A Source Book: Virginia.

The Ballards of Colonial Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina:
A Source Book

Compilation and Comments by John M. Weisner

Please see Origins for an Introduction to this section.

Part One: Virginia  

I. General Introduction

Anyone who researches the early Ballard family in Virginia quickly realizes that the primary source materials are incomplete and that many of the published genealogical materials contain errors and are not properly  referenced. In order to determine fact from fiction, I have tried over the years to work primarily from original source materials and from reliable secondary materials. In an attempt to organize my information and to share  it with other researchers so that they do not need to tread the same paths, I  decided several months ago to start writing down the factual information in  some sort of orderly fashion. But I also wanted to include comments about  that information that might help in its understanding and serve as a guide to  possible future research. Furthermore, I thought that if I could make this  information available on the Internet, I might receive corrections to my  mistakes and hear about other relevant materials I had missed. In preparing  the first section on Henry Bullard/Ballard, I quickly realized that this  effort will take much longer than I originally anticipated. In fact, I see now that it will probably take years, not months. Nevertheless, I wanted to  get started. I intend to plug away and to make available each section as it  is completed. I would be delighted with any comments from my fellow researchers about any section that has already been completed, and I will try to update the materials accordingly.

II. Henry Bullard/Ballard of Warwick County

A. Introduction

Warwick County was one of the first counties in Virginia. It was also  one of the most important during the period of early settlement. More  recently, it has ceased to exist, having been completely replaced by the City  of Newport News.  The County was one the original eight shires created in 1634. It was  located on the North bank of the lower James River, nestled between York  County and Elizabeth City County (now the City of Hampton). Unfortunately,  almost all of its records were destroyed during the Civil War. This loss is  especially severe for Ballard family researchers, since the person who many  believe was the founder of the family in Virginia, Henry Bullard/Ballard, settled there by 1642.  A tantalizing mention of the Warwick County records from before the Civil  War, and the prominent role in them of the Ballard family, is made by Bishop Meade in his book Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia (Phila.  1861) (Vol. 1, p.240):

In accordance with the determination expressed above, I have visited old Warwick, which, though the least of all shires of Virginia, was one of the most fruitful nurseries of the families of Virginia. Its contiguity to James River and Jamestown rendered it a safe place for early Colonists to settle  in. It was probably at one time, according to its dimensions, the most  populous of all the counties. In evidence of which, I find from an  examination of the records of the Clerk’s Office, which extend back to about 1642, that there were, at one time, not less than eight parishes in Warwick.  Two of these were on Mulberry Island,–one called Stanley Hundred, and the other Nutmeg Quarter. It is really not an island, as Jamestown was not an island, though both of them so called…. The result of my hasty examination of the old and decayed records at Warwick Court-house, some of which are like the exhumed volumes from the long-buried towns of the East, and will scarce bear handling, was the discovery that the following were the most prominent names in this county in times long since gone by:–Fauntleroy, Hill, Bushrodd, Ryland, Ballard, Purnell, Ashton, Clayborne, Cary, Dade, Griffith, Whittaker, Pritchard, Hurd, Harwood, Bassett, Watkins, Smith, Diggs, Dudley, Petit, Radford, Stephens, Wood, Bradford, Stratton, Glascock, Pattison, Barber, Allsop, Browinge, Killpatricke, Nowell, Lewellin, Goodale, Dawson, Cosby, Wythe, Reade, Bolton, Dixon, Langhorne, Morgan, Fenton, Chisman, Watkins, John, Lang, Parker, West. No one can look over this list without exclaiming, “What a prolific nursery of Virginia families was old Warwick!” [Emphasis added.]

If only Bishop Meade would have told us somewhat more about these families and their achievements!

Before moving on to the few records that remain of this county, one apparent error in Bishop Meade’s report needs to be corrected in order to better understand some of the information that follows. Namely, the Bishop seems to have incorrectly located Nutmeg Quarter on Mulberry Island. Rather, as appears in the book by R.D. Whichard, The History of Lower Tidewater Virginia, pp. 93-94 (N.Y., 1959), Nutmeg Quarter was actually further to the East, on Waters Creek: Very meager are the details about the early existence of the parish which later came to be known as Nutmeg Quarter. This was the name of a plantation on Water’s Creek which was represented a few years later in the House of Burgesses…. The late George C. Mason surmised that the name originated through the seventeenth century usage of the word “nutmeg”to apply to any of the lauraceous or other plants having distinctly aromatic fruit, bark, leaves or roots, especially the sassafras and wax myrtle (bayberry), which abound in Tidewater Virginia…. Waters’ Creek has now been partially dammed to form Lake Maury at the Mariners Museum.

B. Available Sources

There are only a few early Warwick County records that survived the Civil War. These are mostly kept as loose papers or microfilm at either the Library of Virginia or the Swem Library of the College of William & Mary. As far as I know, only one of these early documents has been published, i.e., the 1647 Order Book fragment mentioned below.

C. Findings

I am aware of only five documents that refer to Henry Bullard/Ballard, and four of them have a direct connection to Warwick County. Two of the Warwick County references are from the land patent records and have to do with the location of his property. The other two are from surviving scraps of the county records. As will be seen, however, these meager findings reveal several possible connections to later Ballards.

1. Patent Records and York County Records

Although not connected to Warwick County, the first reference to Henry Bullard/Ballard of which I am aware is found in the patent books. In a 1636 patent, Capt. Christopher Calthorpe is given credit towards land for the transportation of Henry Bullard. The relevant entry as abstracted in Volume I of Nell Marion Nugent’s Cavaliers and Pioneers (Baltimore, 1963)(p. 39) is as follows:

CAPT. CHRISTOPHER CALTHROPPE [also spelled “Calthorpe”], 1000 acs. Chas. Riv.Co., 6 May 1636, p. 347 [Patent Book No. 1 — Part I]. At the new Poquoson, E. upon Calthropps Cr., Wly. toward John Powells Cr., N. upon the river & Sly. into the woods. 500 acs. graunted by order of court 29 June 1631 & 500 acs. for trans. of 10 pers: Robt. Lucas, Wm Debnam, Tho. Powell, William Oakely, Henry Bullard, Christopher Copeland, Robert Seeker, Jon. Burges, Jon. Merler, Henry Goodson. [Emphasis added.](On the microfilm of the Patent Book, the spelling clearly appears to be with a “u”.) This entry shows that Henry must have arrived in Virginia before May 1636.  The location of Calthorpe’s patent can be determined with relative certainty. The “New Poquoson” was the name that the colonists gave to the river at the southeast end of York County that is now simply called Poquoson River. It was evidently then termed “new,” since the Back River, and especially its Northwest Branch, was referred to as the “Old Poquoson.” An old hand- drawn map of the Calthorpe lands on the New Poquoson can be found in the York County court book entitled “Land Causes 1746-1769″ (at p. 77a), also on microfilm at the Virginia State Library. Additional information on Christopher Calthorpe can be found in “The Calthorpes”, William& Mary Quarterly (1), Vol. 2, pp.106-112, 160-68 (1893); A.L. Jester, Domestic Life in Virginia in the Seventeenth Century 31-34 (Williamsburg, Va., 1957).

By 1642, Henry Bullard/Ballard was ready to patent his own land, not so very far away from Calthorpe’s property. A short extract of Henry’s patent can be found at p. 137 of Volume I of Cavaliers and Pioneers:

HENRY BALLARD, 50 acs. Warwicke Co., Oct. 31, 1642, Page 841 [Patent Book No. 1 — Part II]. Parallel to Gerrance Stephens Land. Trans. of Georg. Murcocke.Please note that his neighbor’s name here is “Garrance” Stephens, not “Governor” Stephens (as is frequently stated in articles concerning the Ballard family). Although there was a Governor Samuel Stephens of North Carolina who came from Warwick County, Virginia, he did not become Governor until 1667, and thus cannot be the individual referred to here. See North Carolina Governors 1585 – 1974, p.5 (Raleigh, 1974). (More about Governor Samuel Stephens later.) A look at the actual patent in the patent book gives a fuller description of Henry’s newly acquired property:….Now Know yee that I the said Sr William Berkeley Kt doe with the Consent of the Counsell of State accordingly give and grannt unto Henry Ballard fiftie acres of land lying in the Countie of Warwicke butting upon the Otter dams North, begining at the Otter dams and soe runing downe the runs of water South East and by East fiftie pole and from thence up a small run of water South west and by South one hundred fiftie twoe pole unto three marked trees And from thence parrellell to Gerrance Stephens land due North one hundred and sixtie pole unto the Otter damms aforesaid To bee augmented and doubled to him or his assignes when hee or they shall have sufficiently peopled or planted the same The said fiftie acres of Land being due unto him the said Henry Ballard by and for the transportation of Georg Murcocke to have and to hold … To be held … yielding and paying … which payment is to be made seaven yeares after the date of these presents and note before … dated the last day of October 1642….(The microfilm of the original patent book shows the name written with an “a” in the margin and in both places in the text.) The land as described in the meets and bounds forms a triangle, with a northeast side on the otterdams, a southeast side on a run flowing into the otterdams, and a west side bordering on “Garrance Stephens”.

Nearly three years later, in June 1645, John Sheppard patented land next to Henry, but his land is shown as being in York County. The extract in Cavaliers and Pioneers (I/156) reads as follows:

JOHN SHEPARD (Sheppard), 179 acs. York Co., June 5, 1645, Page 23 [Patent Book No. 2]. Betwixt land now in the possession of Thos. Hudson on the E. & W. bounded with land of Henry Bullard. Due sd. Sheppard for trans. of 7 pers: Rich. Haines, George Haynes, Hugh Adel?, Charles Hill. [Emphasis added.]The language of the actual patent is only slightly more descriptive: being betwixt the Land Now in the possession of Tho. Hudson on the Eastward side and on the west bounded with the Land of Henry Bullard Abutting Southerly on ye Dammes and Runs due North into the Woods pararel to ye said Hudson Two hundred and Forty poles…. [Emphasis added.](In the microfilm of the original patent book, the spelling appears to be clearly with a “u”.) This patent is also recorded in York County Record Book No. 2, p.396, Virginia Colonial Records, Vol. 26 (York Co. 1648 – 1657), p.14 (Baltimore, 1961), where Bullard continues to be spelled with a “u.”

The York County records which follow on the same page show that this land quickly changed hands several times. Just under the patent, it is noted that John Sheppard assigned the above land on December 15, 1645, to Thomas Hudson (witnesses: Wm. Stookley and Thomas Todd), who, on January 25, 1647/8, deeded “the foregoing 179 acres” to Christopher Garlington (witnesses: Robert Bouth and Robert Perry) (recorded by Robert Bouth, Clerk of the Court). Twenty-seven years later, on November 1, 1675, Christopher Garlington (then of Northumberland County) sold 270 acres, including 170 acres on the Otter Dams, to Henry Faison of the New Poquoson, cooper. Deeds, Orders, Wills, No.6, p.199. (The original patent is recorded once again here, and, once again, with a “Bullard” spelling). In 1678 and 1679, Col. Samuel Smith and his wife Joane (the widow of Christopher Garlington, Sr), as well as Christopher Garlington, Jr. and Sarah, his wife at that time, all of Northumberland County, acknowledged the sale to Faison.From what has been described so far, we can begin to obtain an idea about the location of Henry Bullard/Ballard’s land. We know that it was in Warwick County, but directly on the border of York County. We know that his neighbor to the West was “Gerrance” Stephens and that his neighbor to the East was John Sheppard, whose land was in York County. We also know that the land was situated in a landscape which included an otterdam and small streams (“runs”).

If we take the next step and look also at the patent of “Gerrance” Stephens, we can obtain an even better idea as to the location of the land at issue. Cavaliers and Pioneers contains a patent in Warwick County dated 1641 for “Garrett” Stephens (I/127):

GARRETT STEPHENS, 400 Warwick River Co., Oct. 9, 1641, Page 764. Beg. at the path leading from the New Poquoson to Nutmeg quarter. 200 acs. by assignment of patent from John — (blank) dated 5 May 1636 & the residue 200 acs. for trans. of 4 servts: William Chigain, Thomas Roberts, William Sharp, Patience Martyn.The actual language of the Patent gives a much fuller description of the 400 acres:… in the Countie of Warwick river begining at the path that Leadeth from the New Poquoson to Nutmeg quarter at the foote of an otter dam at a marked poplar and a marked … oake and from thence it runs North twoe hundred and fiftie poles at three marked trees and from thence West one hundred and sixty pole unto three trees marked with three notches a peece and from thence fower hundred poles unto a marked pine in the edge of the damms and crosseth the damms unto a marked oake and from thence East one hundred and sixty poles unto three marked trees and from thence South one hundred and fiftie pole unto the Otter damms with marked trees the said fower hundred acres of land being due unto him the said Garrett Stephens as followeth (viz) twoe hundred acres thereof by Assignment of a pattent from John __(blank) bearing date the fifth of May 1636 and the other twoe hundred being due by and for the transportation of fower servents into this Colony.
A look at the patents from May 5, 1636, shows that the patent assigned to Garrett Stephens earlier belonged to John Laydon. The exerpt from Cavaliers and Pioneers (I/38) reads as follows:

JOHN LAYDON, 200 acs. Warwick Riv. Co., 5 May 1636, p. 343. 100 acs. adj. the persimmon ponds lying from the old Poquoson river, E. from the path going to the new Poquoson from Nutmeg quarter into the woods, W. from the persimmonds to the Otterdamms N. The other 100 acs. from the old Poquoson damms to the new Poquoson N. from the old Poquoson Riv., E. from the path going from Nutmeg quarter to the new Poquoson into the woods W. Due for the per. adv. of himselfe & his wife, being Ancient Planters before the govmt. of Sir. Thomas Dale.

If the location of Nutmeg Quarter given earlier is correct, then the path from that location to the New Poquoson ran from the present-day Lake Maury area to the present-day Poquoson River. If the path was relatively direct, its course must have been close to the route taken today by Highway 17. Where that road crosses from Newport News (formerly Warwick County) into York County, the border is formed by a stream now called Brick Kiln Creek. The land of Henry Bullard/Ballard must have been somewhere near this spot. My preliminary research seems to put the location of the land on Big Bethel Reservoir, which is formed by Brick Kiln Creek, about one mile to the east of Highway 17, on the west side of a small stream which flows into the Reservoir from the south. For the best modern map of the area, see the U.S. Geological Survey map for “Newport News North Va.” (1:24,000 scale) (1965, photorevised 1986); for the best older map of the area, see The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War, Plate 18(1) (New York, 1983). I hope to make the exact location of the land and Henry’s neighbors the subject of a later installment.

2. Warwick County Records

The fourth mention of Henry Bullard/Ballard is contained in the 10-page fragment which has survived from the 1647 Warwick County Court Order Book. This fragment is published in Volume I of The Virginia Genealogist (pp.51-63) along with a brief description of its history: Some loose papers and pages torn from record books were carried off by Union soldiers before the general destruction of the Warwick records and a few of these have since found their way back to Virginia. One such collection, now at the Library of the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, contains the ten pages from the Court Order Book of 1647 which are transcribed below. These pages are the earliest extant Warwick records. Dated only forty years after the founding of the colony at Jamestown, they throw a little light on the early period of Virginia history and the men and women who settled there.

Henry’s name appears on page 1a (2) of the fragment in connection with a debt owed to him by George Bramston:

Upon a Judgment Confessed by Geo. Bramston for a debt of 500 lbs. of tobacco due from him to Henry Bullard. It is ordered that the said Bramston make payment of the said debt together with Court Chardges at or upon the tenth of November next ensueing alias execution. [Emphasis added.]  Although the entry is short, it does provide us with a good deal of information. First of all, we see that Henry is still alive in 1647. Because no military rank or a “Mr.”precedes Henry’s name, we can deduce that he was not a militia officer or a justice of the county court. Because he was the recipient of a judgment of 500 lbs. of tobacco, we can probably assume he was more than a simple farmer.

It is also interesting to note that in the article the name is spelled with a “u.”  In order to confirm this spelling, I took a look at the original document at the William & Mary library.  As is frequently the case in Ballard history, the facts are not perfectly clear. At first glance, the letter does appear to be a “u”, because it is open at the top. A comparison to how “u” and “a” are written in the rest of the document, however, shows that the letter at issue could be either one. The “u” is usually written with an initial upswing, a downswing and a sharper bottom corner. The letter at issue has no clearly visible upswing and has a rounded bottom corner. On the other hand, the “a” is usually closed at the top, although there are numerous exceptions. At one place or another in the document, I was able to find a “u” with no upswing and a rounded corner and an “a” that was just as open as the letter at issue. In short, I believe that in this document the name could be either “Bullard” or “Ballard.”  In the original there is a crossed-out word immediately following “Henry,” but it appears simply to be a mistake since it is quite different from “Bullard” or “Ballard”.

Henry’s neighbor Garrett Stephens is also mentioned one time in the surviving fragment on page 3 (5), when he is sworn in as a churchwarden for the parish of Nutmeg Quarter:

Be it remembred that Garret Stephens and Tho. Tingnall was this day sworne Churchwardens for Nutmeg quarter parrish.  In view of his appointment to this important position, he must have been one of the leading members of the community.

Another scrap of the Warwick County records, this time the unpublished court order book covering the dates 1648-1651 (Library of Virginia), contains a further reference to Henry. On page 3, following an entry dated June 28, 1650, is a heading entitled “A Returnable Bill.” Under this heading is an undated list of debts which have evidently been executed (collected). Within this list is the following entry: “Garrett Stevens cont[ra] Hen. Bullard debt exec[uted]”. This time, the name is clearly spelled with a “u.” The next entry is dated August 21, 1650. It appears from this entry that Henry’s neighbor must have sued him for a debt, which was collected, possibly following a court proceeding. Although the entry is not dated, from its placement in the records and from the fact that there is no mention of Henry being deceased, we can assume that he was still alive in June 1650.

These records of Henry leave open the question of what inspired Bishop Meade to include the Ballard family as one of the leading families of Warwick County. Did Henry at one time occupy high public office? Was he an important merchant? Did Henry have brothers, sisters, sons, daughters or other relatives whose achievements filled many of the missing court records during the second half of the Seventeenth Century? We do know that no Ballards or Bullards are listed as owning property in Warwick County in the Rent Rolls for 1704.

D. Connections to Later Ballards

From what we know from the records concerning Henry Bullard (Ballard) and his neighbors, we can look for possible connections to later Ballards. Such a search does indeed produce several promising results. The most direct connection to Col. Thomas Ballard with respect to location is the fact that the first known records that mention him (at least as an adult) are also from Warwick County, Virginia. In 1651, when Thomas must have been just twenty-one years old, he appears three times in the Warwick County order books. First, Thomas Ballard and Robert Pyland (the Clerk of the Court in Warwick County) were witnesses to Robert Elie’s promise to pay Edward Lockey, which is undated but which was recorded April 9, 1651. Warwick County Court Orders 1648-1651, pp.18-19 (Library of Virginia). Second and third, Thomas Ballard and Henry Russell were witnesses to two powers of attorney from Job Bazeley of Virginia to Robert Pyland, which are recorded consecutively in the order book. The first one at the top of the page is missing whole sections because of holes in the paper, and the word “May” is all that survives of the date. The second one is intact and is dated May 20, 1651. Warwick County Court Orders 1648-1651, p.25 (Library of Virginia). In addition to this connection, there are numerous other leads to Col. Thomas Ballard and later Ballard families that may indeed indicate some kind of relationship. Of course, one must remain cautious in evaluating the meaning and importance of these leads. The distinction between mere coincidence and real connection is often very difficult to make.

A Probable Sheppard/Wythe Connection

As seen above, John Sheppard patented land next to Henry Bullard/Ballard in June 1645. By December 1645, he had assigned this land to Thomas Hudson. For a while, at least, John Sheppard had been Henry’s neighbor. In 1652, a “Mr. John Shepperd” patented 1,000 acres in Northumberland County on Jernew’s Creek and Matchotique Creek, claiming, among others, Mr. Thomas Sheppard, Senr., John Sheppird, Thomas Sheppard, Junr., Capt. Leonard Yeo, Mrs. Clare Yeo, George Thompson and Nathun Fletcher as headrights. Patents 3/91; Cavaliers and Pioneers I/257. In 1662, he renewed this patent. Patents 4/305 (417); Cavaliers and Pioneers I/398. He must have died shortly thereafter, since he is referred to as “John Sheppard decd” when his neighbor William Thomas assigned adjacent land to William Cane (Keene) in 1663. See Patents 4/476; Cavaliers and Pioneers I/409 (September 30, 1660, patent of Henry Corbin, Capt. Peter Ashton and Mr. William Thomas for 900 acres adjacent to John “Sheapard,” Nicholas Jernew, Major Hoccaday, Ludlow, Mr. Allerton and Col. Lee). See also the patent to William Thomas for 875 acres recorded in the Northumberland County records (but evidently not in the Patent books), as well as his sale of the land to Thomas Broughton and, after Broughton’s death, the assignment of the rights to it to Broughton’s stepson William Keene (Cane). Record Book 1658-1666 Record Book 1658-1666, p.59, Va. Co. Court Records: Deed & Will Abstracts of Northumberland Co., Va. 1658-1662, p.85 (McLean, 1993); Record Book 1658-1666, p.98, Va. Co. Court Records: Deed & Will Abstracts of Northumberland Co., Va. 1662-1666, p.11 (McLean, 1993). (It would be interesting to determine if this William Thomas is a close relative of the person (deceased by 6/24/1662, see below) with the same name who was the father-in-law or stepfather of Col. Thomas Ballard, or if, instead, he is simply one of the many other William Thomases in Virginia about the same time.)

In 1665, John Sheppard’s orphaned son Baldwin (re)patented his father’s land. See Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. I, p.456. During the 1650’s and early 1660’s, there are various references to a John Sheppard in York County and the surrounding counties. For instance, a John Sheppard was Burgess for Elizabeth City County in 1652-1655. Journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia 1619- 1658/59, pp.xx-xxii (Richmond, 1915). In 1654, a “Lt John Shepheard” was living in or near York County. See York Co. Record Book No. 2 (1648-1657), at p.272 (Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 26, p.55).

I do not know if the York County and the Elizabeth City County John Sheppards are the same person or even if they are related. It appears, though, that the John Sheppard who was the neighbor of Henry was indeed the person who obtained the patent in Northumberland County. The York County records contain a reference to the fact that, in the period including or preceding 1646-7, a John Sheppard owned land that was evidently located on Old Poquoson Creek in the New Poquoson area of York County, i.e., very close to the Sheppard patent of 1645. York Co. Records No. 2, p.425 (Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 26, pp.26-27). The same string of records seems to indicate that, between the years 1639 and 1646-7, that land was owned by John Laydon, Lennard Yeo, John Meakes and Edward Dobson, John Sheppard, George Tompson, Robert Phillipps and Nath’all Flecher. As reported above, three of these individuals — Leonard Yeo, George Thompson and Nathun Fletcher — were among the headrights used by John Sheppard for the 1652 patent in Northumberland County. The John Sheppard of the otterdams between York and Warwick Counties evidently purchased the headrights of his newly arrived neighbors and later used them to acquire land in Northumberland County.

Other records throw additional light on the later residence of John Sheppard and on the identity of his children. The 1674 sale of 500 acres of the Northumberland County land (now in Westmoreland County) states that the former owner John Sheppard had resided at Harris Creek in Elizabeth City County and that he had willed the land to his son Baldwin and daughter Elizabeth. The sellers are recorded as Baldwin Sheppard of Harris Creek in Elizabeth City County, Quintillian Gotherick of Kequotan and his wife Elizabeth Gotherick, the daughter of John Sheppard. Westmoreland County Deeds, Patents, Etc. 1665-1677, pp.205a-207; Westmoreland County, Virginia Deeds, Patents, Etc. 1665-1677, Part Three, pp.14-15 (Washington D.C., 1974).After the death of Quintillian Gutherick (1689-90), Elizabeth married Thomas Wythe, Jr. (died 1693-4) and later wed (1695) Rev. James Wallace. Her two children with Thomas Wythe, Jr. were Thomas Wythe and Anne Wythe. This Anne Wythe, the granddaughter of John Sheppard (who was the neighbor of Henry Bullard/Ballard) married  Mathew Ballard, the son of Thomas Ballard, Jr. (died c1711). See “Wythe of Elizabeth City” in John Bennet Boddie, Virginia Historical Genealogies (Baltimore, 1975), pp. 122-25. In her will dated March 14, 1739, Anne Sheppard/Gutherick/Wythe/Wallace mentions her grandson Matthew Ballard (Lucy Ballard, possibly the daughter of Francis Ballard, was a witness). Elizabeth Co. Deeds, Wills, Bonds, Etc. 1737-56, p.99; B.A. Chapman, Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1688-1800, p.98 (Baltimore, 1980). Ten years earlier, in 1729, when her son Thomas Wythe, died, he also mentioned the same Mathew Ballard as his nephew in his will. See “Wythe of Elizabeth City,” p.124; Elizabeth City County Deeds & Wills & Orders 1704 [1724]-1730, p.188, Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, p.107.

The fact that his will additionally mentions certain slaves who were hired to “Robt Ballard of Yorke” has misled many researchers into believing that Anne Wythe was married to Robert. We know from the York County records, however, that Robert Ballard was married to a “Jane,”and that it was his brother Matthew Ballard who was married to an “Anne,” and who had a son named “Mathew.” (See will of Andrew Elmsley/Elsmey dated October 1717 and recorded January 1717-8, where he mentions Matthew Ballard, son of Mr. Matthew Ballard and his wife Ann. York Co. Orders, Wills, Etc. No. 15 (1716-1720), pp.186-87.) The Matthew Ballard who was Anne Wythe’s husband died in 1719. York County Deeds, Orders, Wills, Etc. Bk. 15 (1716-1720), pp.427, 429-30). (He thus never knew his famous nephew, George Wythe — born 1726 — who was the son of Anne’s brother Thomas, and who was the first law professor at the College of William & Mary, the mentor of Thomas Jefferson, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.)

If the John Sheppard who patented land in 1645 next to Henry Bullard/Ballard was indeed also the same John Sheppard who patented land in Northumberland County in 1652, as appears to be the case, then a close connection between Henry Bullard/Ballard and his direct neighbors, on the one hand, and the descendants of Col.Thomas Ballard, on the other hand, has been shown.

2. A Possible Stephens Connection

As seen above, Henry Bullard/Ballard’s neighbor to the west on the Warwick County side was Garrett Stephens. Another nearby neighbor, this time to the east in Nutmeg Quarter was Thomas Stephens. See Cavaliers and Pioneers, at I/111, 274(2x) and II/41, 45. Unfortunately, because the county records are nearly totally missing, it cannot be easily determined if Garrett or Thomas are related to the more prominent Stephens in that county. As James Branch Cabell points out in his book The Majors and Their Marriages (Richmond, c1915), Col. Thomas Ballard (died 1689) had connections to Warwick County and, more specifically, to the more prominent Stephens family. The history of that family, as related by Cabell, is most interesting indeed. For the purposes of this report, however, only a portion of his discussion will be quoted (from pp.125-28):

Captain Richard Stephens and Elizabeth Piersey had issue:

I. Captain Samuel Stephens, born c. 1629, in whose name, as previously recorded, was patented, 20 September 1636, some 500 acres in Warwick, and 2,000 in Elizabeth City County; and to whom, 20 July 1939, a third grant was made, “of 2,000 acres in the upper part of New Norfolk, in Nansamund, on both sides of a Creeke called dumpling Island Creeke….” Samuel Stephens in 1652 married Frances Culpeper, and in 1667 was commissioned Governor of Albemarle — that is, North Carolina — which office he retained until his death in 1670. In the General Court, 20 April 1670, was presented the petition of Mrs. Frances Stephens, widow of Captain Samuel Stephens, for lands and personal estate at Baldrux, in Warwick county, where John Hill, her husband’s cousin, then lived. Samuel Stephens’ will was recorded the following day. Captain Stephens had left no children; and his widow in the ensuing June married Sir William Berkeley, then Governor of Virginia. She survived her second husband likewise, and married, third, Colonel Philip Ludwell.

II. William Stephens.

William Stephens, the younger son, was born c. 1631. He inherited from his mother land in Warwick county, certainly 470 of, and probably all, the 500 acres previously in dispute between Elizabeth Harvey and her elder son Samuel. On reaching manhood, William Stephens entered what was probably the most profitable trade followed in Virginia, by becoming a cooper…. William Stephens, however, did not live long enough to prosper unreasonably, as he died before reaching twenty-seven; his will was drawn up 6 April 1656, and, living in November 1656, he was dead by April 1657.

Shortly before his death William Stephens had made application for a land- patent, for 570 additional acres in Warwick, which was eventually granted, 1 May 1657, to his only son, another William Stephens — “as son & heire to WILLIAM STEPHENS, Cooper, deceased.” This tract, although in Warwick, does not seem to have adjoined the lands previously owned by the elder William Stephens, which latter, as has been said, faced on Blunt Point river, now Warwick river. The land patented in 1657 is described as being in three tracts: two of these tracts being due by purchase from John Walker, assignee of William Bullock; of these one “begining on the north side of Black Swamp, and so between York path and the pond till one hundred Acres be measured”, and the other, consisting of 150 acres, “lying upon the pond against Captain Brown’s land.” The remaining 320 acres, first patented 18 November 1656, were “on the north side of Black Swamp, bordering land formerly Mr Bullocks, the bounds running southerly 125 poles, west of Humphrey Gibbs’ land, to the Bushy ponds, by York path, and touching Colonel Ludlow’s line.”  William Stephens had married c. 1650 Margaret Vaulx, by whom he had two children; and shortly after his death his widow married Daniel Wild of York county. Thus, at an Orphans Court held in York, 10 September 1658, “Uppon ye motine of DANIEL WYLD, Guardyan of WILLIAM STEPHENS, sonne & heyre of WILLIAM STEPHENS, late of Worwicke County, Dece’d, (whose Relict the said WILD marryed), that may be accomptable to ye said orphan when hee comes of age….” But the following year, at an Orphans Court held 10 September 1659, Thomas Ballard of James City, one of the executors of William Stephens’ will, produced that document in court, to be entered among the York records, “to show the cattle & negroes were given to said heyre”, and Wild was ordered to render his accounts to the court yearly.

From this account we learn that Thomas Ballard was an executor of the 1656 will of William Stephens of Warwick County (died 1656 or 1657). Since William had named him an executor, we can presume that Thomas was his close personal friend. And since William’s brother Samuel, who was later to become Governor of North Carolina, had married Frances Culpeper in 1652, we can also presume that Thomas Ballard, who was about the same age, was well acquainted with both of them during the early years of their marriage and maybe even before. Such a friendship with Frances Culpeper/Stephens would help explain the close relationship which Thomas Ballard enjoyed with Frances’ later husband, Governor William Berkeley.

If Garrett Stephens or Thomas Stephens and Richard Stephens were somehow related, another connection between Henry Bullard/Ballard and Col. Thomas Ballard would be established. In this regard, it is interesting to note that Richard Stephens had once owned land on Waters Creek (Cavaliers and Pioneers I/72), i.e., close to Nutmeg Quarter and the land of Garrett and Thomas Stephens and close to land owned by Christopher Calthorpe (Cavaliers and Pioneers I/44).

3. The Garlington/Booth/Clopton/Mills Connection

a. Garlington/Faison/Booth

As seen above, Christopher Garlington owned the land next to the patent of Henry Bullard/Ballard from 1647-8 until 1675. Christopher Garlington had earlier purchased 100 acres of land at the head of the New Poquoson River from Thomas Curtice (Curtis) in 1638. York County Record Book No. 2, p.58; Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 24, p.41 (Baltimore, 1961). These 100 acres were also included in the November 1, 1675 sale of 270 acres to Henry Faison. York County Record Book No. 6, pp. 200-01. Before-and-after patents by Faison show that the two parcels of land purchased from Garlington were on the north and south sides of 214 acres already patented by Faison in 1666. Patents 6/43 (166); Cavaliers and Pioneers II/12. In 1692, Faison repatented his original land, plus the 270 acres from Garlington and 20 more acres for the transportation of one person, for a total of 504 acres. Patents 8/230; Cavaliers and Pioneers II/376. One year and four months after the purchase by Faison in 1675, he leased part of his land for seven years to William Lane (March 17, 1676-7). York County Record Book 6, p.203. In return for the lease, Lane promised to plant fruit trees and to build both a dwelling house 20 feet by 20 feet plus a tobacco house 30 feet by 20 feet. Lane, however, died before the end of the lease period. York County Record Book 6, p.198.

The land briefly occupied by Lane is referred to in the lease as a plantation known by the name of “Chestnut Ridge.”  According to “The Faison Family” in M.S. Boone, Our Family Heritage (New York 1956), pp.126 et seq., Henry Faison was a French Huguenot who had been living in Holland before coming to America. An entry in the York County records shows that, as a neighbor, he knew Garlington well before the 1675 land purchase. On January 8, 1670-1, Christopher Garlington of Great Wickomoco River in Northumberland Co. appointed his “loving friend” Henrick Vandoverick [= Henry Faison] his attorney to demand debts etc. in New Poquoson in York County. York Couty Records 1665-1672, p.416 (316); York County, Virginia Records 1665-1672, p.189 (Richmond, 1987). As stated above, in 1675, Faison became the owner of the original 1646 patent of John Sheppard, and, in 1692, he incorporated that land into a larger patent in his own name. An attempt to trace that land (which was to the east of the Henry Bullard/Ballard patent) forward in time could, of course, help confirm the location of the Bullard/Ballard patent. (I have started to do this, but, because there is no index to deeds until 1777 and because most of the records are not published, it is a very time-consuming process. I will try to include my findings in a future installment.)

An interesting sidelight on the Faison family is that Wright Faison, a great, great, great, great grandson of the original Henry Faison, married a Mary E. Ballard, probably in North Carolina. See The Faison Family, at 130. One of the witnesses to the purchase of the land by Garlington was Robert Bouth (Booth). At the time, Bouth was the Clerk of Court of York County. Bouths relationship with Garlington, however, went beyond his services as a witness. A kinship or close friendship is suggested by the fact that Bouth made a gift of land to Garlingtons daughter Elizabeth. In January 1651-2, Robert Bouth assigned land, which earlier had been patented and assigned to him by Robert Abrall, to Elixabeth Garlington the Daughter of Xtopher and Elizabeth Garlington now of the new Poquoson. York County Record Book No. 1, p.158, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 26, p.39. In T.K. Scogland, The Garlington Family (Baltimore, 1976) (p.34), the author of that book suggests that Bouth was acting as an attorney for Sir Dudley Wyatt in making this assignment, but offers no proof to support this assertion. The assignment itself makes no reference to a representative function, but neither does it mention love and affection as the reason for the transfer, as is often the case when making gifts to relatives. Although Robert Bouths connection in the county records to Henry Bullard/Ballard through Christopher Garlington was somewhat indirect, his connection to Thomas Ballard was very likely much more direct. As stated above, Robert was the immediate predecessor of Thomas as Clerk of York County. In that position, Robert may have helped Thomas acquire the job and may have even helped to train him. As shown below, the York County records also reveal close ties between at least one member of the Booth family and the Thomas Ballard family.

Robert Bouth served as Clerk of York County from 1640 until approximately 1651 and represented the same county in the House of Burgesses in 1653 and 1654. He died in 1657. According to a deposition, his widow Frances was born in 1609. His children have been given as:(1) Elizabeth, b. 1641, who married Dr Patrick Napier;(2) Ann, b. 1647 and d. 1716, who married Capt. Thomas Dennett and William Clopton; (3) Robert, who married Anne Bray and was later a Justice in York Co.;(4) Eleanor; and(5) William.L.L. Erwin, The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia (Rutland, Vt., 1939), p.222. See also Mary Burnley Wilson Edmunds, Ancestry of Janie Blackwell Hughes (Lynchburg, Va., c1969), pp.49-51. For William, see Notes (on the Armistead Family), Tylers Quarterly Magazine, Vol. 6, pp.260-61.

b. Booth/Clopton

Of greatest direct interest for the Ballard connection is Robert Bouths daughter Ann, whose second husband was William Clopton. This William Clopton had been born about 1655 to the Rev. William Clopton of Eastwood, County Essex in England (son of Walter Clopton of Boxted, County Essex) and his wife Elizabeth Sutcliffe. He married the above-mentioned Ann Booth, the widow of Capt. Thomas Dennett, in approximately 1677/78. William Clopton and his wife Ann Booth Dennett Clopton had the following children: (1) Ann, b. before 1682, married Nicholas Mills; (2) Elizabeth, b. before 1682, married William Walker (d. 1718) and Alexander Moss (d. 1772); (3) Robert, b. 1683 and d. 1742, married Sarah Scott and Mary Crump; (4) William, married Joyce Wilkinson in 1718 and died before 1733; and (5) Walter, b. about 1687/8 and d. about 1758 in New Kent County, married Mary Jarratt (daughter of Robert Jarrett and sister of Robert and Devereaux Jarrett) in 1711. These children of William and Ann Clopton are quite well documented as a result of litigation concerning a large inheritance in England, which was left to the descendants of William Clopton of Virginia. See The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia, pp.17 et seq., 137- 40.

c. Clopton/Ballard — Thomas Ballard Jr. of York County

The connections between the Ballard family, on the one hand, and William Clopton, his wife Ann Booth Dennitt Clopton and their descendants, on the other hand, are very interesting and intriguing for future Ballard research. Thomas Ballard, Jr. of York County and two later lines of Virginia Ballards seem to have a close relationship to the Clopton family.

First, let us start with Thomas Ballard, Jr. As we know from other sources, his godfather Robert Baldry had in his will left him Pryors Plantation, one of the historic plantations in York County, located on the York River northwest of present-day Yorktown (which he was to inherit after the death of Baldry’s widow, who was given a life estate in the property). York County Record Book No. 5, p.147-48, York County, Virginia Records 1672-1676, p.155 (Richmond, c1991). We can assume that Thomas Jr. spent most of his youth in James City County, where his father had lived since at least 1659. The first, indirect reference to him in York County as an adult is in 1682, after Pryors Plantation had evidently come into his actual possession. York County Record Book No. 6, p.430. Shortly thereafter, he appears in two documents together with William Clopton. On January 23, 1683-4, William Clopton made a deed of gift to his daughters Ann and Elizabeth and appointed his well beloved Brother Mr. Robert Booth [Junior] feofee in trust. The two witnesses to the deed of gift were Nicholas Harrison and Thomas Ballard, Jr. York County Record Book 6, p.551. A year later at a court held January 26, 1684-5, John Wright authorized Robert Smith, attorney-at-law, to appear for him at the next session. The witnesses for the authorization were William Clopton and Thomas Ballard, Jr. York County Record Book 6, p.13. These two documents would seem to indicate that the two were at least good friends, if not more.

d. Clopton/Ballard — William Ballard of James City, Goochland, Cumberland and Lunenburg Counties, Virginia and Halifax County, North Carolina

References to a Walter Clopton Ballard and Devereaux Ballard as two sons of a William Ballard who died in 1774 or 1775 in Halifax County, North Carolina have suggested to a least a few researchers that Williams wife Elizabeth must have the daughter of the Walter Clopton, mentioned above as a son of William and Ann Clopton. Argument to Show That Elizabeth wife of William Ballard Was A Daughter Of Walter Clopton And Mary Jarrett, manuscript on file at the Virginia Historical Society; The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia; and a later version of the same book The Ancestors and Descendants of William Clopton of York County, Virginia, compiled by Gene Carlton Clopton (Atlanta, 1984).

The origins of this William Ballard and his wife Elizabeth, however, are not perfectly clear. Numerous sources show the presence of a William Ballard at various locations in the Southern half of Virginia and later in North Carolina during the middle part of the 1700’s. For instance, a William Ballard is named as one of the children of Elizabeth Ballard, whose will was recorded in 1727 in Charles City County and who had connections to James City County (and who, unfortunately for future genealogists, does not state the name of her husband). Charles City County Wills & Deeds 1725-1731, p.131; Charles City County, Virginia Wills & Deeds 1725- 1731, p.16 (Richmond, c1984). Eleven years later, on November 22, 1738, Mary, the daughter of a William Ballard and his wife Elizabeth, was born, and, on February 18, 1738-9, she was baptized in St. Peters Parish in New Kent County. The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peters Parish, p.549 (Richmond, 1937). At that time, Walter Clopton was a member of the vestry of that parish. In 1745, a William Ballard from James City County purchased 400 acres from James Tabor on the south branches of Deep Creek in that part of Goochland County that later became Cumberland County. Goochland County Deed Book, No. 5, p.81, Goochland County, Virginia: Wills 1742-1749, p.43 (Richmond, 1984). On January 16, 1755, William and his wife Elizabeth sold this land to William Hudson of Amelia County. Cumberland County Deed Book No. 2, p.191. Later in 1755, on December 3rd, a William Ballard purchased 80 acres on Allens Creek in Lunenburg County from John Martin and Mary his wife. The same William Ballard patented adjacent land in 1760 (360 acres) and 1762 (400 acres). Cavaliers and Pioneers VI/382 (Patent Book No. 34/659) and VI/419 (Patent Book No. 34/991). In 1763, William Ballard and his wife Elizabeth of Halifax County, North Carolina sold 500 acres on the branches of Allens Creek to Henry Isbell. Lunenburg County Deed Bk. 8, Part 1, pp.3-5; Lunenburg County Virginia Deed Book 8 1762-1764, p.18 (New Orleans, c1990). This William later made his will in Halifax County, dated Sept 10, 1774 (proved February 1775). Halifax County Will Bk. 2, p.5; Genealogical Abstracts of Wills, 1758 through 1824, Halifax County, North Carolina, p.45 (Weldon, N.C., 1970). In that will, he mentions his wife Elizabeth and the following children:(1) Mary Allen (born Nov. 22, 1738?)(2) Joyce Langley(3) Elizabeth Freeman(4) Martha Finch (according to above-mentioned Argument to Show… manuscript, born Nov. 5, 1749)(5) Nancy Lenoir (according to manuscript, born 1751)(6) Walter Clopton(7) Deveraux (according to manuscript, born 1756)(8) Salumith(9) William Sorrell

The manuscript and publications mentioned above focus on the names of the sons Walter Clopton Ballard and Deveraux Ballard to conclude that their mother Elizabeth was most likely a daughter of Walter Clopton and his wife Mary Jarratt Clopton (who had a brother named Deveraux Jarratt). The only problem they have in reaching this conclusion is that there is no mention in the St. Peters Parish records of an Elizabeth being born to Walter Clopton, who was a member of the vestry of that parish. The Argument to Show… manuscript speculates that she could have been born at the beginning of 1723, which would have put the entry of her birth and baptism at the bottom of page 109, where some entries may be missing. In the alternative, it argues, the allegedly poorly kept parish register may have simply failed to record these events. The 1939 edition of The Ancestry of William Clopton did not feel that the parentage had been absolutely proven and mentioned William Ballard and his wife Elizabeth in a section called Unplaced Cloptons. In the 1984 edition of The Ancestors and Descendants of William Clopton, however, the new compiler simply includes Elizabeth as a daughter of Walter Clopton, born 1715. A footnote states: The St. Peters Parish reg. shows Elizabeth, born 8th ____ 1715. Register is very much mutilated. Although the register is indeed somewhat mutilated, an older photostatic copy exists at the Library of Virginia, and C.G. Chamberlayne published its contents in The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peters Parish. I have looked at the photostat and was able to make out …8th of Dec.[?] Born[?] … 1715″. I could not find a word in this entry that looked like Elizabeth. Mr. Chamberlayne, most likely working from a better source, read the entry as …Jno Chandler Born ye 8th of Dec. … 1715″. (See p.409.) Unless someone can find a better copy of this page or an earlier transcription, I do not believe genealogists should rely on the 1984 editions reading of this entry for proof of the parents of William Ballard’s wife Elizabeth. It did appear to Mr. Chamberlayne (and to me) that at least one more entry may have once existed at the bottom of the page, which is now missing. If Elizabeth was a daughter of Walter Clopton, perhaps the entry for her birth and baptism was once on the missing part of the page, or perhaps it simply occurred at a time when the register was not being carefully kept. At any rate, some close relationship between William and Elisabeth Ballard and the family of Walter Clopton must have existed.

e. Clopton/Mills/Ballard — Thomas Ballard of Albemarle County

As seen above, Nicholas Mills married Ann Clopton, who was the sister of Walter Clopton and the daughter of William Clopton and Ann Booth Dennett Clopton. She was also one of the two beneficiaries of the above-mentioned deed of gift witnessed by Thomas Ballard, Jr. Their children are given as:(1) Charles (born about 1695 and lived in Hanover County)(2) Nicholas(3) Jane (married Thomas Rice)(4) David (see below)(5) Robert (lived in Hanover County)(6) Ann (married Thomas Jackson)(7) Elizabeth (married David Anderson of Hanover and Albemarle Counties).The descriptive paragraphs on David Mills from the 1939 The Ancestry of William Clopton read as follows: Born in Louisa County, Virginia, —-; died in Albemarle County, Virginia. He married 5 June 1746 Lucy Wyatt, daughter of John Wyatt and his wife Jane Pamplin (according to Wingfields Hist. of Caroline Co.). Louisa County records show that Mr. Mills was appointed Lieutenant of Militia. He was a large land owner, having patented at the time of his death some 11,000 acres of land in Albemarle and Louisa counties.

His will, dated 28 Feb. 1764, proved 11 Oct. 1764, leaves to his son Zachariah 400 acres of land on Buck Mountain; to son David Mills the residue of the Buck Mountain tract; to son Wyatt the Beaverdam Swamp tract; and to son Joseph 1000 acres, adjoining Beaver Dam. The land on Great Mountain, bought of David Thompson to be divided among his four sons: Zachariah, David, Wyatt and Joseph. To his daughters Ann, Elizabeth, Mary and Lucy Mills he left also land. Witnesses: Wm. Michie; David Thomas; Hannah Epperson; Wm. Coleman.  In 1748, David Mills patented land on Naked Creek (Cavaliers and Pioneers V/262; earlier patents of his from 1738-9 and 1740 listed some of the same neighbors, Cavaliers and Pioneers IV/179, 220) in that part of Louisa County that in 1761 would be transferred to Albemarle County. See A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia and the District of Columbia, p.220 (Charlottesville, 1836). This Patent made him a nearby neighbor of Thomas Ballard of Naked/Fishing Creek and John Ballard of Naked Creek. He became a Captain in the militia and a member of the vestry of Fredericksville Parish. If Elizabeth, the wife of William Ballard of Lunenburg County, Va. and Halifax Co., N.C., was indeed the daughter of Walter Clopton, then she and David Mills were first cousins.

David Mills and his family were more than just neighbors to Thomas and John Ballard of Albemarle County. In 1752, David Mills and John Ballard were two of the four witnesses to a deed from George Clark to William Barksdale. Louisa County Deed Bk. A, p.516; Louisa County, Virginia Deed Books A and B, 1742 – 1759, p. 88 (Bellevue, Wash., 1976). More importantly, in 1758, David Mills was a witness to the deed from Thomas Ballard and his wife Susannah to Richard Allen. Louisa Co. Va. Deed Bk. B, p.247; Louisa Co. Va. Deed Bks. A and B, p.132 (Bellevue, Wash., 1976).

And, most importantly, two of David Mills sons and a son-in-law would figure prominently in the wills of both John Ballard (will probated 1780) and Thomas Ballard (will probated 1782) of Albemarle County. Albemarle Co. Will Bk. 2, pp.388 and 396. Albemarle County Virginia Record of Wills Abstracts, pp.33-34 (Coalgood, Ky, c1939). The four witnesses to the will of John Ballard were his two nephews Thomas and Bland Ballard (sons of Thomas), Gabriel Mullens (who was married to his great-niece Frances) and William Michie (who was a neighbor and who was married to Ann, the daughter of David Mills, Sr.). All three witnesses to Thomas Ballards will — the same William Michie (married to Ann Mills), Zachariah Mills and Joseph Mills — were sons-in-law or sons of David Mills, Sr. Certainly, the use of these persons as witnesses to such personal documents suggests some strong connection to the family of David Mills, Sr.

The connection to the Mills family does not end here, though. On November 9, 1780, David Mills (another son of David Mills, Sr.) sold 350 acres to Thomas Ballard, the son of the Thomas (will probated 1782), mentioned above. Albemarle County Deed Book 7, p.498. When this same Thomas wrote his will in 1802 (probated in 1804), he chose Wm. Michie, Jr. and Ann Michie as two of his witnesses. Albemarle Co. Will Bk. 4, p.162, Albemarle County Virginia Record of Wills Abstracts, p.65. In addition, in 1796, Bland Ballard and his wife Frances sold Joseph Mills one half of the plantation (200 acres of the original 400 acres) previously owned by his father Thomas Ballard (will probated 1782). Albemarle Co. Deed Bk. 12, p.234.

Although it might be coincidence, the fact that the three witnesses to Thomas Ballard’s will (probated 1782) in Albemarle County were grandsons and the husband of a granddaughter of Ann Clopton Mills, the beneficiary of a deed of gift witnessed by Thomas Ballard, Jr. of York County, clearly suggests a possible connection to the York County Ballards. Add to that the fact that they were also the great-great-grandchildren of Robert Bouth, who was the immediate predecessor of Thomas Ballard, Sr. as Clerk of the Court of York County and who once assigned land to a neighbor (i.e., Christopher Garlington) of Henry Bullard/Ballard of Warwick County, and the plot certainly thickens. The problem, of course, is that direct documentary proof of such relationships, whatever they may be, is still missing. For now, as far as I know, the gathering of such circumstantial evidence is all that can be done.

F. Possible Family of Henry Bullard/Ballard

We have seen that Henry Bullard/Ballard came to Virginia by the year 1639. He patented his own land in 1642. This land was located on the south side of the otterdams in Warwick County, just across the Old Poquoson River (now Brick Kiln Creek) from York County and only a few hundred yards from Elizabeth City County. We have also discussed some of his neighbors and their possible connections to Colonel Thomas Ballard. These connections suggest some type of relationship (e.g., father, older brother, uncle, etc.) but are not so direct as to confirm such a relationship. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this section, let us assume that Henry was the father of Thomas.

Let us further assume, as I think the records are more correctly interpreted, that William Thomas was the stepfather of Colonel Thomas Ballard, and not his father-in-law. The confusion about his relationship stems from the fact that in two documents William Thomas refers to Thomas Ballard as his son in law. See the deed of gift to daughter in law Jane Hillier dated March 20, 1658-9 (which also mentions wife Anne Thomas), York County Record Bk. 3, p.55(a), Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Series 2, Vol. 5, p.74 (Wharton Grove, Va., 1961); and the power of attorney/will giving his estate to his wife Anne and his daughter in law Sarah Henman dated April 1, 1659, and recorded July 2, 1661, York County Record Bk. 3, p.124, York County, Virginia Records 1659-1662, p.84 (Richmond, 1989). But, in the same documents, he also uses the term daughter in law to refer to both Jane Hillier and Sarah Henman, the first of whom is said to be a sister of Thomas Ballard. See the consent of Thomas Ballard to the sale of a heifer by his sister Jane dated 1667, Surry County Deed Bk. 1, pp.[286]-288, Surry County Virginia Court Records (Deed Book I) 1664 thru 1671: Book II, p.35 (Durham, N.C., 1987). In fact, as can be seen from other records from the same time period, the term father in law was often used to denote a stepfather. For instance, the following language comes from the York County records for the year 1646:

… Mr. Edmund Chisman father in law to John Lilley orphant William Barber father in law to the orphants of John Dennett vizt Thomas Dennett, Margarett Dennett and Sarah Dennett and David Foxe father in law to the orphants of Clark and Munday….York County Record Bk. 2, p.180, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. 25, p.19 (Baltimore, 1961). In the above-mentioned power of attorney/will, William Thomas, speaking of his wife, specifically refers to hir [her] children, but he never makes direct reference to any children of his own. Not once does he mention that he has a daughter, or that her name is Anne. When he drafts the will provisions, he leaves everything to his wife and to his daughter in law Sarah Henman. If he had a daughter, would he not have left his estate to her instead of to a daughter in law? Would he not have at least mentioned his daughter in that document if one had existed? For these reasons, I must agree with several other researchers that the correct interpretation is that William Thomas married the widow Anne Ballard, the mother of Thomas Ballard, and was, therefore, his stepfather. See, e.g., Hilliard of Virginia in J.B. Boddie, Historical Southern Families, Vol. 9, pp.88-90 (Baltimore, 1965). (This, of course, would re-open the question of the maiden name and parentage of Thomas Ballard’s wife Anne!)

If we take these assumptions to be true (but let me stress that it is only an assumption that Henry was the father), we can make several deductions about Henrys family. Henry would have been the husband of Anne, who was probably the mother of at least three of his children. Henry must have died sometime between 1650, when he is mentioned in the Warwick County records (see above), and 1658-9, when Anne appears as the wife of William Thomas (see above). By June 24, 1662, William Thomas was also dead, since on that date Anne is referred to as his widow. York County Record Bk. 3, p.167, York County, Virginia Records 1659-1662, p.133 (Richmond, 1989). Henry Bullard/Ballard and Anne could have had the following children: Thomas, Sarah, Jane, probably Charles, and maybe others. Thomas must have been born in approximately 1630 (see his deposition from November 17, 1659 — York County Record Bk. 3, p.70; York County, Virginia Records 1659-1662, pp.17-18 — where he states that he is 29 years old). Sarah married a man by the name of Henman, possibly George Henman, whose name appears in the records of York and Warwick Counties in the 1650’s. Jane married John Hillier, whose name is frequently mentioned in the records of York and Surry Counties. The Charles Ballard who moved to Somerset County, Maryland by 1665 — where he married Sarah, the widow of John Elzey and Thomas Jordan, and had a son named Henry in 1666 — seems to have had connections to Virginia and could have been an additional child in this family. C. Torrence, Old Somerset on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, p.435 (Richmond, 1935). It is also most interesting to note in his regard that some of the land that Charles owned in Maryland by 1666 had been patented in 1664 by a William Thomas. R.T. Dryden, Land Records of Somerset County, Maryland, p.207 (privately published). Finally, there may have been other children who settled in Virginia, Maryland or North Carolina; and one or more of the English merchants connected with the Virginia trade in the second half of the seventeenth century (as mentioned in the Virginia Colonial Records Project), e.g., Richard Ballard, Nathaniel Ballard or Mathew Ballard, could also have been sons or close relatives of Henry. English records or additional Colonial records will hopefully someday clarify these relationships.


4 thoughts on “A Source Book: Virginia.

  1. Rebecca T. (Taylor?) Ballard marries Dr. John Henry Woodcock in Huntsville Alabama. in1818. Marriage is recorded it I do not know how to get a copy. Rebecca linked to Ann Booth. by Walter Clopton Ballard, son of( Elizabeth b.1715 and William Ballard ) Please confirm as I am descendant. Thank you

    • I’m not familiar with the line; perhaps Lynne Miller, manager of the Ballard-L List, might be of some assistance.

  2. Stephen, I am a descendant of Emily Ann Haslop Ballard (my 3rd great grandmother), daughter of Benjamin Ballard and sister of Rice Carter Ballard a wealthy plantation owner and slave trader who worked in Alexandria VA in the 1820s and 1830s (His papers are archived in the UNC library). She married William F Read of Culpepper County VA in 1820 and they migrated to Barren County, KY in the 1840s. I am attempting to trace the family history and I assume there is some relation to the Ballards of VA in your genealogy groups. However, after some searching of all the groups on your excellent website I could not find any mention these Ballards. Are you at all familiar with this branch of the Ballards?

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