The progenitor of the Ballinger family in America was Henry (Henri) Ballinger (De La Ballinger) born in 1660, of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England. He came to America in 1678 on the Kent, Martha, or the Shield, and settled in Evesham Township around Burlington, West Jersey. On November fourth, 1674, he married by Friend’s ceremony Mary Harding, the daughter of Thomas and Eleanor Harding who had arrived on the Kent.
The Ballinger’s initially were established in Poitou, Pommel, and Picardie, France and were ship builders and French Huguenots. There are early records of Ballinger’s in Gloucestershire since the middle of the sixteenth century.
The New Jersey Archives show the records of the New Jersey assembly in 1697. Among them is listed John Callinger who is plainly Ballinger. The Archives also show an agreement by the Quaker members of the House of Representatives to uphold the King signed by forty Quakers including Henry Callinger (Ballinger). Henry Ballinger was also appointed special tax collector for Evesham in May, 1701.
Henry and Mary had ten children. Josiah and Joseph were given twelve hundred acres of land by their Father, but they still left and went to Maryland, and later to Frederick County, Virginia. Thomas and Amariah stayed in Salem County. Henry II was a wanderer who crossed into North Carolina. He and another Friend (Hunt) gave the ground on which the Old Meeting House was built and where Guilford College now stands. They later moved to Ohio because of their feelings against slavery.
When there is no definitive history, family tradition has a way of becoming history, and obscuring or replacing those facts that are unknown. With the onset of the internet and ancestry sites, it is very easy for supposition to become fact. There are different scenarios for the origin of the Ballinger family prior to coming to America.
Joseph Ballinger during the Civil War tells that he met a southern soldier, a prisoner of war taken by the Federals, named Ballinger who stated that the original family name was De La Ballinger. He claimed that there were five brothers in France. One brother was burned at the stake, one was hanged, and three escaped during the religious persecution of the French Huguenots and they came to America by way of Holland and England, one to New Jersey, one to Pennsylvania, and one to Virginia.
Eves Bellangee, born around 1674, and it is said that he came from the province of Poitou-Poiters, Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France. Emigrating first to Gloucestershire and then to America. I believe his father was Theophilus Bellangee who was born in Poiters, France, and who was shot during the dragonades of Louis XIV. Theophilus wife and children fled to the caves and were able to escape to England. I believe that Henry and Eves were cousins. Eves, a weaver, and Christian de la Plaine who was the daughter of Nicholas de la Plaine and his wife, Rachel Cresson, both French Huguenots of New York, were married at Friend’s Meeting in Philadelphia in 1697. The minutes state that they produced a certificate from Virginia. Eves Bellinger and his wife owned land in Salem County on Oldman’s Creek in 1701, later selling it and settling in Little Egg Harbor. Eves died there in 1720.
Shrouds stated that there was a James Bellangee in 1696 who owned two hundred sixty two acres of land in Evesham. This would be Eves’ son.
Edmund Ballinger (Ballenger) was born in 1657 in Berkampsted, Suffolk, England. He died in 1708 on James Island, Charleston, South Carolina. Edmund married Sarah Cartwright January 20, 1656 in Wolstanton, Staffordshire, England. Their children’s names were Thomas, Elizabeth, Ann, William, Edmund, and Mary. I have not found a relationship, but these are the same names of Henry’s children. There is a record of an Edmund Ballinger in Cheltenham, England living in the same area that Henry lived in and at the same time.
Many of the ships sailed first from Hull in Yorkshire to New Castle and Burlington and then went on the Virginia and South Carolina where free land had been promised to Lutherans and Quakers.
Joseph English testified that Henry Ballinger was a member of the Nailsworth meeting, Gloucestershire, England, as were many of the Evesham Quakers.