When I received a copy of my great-grandfather's apprenticeship paper from my dear uncle, Bill, I soon realized that John Ball had played an important role in the life of my great-grandfather, Thomas. The copy of the indenture, dated 2 December 1891, states "This indenture witnesses that Thomas Huxtable Ball with the consent of his brother, John Ball, doth put himself Apprentice to Joseph Samuel Shepton..." With John's consent and signature, my great-grandfather began an apprenticeship as a plumber, bellhanger, gasfitter, painter and glazier, to Joseph Shepton, a Penarth builder. With his trade learned and registered, Thomas was able to move to Leeds and eventually to Canada. Had John withheld his consent, how would have Thomas' life turned out? Would he have remained in Glamorgan with the rest of the family? Would he have left Wales?
According to the marriage indexes for Wales, John married Ruth Thomas of Knelston, Glamorgan, Wales in 1895. Their marriage was registered in the 3rd quarter (Jul-Aug-Sep) of the year. John and Ruth were both about age 34 at the time of their marriage. Ruth was the daughter of a farmer and would have been accustomed to the routine and work of John's farm.
More on John to follow.