Monday, 30 April 2012

Charlotte Ball and William Down

Following the birth of her son in 1892, the next sighting of Charlotte comes from her 1898 marriage, in the Cardiff registration district, to William Down. The marriage to William was registered in the last quarter of 1898 - which would place son, William, at about age 6 at the time of her nuptials.

William Down was born in Selworthy, Somerset in 1867. This is a Google map of Selsworthy, located cross the Bristol Channel from the south coast of Wales:

View Larger Map

This a link to: photos of Selworthy on Panaramio. It looks like quite an idyllic place.

William was born in Somerset and was living with his parents, William and Betsy Down, and sisters Mary and Ann and an unnamed newborn daughter in a cottage in Timberscombe, Somerset in 1871 according to the census. He was age 4 at the time. By the time of the 1881 census, William was living at Courts Cottage, Selworthy, Somerset, with farmer, John Court and his wife, Martha, as an indoor agricultural servant, along with John and James Court, sons of John and Martha, aged 33 and 27. The 1891 census shows William living with James and Ann Court, on Corss Lane Farm, Cross Lane, Selworthy, as an agricultural labourer, along with a younger labourer named Henry Baker. Sometime between 1891 and 1898, William made his way to Wales and eventually met Charlotte Ball.

Was William Down the father of William Spickett Ball? It's entirely possible. However, William's given middle name of Spickett is troubling (or a clever ruse by Charlotte to deflect suspicion away from someone - perhaps William Down). Young William was born 3 April 1892 and William Down was enumerated in Somerset almost a year prior on census day in 1891. Given the distances between their homes and William's occupation as a labourer, I am doubtful that William is the father, but won't discount any possibility.

By the time of the 1901 census, Charlotte and William were living at 18 Railway Terrace, Penarth, with Charlotte's father, William Huxtable Ball. William Down, age 34, was listed as a railway labourer. Charlotte's son William, age 8, was also living with them in the household.

Cheers, K.

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