Showing posts with label BALLARD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BALLARD. Show all posts

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Genealogy Trip for Me

When I told you that I was taking time off from blogging to work on my Family History,  I didn't tell a fib.... I was able to do some research on my Ballard side of the family while I was in Williamsburg and Yorktown.  Granted,  we did many many other things on that trip --but I did enjoy my Genealogy visits!!!!

Today I'll share some of those visits with you... The photo above is a picture of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.   My 8Great Grandfather was Thomas Ballard (1630-1689).   Thomas Ballard was a man of wealth --and had been VERY active in that church during its beginnings.

Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.   AND--if you missed my post on Wednesday telling about this wonderful trip,  click HERE.

Here is a photo  of the sign outside the church. There were historians available for us to talk to about the history of the church and area.  I had a wonderful conversation with a lady who knew quite a bit about the Ballard's.

One thing I learned is that some factions of the Ballard family pronounced the word,  Bal-LARD, with the emphasis on the LARD... I have always heard it said BAL-lard (with the emphasis on the BAL)....

I also found out that some old-time members of the Ballard family think that the Ballards came from France (French Huguenots).   Most of us think that the Ballards came from England.... Very interesting though---and so much more to study!

This inscription is on one of the pews in Bruton Parish Church.  As you can see,  Thomas Ballard was very involved with the church,  and was on the vestry from 1674-83.  (We had been to Williamsburg and to Bruton Parish in 2007--but at that time,  I didn't realize that I had a relative who had been so involved with that church.  This visit was so meaningful.)

Here's a happy woman ---at the pew which honors her 8Great Grandfather Ballard (on my mother's side of the family).  Besides being involved in the church,  Thomas Ballard was a very important man.  Some of the things I have learned about him are:
-He was called the 'founder' of the Virginia Ballards
-He was thought to have come from England, from a wealthy family
-He was known as the Honorable Thomas Ballard
-In 1650,  he married Anne Sara Thomas,  and they had 8 children
-He was a tobacco farmer and merchant and owned alot of land
-From 1652-1663,  he was the Clerk of Court of York County, VA
-In 1666,  he was Burgess of James City County
-In 1669,  he became Lt. Col of the Militia in James City County
-In 1680,  he became Col of the Militia
-From 1675-77,  he sat on the regional Royal Governor's Council
-He was re-elected to the House of Burgesses and became Speaker of the House from 1680-84.

Here  is another photo showing the pews in this church.  Each pew has its own door --and the doors can be closed.

Here is a photo of the church --looking toward the front and the altar.  The altar and communion rail are of black walnut.

The minister is WAY UP THERE.... These high pulpits were popular back then...  The church was renovated in 1939---which is when this pulpit was built.

George took this shot showing more of the church.  The special pews near the front were for very special people such as President Thomas Jefferson or President George Washington. 

This bronze lectern was given in 1907 by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt.  There is an American eagle on one side and the British lion on the other side.  The lectern was designed to hold the Bible given by King Edward VII.

Next,  we took a tour (with one of the church volunteers) of the cemetery surrounding the church.  It is written (in several accounts) that Thomas Ballard is buried at Bruton Parish --but I found out that his grave (along with many others during those early days) is unmarked.   SO---I was a little disappointed not to be able to see his grave/tombstone.

The cemetery is interesting to visit---but it is closed to the public (unless you get permission and have a church volunteer go with you--like we did). 

Next we went to Yorktown for some more Family History.  Thomas Ballard's grandson,  Capt. John Ballard, lived here.  And, as you can see from the photo above,  there is a street in Yorktown named Ballard Street.  It is one of the major roads in Yorktown, VA.

Captain John Ballard (1693-1745)  is my 6Great Grandfather.  He was a merchant in Yorktown and a captain in the militia.  He married Elizabeth (Bland/Wallace/Gibbons) and they had 7 children.   NOTE about Elizabeth's last name:  There are many different accounts --and nobody knows for sure which family she is from.  I'd like to think it's Bland --since there are so many Bland Ballards in our family. 

I was so happy to be here and experience this history.  The Ballard House was built between 1706 and 1709.

John and Elizabeth Ballard and their family lived on this property from 1727-1744, but the house remained in the Ballard family until 1761..   This is the Ballard House today.  They have preserved it --and it is in good shape.  The inside is very different today--but the outside is very similar.  In 1968,  the National Park Service acquired the property.

This is the sign outside of the Ballard House.  You will need to click on this in order to see it closer.  You can see what the kitchen probably looked like back in the 1700's. 

I bought 3 new books while on this trip.  One of them is about Colonial Yorktown (and shows photos and info about the Ballard House).  The other two are about Bruton Parish Episcopal Church.  It's great to read Thomas Ballard's name in the history of the church and the entire community.

For instance, in 1693 Thomas Ballard was responsible for providing the land for the formation of William and Mary College.  Then in 1997,  when the college was doing some utility work,  remains of a foundation were found.  Excavation was then done ---and remains of a home which may have belonged to Thomas Ballard were found.  I wanted to see that area while there,  but couldn't work it out this trip.  (It's an excuse to go back,  don't you think????? ha)

This is where it all started for me... These are my Grandparents on my mother's side of the family.  My grandmother was Ida Elizabeth Bruce (1874-1904) and my grandfather was  James Franklin BALLARD (1861-1936).

I am proud to be a BALLARD!!!

Hope you have a good weekend.  Hope we get some rain from that storm.. We NEED it here.


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.

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?


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.

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.

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

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's ALL about the NAME

As most of you know,  I have been working on Family History off and on for several years.  I have a program called Reunion 8 on my computer and believe it or not,  I have over 2200 names on this program… Many of these are not my direct line,  but may be brothers and sisters and their families…  You can imagine how many names I can come up with when I find a family of 10 or more kids --and then add in their families and their kids.  It just multiplies from there.

One family that I have done much research on is the BALLARD family.  My mother was a Ballard before marrying my Dad.  Her family has been fun and exciting to research,  and I have found a lot of information on that family.  I am especially interested in ODD names that run in families.   One such odd name in the Ballard family is the first name BLAND.  I have at least 12 BLAND BALLARD's on my program plus many more who used the word Bland as a middle name.  I have never heard of the name Bland used in many other families.

I have yet to find where that name originated --but thought that it was from my SIXTH Great Grandfather's wife.   Captain John Ballard of Yorktown, VA  (1693-1745)  was his name and he married a lady named Elizabeth BLAND (or so I thought).  BUT--after much more research,  we have found that she was not Elizabeth Bland --but was Elizabeth Gibbons.  SO--I still don't know where the name Bland began.

The earliest BLAND BALLARD I have is the son of a William Ballard (1682-1754) who was Capt. John Ballard's brother.  William and his wife Philadelphia Lee had a son named Bland  (1714-1792).  This Bland Ballard patented 230 acres in the fork of the Rappahannock River in Spotsylvania County, VA where he was living on June 2, 1747.  He married a lady named Mary Deering.  Bland had a total of 13 children --but I'm not sure all of them were the children of Mary Deering. Bland may have been married more than once.  However,  one of his children was named Bland……

The first Bland Ballard in my direct line was the son of Capt. John Ballard's son,  Thomas.  This Bland Ballard was named Bland William Ballard (1734-1782).   This Bland Ballard was my FOURTH Great Grandfather.  I'll have to blog about his life another time since it is quite interesting.  He had 15 children:  9 by his first wife and 6 by his 2nd wife…  Busy man, huh????? ha

Anyhow,  while researching another side of my family,  the CARR side,  I have come upon another odd first name,  DABNEY.   My Great Grandmother Bruce was a CARR---so I have started doing more research on that side of the family.   Her name was Martha Matilda Carr (1849-1918).   On the Carr side of that family,  I have found at least FIVE DABNEY CARR's SO FAR, plus more used as middle names.  AND --my research is just getting started. 

This one may be a little easier to solve,  but I thought I had the other one solved too… ha…  Anyhow,  this Dabney Carr  (1743-1773) had a grandmother named Mary Dabney (1688-1748).   I haven't done much research on this yet --but if  Mary was a Dabney,  then maybe that's where the name started…Mary Dabney's father was Cornelius Dabney.  I will continue to check this out. 

I'm sure I have bored you to death with all of this Genealogy… BUT--it's a true passion of mine,  and I enjoy all of the research and detail-work which it takes.  NAMES really are important when doing Genealogy... My middle name is BRUCE, named after my mother's mother's side of our family.  I used to hate that name because it was a boys name.  BUT--now I love it and am proud to have it.  One of my sons is named Jeffery BRUCE.

After all of these words in today's post,  I will close with something cute for you.  Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend of Genealogy for ME

This past weekend was the first weekend (since my knee problems began the first of May which ultimately led to surgery) that I have truly felt like myself. It's been a long, long almost 3 months for me. My knee is FINE ---but all of the other problems I encountered, due to the medications, really made it a rough time for me... ANYHOW--I felt so good that I spent almost the entire weekend working on the BALLARD Family History side of my family.

What prompted this was an email from ANOTHER new distant cousin of mine (whom I had never met). Adriel wrote me --after reading some of my Ballard posts online.. I began to do research to see where our connection was---and I found it... Our lines crossed at Col. Thomas Ballard and Katherine Hubbard. Thomas is my 7th Great Grandfather and Adriel's 9th. (She's ALOT younger than I am... ha)... Thomas and Katherine had 10 children. Their son John is my direct line relative and their son William is Adriel's direct line relative.

Adriel and I can trace our Ballard's all the way back to FULCO BALLARD (born sometime between 1250 and 1325 in England). Fulco is my 16th Great Grandfather... Is that not just amazing??????

Unfortunately, I have very few pictures --and only from my Grandfather Ballard's family. I have posted some of these before --but since I'm meeting more and more Ballard cousins, I decided to post them again.

Above is my Grandfather Ballard's family home in Bristol, Virginia. It originally belonged to my Great Grandfather, William Alexander Ballard (1831-1903). William was married to my Great Grandmother, Adeline Frances Doss in 1857. They had 3 children--one being my grandfather... Great Grandfather Ballard remarried Martha Susan Martin (1848-1919) and they had 7 children. I only remember my 4 Great Aunts (pictured at the bottom).

I really want to get back there and see if that home is still there. I know that there are no Ballards (that I know) left in that area, but I do remember that big home --and loved visiting my Great Aunts when I was a little girl. What I remember most about that old home is the smell and a ticking clock in almost every room... The house felt like being in a museum --and had that musty-like smell. (Funny what we remember, isn't it???) Below are more pictures!

This is a picture of my Grandmother and Grandfather Ballard (my mother's parents). My Grandmother was named Ida Elizabeth Bruce (1874-1904) and my Grandfather was named James Franklin Ballard (1861-1936). Both were dead before I was born. My Grandmother died when my mother was only about 4 yrs old. Mother was raised mostly by the Bruce Family in Big Stone Gap, VA (my hometown) --but she did spend time with her father (who remarried) and his sisters, my Great Aunts.

This is a picture of my mother and her father. This picture of Mom (Edith Marguerite Ballard Banks) was taken in the Roaring 20's!!!! Look at her hair!!!! Her Daddy died when she was 36 yrs. old.

These are my Grandfather Ballard's four sisters. I remember ALL of them--and enjoyed visiting them when we would go to Bristol. From left to right: Aunt Nanny (who was married to Fred Pate; had no children); Aunt Eunice (never married); Aunt Aileen (married to Jeter Cross; no children); and Aunt Lura (never married).

I remember that Aunt Nanny and Uncle Fred lived on the 2nd floor of that big home in Bristol--and we were NEVER invited to go upstairs... Aunt Aileen lived away from the family home until her husband died. She then moved back to the family home with her sisters. Aunt Lura was my favorite of the group. I even had a dolly named after her (Lulu).

I have SO much more to say about the Ballard Family---but that will have to happen in many more posts to come!!!!! I hope that my children and grandchildren enjoy all of this Family History sometime.

Hope you ALL had a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's All in the NAME

If you have ever worked on Family History, I'm sure you have found some help along the way IF there is a common name which runs through the family. That's why I think (even moreso now than when I was younger) that it's important to pass along some family names to your children. The two last names on my mother's side of the family were Bruce and Ballard. My parents named all three of us using one of the family names. My oldest brother was Raymond Edgar Banks (Edgar being my father's middle name); my middle brother was James Ballard Banks (using the Ballard side); and I was Elizabeth Bruce Banks (using the Bruce side of the family).

When I got married, we had three sons.. My sons' father was a Junior--so we named our first son the Third. He now goes by Tre. Our second son was named Mark Edgar (using my Dad's middle name), and our third son was Jeffrey Bruce (using the Bruce side of the family). IF I had it to do over, I would name one of our sons, Ballard... BUT--back then, last names were seldom used as first names (like they are today).

Today, however, I'm going to share another common name which runs through the Ballard side of my family. That name is BLAND. I can go on my Family Tree info --and there are at least EIGHT Bland Ballards listed through the years, and that doesn't count the ones with Bland used as a middle name. To me, Bland is very unusual --so I did some research (with the help of cousin Sue whose mother was a Ballard) and we tracked the word, BLAND, back to my Six Great Grandfather Ballard, Capt. John Ballard of Yorktown, VA (1693-1745). John Ballard married a lady named Elizabeth BLAND (1697-1751). Elizabeth's father was Rev. William Bland, who in 1791 was named Rector of St. Paul's Church in Norfolk, VA. That is where BLAND started we think---and it's amazing how many Blands there have been since then.

I enjoy Family History, and the internet has brought people together (like Sue and me) --who are researching information on their families. This weekend, I got another email from someone searching for Ballard information. She is searching for a William BLAND Ballard who was born in VA. I have been searching my information ---and I'll bet there is a connection somewhere. So far though, we have haven't found it--but we will keep looking.

Today, I will show you some old black and white pictures of my parents and brothers, and some of the Ballard side of the family---all taken in the early 1930's (before I was born--in 1942). Above is a picture of my parents and my two brothers (Ray and Jim). All four of them are dead now --and I'm the only immediate family member left. Below are more.

These are my brothers, Ray and Jim, with Grandpa Ballard (my mother's father). He died in 1936. (Mom's mother died in 1904 --when Mom was only 4 yrs. old. Her Dad remarried, but Mom didn't live with him very much throughout her life. She was raised by her Bruce aunts in Big Stone Gap, VA.)

This is my mother (Edith Marguerite Ballard Banks) with her father, James Franklin Ballard. She lovingly called him "Papa".

This picture was taken on a different day, but still in the early 1930's. Brother Ray was born in 1922 and Jim was born in 1930. Grandpa Ballard is on the right --and the two ladies in the picture next to him are his daughters from his first marriage. I think he was married three time.

This is a picture of Grandpa Ballard's brother and sisters, his two daughters and his brother's wife. The one on the left is his brother BLAND Ballard. Bland is Sue's (listed above) Great Grandfather. I remember my Great Uncle Bland and his wife Myrtle. Bland was the City Clerk and Auditor of Bristol, VA for 31 years. He died in 1951 at the age of 77. Bland had a son, also named Bland (but called Gene) who died in 1964. Gene was Sue's grandfather.

Here's one more picture of the Ballard Family ---taken about 1931. At one time, there were 10 children in this family. I only knew FIVE: Bland and four of his sisters (Nancy, Aileen, Eunice and Lura).

Hope I didn't bore you too much with my Family History. I enjoy working on it SO much---but it gets frustrating when I hit a "brick wall".... Luckily, because of names like BLAND, I found it easier with the Ballard family.

Have a great Tuesday.