Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Ballard History

Please check back at this post (click HERE)  where I talked about my 8 Great Grandfather Thomas Ballard (1630-1689).  In that blog,  I mentioned that I had two more stories about Thomas Ballard to share.  I am finally getting back to these stories,  at least one of them..  The first story talks about his involvement with William and Mary College (in Williamsburg, VA).





The history of  The College of William and Mary can be traced back to a 1693 royal charter establishing  "a perpetual College of Divinity,  Philosophy,  Languages,  and the good arts and sciences"  in the British Colony of Virginia.  It was named for the reigning joint monarchs of Great Britain,  King William III and Queen Mary II.

William and Mary is the 2nd oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.  Do you know the oldest one???? It's Harvard.

Now--you might be wondering what this college had to do with my 8 Great Grandfather,  Thomas Ballard.  WELL----Thomas Ballard owned the land where William and Mary now stands.  AND---he sold part of this land to the college trustees.

Thomas Ballard was a wealthy man  (wish I had some of that wealth now!!! ha) and owned a large amount of land around the Middle Plantation area.   (Note:  Middle Plantation is now called Williamsburg.)  Thomas  Ballard purchased the land from the Honorable Thomas Ludwell,  Secretary of State from 1660-1678.   In 1693,  Ballard sold that land (330 acres) to the Trustees of the College.  Now--only about 30 acres remain as part of the college.  The remainder of the land was sold.





Since my 8 Great Grandfather died in 1689,  his son Thomas Ballard Jr. (1655-1711;  my 7 Great Grandfather Ballard) made that sale in 1693 for him.   When I visited Williamsburg,  we went into the Wren Building at William and Mary College. This building will opened for students in 1700.   It is nice to know that one of my ancestors had a part in establishing this beautiful college.

William and Mary educated future Presidents:  Thomas Jefferson,  James Monroe, and John Tyler.  The college also educated several Supreme Court Justices, as well as Henry Clay.

When the United States declared their independence in 1776,  the college of William and Mary severed formal ties to England.  However,  the college's connection to British history remains as a distinct point of pride.  Queen Elizabeth II has visited William and Mary twice.





The college closed for about 7 years after the Civil War, but reopened in 1888.   The college continued to grow,  even during the recession.  Today,  William and Mary has students from all 50 states and 43 foreign countries.  There are 5800 undergraduates and 1925 graduate students.   Twenty six percent are students of color.  Seventy nine percent of freshmen graduated in the top 10% of their class. The student/faculty ration is 12:1.

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Several years ago (1997),  utility workers discovered the foundation walls of an upper-class home buried on the College of William and Mary campus,  while they were digging a ditch for water pipes.  After finding that,  archaeologists explored that foundation and collected artifacts to help them determine the foundation's age.  It is known that only the wealthy could afford brick foundations.

They determined that the structure was there between 1634 and 1699.  After much research,  the archaeologists said that the house may have belonged to the wealthy and prominent Thomas Ballard,  who sold the land to the college's founders.

How 'bout that?????   I am not sure what they have done with that foundation since 1997,  but the next time I go to Williamsburg,  I want to see if I can find it.  It would be so neat to see something which may have belonged to my ancestor that long ago.  Can you see how interesting and exciting this genealogy research is????  I love it!!!!





If you ever get to Williamsburg,  be sure and visit William and Mary College.  My 8 Great Grandfather had a part in establishing this college.  Neat, huh?

Hugs,


All pictures/illustrations came from the internet.

Also,  just wanted everyone to know that the storm missed us on Tuesday night/Wed. morning.  The only thing which woke us up about 4:30 a.m. was a HUGE (I mean HUGE) clap of thunder...  We had some lightning and thunder and a little rain.  BUT--the worst went south (and north) of us.  We got lucky AGAIN.  Thanks be to God.

47 comments:

SquirrelQueen said...

William and Mary is a well know and highly regarded school even on this coast, I think it is very exciting that your ancestor played a part in its founding.

Genealogy is definite fun and exciting, if you ever miss me for a few days that's usually what I'm doing.

Glad to hear the bad weather missed you again.

Mildred said...

Good Morning Betsy, Very interesting post today. I have visited Williamsburg many times through the years and it is fascinating to hear about your family's involvement there. So happy you did not have the really bad storms. Enjoy your day.

diane b said...

Wow! That is an interesting story. You must have been thrilled to dig up this part of your family history, something I must start again after putting it away over 5 years ago.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Isn't it interesting how some our ancestors were very rich,but you and I din't fall into that line of wealth.Apprently my Great-great Grandfather was a vey rich amnion Russia,but,alas,I did not get to share in any of that.I guess I am rich,but not in money.I have so much to be thankful for,things money can't buy.

Kelly said...

...it's so cool you've been able to go back and learn about his life. (Really cool the excavated foundation and artifacts were probably his too!)

From the Kitchen said...

William and Mary was a college I considered. I was a young (15 1/2) high school grad and my parents didn't want me to go that far from home. It was only a little over 200 miles!! I've visited and now love knowing your connection. Williamsburg is one of my favorite places.

Glad you safely escaped the storms. They just seem to keep coming.

Best,
Bonnie

Janice K said...

Yes, I would say that is very neat! Are the artifacts in a museum or at the school someplace where you could see them? How exciting to make such a discovery.

Tabor said...

What a great family history. I love how Williamsburg is quaint and how it is laid out. I have been there many times and a few times to William & Mary. Next time I go it will have much greater meaning for me!

Sandra said...

so glad you only got one BOOM and not a whole bunch of them. we were talkig this morning that fire, wind and water has gone berserk world wide.

Tracy said...

That is really fascinating...I love stories such as yours and how would we know if history had not been recorded?
It made me think about my grandmother; she attended the college I did BGSU when it was a teacher school and so yes, she was a teacher in a one room school house and while I say I am the first in my family to attend college, I guess that really is not true.
I'll look into that and get back to you on it!
Have a blessed day!

Arkansas Patti said...

How neat. Just think some of those artifacts were probably handled by your ancestors. I would have to touch them.
So glad the storm missed you. Me too on the same storm. Little Rock got nailed, we got nothing.

Lana said...

Glad the storms missed you. We had a bit of structural damage to our tool shed, where we house all our seed and the Big toys. Nothing inside was damaged though, WHEW!

Love this bit of history! Tim Mc Graw move over ;-) I would love to go back to Williamsburg, and when we do, I will be sure to visit the Wren building if possible.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I did not know about this college. This info is neat, nice to have a heritage like this!

reanaclaire said...

hey Betsy, u really take the trouble to search back the history.. good work here!

Linda said...

That is so interesting that your ancestor's home may have been the site of an archeological dig. It would be fun to visit the site yourself, and maybe some of the items uncovered are on display in the college somewhere.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Very interesting story, Betsy. How cool is that to have an ancestor involved in the making of William @ Mary! Have a good day.

The Incredible Woody said...

Very, Very cool!!

Darla said...

All of this research must take hours and hours....it is paying off, I can feel the excitement in your words. Glad you were surrounded by Angels during that storm.

Daisy said...

How fascinating, Betsy! You have learned a lot about your family history. Glad the storms missed you!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: You had some interesting history of the college.
I really like your header, it is so colorful.

Diane said...

That's really interesting information on your family. The artifacts REALLY make for interesting history. Diane

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Great information on the William and Mary College and the connection with your ancestor. I agree that it is so fun to find out about your ancestors and their lives. The modern connection with those long-ago people is amazing. Have a great day!

Busy Bee Suz said...

That bit of your family history is so cool Betsy!!!!!
One day, I swear, I am going to visit Williamsburg. Promise.

Happyone : ) said...

That is fascinating to find out all that history and that your ancestors had a part of it. That is so cool.
Maybe they will give you a piece of that pottery since it is part of your family. : ) If only they would!!!

Rose said...

Wow, Betsy...this is all so very interesting...wouldn't you love to have just one of the artifacts found there that belonged to your ancestor?

nanny said...

Very interesting history....

We had one of those HUGE claps of thunder this morning, early! Trixie came running in the bedroom and jumped in bed with me....thought she never would stop shaking!

Ginny said...

We are all so blessed to have been missed by the storms! Wow, what a story! What have they done with the foundation, have they uncovered it or what? William and Mary is quite well known around here.

imac said...

Interesting to be able to go back this far Betsy, a lot of hard work - I bet.

Lady Di Tn said...

I have a real fondness for history and love the connection and read both stories today. Thanks for sharing this genealogy with us. We lost another big oak but no lines were in its way. Peace

Ann said...

Oh that is very neat. How cool that you are able to go back that far in your family tree. I was never able to go back any further than my great grandparents.
Glad to hear the worst of that storm missed you

Theanne and Baron said...

Genealogy is exciting...every little piece to the puzzle is a prize to delight in. What a grand thing to discover that your 8 great grandfather was part of the creation of William and Mary College and that his home might have been discovered.

This is a possible "meeting point only" between the Ballards and the Randolphs...as William Randolph (my 7 great grandfather, originally of England) was a founding trustee of William and Mary College.

So happy the storms missed you and that you are safe!

Glenda said...

Betsy, I can tell you spend many hours researching your family history. It must have been exciting when you learned that your family had a hand in establishing the college. One day I hope to go to Williamsburg; we've only driven through a small part of it.

Have a blessed, joyful Easter! And please send some showers this way!

LV said...

What an interesting history lesson. That is great you have so much information on it. My sister in Hernando, MS has been going through this stormy weather like you. They have barely been missed so many times. Her husband says she just about moved into the closet.

Cicero Sings said...

Yes, an interesting lesson in history. How neat about the dig turning up those artifacts. I'll bet you'll be tootling that way soon to check this out.

Glad the storm missed you.

Retired English Teacher said...

That is a very interesting story. I hope to visit this site someday.

Jen said...

Wow that's really digging deep into family history with all that detail. Amazing!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Wow he sold the land to the college, that is history! I love it! We are south of you but I am ok here, with the storms...

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hi Betsy,

I would love to learn more about researching my father's side of the family...there was abundant wealth there. I own a civil war trunk that belonged to a distant Uncle I believe..we searched and found the Calvary company he was part of and his name and photo were shown.

I really enjoyed the history of the William and Mary College..how cool that a grandfather of yours had a part of all of that.

We have had some wicked storms so far this season...the ones this week gave us high winds some thunder and lighting but little rain..it went north of us...but all of the snow we had this winter is really showing how it nourished the trees..they are leaving out at great speed and very full.

Just wanted to stop by to say hello...we celebrated our 5th anniversary this past Monday too.

Hugs and Love,
Stephanie ♥

Lynda said...

History is much more interesting when a friend tells you about it - - and when it relates to the friend. It gives it more personal interest.

JDS said...

I am a history buff and my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Williamsburg, so this post was fascinating for me. It is wonderful that you are able to trace your ancestry back that far, and it has to be a point of pride that your bloodline is linked to the founding of such a historical institution!

carolina nana said...

We visited William and Mary when #2 son was picking a college to attend. I thought it looked like a castle the way the buildings surround the court yard.
You should tell the staff there that you are a descendant of the man who gave the land for the school maybe they would offer you one of the old artifacts they dug up. wouldn't that be neat !!
Have a blessed tomorrow
Marilyn

mudderbear said...

I would so love to come and see that collage. It must be wonderful. It is a thrill for you to find so much information on your Ballard line, and all those lovely pictures too. You are quite the genealogist.
I'm also happy that you are safe and sound. Those storms scare me, especially the thunder and lightening.

Have a beautiful Easter.

Fred Alton said...

Yes, I can see how exciting this genealogy thing is to you! I plan to do more of my own family history when I get older and can no longer turkey hunt! (Smile)

Valerie said...

Betsy - so glad to be able to catch up (again) even though I have been on spring break - I have been so bogged down with other things. One being my own genealogy research!

I am so excited for you - finding out these amazing stories. For me - that is what makes the research so much fun. Actually finding out more than just their name and dates. Have you discovered what they have done with the artifacts - that would be so very neat to see.

I took a trip to the central library downtown to do some more research this past week - found that my 2nd great grandfather died when he was about 35. I have it narrowed down to between 1871 and 1872 - now I have to get closer to a month so I can search the old newspapers to see if there is more info.

Genealogy is so addicting and yet so interesting too.

Valerie said...

Betsy - so glad to be able to catch up (again) even though I have been on spring break - I have been so bogged down with other things. One being my own genealogy research!

I am so excited for you - finding out these amazing stories. For me - that is what makes the research so much fun. Actually finding out more than just their name and dates. Have you discovered what they have done with the artifacts - that would be so very neat to see.

I took a trip to the central library downtown to do some more research this past week - found that my 2nd great grandfather died when he was about 35. I have it narrowed down to between 1871 and 1872 - now I have to get closer to a month so I can search the old newspapers to see if there is more info.

Genealogy is so addicting and yet so interesting too.

KathyA said...

William and Mary is an exceptional school and how special it is that you have such a wonderful connection!!

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