John Ballard first appears in the records of Louisa county on 15 December 1752, when he witnessed a transaction between George Clarke & Sarah, his wife and Williams Barksdale, all of Louisa county.1 On 28 September 1756 he acquired from Samuel Red and Lucy, his wife of St. Margaret’s Parish in Caroline Co. 400 acres “in his actual possession” on both sides of Naked Creek … to Andrew Ray’s corner pointers in Maj. Henry’s line … Thomas Hackett’s line …2
His plantation is mentioned in the following indenture made 13 June 1765, between Andrew Ray of the Parish of Fredericksville and County of Albemarle, Planter of one part and Robert Miller of same, Planter … witnesseth that Andrew Ray for sum of Fourty pounds hath sold unto the said Robert Miller and his heirs forever land in the Parish and County aforesaid on both sides of the North Fork of the Jameses River bounded Beginning at the mouth of Fishing Creek running thence on John Ballard’s line North East to his corner Dogwood & Red Oak thence on his line East t his Cornerpoints thence South East to his Corner red oak & Hickory thence South West to the river thence running up the River following the Meanders thereof making on a streight line to Francis Graham’s line thence on his line South West to his Corner Hickory in Thos. Ray’s line tence on Ray’s line North West to his Corner Red oak and Hickory Sapine on the South side of the River, thence Running up & across he River makeing on a Straight line to the Beginning. At Albemarle June Court 1765 acknowledged and ordered recorded. Albemarle Co. Va. Deed Book 4, pp. 73-75.
On 25 November 1767 he and John Shiflett were ordered to procession land in Louisa county,3 and John Ballard was ordered with his nephew Bland Ballard to procession lands in Fredericksville Parish in Louisa county on 14 November 1771.4 In 1768, he witnessed a deed recorded in Albemarle county between James Coleman and Robert Michie.5
John Ballard is mentioned again in an indenture made 19 December 1771 between Samuel Rae and Jane his wife and William Ferguson, for 38 pounds, 100 acres bounded by “well known lines of William Barksdale & John Ballard & by the said River which divides it from the lands of Francis Graham.” Recorded Albemarle Court 1772, Albemarle Co. VA. Deed Book No. 5, 1768-1772, p. 447.
4 April 1774. John Ballard was witness to an indenture between John Easten of Bedford County and Josiah Wood of Albemarle, 200 acres in Albemarle in Parish of Fredericksville. Witnesses: William Michie, John Ballard, George McCrimmon. Recorded Albemarle Court 1774, pp. 385-86. Proved by oaths of same.
His will dated 11 June 1779, proven March Court 1780 states:
In the name of God Amen. I, John Ballard of Albemarle Co. do here make my Last will & Testament. I Resign my Soul to God in All humble hopes of Future happiness through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Item, whereas I have already given unto my four sons Thomas, William, John and David to each of them a horse I will and devise that there be made out of my personal estate, two horses equal in value with these and I hereby give to each of my sons Samuel and Bland one fo the said horses.
Item, I give to my granddaughter Lucy Ballard, daughter of my daughter Elizabeth a cow and calf.
Item, I give and devise to my six sons Thomas, William, John, David, Samuel & Bland & their heirs forever all tract of land purchased of Mr Red to be equally divided.
Item, I give bequeath & devise to my wife during widowhood rest of estate real & personal, after her marriage or Death as the case shall be, I give and devise all the land where on I live to my youngest son Bland and his heirs forever.
Item, All the rest of Estate after death or marriage of my wife to my ten children, Thomas, William, John, David, Samuel & Bland, Mildred, Elizabeth, Susannah and Anne, to be divided equally among them.
And I appoint my Sons Thomas and William Executors of this my last will & Testament signed with my hand and seal dated this Eleventh day of June in the year of Our Lord One thousand seven hundred Seventy nine. John Ballard (seal). Signed Sealed published and Declared in presence of us who have subscribed our name in his presence: Wm. Michie, Thomas Ballard, Bland Ballard, Gabriel Mullins.
At Albemarle March Court MDCCLXXX This will was proved by the Oath of Wm Michie, Bland Ballard, Gabriel Millins witnesses thereto & Ordained to be recorded. Test Haydon Martin D.C.06
The identity of his wife is unknown. His children were:
William, reportedly lived below Mechum’s Depot in Albemarle. On 21 April 1779, he was a signer of the Albemarle Declaration of Independence. Secondary sources state that he married Sarah Jarman, the daughter of William Jarman and Sarah Maupin; yet others claim William Ballard, son of Bland Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia, married Sarah Jarman. The 1810 federal census shows that there were two William Ballards residing in Albemarle; the elder William was born before 1765, while the younger was born between 1785 and 1764. We believe the elder William was the signer of the Albemarle Declaration, while the younger is most likely the William Ballard that we know married Sarah (Sally) Jarman, who in 1850 was enumerated in the census as follows: William, age 62; Sally, age 60; Mary, age 26; Sarah, age 28; and Mildred, age 20. 1850 US Federal Census (database online). The household of the elder William in 1810 was enumerated as follows: 1 free male, age 10 to 15; 1 free male, age 16 to 25; 1 free male, over age 45; 1 free female, age 10 to 15; 3 free females, age 16 to 25; 1 free female, over age 45. 1810 US Federal Census (database online). Much more work is needed to identify their descendants.
THOMAS, married (1) Elizabeth Graham, daughter of Francis Graham and Mary ______, and (2) Mary Parks.
DAVID, born c. 1746, died before October 1832 in Kershaw District, South Carolina. He married Rebecca _____, who was born about 1750 and died after October 1832. Rebecca Ballard had relocated to Pickens county, Alabama following her husband’s demise.7 Their children were: 1. David (born November 1793 in Kershaw District, South Carolina, died 1 December 1883 in Pickens county, Alabama; married 26 January 1826 Martha Perry, who was born about 1810 and died 9 August 1880 in Pickens county, Alabama.8); 2. John D. (born 1796 in Kershaw District, South Carolina, died 12 October 1859 in Pickens county, Alabama; left issue12); 3. Thomas (born 7 July 1797 in Kershaw District, South Carolina, died 18 October 1862 in Choctaw county, Mississippi; left issue).9
Mildred, born c. 1753, married 1789 James Watson.10
Samuel, born c. 1755; was still living 6 November 1784, when land of which he was part owner with his brothers was sold to Patrick Michie in Albemarle County (see Note 12, below). We have not been able to determine if Samuel Ballard ever married, left issue or lived beyond 1784.
Elizabeth, born c. 1759, Albemarle County, Virginia.
Ann, born c. 1760, Albemarle County, Virginia.
Susannah, born c. 1761, married 8 March 1801 Fielding Powell in Orange County, Virginia.11
JOHN, married Nancy Graham, daughter of Francis Graham and Mary _____.
BLAND, married Elizabeth Nixon. He removed to South Carolina before 1775, died c. 1791. On 15 December 1787, Bland Ballard of the Camden District, South Carolina gave a power of attorney to his brother Thomas Ballard and Francis Taliaferro to convey legal title to a tract of land, lying in Albemarle county, Virginia, sold to Patrick Michie “of which I had an equal part with the rest of my brothers.”12 Found among the land records of South Carolina is a plat for 98 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek, surveyed for Blan Ballard on 26 December 1791.13
1. Deed dated 15 December 1752, between George Clarke and Sarah, his wife of Louisa Co. To William Barksdale of the same, for £100, 400 acres on N. Side of sd. fork of the North Fork of the James River … Thomas Hackett’s corner on sd. side of the river … James Coleman’s corner … Henry’s creek on N. side of the river. Witnessed by David Mills, William Buster, Charles Goodman, John Ballard. Recorded 24 July 1753, Louisa Co. Va. Deed Book A, pp. 516-17.
2. Apparently John Ballard rented the land from Samuel Red (or Redd), who was a resident of Caroline Co.; hence the description of the land being “in his actual possession.” Recorded 28 September 1756, Louisa Co. Va. Deed Book B, pp. 113-15.
3. “Ordered that John Shiflet & John Ballard do procession all lands between road leading up to Lynches River & Buck Mountain Creek from the road crossing the creek up to Samuel Garlicks Quarter & that they return an account.” Fredericksville Parish Vestry Book, p. 82.
4. “Ordered that Bland Ballard & John Ballard do procession the lands between Buckmountain & Henry’s Creek the road & the river.” Fredericksville Parish Vestry Book, p. 98.
5. Deed dated 15 July 1768, recorded 12 August 1768, Albemarle Co. Va. Deed Book 1, 1764-1768, pp. 532-33.
6. Albemarle Co. Va. Will Book 2, p. 388.
7. Release of dower, Rebecca Ballard to Thomas Ballard. This indenture made the 13th day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two between Rebecca Ballard of the State of Alabama and Co. of Pickens of the first part, and Thomas Ballard of the State of S.C. and Kershaw Dist. of the second part, wit. that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars to me in hand paid by the said party of the second part … sell unto the party of the second part, my right and title of Dower, in and to the lands of David Ballard, late of SC, Kershaw Dist. Dec’d lying on the waters of Beaver Creek in Kershaw Dist. SC aforesaid joining lands of Hugh Summerville, John Summerville, Alexander Fleming, Thomas Ballard and John McRay … Signed, Sealed, acknowledged and delivered in the presence of John Muston and Mourning Ballard. Kershaw District S.C. Deed Book M, p. 521.
8. Miller, TB Vol. 1 p. 82.
9. Ibid, p. 83.
10. Ibid., p.45
12. Camden District, South Carolina Deed Book 10, p. 463; also Power of Attorney dated 15 December 1787 recorded October 1791 in Albemarle Co. Va. Deed Book 10, p. 463. The land that was the subject of this power of attorney was sold on 6 November 1784 by “Thomas Ballard, in his proper person, William Ballard, John Ballard, David Ballard, Samuel Ballard & Bland Ballard by the said Thomas their Attorney in Fact” to Patrick Michie, for £300, 400 acres on N. Fork of James River & Naked Creek, in Albemarle Co., bounded by land of Wm. Michie, Thos. Ballard, Jr & sd. Patrick Michie. Witnessed by John Michie, John Walker, John Allen. Recorded June 1784, Albemarle Co. Va. Deed Book 8, p. 135.
13. South Carolina Land Grants, S213190, Vol. 27, page 458.