Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Mabel Charlotte Ball - an update

My apologies for the sluggish pace of postings lately. It's conference season and I've been packing the archives for an upcoming move - which has not meant a lot of time for genealogy. And I do miss the research...

Nevertheless, in the past few weeks, I've been able to obtain the birth and marriage certificates for Mabel Charlotte Ball. Mabel was born on 19 February 1882 in Frog Moor, Reynoldston, Glamorgan

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Her parents were William James Ball and Mary Shepherd. William was the informant of the birth, which was registered 13 March 1882. His occupation was given as 'blacksmith". J. Gordon was the registrar.

Mabel was married on 9 April 1927 at the Tabernacle Baptist Chapel in Penarth to Edward John Newton, a widower, age 50. Edward was a commercial clerk, who resided at 177 Redland Road, Bristol. His father was Alfred John Newton, a retired foreman. Mabel was 45 years old at the time of her marriage and had been living at 140 Plassey Street in Penarth (home of her grandfather, William Huxtable Ball). Her father was listed as William James Ball, deceased. The witnesses to the marriage were Alice Mary Newton and R. Edward Gwyn Nicholas. Edward and Mabel were married by certificate the Plassey Street Baptist Chapel.

I'm told by a third cousin that Edward was known as "Jack". He was also blind. Jack and Mabel lived in Bristol after their marriage.

We're off on holidays the next two weeks, so I will wish everyone a healthy, happy and safe Canada Day (still 'Dominion Day' to me) long weekend.

Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

William James Ball - Statement of Death, 10 Jan 1922

William's struggle with his health, both physical and mental, ended on 10 January 1922, at 11:55am. Th details of his passing were recorded with succinct detail on the Statement of Death. It noted that William was 63 years old, male and a widower. His usual address was 2 St. George's Terrace, Reynoldston. The cause of death was Bright's Disease, of an unknown duration. The contributory cause of death was listed as "Mania". A post mortem ascertained the cause of death and no unusual circumstances, including injuries, surrounding his death were noted.

I often have thought about William and the long stretches that he spent at the asylum - how lonely and frightening it must have been. While visitors are not noted in his records, I hope that he was not forgotten by family and friends.

Many thanks go to the staff at the Glamorgan Archives in Cardiff for their permission to use William's photographs and their assistance with obtaining the records.

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

William James Ball and the Glamorgan Asylum, 1921

On 22 October 1921, William James Ball was admitted to the Glamorgan Asylum at Angleton for a fifth and final time. His re-admission noted "Recent Mania" as the primary diagnosis. His daughter, Mabel (Charlotte) Ball, of 140 Plassey Street, Penarth, was listed as his closest relative. Mary, his wife, had passed away in 1919. His intake states that William was "talkative, restless, sleepless , violent at times, roams about night & day & is quite unable to care for himself." His most recent episode began a week prior to his admission. He had been reported as "alright" up until then. He was frail physically and doctors noted his laboured breathing.

The notes for 23 October 1921 mention that William's thinking continued to be deluded. He told his doctors "that he makes lots of money in his room, but won't divulge the secret." William is described as mischievous, "goes through a lot of antics". Staff note that he was fairly well, although suffering from bronchitis. His condition remains much the same through the notes dated up to 3 December 1921. His kidney functioning was noted as being abnormal and had been for some time.

On 4 January 1922, the doctor noted that William was steadily deteriorating, restless and fairly weak. William's suffering came to an end on 10 January 1922. The entry for that morning reads "He died this morning at 11-55". The following day, a post-morten examination was held. The last notation in the file reads "Died".

With his passing, William's anguish and unhappy life ended. It is difficult to believe that he was admitted a total of five times over twenty years and spent much time in care.

Regards, K.

Monday, 11 June 2012

William James Ball and the Glamorgan Asylum, 1914

On 21 December 1914, William James Ball was re-admitted to the Glamorgan Asylum for a fourth time, with the notation "Recent Mania". He had been living on St. George's Terrace, Reynoldston, Gower, with wife Mary. He was 56 years old and his most recent episode had lasted 2 weeks. His general health was noted as "fairly strong".

William's medical certificate notes that he was talkative, restless, and irritable. He had roamed about the country and did not sleep, tumbled furniture and utensils in his house, was somewhat incoherent in his conversation and unable to take care of himself. The doctor noted that William "kept alright" from his discharge in August 1911 until two weeks ago.

On 22 December 1914, the doctor noted that William was "restless, garrulous & incoherent; talks in an exalted manner, goes thru a lot of antics." William's restless seemed to slow for a brief period in February, but by 5 March 1915, he was noted as being "restless, noisy, garrulous & interfering". The notes on his condition continue in much the same fashion until July 1916.

On 18 Septemer 1916, the doctor noted that William had "apparently reached his normal mental level, he was to-day discharged on four weeks' trial.

On 16 October 1916, William was discharged as "Recovered".

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

William James Ball and the Glamorgan Asylum, 1910 - Part 2

William's third stay in the Glamorgan Asylum was marked by a slow recovery. He made little progress by early May 1911. His condition was noted as being restless and talkative and he refused to do much work on the ward. By June, William started to show some improvement - he seemed "brighter" and had taken more interest in things and had done "a little ward work". In July, it was noted that his improvement was maintained. The notes of August 1, 1911 state that he was "quiet, rational, well conducted and appears to have reached his normal mental state; works in the stores".

On 12 August 1911, William was discharged. He had gained 14 lbs during his stay. He had been at the asylum since 12 September 1910 for a complete year. The last notation for this stay - "Recovered".

Cheers, K.