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.