James Ballard of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (1763-1856).

According to a statement made by his son, Addison Montague Ballard, James Ballard, son of Benjamin Ballard, was born on the farm on which he died on 4 June 1763 in Spotsylvania county, Virginia, a few miles from Fredericksburg.1  He died 1 February 1856.  It was this James who, in 1779, together with his uncle Bland Ballard, his cousin Major Bland W. Ballard, and Proctor Ballard, enlisted in a company organized in Virginia by Captain Ben Roberts and came to Kentucky with Major George Slaughter’s battalion.  All three aided General George Rogers Clark in the building of Fort Jefferson, below the mouth of the Ohio, and took active parts in other defenses on the Western Frontiers.2  His Revolutionary Pension Record appears in an Order Book in Spotsylvania county:


James Ballard of Spots. Co., aged 69 years.  Enlisted in Army of US sometime in Nov. 1779, with Capt. Benjamin Robinson & served in Regt. Commanded by Col. Crocket under following named officers: Major George Slaughter, Capt. Mark Thomas, Lieutenant Thos. Slaughter, Lieut. Saunders, Ensigns Wm. Asher & Robert Green, Genl. Geo. Rogers Clark, commanding.

Left the service Dec 1781, & entered it in Spots Co., VA where he then resided.  Was in an engagement at Pecqua Town & was attacked by the Indians above Fort Jefferson.  Passed through Va., part of Md., part of Pa., along the road called Braddocks, thence down the Monongalia River to Ft. Duquesne, from thence down the Ohio to Wheeling & from Wheeling to the Falls of the Ohio which was the place of destination, from the Falls to Ft. Jefferson below the mouth of the Ohio, thence up the Mississippi to Kuskuski & thence down the river to Ft. Jefferson, thence up the Ohio to the Falls.3

The following description of their military activities appears in a letter preserved among the records of The Filson Club, dated 29 February 1856, written by Addison M. Ballard to his Nephew John T. Ballard:4

What I here state is principally what he (James Ballard) has informed me himself. . . . He volunteered in George Slaughter’s Company and came to Kentucky in the year 1779, and rendezvoused at the Falls of the Ohio, now Louisville.  Bland W. Ballard and his father, Bland, who was killed at Tyler’s Station on Tick Creek in your county, either came with him, or probably with G. R. C. [George Rogers Clark].  However they were together at the Falls. . . . He was but a few yards from his cousin, Bland W. Ballard, when he was wounded [in Clark’s Expedition against the Piqua towns, July, 1780.] . . . Your grandfather and his cousin Bland W. Ballard, who died near Shelbyville, volunteered under George R. Clark against the Indians in Ohio, etc. . . . I have heard him say frequently their allowance was a pint of corn a day, and that they would cut a tree off square or level at a few feet from the ground, and belt the bark below, and then loosen and slip it up sufficiently for a mortar, and beat their corn, and boil it, when they were tired of parching it, and frequently they were without even corn, and had to depend upon game. . . . After the close of the War in 1783 he returned to Virginia and on his route he has informed me that $100.00 in Continental paper would not pay for a meal of victuals.

After returning to Virginia in 1783 James Ballard married Isabella Montague (born c. 1755, died December 1841,5 the daughter of Clement Montague and Ann Bartlett6).  Three of their nine children – Thomas Montague, Addison Montague, and Camden Montague – settled in Oldham county, Kentucky.

James appeared as a witness to an indenture on 1 June 1784 when Henry Head conveyed one negro slave in trust to Timothy Conner for Ann, wife of Henry Head, when the parties wished to sell the slave to Henry Bartlett for £85.7  On 14 October 1789 he witnessed a Deed for 200 acres in Berkeley Parish, Spotsylvania county, from Thomas Bartlett and Mary his wife to Jessey Bowlin.8  On 3 November 1790, he leased from James Colson of Spotsylvania 104 acres of land for £5, the lease naming the “sd. Jas. Ballard & Isabella, his wife, & Sarah, his daughter.”9

On 24 October 1791 Clement Montague, James’ father-in-law, conveyed to James Ballard two negros for £55.10  On 23 September 1794, James Ballard obtained from Nathan Hawkins of Spotsylvania “all sd. Hawkins right, title, claim, etc. Against the estate of Jarvis Haydon, dec’d, exclusive of what sd. Hawkins hath now in his possession . . .”11  On 4 September 1798, he was named security with William Trigg and Clement Montague for his sister-in-law Elizabeth Carpenter, Administratrix for James Carpenter, deceased.12  James Ballard died near Catherine Furnace on 1 February 1856, aged 92 years.13

His death merited mention in The Louisville Daily Courier, Wednesday, 9 April 1856, p. 2:

A Veteran Dead. — There recently died Jas. Ballard, Esq., who was born on the 4th of February, 1736.  In the year 1779 he volunteered, in Capt. George Slaughter’s company, and came to Kentucky; and afterwards volunteered at the Falls, (now this city) under Gen. George Rogers Clark, and was a companion in arms with his relative, the late gallant Maj. Bland W. Ballard, of Shelby county, Kentucky; and assisted, upon his return to Virginia, in building Fort Washington — it being the first house that was ever built where the present city of Cincinnati now stands.  And during the Indian wars he was in actual service at the Pickaway Towns, Old Chilicothe, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, and Fort Massac.  The thrilling incidents of that period are now matters of history.  The deceased was the father of Col. Camden M. Ballard, deceased, of Oldham county, Ky., Addison M. Ballard and Thomas M. Ballard, of Henry county, Ky.

The children of James Ballard and Isabella Montague were:

Sarah, was living 3 November 1790.

THOMAS MONTAGUE, married Mrs Mary Trigg Ballard, the widow of his uncle George Ballard.

John Montague, married Jane F. Peacher.  Their children were: 1. Isabella E. (born 26 March 1846, married (1) 17 October 1871 Lewis B. Hicks, and (2) James P. Smith); 2. Margaret W. (born 28 April 1850; married (1) 14 March 1872 Thomas Griffith and (2) John Meriwether); 3. Cordelia (born 29 January 1853, married (1) John Callahan and (2) J.D. Dudley); 4. Demetra (born 3 April 1855, lived in Guthrie, Todd county, Kentucky, married James Meriwether).14

Belinda, born 3 November 1797; died after 1850, unmarried.15

Addison Montague, born 17 October 1799 in Spotsylvania county, Virginia; a teacher, he taught school at Westport, Kentucky and in 1834 opened the New Castle Academy at New Castle, Kentucky.  In 1843 he was appointed collecting agent for Judge Mason Brown and in the course of his collecting tour visited every county of the State of Kentucky on horseback.  He was living 1834 in Henry county, Kentucky, and died unmarried on 26 July 1879 in LaGrange, Oldham county.  A portion of a Journal which he kept for many years is now in the Kentucky State Historical Society at Frankfort, Kentucky.16  He left a lengthy and colorful will, that has been transcribed in full here.

CAMDEN MONTAGUE, born 17 January 1802, died 3 February 1853,17 on 24 March 1831 married Lavinia Harrison Railey, the daughter of Joseph Railey and Ann Mayo, who was born 4 July 1812, died 18 September 1893.  Their children were: 1. Joseph J. (born 25 December 1831, died 1860 in Halletsville, Lavaco county, Texas; married Sally Hillyer); 2. John Thomas (born 6 January 1834 in LaGrange, Kentucky, died 1922 in Shelbyville, Shelby county, Kentucky); 3. Addison Collatinus (born 8 May 1840, died 6 July 1925 in LaGrange, Kentucky); 4. William Jordan (born 22 July 1845, died Birmingham, Alabama); 5. Elizabeth A. (born about 1849, married Julius Morris).18

Collatinus Montague, married Mary Jane Hallettt.  Born 3 March 1804 in Spotsylvania county, Virginia, lived in Hallettsville, Lavaca county, Texas; married 21 December 1843 Mary Jane Hallett, the daughter of John Hallett, who served in the War for Texas Independence, and Margaret _____.  Their children were: 1. James (born 5 September 1844, a Confederate soldier, school teacher for fifteen years, a county surveyor in Hallettsville, married 5 September Alice Jane Russell and left issue); 2. Mary Augusta (born 18 August 1846, died before 1894); 3. Margaret Hallett (born 3 September 1848, died 26 December 1886, married William Palestine Ballard); 4. Fredonia Jane (born 29 June 1851, and lived in Fort Worth, Texas); 5. Fannie Belinda (born 2 September 1853, lived in Hallettsville, Texas, married Marcellus Woodall); 6. William Henry (born 14 February 1855, died before 1894); 7. Addison Montague (born 11 February 1857, died before 1894); 8. Collatinus (born 20 April 1858, was living c. 1893 at San Angelo, Texas, married Julia Turner); 9. John Leon (born 28 November 1861, was living 1893 at San Saba, Texas, married Elizabeth Marley); 10. Thomas (born 11 October 1863, died before 1894); 11. Edwin (born 12 October 1864, died before 1894); and 12. Isabel (born 24 March 1866, died before 1894).19

Mary Augusta, born 31 March 1806, died 1883.  Married (1) Oliver Harrison; married (2) in 1849 Arthur Burton, who was born in 1819, went west but returned in 1872 to Virginia, and he married (2) on 19 February 1885 Eliza Virginia Ballard in Fredericksburg, and lived in Berea, Stafford county, Virginia.20

Flavius Josephus, born 7 July 1808 near Fredericksburg, Virginia; was living in 1891 near Cordova, Culpeper county, Virginia, died 5 August 1892.  Married (1) on December 1835 Eliza Massey, who died 31 March 1838, the daughter of Meshac Massey and Agatha (White) Massey.  Their children were: 1. Eliza Virginia (born 31 March 1838, was living c. 1893 in Berea, Stafford county, Virginia; married Arthur M. Burton, the first husband of her aunt Mary Augusta Ballard (No. 109).  He married in August 1847 (2) Apphia Sandford, the daughter of Lawrence Sandford of Falmouth, Virginia; she died January 1846; their children were: 1. Isabella (born 9 December 1840); 2. Camden Bland (born 18 July 1843, died 28 February 1865 in Hicksford, Virginia on his way home from the War, having joined Company E, 9th Virginia Cavalry); 3. Jane (born May 1845, died aged six months).  He married (3) in August 1847 Sarah Ann Shelton of Stafford county, Virginia, who died May 1850 and had no issue.  He married (4) on 21 March 1851 Virginia Apperson of Culpeper county, Virginia,22 who died 24 July 1863; their children were: 1. William George (born 7 August 1852, was living c. 1893 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and married Dulcibella Benson of Stafford county, and had no issue); 3. James Apperson (born 1 January 1854, was living c. 1893 near Lance Post Office in Stafford county, Virginia); 4. Martha Evelyne (born 23 March 1855, was living 1 January 1888 in Cordova, Virginia, married 19 August 1880 John Swetman); 5. Joseph Apperson (born 31 May 1857, was living c. 1893 in Berea, Virginia); 6. Mary Virginia (born 22 April 1860, was living c. 1893 in Cordova, Virginia, then unmarried).23


1. Ballard File 7B 18.

2. G. M. Brumbaugh, Revolutionary War Records, Virginia, Vol. 1 (1936) p. 562; also William H. English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio and Life of George Rogers Clark, Vol. II, pp. 1060-62 (cited in Kentucky Genealogies, pp. 51-52).

3. 3 September 1832, Spotsylvania Co., Va. Order Book 1829-1832, p. 528. See also John Frederick Dorman, Virginia Revolutionary Pension Applications, Vol. Four (Washington, DC, 1960) p. 41.

4. Ballard File 7B 18.

5. George William Montague, History and Genealogy of Peter Montague (Amherst, Mass.: Press of Carpenter & Morehouse, 1894) p. 98.

6. The will of Clement Montague names his wife Hannah Montague (Ann Bartlett, the daughter of William Bartlett and Susannah Davis was Isabella’s mother; Hannah was a widow Clement had married a couple of months before his death, according to Miller, BB, p. 9); sons Thomas and Clement; daughter Elizabeth, wife of Jonathan Carpenter, and all her children she had by James Trigg, except her son William Trigg; daughter Isabel, wife of James Ballard, daughter Sarah, wife of Charles Whiting; the children of my daughter Susanna Duerson, wife of Joseph Duerson. Sportsylvania Co. Va. Wills & Deeds, dated 18 October 1791; Executors Bond dated 6 December 1791.

7. Recorded 9 December 1784, Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book K (Crozier, p. 384).

8. Recorded 6 April 1790, Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book M (Crozier, p. 432).

9. Recorded 3 November 1790, Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book M (Crozier, p. 438).

10. Recorded 3 April 1792, Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book N (Crozier, p. 451). Witnessed by Jno. Waller, Charles Carter, Ann Carter. Clement Montague wrote his will four days later on 28 October 1791, and it was probated 6 December 1791. The will names his wife Hannah Montague, sons Thomas and Clement Montague, daughter Elizabeth Carpenter, wife of Jonathan Carpenter & all her children she had by James Trigg, except her son William Trigg; daughter Isabel, wife of James Ballard; daughter Sarah, wife of Charles Whiting; the children of daughter Susanna Duerson, wife of Joseph Duerson. The witnesses were Thomas Waller, John Wigglesworth, John Waller. Spotsylvania Co., Va. Will Book E, p. 1120 (Crozier, p. 47).

11. Recorded 7 April 1795. Witnesses were Joseph Brock, Clerk and Richard Todd. Spotsylvania Co., Va. Deed Book O (Crozier, p. 475).

12. Bond posted was for $6,000. Spotsylvania Co., Va. Will Book F (Crozier, p. 69).

13. Montague, p. 98.

14. Montague, p. 162.

15. Miller, BB, p. 9, citing Virginia Federal Census of 1850.

16. Miller, BB, p. 9.

17. Tombstone inscription; Oldham Co. Records, Vol. I, Cemeteries.

18. Miller, BB, p. 24.

19. Montague, p. 161.

20. Montague, p. 98.

21. Vogt & Kethley, p. 19.

22. Montague, pp. 162-63, pp. 285-86.


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