John Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia (c.1738-c.1779)

John Ballard, the eldest son of Thomas Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia, married Mourning __________. He pre-deceased his wife and father, for only she is named in his father’s will dated 30 June 1779.

The existence of the will (now lost) of John Ballard, son of Thomas and husband of Mourning  is proven by the following record from Buncombe County, North Carolina:

Know all men by these presance that I Samuel Ballard of the county of Buncombe and the state of North Carolina do hereby bargain, sell, convey and transfer unto Robert Patton of the said county and state for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty Spanish Mill dollars to me in hand paid by the said Robert Patton the receipt where of is here by acknowledged for all my right title and claim to all that legacy or heirship left or bequeathed to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony which legacy is to become due to me at the death of my mother Morning Ballard. I do hereby vest said Robert Patton and his heirs with full power and lawful authority to ask, receive, sue for and recover and to appropriate to his own use or to the use of his heirs all that estate or legacy with real or personal bequeathed to me by my father John Ballard by his last will and testimony and to all intents and purposes I do place said Patton and his heirs in my room and sted as heir to that whole legacy to me bequeathed by my father in as full and as ample a manner as I myself am or could be by virtue of sd last will and testimony or by virtue of law & further suit all claim sd legacy warranting, defending it to sd Patton and his heirs from myself and my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns from all other person and persons claiming my right as heir to my devidend of sd estate, given under my hand this 20th day December 1798.  Test : Aaron Patton, George Newton

Recorded Buncombe Co. North Carolina Deed Book 3, p. 198.

Samuel Ballard and John Ballard both appear in the 1800 North Carolina Federal Census as being 26 to 45 years of age. Also in Buncombe County appears “a deed or letter of Attorney from John Ballard to Robert Patton for all that part of his father John Ballard’s estate that was bequeathed to him by the last will of John Ballard, deceased, was proved in open court by the Reverend George Newton, One of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” January Court 1800, Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 98.

The children of John Ballard and Mourning _____________ were:

SAMUEL.  Born c. 1770, Samuel Ballard removed from Albemarle County, Virginia to Rutherford, North Carolina before 1790, where he appears on the US Federal Census that year and is enumerated as a male over age 16 (born before 1774) in a household that includes two females.  1790 US Federal Census, Rutherford, North Carolina, Series M637, Roll 7, Page 133, Image 85.  He must have settled in that part of Rutherford that was cut off (along with part of Burke County) to form Buncombe County in 1791, for in 1800 he is enumerated in Morgan, Buncombe County as head of a household with a wife of approximately the same age (between 26 and 44), two sons under age 10, a daughter between 10 and 15, and two daughters under age 10.  1800 US Federal Census, Morgan, Buncombe, North Carolina, Series M32, Roll 29, Pag 163, Image 108.

Samuel’s brother John Ballard is likely also found in Morgan, Buncombe, North Carolina in 1800.  The Federal Census that year enumerates a male head of household age 26 to 44, and the household includes a female age 16 to 25, two males under age 10, three females under age 10, and one female over age 45 (born before 1755).  We are inclined to believe that the older female is Mourning, John and Samuel’s widowed mother.  1800 US Federal Census, Morgan, Buncombe, North Carolina, Series M32, Roll 29, Page 160, Image 105.

As noted above, on 20 December 1793, Samuel Ballard executed a quitclaim deed for his interest in his father’s estate to Robert Patton that was recorded in Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 3, p. 198.  In  1799 (the deed fails to name the month: “This indenture made the 29th day in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine …” Samuel Ballard purchased from James McMahan “a certain tract of land lying and being in the county of Buncombe on a creek called Forgey’s Creek of Swanannoa …” (100 acres). Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 3, p. 317, and acknowledged in January Court 1801 and recorded. Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 135.  This same 100 acre parcel was sold by Samuel Ballard to William Edmunson (Edmundson) on 16 July 1802, recorded Buncombe Co. N.C.  Deed Book 7, p. 285, and acknowledged October Court 1802.  Buncombe Co. N.C. Probate of Deeds, p. 205.  Note that no wife joined in the conveyance; could she have died between 1800 and 1802?

No Samuel Ballard is found in North Carolina in the 1810 Federal Census, but a Samuel Ballard appears on a tax list dated 1805 in Anderson County, Tennessee.  After selling his North Carolina land, we believe Samuel Ballard removed to Anderson County, Tennessee.  Unfortunately Anderson County lost its Federal Census records for 1810 and 1820, so verifying this is problematic.  We found that he had settled in neighboring Knox County, and left a number of records there, and the names of his children indicate descent from this line.  See The Ancestry of Samuel Ballard of Cherokee Nation West (c.1802-1862).

John.  The index of deeds for Buncombe County, North Carolina show that a John Ballard on 25 November 1798 purchased from Joseph Dodson 200 acres on Bold Mt. Creek.  Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 3, p. 246.  On 10 June 1805, John Ballard conveyed 50 acres on Ball Mountain Creek to a Richard Ballard.  Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 10, p. 336.  We do not know the relationship of the John to Richard; likely father and son.  Richard Ballard purchased 238 acres on Bald Mountain from John Strother et. al. on 24 October 1805, recorded 1 April 1807 Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book A, p. 153.   A researcher notes:  “John Ballard lived in Roane County, Tenn from about 1826 to 1839, when he and his son Newton moved to Cooper CO, Missouri where they both appear on the 1840 Census. John is then listed as  70+ years old. The inspiration for the name Newton Ballard, apparently came from Rev. George Newton, the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Swannanoa, just east of Asheville in Buncombe County, and was also the founder of Newton’s Accademy in
Asheville. Rev Newton later moved to Tennessee.”  This needs investigation.

A researcher notes: “John Ballard lived previously in Burke County, where about 1794 Thompson Joseph James assigned a land grant to him.”  This assertion needs investigation.

Thomas, for an 1800 a British Mercantile Claim reported the whereabouts of a Thomas Ballard, son of John, then resident in North Carolina; the supplier of the information appears to be “Thomas Ballard of Albemarle, an uncle of Thomas Ballard, son of John.” The likely informant being Thomas Horace Ballard, to wit:

“Thomas Ballard, son of John, Albemarle. £7.9.0 by account. He removed to North Carolina during the time the Convention Troops of Gen. Burgoyne were stationed in Albemarle, which must have been about 1779 or 1780. He carried with him some slaves and other property and was generally reputed solvent. He lives near the hanging rock in North Carolina. Thomas Ballard of Albemarle is an uncle of Thos. Ballard, son of John.” British Mercantile Claims (cited in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 29, No. 4, p. 299).

On 1 August 1816 a Thomas Ballard purchased 290 acres on French Broad River from Jerremiah R. Pace.  Recorded Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 11, p. 63.  On 25 December 1820, Thomas Ballard conveyed 50 acres on French Broad River to Charles Stewart.  Recorded 23 December 1831 Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 16, p. 392.

There are additional deeds in Buncombe County that bear investigation, and they are noted here for future study.  The relationship of these men to the sons listed above is unknown to this compiler at the moment.  This information is extracted from Buncombe County, North Carolina, Index to Deeds, 1783-1850, by James W. Wooley (Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1983).

14 April 1827.  Joseph McKnitt Alexander et. al. to James Ballard, 400 acres, French Broad River.  Recorded 13 April 1832, Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 16, p. 466.

29 November 1832.  State of North Carolina to Reuben A. Ballard, et. al., 200 acres, Mills River.  Recorded 22 August 1833, Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 19, p. 77.

5 December 1831.  State of North Carolina #2947 to Reuben H. Ballard, 12 acres, Buck Shoals.  Recorded 28 June 1832, Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 16, p. 501.

4 January 1841.  Seaborn M. Bradley to Thomas A. Ballard, 50 acres, Hominy Creek.  Recorded 30 September 1869, Buncombe Co. N.C. Deed Book 30, p. 265.


11 thoughts on “John Ballard of Albemarle County, Virginia (c.1738-c.1779)

  1. Hi Stephen,

    I’ve read your information regarding John Ballard of Albemarle Co., VA (1738-1779):
    In 1794, his son John is noted as being assigned land on Ball Mt. Creek in Burke Co., NC from a Thompson Joseph James. It also notes that in 1805 the son John conveyed land on Bald Mt. to a Richard Ballard.

    My 4x great grandfather was Richard Ballard (c.1781 NC or VA – 1848 Darke Co., OH). He married Frances James, daughter of Rollings James, and granddaughter of Thompson Joseph James (b. bef 1740 – d. aft 1805). On his way to Ohio, he lived in Campbell Co. Tn. Here’s some relevant info:

    1830 Census: Richard Ballard, head. Age 40-50. Wife age 40-50.
    01110010-02111010. Campbell Co., TN

    1839: Campbell Co., TN Tax Roll: Richard Ballard, 135ac $500; Micajah Ballard 100 ac $200.

    1840 Census: Richard Ballard, head. Age 50-60. Wife age 50-60. 00110001-01112101. Campbell Co., TN

    1841: Campbell Co., TN County Clerk’s Office 6th June 1841 – Personally appeared before me, William Cary, Clerk of said Court, Richard Ballard, administrator of the estate of Rollings James dec’d whereupon it appeared from the returns of said administrator that he had received of said estate in cash this sum.

    Richard’s oldest child, Elizabeth, was b. NC c.1804. The rest were b. TN between 1808 and 1825.

    I suspect that the two Richards and the two Thompson Joseph James are the same.

    Let me know if you have any thoughts, and thanks for this informative site!

    • My 3rd ggf was Rolling James 1805, married to Nancy Jane Bartley 1808. Their names are in my grandfather’s Bible. I’d be interested in the best account for ancestors of each of them.

      Thank you

      Judy Lewis (nee Putnam)

  2. If Thomas, the son of Robert and Morning lived near the hanging rock then he lived in or near Stokes County, NC, which is near Winston Salem, NC. Stokes is a couple of hours drive from Buncombe, NC. On the 1790 Stokes, NC census there is a Thomas Ballard with 2 males over the age of 16, 3 males under the age of 16 and 4 females (not separated by age). No slaves are recorded for Thomas. Other Ballards in Stokes in 1790 are Archelus Ballard, German Ballard and Byrum Ballard.

    The first census that a Thomas Ballard appears in Buncombe is 1810 with the following family: 1 male under 10, 1 male 26-45 (Thomas), 3 females under 10, 1 female 10-16, 1 female 26-45. Thomas is the only Ballard listed on the 1810 census in Buncombe, NC.

    1820 Buncombe Census has Thomas Ballard and Reuben Ballard. In the household of Thomas is 1 male 18-26, 1 male 26-45, 1 male over 45 (assuming it is Thomas), 1 female under 10, 1 female 16-18, 1 female 18-26, 2 females 26-45 and no females over 45. Reuben lives beside Thomas and his household is as follows: 4 males under 10, one male 26-45, 2 females under 10, 1 female 18-26 and 1 other person. I believe Reuben is probably the son of Thomas.

    1830 Census no longer has Thomas and the only Ballards listed are Reuben, James and Joseph and they do not appear to live in close proximity to each other.

  3. Descendants of James Ballard (1778-1855) m. Martha Brady (1786-1863) show up in autosomal DNA analysis on chr 22 on the same segment where I have a confirmed triangulation with John Ballard m. Elizabeth James descendants. In the 1850 Marion, Alabama census, he is listed as age 72 b. SC. James and Martha were NOT my ancestors but the match through 2 of their children made me curious on how they might be connected?

    • Becky,

      Another researcher I know descends from this line, and we’ve reached the conclusion (independent of genetic testing) that this James Ballard is a son of John Ballard and Elizabeth James. I’m finding that any line that passed through Georgia tends to bet mixed up, because of the settlement patterns that occurred with the opening of land there after the extinguishing of Indian rights, and it doesn’t help that Georgia suffered so many record losses over the years. Which two children are you referring to? Did you find this information on Gedmatch? I don’t use that tool much — if that is the case, I see I should.

      • I found the data on 23andMe/Ancestry relative as well as on MyHertiage. I only use GedMatch when looking for segments associated with Ancestry relatives. I think James m. Martha Brady is too old to be a son of John Ballard and Elizabeth James. If the 1800 Buncombe NC census (20010-30101) is actually John Ballard then he had only been married about 10 years with just two boys b. 1790-1800. No proof but I think those two sons are James & Joseph who are on the 1830 Buncombe census, my theory being that they had already married and established homes before John & Elizabeth moved to Roane TN. These are the two relatives I mentioned above:

        R G Bonneau’s Ancestors
        James Ballard (1778-1863) m. Martha Jane Brady (1786-1863)
        Lucretia Ballard (1815-1892) m. William Thomas Bill Wigginton (1801-1885)
        Jasper W Wiginton (1851-1924) m. Sarah Ann Whitehead (1854-1941)
        Merideth Wiginton (1870-1959) m. Mary Alice Streetman (1875-1959)

        T Ballard’s Ancestors
        James Ballard (1778-1855) m. Martha Brady (1786-1863)
        Levi Garrison Ballard (1807-1860) m. Mary Ann Burns (1810-1869)
        Isaac Asberry Ballard (1841-1912) m. Mahala Caroline Stidham (1843-1939)
        Thomas Winston Ballard (1873-1910) m. Florence Elmina Emerson (1876-1947)

        Is it possible that James Ballard b. 1778 could be the son of John Ballard d. 1839 SC m. Nancy Graham?

        Great site! Glad to see DNA sorting out the various lines. It’s definitely making it easier for me to eliminate Ballard’s that are not part of group 1.

      • I’m fascinated.

        I looked into the possibility that this James was the son of either John Ballard (d. c. 1838)/Nancy Graham or Thomas Ballard d. c. 1843)/Elizabeth Graham. I’ve identified two James Ballards who are their likely sons: James Ballard who married Jincey (probably formally Jane), who died c. 1820, and James Ballard who married Mary Kelsey, who was born 1804, died in Mississippi. James and Jincey had close financial ties to Samuel Caston, who had married Thomas’ daughter Susannah; my notes on them are here.

        James who married Mary Kelsey could be the son of James and Martha Brady, but James who married Martha is too old to be the son of John Ballard/Nancy Graham; John was born c. 1765 (by my estimate). See

        I’m inclined to think that James (1778) is one of the 10 sons of John Ballard and Elizabeth James, in spite of the 1850 census giving South Carolina as his place of birth.

      • I suppose that is possible if it was for an earlier marriage for John. Elizabeth appears to be 10 years younger in census records.

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