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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.