Benjamin Ballard, Jr of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1768-1864).

Benjamin Ballard, son of Benjamin Ballard, was born in Spotsylvania county, Virginia, 25 November 1768, and died in 1864. He married Ann Graham Heslopp, the daughter of William Heslopp, in 1798. Records preserved in a Read Family Bible that appears to have once belonged to William Freeman Read and Emily Ann Heslopp Ballard is transcribed in its entirety below.  Benjamin’s daughter Emily Ann Heslopp married William Freeman Read on 13 September 1820.1

Their children were:

G. Dudley, who was born in 1798.  We know nothing else about him; presumably he died young, without issue.

Rice Carter, who was born 7 June 1800 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and died 31 August 1860 in Louisville, Kentucky.  A brief death notice read “Col. R.C. Ballard, a well-known citizen, died yesterday, after a long illness.  Col. B. possessed great wealth, owning several valuable plantations in the South.”  The Louisville Courier-Journal, 1 September 1860, p. 1.  He was a slave trader based in Richmond, Virginia, who worked in partnership with the large slave trading firm of Isaac Franklin and John Armfield in the late 1820s and early 1830s. By the early 1840s, Ballard had settled into the life of a planter with several plantations in the Mississippi Valley.

He married about 1840 Louise Berthe (born in 1826 in Natchez, Mississippi, died 23 August 1896, Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky) and she made her home in Louisville, Kentucky. Their children were: 1. Ella (born 20 March 1841, died 24 November 1922, Glasgow, Kentucky; she married 10 October 1860 William Fontaine Bullock, who was born 19 July 1837, a Colonel in the Confederate Army, who died at the Lead Mines in Henry County, Kentucky, and was the son of Judge William Fontaine Bullock (1807-1889) and his second wife Mary Pearce (1815-1878) of Kentucky);2 and twins 2. Ann Carter (married H.C. Trigg; died 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky) and 3. Charlotte (born 1847, died before 1896).  Although his wife and children lived permanently in Louisville, Ballard spent much his time at his plantations, especially in Mississippi.

Rice Carter Ballard was involved in a slave trading partnership with Isaac Franklin and John Armfield, who ran one of the largest interstate slave trading operations of the nineteenth century. Ballard moved from Virginia to Natchez, Mississippi in the fall of 1836, and by this time formed a company called Ballard, Franklin and Co. in Natchez. Ballard seems to have stopped trading in slaves by the early 1840s, following his marriage. By the early 1840s, Ballard was beginning to purchase plantations in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas in partnership with Judge Samuel S. Boyd of Natchez. He spent the remainder of his life managing these plantations. He was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky on 1 September 1860 (Section F, Lot 121, Grave 2-A).

His wife Louise survived him until 23 August 1896; she was interred at Cave Hill Cemetery on 24 August 1896. Her obituary in the Glasgow Weekly Times of 26 August 1896 reads, “Mrs Louise Ballard died at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr H.C. Trigg, here, Sunday morning last. Mrs Ballard was the widow of Col. Rice C. Ballard who, in ante-bellum days, was one of the wealthiest and most extensive planters in the South. Mrs Ballard was seventy-three years of age at the time of her death, and had been a resident of Louisville nearly all her life. Her death was sudden, and was due probably as much to the infirmities of age as to any specific disease. She leaves two children, Mrs H.C. Trigg, of this place, and Mrs Fannie Bullock, of Chicago. The remains were taken to Louisville Monday morning, and after services in Christ Church Cathedral at 4 o’clock, were interred in Cave Hill Cemetery.” (She is interred beside her husband at Cave Hill, in Grave 4-A).

The Rice Carter Ballard Papers (1822-1888) are housed in the University of North Carolina Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Emily Ann Heslopp, born 2 August 1802, died 19 December 1884. She married 13 September 1820 William Freeman Read (who was born 3 February 1799, died 18 September 1865) of Culpeper County, Virginia, the son of Samuel and Julaner Read. They removed from Fauquier County, Virginia on 29 November 1847 to Barren County, Kentucky, landing at Louisville 24 December 1847, and arriving at Barren County 29 December 1847.3  They had nine children.

[Perhaps, but not likely] James.  Biographical information on Rice Carter Ballard provided by the archivists at the University of North Carolina state that Rice Carter Ballard had a brother James, who was a principal in the firm of James Ballard & Co. in Natchez, Mississippi.  Documents in the collection show the firm was dissolved c. 1839, and contemporaneous newspaper items about the firm and Rice’s involvement with it appeared in New York newspapers in 1842 and 1843.  These news items identify James as “James Ballard, Jr,” which leads to the conclusion that if James was a “Jr”, his father must have been James, Sr.  Our research shows that James Jr, son of James Sr of Albemarle County, Virginia (and grandson of Thomas Horace Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia (c.1732-1804)) removed from Virginia to New York, and left issue there.  See James Ballard, Jr of New York, New York (1815-1882).


1. Kentucky Genealogies, pp. 53-54. Read Family Bible, Bible and Family Records of Barren County, Kentucky and Surrounding Areas, Vol. I, by Eva Coe Peden (Glasgow, Ky.: E.C. Peden, 1977), pp. 145-46.

2. Filson Club Historical Quarterly, 1949, Vol. 23, pp. 122-23.

3. Read Family Bible.

Read Family Bible

From Bible and Family Records of Barren County, Kentucky and Surrounding Areas, Vol. I, by Eva Coe Peden (Glasgow, Ky.: E.C. Peden, 1977), pp. 145-46.

Bible printed by Alexander Kincaid, His Majesty’s Printers, MDCCLXXV [1775]. 

Now in possession of Mrs. Read, Glasgow, Ky.

James Kerr 2nd was born in Albemarle County (Va) December 24th 1764 [then follows a list of slaves, not copied by the transcriber]

Benjamin Ballard of Spottsylvania Co., Va. was born November 25th 1768

Ann Graham Heslopp, his wife was born ——; married to Benjamin Ballard.  Their son G. Dudley Ballard was born 1798

Rice Ballard was born June 7th 1800

W.F. Read son of Samuel Read and Julaner his wife was born February 3rd 1799

Emily A.H. [Ballard] Read his wife was born August 2nd 1802

Samuel B. Read and M.L. his wife was married August 10th 1842

Emily A. H. Read’s father married Ann Graham Heslopp of Spottsylvania Co., Va

W.F. Read and Emily A. Heslopp married September 13th 1820 in Culpepper County, Va.

Infant daughter born July 30th 1821

Samuel Benjamin Read was born August 4th 1822

Ann Julaner Read was born August 7th 1824; married W.H. Tomlin at Glasgow, Ky., April 7th 1848, without my consent of my knowledge —-W.F. Read

Rice C.B. Read was born May 26th 1827

Guilford Dudley Read was born August 7th 1829

John Elsy Carter Read was born September 18th 1831

Sarah Francs Read was born January 22nd 1834

Isaac Franklin Read was born March 31st 1836

James William Read was born November 20th 1838

George Washington Read was born September 15th 1841, being the 7th son of Emily A.H. and W.F. Read

Bland Ballard Read was born May 26th 1845, being the 8th son of Emily A.H. & W.F. Read

W.F. Read left Old Virginia in Fauquier County, to remove to the state of Kentucky, Novembe 29th 1847; landed from the Ohio River, at Louisville, december 24th 1847. Arrived in Barren Co.Ky. on the 29th 1847

Ann Julaner Tomblin died July 22nd 1853, leaving 3 small children, the youngest about 6 days old

John Elsy Read died July 31st 1853

Rice C.B. Read died near Vicksburg, Miss., October 18th 1853

W.F. Read, husband of Emily A.H. Read, died September 19h 1865

Samuel B. Read died November 8th 1869

Emily A.H. Read died December 19th 184 [1884] in her 83rd year

Bland Ballard Read was married to Delilia Emmereson on January 7th 1869

James William Read was married to Ann C. Sims on May 21st 1872

Children of James William and Ann C. (Sims) Read:

Willella Read was born June 21st 1873

James F. Read was born August 22nd 1878

Rice C. Read was born March 19th 1886

J.C. Read was born March 21st 1889






19 thoughts on “Benjamin Ballard, Jr of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1768-1864).

  1. Stephen, this is a really excellent resource, thank you for compiling the information on this site. My 4xgreat-grandmother was Emily Ballard, who married William Freeman Read.

    Patrick Jones
    Alexandria, VA

    • I know your name from various lists — I appreciate the comment. Perhaps you could clarify something for me — I’ve always seen Emily’s full name given with two middle initials “Emily A.H.” — presumably “Ann Heslop” — can you confirm that?

      I recently subscribed to and came across a passport application for Emily’s brother, Rice Carter Ballard, which I will be posting soon. Also, do you have any insight into the James Ballard who resided in Natchez mentioned in the Rice Carter Ballard papers?

  2. Do you know if Emily is ever referenced in the Rice Carter Ballard papers or their mother Ann? Emily named her second son Rice Carter Ballard Read (born 1827) after her brother. I haven’t had a chance to do much research on the Ballards beyond what questions you may have seen me make to lists, and stumbling on extensive research done by you and Lynne Miller (Ballard Family Group on Facebook).

    I have visited the Culpeper County Library a few times and have copied all the information I could find referencing William Freeman Read, Emily & the Read family. I found the Read Bible reference ( showing Emily’s name as Emily A.H., and I would presume that to be ‘Ann Heslop’ as well.


    • I don’t know — the papers are quite voluminous and I had hired a genealogist to examine them, primarily to determine if there was evidence of him selling slaves to other branches of the Ballard family in Kentucky. Some of the papers are available online. I’m hoping the entire collection appears, eventually. The bulk of the papers concern his business dealings.

    • I have not found a will for Benjamin Ballard. I have searched few Virginia records past about 1810, only because they don’t pertain to my direct line much. You may have planted a seed, though, so I am making a mental note to explore that. Nor have I done much with the Heslopp line, which also needs some work.

      • I believe I have found Benjamin Ballard in the 1820, 1830 & 1840 Census in Spotsylvania County. I think Ann Graham Heslopp Ballard must have died before 1820 as she is not in the census listed in the household. On the 1820 Census, there is a William Hayslop listed in Spotsylvania County, one page below Benjamin Ballard. Perhaps father of Ann?

      • Wish I knew, and could help. When I find time to turn my attention to that line, I’ll be in touch so we can compare notes.

  3. Stephen, you might find this interesting if this shows early Colonial connections to others in the Ballard and related family histories. The book The Descendants of Captain Thomas Carter of Barford (ebook/pdf available at mentions William Heslop and Anne Carter (parents of Ann Graham Heslop Ballard). I realize your site focuses on the Ballard lines but for others researching Ann Graham Heslop Ballard’s lines, this is a useful resource. – Patrick

    • Without including allied families, it would be impossible to tell the story of any family. Thanks for the reference, Patrick — I’m anxious to read it.

    • According to William Kauffman Scarborough, in Masters of The Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth Century South (Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 2003), Samuel S. Boyd was a native of Portland, Maine and migrated to Natchez, Mississippi and married into a prominent family by the name of Wilkins, and was related by marriage to the elite families of Natchez. He and Rice Carter Ballard as business partners acquired and operated a number of plantations in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Boyd was reputably quite heartless and abusive.

  4. I have a picture of someone I think is Emily Ann. I’d like to share it, or at least confirm. If anyone is interested, please email me.

    • Emily A.H.? I know a descendant who I am certain would be interested. Will email shortly – about to be on the road.

    • Lynn, Emily A. H. Ballard was my 4th-great-grandmother. I’d be interested in the picture. Do you know the source where the picture is from?

      Best regards, Patrick
      pljones96 at

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