Elisha Ballard, the likely son of Joseph Ballard, Jr. of Tyrrell County, North Carolina, left a will dated 8 November 1823 that was recorded June Term 1824. Records preserved in a John Sherrod Family Bible (which is in the collection of the Library of Virginia in Richmond; images and a transcript can be found among the Digital Collection of the State Archives of North Carolina) names his wife Elizabeth, but does not provide her maiden name. We know from the 22 May 1795 will of her sister, Mary Outerbridge, that she is Elizabeth Everett, the daughter of James and Ann Everett. However, the clerk who transcribed the will erroneously identified her as Sarah Ballard. After making several individual bequests, the remainder of the estate was divided into thirds among Mary’s three sisters: Ann Riding, “Sarah” [Elizabeth] Ballard, and Sarah Little. The executor are Mary’s uncle John Everett, her sister Ann Riding, and brother-in-law Elisha Ballard. Martin Co. NC Wills, 1774-1867, p. 177. The 7 January 1768 will of James Everett names his wife Ann, daughters Elizabeth, Sarah, Ann and Mary, and son William. Tyrrell Co. NC Wills, Vol. 1-3, p. 72.
In the name of God amen I Elisha Ballard of Martin County, North Carolina being of sound mind and perfect memory (blessed be God) do this the 8th day of November in the year of our Lord 1823 make & publish this my last will & testament in manner following, that is to say:
First, I give & bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Spruill one negro girl by the name of Tempy which I loan to her and one negro boy by the name of Stephen to be delivered when I think proper together with what I have given her heretofore, which consists in household furniture and the property arising from the sale of a negro woman Nicey which she or her husband has already received, to her and her heirs forever.
Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Ann Sherrod one negro woman by the name of Harty and her increase which I have loaned her, one negro girl by the name of Lydia, one negro boy by the name of Solomon, Lydia and Solomon to be delivered when I think proper, together with what I have given her heretofore to her and her heirs forever.
Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Zilpha Spruill one negro woman by the name of Grace and all her increase, on negro girl by the name of Fanny, which are loaned to her as the others are (Elizabeth and Mary). Also I give unto my daughter Zilpha Spruill fifty dollars in money to be raised out of my estate at my death to her and her heirs forever, together with what I have given her heretofore.
Fourthly, I give unto my son Wm. E. Ballard my mannor plantation that I now live on together with all the lands I am seized of [illegible] of one negro man by the name of Benjamin, one negro woman by the name Miniford and all her increase, one negro boy by the name of George, one feather bed & furniture, 3 cows & calves to him and his heirs forever.
It is also my will & desire that my son William E. Ballard have a negro boy by the name of Isasc until my three daughters (viz.) Elizabeth Spruill, Mary Ann Sherrod & Zilpha Spruill they and their husbands or heirs should convey to him the said William E. Ballard a right or title in fee to the land I conveyed to my son James E. Ballard before his death containing by estimation one hundred and fifty acres, provided that they and each of them or their heirs convey the right to said land as I have requested them it is my will and desire that they the said Elizabeth Spruill, Mary Ann Sherrod and Zilpha Spruill or their heirs should have the above named negro boy Isaac to be equally divided between them or their heirs, otherwise to remain William E. Ballard’s.
Fifthly, it is my will and desire after all my just debts are paid that the remainder of my estate which is not already given away be equally divided between my four children, (viz.) Elizabeth Spruill, Mary Ann Sherrod, Zilpha Spruill & William E. Ballard.
And I do hereby make and ordain my worthy friends William E. Ballard & Joseph B. Ballard Exors. of this my last will & testament in witness whereof.
I the sd. Elisha Ballard have to this my last will & testament set my hand & seal the day and year above written.
Signed, sealed, published & declared by the said Elisha Ballard the testator as his last will & testament in the presence of us who were present at the signing & sealing thereof. Witness: Wilson Sherrod. Witnesseth me the undersigned as witness. Test.: James Taylor, Jordan Watson.
State of North Carolina, Martin County, June Term 1824. The within paper writing purporting to be the last will & testament of Elisha Ballard, Dec’d, was offered for probate and proved in due form of law by the oat of Jordan Watson one of the subscribers ordered to be recorded & Wm. E. Ballard qualified as executor thereto. H.B. Hunter, Clerk, by Jno. Boggs, D.C. Martin Co. N.C. Wills, 1810-1867, Vol. 2, pp. 94-96.
Elizabeth, married James Spruill, and left issue.
Mary Ann, born 25 October 1792, died 26 January 1827; married 17 February 1822 John Sherrod, the son of Lewis Bryan and Sarah _________, who was born 18 October 1790, died 12 April 1841. He married (2) 17 December 1829 Elizabeth Savage. Issue: 1. Loretta Ann, born 15 February 1823, died 11 October 1838; 2. Henry Lewis, born 11 December 1824; 3. John Mary, born 25 January 1827. John Sherrod Family Bible.
Zilpha, married __________ Spruill; had one son who died young, without issue.
James, who pre-deceased his father and presumably died unmarried without issue.
William E., died unmarried without issue, and left a will dated 13 February 1827, recorded March Term 1827 in Martin County, North Carolina:
In the name of God amen. I William E. Ballard of the County of Martin and State of North Carolina, being of sound an perfect mind and memory (blessed be God) to this the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say:
First, I give and bequeath unto my sister Elizabeth Spruill one walnut desk, [illegible] and casters, also to her for husband James Spruill my razors and shaving apparatus and one trunk and one pair decanters also my family bible.
Secondly I give and bequeath unto my sister Zilpha Spruill one pair of brass candlesticks, six silver tea spoons and an earthen pitcher.
Thirdly I give and bequeath unto Sheppard R. Spruill, son of my sister Elizabeth Spruill, my shot gun and blowing horn.
Fourthly I give and bequeath unto Henry L. Sherrod son of my sister Mary Ann Sherrod another trunk.
It is further my will and desire after all my just debts are paid that the balance of my estate be divided between my sisters Elizabeth Spruill, Zilpha Spruill and my sister Mary Ann Sherrod’s three children (viz.) Loretta Ann, Henry L. and Mary John [sic.] Sherrod, the aforesaid children is only to have one third part which is the part I should have given to their mother Mary Ann Sherrod if she was living. It is my will and desire that if either of these three children shall die without a lawful heir begotten of their body, that their part should then go to the other surviving two, and should either of these surviving two die without a lawful heir begotten of their body, then their part to go to the surviving one, and should the surviving one die without a lawful heir begotten of their body, then the whole of the aforesaid property to return to my two sisters Elizabeth & Zilpha Spruill to them and their heirs forever.
State of North Carolina, Martin County, Court of Pleas, Quarter Sessions March Term 1827.
The paper writing purporting to be the last will and testament of William E. Ballard was produced and proven in open court in due form of law on motion was ordered to be recorded at the same time James Spruill an Executor then was named came into court and was qualified to execute the same. Attest: Benj. L. Slade, Clk. Recorded Martin Co. N.C. Will Book 1810-1867, Vol. 2, pp. 124-125.