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 road...it 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.....