Thursday, 29 December 2011

William and Charlotte's headstone at St. Augustine's Church Cemetery, Penarth

Charlotte and William were buried together at St. Augustine's Church Cemetery in Penarth. St. Augustine's Church is located on the headland in Penarth between Cardiff Bay and the Bristol Channel. You can see photographs of the church and cemetery on the Passionate about South Wales website. It was designed by architect, William Butterfield and information about the design and history of the church can be found here.

The transcription of the headstone notes that it is leaning and has a carved flower design. The "/" in the transcription indicates a new line of text. The headstone reads:

In loving memory of CHARLOTTE beloved wife of W.H. Ball, who died October 28th 1897 aged 66 years / "With Christ which is far better." / Also of the above named W.H. BALL who died Nov 19th 1927 aged 90 years. / "Peace perfect peace."/

It is lovely to know that they are resting in such a lovely setting. Another place to add to my list of places to visit... Many thanks to Glamorgan Family History Society volunteer, Andy, who did the monument inscription look up on my behalf. Genealogists are such wonderful and giving people.

Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Plassey Street, Penarth

I've learned through my research that Plassey Street plays an important part of Ball family life, particularly for the descendants of William Huxtable Ball. This is where Plassey Street is situated in Penarth:

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This is the current 140 Plassey Street on a map:

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And a street view:

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Plassey Street also held the Tabernacle Baptist Church, which William attended, along with his descendants. This is street view of the church, located at 97 Plassey Street:

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Plassey Street will definitely be one of the places which I will have to visit. Having grown up in a family that moved around for my father's work, I never grew up with a sense of 'place'. Home was where we were at that particular point in time. It's really quite lovely to be able to look at a place and say that we came from there/here.

Cheers, K.

Monday, 26 December 2011

William Huxtable Ball's Will 1927

In my research, I was delighted to come across the will and last testament of William Huxtable Ball as it opened up several venues of research for me and let me know that my great-grandfather, Thomas, had not been forgotten after leaving for Canada over 21 years prior to his father's death.

The will was probated in the District Probate Registry of His Majesty's High Court of Justice at Llandaff on 21 December 1927. John Ball of Tygwyn Farm, Saint Andrews, farmer, and Henry Ball, of 96 Plassey Street, Penarth, grocer's vanman, sons of William, were named as executors. The net value of William's estate was given as 532 GBP. Witnesses to the will were David Davies, 4 Victoria Avenue and Isaac Thomas, 138 Plassey Street, both of Penarth.

William owned the homes at 140 and 141 Plassey Street. His daughter, Charlotte Down, was bequeathed the house and contents at 140 Plassey Street. Upon her death or that of her husband (as long as he didn't remarry), the house was to be sold and the net proceeds equally divided between William's grandchildren, William Spickett Ball and Charlotte Agnes Down. Charlotte Agnes was to also receive the furniture in the house. The grandchildren were bequeathed 10 GBP each upon William's death.

The house and contents of 141 Plassey Street were to be sold at William's death, and along with his savings at the Post Office, were to be equally divided, after payment of all outstanding debts, between his other 4 children: John Ball, Henry Ball, Thomas Huxtable Ball and Elizabeth Ann Edwards, and granddaughter, Mabel Charlotte Ball. The will also specified that if Elizabeth died before before her father, her share was to be equally divided among her siblings, John, Henry and Thomas. Interestingly, if Thomas died before William, his share was to go to his wife.

The will proved to be a gold mine of information. For the first time, I learned of the identity of Charlotte's first (and illegitimate) child, William Spickett Ball. There had been many family stories that she had a child out of wedlock (also mentioned in my great-aunt Gwen's note), but there had been many William Balls listed in the UK birth indexes, it was difficult to pin him down (and after having ordered a couple of wrong birth certificates, I had put aside that search). I also discovered a daughter of William and Charlotte, Elizabeth Ann Edwards, of whom I had no knowledge as she did not appear on any of the censuses with family members. This discovery opened up a new branch of the family to explore.

It was reassuring to see that Thomas was mentioned in the will - not for monetary gain, but for the fact that he had not been forgotten. Living so far away from the family in Penarth, Thomas was a world away with a new life, community and family who had never met their Welsh relations.

May peace, health and happiness be yours during this holiday season. Cheers, K.

Friday, 23 December 2011

William Huxtable's death, 1927

Great-great-grandfather, William Huxtable Ball died on 19 November 1927 at his home, 140 Plassey Street, Penarth. He was 90 years old. The cause of death was listed as 'senile decay'. The informant of the death was A. Ball, daughter-in-law, who was present at the death. She lived at 96 Plassey Street. A. Ball was Ann Ball, the wife of son Henry.

William's obituary, which appeared in the Penarth Times of 24 November 1927, read as follows:

Mr. W.H. Ball, Penarth

The death took place on Saturday morning at
140 Plassey, Street, Penarth, of Mr. William Ball
aged 90 years, the husband of the late Mrs. Charlotte Ball.

Mr. Ball, a native of Devonshire, having learnt
his trade in his native land, commenced business
as a blacksmith at Gower, where he remained for many years.
Upon taking up residence at Penarth some 40 years ago,
Mr. Ball entered into the milk business and was highly successful.

Deceased, a great lover of children, was an
ardent worshipper at the Plassey Street
Tabernacle Baptist Church.

He is survived by three sons and two daughters.

William was buried in the St. Augustine's Church cemetery, alongside his wife Charlotte, who predeceased him in 1897.

Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

William in the 1911 Wales Census

The 1911 census, taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911, did show some changes for the household of William Huxtable Ball of Penarth. William is shown as 74 years of age, still working as a milkman, and a widower. His address remained 18 Railway Terrace. He was living with son-in-law, William Down, age 44, workman, his daughter, Charlotte, age 42, and granddaughter, Charlotte Down, age 9, who was attending school. Charlotte's birthplace is listed as Penarth, so presumably, she was born and raised in her grandfather's home. Also with the family is Mabel C (Charlotte) Ball, a dressmaker, age 29, who had been born in Gower, Glamorgan. She was the daughter of William's eldest son, William James Ball. As to the reason why she appears in her grandfather's home in 1911, I will investigate further and post once information is available.

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

William in the 1901 Wales Census

The 1901 Wales Census reveals some significant changes in the Ball household. William's spouse, Charlotte, passed away in October 1897. I did find a 1897 Wright's Directory of Cardiff which showed William's address as 18 Railway Terrace, Penarth. This address corresponds to William's household address in the 1901 census.

According to Ancestry Library Edition, the 1901 census was taken on the night of 31 March 1901. William is shown as age 63, with a birth year of 1838 and an occupation of dairyman. With him in the house are the following people: Charlotte Down, his daughter, age 32, son-in-law, William Down, age 34, who is a railway labourer, and William Ball, grandson, age 8 (there's a real interesting story about William, which I will save for later).

This is a map of their household address in Penarth:

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And this is a street view of house (or at least the current address for the house:

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The house on the left is number 17. I suspect that 18 may have been next door on the right. Across the street, you will see the train tracks.

Did Charlotte's passing bring daughter Charlotte, her husband, William and son, William Ball into the household? Or where other reasons?

Much still to learn...

Cheers, K.

Monday, 19 December 2011

William in the 1891 Wales Census

By the time of the 1891 Wales Census was taken on the night of 5 April 1891, there had been many changes in the Ball household. William, now shown as age 51, was working as a dairyman (oddly, he only aged 7 years between the 10 year census dates! Census can be great tools for finding people, but the data in them can be faulty. Back in the 19th century, many people did not know the year that they were born, especially in the days prior to civil registration when the government started recording births, marriages and deaths). Living in the household are his wife, Charlotte, shown as age 59 and son, Henry, age 27. Henry's occupation is shown as dairyman too. Presumably, Henry and his father were in business together.

The address of the Ball household is listed as 54 Windsor Road, Penarth. Scurlage is approximately 100km from Penarth. To give you some idea of the distance between the villages, please see the map below:

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This is a map of the 54 Windsor Road, Penarth:

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And a street view of the address. The view is down Windsor Road. Railway Terrace intersects Windsor Road on the right:

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What prompted them to move east towards Cardiff? The trade of blacksmithing had gone into decline with the Industrial Revolution, as machines and factories replaced men and tools. Why the move into milk? What would have drawn William and Henry into the milk trade? Older brother, John Ball, with whom Thomas Huxtable Ball was living in 1891, operated a farm. Was there a family connection to the milk trade?

Many more mysteries solve! Answers will be posted when found....

Cheers, K.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

William Huxtable Ball in the 1881 Wales Census

According to the 1881 Wales Census, William H. Ball is 44 years of age, earning a living as a blacksmith. His birth year is 1837. Charlotte, his spouse, is listed as age 49, whose occupation is shown as "Blacksmiths wife". The following individuals are listed as living in the home: Charlotte, daughter, age 12, Henery (misspelling of Henry), age 17, rural messenger, and Thomas, age 6, scholar, which meant that he was attending regular (but not necessarily full-time) school or being home schooled (although it is doubtful that he was being taught by his mother Charlotte as she continued to sign documents with an 'X'). The family is living in Scurlage Castle, Llanndewi, Glamorgan, Wales.

This was the first census in which my great-grandfather appeared and was the first real indication in my research that the family had been in Wales. One of the first websites that I found was the Welsh Family Archive run by John Ball (no relation). John's kind words and encouragement when we connected through his website furthered my interest in discovering my Welsh heritage - which continues today.

Cheers, K.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Birth of a son, Thomas Huxtable, 1875

The last child of William Huxtable Ball and Charlotte Balment was my great-grandfather, Thomas Huxtable Ball. Thomas was born in 5 July 1875 in Scurlage Castle, Llanddewi, Glamorgan, Wales. The occupation of his father, William, is listed as a blacksmith.

You can find more information about Scurlage here from the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust.

I've found an Ordnance Survey map which shows Scurlage Castle, which was located between Knelston and Scurlage. You can view it here here. The OS reference is SS462882, if you need to re-enter the reference code.

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

William and the 1871 Wales Census

Well, I suppose that you would think finding William Huxtable Ball and his family would not be too hard. They emigrated to Wales sometime around 1858-1861 and seemed to have stayed put through the following decade...or so I thought.

I searched high and low for the family in the 1871 census, but kept coming up with dead ends. Looked for everyone in the family, looked for them in Devon, looked or them in neighbouring counties, checked the census on Find My Past - still nothing.Only when I read the source description in Ancestry, which detailed how parts of the 1871 for the county of Glamorgan had been lost, then I realized that my searching was in vain. It pays to read the fine print...and likely will save your eyesight and sanity in the long run.

In any case, my best guess would be that the family remained in Scurlage Castle, Glamorgan, as we shall see next...

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Birth of a daughter, Charlotte, 1868

William and Charlotte welcomed a second daughter, named Charlotte, in 1868. Her birth was registered during the second quarter of the year (April-May-June). The registration district was listed as Gower in the county of Glamorgan. I suspect that the family was still living in the Scurlage Castle area as Thomas Huxtable Ball, the next child born to William and Charlotte, has his birthplace listed there.

Cheers, K.

Birth of son, Henry Ball, and daughter, Elizabeth Ann Ball 1863-1865

William Huxtable Ball and wife, Charlotte, saw the birth of a son and daughter between the years of 1863 and 1865. Henry's birth was registered in the last quarter of 1863 in the Gower Disrict of Wales. Elizabeth Ann's birth certificate states that she was born in Scurlage Castle, Llanddewi on 28 October 1865. Her father's occupation is listed as "Blacksmith".

You may be wondering, as I did, about the place name 'Scurlage Castle'. While very romantic sounding, there is no actual castle at modern day Scurlage, only a Tudor farm reputed to be on the site of a castle dating from the late medieval period. This is a link to information from the Gower Magazine site regarding the Scurlage Castle site and village. This is a link to information from the Gatehouse website, a comprehensive gazeteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications, and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands on Scurlage Castle..

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Birth of another son, John Ball and the 1861 Wales Census

The change of the decade brought many changes to the family of William Huxtable Ball. I could no longer find him in Devon. Knowing that Thomas Huxtable had been born and raised in Wales, I decided to search the 1861 Wales Census. I did find a birth registered in January-March 1861 index which showed that a John Ball had been born in Gower, Wales. Then, I found William Huxtable Ball living with Charlotte, William James, age 3 and John Ball, age 2 months, in Scurlage House, Llanddewi, Gower, Glamorgan in the 1861 Wales Census.

Where is Llanddewi? Well, it is a parish is located 14 miles west and south of the town of Swansea in the County of Glamorgan, in south Wales. The population in 1861 is noted as 149. This is a map of the area:

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GENUKI also offers a number of map links to view the area. I suspect that the family lived closer to what is modern day Scurlage.

Here is a street view of Scurlage and the countryside surrouding it:

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What pushed or pulled William and his young family to Wales, I am not sure. It could have been the lure of a job, steady work, family ties or the influence of friends. Whatever it was, it started a new chapter in the history of the Ball family.

Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Birth of son, William James Ball (1858-1922)

William and Charlotte became parents to William James Ball on 4 March 1858. William James was born in Bray Town, High Bray, Devon. His father's occupation is listed as "Blacksmith Journeyman". The birth was registered on 13 March 1858 in the registration district of Barnstaple Union.

William Huxtable was a blacksmith for many years. You can read more about the history of blacksmithing on the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association website.

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

William gets married 1857

On 5 August 1857, William Huxtable Ball married Charlotte Balment in the parish of High Bray, Devon. According to their marriage certificate, William and Charlotte were married in the Parish Church. William's age is listed as 21, bachelor, his rank/profession is shown as "blacksmith" with a residence of High Bray. His father is listed as John Ball, Tailor. Charlotte's age is shown as 22, spinster, with the occupation "single woman" and residence in High Bray. Her father is shown as William Balment. His profession is difficult to read, but my best guestimate is "Farmer". William and Charlotte were married by banns. William signed the certificate, while Charlotte signed with an "X", meaning that she likely was not educated. The witnesses to the marriage were Louisa Jane Ball William's younger sister) and William (name indistinguishable, but begins with a B).

To learn more about High Bray, click here to read about the village on GENUKI. High Bray is located west of Barnstaple and north west of South Molton:

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This is a link to an image of All Saints Church the parish church for High Bray.

Cheers, K.

Monday, 5 December 2011

William Huxtable Ball - England Census 1851

In the 1851 England census, William is shown as age 14 (birth year noted as 1837). His occupation is shown as "Working home as a Tailor", which likely means that he was an apprentice to his father, John, who is shown as "Tailor and Draper". Living in the household are his father, John, age 54, tailor and draper, his mother, Elizabeth, age 53, his brother John, age 25, "Cabinet Maker, French Polisher" and sister, Louisa, "Scholar", which would have meant that she was attending school. The family is shown as living in Stags Head, South Molton, Devon.

Cheers, K.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

William in the 1841 England Census

According to the 1841 England census, William was living in the hamlet of Stags Head, in the parish of South Molton, Devon, with his family. His father, John, age 40, is listed as a "taylor". Also in the household are his mother, Elzabeth, age 40, sister, Elizabeth, age 12, and younger sister, Louisa, age 1. William's age is shown as 4, with a birth year of 1837 - which seems to be the birth year most commonly used for him in later documents, despite the 1836 baptism entry from the Filleigh Index on GENUKI.

To get an idea of where the Balls were living click here to see a 1950's map of the area from Stag's Head is located between Filleigh and South Molton. The Stags Head Inn still exists and is operated as a pub/restaurant/B&B. This inn is definitely on my must-see list!

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

William Huxtable Ball's Siblings

Born to John Ball, tailor of South Molton and his wife, Elizabeth Huxtable, were the following siblings of William Huxtable Ball, 1835-1927:

Ann Huxtable, daughter, baptized 27 Oct 1822, John, son, baptized 24 Jul 1825, and Susanna, daughter, baptized 5 Sep 1830,

according to the Filleigh Baptism Index 1813-1837 on GENUKI.

I was able to find two other daughters: Elizabeth, born ca. 1828, who was named as an exectrix in the will of John Ball Sr., and Louisa Jane, born 1839, who appears with William in the 1841 census.

Research on these individuals and their families continues. When I have more information on them, I will be sure to post.

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

William Huxtable Ball, 1835-1927

William Huxtable Ball was the father of Thomas Huxtable Ball. William was born in the area of Filleigh or South Molton, Devon, England.

This is a map of the area of around Filleigh:

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and South Molton:

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Filleigh and South Molton are east of the city of Barnstaple, in the county of Devon.

His year of birth is given 1835 or 1837 in various documents. Since his birth predated civil registration in the UK, the actual date has been difficult to pin down. However, it is likely 1835 as he is shown in the Filleigh Baptisms Index 1813-1837, which appear in GENUKI, a "virtual reference library of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK and Ireland." William appears in the Filleigh Indexes as being baptized on 6 Nov 1836, the son of Elizabeth Huxtable and John Ball, Tailor of South Molton.

Cheers, K.

Monday, 28 November 2011

British Columbia City Directories

The staff of the New Westminster Public Library pointed out this great resource for British Columbia city directories online. The British Columbia City Directories site is a genenalogical and historical resource at the Vancouver Public Library. City directories, dating from 1860 to 1940, are available online, with the exception 1930 and 1932. Happy searching!

Cheers, K.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thomas and Annie Ball - Final Resting Place

Thomas and Annie Ball were buried in the New Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, BC. This is a map of where the cemetery is located:

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Their headstone reads: Ball / Mother / Annie / 1877-1947 Father / Thomas / 1875 – 1941 / At Rest. The "/" represents a new line of text on the headstone or marker. The staff of the New Westminster Public Library kindly provided the transcription.

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Annie's death in 1947

Annie Amelia (Turner) Ball passed away on 14 Apr 1947 at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC. Her Bowell Funeral Home record states that she died of chronic myocarditis. Myocarditis is a chronic inflammation of the heart muscle, usually caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infections that reach the heart according to MedlinePlus (US National Library of Medicine).

As with some of the information provided by Granddad on Thomas' death certificate, there some discrepancies. Her address is given as Lee Street, White Rock, but I am not convinced that she had lived there for 33 of the 40 years she and Thomas had been in Canada. Likewise, her birth turns up in the birth registration indexes for Monmouthsire, Wales, not England (but don't forget that the Turners lived close to the Welsh/English border). As far as I am aware, she had only l sister (Alice (Turner) Boyle) and 1 brother (William Henry Turner) living back in the UK (in Cardiff and Swansea respectively) at the time of her death. Some of the names of her pallbearers are unfamiliar, but I suspect that they are related through her sisters who came to Canada with her - more mysteries to solve...

Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Thomas' death in 1941

According to the funeral record for my great-grandfather, Thomas Huxtable Ball died, at home, in White Rock BC, on 6 November 1941. He and Annie must have moved sometime earlier in the year to White Rock. The staff at the Vancouver Public Library - Special Collections were able to confirm that Thomas did not appear in the 1941 city directories for Vancouver and the lower mainland of BC. I suspect that they may have moved in with friends or family. His daughter Gwen and son-in-law, Jack Hynds, were living in White Rock at time.

The Bowell Funeral Home record for Thomas Ball showed that he died at his residence, given as "Lee Street, White Rock, BC". Interestingly, the certificate states that he last worked in 1937. His death was sudden, likely due to occlusion of the coronary artery (arteriosclerosis).

The pallbearers were Hugh Sigismund (son-in-law and husband of Margery), Jack Hynds (son-in-law and husband of Gwen), Arthur Nursey (future husband to daughter Evelyn), J. Hewlett, R.E. Steed, and A. Hewlett (likely relatives on Annie's side of the family). Thomas was survived by 1 son (Granddad - William H. Ball), 3 daughters (Mrs. J. Hynds, White Rock, Miss Evelyn Ball, Vancouver, and Mrs. H. Sigismund, New Westminster), 3 grandchildren (Dad, Bill and Gwen's son), and 2 sisters in England (actually, Wales - but more about that later....)

Cheers, K.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Life in Burnaby, BC

The Great Depression brought about many changes for folk in Canada, including Thomas and Annie. In 1931, their address, in the Wrigley British Columbia Directory, is shown as 2017 Riverway, Burnaby BC. (The 1930 and 1932 directories for Greater Vancouver are not yet available). Riverway was renamed Marine Drive during the 1930s. This is an approximate location of their Burnaby address:

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and a current street view of their address:

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Annie and Thomas stayed at this address at least until 1940 (last available directory online).

In 1932, Thomas' occupation is shown as 'plumber'. In the 1933 directory, his occupation shown as a labourer at Shell Oil. While in 1934-1940, Thomas is again shown as a plumber, with no employer listed. Whether this meant that Thomas was self employed, I cannot positively determine without further research. Likely, the Depression meant work may have been less stable and secure for Thomas, as it was for everyone.

I do remember Dad telling me that Annie was always feeding someone at her kitchen table during the Depression and that Granddad and Thomas always worried about her safety and well being when the travelling poor came knocking at the door looking for a job or food. She always gave them a small job to do, usually in the garden, and fed them a meal, no matter how little was in the pantry for Thomas and herself. Dad said that she would say that the 'Lord would provide', and they managed to survive the Depression on the little that they had and shared with others. Dad recalled too that she had one of the most immaculate gardens in town.

Cheers, K.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Later years in New Westminster

According to the city directories, Thomas and Annie lived at 1223-5th Avenue from 1909 to 1923. In 1924, they moved to 2107 6th Avenue. The 1924 Wrigley Henderson Amalgamated British Columbia Directory showed their address as being 6th Avenue and 20th Street and in later directories, it is shown as 2107 6th Avenue, New Westminster. This is a Google map of the location:

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And this is a street view of the address nowadays (location is approximate as the house number 2107 does not appear to exist today):

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From the directories, it appears that Thomas and Annie and their family lived at this address from 1924-1930. During their time in New Westminster, Thomas and Annie had 3 more children, all daughters: Gwendolyn Muriel Ball born in 1909, Evelyn Edith Ball born in 1913 and Marjory who was likely born in the late 1910s or early 1920s. What was it like to have raised a family so far from home? Did they ever feel homesick? I have always wondered.

Cheers, K.

Thomas and Annie's Home in 1906 - 9 Renfield Grove, Leeds

When I posted about Thomas' plumber's registration card for 1906, I made a note to myself to find the address: 9 Renfield Grove, Leeds. As it was not listed in current maps of Leeds, I did some digging. The West Yorkshire Archive Service was kind enough to provide me with the following information: Renfield Grove was located in the Central Ward of Leeds and was part of the slum clearances of the 1960s and 1970s. It would have been very near the current Sheepscar Interchange, possibly located close to where you would find Nortech Close today.

Looking at a Google map, this is where Renfield Grove would have been located:

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This is a street view of the location:

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You may need to angle the camera down on the street view to see the doesn't seem to want to cooperate for the link.

Many thanks go to the West Yorkshire Archive Service for all their help in locating this long lost street and last known residence for the Ball family in Leeds.

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cunningham Hardware

The city directories show that Thomas Ball worked as a plumber for Cunningham Hardware in New Westminster, starting in 1909 until 1929-1930.

Cunningham Hardware was a fixture in downtown New Westminster on Columbia Street. It was owned by Jim Cunningham (1834-1925), a local hardware merchant and real estate investor, who was helped to rebuild New Westminster after the 1898 fire which ravaged the Royal City's downtown core. Cunningham first came to British Columbia to mine the goldfields in 1860, and settled in New Westminster. He used his assets to invest in real estate in the growing city; and, in 1904, he was recorded as the 'chief taxpayer of the city'. He was prominent in local affairs, elected Mayor of New Westminster in 1873, and Member of Parliament in 1874-78. (Source:Cunningham Block and New Westminster News Leader).

These photos from the New Westminster Public Library photo database will give you an in idea of what Cunningham Hardware was like:

Exterior, 1903

And a store interior, possibly of Cunningham Hardware, 1900-1910:

Cheers, K.

Early years in New Westminster, BC

According to Greater Vancouver directories, Annie and Thomas lived at 1223-5th Avenue, New Westminster, BC from 1909 to 1923. In this 1911 photo, you can see my Granddad, William, his mother Annie, and sister Gwendolyn, in Annie's arms, standing in front of their house:

You can also notice the fence on the left, which might have bordered 13th Street. This is a Google map for the current address, which is near the corner of 5th Avenue and 13th Streets:

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and a street view of the house on 5th Avenue, near the corner with 13th Street, which bears incredible resemblance to the house of Thomas and Annie (with alterations,of course):

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Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Thomas' arrival in Vancouver, BC

Thomas Ball likely arrived in Vancouver, by train, in June 1906. I have been able to find him in the 1907 Henderson's City of Vancouver Directory, published in June of that year. His listing reads: Ball, Thomas, plumber, rms, 1016 Westminster Ave. The abbreviation "rms" stands for 'rooms'.

Annie and Granddad would not have likely arrived in Vancouver until mid to late June of that year, due to Granddad's hospital stay in Montreal.

I did check for Thomas in the 1906 directory. However, the publication date for the 1906 edition was given as April and he arrived at Montreal in June, he would not have made it into the directory.

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Thomas and Annie's place of residence at the time of their marriage in 1899

In looking back over Thomas and Annie's records, I noticed that I neglected to mention where they were living at time of their marriage on 13 Oct 1899. According to their marriage certificate, they were married in the Baptist Chapel, Carr Crofts, Armley. The residence at the time of their marriage was given for both as 152 Tong Road, Armley. This is a current Google map of that address:

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And this is a street view of the address:

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Whether or not the 152 Tong Road mapped by Google is the same address of 1899, I do not know, but it is likely in the same vicinity.

I was a bit surprised to see the same address listed for Annie and Thomas. However, after doing some research, I learned that cohabitation in the 19th century was common. It is also possible that they both lived in the same boarding house.


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Annie and William leave for Canada 1907

Annie Amelia Ball and Granddad (William Huxtable Ball, 1903-1971) left for Canada on 25 April 1907, aboard the Dominion, sailing from Liverpool. Travelling with them was Elizabeth Turner, Annie's older sister. Having been separated from Thomas for nearly a year, Annie sailed with her young son, aged 3, to Montreal and landed on 7 May 1907. They sailed on the ship Dominion, which sailed as part of the Dominion Line. This is a photo of a Dominion Line ship:

Granddad contracted pneumonia during the voyage. He was hospitalized in Montreal for a month. Whether Elizabeth stayed with them in Montreal or went ahead to Vancouver, I do not know. Once Granddad was well enough to travel, he and Annie began the long train ride across Canada to Vancouver. Annie's determination to see the journey through and to begin a new life with her husband in Canada, despite the long separation, an arduous journey, a very sick child, the financial strain of a month's layover in Montreal, and a language barrier at her port of arrival, makes her, in my eyes, a very strong and courageous person.


Thomas H. Ball sails to Canada 1906

Thomas left for Canada on 31 May 1906, aboard the S.S. Southwark, from Liverpool. He landed at the port of Montreal, Quebec on 9 June 1906. The passenger list for the ship's arrival in Canada lists him as a "plumber" with no stated destination. It also states that he was an Englishman from Yorkshire.

This is a photo of the S.S. Southwark, from Ancestry Library Edition, which sailed under the Dominion Line flag:

What pushed or pulled Thomas to go to Canada? I suspect that there may have been friends or colleagues or the promise of a job, which influenced his decision to leave for Canada. The choice of Vancouver, as a final destination, required Thomas to travel by train across Canada, a journey near as long as the sea voyage that brought him to Montreal. Who or what was there waiting for him?


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Thomas Ball's' occupation in 1906

Thomas Ball was a plumber and gas fitter by trade. He was apprenticed in 1891 to Joseph Samuel Shepton in Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales. This is his 1906 National Registration of Plumbers card:

Interestingly, Thomas' card is dated 18 Apr 1906. He left for Canada on 25 May 1906. It makes me wonder when were his plans to emigrate made? I suspect that he needed his plumbers' registration completed before leaving for Canada. Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Annie and Thomas' residence at the time of Granddad's birth, April 1903 - New Wortley, Leeds

On Granddad's (William Huxtable Ball, 1903-1971) birth certificate, it lists Annie and Thomas' address as 6-8th Avenue, New Wortley, Leeds. This is a Tracks in Time map showing 8th Avenue in New Wortley.

This Google Street View image shows Eighth Avenue as it is today:

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The school shown on the 1910 Ordinance Map appear to still be on the same property.

Cheers, K.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Historical map and image resources for Leeds

The staff at the Local Studies Department, Leeds Central Library pointed me to the Leodis website, which contains historic photographs for Leeds and district. There no photographs of Sultan Place in Wortley. However, photos of the 1900's decade will give you a good idea of Leeds and area in which Thomas, Annie and Willilam Ball lived.

Another resource of mention is the Tracks in Time website, which can produce comparative historic maps. In order to see Sultan Place you will need to search for Armley and move the map southward to see Wortley. The search feature is not that precise, but this is the map that will show Sultan Place.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Thomas and Annie in Leeds 1901

Many apologies for the delay in posting. Work has been very busy (my library hosted a genealogy fair on 29 October 2011 in Kitchener and over 400 genealogy enthusiasts attended!) and I am still catching up on emails and requests.

I've also heard back from the Local Studies Department at the Leeds Central Library to have been able to confirm a location for Sultan Place, which no longer exists. Thanks go to the staff in the Local Studies Department for their help. Unfortunately, the Leeds Council websites are down today for maintenance, but I will update their links once they are back online.

Annie and Thomas Ball lived at 12 Sultan Place, Wortley, Leeds according to the 1901 Census of England. Sultan Place no longer exists, but its location can be tagged close to present day, Addingham Gardens, which is located slightly north and west of the junction of Whingate and Tong Roads and south of Wortley Road:

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This is a street view from Google Maps of Addingham Gardens to give you an idea of what is there now. Back in 1901 there would have likely been smaller row houses:

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More to follow.....

Monday, 31 October 2011

Sorry for the delay....

Hi, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am sorry for the delay in updating my posts. I am waiting for confirmation of information from a public library in the UK. I'll be back with more information shortly. Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thomas and Annie in Leeds 1906

According to Thomas' plumbers registration card for 1906, Thomas and Annie lived at 9 Renfield Grove, Leeds. The street no longer exists in Leeds, but I have found references to it online as being a residence up to 1938. I'll keep looking and will post when the mystery is solved.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Thomas and Annie on the 1901 England Census

In the 1901 England census, Thomas and Annie were living at 12 Sultan Place, Wortley, Leeds. Thomas' occupation is given as "plumber & gas fitter". He was 28 years old. His place of birth is given as Swansea, which is incorrect, but an understandable error. Swansea was close to Gower, where Thomas was born. Annie has no occupation given. She was 23 years old and listed with a birthplace of Tintern, Monmouthshire.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Thomas.... continued

Now back to Thomas..... just to recap, he had just been apprenticed to Joseph Samuel Shepton in late 1891. I believe that Joseph and his father Samuel Shepton were builders in Penarth in the firm, Samuel Shepton & Son (Owens & Co Cardiff Directory 1891 on Historical website).

While I do not know much about Thomas during the 1890's, he appears in Armley, a district in the west of Leeds in 1899.

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On 13 October 1899, at age 24, Thomas married Annie Amelia Turner, domestic servant, age 21 in the Baptist Chapel Carr Crofts, Armley. William James Ball, milk dealer is noted as Thomas' father, but this was actually his eldest brother. Annie's father is given as Henry Turner, road labourer. The witnesses to the marriage were Annie Steed and Charlotte Elizabeth Steed. I've looked for the church, but it is no longer exists.

Why Thomas and Annie, both from Wales, moved to Leeds is still a mystery to me. Perhaps, they went in search of work, each following a different path to Leeds. Did they know each other before leaving Wales? Perhaps, they met at the Baptist Chapel in Armley. What kind of relationship did they have with the two young women who signed as witnesses to their marriage? As always, more questions in need of answers.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Mystery Nephew

In the 1891 Wales census, Thomas Huxtable Ball is living with his older brother, John, and sister, Charlotte in Little Hill, St. Andews & Dinas Powys. Included in the household is Robert Jno Edwards, age 3, who is shown as 'nephew'. The presence of the this young nephew in the household has always perplexed me. Where did he come from? Who were his parents? I knew from my great-aunt Gwen's note that Thomas' sister,Charlotte, had a child out of wedlock. Was Robert her child?

For many years, I thought so and struggled to find a birth registration for a Robert Edwards with a mother named Charlotte Ball. When I discovered the existence of Elizabeth Ann Ball and her subsequent marriage to a Robert Edwards, I thought the mystery had been solved. Little Robert was theirs and was staying or visiting on the day of the census.

However, in recent days, I have found an 'E' and husband Robert Edwards in the 1891 Wales census, living at 124 Treharris Road, Roath, Cardiff. They are shown with 3 children, Robert J , b. 1888, Leonard, b. 1889, and Ernest, b. 1891. Which makes me think that little Robert Jno shown with Thomas, John and Charlotte may not be the same Robert J living with their sister, Elizabeth....After all, he can't be in the same two places, can he? Perhaps, I have the wrong E Edwards?

Another mystery to solve....

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Thomas Huxtable Ball (1875-1941)

Thomas Huxtable Ball was the youngest of six children born to William Huxtable Ball (1837-1927) and Charlotte Balment (1835-1896). He was born 5 July 1875 in Scurlage Castle, Llanddewi, County of Glamorgan. His siblings were: William James (1858-1922), John (1860-1928), Henry (1864-1931), Elizabeth Ann (1865-?), and Charlotte (1869-1947).

He first appears in the 1881 Wales census, living in Scurlage Castle with his parents and his two older siblings, Henry and Charlotte. William, his father, is listed as a blacksmith.

According to the 1891 census, Thomas is living with his older brother, John, sister Charlotte, and 3 yr old nephew, Robert Jno Edwards in Little Hill, St.Andrews & Dinas Powys, Glamorgan. John is shown as head of household and a farmer, while Thomas has an occupation of engine cleaner and Charlotte is a house keeper.

On 2 Dec 1891, Thomas was apprenticed to Joseph Samuel Shepton (possibly of Penarth) to learn the trades of plumber, bellhanger, gasfitter, painter and glazier. The apprenticeship was undertaken with the consent of his older brother, John. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by James Moore.

The story continues.....

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Thomas Huxtable Ball (1875-1941) and Annie Amelia Turner (1878-1947)

Thomas and Annie Ball were my great-grandparents. They were Welsh, but immigrated from New Wortley, (Leeds),Yorkshire, where Granddad was born. I remember Dad telling me that they were very short, 5', and 4' 10" respectively. However, Granddad was nearly 6 feet tall. Annie and Thomas were Baptists and teetotallers. Annie's nickname was 'Budgie' among our family. Dad remembers that their 'English' accents were different - likely because of their Welsh heritage. Many of the records for them name them as English, but Thomas lived in Wales up to age 24, while Annie came from Monmouthshire, a Welsh county which borders England.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Evelyn Edith Ball (1913-1987) and Margery Ball (192?-199?)

Granddad's younger sisters were Evelyn and Margery. Evelyn's middle name, Edith, was probably inherited from her mother's younger sister, Edith Turner, who immigrated to BC from the UK, and married Richard Edward Steed, another British compatriot. Evelyn married Art Nursery and lived in the lower Mainland area of BC, where they raised a family. Evelyn died 4 April 1987 at age 74. Art outlived her, but I do not know his death date.

Margery married Hugh Phillip Sigismund and also raised a family in the lower Mainland. Hugh passed away on 24 June 1975 at age 63. I don't have Margery's death date, but will post once discovered.

This is a photo of Granddad and his sisters, likely taken in the 1950's:

From left to right: Evelyn, Granddad, Gwen and Margery.

Cheers, K.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bowell Funeral Home Records

As I mentioned in my last post, I found a wonderful database of Bowell Funeral Home Records on the local history section of the New Westminster Public Library website. It is easily searchable by surname or date and contains a wealth of information on deaths, burials and funeral services in New Westminster, BC. Kudos go to the staff of the Library for putting together this great set of records and for always being very helpful. They have a great information/reference service , which I have used often and would recommend to anyone looking for genealogical data from New Westminster.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Gwendolyn Muriel Ball (1909-1989)

Gwendolyn Muriel Ball was born in 1909, according to the 1911 Census of Canada. She married John (Jack) Hynds in New Westminster, BC on 23 June 1928. Jack was a baker by trade. Jack served as a White Rock, BC city alderman for the following terms: 1959-1961, 1963-1964, 1966-1969. He served as mayor from 1970-1971. Gwen and Jack had two children, Robert Gordon (born 1 January 1932) and another son (living). I never knew about Robert, but stumbled across a reference to him in Gwen's obituary and later found his funeral home record . Bobby died on 9 December 1933 from toxemia and shock resulting from accidental scalding. He was almost two years old. He is buried in the New Fraser Cemetery. Gwen had a keen interest in family history and was the author of the note that set me off on this journey. Jack died on 11 October 1973. Tragically, Gwen was hit by a bicyclist on a White Rock sidewalk and later died of her injuries on 6 July 1989. She was 80 years old.

I don't have many memories of Gwen, as I was quite young when I met her, but do remember her kind face and gentle touch.

Granddad's sisters

Granddad had 3 younger sisters, all born in Canada. The eldest was Gwendolyn Muriel, who was born in 1909.
The next eldest was Evelyn Edith, whose birth date has not yet been found, and the youngest was Margery. This photo shows Granddad and his sisters in his new car, along with 2 young children. I would estimate this photograph dates from the late 1920's.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Vital event data for British Columbia

If you are looking for vital event information for British Columbians, check out the vital (birth, marriage and death) event indexes at the BC Archives . These indexes will provide vital event dates for specified time frames (according to privacy legislation guidelines). Copies of registrations can be ordered for a fee. However, you can also use the dates to track down newspaper announcements and obituaries at the public library.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Memories of Mary Meade McPhee

How to describe Mary Meade McPhee? She was simply "Nana". She lovingly nursed my Dad and Granddad through asthma and cancer. Nana had a very quick wit and loved to socialize. She was a classy dresser and always 'belle of the ball". Dad called her the "Grand Dame of the Ball Family" - elegant, regal and adored by many. I remember how she and sister Naomi would start a Scottish highland fling in anyone's front room, living room, kitchen or basement. Nana loved to laugh and always had a hug for you. She loved to sew, knit and create and patiently spent many hours teaching me (although I never mastered the knitting thing.....) She made you feel like you could do anything if you put your mind to it. She'd fly out to visit with us and would charm all of our friends and family. It was always an event when Mary was in town. I remember "Buttercup" her Toyota Corolla, and the long drive up to 100 Mile House to visit with her friend, Ollie. We laughed, sang songs and gabbed all the way up there and back - a perfect adventure for a 14 year old away from home.

If you want to share your memories of Nana, please feel free to post.

Cheers, K.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mary Meade McPhee (1910-1997) - The Grand Dame of the Ball Family

Mary Meade McPhee was my paternal grandmother, also known as the "Grand Dame of the Ball Family", as my Dad used to call her. She was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia on 20 February 1910. Her parents were Alexander Magnus McPhee and Naomi Baynes. Mary was the third of 5 chlildren born to Alex and Naomi. Her siblings were Elsie, Naomi, Borden and James.

She trained as a nurse at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminister BC and graduated around 1929. She met my Granddad at the Royal Columbian when she helped nursed my great-grandfather, Thomas Huxtable Ball. Bill and Mary were married on 4 June 1932 in New Westminster. Together, they raised two sons. Mary was active in the Royal Victorian of Nurses of British Columbia. She preferred to be called 'Nana' rather than Grandma and was a doting grandmother of 6 grandchildren. Following Bill's death in 1971, she returned to the BC mainland to live closer to her sister, Naomi and her other siblings. She also liked to travel - visiting her son and his family in Ontario and travelling with her sisters on holiday in the US. She died on 1 May 1997 in Langley (?), BC.

McPhee is variably spelled "MacPhee", but Nana always used McPhee when writing about her family.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Memories of Granddad (William Huxtable Ball, 1903-1971)

These are my memories of Granddad and stories told to us by Dad.

Dad always spoke of Granddad's sharp sense of humour, love of laughter, and his love of the sea. Granddad loved to tell stories, especially funny ones. I remember the telescope in the big picture window in my grandparent's house on Nanoose Bay. Granddad could tell you the kind of ship was sailing by, what it was carrying and its registration. He would point out all the mountains and tell you about how he used to travel up and down the coast to small communities, making sure that everyone had enough gasoline and oil to keep houses warm and boats moving. He could spot the movements of whales in the bay and tell you to wait and watch for the spout of water to appear. He was faithful viewer of Coronation Street - my first memories of the show were watching it with him.

However, he never could remember my name or my sister's (our given names both begin with K, as did one of our cousins) - so we were invariably called "Miss Milligicuddy". In fact, Granddad was, by Dad's recollection, not any good at remembering names and dates. He had many friends and acquaintances named 'Joe' as he could never remember their names. Granddad messed up Dad's birth registration by giving the wrong month (later corrected) and forgetting to include "McPhee" as a middle name on the first and second trips to the registry office, which was bit of a sore point between my grandparents for a while. I suppose that he could be forgiven as Dad was quite ill at birth and very sick for the first few years of his life with asthma. Granddad was a Freemason and, like many people of his day, viewed Catholicism with distrust. When Dad attended Gonzaga University, a Jesuit college in Spokane, Washington, on a sports scholarship, Granddad was not particularly amused. I don't think that he would have like to have known that Dad often attended Mass out of respect to Father Murray, a mentor and educator.

My few memories of Granddad are from the last years of his life, when he was ill was cancer. On our visits, I can remember a frail man, who always had a smile, loved to tousle your hair, and tell you funny stories about your father growing up. Despite the state of his health, he always was a dapper man, hat jauntily perched on his head. He would insist that Dad take him, my sister and me up to the landfill in the evening so we could watch the bears rummaging around the garbage. I thought it was pretty neat to have a grandfather who had his own 'zoo' down the road. He loved it when you brought him little creatures from the beach. He would explain where and how they lived and how the tides affected all sea life. I apparently called crabs "craps" as a young child and Dad said that Granddad would ask me about my crab hunting on the beach, trying not to laugh too hard when I said "craps" (of course, he never corrected my pronunciation....). He was the director of the clam digs on the beach, showing my sister and I where to dig with our little plastic shovels. We never seemed to find many, but had a wonderful time with a grandfather that we lost too soon.

Please feel free to add your own memories or to correct any errors in my has been quite a while since Granddad and Dad passed, so my memories may have faded. It's great getting old isn't it?

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

It all starts with William Huxtable Ball.....

So, the story begins.....

Granddad, William Huxtable Ball, was born on 18 August 1903 in New Wortley, Leeds, England. The address of his birth as 6-8th Avenue:

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His parents were Thomas Huxtable Ball and Annie Amelia Turner. His father was a journeyman plumber, who left for Canada in the spring of 1906. Granddad followed with his mother, leaving Liverpool aboard the ship, Dominion (Dominion Line), on 25 Apr 1907, bound for Montreal. They arrived on 7 May 1907. However, Granddad contacted pneumonia during the voyage and was forced to stay in hospital for a month in Montreal, before making the journey (likely by train) to Vancouver to join his father, Thomas. Granddad's family grew to include three sisters, Gwendolyn, Evelyn and Marjorie. He met his wife, Mary Meade McPhee, in the Royal Columbian Hospital, where she worked as nurse. They married on 4 June 1932 and raised two sons. He worked in the Shell Oil Refinery in Vancouver. His first job was in the warehouse, where he rolled barrels. He later took on sales positions with Shell and retired as a District Sales Manager. Nana and Granddad lived primarily in the Vancouver area and also spent time in the Okanagan while Dad and Bill were in high school.

Upon Granddad's retirement from Shell in 1960, he and Nana took an around-the-world cruise, sailing on a freighter from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, the Suez, to the UK, where they visited with Grandad's cousins in Penarth and Dinas Powys, Wales. They flew from London to Montreal, and visited with their sons, new granddaughter and future daughter-in-law. They moved to Nanoose Bay, outside of Parksville, on Vancouver Island, where they built a house overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Granddad died on 6 Apr 1971 of prostate cancer in Parksville, BC.

To be continued....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ground rules

As I start out on this journey, I wanted to lay a few ground rules for myself and those wishing to post comments:

1. Identities of living persons will not be posted in this blog, my posts and comment replies. Social media is wonderful, but I don't want to invade or disrespect the privacy of family and friends. We all live in a world where everything is 'out there', but it should be a personal choice. If you chose to self-identify, please refrain from naming others who may not want to be identified.

2. The story of the Ball family will start with my grandfather, William Huxtable Ball, and go back by generation. There will be the occasion where I might stray off the path (ie. to discuss other branches like the Turners, etc.), but I will try to keep the retelling as orderly as possible.

3. If I am wrong, please correct me. Genealogy is a continual work in progress. Revision, rethinking and retracing are all part of the game.

4. If you have a memory or story to share, please share it.  If you have additional information, please post, by all means.  It might be the clue that gets the research around the brick wall - and there are many. Your suggestions for possible avenues for research and investigation are most welcome.
5. Check back often. I will try to post regularly to keep the conversation going.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Secrets, lies and paper

If I had to chose a starting point, I would say that it was the receipt of a typewritten note on the history of the Ball family, composed by my great-aunt Gwen Hynds (sister to my grandfather, William Huxtable Ball). My Dad's mom,whom we called Nana, said not to take it too seriously as there were many errors (my great-grandmother died in 1947, not 1945). Nana sent it to us after Dad died and in some way it was a last tenuous link between us, Dad and the past. Mom and I dissected the note countless times, disagreed on the references and relationships noted, but it kept my interest piqued....

I won't post the whole note as there are references to living people and a dispute about money on my great-grandmother's (Turner) side - so you can see we are a very typical family... warts and all.
Like a great puzzle to solve, I felt compelled to sort fact from fiction.



Sunday, 25 September 2011

Why start doing your family history?

We all have many different reasons for starting out on the journey that is family history. For some, it is a matter of faith and duty. While for others, it is the challlenge and thrill of the hunt. 

In my case, our Ball family was precariously flung across a continent. My Dad came to Ontario to work and raise a family, while his only sibling and parents remained in British Columbia.  When Dad died, it was one less string that tied us together. The stories of his childhood and upbringing would no longer be heard.  I started this journey, as many of us do, too late to ask all the burning questions that trouble us now. I do this research to better understand who we are, to keep connected with my western cousins, to share our stories, and to pass along our history and stories to future generations.  While it is fun to collect name and dates to build the family tree, I am more interested in the stories behind the individuals.  What motivated them to stay or go, their lives and how they were connected to the places and events that surrounded them.

What are your reasons for doing family history?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

What's in a name?

Growing up with a name like "Ball" was never easy.... just think of all the variations that kids can come up with - Bald, Baldy - and the sports - football, baseball, basketball, broomball, and other inanimate objects, ball game, ballroom, ballpark.  I think that I might have heard them all over the years.  Dad always used to caution my sister and me to be careful of who you marry - the wrong choice of combined surnames could be troublesome.

So what's in a name? According to the Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames by Charles Wareing Bardsley (1967), Ball is a name was given to mean 'the son of Baldwin' from the nickname Bald.  The 'd' was eventually dropped because it suggested baldness. Henry Harrison wrote in Surnames of the United Kingdom, a Concise Etymologoical Dictionary (1912) that Ball is "(Teutonic) A diminutive form of Baldwin. (Origin Celtic) Bald. (French / Latin) With bay colored or chesnut chair. (Latin) nut-brown. (French Teutonic) The name Ball derived from the trade-sign of a Ball."   Bald and brown.....who knew?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Welcome to The Ball Bureau

Garry and Bill Ball, ca. 1941
Welcome to The Ball Bureau, a blog for the sharing of Ball family research.  I am currently tracing my Ball family history on my father's side and hope to connect with other Ball family historians and researchers.  My Ball connection comes from Devon, England and has reached into Glamorgan Wales. I haven't come across may researchers working on my line of ancestors, so I feel like I am breaking new ground.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, Garry Ball, and his brother, Bill Ball, who shared a love of storytelling, laughter and family. Dad passed in 1992 and we lost Bill this past year.  They are in our hearts always.