Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Digging through the chancery cases

In looking through the Ballard family in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, it has been very helpful to examine the Library of Virginia's Chancery case files. I've already found the will of Benjamin Ballard Sr in the case file Leavell v Ballard. I started by going to, selecting Spotsylvania as the county from the menu, and entering "Ballard" on the surname search. In the case Pritchett v Pritchett, index number 1812-001, there is a deposition from Benjamin Ballard (see image 23 of 47). I think this is from Benjamin Ballard Sr.
Source: Library of Virginia Chancery files, Spotsylvania, 1812-001, image 23
The deposition shows that Benjamin witnessed a deed by James Pritchett to Thomas Pritchett. It is not clear when the deposition was taken. The case was filed in 1785, and still going when Thomas Pritchett died in 1812.

Another case called Executors of Benjamin Ballard v Benjamin Stewart is in the files with an index number 1820-001. There are 11 pages, but mostly these are supoenas signed by Richard Lewis Stevenson. It is not clear how the case was resolved from the scanned documents.

The next case in the set was brought by William Carter, executor of William Ballard's estate (son of Benjamin Ballard Sr). The case was heard in Spotsylvania County Court on 7 January 1822, so William must have died in 1821 or earlier.

The following case is James Ballard and wife vs Henry Duerson. There are 29 scanned pages in this set. I will have a full post on the case, as this helps provide some clarity to the family of James' wife Isabella. The case also contains the signature of James' brother, my 5th-great-grandfather, Benjamin Ballard Jr.

It is slow going through these files, and I have primary duties. More posts to follow.

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