Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My 8Great Grandfather Ballard

For the past few weeks,  I have reading all of the info I can find on my 8Great Grandfather THOMAS BALLARD  (1630-1689).   It seems that nobody knows for sure whether Thomas was born in England or in Virginia.  Since he was an educated man,  some researchers say that he was born and educated in England --and then came to America.  But---we don't know that for sure. We do know the following about Thomas Ballard:

  1. - He was a man of wealth.  He more than likely was born into an upper class home in England.
  2. -He was called the 'founder' of the Virginia Ballards.
  3. -He was known as the Honorable Thomas Ballard.
  4. -He was also known as Col Ballard.
  5. -In 1650,  he married Anne Sara Thomas in York County, VA
  6. -Thomas and Anne had 8 children:  Thomas (1655-1711);  John (abt 1659-bef 1694);  Lydia (born 1660);  Martha Margaret (born 1661);  William (1663-1749);  Francis (bef 1665-1718);  Elizabeth (1665-1705);  Matthew (1667-abt 1720)
  7. -Thomas Ballard was a tobacco farmer and merchant and he owned alot of LAND.
  8. -From 1652-1663,  Thomas was Clerk of Court of York County, VA
  9. -In 1666,  he was Burgess of James City County.
  10. -In 1668,  he moved to James City County (which is now Williamsburg, VA)
  11. -In 1669,  he become Lt. Col of the Militia in James City County.
  12. -In 1680,  he became Col. of the Militia.
  13. -In 1689,  he became a Vestryman at Bruton Parish Church.  He was also a Vestryman from 1674-83.
  14. -From 1675-77,  he sat on the regional Royal Governor's Council--where he was one of 12 councilors advising the governor.  In order to be on this council,  one had to be one of the top men in the colonies,  one of the richest people,  and one of the best-connected people.  These 12 men were recommended to the post by colleagues, and received their commissions from the King of England.  In this office, Thomas was both a Naval officer and a collector of customs.
  15. -He was later re-elected to the House of Burgesses and became Speaker of the House from 1680-1684.
  16. -Thomas' wife died in 1678,  so he remarried Alice Hilliard,  who outlived him.
  17. -Thomas Ballard died in 1689,  and is buried in the Bruton Parish Cemetery.


I have TWO interesting stories to tell you about Thomas Ballard, but they will wait for another upcoming blog post.  Today,  I will share a few pictures of Thomas Ballard's church,  Bruton Parish.   IF you have ever visited Colonial Williamsburg,  you surely have seen and probably visited Bruton Parish Episcopal Church.   I'll share with you some pictures of this gorgeous church..  Above is a picture of Bruton Parish as it looks today.  Below are more.





Here is Bruton Parish from another angle.  You can see the cemetery.  My 8 Great Grandfather is buried in this cemetery.





And here is an old postcard showing Bruton Parish Church.





A bronze tablet can be found on the interior of Bruton Parish.  You can see Thomas Ballard's name on it. This committee helped erect the first brick church on that foundation.





Thomas Ballard also had his name inscribed on one of the pews...  Thomas was in good company since there were other names listed on some of the pews in the church,  namely Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.





This is a picture showing some of the names inscribed on one of the pews.  The pews with doors were/are typical of unheated 18th century English churches.  Thomas' name is the top one,  but it is hard to read in this picture.   It says:  "Thomas Ballard - Vestryman 1674-83".

Pretty special man,  don't you think?????  AND to think that he was one of my Grandfathers... WOW!!!!!   George and I visited Williamsburg in 2007--but that was before I knew all of this information about Thomas Ballard.  Now---I'm ready to go back and see it all for myself.

Like I said,  there are two more very interesting stories about this man... I will share them at a later time..

Hope you have a wonderful day --and don't forget to talk to your older loved ones and get all of the information you can before they are gone and can't share it with you.   I waited too long --and am now doing this from notes and on my own.

Hugs,
ALL pictures in today's post came from the internet.

57 comments:

diane b said...

You have been digging up some remarkable stories of your ancestors. He sure is an impressive Grandfather.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Hey,I am the first one to leave a comment.Do I get a prize for that? lOL
Love the new blog look,it says spring.Sounds to me like you are having a blst finding out all about your history.Way to go.
Blessings,Ruth

Pam said...

How interesting!

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, you are good. You put that TV show to shame. What wonderful facts you have discovered and what a fascinating man.
Waiting for more.
PS love your header.

Kelly said...

...really interesting, Betsy! I love Williamsburg, and hte church is gorgeous! Next time I go, I'll pay close attention to your Grandfather's plaques. How cool that you were able to take your line back this far!

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Amazing!!! Finding info like this is such an exciting part of your life!!!
Enjoy the sunshine today!!!

Big Dude said...

Pretty impressive resume he had. You seem to be really enjoying your hunt into the past. You header shot is beautiful - I need to change mine.

Harriet said...

Looking forward to the next two stories on your 8 Great Grandfather.

From the Kitchen said...

I recognized Bruton Parish the minute I saw your first photo. What a nostalgia trip for me. We've been many times to Williamsburg and, on occasion, attended services at Bruton Parish. I may have been seated in your 8th grandfather's very pew. Ah, what a small world it can be.

Best,
Bonnie

Janice K said...

How exciting to learn of your families connections to early American history. I think it makes it all more real and personal.

Love your new Spring look too!

Karin said...

Love the look of spring on your blog! Can't come soon enough for me!
Beautiful church building photos! Interesting story about your dear ancestors!

Rose said...

First thing before I forget...I love the new look to your blog. I meant to tell you that yesterday and totally skipped it.

I think it is wonderful that you know so much about your family....I keep thinking about joining Ancestry.com....I think I would have a lot of fun with it.

tammy n said...

Betsy...your blog is always such a joy to read and look at. I love your spring colors!

I have some family members looking into our genealogy. It is so interesting to know these facts!

Sandra said...

the church looks almost the same now as way back then except for the added brick. since i read some of the dates dating back over 300 years I am wondering why USA does not have all the 300 year old buildings like Europe does.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

This stuff just fascinates me to no end. Even other people's families. How far back can you go from Thomas? I might have some more information for you. No..we're not related...but I have a search program that is a gold mine.

Out on the prairie said...

You are really getting into your research, this is fun. There is a site where they go through Williamsburg that couldbe fun for you.Lovely header, i need to go out and see what is peeking.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Very interesting information on 8GreatGrandfather. You have an illustrious ancestor.

Love your new header photo! Beautiful!

Sunny said...

That is a lot of research! It's so interesting to trace family history.
Your Crocus are amazing. It's going to be quite a while before anything pops through the earth around here!
☼ Sunny

Linda said...

Very interesting, Betsy. These searches take patience, but they can be rewarding, as you're finding out.

Kim, USA said...

Wow this is very interesting. Can you imagine your g-grandfather brushing elbows with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and we knew who are they. I even like to scream when I read these names. I only wonder what would be the conversation is all about after church, if they eat somewhere? Love this post!! Thanks for sharing!
ABC Wednesday-G

Regina said...

Interesting and impressive genealogy!
Thank you for sharing Betsy.

Have a great day.

Diane said...

I DID talk to my grandma and grandpa while they were still alive. I'm glad I did. Nice post Betsy. Diane

Shug said...

Love your new header and the colors are beautiful.
WOW...Betsie, I find this very interesting...How wonderful for you that you have been able to research so far back in your family. I was just telling my husband this past Sunday, how I want to research my moms family...Lots of Indian blood in that family! You have inspired me to get going with it...
Can't wait to hear your two stories..
Have a Wonderful Day.
shug

Shug said...

Love your new header and the colors are beautiful.
WOW...Betsie, I find this very interesting...How wonderful for you that you have been able to research so far back in your family. I was just telling my husband this past Sunday, how I want to research my moms family...Lots of Indian blood in that family! You have inspired me to get going with it...
Can't wait to hear your two stories..
Have a Wonderful Day.
shug

Loren said...

Oh Betsy! My Mom and I just returned from the funeral and where she was born. I told her about you and the search for your family tree and am going to give her the link to this post!
What an amazing man he was for sure! I have seen some churches like this in Boston but can't even imagine going in one knowing it was a part of my family heritage!! WOW WOW WOW :) SOOOO Awesome!

I can't wait to hear more about this amazing man!! Your research is fascinating!

imac said...

He had a short life poor man 59.
Great tale and enjoyable Betsy.

mudderbear said...

First...the lavender and crocus's are just awesome. It still suprises me because I expect the red.

It looks as if you are doing an amazing job on your Grandfather Ballard's history. You know almost everything and it is very impressive. I have a Great+grandmother Ballard but she didn't come to this country. Her grandaughter came over and walked across the plains with the Utah Pioneers. That your Grandfather associated with Jefferson and Washington is so exciting. I'm looking forward to reading more about him. What a good job you're doing!!!

mudderbear said...

P S I love the pictures of the church, etc. They are truly worth a thousand words.

Ginny said...

Even the last picture came from the web? I wondered how you could have taken it if you did not know any of this at the time. I have never in my life seen a pew with a door, neither has Phil. His first question is where are the hinges? How does it open, it is strangely made. Wow, thomas wore many, many hats!!! I LOVE your spring blog!!!!! The crocus, the wallpaper...and we both laughed out LOUD over the two sidebar cartoons, the first two are ME!!!

Velvet Over Steel said...

Wow, I am very impressed but not surprised that you came from such a great line of people/blood! :-) Very Interesting and so full of American history besides your family history.

I used to Love listening to my Great-Grandfathers stories about what Nebraska and Iowa used to be like when he was growing up in the late 1800's and the 82 years he lived in in the 1900's. He was 92 when we lost a Great man.

I look forward to reading your other 2 stories on your 8 Great Grandfather soon.

Have a Great day, Betsy!!
Hugs,
Coreen

Tracy said...

Whoa Betsy, quite impressive~ that is really cool reading about him. It makes sense you are fascinated with him.
I was fascinated with the tulips on your header and the new layout of your blog...very nice. You know purple is one of my favorite colors. It looks very springy~ something we all desperately need!

Thinking of you today!
Tar Heels play tonight :)
love and hugs...

Pat Tillett said...

First off, I Like your new look here and I LOVE your new header photo!

I've done a lot of work on my family tree, it is very rare to find this much information on someone from that time frame. What a great project! I think family history is very interesting! Thanks for posting this...

Tricia said...

Absolutely a special man!!! =)

Your blog is so pretty & spring-y, too! =)

Honest Abe Lincoln said...

I am and most are so worried and concerned about the present day and the future that we forget all about the past. And some of the events and people in our past are really important as to who we are. I hope you enjoy this trip even more than the last one.

LV said...

You have done a great research job. You shared some very interesting information about a distant relative. Like reading a history book and opened the doors to your memory bank.

eileeninmd said...

Betsy, what an interesting post on your ancestor. You have done a lot of research and found some awesome information.

The Incredible Woody said...

I can see a trip in your future!!

Cicero Sings said...

Too fun Betsy to find out all this info. D found some ancestor back in Salem ... on his Mother's side! His ancestors were long term new worlders while mine all came in the late 1800s.

Daisy said...

Betsy, it is so neat that you have been able to research and find all of this out. Very interesting! :)

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Wonderful post & fine research! I like your pictures of the church. Have an excellent day tomorrow and enjoy our warm sunny weather!

Andrea said...

Betsy, you seem really enjoying digging your family archives. But that is worth all the effort, looks like you have famous and wealthy forebears. I should be doing my share of that too. Lastly, i love your new header, very beautiful blooms!

Mildred said...

What a great and informative post Betsy. I have visited this church in Williamsburg several times. I know you are anxious to go back now that you have this info = it will be fabulous for you to have your photo made there at the church/cemetery. Congrats on your efforts to obtain all this info.

Marge said...

How wonderful!!! I've done some research into my own family, but nothing that far back. I love reading about it though and can almost see them going through their daily lives. I'm so glad you shared this and know your family will treasure this information for years to come.

Lana said...

That is so interesting! Williamsburg is a great place to nose around and find relatives. Keep digging; he probably knew Tim Mc Graw's 8th Grandpa! ;-)

The Retired One said...

How cool that you got back that far in your geneology! My hubby has gotten back to the 1700's on one side.
My grandma said she came from a Duke's line of royalty and we teased her...but who knows! haaha

Fred Alton said...

Well, you know the old saying, "The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree!" Meaning - you are one of those quality characters also. You were blessed to have found the records that show these things. I have an interest in finding out more about my Dad's genealogical descent...but like you waited too long to ask my Dad more questions about his folks. My grandpa B died when my dad was only 3 years of age...so never met him.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

My great-frandmother was did a lot of geneology work and I am blessed to have her papers. My grandfather, her son, had the presence of mind to sit and make a tape of stories that he remembered from the family history.

Deb said...

Very interesting posts. I love reading the old records of family and family history.

carolina nana said...

Don't it just make you mad that we wait until there is no one left to answer our questions before we get interested enough to ask them ??
You are fortunate to have found info back that far,good job.
Have a blessed tomorrow.
Marilyn

SquirrelQueen said...

How exciting to have this much information on an ancestor, especially one that far back. I'm looking forward to hearing your stories about Thomas.

All of my grandparents and older relatives are gone but I remember some of the stories they told when I was young. Those stories have helped so much in my research.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I recognized the church first thing. I wondered what does this church have to do with Betsy's genealogy. Very cool connection!

KathyA said...

How exciting for you!

Unfortunately, mine are long, long gone. :(

Valerie said...

Loving the genealogy! How exciting for you to have found this information out! I found that on my moms side my 4th great Grandfather had a town named after him in Canada (It started out as Williamsburgh - but there was already one on the St Lawrence so they changed it to Glen Williams).

I also got back far enough on one side - that I was able to just slide into someone elses hard work! Apparently there have been many others who have connected their roots to Bela Sage who lived in Plymouth in the 1600s.

Now my Fathers grandmother - I cant find ANYTHING on her. SO hard and frustrating. She has like 4 last names. I did find a sister - but even that doesn't help.

You are SOOOO right! Even if you aren't interested in your roots now - do it for your kids and for the future. We don't have anyone who remembers anything now - I am trying so hard to dig up cousins who might have something - but so far - no responses. Oh well.

Great Post Betsy!

Donna said...

Oh my word!!! I recognized the church immediately and also recognized the name! We went into the church yet again this last time to Colonial Williamsburg. You must go back now that you know that you are historically connected there in a BIG way!

Janie said...

Keep forgetting to say how lovely your crocus header is, Betsy.
Your ancestor sounds like an impressive man! I've been doing some geneology work and I find it fascinating. No famous people in my line so far, though.

Betsy Adams said...

NOTE to some cousin of mine named BOGGS --who sent me an email... Somehow I lost the email ---so please email me again... So sorry!!! I do want to talk to you --if I can catch up with you!
Betsy

nugeme said...

Hello Cousin - Thomas is also my 8th gr-grandfather. Thanks for the site, the pics, and the info.