 US Federal Census, District 75, Ray, Missouri, Roll: M432_412, Page 289B, Image 19.

In 1860, James, Matilda and Adeline are erroneously listed as “Rolland”, not Ballard. The household listing begins with a Samuel Rolland, age 40, a farm hand, followed by Rebecca, age 19, John, age 17, and Jessie, age 16. Next is James Ballard, age 44, a Miller, born in Virginia; Matilda, age 30, born in Kentucky; Adeline, age 10, listed erroneously as born in Kentucky; and a new addition, James Ballard, age 2, born in Missouri. 1860 US Federal Census, Richmond, Ray, Missouri, Roll M653_643, Page 269, Image 273.

By 1870, the family is still in Richmond in Ray County, Missouri, but by then James has retired (“retired merchant”), age 53, born in Virginia; Matilda, age 43, born in Kentucky; Adeline is no longer with them, but James J. Ballard, age 12 is “at home.” An additional member of the household is a Lemuel Boon, age 79, “no occupation.”

By 1880, it appears Matilda had died (we’ve found no record of this, however), and James Ballard, age 64 is in the household of S. Ken C. Hancock, age 37, a farmer from Tennessee, who married his daughter Adeline (“Addie Hancock”). Their daughter Ida Hancock, age 1, was born in Kansas. James’ son James, age 22 is also with them.

James E. Ballard and his son James J. Ballard are both interred at Greenwood Cemetery in the town of Sedan in Chautauqua County, Kansas. James E. Ballard’s tombstone shows that he was born 22 November 1817 and died 3 February 1893, and his son was born in 1859, died in 1923.

According to her tombstone, James’ daughter Adeline Hancock was born 27 March 1849, died 10 February 1920, while her husband S. C. Hancock was born 27 October 1844, died 15 November 1898. Both are interred at Greenwood Cemetery.

In 1900, James Ballard (the son) was a servant in the household of Henry and Eva Colyer. This record listed him as born in March 1861, yet he is the only James Ballard in Missouri with a father from Virginia and a mother from Kentucky. He is apparently unmarried, and presumably died without issue. We have not found him in the 1910 or 1920 census.

Nor have we found anything other than the Act linking Matilda to her family in Kentucky, and based on his response in the 1880 Federal Census, James did not know which states to name as their places of birth.  While this particular male line appears to have died out (Adeline had two children — Ida and Elliott — that may have had children), knowledge of his descent could help untangle the lines of the Virginia families.

The Will of William Ballard of Roane County, Tennessee (1850).

While researching Ballard families in Southern Tennessee, we chanced upon records of a William Ballard who appears in a Roane County tax list in 1805.  The county was formed 6 November 1801 from Knox County.  The Roane County tax list is the earliest mention we’ve found of him.  Images of the original are available on Ancestry but difficult to read.  William Ballard appears as No. 196, and its worth noting that his future father-in-law, John Eblen, is No. 175.  William Ballard married Polly Eblen on 22 May 1807. Tennessee State Marriage Index, 1780-2002 (FamilySearch database).  The 1850 Federal Census shows that William was born c. 1781, which means he was about 24 years old in 1805.

Federal Census records for Knox County for the year 1800 has been lost, and the Federal Census records for Roane County for the years 1810 and 1820 have been lost, though substitutes are available.  William Ballard appears in the 1830, 1840 and 1850 census; in the last his age is given as 69 (born c. 1781), and appears with a wife, Rosannah Ballard; a child is in the household, named Jesse Brazzeal.  This appeared strange until we noticed that a box was checked indicating that they were married within the year, and we found a marriage record proving the marriage of Rosanah Breazeale and William Ballard on 6 November 1849.

Curiously, a memorial in states (without sources) that Polly Eblen Ballard died 3 December 1849, which is nearly a month after the date of his marriage to Rosanah Breazeale.  It’s also curious that William’s will does not mention his second wife Rosannah, who is shown on to have survived him until 1856, yet there is no mention of her in subsequent estate matters in the will books.  The entry for William Ballard provides a date of birth of 18 June 1781, and death in November 1852.  Given the wealth of information on his descendants, it clear this is first-hand information from a family member.  With the conflicting information, however, needless to say, additional research is needed to get the facts straight.

An aside about — while it is often a tremendous resource, we are inclined to only trust those entries that include a photograph of the tombstone.  That site allows users to post memorials to any individual they wish, and place them anywhere they think prudent.   These “made up” memorials aren’t always easy to distinguish from actual burials, which results in the dissemination of erroneous information.  As with all secondary sources, it’s best to verify information found on with original records.

What is interesting to us, however, is the fact that the 1850 Federal Census indicates that William was born in Virginia (his wife Rosannah was born in Tennessee), and that records of actual tombstones in show that Washington Ballard, William’s eldest son, named children Samuel C. Ballard and David J. Ballard (both died young), which are names commonly used among descendants of John Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia (c. 1719-1780).

This is an instance when yDNA research proves invaluable.  We can focus on this line because: (1) a recent male descendant of this William places him squarely in Lineage Group I; (2) naming patterns in later generations point to likely descent from John Ballard of Albemarle; (3) The descendants that would be of the right age among Thomas Ballard of Albemarle, John’s brother, and their other brother Bland Ballard Sr of Spotsylvania County and their other brother (or cousin) Richard Ballard are for the most part accounted for.  The problem is that the descent of two sons — William and Samuel — hasn’t been properly traced.

John Ballard of Albemarle left a will dated 11 June 1779, and in it he names his sons Thomas Ballard and William Ballard as his executors.  Obviously the William whose will appears below is not the same William if he was born in 1781 (though some online genealogies place him there).  However it is possible that our William is the grandson of John of Albemarle by way of one of the two sons whose descendants have not been traced: the William identified as living below Mechum’s Depot in Albemarle, or William’s brother Samuel, who last appeared with any certainty in a record dated November 1784 when he executed a power of attorney in Camden District, South Carolina with his brothers to sell land in Albemarle.  It isn’t clear from the records if there was a single power of attorney or multiple, or where each brother resided; brother Thomas executed the deed by power of attorney on behalf of brothers William, John, David, Samuel and Bland.

Could the secondary information on William Ballard of Albemarle be incorrect, and the three brothers (William, Samuel and Bland) traveled together to South Carolina and later removed to Rutherford County, North Carolina? A William Ballard appears in a Rutherford, North Carolina Tax List dated 1782, though his connection to this family is unknown.  Further complicating things: there were two William Ballard households in Albemarle in 1810, and two in Rutherford that same year.   Research on the ground in Albemarle and Rutherford Counties may provide an answer.

Will of William Ballard
Roane Co. Tenn. Settlements, Wills, 1847-1855, Book E, p. 363

I William Ballard of the county of Roane and state of Tennessee planter do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made.

First I direct that my body be decently interred at the graveyard at Prospect Church in said county in a manner suitable to my condition in live and as to such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to intrust me with I dispose of the same as follows.

First. I direct that all my debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of any monies that I may die possessed of or may first come into the hands of my executor from any portion of my estate real or personal.

Secondly, I give and bequeath to my beloved son Washington Ballard the sum of two hundred dollars.

Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Elizabeth now Elizabeth Taliaferro one black girl named Rachel that received when married at two hundred dollars.

Fourthly, I give and bequeath Eliza now Eliza Pryott the sum of one hundred dollars and one hundred dollars received in a short time after her marriage making the amount of two hundred dollars.

Fifthly, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Ann now Ann Harvey two hundred dollars.

Sixthly, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Francis now Francis McPherson the sum of two hundred dollars.

Seventhly, I give and bequest to my beloved daughter Caroline now Caroline Bacon the sum of two hundred dollars.

Eighthly, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Lucinda now Lucinda Bacon the sum of two hundred dollars.

Ninthly, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Lavina now Lavina Oliphant the sum of two hundred dollars.

Tenthly, I give and bequeath to my beloved son John E. Ballard one hundred and sixty acres of land lying & being in the county and state first mentioned situate in the second range East of the Meridian first fractional township nineteenth section and the north east quarter of said section, Hiwassee District on which he now resides and for which has received a deed of gift from me which is to be his portion of my estate real and personal.

Eleventh, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Sophia E. now Sophia E. Rose the sum of two hundred dollars.

Twelfth, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Mary Jane now Mary Jane Taliaferro the sum of two hundred dollars.

Thirteenthly, I direct the remainder of my estate real or personal money or monies that may come into the hands of my Executors after defraying all lawful expenses, to be equally divided between all of my heirs with the exception of my son John E. Ballard who has received by Deed of Gift his portion in full as above stated.

Lastly I do hereby make ordain and appoint my esteemed & beloved son Washington Ballard and my esteemed son in law James Oliphant executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I William Ballard the said testator have to this my will written on one sheet of paper set my hand and seal this fourth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty.

Signed sealed and published in the presence of us who have subscribed in the presence of the Testatator and of each other.

William Ballard (his mark)

Witnesses: Thomas B. Matlock, Thomas Osborn, James M. McNabb

Recorded December Term 1852, “Witness my hand at office in Kingston the 1st Monday of December A.D. 1852” Austin S. Greene, Clk.

Estate Inventory entered March Term 1853. Property reported sold 28 & 29 December 1852 (p. 387).

Final accounting entered 13 January 1855 (p. 510).

William’s son Washington Ballard died relatively young, at age 52, but like his father, produced 11 children and left many descendants. A descendant posted a biography in

Washington Ballard was the first child of William and Polly Ballard. He was the clerk of the session of Prospect Church where he is now buried. We know that he was a dedicated Christian from his devotion to his church and from the gift of land that he made to the church for the cemetery. Also his brother, John Eblen Ballard, gave land to the church.

Washington was around 18 years old when his family moved to the farm south of the TN. River in the Hiwassee District about 1826.  He lived in the two-story log cabin just over the hill from the Prospect Church.

He married Sarah Pursley on November 7, 1833. He then bought fifty acres of land for $300. adjacent to his fathers farm (Roane Cty Register, Book G. pg. 331). Washington and Sarah had nine children.  All of their sons were named after famous people.  He later married Harriet Oliphant and they had two children.

My great-grandfather apparently died unexpectedly at the age of 52. I wonder if his death was accidental or did he have a heart attack. His eldest son, Thomas Jefferson Ballard, was the executor of his estate and the inventory was listed in Roane County Wills and Estate Book Vol.F,pg 375,380-381,439 dated July 1861. It is interesting that his widow, Harriet Oliphant Ballard, had to buy goods from the estate.

Washington Ballard is buried in the Prospect Cemetery with a large stone bench as his grave marker.

This was written by my father, Fred B. Ballard (FAG # 148622034) about his great-grandfather.

Will of Alexander Ballard, Sr of Hawkins County, Tennessee (1751-1839).

We chanced upon this will (which has been published elsewhere) while researching Ballard families with roots in eastern Tennessee. Our current project is trying to solve the riddle of the ancestry of Samuel Ballard, Sr (c. 1802-1862) who married into Cherokee families and accompanied the tribe to the new Cherokee Nation in what is now Oklahoma during the infamous Trail of Tears in the late 1830s.

DNA analysis of several of his descendants link him to the families in Lineage Group I of the Ballard DNA Project, so figuring out how he connects is of great interest to us. Disparate sources –a Federal census record and several oral histories by descendants — point to Tennessee as his place of birth.

We’ll publish our thoughts on his ancestry in due course, but in the meantime thought we’d share this will found in the records of Hawkins County, Tennessee. Two versions are available: the original handwritten will is in the Hawkins County, Tennessee Loose Wills, 1779-1975, while a transcribed version appears in Book 1, page 52 of the bound records (both may be viewed on

At Creech’s Chapel Cemetery in Whitesburg, Hamblen County, Tennessee, is a funerary monument dedicated to the memory of Alexander Ballard, Sr (Hamblen County was created 8 June 1870 out of parts of Grainger, Jefferson and Hawkins Counties). The plaque reads:

In loving memory of
Alexander Sr and Rachel Ballard
Alexander Ballard, Sr., born in the township of Oxford, Philadelphia, PA first of our forefathers to settle in what is now Tennessee in the year 1795.

Robert A. Trent
4th Great Grandson

A relatively new gravestone marks the grave:

Common Sailor
Capt. Griffin’s Company
Continental Navy
Revolutionary War

Will Book 1, Page 52
6 May 1839

May the 6 day one thousand height hundred and thirty nine to all whom these may concern, I, Alexander Ballard, Sen’r., in the Name of God, Amen, being sound in mind and memory but frail in body do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

First. I give and bequeath unto my grand daughter, Sary Ann Ballard, the daughter of my son Alexander Ballard, Junior my dwelling house and all my household furniture, to wit: One bed and furniture, one corner cupboard, one chest and one table and two chairs, one pot, one frying pan. To the said Sary Ann Ballard, for her service to me in my old age, to be the said grandchild’s forever after my death.

In witness whereof I have set my hand this day and year above written.

Alexander x Ballard, Sr. (his mark)

Test: Andrew Coffman
Thomas [X] White (his mark)

May the 6th day one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine. To all whom these presents may concern. I Alexander Ballard, Senior in the name of God, Amen, being sound in mind and memory, but frail in boddy do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

Second my will is that my grandson, James Mauley [or Manley] Ballard, son of Alexander Ballard, Junior unto first, my saddle and bridle and big coat, the same to be James M. Ballard’s after my death, and also he — the said James Mauley Ballard, is to have one hundred dollars in silver when he is twenty one years of age, which I will to him after my death.

And last of all, my will is that my son, William Ballard or his heirs, one dollar; John B. Ballard, one dollar; David Ballard one dollar; Joshua Ballard, Alexander Ballard, Jr., George and Jesse Ballard one dollar each, and to my daughter Jane [in original smudged, omitted in the Will Book transcription, the first letter appears to be “W”], one dollar.

All my burial expenses paid out of my estate. In witness whereof I set my hand this date and year as above written.

Alexander X Ballard, Sen’r (his mark)

Test: Andrew Coffman
Thomas [X] White (his mark)

The Ancestry of Bland N. Ballard of Pulaski County, Missouri (1800-1861).

We’ve noted before how helpful old county biographies can be, because by summarizing a person’s life and travels, they provide a terrific guidance for where to search for records to verify the story contained therein.  One such biography is that of Bland N. Ballard of Pulaski County, Missouri (1834-1893), which recounts his father’s origin and travels before settling in Missouri.  We’ve added paragraph breaks for ease of reading.

From History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889).

Bland N. Ballard, farmer and stockman, of Cullen Township, Pulaski Co., Mo., is a native of Sangamon County, Ill., born in 1834.

His father, Bland N. Ballard, was a native of the “Palmetto State,” born in 1800, and when a young man went to Overton County, Tenn., where he met and married Miss Margaret Smelser, who was a native of that county, born in 1801.  In 1833 he moved to Sangamon County, Ill., and four years later came to Pulaski County, Mo., where he spent the remainder of his days, dying in 1861.  He was an influential citizen of Pulaski County for many years, and held the following offices: sheriff and collector, circuit and county clerk, a member of the State Legislature and probate county judge.

To him and wife, who died in 1873, six children were born, Bland N. being their third child.  He resided with his father until the latter’s death, and then his mother made her home with him.

His [Bland N. Ballard, Jr’s] marriage to Miss Sarah White was celebrated in October 1867.  She was born in Springfield, Mo., in 1841, and became the mother of five children: Maggie, Olive, Charles, Cora and Sallie.  Her death occurred in March, 1878, and in January, 1789, Mr. Ballard wedded Elizabeth Bradford, a daughter of Neely Bradford, by whom he became the father of four children: Lucy, Samuel, Neely and Winnie.  Mrs. Ballard was born in Phelps County, Mo., in 1842.

Mr. Ballard’s first investment in land was seventy-six acres, which he bought in 1866, but he has since increased his acreage until he now owns 102 in the home tract and 198 acres in another.  In 1888 he erected a handsome and commodious two-story frame residence, at a cost of $800.  In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, under Col. Stein, and served four years, being a participant in a number of engagements.  He was captured near Fort Smith, and taken to St. Louis, where he was kept a prisoner for about nine months, when he was paroled, and returned home.  He has always been a Democrat in politics, has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for about fifteen years, and is a Master Mason.

Our objective here is to identify the ancestors of the first Bland N. Ballard.  We know from the above that he was born in 1800 in South Carolina, briefly lived in Overton County, Tennessee in the 1820s, in 1833 moved to Sangamon County, Illinois, where his son Bland was born in 1834, then moved to Pulaski County, Missouri in 1837, and died there in 1861.  According to his tombstone in the Laughlin Cemetery in Waynesville, Pulaski County, he was born July 1800 and died 21 February 1861.  Margaret Smelser’s tombstone records that she was born 16 January 1800 and died  5 August 1870 (  He and Margaret had six children, but only Bland Jr. is named here.

We turn first to the 1850 US Federal Census, which was the first enumeration to give a person’s exact age (as best they knew) and place of origin.   The handwriting of the enumerator for District 72 in Pulaski County, Missouri is particularly difficult to read; Ancestry’s transcribers interpreted the name as “Bronie N. Ballow.”  The household shows: Bland N. Ballard, 51 (born NC); Margarit Ballard, 50 (born Tenn.); Bland N. Junr, 16 (born in Ill.); Morning Ballard, 14 (Mo.); Minerva Anne, 7 (Mo.); the household includes Eliza J. York, 7, and John M. York, 6 (both born in Missouri).  1850 US Federal Census, District 72, Pulaski, Missouri, Roll M432_411, Page 90A, Image 185.

The 1860 US Federal Census confirms what appeared in 1850, with the household headed by B.N. Ballard, 60 (born in SC); Margaret Ballard, 59 (born in TN); B.N.W. Ballard, 26 (born in Ill.); Minerva Ballard, 17 (born in Mo.); Jane York, 17 (born in Mo.); John M. York, 15 (born in Mo.); the household includes Sheldin G. Farriss, 26 (born in Ill.), who was probably a field hand.  1860 US Federal Census, Township 35, Range 11, Pulaski, Missouri, roll M653_641, Page 277, Image 275.

Working backward, we find Bland in 1840 in Pulaski County, with a household comprised of 1 male born between 1831 and 1835, two males born between 1821 and 1825, one male born between 1791 and 1800, one female born between 1831 and 1835, one female born between 1826 and 1830, two female born between 1821 and 1825, and one female born between 1791 and 1800.  Clearly the eldest two are the parents, with three sons, four daughters, Bland being the youngest son.  Assuming all of the younger people in the household are their children, it appears that there were five children older than he, even though the biography states that he had two older siblings.  Three may not have survived to adulthood.  1840 US Federal Census, Pulaski, Missouri, Roll 229, Page 199, Image 405.

The 1830 US Federal Census is a bit of a surprise, because here we find him in Putnam, Indiana, not Sangamon, Illinois.  That household includes one male born between 1791 and 1800, one female born after 1825, two females born between 1821 and 1825, and one female born between 1801 and 1810.  Bland must have lived in Indiana for a time before moving to Illinois.   1830 US Federal Census, Putnam, Indiana, Series M19, Roll 30, Page 182.

We have not been able to identify where he might have been living by the 1820 or 1810 Census (he would legally have been an infant those years).

Letters preserved in the files of Brent Holcomb archived at the Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, South Carolina offer bits of interesting information.  Mr. Holcomb worked on the origin question for a client, Mrs. Helen G. Crawford, who forwarded letters from descendants of Bland N. Ballard, which are transcribed below.  The letters include her parenthetical comments to place them in context.

August 18, 1981

1510 Spencer St

Rolla, MO

Dear Mrs. Croford

In regards to your letter I can’t give you much information you want as I was only about 8 years old when my father died then I’m 97 now.  I do remember one of thing, my father’s father came up   from Tenn to Illinois quite a few Ballards in Ill. my father came up to Missouri from Ill.

I’s sorrow I can’t help you more.

Neal B. Ballard

1510 Spencer St

Rolla, MO

[“This is the grandson of Bland N. Ballard, Sr.  He was a son of a second wife of B.N. Ballard jr.”]

A second letter has no date:

Ernest Dear —

The name of the place in Indiana where grandfather Ballard moved was Green Castle — Grandmother Ballard had to [“two”] sisters there Mornin and Charita married to frenchmen Catholics.

When I was widow at home with mother she told me many things about her folks.  Grandfather Ballard taught school before coming to Pulaski Co.  Pulaski then took in a lot more territory than now.

Love, Aunt Alice

A third letter has no date:

[“To Ernest Warren”]

Your grandmother Gibson [“nee Eliza J. Ballard”] was born in Roan County, Tenn. December 4th 1824 married Sep 8th, 1839.  Your great grandmother [“Margaret Smelzer, Schmelzer”] was cousin of General Lafayettes.  Her mother [“gr-grandmother Gibson’s”], her father German, at least he was born in Alsace.

Your grandfather Gibson born in St. Louis County Missouri March 11th 1819 passed away Feb 22nd 1883, two of his relatives were signers of Declaration Independence John Hancock a second cousin and I’ve forgotten the other one.

He was judge of the courts, when I was very small.  The only thing I remember is after a hard journey he let me light is merchaum pipes.  I can not remember exact date of mothers death, seems it was in March 1898.  You will have to visit cemetery to find if I am right.

Think your grandfather [“Gibson”] came to Pulaski Co. in 1826 to live with his brother George Washington Gibson.  Grandfather and grandmother Gibson died when father was seven years old.  You might find something about it in the Pulaski Co. record.  Your great uncle Washington was in the Legislature.

Ballards moved to Indiana [“Greencastle, Putnam Co.”] from [“Overton Co.”] Tennessee.  Mother told me many times about the low country and the fever the name will come to me.  The town [page apparently missing] . . . name Schmelzer — great grandmother’s maiden name.

Ernest — If there are any other questions you think I might answer — just ask me.  Am glad you are both well. We are all fairly well.  Joido (?) and Max are making us a visit, we are very happy about it.  They have sold their cabins.  Max does not to go to work until last of April so they may get to stay a few days.

The lady that cleans house for us would like me to move [illegible]

Lots of love, Aunt Alice

[“Alice was a daughter of Eliza Ballard Gibson & granddaughter of Bland N. Ballard, Sr.  Note: I think a page was missing from this letter.”]

The sketch above was published in 1889 while Bland N. Ballard, Jr was living; most likely it was he that told that compiler that his father hailed from “The Palmetto State.”  Nothing we have found, however, in the earlier primary or secondary sources provide what the initial “N.” stood for.

Bland Ballard in South Carolina

There was a Bland Ballard living in South Carolina in the 1780s and 1790s, who may have been Bland N. Ballard’s father.  That Bland removed to South Carolina from Albemarle County, Virginia before 1787.  On 15 December 1787, Bland Ballard of the Camden District, South Carolina gave a power of attorney to his brother Thomas Ballard and Francis Taliaferro to convey legal title to a tract of land, lying in Albemarle county, Virginia, sold to Patrick Michie “of which I had an equal part with the rest of my brothers.”  Camden District, South Carolina Deed Book 10, p. 463; also Power of Attorney dated 15 December 1787 recorded October 1791 in Albemarle Co. Va. Deed Book 10, p. 463.  The land that was the subject of this power of attorney was sold on 6 November 1783 by “William Ballard, in his own proper person & attorney-in-fact for John Ballard, David Ballard, Samuel Ballard & Sarah Ballard” to Patrick Michie, for £300, 400 acres on N. Fork of James River & Naked Creek, in Albemarle Co., bounded by land of Wm. Michie, Thos. Ballard, Jr & sd. Patrick Michie. Witnessed by John Michie, John Walker, John Allen. Recorded June 1784, Albemarle Co. Va. Deed Book 8, p. 135.  Given that William Ballard was joined by his wife Sarah, and John, David and Samuel did not include spouses in the conveyance, indicates that at the time they were not married.

Evidently Bland removed to South Carolina with his brothers David, John and Thomas.  We know that Bland’s brother David married Rebecca _________, while his brother John married Nancy Graham, and their brother Thomas married (1) Elizabeth Graham, and (2) Mary Parks.  A pair of deeds prove the Graham marriages:

23 April 1803.  John Ballard for $125 to Andrew Graham and James Trantham of Kershaw District, our undivided 1/7 of the estate of Frances Graham, dec’d, through my wife Nancy.  — John Ballard, Nancy Ballard.  Witness: Bailey Fleming, George Graham.  Recorded Kershaw Co. Deed Book D, p. 145.

6 January 1804.  Thomas Ballard of Hershaw District for $139 to Andrew Graham & James Trantham of Kershaw District, undivided 1/7 part of land of Francis Graham, dec’d, by my wife Elizabeth, now deceased — Thomas Ballard.  Witness: R.L. Champion, James Ballard.  Recorded Kershaw Co. Deed Book D, p. 241.

Francis Graham owned land adjoining the Ballards in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Camden was in Kershaw County, South Carolina, to the south of adjoining Lancaster County, where Bland Ballard was enumerated in the 1790 US Federal Census.  That enumeration recorded two males over 16 years of age (born before 1774, two males under 16 years of age (born between 1774 and 1789), and one female.  Age ranges for females were not recorded.  Assuming Bland was 21 when married and had a son age 16 in the household, then he was at least 37 years of age, and therefore born c. 1753-1760.  The other older male, however, could conceivably have been a brother, just not the head of household.

On 26 December 1791, Blan Ballard obtained a plat for 98 acres on the branch of Beaver Creek in the Camden District of South Carolina.  South Carolina Land Grants, S213190, Vol. 27, page 458.  According to notes by Brent Holcomb the grant was not issued and he owned no land in South Carolina.  He did, however, sell cattle on 1 April 1794, Blann Ballard of Kershaw County, Planter, for £15, to Duncan McRa and Zachariah Canty … sale of cattle… — Blann Ballard.  Witness: John Crane.  Recorded Kershaw Co. SC Deed Book A, p. 144.  

While there is no direct proof of a marriage, there does exist a record that indicates where the middle initial “N” might have come from.  Recorded in Kershaw County, South Carolina is the will of John Nixson, Sr, which names his daughter Elizabeth Ballard.

Will of John Nixson, Senr.

In the name of God Amen. I John Nixson Senr of the County of Kershaw and State of South Carolina being Very weake and in A low Condition – but of Sound mind and memory but Cauling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die I Do make Constitute and ordain this my last will and Testament in the manner and form as followeth

IMPRIMIS – First I give and bequeath to my Daughter Nancy Reynaulds – Travis Nixson, John Nixson, Elizebeth Ballard, William Nixson, Hanner Bendergrass and Henry Nixson – an Equal Part of my Worldly Estate both Real and Personnal to be Divided by and at the Discresion of my Executors hereafter.

Secondly and lastly – I Constitute and Appoint my Eldest Son Travis Nixson and Thomas Gardner Executors to this my last Will and testament – Disannuling and Revoking all other testaments wills Cordicils or wills by me Made Ratifying this to be my last will and testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my Hand and Seal this fifteenth day of march in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and ninty Seven – and in the twenty first year of the Independence of the United States of America

— John Nixson

Signed Sealed and acknowledged in the presence of us: Robert Brown, Jean Gardner, Milley Gardner

Recorded Kershaw Co. South Carolina Will Book C, p. 291, 7 November 1797, Apt. 53, Pkg. 1850.

The records of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort, South Carolina include the baptism of Elizabeth Nixon, daughter of John and Ann Nixon.  She was born 29 August 1764, baptized 28 October 1771.  Their daughter Ann was born 22 July 1770, and also baptized 28 October 1771.  South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 3, July 1922 (p. 142).

By process of elimination, given that Bland’s brothers wives and children are accounted for, and knowing from census records that he was married and had children, this leaves Bland Ballard as the most likely husband of Elizabeth Nixon.

However, we would be more comfortable with this conclusion if we could more reliably document the descendants of two other brothers of Bland, William and Samuel.  William is said to have married a “Miss Jarman” and resided below Mechum’s Depot in Albemarle (according to secondary sources), and a Samuel Ballard appears in the 1790 Census for Rutherford County, North Carolina.  A son of Bland Ballard (c. 1735-1809), son of Thomas is also said to have married Sarah Jarman; the two may be conflated in earlier research and work is needed to sort them out.  We’ve checked Albemarle County deeds from 1758 to 1797, and wills 1748 to 1798 and found no mention of Samuel Ballard following his father’s will of 1779 (recorded in 1780) except the sale of land in which he joined with his brothers (by Power of Attorney, which suggests he was outside the county) on 6 November 1784.  He probably died young.

In 1800, a Samuel Ballard appears in the Morgan District of Buncombe County, North Carolina.  Note that in 1791 a portion of the west side of Rutherford and Burke Counties were cut off to create Buncombe County.  Note that a Samuel Ballard, a cousin of Bland Ballard (the son of John and grandson of Bland’s uncle Thomas) was living in Buncombe County in 1793, as proven by the following quitclaim deed dated 20 December 1793 in Buncombe Co. NC Deed Book 3, p. 198):

Know all men by these presance that I Samuel Ballard of the county of Buncombe and the state of North Carolina do hereby bargain, sell, convey and transfer unto Robert Patton of the said county and state for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty Spanish Mill dollars to me in hand paid by the said Robert Patton the receipt where of is here by acknowledged for all my right title and claim to all that legacy or heirship left or bequested to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony which legacy is to become due to me at the death of my mother Morning Ballard. I do hereby vest said Robert Patton and his heirs with full power and lawful authority … given under my hand this 20th day December 1793.  Test : Aaron Patton, George Newton

The Buncombe County, North Carolina, Index to Deeds, 1783-1850 (Southern Historical Press, 1983) provides a little additional information: a Samuel Ballard purchased 100 acres on Forgey’s Creek from James McMahon by deed dated September 1799 (Book 3, p. 317), and a Samuel Ballard conveyed 100 acres on Swannanoa River by deed dated 16 July 1802 to William Edmondson (Book C, p. 275).   It isn’t clear if this is the same parcel; the name “Forgey’s Creek” does not appear on contemporary USGS maps.  An examination of the original or a transcript that names the owners of neighboring parcels would answer the question.

Census records show that the Samuel Ballard in Rutherford County in 1790 had a household consisting of three persons: one male over age 16 (born before 1774), and two females (ages were not given in that census).  The Samuel Ballard in Buncombe County in 1800 consisted of eight people: the head of household was between the ages of 26 and 44, a female in the same age range, two sons under age 10, three daughters under age 10, and one daughter between 10 and 15.  This appears to be the same family.  There are no other records of Samuel Ballard in Buncombe deed books after 1802, which begs the question of where he removed to following the sale of the 100 acres.

In light of this, we’re fairly confident that the Samuel appearing in Rutherford in 1790 and Buncombe in 1800 is not Bland’s brother.  We have not yet established what became of Bland’s brother Samuel, assuming he was still living in 1800.  We can speak with more certainty when we’re able to study additional records of Rutherford and Buncombe Counties, North Carolina and the post-1800 records of Albemarle County, Virginia.

The 1800 US Federal Census records a Bland Balliard in the Morgan District of Rutherford County, North Carolina.  This household consisted of three males born between under 10, one male between 26 and 44, two females under 10, one female born between 10 and 15, and one female between 26 and 44.  This is most likely our Bland and his family.  1800 US Federal Census, Morgan District, Rutherford, North Carolina, Series M32, Roll 33, Page 97, Image 409.

Who were the other minor males in the household in 1800?  One of these is probably Bland N. Ballard, born c. 1800.  Another may be the Nixon Ballard who we know from a single record — a marriage license for Nixon Ballard and Mary Rembert, dated 20 August 1819 that appears in the records of Lawrence County, Mississippi.  A third possibility is the Charles Ballard who appears in the same county (marriage record of Charles Ballard and Jane Brady, dated 13 March 1821), if we assume Nixon and Charles are related and traveled to Mississippi together.  We’ve done no research of substance in Mississippi, so for the moment this is pure speculation.

We note (again) that nowhere in any primary sources that Bland N. Ballard’s middle name was “Nixon.”  Past researchers must have reached this conclusion because of the existence of the will of John Nixson that names his daughter Elizabeth Ballard.  Given the penumbra of evidence, this is a very likely the correct conclusion.  There are no other records that we’ve discovered showing the whereabouts of this first Bland Ballard after 1800, who presumably died after that date, leaving at least three sons and three daughters.  We have yet to search records of Rutherford County, North Carolina; when we do, we hope to tell a more comprehensive story about this branch of the family.


James Ballard, Jr of New York, New York (1815-1882).

James Ballard, Jr of Albemarle, the son of James Ballard, Sr and the grandson of Thomas Horace Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia, was born in 1815.  We are still researching the details of the life of James Ballard, Sr, but present here what we know of his son, James.  At least one researcher claims James Sr removed to Kershaw, South Carolina, but in a list of children attributed to him failed to account for the existence of James, Jr.

The National Register nomination for the Ballard-Maupin House, also known as Plainview Farm in Albemarle County, Virginia, recounts this history of the property.  Our comments appear in brackets.

The Ballard-Maupin House (Plainview Farm) is significant under Criterion C on the local level as an example of a well-preserved, early vernacular domestic building in Albemarle County. Architectural evidence and archival research suggests that a portion of the house may date from the 1750-1790 period. This portion was probably built by Thomas Ballard, one of the earliest settlers in the Free Union area. Less than a dozen houses are known to date from this period in Albemarle County. The majority of the house dates from the 1800-1820 period and was probably built by one of Ballard’s sons. The level of craftsmanship evident in the extensive hand-carved woodwork and mantels is unusual for a vernacular house of this period. The house received several small additions in the 19~ century. The present owners have built a sympathetic addition on the north. The outbuildings are remnants of the working farm that was at his site well into the 1940s.

Historical Background

Although the earliest history of this property is unclear, it may have been part of a 400-acre parcel sold by William Ballard to Thomas Ballard in 1750 (Louisa County Deed Book A, page 403). The oldest part of the present house was probably built by Thomas Ballard sometime after this date. Only a few other houses from this period survive in Albemarle County, and, like the Ballard-Maupin House, they are simple, vernacular houses that have received several additions since their original date of construction. Thomas Ballard gave his house, spring, and all lands south of Rocky Creek to his son James Ballard, Sr., with the remaining land going to his other son John (Albemarle County Deed Book 13, page 475). [Note: Deed Book 13 spans the years 1798 to 1802.  This gift was confirmed in the 1804 will of Thomas Horace Ballard.]

Architectural evidence indicates an extensive remodeling and expansion of the house after 1800. This coincides with the transfer of the house and property with the death of James Ballard, Sr. in 1804 (Albemarle County Will Book 4, page 162). [Thomas Horace Ballard, James Sr’s father, died in 1804; James Ballard and his wife Ann were still living in 1850 at the time of the Census, age 83 and 76, respectively.  The author must have intended to name Thomas Horace Ballard, not James.]   The house was inherited by his son James Ballard, Jr. The architect-builder of this newly expanded residence for James Ballard, Jr. is unknown, but its uniformly high-quality woodwork is unusual for an otherwise vernacular dwelling in a relatively remote area of Albemarle County.

By 1854, James Ballard and his wife Sarah Ann had moved to New York City and had sold their 130-acre farm to Gabriel Maupin for $1,950. [Note: Presumably the deed recites James’ place of residence, i.e., “James Ballard of New York …”; this bears confirmation.  James Ballard, Sr died in 1853; his will was presented at Albemarle County Court on 7 February 1853, hence the sale of the property once his interest vested.]  At Gabriel Maupin’s death in 1866, his holdings were divided among his children. Lucy Maupin (who had married her cousin James R. Maupin) inherited the 130 acres, the house, outbuildings, and the spring. In 1877, James R. Maupin sold the farm to another cousin, John D. Maupin.

James Ballard, Jr, the son of James Ballard Sr, was living in New York as early as 1842, when a petition for bankruptcy was filed in the District Court on Saturday, 26 March 1842: “James Ballard, Jr., of the city of New York, Clerk (and one of the late firm of James Ballard & Co., of Natchez, Mississippi.”  The Evening Post (New York), 28 March 1842, p. 2.  On 25 May 1843 another notice appeared: “In the matter of James Ballard, Jr.  His residuary interest in an assignment to Rice C. Ballard.  His interest in the business of James Ballard & Co.”  The Evening Post (New York), 25 May 1843, p. 3.  Rice C. Ballard, also known as Rice Carter Ballard, is by the archivists at the University of North Carolina as James Ballard, Jr’s brother.  We are still researching the exact nature of their relationship, but this connection may reveal erroneous conclusions in prior research.  For information on Rice Carter Ballard, see Benjamin Ballard, Jr of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1768-1864)).

The 1850 Federal Census finds him in Ward 17 of New York City.  James Ballard, 36, born in Virginia, is head of household; Occupation: Clerk.  His wife Sarah, age 29, is shown as born in New York, as are their two children, Mary M., age 3, and Georgeanna, age 1.  There are two servants from Ireland: Sarah Kirkpatrick, age 25, and Bridget Kelly, age 35.  1850 US Federal Census, New York Ward 17, New York, New York; Roll: M432_555; Page: 178A; Image: 359.

In 1860, the family is residing in Ward 18, District 4 in New York City, James is age 45, Sarah, 38, and there are two sons, James, age 7 and Wm. R., age 3.  Georgianna is age 10.  James is identified as a clothing merchant with real estate holdings worth $25,000 and personal property worth $5,000.  This time Sarah is shown as having been born in Virginia.  There are additional people living with them in the household: Hanna Lawson, age 28; Charles Lawson, age 8, and Catherine Fagin, age 6.  There are five domestics, all born in Ireland: Catherine O’Brien, 20; Mary O’Brien, 21; Bridget Boyle, 24; Ann Kearney, 26; Mary Kearney, 21.  1860 US Federal Census, New York Ward 18 District 4, New York, New York; Roll: M653_813; Page: 487; Image: 32.

By 1870, James is 55, Sarah is listed as 50, Georgianna, 21; James, 17; and William, 13.  This time, Sarah is shown as born in New York.  Members of the Lawson family still reside with them: Kate Lawson, 50; Agnes Lawson, 40; and Daniel Lawson, 40.  There are two domestics, both from Ireland: Bridget Crosby, age 20 and Margaret Hogan, age 40. 1870 US Federal Census, New York Ward 17 District 4 (2nd Enum), New York, New York; Roll: M593_1036; Page: 119A.

By 1880, James’ wife Sarah had died. The census of that year lists James, age 67 (“clothing store”), Georgianna, age 31 (“keeping house”), James B., age 26 (“clerk in P. Office”) and William, age 22 (“stenographer”).  1880 US Federal Census,New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 884; Family History Film: 1254884; Page:353B; Enumeration District: 361; Image: 0424.

James Ballard left a will dated 6 March 1875, recorded 13 May 1882, New York, New York Will Book 296, pp. 484-86.  He did not name his wife; she must have died between 1870 and 1875.

I, James Ballard of the City, County and State of New York do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament, that is to say:

First, I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be paid as soon as practicable after my decease.

Second, I give devise and bequeath all my estate and property real, personal and mixed which I may possess or in which I may be in any manner entrusted at the time of my death to my three children Georgiana Blair Ballard, James Peyton Ballard and William Rhodes Ballard, their heirs and assigns forever, the same to be equally divided among and between my said children.

Third, I do hereby nominate and appoint my friends John B. Lawson and Catherine Lawson both of the said City and County and State of New York the Executor and Executrix of this my last will and testament, and the Guardians of the person and estate of my infant son William Rhodes Ballard.

Fourth, all powers and authority of every kind herein given to said Executor and Executrix and Guardians I do hereby give to the survivor of them and to their substitute and substitutes, successors and successor in the administration of my estate and the estate of my infant son, by whatever name or designation such substitutes or successors may be known.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the sixth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five.

James Ballard (Seal)

Witnesses: Geo. W. Hidge, 371 Cumberland St, Brooklyn, NY; James De W. Wilde, Dobbs Ferry, New York; Sidney B. Wills, 13 West 129th St, New York.

Ordered recorded 13 May 1882.

James Ballard and Sarah ___________ had issue:

Mary, born c. 1847, presumably died young without issue before 1860.

Georgianna Blair, born c. 1849.

James Peyton, born c. 1853.

William Rhodes, born c. 1857.

John Jones Ballard of Greene County, Indiana (1841-1909).

This biography of John Jones Ballard appears in Biographical Memoirs of Greene County, Ind., with Reminiscences of Pioneer Days, Vol. II (Indianapolis: Bowen & Co., 1908) pp. 528-33.  He and his descendants belong in Lineage Group I.  We learned his date of death from his tombstone in Worthington Cemetery, Worthington, Indiana.


Not to know the subject of this sketch is to argue oneself unknown in Greene county, for he is one of the honored and representative citizens of this section of the state, having made his home here all his life, over the psalmist’s allotted three-score years, having been prominently identified with the material and civic advancement and upbuilding of the county and city of Worthington, and he has ever stood for loyal and public-spirited citizenship, impressing his personality on the community where his activities have been confined because of the high standard of his living.

John J. Ballard was born in Greene county, Indiana, December 2, 1841, the son of Benjamin C. [Ballard] and Catherine ( Stalcup) Jones. Catherine Stalcup was first married to John Jones, of Greene county, and his death occurred within a few years, and to this union were born two children, Margaret J., widow of C. C. Howe, of Worthington, and a daughter who died young. The former’s first marriage was to Ellen Fry, of Kentucky. Colonel James Ballard, grandfather of the subject, was one of the most prominent residents of Shelby county, Kentucky, for over fifty years, having served in the legislature of that state. He raised the following children : Thomas, Harrison, Benjamin, father of the subject; Andrew J., Bland and Pauline. Thomas remained single. Harrison has six children. Benjamin C., father of the subject, was born January i, 1806, in Shelby county, Kentucky. He followed farming there until 1837, when he came to Indiana, buying land in Highland township, Greene county, rearing the following children : James F. was the eldest ; Thomas E. was a soldier in the Union army and was killed in the battle of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Benjamin H. ; Susan, the widow of William Stalcup, now of Worthington ; Catherine, the wife of Lot Owen, both dead ; John J., our subject, was the first child of Benjamin C. Ballard’s second wife. His other child was Ellen, the wife of David H. Wiley. The father of the subject passed away October 4, 1844, Andrew J. Ballard, a brother of the subject’s father, married Fannie Thruston and they had three sons and one daughter, namely: Charles T., a graduate of Yale; Samuel T. ; R. C. Ballard Thurston, and Abby. who was a student at Vassar, now deceased. Charles T. and Samuel T. are members of the firm of Ballard & Ballard Mills at Louisville, Kentucky. Bland Ballard was appointed judge of the federal court by President Lincoln and served until his death. He was the father of the following children : Austin, Bland, Jr., Mary; Fannie and Susan.

The early life of John J. Ballard was spent on his father’s farm and in attending the common schools, where he made proper use of his time, later attending the graded schools at Point Commerce. His thirst for knowledge not being satisfied, he entered Franklin College in 1873, from which he graduated with honor in 1878, since which time he has been engaged in farming and stock raising, at which he has been eminently successful. He is in possession of the valuable tract of land owned by his father, which has remained in the Ballard family for seventy years. It consists, including what the mother added after the death of her husband, of five hundred and forty acres, three hundred and fifty of which are under the plow, a large portion of the farming land being situated along the White River. The present owner has devoted much attention to this farm and spared no pains in keeping the soil in a high state of productiveness, using some commercial fertilizers, but depending largely on clover, rye and timothy, which he turns under to enrich the soil.  Most all the grain raised on the place is fed by him to cattle and hogs. His judgment in the selection of good stock of all kinds is not excelled in Greene county. He keeps the Aberdeen Angus cattle. Poland China hogs and other good breeds. He buys some stock cattle and prepares both cattle and hogs for market and his shipment of cattle in 1906 topped the market at Indianapolis. Mr. Ballard also owns one hundred and sixty acres of as fine land as can be found in Greene county, adjoining the corporate limits of Worthington, where he has resided for the past seven years, and on which he has erected one of the finest residences in the state of Indiana, a portrait of which will be found in connection herewith. It is thoroughly modern both in style and workmanship, be ing finished in fine hardwoods, wild cherry, maple and black walnut, all sawed from trees which grew on his farm, the finishing being equal to that seen in the best residences of the large cities, being the best that can be made from these fine varieties of trees. The entire house is heated by a high-grade system of hot water. A well arranged cemented basement extends under the entire house, consisting of an ample coal room, a laundry, large drying room, an immense fruit room and a furnace room, containing a modern heating plant of the best quality. Water privileges are to be found here equal to the best in the city, every convenience being up-to-date. Ventilation has been carried to perfection in every part of the house. The spacious parlors, dining room, living room and guest chambers are models of perfection. The roof is of the best grade of slate, and, standing as it does on an eminence above the city, this magnificent residence is indeed imposing, and from it one may gain as beautiful a panorama as can be found in the state, commanding as it does a scene of miles and miles of rich and highly improved agricultural estates and the well laid-out city of Worthington. A fine grove of natural growth is to be seen some distance away on an elevated knoll on Mr. Ballard’s farm, around which is the richest of prairie land, the greater part of which is covered with a luxurious growth of timothy and clover. There is also a smaller but not less beautiful grove just north of his residence which adds greatly both to the comfort and beauty of the place. It would be hard for one to find a pleasanter place in which to spend the declining years of one’s active and useful life than that of our subject, and to know that it was obtained not through the largess of another, but by the industry of the owner, would add much to the comforts of such envied surroundings.

Mr. Ballard was happily married in 1898 to Florence Owen, the accomplished daughter of H. B. and Eliza beth (Reid) Owen, both natives of Kentucky, who later moved to Morgan county, Indiana, where they spent their lives on a farm. Mr. Owen’s people came from North Carolina to Greene county. There were two brothers in the Civil war from the Reid family. Two exceptionally bright and interesting children have added sunshine and cheer to the Ballard home. They are Florence Elizabeth, born April 16, 1900, and Wayne Owen, born January 22, 1904, Both the subject and wife are members of the Christian church. The former was greatly interested as an official of general Sunday school work for a period of ten years. Politically Mr. Ballard is a Republican, but he has never sought public office. However, he is al ways willing to lend a helping hand to further any cause looking to the advancement of his county or the uplifting of his community. He was appointed by the commissioners as an appraiser of real estate for one district, and was at one time on the advisory board of Highland and Jefferson townships.

Mr. and Mrs. Ballard are not only highly esteemed by all who know them for their upright and well ordered lives, but they have also won the hearts of all their neighbors and friends through their kindness of heart and hospitality, taking pride in making visitors feel at home, and dispensing good will and good cheer to every one with whom they come in contact.

Last Will & Testament of Elias Ballard of Wayne County, North Carolina (1788).

Of late we’ve been trying to understand the relationships among the Ballard families that settled in and around what was once Nansemond County, Virginia.  In the late seventeenth century when the area was settled, the boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina was indistinct, and the dividing line was not established until 1728.  As a consequence, after 1728 many owners of land patented in Virginia found themselves in North Carolina.  This confusion extends to the families that lived there, making tracing them difficult.

One of these Virginia counties, Nansemond (now the city of Suffolk) suffered catastrophic record losses at the county level.  We can fill a few gaps with the patent books and the few parish registers that survived.  The processioning records from the Parish Vestry Books are particularly interesting, because they place a person in relation to his neighbors in a specific geographic location.  We are still studying the relationships revealed in these few scant resources.  Meanwhile, as part of this study, we continue to gather and study North Carolina records.

The families placed in Lineage Group II of the Ballard DNA Project settled in these parts, and as part of our study of the region we are re-assessing accepted pedigrees that don’t quite mesh with the records we have found.  For example, several pedigrees published on the Internet claim that the Abraham Ballard who lived in Perquimans County, North Carolina was the son of a Ralph Ballard, yet tax records from Perquimans County enumerate a “Mr. Elish. Ballard” in 1740, and in 1745 Abraham Ballard appears in his stead.  This is noteworthy because the names of the surrounding landowners appear in nearly the same order, showing that the enumerator traveled the same road to visit each plantation to make his count.  To our eye, this is good evidence that Abraham was the son of Elisha Ballard.   This brings into question other pedigrees that assert that Elisha Lawrence Ballard of Isle of Wight County, Virginia was the son of Elisha Ballard of Perquimans, but the 1757 will of Elisha Lawrence Ballard’s maternal grandfather, John Lawrence names his son-in-law Elisha Ballard as his executor — twelve years after the likely death of Elisha Ballard of Perquimans County, North Carolina.

This leads us to the conclusion that there was another Elisha Ballard living in Isle of Wight, or thereabouts, who has been overlooked.  Coincidentally, we were recently contacted by a descendant of Elisha Lawrence Ballard who has not found evidence of a connection between his family and the Ballards in North Carolina in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.  His sources for Isle of Wight County are impeccable, mainly because the primary researcher behind the work is a direct descendant who resides on the family farm that has been in that family for over 200 years.  And there is yDNA evidence helping us find a common thread — we just haven’t found it yet.

Another interesting record is the 1788 Last Will and Testament of Elias Ballard of Wayne County, North Carolina that was recorded in 1788 (and transcribed below).  Another Elias Ballard left a will in Martin County, North Carolina in 1789.  To date, no researcher has explained whether or not the Elias who lived in Wayne County had any connection to the other Ballard families in the region.

The fact is, we don’t know (yet) if there is a connection between this Elias Ballard and the families that came from Nansemond, other than the possible coincidence of the name Elias, which seemed popular in that corner of Virginia and North Carolina.  Other names, some of Hebrew or Biblical origin appear with alarming frequency among many families in the region, such as Elisha, Kedar, and Jethro.  It is worth noting that the John Ballard who was connected to the Boite/Boyett family that resided in this part of North Carolina, and may be a relation.

There is still much to do here, and any insights are welcome.

Last Will & Testament of Elias Ballard of Wayne County, North Carolina

State of North Carolina,

In the name of God, amen, I Elias Ballard of the same state and County of Wayne, now in the County of Craven and Town of Newbern, being in a very low state of health at present, but of sound and disposing mind and memory, thanks be given to God for the same and calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die, to make and ordain this instrument of writing to be my last will and testament.

Disannulling and disallowing all other former wills by me made or supend (?) to be made.

First of all I commend my body to the ground to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors hereafter named, and or touching my worldly estate herewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life. I give and dispose of the same in following form and manner, to wit,

I give unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Ballard during her life the plantation with the improvements thereon whereon I live, when at home, upon the south side of the swamp including the orchard and up the swamp, as far as the old field goes. I also give unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Ballard one man called Dimond, and an equal part of all the remainder of my personal estate (after paying all my just debts and funeral expenses), with my seven children Joab, Caleb, Elias, Joannah, Ester and Rachel and Levy.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved sons Joab Ballard and Caleb Ballard all the land which I own on the south side of Burke Swamp that lies below the branch between my house and Thomas Scott, Joab to have the lower part of the same kind. And Caleb the upper part to them and their heirs forever and assigns.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Elias Ballard the lands on both sides of the said buck swamp above the land given to Joab & Caleb, to cross the said swamp at the mouth of the said branch between myself and Scott, so as not to take any part of the new survey, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Levy Ballard at the death of his mother, all the land, plantation and improvements which I have not given away of the old survey, and which I have given to my beloved wife Elizabeth Ballard during her life, to him his heirs & assigns forever.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughters Joannah, Rachel and Ester Ballard all my land contained in the new survey on the east side of the maple pocosin to be equally divided between them, to them, their heirs & assigns forever.

Item, and lastly my desire is that all my just debts with my funeral expenses be paid out of my personal estate and the residue (if any) to be equally divided between my beloved wife Elizabeth Ballard and my seven children Joab, Caleb, Elias, Levy, Jonannah, Rachel and Ester Ballard, to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

And lastly I appoint my beloved friend James Dod [Dodd?] my whole and soul executor to this my last will and testament, revoking, disannulling and disallowing all and all other instruments of writing and pronouncing writing and declaring this and this alone to be and contain my last will and testament, signed this twenty seventh day of May anno domini 1788.

Elias Ballard [seal]

Signed, pronounced and declared to be and confirmed my last will and testament in presence of Jas. Soblast (?), A. Pinder, J. B. Heritage [all witness names difficult to read]

On obverse: Elias Ballard, Dec’d. April Co. [Court?] 1788.

Recorded Wayne Co. N.C. Will Book A, p. 133

Guest Post: A Possible Descendancy of Thomas Ballard (1) of James City County, Virginia.

By Carolyn Cosgriff


The notes below by Carolyn Cosgriff make a compelling case identifying the origin of Thomas Ballard of James City County, Virginia (1630-1690).  This information has not been independently verified, but the reader is invited to submit comments, suggestions and corrections.

A Possible Descendancy of Thomas (1) Ballard of James City Co, VA

Based on extracted marriage & Christening records found in FamilySearch.Org & other sources quoted where relevant.

(Note: Research on this line has been ongoing for some 50 years and very little of it has turned out to be straightforward. Expect some convoluted reasoning & lots of suppositions, which hopefully are yet interwoven & supported well by the facts that follow.)

Thomas Marriott md Anna Halfhide 31 Jan 1621 at St. Nicholas Acons, London, England. (She maybe same as Ann Halfhide chr 13 Apr 1600 as daughter of John in Addington, Surrey, England.) The christenings of their dozen children are recorded, including their 3 youngest surviving daughters:

Sarah chr 6 sep 1635 St Bride Fleet St. London, London dtr of Thos & Ann
Jane chr Feb 1637 St Mathew Friday St., London, London dtr of Thos
Mary chr 2 July 1645 St Mathew Friday St., London, London dtr of Thos

It may be noted here that these are the same names as Thomas Ballard’s “sisters” & these birthdates also correspond perfectly with what we know about them. They were actually step-sisters of Thomas, if this rendition correct, for their mother, as Ann Merritt, re-md on 21 Feb 1649 at St Mary’s, Essex to Thomas Ballard (whose 1st wife was evidently, Elizabeth Shiphard whom he md 29 Jun 1624 in St Dunstan, Stepney, London, & who was the mother of 2 sons born in that same parish: THOMAS chr Jan 1626/7 son of Thomas & Elizabeth (hypothesized immigrant to VA) & Richard, chr 8 Mar 1628, son of Thomas & Elizabeth, with his death also recorded on 4 Dec 1631.)

Possibly the father Thomas Ballard was the same as Thomas Ballard chr 24 Sep 1593 at Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, son of Henry & Johana. We find the marriage of Henry Ballard to one Joane Webb recorded 15 Oct 1586 in Bromham, Wiltshire where their 1st children (twins) Edward & Ann are chr 3 May 1587 as son & dtr of Henry. Edward is married in this same parish to Ann Pountney on 23 Nov 1612 & the christenings of 3 children of theirs are also recorded there in 1616, 1624 & 1626. However, on 19 July 1621 we find recorded the christening of one Angela Ballard, dtr of Edward, in Weston Subedge, Gloucester. Recalling that Gloucester borders on Wiltshire, and comparing this to the christening dates of his other children, I think we are safe in assuming that this is also the dtr of this same Edward.

I am also assuming that Angela Ballard is the same as “Angelica” who married 1st to John Fisher who was listed as a 1651 headright of Wm Armistead (from Cavaliers & Pioneers, [hereafter C&P] vol 1, p. 45) & who died in Jamestown, VA before the 1655 suit of John Dibdall. She then md to Col James Bray, member of the Council) who lists her 2x as his headright in 1658 (also in C&P). Several records support her 2 marriages, as, e.g. In VA Pats. 9, p. 133 in Library of VA Digital Collection: Land Office Pats & Grants, under date of 26 Apr 1698: “Whereas a certain tract in James City, 190 acres late in possession of John Fisher, decd, is lately found to escheat…..for which said land Mrs Angelica Bray of sd County hath made her Composition….Know ye therefore that the sd Edmund Andros, Knt, Gov., etc. doth Give & grant Mrs Angelica Bray ye sd 190 acres..afsd.

What is of interest here is that our Thomas 1 Ballard of VA lists 2 Fisher headrights (Robert & Grace) as early as 1653 & then, as recorded on 24 Apr 1660 in James City Co, Thomas Ballard acts as attorney for “James Bray who md John Fisher’s relict”–in that same record this statement also found “acknowledge land boundaries between Ralph Simpkin & John Fisher, certified by Ab. Moone in 1650.” Thomas Ballard intersecting with the latter husband of Angelica, as well as with the surname of her 1st husband’s family, both at the correct times, no less, for her respective marriages to these men, I submit as fairly good circumstantial evidence of Edward Ballard, father of Angela Ballard, being connected to our Thomas Ballard as his uncle & I also postulate that the Henry Ballard who came to VA by 1635 was another uncle, the namesake son of Henry Ballard who md 1586 to Joane Webb.

Another reason why I think that our immigrant Thomas was he who was chr 1627 to Thomas & Elizabeth (Shepherd) Ballard is because of the prestigious Shepherd connections to VA, some of which connect into this Ballard line & will now be noted.

Thomas Shepherd, bd 17 Dec 1607 in Maulden, Bedfordshire, married there 7 Oct 1577 to Amphilice Chamberlayne, dtr of Wm & his wife, Jane Neville, & widow of Richard Faldo. By her 1st husband she had 4 children that included Elizabeth Faldo who md Dec 1595 to Nicholas Everett. Elizabeth Everett who was chr Sept 1608 in Warrington, Lancashire is identified in that record as the dtr of Nicholas. I think she is the same who md on 31 Jan 1629/30 to John Hiller at St Margaret, Westminster, London. It was their eldest son John Hollier aka Hilliard chr 23 Jan 1630/1 at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London who is believed to be the 1651 headright of Henry Singleton (from Greers, Early VA Immigrants) & likely husband of Thomas’ [step-]sister, Jane (Marriott). Two younger Hollier brothers evidently followed John Hollier to VA also, including Simon Hollier chr 26 Oct 1644 at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London whose will was proved Oct 1690 in Elizabeth City Co, VA (a direct ancestor of mine, btw) & Edward chr 3 Sep 1646 also at at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, who is listed as a 1670 headright of George Chapman & as purchasing 200 acres in Lynhaven parish, Princess Anne Co, in Feb 1670 (C&P 2: 97)

Returning to Amphilice Chamberlayne, she md 2nd, as Amphyllus Faldo, at Maulden, Bedfordshire on 7 Oct 1577 to Thomas Shepherd & they were the parents of 3 children all born in that same parish: Constance, Richard & Thomas. Richard, chr 6Mar 1680 is who I believe md 1599 in Finchley, London to Alice Allen, mother of the Elizabeth Shepherd chr May 1600 as dtr of Richard & who md 29 Jun 1624 to our immigrant’s father, Thomas Ballard & had the 2 sons, our Thomas (the immigrant) & then Richard who died young.

The younger brother of Richard, also a Thomas Shepherd, was chr 18 Nov 1582 & he fathered yet a 3rd Thomas in this same parish, christened 13 Aug 1609, and this is the man I hypothesize as the Thomas Shepherd found on the York Co. VA records as early as 1645/6 when he & Richard Flint are witnesses of Edward Cole who sells land to Michael & Henry Smith. (Edward Coles also appears in 1653 Northumberland records: “John Hopper being at house of Edward Coles, heard Wm Thomas say….[a debt to be paid at Martin Coles also mentioned here.]. (From VA Colonial Abstracts by Fleet.) There were a lot of men named Wm Thomas already in VA this early, so we don’t know for sure he is the one who md Thomas Ballard’s step-mom, Anna (Halfhide) Marriott Ballard, but the possibility is provocative at least., & even seems likely since Thomas Shepherd seems to have left York Co. for Northumberland Co about the same time Edward Cole did, being listed as a juryman there in this same abovementioned 1653 case between John Hopper & Wm Thomas.

This Edward Cole, btw, I believe was the same as the son of an Alice Webb (md 1602 in Gloucestershire to Wm Cole) & the husband of another Johane Webb (they md Oct 1637 in Kidlington, Oxfordshire–she also christened 1615 in Bromham, Wiltshire (see above where Henry Ballard’s wife with this same name also christened there some generations previous) to a Wm Webb & Edith Cole.

But back to Thomas Shepherd who is found in 1640s York Co, VA records. In a land record for him dated 5 Jul 1653, he patents 66A, “due by virtue of the rights of part of a patent for 850 acres granted Cpt. Yeo which being resurveyed was found to be wanting 107 acres of the quantity patented in 1653/4.” Cpt. Leonard Yeo w/Clare Yeo, his assumed wife, are listed as headrights of John Shepherd as early as 1639 (C&P vol 1). Btw, John Shepherd is listed as a York Co. landowner in 1645 adjacent to Henry Ballard–who we have hypothesised to be the uncle of Thomas the immigrant (C&P 1: 156) & this would seem to lend at least some small circumstantial evidence to support that claim. Thinking that Clare may have been a sister of this John Shepherd, as well as of Thomas Shepherd chr 1609, (making Leonard & Clara Yeo the aunt & uncle to the Thos Shepherd to whom they give some of this land patent) I went looking & found a marriage of Thomas Shepherd to a Clare Tokesfield in May 1618, St Mary Lee Bow, London, England. She appears to be his 3rd wife, & the likely mother of a namesake child of the right age to have married Cpt. Leonard Yeo. His 2nd wife, Elizabeth Deighton he had married on 23 Apr 1612 in St Gregory by St Paul, London, London, followed by the christening of 3 children by her: Constance in Sep 1612, John in May 1614 (this is the one who i think brought over his younger 1/2 sister & her husband to VA by 1639) & Elizabeth in Mar 1617/8. These same Shepherd children are mentioned by name among the probate records of one Thomas Roper whose administration was made in May 1624/5 in James City Co, VA as found in Virginia Gleanings in England: Abstracts of 17th & 18th Century English Wills & Administrations re: Virginia….by Lothrop Withington. Quoting from that will & it’s associated records:

He 1st sets free his servants, John West & Alexander Gill…”all tobacco due me in VA to my brother John Roper in England” plus “300 lbs in hands of my father in law Mr Thomas Sheaperd of Moine in Bedfordshire.” britches to Wm Smith; Item, gold in money to Mr. Haute Wyatt, minister of James City. Wits, Wm Smith, Haute Wyatt, Geo Fitzjeffries. May 1624 administration granted to Thomas shepherd, father of John, Elizabeth & Constance Shepherd, bro & sisters ex materno of sd decd during minor estate. 5 Feb. 1626/7 admn granted John Roper, principal legatee.”

Thus it would appear that the Elizabeth Deighton that Thomas Shepherd md as his 2nd wife had been previously married to a Mr Roper & had 2 sons, Thomas of the Jamestown will, & John who in1627, as main legatee, became administrator of that will.

Note & compare these marriages:
Thomas Roper 1 Nov 1607 St Gregory by St Paul, London, London: Elizabeth Dighton
Thomas Shepherd 23 Apr 1612 (same parish) : Elizabeth Deighton

Whaaaat? Have never seen this before in an English marriage record where a woman reverts to her maiden name, rather than her married surname, on a 2nd marriage.  (My husband, who has been researching his Irish lines for even longer than I have been researching my English ones, assures me this is not unusual, however, among his Celtic peoples.) So, even though I am not 100% sure these are the marriages we want, yet, as the same woman in both marriages, it fits perfectly based on the 2 marriage dates together with the known christening dates of the 3 Shepherd children as given above. But this is assuming that John Roper was born to Elizabeth Deighton by her 1st husband very soon after (maybe even before?) their Nov 1607 marriage in order to be (close to) being of age in 1627 when he is made administrator of his brother’s will.

But if that is the case, that would make Thomas Roper a younger brother–if they did indeed have the same mother, as seems to be so strongly implied in the above quoted probate papers. in which case he could have been born no earlier than 1609, we’ll say. Note he left no land in his will & did not have to be of age to leave only personal property, as he did, if I understand the legal requirements correctly. So he likely was no older than maybe 14 when he arrived in VA in September 1623 and probably that same age when he died shortly thereafter, as recorded on the 16 Feb 1623/4 VA census.

So a 14 year old, younger son who brings 2 servants, leaves a lot of $ to an elder (& so probably wealthier) brother, & has among his will witnesses Haute Wyatt, a member of one of the most influential & prestigious families of early Virginia, leads us to believe his Shepherd 1/2 siblings were likewise of the “upper-crust” English elite. Which, if they were related to our Thos Ballard’s mother, Elizabeth Shepherd, as here hypothesised, would certainly explain why & how he as an immigrant was given his enviable start.

Of those Shepherd siblings, btw, both John & Constance stayed in the Elizabeth City Co area of VA, leaving a numerous progeny, many of whom, in colonial elite fashion, intermarried among themselves. Constance, for example, 1st wife of Richard Wyatt** was the gt-grandma of George Wythe through the Thos Wythe who md his cousin Ann SHEPHERD & whose sister Ann was the 1st wife of Mathew BALLARD, grandson of Thomas the immigrant.

Contemporaneously we note that Simon Hollier, the 3rd generation of that name, had married to Mary Wallace, the daughter of this same just-mentioned Ann Shepherd by her 2nd husband, Rev. James Wallace & so when she assumes the administration of her Hollier husband at his death in 1753, her cousin Thomas Wythe III (father of George) is named as her 1st security. All these later familial connections seemingly provide even further circumstantial evidence for the hypothesized relationships proposed herein.

**Richard Wyatt, as his name appears in the VA records, was the earliest progenitor of the reknown Wythe family of Elizabeth City Co. The establishment of that line is next on my agenda to be written up &, fortunately, is not quite so circuitous as this Ballard-Shepherd-Hollier account has been. Richard’s ancestry has yet to be determined. But based on the implied connection of the Roper-Sheperd family with Haute Wyatt, it seems a good possibility that he may have been connected with Haute’s family.

John Bryson vs. The Heirs of Thomas Ballard, dec’d.

A researcher forwarded this item that appeared in the North Carolina Star on Friday, March 17, 1820:


Surry County.

In Equity.

John Bryson, vs. the heirs of Thomas Ballard, dec’d.  David Blackwell and Elizabeth his wife, David Hains and Mary his wife, Ann Ballard, Charles Ballard, Sadell B. Brooks and Sarah, his wife, William Ballard, and ——– Roberts, and Susannah his wife — Petition to compel a conveyance of land.

It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that these defendants are not inhabitants of this state.  It is ordered and decreed by the court that publication be made in the Raleigh Star for six weeks, that the said defendants appear at our next court of equity to be held for said county, on the first Monday in March next, at the Court House in Rockford, and plead, answer or demur to said petition or the same will be heard exparte at the next term.

Witness, JAMES PARKS, Clk in our said court, at office the fir[s]t Monday in Sept. 1819.

North Carolina Star, Fri, Mar 17, 1820

I had been sent a blurry copy of this by a researcher, asking for an opinion.  Her copy must have been scanned multiple times, because several names were extremely difficult to make out.  Our friend Brenda Ballard Pflaum found it on (thank you!), and I was able to retrieve a better copy.

The fact that all of the children resided elsewhere suggests that this Thomas moved to Surry County from some other place.

We know from records in Orange County, Virginia, that a John Bryson is named as the former owner of tract adjacent to a Thomas Ballard of Orange County, who had acquired the parcel from John Snow.  And we know (from a quick online search of Bryson genealogies) that Bryson family researchers believe John Bryson removed from Orange County, Virginia to Surry County, North Carolina.  Could this Ballard family have followed suit?

A state census of 1784 recorded two Thomas Ballards then residing in North Carolina, both in Surry County. The next question, given the common name, of course, is “How can we distinguish them”?  Assuming names are recorded in the order they were found as the census taker made his way through the county, a 1784 census records a Thomas Ballard four names away from John Bryson, Sr; this was in Captain Humphre’s District.  The other Thomas Ballard, residing in a different enumeration district (Captain Gaines’), is in the same district as “Morm Ballard” (Moorman Ballard).  State Census of North Carolina, 1784-1787, by Mrs. Alvaretta Kenan Register (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1971).

We know from another source that in 1790 there were still two Thomas Ballards living in Surry County.  This online search engine provides information from the 1790 census in Surry county.  Search for Bryson, and there are three entries: Alexander, 100 acres; James, 400 acres; John Snr, 135 acres in Captain Humphrey’s District.

Search that database for “Ballard”, and there are again two Thomas Ballards.  One in Captain Edward’s District (no acreage indicated); another in Captain Humphrey’s District with 140 acres.  We find in Captain Lovill’s District David Ballard (303 acres), German Ballard (200 acres) and Moreman Ballard (150 acres).

The Quaker Ballards who resided in Surry are relatively well documented, and Charles does not appear to be among them — at least his name does not appear in any Quaker record abstracts I have examined.

The Quaker Ballard first names span a couple of generations; David and Moreman/Moorman appear to have been sons of William Ballard of Bedford County (1715-1794), while German Ballard is probably their nephew, the son of their brother Thomas Ballard of Surry County, born 1735/6.

To summarize the Quaker families: William Ballard and his wife Mary ___________ had the following children:

THOMAS, b. 12, 11 [January] 1735/6.

Frances, b. 12, 12 [February] 1737/8.

BYROM [Byram], b. 27, 2 [April] 1740.

Delphin [Delphia], b. 1, 5 [July] 1742.

MOORMAN, b. 10, 3 [May] 1747/8.

DAVID, b. 9, 4 [June] 1750.

BARCLAY, b. c. 1751.

Mary, b. after 1752.


Thomas Ballard, (son of William Ballard and Mary _________)  and Elizabeth __________ had the following children:

Garman [Jerman, Jarman, German] b. 5, 2 [February] 1765.

Byrum, b. 1, 4 [April] 1766. On 9, 11 [November] 1790.

Archer, b. 12 , 8 [August] 1768.

Mary, b. 19, 1 [January] 1771.

Frances, b. 11, 1 [January] 1774.

William, b. 8, 11 [November] 1776.

Thomas, b. 10, 3 [March] 1783.

Elizabeth, b. 30, 5 [May] 1785.


A check of the North Carolina Manuscript & Archives Reference System (MARS) database shows two patents to Thomas Ballards in Surry County.  One for 150 acres in Surry was assigned to him by Isaac Cloud, who was assignee of William Lankford, who was assignee of Micajah Clark.  Micajah Clark is a known Quaker, which suggests the 150 acres belonged to the Quaker Thomas.  this grant was Entered 29 November 1799, Entry No. 1103, Book No. 126, p. 80.  Curiously, the database states that the Grant was issued 16 December 1899 (that seems awfully late; one wonders if this is an error).

The other patent (File No. 2005, Thomas Ballard) was a grant of 200 acres in Surry county, issued 17 December 1799 (Entry No. 2093, Book No. 106, page 214) (no entry date).

We should note other grants to Thomas Ballards in other counties.

100 acres, Sampson County, Entered 17 August 1779, Issued 10 July 1788.

150 acres, Chatham County, Entered 15 August 1784, Issued 7 August 1787.

From this vantage point it is difficult to know if these are the same men already identified, or additional patents taken by them.  More research is needed here.

An apparent connection, however tenuous, between Thomas Ballard and John Bryson appears in the records of Orange County, Virginia.  On 24 March 1742, John Snow of Louisa County, planter, conveyed to Thomas Ballard of Orange County planter, Lease and release for £25 current money. 200 acres in St. Thomas Parish near the Head of Blew Run corner to a tract formerly belonging to John Bryson. . . brow of a hill. . . Mathias Gale’s corner.”  Signed: John Snow.  Witnessed by John Allen, George Taylor, Thomas Scott.  Recorded Orange Co. Va. Deed Book 7, pp. 209-211.

This 200 acres conveyed by John Snow to Thomas Ballard of Orange County was conveyed by Thomas to a William Ballard by “deed dated 15 February 1758 from Thomas Ballard of Orange Co. & William Ballard of same, for £20; 200 acres near head of the Blue Run … bounded land formerly belonging to John Bryson.” Witnessed by Frs. Jones, Barnett Franklyn, Jas. Griffith. Recorded 23 February 1758, Orange Co. Va. Deed Book 12, pp. 432-36.

Thomas Ballard, son of the Quaker William Ballard of Bedford County was born 12, 11 [January] 1735/6 according to the scrupulously kept records of the Society of Friends, and would have been just six years old when the Thomas Ballard of Orange County purchased the land referenced above from John Snow in 1742.  William’s son Thomas removed from the Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting in Hanover County, Virginia to the Tom’s Creek Monthly Meeting in Surry County, North Carolina in 1777.   A probate record in Surry County, North Carolina dated 1794 is an inventory of the estate of Thomas Ballard by his wife Elizabeth Ballard, who was appointed Administratrix, which tells us that Thomas died without a will (if he had one Elizabeth would have been Executrix, if named so in the will).  We have an accounting of his belongings, but apart from the name of his wife, there is no information of genealogical value.

There is on record a will of Thomas Ballard of Stokes County, recorded March Term 1804.  Stokes County was cut off from Surry in 1789.  This is the will of the Quaker Thomas Ballard, and a transcript can be viewed here.

No wife joined in Thomas’ 1758 conveyance, which means Thomas Ballard of Orange County was (at the time) single.  Had he been married, a wife would have been required to join in the conveyance to release her dower interest.

What about other Thomas Ballards in other counties?

The Thomas Ballard of commonly identified as being of Albemarle had two wives; his first wife, Sarah, died between 1743 and 1758, his next wife Susannah joined in the conveyance of his original patent 25 March 1758, one month after this Orange County sale; in that transaction, he is identified as Thomas Ballard of Louisa County.  Further, this Thomas didn’t have a son named William.

John Ballard of Albemarle’s son Thomas was born in 1751 (and this is documented in a Revolutionary War Pension Application), so it couldn’t be him.

By process of elimination with what we know about these families, this leaves Thomas Ballard, son of Bland Ballard of Spotsylvania the one most likely to be “Thomas Ballard of Orange County, Planter.”  Yet it isn’t quite right —  unresolved is the true nature of the conveyance in 1758 of the 200 acres between Thomas Ballard and William Ballard; their relationship is not disclosed, but they could have been father and son.  Perhaps Thomas sold his farm to his son William before removing to Surry County, North Carolina.  Also, Bland devised Thomas a slave and her increase; there are no slaves in Thomas’ inventory. Also, it’s worth noting that Bland’s son Benjamin named one of his sons Charles, which reinforces the former conclusion, since we have the repeating of a family name.  But then the name figures prominently among one of the Maryland lines.

While some of the evidence points to Thomas Ballard from Orange County being the son of Bland Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, its entirely possible that he belongs to some other as yet not satisfactorily documented Ballard line.

To purchase land in 1742, Thomas would have had to have been born in 1721, or earlier (he would have to be 21 years of age to do so legally).  And if William were Thomas’ son, in order for them to complete that conveyance in 1758, Thomas would have to have been born in 1716 and William in 1737, for William to be aged 21 at the time (and for Thomas to be of age to marry).

Since Thomas died in 1794, why would John Bryson not initiate his suit against the heirs of Thomas Ballard until 1819?  We believe it is because his widow continued to live on the land (as she was entitled) — essentially claiming a life estate, and on her death, Bryson had some sort of claim — perhaps for farming it for her, even paying the taxes.  Given that he did not even know the names of all her relations suggests that his connections with her children were rather tenuous.

Then there is the matter of this Thomas having removed to North Carolina while it appears (based on the language of the text) that all of his children “were not inhabitants of this state,” which suggests that perhaps this Thomas left his family behind.  Or perhaps they all moved elsewhere to start lives in places where fertile land was becoming available, like Alabama and Louisiana.

Ballard family tradition (brought down from descendants in Kentucky) claims that Bland was born c. 1700.  Other theories of his origin — that he was the son of Thomas Ballard and Mary, the widow of James Mann of Stafford County (and circumstantial evidence points to her maiden name being Bland) — if true, make this conclusion problematic, since they married c. 1705. Taken altogether, there isn’t quite enough evidence to form a conclusion.  Nevertheless, in spite of all the loose ends and conjecture, its a very interesting record and the matter needs additional study.  It would be a great help if a male Ballard descendant of this line came forward and produced yDNA test results.

Obituary of Charles Thruston Ballard of Louisville, Kentucky (1850-1918).

Crypt of Charles T. Ballard, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.
Crypt of Charles T. Ballard, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Charles Thruston Ballard, Ph.B. 1870
Born June 3, 1850, in Louisville, Ky.
Died May 8, 1918, in Glenview, Ky.

Charles Thruston Ballard was born in Louisville, Ky., on June 3, 1850, being one of the five children of Andrew Jackson and Frances Ann (Thruston) Ballard.  His father attended Transylvania University, practiced law in Louisville for many years, and at the outbreak of our Civil War in 1861 was appointed by President Lincoln clerk of the U.S. Circuit and District courts for the District of Kentucky.  He was the son of James and Susan (Cox) Ballard and the grandson of Bland Ballard, Jr, of Spotsylvania County, Va., who was a Corporal in Major George Slaughter’s battalion that came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1779 and who was killed in an Indian massacre in March, 1788, near the present site of Shelbyville.  James Ballard, his brother, Bland W. Ballard, a Private under his father in the American Revolution, one of the most celebrated of the Indian fighters in pioneer days in Kentucky, and later a Major in the War of 1812, and their half sister were the only members of the family who survived the massacre.

Frances Ann Thruston Ballard’s parents were Charles William and Mary Eliza (Churchill) Thruston.  Her grandfather, Charles Mynn Thruston, Jr, when less than twelve years of age, served as aide-de-camp to his father, then Captain, but later Colonel, Charles Mynn Thruston, at the battle of Piscataway in the Revolution, and later married Frances Eleanor, daughter of John and Anne Rogers Clark and sister of General Jonathan Clark, General George Rogers Clark, Captain John Clark, and Lieutenants Edmund and Raymond Clark, who served as officers in the Revolution.  One of them,—Captain John Clark,—Charles Thruston Ballard represented in the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati.   Another of her brothers, General William Clark, was too young to serve in the Revolution, but was an officer under General Wayne in 1794-95, and the Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the American continent in 1804-06.  Other Revolutionary ancestors of Charles Thruston Ballard were Lieutenant Armistead Churchill of the Fauquier County (Va) Militia and Lieutenant William Oldham, who served in Daniel Morgan’s company in the siege of Boston and in the Canadian campaign of 1775-76 and who, on November 4, 1791, lost his life as Lieutenant in command of the Kentucky Militia at the battle of St Clair’s Defeat.  Colonel Churchill came to Kentucky in 1779 and John Clark in 1785, and both settled and were buried on the present site of Camp Zachary Taylor, near Louisville.

Mr. Ballard was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and of the Kentucky Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  He was fitted for college at the Louisville Male High School and at General Russell’s Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven, Conn.  At Yale he took the select course in the Sheffield Scientific School.  In Senior year he was captain of the Sheffield Boat Club, and in 1870 went on the first of Professor Othniel C. Marsh’s expeditions to the Western plains.  In the fall of that year he returned to Louisville and accepted a position in one of the banks, later becoming cashier in the office of the U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue.

In 1878 he organized the firm of Jones, Ballard & Ballard, and engaged in the milling business, using one of the first patent flour manufacturing processes which appeared on the market.  In 1884 they failed in business, were allowed to retain certain of their assets, were incorporated as the Ballard & Ballard Company, and later paid off all of their debts with interest.  They were among the first in the United States to establish profit sharing and welfare work among their employees.  Mr. Ballard remained as president of the company until his death, his brother, S. Thruston Ballard (B. S. Cornell 1878), succeeding him.  He had always taken an active part in the political, social, and civic life of Louisville. He was a Republican in politics, and was deeply interested in the affairs of that party. From 1907 to 1909 he was chairman of the Board of Aldermen.  He was president of the Louisville Board of Trade and of the Pendennis Club, and a director in the Fidelity & Columbia Trust Company, the Union National Bank, the Federal Chemical Company, and the Louisville Railway Company. He was senior warden of Christ Church Cathedral.  In March, 1916, he was elected a vice president of the Associated Western Yale Clubs.  He had traveled extensively in this country and Europe.

His death occurred very suddenly, May 8, 1918, at the family home, Bushy Park, Glenview, Ky, as the result of myocarditis.  He had not been in good health for some time, but his condition was not such as to affect his activities materially. Interment was in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville.

Mr Ballard was married April 24, 1878, in New Orleans, La., to Emelina Modest, daughter of Gustave Arvilien Breaux (B.A. Norwich 1847, LL.B. Harvard 1850) and Emile (Locke) Breaux. They had eight children: Abby Churchill, who was married June 1, 1899, to Jefferson Davis Stewart of Louisville; Emile Locke (born September 18, 1880; died December 10, 1886); Mary Thruston (born November 25, 1882; died February 5, 1884); Charles Thruston (PhB. 1907), who served as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy during the war; Gustave Breaux, a nongraduate member of the Class of 1909S., who held a Captain’s commission in the Coast Artillery Corps.; Fanny Thruston, who was married on August 31, 1912, to Charles Horner; Churchill (born April 30, 1890; died February 12, 1891); and Mina, who was married on June 6, 1914, to Warner LaValle Jones. His wife, five children, and four grandchildren survive.  He also leaves two brothers, one of whom, S. Thruston Ballard, was his associate in business, and the other, R. C. Ballard Thruston, graduated from Yale with the degree of Ph.B. in 1880.  His only sister, Abigail Churchill Ballard, was taken ill while in her Junior year at Vassar College and died of tuberculosis in April, 1874.

From Obituary Record of Yale Graduates, 1915-1920 (New Haven: Yale University, 1920) 16th Series, No. 11, pp. 733-36.

A Possible Welsh Origin of Lineage Group I & A Biography of Bland W. Ballard of Aquilla, Texas (1824-1904).

Below is a biography of Bland William Ballard of Aquilla, Texas that was published in A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892), pp. 534-37.  This was thoughtfully provided by a fellow researcher and is transcribed here.  Bland William Ballard (1824-1904) descends from Bland Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, which places him in Lineage Group I.

We will note a curious bit of information that bears further study, namely that the subject — who no doubt was interviewed by the author for this publication — stated that his ancestor Bland “had emigrated to Virginia from Wales long before the war for independence, in which he took a part.”  He was referring to Bland Ballard (c.1735-1788), son of the first Bland, which suggests he conflated the two; an easy error, given the repetition of names, for Bland’s activities in Spotsylvania are fairly well documented from the date of his Spotsylvania land patent in 1734.  But one can’t help there is a kernel of truth to the assertion that the family is indeed from Wales, and that information was lost or forgotten over time.

There has been another suggestion of a Welsh connection from another source, the administrator of the R1b-CTS446 Plus Project.  This Project includes several members of Lineage Group I.  We were invited to participate because we tested positive for at least one of the SNPs defining the Irish Type II subclade, which is found in the south of Ireland and other parts of Great Britain.

The stated objective of the project are as follows:

The R1b-CTS4466 Plus project will research the parameters of this major subclade which features strongly in the south of Ireland, but it is found as well in other areas of the Isles, including some in the west of Ireland, Wales, western England, an apparent branch in Northern Ireland and Scotland and a few continentals.  We hope to discover the ancient history of this subclade – where it may have originated, how old it might be, which groups within it share more recent ancestry and how different branches may have developed and migrated from the time of the common ancestor.

On 18 July 2015 we received this email from Elizabeth O’Donoghue-Ross, Group Administrator of the R1b-CTS446 Plus Project:

Hello, Everyone.

With so many CTS4466 SNP Pack results coming in together, the issues that have needed to be addressed and reported, plus some new BIG Ys in as well, I’ve been unable to contact each of you directly about your results.  Apologies for this delay.  I’ve decided that the most efficient way to contact you would be to include all of you who are in the same branch in one email to explain the results.  If some of you have already been contacted by me or Ed, please forgive the duplication.

Your result shows you in the FGC29280 branch, and you have been placed in the ‘ A1b1a S1121+ // Z16252+ // FGC29280+’ group in the spreadsheet.  Your surnames vary with origins in Clare and Cork for Reddin and Hurley, to an ostensibly Anglo-Norman surname in the Ballards, which in principle you would not expect to be Irish Type II at all.  The group of Ballards is relatively closely related, and though some indicate England as their country of origin, I can’t help but wonder if this group of Ballards might be Welsh, which is where many of the Anglo-Normans were based before coming to Ireland with Strongbow.  The force included a number of Welsh archers.  There may be a connection of interest to the CTS4466* group that appear to be of Welsh origin.  This could indicate the early origins of the whole subclade.  We are looking into this possibility.

The variety of surnames found in your branch indicates that there are probably more branches to be discovered, but it will need further tests through the BIG Y or the Y-Elite at FGC to identify them.  Ideally, two participants of each surname would test for comparison purposes to discover the SNPs that define their own surname-specific branch.

If you haven’t yet, you should join our Forum –  We were discussing the CTS4466 SNP Pack results and you can always look through the previous messages posted

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the results.

Thank you for testing.  I hope you are pleased that you have discovered more of your heritage.

Best Wishes,


Elizabeth is assuming Lineage Group I’s ancestor emigrated from Wales to Ireland (Strongbow came to Ireland in 1170), but note that the subclade is present throughout the United Kingdom, only strongly represented in Ireland.  We do know there was a William Ballard who was mayor of Cork, Ireland in 1690, and several streets in Cork bear the name “Ballard,” so possibly a Welsh branch of the family did settle there.  Assuming a Welsh origin, other branches could just as easily have gone in the other direction and settled in England.

The ever helpful Wikipedia has an interesting observation about the origin of the Ballard name, unfortunately without citations:

There are other sources for this name, besides the Anglo-Saxon. Not all people bearing the name are of English origins. It is common, with native etymology among several Celtic nations, although the British Celtic form is likely the original, and it may be that “Bald head” is a false etymology designed to give the name English roots. The earliest form is Ap Alard, meaning the “son of the fox” in Welsh, and it passed from Wales to Brittany as Aballard, whence it became popular in France under the form Aballaird, and thence to Spain.

In future we’ll keep an eye out for possible Welsh ties.  We find it interesting that the Welsh name Rhys is usually Anglicized as “Rice,” which was the name of one of Bland’s Virginia descendants, Rice Carter Ballard, the son of Benjamin Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1768-1864).

Copied from Nell Cason

Bland W. Ballard, of the firm of Bland W. Ballard & Son, grocers of Aquilla, is a member of one of the best and most favorably known families in Hill county.  Emigrating from Missouri in the [18]’70s, we find them identified ever since with each step in the development of progress of the county.  Our subject is the son of James and Elizabeth (Shackelford) Ballard, an old Kentucky family.  The father, born in Shelby county, Kentucky, March 1, 1785, was a farmer by occupation, thrifty, well-informed, and alive to all that pertained to the welfare of his State and nation.  His grandfather, Bland, had emigrated to Virginia from Wales long before the war for independence, in which he took a part.  James’ father, also named Bland, emigrated to Kentucky in an early day, coming down the Ohio to the Falls, now Louisville.  Here he raised his family, being employed by the Government as a hunter for the army, and in scouting expeditions against the red men.  He was first given command of a company, then a battalion, and next a regiment.  He was elected to the Legislature several times from Shelby county, Kentucky.  He followed the business as long as the Indians were troublesome, when he moved to Shelby county, where he died at an advanced age.  Our subject remembers him as a most powerful man, six feet in height and weighing over 200 pounds, — a typical pioneer.  In 1800 James Ballard was married, in Shelby county, to Elizabeth Shackelford.  That family were originally from England, next settled in Virginia, then in Georgia (where Elizabeth was born, in 1785), thence, in 1792, on pack-horses through the wilderness, to Kentucky.  To this union was born four sons and three daughters, viz.: John, deceased in infancy; Benjamin H., a retired farmer of Missouri; Bland W., our subject; James T., deceased; Mary, deceased, was the wife of George Button, also deceases; Elizabeth A., deceased, was the wife of Bland Williamson; and Dorothy, who died at the age of twelve years. The father was a man of sterling integrity, and of strong influence for good in his county.  He was under Harrison in the famous Tippecanoe expedition, and our subject remembers well his vivid description of the destruction of the red men’s wigwams and stores by fires, and how each soldier, by the General’s order, loaded his horse with corn and tobacco for the homeward trip.  Mr. Ballard has a hickory cane in his possession, mounted with buck horn, which was cut on that battle-field and given to his father.  The latter died in 1841, and the mother in 1853.

The subject of this notice was born July 23, 1824, in Oldham county, Kentucky.  At seventeen years of age the death of the father threw the burden of the family upon his young shoulders, but it only nerved the boy to manhood’s strife.  He was married at the age of twenty-one, and continued with the family one year, when he bought land near Ballardsville, and for the first time rested under his own “vine and fig tree.”  Three years later we find him on a wild tract of land in Clark county, Missouri, undergoing all the privations of the Western pioneer, and at one time he traveled eighty miles before he got his grain ground and home again.  Six years of such life, and a large improved farm in Saline county bought, and for nine years our subject battled with the distressing times just preceding and during the Civil war.  The struggle ended with the loss of his farm and the $8,500 paid on it.  Nothing daunted, however, he moved to another community, five miles distant, and began again.  After fifteen years of successful farming here, the failing health of his wife demanded a change of climate, and he came to this county, landing at Aquilla November 16, 1879.   After some prospecting he built in Whitney, and engaged for six years in various kinds of light business, devoting a large amount of his time to the care of his invalid wife.  He moved to Aquilla, and for two years engaged in the stock business, in company with is son, Elijah.  In 1887 the firm of Ballard & Son was formed, which has since carried on a grocery and drug business.  The Aquilla post office is also under the charge of our subject.  Of him it may be said that as a father, kind and gentle, but firm, and as a citizen upright, honest and of undoubted integrity, he has the love due the one from the family, and the respect due to the other from the people.  He has been a consistent member of the Methodist Church for over forty-nine years, and expects to die in that faith.

July 15, 1845, Mr. Ballard married Parthena, daughter of Nathan and Rebecca Cull, another old Kentucky family.  The Culls were of Irish descent, having been banished from Ireland in the time of Cromwell.  The wife in this case was a helpmate, in deed as well as in word.  She was a woman of more than ordinary ability, had a remarkable taste and memory for history, and made the Bible her constant companion.  In early life she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, which always found in her a great helper.  For fifteen years before her death, which occurred March 13, 1888, she was a confirmed invalid, but bore her illness cheerfully and with the greatest fortitude and patience.  Mr. and Mrs. Ballard have had eight childen, viz.: John E., born in Oldham county, Kentucky, in 1846, was married at the age of twenty-two years, in Missouri, to Armead L. Ingram, a sister of Mrs. E. R. Boyd, of Aquilla, now deceased.  After farming several years in that State, John E. moved, in 1875, to Garrett’s Mills, McLennan county, Texas, thence to Oak Valley, next to Aquilla, and then to Hillsboro, in each place engaged in merchandising.  Since his residence in teh latter palce his recognized ability has made him the servant of the people in various offices.  In 1887 he was elected Court Commissioner of District No. 1, and the fine new county jail is the monument of his work.  He has served several terms as Alderman in his city, the new schoolhouse attesting his interest here, and has served one term as Mayor, being elected over two popular candidates in an unprecedentedly hot contest.  Benjamin W. was born in Oldham county, Kentucky, in 1848, and married in Texas, in 1878, to Bina T. Neal.  They have two children: John N. and Nellie B.  Benjamin farmed a few years in Missouri, then came to Texas and engaged in business with his brother at White Rock, thence to Fort Graham, next to Whitney, where he is now enjoying a thriving grocery trade.  Bland A., born in Missouri, in 1852, visited Texas in 1873, and several years afterward engaged in business at White Rock, then went to Fort Graham, next to Whitney, where, at the age of twenty-eight years, in November, 1880, he succumbed to typhoid malaria.  He now rests by his mother in Hillsboro cemetery.  Bland was a most exemplary young man, and when cut off by the dread destroyer gave promise of more than ordinary business career.  Mary A., born in Missouri in 1855, was married in 1873 to James V. Hampton, a farmer of Saline county, Missouri.  In 1891 they moved to a farm five miles east of Whitney.  They have had five children: B. Wade, Thomas V., Marmaduke, and Velva and Zuma, twins.  James Thomas, born in Missouri in 1857, was married, in 1889, to Etta E. Swafford, of Limestone county, Texas.  James came to Texas at the age of twenty-one years, and engaged in business with his brother John, at Oak Valley, thence to Aquilla, and next to Hillsboro, where he continued with his brother until 1888, when he withdrew.  The next year he clerked for G. B. Brown, a grocer, next for B. K. Brockinton, when the firm of Gibson & Ballard, grocers, was formed.  James is a keen and reliable business man, and a credit to the city of Hillsboro.  Elijah N. was born in Saline county, Missouri, December 24, 1860; until ninteen years of age his life was that of the average farmer boy.  At this time the family came to Texas, and the winter of 1879-’80 was spent in clerking for his brothers at Aquilla and Oak Valley, and in the spring he went into the grocery business with his father in Whitney.  After two years Elijah went to Hillsboro, and three years were spent in clerking for his brothers, and one year for Grant & Armstrong.  For the next two years he was in the stock business with his father at Aquilla, when the cattle was disposed of, and the present firm of Ballard & Son, grocers, was formed.  During his residence in Whitney Elijah had taken up the study of telegraphy, but his attention was drawn from that by other business.  In the summer of 1888 he resumed that study, and in September, of the same year, was appointed operator and station agent at Ross, on the Texas Central.  So well did he perform his duties there that the company saw fit, after eleven months, to promote him to his home station at Aquilla, where he has since faithfully discharged his duties.  He is one of the most popular agents on the road, and in direct line for promotion.  In his political views he is a Democrat; and socially, a Master Mason.  Harriet L., born in Saline county, Misssouri, June 17, 1863, died of spinal complaint, August 5, 1868.  The family remember her as a patient little body, whom suffering only made more angelic.  Annie E., born in Saline county, Missouri, May 9, 1867, is the youngest of the family.  When but a child the mother’s health threw much of the burden of housekeeping on Anna, and since her death she finds it a pleasure to make glad the declining years of her father.