Many researchers believe (without proof) that Abraham Ballard is the son of Ralph Ballard, who is known to us from a single entry in the North Carolina Land Patents dated 6 April 1722. Ralph Ballard is the conjectured son of John Ballard, Jr of Nansemond County. An examination of Perquimans County tax lists (outlined below) demonstrate that it is very likely that Abraham was the son of Elisha Ballard, who patented land in Nansemond County that was re-patented in Perquimans County, North Carolina in 1743.
In August 2015, a new participant joined the Ballard DNA Project, a descendant of Reuben Ballard and Apsilla Ballard. Apsilla is believed by some researchers to be a daughter of this Abraham Ballard; our conclusion (which will be published in due course) is that Apsilla was a daughter of Joseph Bentley. We are studying Reuben’s lineage and we will present our findings in due course.
The date of birth given (c.1705) is merely an educated guess; he was probably born much later than that. Perquimans County Tax Lists show that in 1740 “Mr Elish. Ballard” was enumerated with seven tithables; nearby on the same list appear the names Marmaduke Norfleet, John Harris, and Peter Brinkley; it’s likely that when this list was created, the enumerator traveled from farm to farm. This is important because a surviving list from 1745 includes Abraham Ballard in approximately the same place as that occupied by Elisha Ballard five years earlier, which suggests that Abraham inherited Elisha’s farm and was most likely his son.
A list of the Masters & Mistresses of all the famileys from the Horse pull (?) to the Virginia Line
- Alexander Ross
- Joseph Redden
- John Gordon
- John Harris
- George Gordon
- Marmaduke Norfleet
- John Norfleet
- Abraham Ballard
- John Powell
- James Sumner
- Henry Watkins oversear
- Nussrack (?) Brinkley
- Peter Brinkley
- Thomas Franzor
October the 19th: 1745 Thomas Wiggens Came Before me and made oath that the above is a True List and that he hath Summonst Them to Give in There Taxables Given under my hand, James Sumner.
Compare this to the names in the 1740 list that appear in the following order:
- Marmaduke Norfleet – 7
- Thomas Wiggins – 1
- John Green – 1
- Mr. Elish. Ballard – 7
- John Riddick – 2
- Mrs. Mary Norfleet – 5
- Joseph Redden – 4
- John Gordon – 5
- John Harris – 3
- John Powel – 7
- William Wilkinson – 6
- Peter Brinkley – 4
- Michall Brinkley – 5
Abraham Ballard is enumerated in one additional tax list, “a list of Tythables gave in to Mac: Scarborough for the year 1750.” In 1754 his wife Elizabeth Ballard appears in his stead. North Carolina State Archives, Colonial Court Records, Taxes & Accounts, 1679-1754, CCR 190, Tax Lists, Perquimans County, 1702-1754.
The will of Abraham Ballard, dated 9 November 1753, recorded 17 April 1754, Perquimans County, N.C. Will Book K, p. 97
In the Name of God amen, I Abraham Ballard of Perguimons County in the Province of North carolina Being weak of Body but of Sound and perfect memory Thanks be to God for it and Caling to mind the uncertainty of this Tearitory Life do make and ordain this my Last will and Testament in mannor and form following
First I Bequeath my Soul to almighty God and my Body to the Earth to be buried at the Discretion of my Executors hereafter named and so for my world by Estate which it hath pleased God to Bestow upon me
Item: I give and Dispose of as followeth viz first my will and Desire is that all my Just Debts be Trowly paid and Discharged by my Execut hereafter named.
Item: I give and Bequeszth to my Son Jethro Ballard my plantation where on I now live and all the land there unto belonging So far as to the walnot rocks Branch thence up the sd walnot Branch to a Branch called the Scool … Branch thens up the sd School hows branch to …. Back Line …. one third ….. and plantation which I Shall Leave ………………… his heirs and assignes for Ever.
Item: I give and Bequeath to my Son Kedah all my Land on the North Side of the … wa… ot rocks branch with the Scool hows old foild and So bounding on the sd Scool Hows branch to the Back Line. I Lev to my sd Son Keadah Ballard and his heirs & assigned for Ever.
Item: I Give to my sd Son Jethro Ballard my Negro Man named Jack and my Negro boy named Bibs. I Lev to my sd Son Jethro and his heirs for Ever.
Item: I Give to my Son Keadah Ballard my Negro Boy named Anthony and my Negro Girl named Hannah and her Increase Lev to my Son Keadah and his heirs for Ever.
Item: I Give to my Daughter Apsilla Ballard my Negro Girl named Nanney. I Lev to sd Daughter Apsilla and her heirs for Ever
Item: I Give to my Daughter Bathsheba Ballard my negro Girl named Loadia I lev to my sd Daughter Bathsheba and her heirs for Ever
Item: It is my will and Desire that my Loving wife Elisabeth Ballard have and Injoy one third part of the plantation and Land where on I now Live So far as the sd walnot rock branch together with the Hous on thereon for and Dureing her Natural Life also my nurse man. Rambo Harris and my negro woman named Ross for and Dureing her natural Life and at her Increas to Return to my other Estates to be Equally Devided it also my Desire that my Executors have Liberty to Sell So much of my other Estate as will Satisfy and pay all my Just Debts and all the Rest and re… of my Estate not before given be it of what nature or Kind So ever I Leave the use of it to my Loveing wife for and Dureing her widohood but and if She happen to marry Then to be Equally Devided at her marriage Between my sd wife and all my Children Share and Sare a Like.
Lastly: I nominate and appoint my Loveing wife and my friend John Simner my Exectrise and Executor to this my Last will and Testament Revoaking and Dissanulling all other will or wills hereto for by me made published or Declaired Either by word or wrighting in witness where of I have hereunto Set my hand and Fixed my Seal this Ninth Day of November one Thousand Seven hundred fifty three. Signed and published and Declaired by the Testator to be the Last will and Testament in the …….. Abraham Ballard. Sarah S (x) Norfleet, Phillissia Norfleet, John Sumner
Additional estate records follow:
October Court 1756, Perquimans Co.: Ordered that a sumons for Isaac Hill to appear at the next Court to render an account on the oaths of his proceedings on the estate of Abraham Ballard, deceased, in which Isaac intermarried with the widow of said dec’d
January Court 1757: On the motion of Isaac Hill praying to be appointed guardian of Absilla & Bathsheba Ballard, Orphans of Abraham Ballard deceased Granted and Ordered that he give Bond with Security In the sum of five hundred pounds, ?? Money, Which Security Is given by Joseph Riddick and Moses Mason, Which Is approved and the Bond filed.
April Court 1759: Jethro Benton and Samuel Turner, guardians of the orphans of Abraham Ballard, deceased, returned their accounts on oath. Ordered that they be entered on the Orphans Book
Abraham Ballard married Elizabeth ______________ and left issue:
JETHRO married Elizabeth Sumner (Bond) Dec. 30, 1774 in Chowan County. Benj. Sumner, security. North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. I, No. 2 (April 1900) p. 243. Elizabeth Sumner was the sister of Theresa Sumner, who married Kedar Ballard. The 1790 Federal census lists the household of Jethro Ballard in Gates County as follows: Free White Male 16+, 1; Free White Male <16, 1; Free White Females, 6; Slaves, 25. An undated will of Jethro Ballard is abstracted supra, Vol. II, No. 1 (January 1901) p. 40 that names his wife Elizabeth, sons Thomas and Richard H., “my six children Martha, Elizabeth, Juley, Lucinda;” wife and brother Kedar Ballard, Executors. Teste: Jethro Sumner, Kedar Ballard, Miles Benton. According to an online index of Gates County Wills, 1762-1966, the will of Jethro Ballard was probated in 1796. An Estate file cataloged online by familysearch.org contains images of bonds posted by his widow Elizabeth Ballard acting as guardian of Julia Ballard, Lucy Ballard, and Richard Henry Ballard; Jethro’s widow Elizabeth received her portion of his lands in February 1803: “We the subscribers Jurors after being duly summoned and qualified for this purpose have proceeded to lay off and set apart the Dower of Mrs. Elizabeth Ballard relict of Jethro Ballard dec’d out of the lands in this County, which the said Jethro Ballard died seized and possessed, which we have done in the following manner (to wit): Beginning at a marked red oak on the swamp side running thence by a line of marked trees to Norfleet’s line, thence by that line to the marsh, and binding thereon to the swamp, thence up the swamp to the first station dividing the piece of land at the Island. We witness our hands and seals this 10th day of February 1803.” A division of slaves contained in the file names Richard H. Ballard, Lucinda Ballard, Julia Ballard, Thomas W. Ballard, and John Cowper, in right of his child William Cowper; apparently John Cowper married either Martha or Elizabeth, who was dead by 1807, the date of the division of that portion of the estate. Presumably Elizabeth had died by 1807, which called for the division of the remaining personal property of Jethro Ballard among his surviving children. North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979, database with images, FamilySearch, Gates, County, Ballard, Jethro (1802).
KEDAR (Kedah/Keadah) married 12 July 1783 Theresa Sumner, the daughter of Demsey Sumner and Martha Baker.
Apsilla, believed by some researchers to have married Reuben Ballard (c. 1748-1822) and settled in Wilkes County, Georgia and later, Warren County, Kentucky. This researcher believes the Apsilla who married Reuben Ballard is the daughter of Joseph Bentley (b. c. 1709) and Ann Manning (b. c. 1711) of Bertie County, North Carolina. Our findings on this matter will be published in due course (April 2020).