Elizabeth Thornberry was born circa 1813 in Alabama, United States to Walter Thornberry (c1774-aft1850) and Elizabeth Unknown (c1786-aft1850) and died circa 1858 in Washington County, Arkansas, United States of unspecified causes. She married George Byrd Ballard (c1813-1864) circa 1834 in Alabama, United States.

Name Variations: Thornsberry/Thornbury/Thornburg/Thornburgh/ Thornbrew/Thombreu/Thornsbury

Elizabeth was born about 1813 in Alabama per the 1850 census. Elizabeth's surname was given as Thornberry by her granddaughter, Bessie Ledora Ballard. The age of her children indicate that she married George Byrd Ballard about 1834 in Alabama and where they can be found in the 1840 Jackson Co. Alabama census. Their children are named in census records as well as the probate of George B. Ballard's estate.

Her father is thought to be Walter Thornberry. Per the History of Benton Co. Arkansas, “In 1839 ... The same year Walter Thornberry and his son-in-law, David Brickey, came from Virginia, and John Edwards from Tennessee, and settled on the same branch.” Although this article says they came from Virginia, they also were in Alabama per a document titled Representative Deaf Person, Portraits & Character Sketches, 1896 by James Gallaher, Walter's grandson, W.M. Thornberry's father, Rev. Walter T. Thornberry wash born in Alabama indicating that the family spent some time in Alabama.

The Thornberry's were Methodist's ministers. From the History of Benton Co. Arkansas, “Prior to 1839 Rev. Walter Thornberry organized a Methodist church at his residence in the southern part of the county, in the vicinity of Wager's Mills.” This would have been Walter Thornberry Sr. as Walter T. Thornberry was too young at the time. And “Martin and Walter, sons of Walter Thornberry, Sr., both became Methodist preachers.” Walter T. Thornberry's name can be found in several Methodist related publications referencing the Arkansas and Texas circuits.

David Brinkey's marriage to Mary Thornsberry is recorded in Scott Co. Virginia where there is also several Thornberrys including Walter who in 1820 has 2 daughters of Mary's b.1808 and Elizabeth's b.1813 age.

Scott Co. VA

 1814 formed from parts of Washington, Lee, and Russell Counties 
 1820 Walter Thornbury (110010-20100) b.1775-1794
      Henry Thornbury (000100-00000)
      John Thornbury (201201-31201)
      Isaac Thornbury (100100-20100)
 1824 Henry Thornberry m. Melissa Hangst Jan 22nd
 1824 Ivy Thornberry m. Oma Wade March 10th
 1830 David Brinkey m. Mary Thornberry May 23rd 
 1830 Walter Thornberry(0101001-1121001) b.1780-1790 
      (Walter T., Martin, Walter Sr, Amanda, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary)
      Henry Thornberry(100101-1121001)

Crawford Co. AR

 1832 Martin Thornberry on tax list

Benton Co. AR

 1836 Formed from Washington Co.
 1839 Walter Thornberry and David Brickey, came to Benton Co. AR per History of Benton Co.
 1840 D Brickey (000001-2101)

Washington Co. AR

 1843 George Ballard family arrived from Madison/Jackson Co. AL and settled in White River
 1850 David Brixey 44 VA, Mary 42 VA & children in Clear Creek (came to AR 1836 from birth places of children)
 1850 Walter Thornsbury 76 NC (Mars Hill Township)
      Elizabeth Thornsbury 64 TN
      Walter T Thornsbury 27 VA (Meth. Clergyman)
      Amanda Thornsbury 21 VA
      Eliza Thornsbury 18 VA
      Jane Burgess 30 VA
      Sarah Burgess 12 AR
      Martin Burgess 9 AR
 1860 Martin Thornberry b.1812 VA (moved to Newton Co. MO by 1870)

In conclusion, it is likely that Elizabeth was the daughter of Walter Thornberry, Sr. Given the location of his son's birth, Walter Thornberry Sr. spent some time in Alabama, possibly on the ministry circuit and probably where Elizabeth meets and marries George Byrd Ballard. It makes sense that when the Ballard family left Alabama, they chose to live near to her family in Washington Co. Arkansas.


Offspring of Elizabeth Thornberry and George Byrd Ballard (c1813-1864)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William Riley Ballard (1836-1913)
Adam Jackson Ballard (c1838-1922)
John F. Ballard(1840-1912)
Mary Elizabeth Ballard (c1842-1868)
Martha J. Ballard (1845-1933)
George Washington Ballard(1850-1919)
Sarah Ann Ballard(c1853-)
Narcissa Ballard (c1854-)
James F. Ballard(c1858-)

Footnotes (including sources)