This blog is the result of 25 years of research. For the first 20 or so years this information moldered in file folders, tucked away in boxes, but we reasoned that it is only useful if people can see it, so we began publishing on this platform in 2011. At its inception we called this site Ballard of Virginia & Kentucky, but changed the name to Ballard of Virginia to reflect what it has become: the story of the families sharing the Ballard surname that settled in Virginia beginning in the mid-seventeenth century. Certainly their progeny have gone on to other places: Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana and beyond, but the basic truth is that they all first set foot on these shores in Virginia.
In order to understand how these Ballard families are related, it has been necessary to study all of them. The journey began with my own line and that of Thomas Ballard of James City County, Virginia (1630-1689). Many researchers seek to connect to him, his being a distinguished and storied line; we are certainly no exception, but with the advent of “genetic genealogy,” we are now able to correct a lot of long-held (and often erroneous) family histories.
The Romantic genealogies from the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century are the foundation of many of today’s family trees. Those works have value because they often contain information that is unavailable elsewhere; for example, they may have had access to records, particularly bible records and that like, that have since been lost or destroyed. Others lack academic rigor, merely linking similar names without regard to space or time. The goal of many of the early works seem to be to find a connection, however tenuous, to the landed gentry or even Royalty. Pick up any old genealogy and inevitably the first plate is an image of the “family arms.” The author of a work that appropriates a family’s arms in this manner is irresponsible, and the work immediately suspect, because usually there is no familial connection at all.
Surname-focused DNA tests allow genealogists to verify their father’s father’s . . . father’s paternal ancestry, and it can be very powerful when combined with traditional paper trails. The information is useful only when combined with a well-researched family history.
As outlined on the projects’ website, the Ballard DNA Surname Project was started to:
- Help researchers from common or related families work together to find their shared heritage.
- Identify how the participant’s families are connected, both genetically and through paper trails.
- Identify and confirm genetic Lineages of ancestral families.
- Ultimately catalog pedigrees and genetic connections of all of the known project families.
Patterns have emerged in the Ballard DNA Surname Project. The families participating in the project are grouped based on their Haplogroups, which are further refined by comparing the “short tandem repeat” (STR) markers. Participants are placed in Lineage groups based on these similarities. The more markers that are tested, the greater the reduction in the range of generations back to a common ancestor. The individuals in each Lineage group are closely related in a “genealogical time frame,” which is defined as the most recent one to fifteen generations.
To help understand what that means, Family Tree DNA has created charts that explains how to understand genetic distance depending on the level of testing chosen. The 111-Marker level is presently the highest available. The next level down, with 67-Markers, is also very informative. There are corresponding charts for each Marker level; visit Family Tree DNA for additional information. For genealogical purposes, each Lineage Group, while sharing a surname, do not share the same genetic information and therefore, within a genealogical time frame, are separate families. There may be a common ancestor, but it is likely one who lived prior to the adoption of surnames in Western Europe — in that context, we are talking about a very long time.
According to David Boyett, Administrator of the Ballard DNA Project, as of January 2015,
The Ballard Project continues to grow with over 130 members and 15 different unrelated DNA lines. Of the 15 groups, 6 share a distant (back thousands of years) common ancestor in the Haplogroup R1b. R1b is the most common group for all surnames from England, Ireland and Scotland (British Isles). The other group is Haplogroup I2a. Each group has taken additional testing to confirm deep history back to Anglo, Saxon, Viking and other early tribes. We also have some families with a rare Haplogroup F that goes back from the Virginia Colony to England and France.
Take a moment to study this chart. Each participant submitted a short genealogy chronicling their male line as best they knew. You will see from the chart that individuals in both Lineage Group I (one person, No. 157224) and Lineage Group III (two people, Nos. 275010 and 115902) claim descent from Thomas Ballard of James City County. From what we know of y-DNA testing, this is not possible; it could be one or the other, but definitely not both. Or neither. All of the genealogies that assert a connection claim descent from William Ballard and Philadelphia ________, who this researcher, based on the evidence presented in this site, does not believe that this William is the son of Thomas Ballard; rather, the records show (and sadly, there are very few) that William Ballard, son of Thomas of James City County, lived and died in that part of Charles City County that was once part of James City County. One additional person in Lineage Group III includes William and Philadelphia as ancestors (No. 157027), but does not claim Thomas.
This compiler has been placed in Lineage Group I, and that family has been the focus of this research. Those placed in Lineage Group I descend from a Ballard family that settled in Virginia in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century in the area that eventually became Caroline County in 1727. Ancestry prior to 1700 is unclear.
Lineage Group II, which is also studied here, is unique for having documentation in the form of a ship’s passenger list from 1659 proving a point of origin, and good evidence of a place of residence in Virginia. Unfortunately they settled in Nansemond County (now the independent city of Suffolk), but the country records have burned on three occasions and sorting out the families there is quite challenging. This is complicated by a major boundary adjustment that took place in 1729, when the North Carolina line was moved north approximately 50 miles, and families thought to have “moved” to North Carolina did no such thing; North Carolina came to them. Fortunately the records in many of those northeast North Carolina counties have not suffered the fate Nasemond endured, and the families can be traced there in later generations. The remaining Lineage Groups, to date, either show origins in other places, such as England and New England, or states as diverse as Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, or lack the critical mass needed to definitively place a point of origin and identify a “patriarch.” This will change as more men join the project.
Lineage Group I or one of the other Lineage Groups may very well descend from that Thomas Ballard, but to date, no male that has documented descent from him has been tested, or that connection has not been made, either for the loss of records or a failure to complete a comprehensive research project. We need confirmation. In order to truly sort out these early relationships, there would need to be participants who trace their descent from proven descendants of:
This information would help prove whether or not Bland Ballard of Spotsylvania County and his brothers do descend from the “the Founder,” Thomas Ballard of James City County, Virginia, and perhaps shed light on the relationship with the Maryland branches. Testing would also provide evidence that our unproven assertion that the the Ballards of Mecklenburg County descend from Thomas of James City County and the Ballards of Charles City County.
Many researchers are increasingly relying on what they find on the Internet, while there are numerous repositories with documents yet to be studied and published. The cruel irony of genetic genealogy is that usually those being tested are those with the least amount of knowledge about their families.
Our confidence in the pedigrees appearing in the Ballard DNA Project would be greater if we were provided with sources and justifications, along with the assumptions. We have tried on this website to outline our assumptions, though at times some groups are, at best, an educated guess based on our knowledge of the history of the region and settlement patterns. We hope that the reader takes “probably” or “likely” to mean just that, and not assume that sentences containing these phrases constitute “proof.” As a rule, we will only include information that is derived from primary sources, meaning those records that were created contemporaneously with the event documented. Many online genealogies, for example, will cite as “proof” a listing from some other compiler’s online family tree, or a book of dubious scholarship, such as William Ballard Derby’s Ballard-Ballord Bits (1978). Certainly secondary sources (those created by others using primary and secondary sources) have been consulted, but unless proof in the form of citation to documentation is included, that information will be removed as these pages are revised and updated. In some cases pages included herein are “place holders” while research continues, and some family trees borrowed from others to use as templates while we work out the details. In the course of refining and editing we may have erred by retaining such information, and will remove it when it is discovered.
In the work at hand, naming patterns and allied families do provide clues, and present persuasive evidence when analyzed in conjunction with surviving records. But definitive proof of the ancestors of Bland Ballard, Sr of Spotsylvania County, Thomas and John Ballard of Albemarle Counties, Richard Ballard of Caroline and Bedford Counties, and William Ballard of Caroline County, Virginia and Rowan County, North Carolina — the “patriarchs” of Lineage Group I of the Ballard DNA Project — still eludes us. So for now, we content ourselves by identifying their father as an unnamed “Progenitor.” The results of additional y-DNA tests, coupled with those individuals family histories, may provide that proof. One of these days we may even bridge the Atlantic and connect to the Ballard families in the United Kingdom.
Thank you for visiting, and feel free to post questions, comments, and most of all, share information you may have that no one else does. If you’ve found your way here, no doubt your Ballard heritage interests you — so if you are a male descendant, please join us and participate in the Ballard DNA Project. Family Tree DNA offers occasional discounts; contact David Boyett for details.
– Stephen M. Ballard
Below are the brief genealogies provided by each participant in Lineage Group I of the Ballard DNA Project. If known, there are links to the appropriate page within this site. Visit these pages to see the participant genealogies for Lineage Group II and for Lineage Group III. To see the genealogies of all the participants, please visit the Ballard DNA Surname Project.
Ysearch ID: KQ276 N40008
1. Thomas Ballard b. 1717
2. Bland Ballard b. 1735
3. Garland Ballard b. 1786
4. Warner Ballard b. 1816
5. Robert Louis Ballard b. 1851
6. William Mac Ballard b. 1893
7. Bill Ballard b. 1925
Ysearch ID: UGUTY
1. George Washington Ballard b. Nov 1830 VA d. 7 Jun 1900 Pike Co AR
m. Sarah Boswell b. abt 1852 Tate Co MS, d. 21 Sep 1915 Pike Co AR
2. George Washington Ballard Jr. b. 3 Aug 1879 VA, d. 20 Jun 1951 Pike
m. Jane Alvin Cocke b. 27 Sep 1879 Tate Co MS, d. 4 Feb 1919 Pike Co
George Washington Ballard b. Nov 1830 VA d. 7 Jun 1900 Pike Co AR
m. Sarah Boswell b. abt 1852 Tate Co MS, d. 21 Sep 1915 Pike Co AR
Ysearch ID: HPTWW
1. William Ballard b. 1813 d. 1863 TN
m. Rachel b. 1820 TN d. c 1880 TN
2. Thomas Maston Ballard b. 1839 TN
m. Emma Savannah Cochran b. 1852 NC, d, aft. 1900
3. Grover Cleveland Ballard b. 21 Jun 1883 TN d 1965 AL
m. Minnie Violt Ford b. 1895 TN d. 11 Mar 1978 GA
Ysearch ID: HPTWW
1. William Henry Ballard 1813
Ysearch ID: 87674
1. John Ballard b. c 1755
m. Elizabeth James
2. Joseph Ballard b. 9 Nov 1784
m. Sallie Arwood
3. David Ballard b. 25 Apr 1823
m. Nancy Vian Harwood
4. John Henry Ballard b. 23 Oct 1844
m. Mary Jane Reeves
Ronald Jack Adams (adopted), birth name:
Kenneth James Ballard b. Set 12 1931 Rush Co IN, probably Anderson or Muncie
d. Feb 2 1986 Redlands, CA
William Ballard, b. ? in Virginia, d. abt. 1845 in IN, m. Elizabeth ?, b. 1805-06 in Virginia, d. ?[material gathered from 1840/1850 Federal Census for IN]
l. Fletcher Ballard, b. 1831 in Tenn., d. abt. 1860 in IN,
m. Vashti Baylor b. 1831, m. 9 Dec 1852, Crawford Co. IN
2. Jacob Clarence Ballard, b.18 Nov 1853, Corydon, IN. d. 2 Oct 1889 in Oaktown, IN,
m. Sarah Elizabeth Robinson b. 18 Jan 1856, at Knox Co. IN m. 27 Nov 1872 Knox Co
3. John Henry Ballard, b. 8 Aug 1875, Sullivan Co. IN. d. 11 Jun 1942 Sullivan Co.
m. Flora Alice Cox b. 7 Nov 1881 at Plainfield, IN, m. 30 Mar 1897
4. Ray Eveleth Ballard, b. 29 Sep 1917, Dugger, IN, d. 21 Apr 1994 Melbourne, Fl.
m. Violet May Richards b. 13 Mar 1919, Ironwood, MI m. 16 Dec 1944
1. Thomas Ballard b abt 1620-1630 England????? d 24 Mar 1688-89 Middle Plantation, York co, Va
m Ann Thomas b bef 21 Mar, 1637-38 England, d 26 Sep 1678
2. Thomas Ballard b abt 1654, Middle Plantation, York co, Va d bet 1706-1711 Middle Plantation, York co, Va
3. William Ballard b abt 1687 James City co, Va d 2 Oct 1754 King & Queen co, Va
m Philadelphia Ludwell ( Lee??) b 1682 Essex co, Va, d aft 1754
4. Bland Ballard b abt 1700 Essex co, Va d 3 Jan 1792 Spotsylvania co, Va
m Mary Deering b 1710, Orange co, Va d aft 1753
5. John Ballard b 1734 Spotsylvania co, Va d Jul 1823 Madison Co, Ky
m Mary Ann Proctor b abt 1734 Spotsylvania co, Va
6. William Proctor Ballard b 2 Dec 1755 Spotsylvania co, Va d 1818 Bardstown, Ky
m (2) Mary Ann Woodard b 1784 in Maryland
7. William Proctor Ballard, Jr b 7 Feb 1809 Nelson County, Ky d 3 Nov 1899, Marion co, Ky.
m (2) Mary Jane Wheeler b abt 1810
8. George Hilary Ballard b 1 Sep 1846, Marion County, Ky d 28 Oct 1911
m Mary Emma Haydon b abt 1851 in Ky, d 26 Oct 1909
9. Evaristus Ballard b 16 Oct 1888 St Raphael Parrish, West Louisville, Daviess county, Ky d 27 Jan 1978
m Birdie Wayne Leigh b 1 Sep1894 Hebbardsville, Henderson County, Ky
10. Edmund Evaristus Ballard b 13 Feb 1914 Owensboro, Ky d 28 Nov 1995
m Mary Martine Howard b 14 Feb 1918 d 21 Jul 2007
1. Samuel Ballard b. 1810 Cherokee, TN d. 16 Mar 1863 Red Clay, TN
m. Susie Wolf NI-GU-DA-YI b. 1806 Cherokee, TN d. 1832 Indian City, Payne, OK
2. Alexander Ballard 1824-1864 Cookson, OK
m. Lucy Swimmer 1828-1945 Cookson, OK
3. Thomas Ballard b. 1845 d. 12 Mar 1886 OK
m. Caroline Eliza Romine b. 16 dec 1848 d 1902 OK
4. William Ballard 1874-1942 Indian Territory (IT) OK
m. Sallie Rattlinggourd b. 1879 IT OK d. 5 Jan 1956 Tulsa, OK
5. David Ute Ballard b. 17 Feb 1911 d. 15 Feb 1999 Tulsa, OK
m. Ruby Esther Fisher b. 31 Oct 1911 Peel, AR d. 26 Mar 1993 Tulsa, OK
6. Donald Le Roy Ballard b. 15 Feb 1933 d. 29 Feb 2002 Tulsa, OK
m. Sandra Irene Bell b. 8 May 1937
1. Bland Ballard b. 1759 Spotsylvania Co. VA d. 1853 Shelby Co. KY
Consort: Flora Unknown
2. Dowan Ballard b. c.1825 Ghent, KY d. 21 Jul 1909 Jackson, Madison Co. TN
m Matilda Bartlett b. 1835 d 7 Dec 1907 Jackson, Madison Co. TN m abt 1854
3. William Henry Ballard b. 31 Oct 1862 Franklin Co. KY d. 28 May 1954 Lexington, KY
m Elizabeth (Bessie) Hudson Brady b. 25 Jun 1870 Nashville, TN d. 19 Sept 1946 Lexington, Fayette Co. KY m 28 Dec 1892
4. Edward Hunter Ballard, Sr b. 2 Apr 1899 Lexington, Fayette Co. KY d. 26 Jun 1988 Los Angeles, CA
m Estelline Wilhite b. 19 Jun 1902 Birmingham, AL d. 13 Apr 1959 Los Angeles, CA m c. 1922
5. Edward Hunter Ballard, Jr. b. 2 Dec 1923 Lexington, Fayette Co, KY d. 5 Nov 2002 Las Vegas, NV
m 8 Jan 1945 New Orleans, LA
1. (Micajah Ballard?) b. c 1787 Bedford Co VA d. 1860 Campbell Co TN,
m Nancy Ryan
2. Silas Ballard b. c 1826 Campbell Co TN d c 1884 Union Co/Campbell Co? TN
m. Mary (Longmire?)
3. James Sherman Ballard b. 1867 Campbell Co TN d 1939 Campbell Co TN
m. Lockie Bridges
4. William McKinley Ballard b. 1898 Campbell Co TN d 1976 Campbell Co TN
m Rachel Capps
This William is probably William Jackson Ballard, son of John Ballard of Union County, South Carolina (1765-1838).
1. William Ballard b. abt 1797 South Carolina d. aft 1880 [Carroll Co., GA?]
m. Elizabeth b. abt 1800 SC
2. John Ballard b. abt 1830 [Anderson Co.?] SC d. aft 1880 [Dongola Co., IL?]
m. Sarah Mills b. Jan 1832 TN d. aft. 1900 [Stokes Precinct, Union Co., IL?]
3. Thomas Ballard b. Oct 1852 TN d. ca. 1920 (Sikeston Ward, Scott Co.?) MO
m. Mary Elizabeth Darnell b. Oct 1858 Sulphur Springs, Williamson Co., IL d. d. aft 1910 (Sikeston Ward, Scott Co.?) MO m. 1896
4. Elmer Otto Ballard b. 5 Jun 1895 Wayne Twp., Bollinger Co., MO d. 1 Mar 1969 Lilbourn, New Madrid Co., MO
m. Delia Belle Lawrence b. 2 May 1908 Catron, New Madrid Co., MO d. 7 Jan 1980 Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Co., MI
5. Harvey Eugene Ballard b. 13 Dec 1935 Catron, New Madrid Co., MO
m. Marilyn Imogene Hambright b. 4 May 1939 Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Co., MI m. 29 Sep 1955? Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Co., MI
1. John Ballard b. 1755 m. Elizabeth James
2. Joseph Ballard b. 9 Nov 1794 d. Nov 1884 m. Sallie Elizabeth Arwood (Arrowood) 1815 Reems Cr. Valley, Buncombe County N.C. b. 1796 d. 1850.
3. David Ballard b. 25 Apr 1823 d. 2 Dec 1905 m. Nancy Vian Harwood b. 16 Mar 1825 d. 15 Dec 1909.
4. John Henry Ballard b. 23 Oct 1844 d. 8 Jul 1934 m. Mattie Honeycutt 23 Sep 1866 b. 25 Nov 1847 d. 5 Oct 1890, m. Mary Jane Reeves b. 1867 d. 1944.
5. Roscoe Ballard, from John Henry’s Ballard’s 2nd marriage to Mary Jane Reeves, b. 1896 d. 1977 m. Maria A. Pyde.
6. Roscoe Blaine Ballard Jr. b. 1931 m. Rita Munford
William Ballard b. Unknown d. Unknown
Samuel Ballard b. Abt. 1780 Old Cherokee Nation East d.16 Mar 1863 in Red Clay, TN
m.Diana Otterlifter b. 1802 d. 1838
John Ballard b. 1827 in Cherokee, Georgia, USA d. 1865
m. Sarah Arthur b. 16 Jun 1830 in Cherokee Nation East, Habersham, Georgia, USA d. 5 Feb 1917 in Maysville, Washington, Arkansas, USA
Henry Clay Ballard b. 13 Nov 1860 in Prairie, Canadian, Oklahoma, USA d. 12 Feb 1952 in Vinita, Craig, Oklahoma, USA
m. Nancy Almira “Alma” Parks b. 20 May 1865 in Delaware, Cherokee, Oklahoma, USA d. 13 Oct 1957 in Vinita, Craig, Oklahoma, USA
Thomas Henry “Tom” Ballard b. 15 Oct 1900 in Oklahoma, USA d. 6 July 1983 in Grove, USA
m. Vinita Perry b. 17 August 1905 in Oklahoma, USA d. 29 May 1997 in Grove, OK
“In the list below, we can’t prove to everyone’s satisfaction that John Ballard is the father of Joseph Ballard, but very much believe this so.”
Thomas Ballard 1717 – 1781
m1. Susannah Hesson
Thomas died in Albemarle County, VA, where his Will, dated June 30, 1779 names his daughter-in-law Mourning but not her husband, his son, John. This implies that John Ballard predeceased his father. Records in Buncombe County, NC give more information.
John Ballard ca 1740 – ca 1779
m. Mourning (Miller ???) died in Kershaw County, SC about 1827. (from her estate file)
John Ballard ca 1765 – ca 1841
m. Elizabeth James
John Ballard and Samuel Ballard, brothers, are both named on the 1800 Census of Buncombe County, NC, where deed book 3, page 198 and Probate of Deed minutes for January 1800 name the Will of their father John, and their mother Mourning. They are selling their inheritience to Robert Patton. Exactly what was sold remains a mystery. John Ballard bought land in nearby Burke County, NC in 1795, bought land in Buncombe County in 1798, lived in Sevierville TN 1808 – 1818, lived in Roane County, TN 1828-1839, before moving to Cooper County, MO by 1840, which is believed to be the last place they lived.
Joseph Ballard 9 Nov 1794 – Nov 1884. Is buried in Buncombe County near Weaverville.
m1. Sallie Arwood
m2. Elizabeth Penland.
David Ballard 1822 – 1905
Joseph Newton Ballard
William Dennis Ballard
Burley Ballard 1907-1957
Bland Ballard, b. VA d.1791 Spotsylvania Co., VA
William Proctor Ballard, Bardstown, KY b. 1755 d. 1818 m. Elizabeth Hammett
James Ballard b. 1785 Nelson, KY d. 1846 Nelson, KY m. Jane Thompson
George Lloyd Ballard b. 1814 Nelson, KY d. 1 Jan 1889 Marion, KY
James Marion Ballard b. 4/16/1835 Marion Co, KY
Joseph Wilfred Ballard b. 6/24/1870 Louisville, KY
James Meteles Ballard b. 7/20/1900 Louisville, KY