William Ballard of Orange County, North Carolina (c. 1734-c. 1819).

We have not yet established which family William Ballard of Orange County, North Carolina belongs to, so we place these preliminary notes about him and his descendants among the “unplaced” families after the designated Lineage Groups. 


In January 1759, he was residing in Brunswick county, as shown by this instrument: “Wm Ballard and Elizabeth his wife against Milley Morris & Thomas Morris & wife Resh. In chancery, By consent of the parties and with the assent of the court. It is deemed and ordered that the Slaves in the bill mentioned to be sold to the highest bidder for ready money & that the Entir moneying by such sale be equally destributed amongst the representatives of Wm Morris deceased and the representatives of Abordonus Morris also deceased by Edward Goodrick, John Petway and John Maclin and They are to make report to the court in order to a final decree.”  Recorded January 1759, Brunswick Co. Va. Order Book 8, p. 290.

The matter was not resolved until September 1768, with the sale of William Morris’ land and in April 1759, with the sale of slaves and a division of the proceeds among the heirs.

25 September 1768. Wm Ballard of Brunswick and Elizabeth his wife & James House of Brunswick and Mildred his wife to James Denton of Brunswick £12 to the said Ballard and £10 to the said House, Land on the North side of Three Creeks in Brunswick containing 180 acres and bounded as followeth: To wit, Beginning at the Red Oak by the side of the dividing branch, a corner of the late John Davis’ land et al, which said Land was formerly granted unto Wm. Morris by letters patent bearing date the 10th of July 1745. Vested in the said Ballard, House and Denton by right of their wives Elizabeth, Mildred and Mary daughters and Co-heirs of the said Wm. Morris. Brunswick Co. Va. Deed Book 9, p. 91.

April 1759. William Ballard and Elizabeth his wife Compts. Against Milly Morris Mary Morris & Thomas Morris and Rebecca his wife respondents – In Chancery, The person appointed to make sale of Slaves in the bill mentioned now make their report in the following words Viz. “In obedience Record — April 1759. Brunswick Co. Va. Order Book 7, p. 336.

He had removed from Brunswick county by 1773, when a judgment was entered against him that noted he had absented himself from the county.  July 1773. “Walter Peter surviving partner of John Peter having obtained an attachment against the estate of Wm. Ballard who hath privately removed himself out of the County or so absconds that the ordinary Process of law can not be served upon him for £3, 7, 6, due by account and the Sheriff having made return that he had attached the estate of sd. William Ballard & al. Judgement for the Pet. for £3, 7, 6.” Brunswick Co. Va. Order Book 12, p. 340.  Our working assumption is that he removed to Orange County, North Carolina.  This is supported by the names of his children, Midred Amelia (“Milly”) and William Morris, names that came down through his wife’s family.

We know of William Ballard of Orange County, North Carolina from a series of records preserved in South Carolina, where his son Lewis Ballard resided (and died) c. 1817.  Records in Kershaw County Court House in Camden, South Carolina (Camden District Equity Roll No. 125) show that “William Ballard by his Committee (he being a lunatic) Edmond Ballard and William Morris Ballard that some time about the month of July last Lewis Ballard late of the Town of Camden departed this life intestate, that the said Lewis left Rebecca Ballard his widow who has since been duly qualified as admx … that your orator William Ballard is the father of the said Lewis, that your orator said William and said Rebecca widow of said Lewis are coheirs of said Lewis and entitle to equal distributive shares of all the estate both real and personal … one plantation containing _____ acres on Wateree River near Garner’s Ferry, one Lot in the town of Camden, tract comprises of several tracts containing _____ acres on Graneys Creek …”

Rebecca Ballard’s answer: “She admits that Lewis Ballard departed this life intestate about the time by complainants set forth in their bill, that this defendant qualified as admx, that the said Lewis left his wife and his father William Ballard and also Brothers and a Sister and Sisters children … cannot admit that Edmond Ballard and William Morris Ballard are the committee of the said William Ballard as set forth …”

His estate was divided in Camden 8 July 1819, signed Rebecca Ballard, R. Bullard atto to Wm Ballard.

Given that William Morris Ballard and Edmond Ballard are named as “Committee” to lunatic William Ballard, we are assuming that these are sons, which leads to the conclusion that this is the William Ballard who married Elizabeth Morris.  Lacking mental capacity, he no doubt died intestate, his wife predeceasing him.  Included in the file is a decree: State of North Carolina, at court for County of Orange at the Court House in Hillsborough, fourth Monday in November 1817, William Ballard is not compos mentis … 15 January 1818.

Rebecca Ballard, the widow of Lewis Ballard, subsequently married Abner Beckham.  “Abner Beckham of the State of South Carolina and County of Chester, appointed Philemon Beckham my lawfull attorney to receive from the admrs of Lewis Ballard dec’d all my part of the estate, my portion of the estate that falls to the hairs of Rebecca Beckham, formerly Rebeckah Ballard … 27 December 1819.  Wit: Wyatt Beckham, Sam’l McCreary, Wyatt Ballard, Etheldred Ballard.

The Estate File included a “Schedule of Notes and Bonds, supposed good bad and doutful” of William Ballard of Orange County, NC, deceased.  Power of attorney from the heirs of Rebecca Beckham late of Alabama as admr of Philemon Beckham late her husband as guardian … Abner Beckham Power of attorney from Milley Beckham of Limestone County, Alabama, to Lewis Ballard of Camden.

Additional details emerge from the Kershaw County probate records:

Apt. 4, package 114, Lewis Ballard.  Mrs. Rebecca Ballard applied for admn on the estate of Lewis Ballard her husband, 25 July 1817.  Citation read at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Camden, 27 July 1817.  Bond: Rebecca Ballard, admx; Joseph Mickle, William Nix, William Trapp, Chapman Levy, securities, 2 Aug 1817.  Inventory total $12,034.7 1/2.  Royal Bullard, attorney to William Ballard who is entitled to one moyety of the estate of Lewis Ballard, 1 May 1818.

Apt. 4, package 120, William Ballard.  William Morris Ballard son of the late deceased applied for administration on the estate of William Ballard late of Orange County, North Carolina, 7 Feb 1824.  Bond: William M. Ballard and Thomas Jenkins of Orange County, North Carolina; R. Brooks Neal of Chester Dist., SC; Burwell Beckham of Lancaster District; Devereaux Ballard of Sumter District, 13 Sept 1824.

William Ballard and Elizabeth Morris had issue:

Mildred Amelia (“Milly”), who married 1783 in Warren County, North Carolina Benjamin Beckham, the brother of Philemon Beckham (who died 1822) who married Rebecca (Mickle?) Ballard.  Milly died 1826 Limestone County, Alabama [verify].

William Morris, On 2 February 1822, William M. Ballard of North Carolina sold to Charles J. Shannon for $2,500 lot No. 188 in Camden.  Wit: R. Andrews, Joseph Kershaw.  In 1820 and 1830 in Orange County, North Carolina, per census records.

Edmond, died Iredell County, North Carolina 1828; estate shows siblings William Morris, Etheldred, Wyatt and Elizabeth [verify]

Etheldred, enlisted in the 4th United States Regiment for five years on 17 December 1797 swore an oath of allegiance as a soldier in the Army of the United States of America.  He removed to Humphreys County, Tennessee, where on 16 December 1820 he executed a deed where he conveyed to Eli B. Hornbeak of Hickman County, Tennessee “One Negro Woman named Caty of the age thirty three years old or there about …” in consideration of the sum of three hundred dollars.  Recorded 23 March 1821, Hickman Co. Tn. Deed Book E, p. 273.  Secondary online sources state he was born in 1775 and married Nancy _________, and left issue.

Wyatt, died 1835 Limestone County, Alabama [verify].

Lewis, died 10 July 1817, age 54 at Kershaw County, South Carolina.  Historic Camden by Thomas J. Kirkland and Robert MacMillan Kennedy (1905) noted that he was a patriot in the Revolution and for 20 years a resident of Camden, and was a mercantile partner of C. J. Shannon in 1816.  He is interred in the Quaker Cemetery, Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina (Findagrave.com).

Elizabeth.

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