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William Ball

William Ball

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William Ball was born in Reading in 1915. His father, Henry Ball, ran a chemist shop in Oxford Road. Ball went to Reading School where they became friends with John Boulting and Josh Francis. According to the authors of We Cannot Park on Both Sides (2000): "Bill Ball, John Boulting and Josh Francis had been members of the Officer Training Corps (OFC) at Reading School, which provided boys with basic military training and familiarity with weapons. Ball, a Corporal in the OTC was also a member of the School's rifle shooting team."

Ball, who lived with his parents in Clifton Park Road, Caversham, was a member of the Reading Branch of the Young Communist League, that included Thora Silverthorne and Reginald Saxton. He was also close to Josh Francis, John Boulting, Roy Poole and Rosamund Powell, who were all members of the Labour Party League of Youth. Ball was also an active member of the Friends of the Soviet Union.

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War Ball became very involved in the campaign to support the Popular Front government against the Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco. He eventually decided to join the International Brigades. According to his friend Jimmy Moon, Ball's father "was a left-winger, but he was furious" with his son's decision as he thought it would "ruin your career". However, later he boasted: "I've got a boy in Spain".

Ball left for Spain at the beginning of January 1937 with Cyril Sexton. "The first days of January 1937 saw a group on their way from Victoria Station, a small part of this group were Ball, Bibby, Johnson (with ski boots), Hart and myself. We kept more or less together to Paris. That night in the hotel we were allocated a room with two double beds, Ball and Bibby shared one, and Hart and myself the other. In those days I was completely non-political and that night Ball taught me the tune and words of the international. We shared a taxi to the Gare Austerlitz, where we met up with the others, and then shared a railway carriage to Perpignan, then the coach to Figueras. Our group stayed together even to the billets in the old cinema in Madrigueras."

Whereas his friends, John Boulting, Roy Poole, Rosamund Powell, Thora Silverthorne and Reginald Saxton joined the British Medical Aid Unit, Ball, like Josh Francis, joined the British Battalion and became a member of the machine-gun in No.2 Company, where he served under Harry Fry.

Ball's first military action took place at Jarama on 12th February 1937. One of his comrades, Cyril Sexton, later recalled what happened: "The 12th of February 1937 found us struggling up the side of a hill whilst the riflemen of l, 3 and 4 Companies went ahead. Eventually our No.2 Company were in a position in advance to the "sunken road" overlooking the conical and rounded hill, and further on the Jarama Valley. Our Maxim, the crew of which still had Ball, Bibby, Hart and myself, were ordered to dig and mount our Maxim on the left flank behind the "sunken road". This gave us a good field of fire to the left flank, down the "sunken road" and also to the hills where 1, 3 and 4 Companies were fighting."

Ball worked very closely with Jock Cunningham, the commander of the British Battalion, during the battle at Jarama. On 14th February 1937 Ball was killed. His death was described by fellow soldier, Tommy James: "Tank shells began to fall all around us. At this moment Jock Cunningham... came up accompanied by Comrade Ball... They paused whilst jock scanned the Fascist positions through his field glasses. Suddenly, a shell burst right beside them... The explosion tore the leg off Comrade Ball... for a few minutes Ball lay, blood pouring from his ghastly wound and reddening the soil, but he died as he was carried away. I will never forget the look of rage and hatred upon Jock's face as he kicked loose soil over the blood soaked soil. Ball was his greatest friend."

Thora Silverthorne wrote to her family on 9th March, 1937: "Did you know that Comrade Ball of Reading (son of the chemist Dad was friendly with) was killed on this front! He'd behaved very well: the commandant praised him highly. Said he was due for promotion for his splendid behaviour. Please give my very sincere sympathy to Comrade Ball's father; tell him his son died with many other fine fellows but not in vain."

In the 1938 May Day pageant held in Reading large photographs of William Ball and Josh Francis were carried under the slogan "Reading's heroes in Spain."

The first days of January 1937 saw a group on their way from Victoria Station, a small part of this group were Ball, Bibby, Johnson (with ski boots), Hart and myself. Our group stayed together even to the billets in the old cinema in Madrigueras.

I went over to see my commanding officer, Fry, and asked if there were any further orders for us. "Stay where you are" were my last orders from him. I returned and Tom Winteringham (the Battalion Commander) asked about the left flank. I told him that our gun had it covered and that a cavalry patrol had passed that way earlier in the morning. I asked Winteringham if a couple of shells couldn't be put through the roof of the white house on the rounded hill (Suicide Hill). Later in the day we heard that our company had been captured.

Our little group were still together, and when night fell on the second night, the Battalion had shrunk to a very few. I don't remember seeing any of our officers and it was a night of alarms and flares dropping into the road...

I saw Jock Cunningham on the 14th February and one of his orders was to move our gun to a position on the right flank to cover the gap where the Franco-Belge had been. Cunningham also asked for volunteers to recover a tripod that had been left out on no man's land. Ball and myself were two of the half dozen who went.

We all returned safely. We dug our new gun emplacement but it was not so good as regards to fields of fire as our first position. The Battalion was now so short of men that Hart and myself as No.2 were the only ones left on the Maxim. The others, including Ball and Bibby, were taken back into the olive grove as riflemen. This was the last time I saw either of them. When the attack came later in the day it was to our left, and we fired and fired, but by then the Fascists had crossed the sunken road and were invisible in the trees. We carried on firing until our last belt, and then the gun jammed and lacking the tool to remove the faulty cartridge, we opened up the gun and took the lock out. By now we were almost surrounded, but we were able to make our way back to the olive grove where we met up with a few others ... I have wondered for years what happened to Ball and Bibby.

Tank shells began to fall all around us. Ball was his greatest friend.

Did you know that Comrade Ball of Reading (son of the chemist Dad was friendly with) was killed on this front! He'd behaved very well: the commandant praised him highly. Please give my very sincere sympathy to Comrade Ball's father; tell him his son died with many other fine fellows but not in vain. The English comrades did much towards keeping our front: they set a splendid example and greatly raised the morale of the other battalions.

William Ball (astronomer)

William Ball (or Balle, c. 1631–1690) was an English astronomer. He was one of the founding Fellows of the Royal Society. He was appointed the Society's first treasurer on 28 November 1660, and served until 1663. [1]

He was the eldest son of Sir Peter Ball and his wife Anne Cooke, daughter of William Cooke. He became an ardent astronomer, and he gained ownership of a twelve-foot telescope. In 1655, when the Rings of Saturn had apparently disappeared due to being seen edge-on from Earth, Ball and his brother Peter observed them as a band (or "fascia") upon the planet. The same year he established the rotation rate of the planet Saturn. [2]

In 1660 he fell 30 feet onto hard ground. This accident left him in continual ill health. In 1666 he retired to his estate in Devon and in 1668 married Mary Posthuma Hussey, they raised six children. Managing his family's estate together with its distance from London left little time to follow his scientific interests. [3]

In a summary of Ball's observations of Saturn in 1665, his colleague Robert Moray remarked that there appeared "not one body of a Circular Figure, that embraces his Disk, but two". [2] This cryptic remark resulted in the mid-19th century in a claim that Ball had observed what is now known as the Cassini Division in Saturn's rings, ten years before Cassini did himself, and that the feature should more correctly be known as "Ball's Division". [4] However, actual examination of Ball's drawings of his observations does not support this claim. [2] [5]

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All relationship and family history information shown on FameChain has been compiled from data in the public domain. From online or printed sources and from publicly accessible databases. It is believed to be correct at the time of inputting and is presented here in good faith. Should you have information that conflicts with anything shown please make us aware by email.

But do note that it is not possible to be certain of a person's genealogy without a family's cooperation (and/or DNA testing).

Additional Resources

  • From Martha C. Mordecai - Col. William Ball was the Ball immigrant. He was the great-grandfather of George Washington. Almost all of these Virginia ancestors were members of the House of Burgesses. William was a member of the House of Burgesses, 1669-73. The majority of the earliest ancestors came to VA in the 1630-1650 era. The Balls were from Lancaster Co., VA. There are a great deal of hand written land grants at Virginia Land Office Patents & Grants/Northern Neck Grants & Surveys. Much can be found at the Mary Ball Washington Library and St. Mary's White Chapel Church. They consider Ball descendants to be royalty. (Source: Ted Kaufman, Dallas, TX 2002). I went to Lancaster Co., VA, and the Mary Ball Library, in Oct. of 2003 and found much information on the Ball line.
  • genealog.ballgen
  • ancestrylibrary.com

Great-grandfather of George Washington. William Ball, c. 1615-Millenbeck, Lancaster Co. 1 Oct-Nov 1680, London. 2 Jul 1638 [m] Hannah Atherold. Father possibly Dr. Richard Ball of London.

p 6 -
BALL, William. Will. 5 Oct. 1680. Rec. 11 Nov. 1680.
To son Wm. Ball, my plantation, 2 patents of 540 acres. Wife Hannah son Joseph Ball Patent of 1600 acres in Rappa. Co., Dau. Hannah, wife of Capt. David Fox only 5 shillings sterling, which is overpayment both of her portion and deserts. Extrs. Sons William and Joseph. Wits. Thos. Everest, Jno. Mottly.
W.B. 5, p. 70.

p 50, 51 -
. 1. COLONEL WILLIAM BALL, "of ye County of Lancastr in Rapp.," b. cir 1615 d. "Millenbeck," Lancaster county, Va., Nov., 1680. Will dated Oct. 15, 1680 pro. Lanc. county, Nov., 1680.* He m. "in London," July 2, 1638, HANNAH ATHEROLD, probably dau. of Thomas Atherold, of Burgh, in Suffolk. She survived her husband.

* p 50-51 -
In the name of god Amen. I William Ball of ye County of Lancastr in Rapp being Praised be god in good & pfect health both of Body and minde doe make and Ordaine this my Last Will and Testament in Manner and form following (vis) Imp'et 1 bequeath my Soule to god Almighty my maker and Creator in full Assurance of ye pardon and Remission of all my sins Through ye death & meritts of Jesus Christ my only Savior and Redeemer and my body to ye Earth from Whence it Came to be Decently Intered and for my Worldly Estate my Just Debts and funerall Rights first is Charged I give and Dispose as foll:

Item I give and Devise my Land and Plantation Whereon I Lived Expresst in two pattents Containing five hundred & forty Acres to my Sone William Ball and his heirs forever never ye les it is my Will and Pleasure yt my Loving Wife Hannah Ball be and Remaine in full possession thereof together wth all householde goods and Servants both Christians and Negrowes wth ye * * * of Cattle of all kinds Excepting What is pticularly bequeathed out of it wch never ye less is not to be Delivered till ye * * * of her rights for and During her natural Life pvided she soe long Remained A Widdow and therefore it is my Will and pleasure that what shall remain in her possession be Inventoryed and Vallued by her Selfe and my two Sons Between them them selves to ge (together) and if She Should Marry againe She may then Enjoy on * * her pporconable parte according to Law.

Item, for ye Other part of my Estate Consisting Cheifly in Marchantdiscing goods and Debts it is my will and pleasure ye same alsoe be Inventoried and Vallued as before and that she my s'd Wife Likewise Enjoy one third part thereof and that ye Remainder togeather wth what shall be Over and Above her third part of houschold goods servants and Cattle of all Kinds & not hereby pticularly bequeathed bee Soone After ye termination of her Right hereby lymitted Devided into five parts three Whereof I give and Bequeath to my Son William Ball & his heirs forever and ye Other two parts to my Son Joseph Ball & his heirs forever their part of Marchantdizeing goods & Debts to be forthwth Delivered.

Item, I give and Devise my land in ye freshes of Rappk Cont'g by pattent 1600 Acres to my two Sons William and Joseph and to each of there heires forever to be equally Divided between them wthout any Advantage of Survlvorshipp if either of them should decese before Demission.

Item, I give and Bequeath to my Son William and his heires my two Negroes Called Tame and Katie his Wife and to my son Joseph and his heires my Negro Tony and Dinah his wife, the Negro Girle Bess and ye negro boy James to my wife to Dispose of between my two sons or their Children, and noe other Wise When her Rights shall Determine Either by Death or Marryage.

Item I give unto my two Sons William and Joseph Whatsoever Either of them stands Indepted to me upon Acco in my book.

Item, I give unto my Daughter Hannah now ye Wife of Capt David ffox only five shillings Sterling Which is an Overplus both of her portion and Deserts.

Item I hereby nominate and Appointe my two sons William and Joseph Executors of this my Last Will and testament to act together in all things in ye Ordering and Disposing of ye Estate According to the true Intent and meaning thereof by a due pformance of ye Severall Exceptions pvisoes and Limitations therein Contained hereby Renouncing all former Wills and Deeclare this to be my last Will and testament by Witnessing the same wh my hand Seale this fifth day of Octr 1680 and in the two and thirtieth year of our Soveraigne Lord King Charles ye Second.


Sealed and Delivered in psence of us Thomas Everest, John Mottby, per signo Probat fuit humoi Testmt in Cur Com Lancast Decimo die Novembris Ao Domi 1680 pr Saemt Thomas Everest et John Mottby Jur in Cur. Test John Stretchly Clk. True copy test. Jno. Stretchly.

[Demonstrates that immigrant William Ball of Millenbeck was NOT from Barkham, England.]
[Note: Peter Walne was Berkshire County Archivist, Reading, England.]

William Ball (abt. 1740 - abt. 1806)

William Ball, who is first found on Lynch Creek in the 1760s in old Granville County, North Carolina, is the most likely ancestor of the Balls of Iredell, Wilkes, and Buncombe counties in the western part of the state.

Many have Daniel Ball Jr b 1745 as the father of these Balls but that Daniel remained in Granville/Warren area and died in 1822 with a will naming sons James and Richard.

William Ball would appear to be the eldest son of Daniel and Sarah (Hackney) Ball of Middlesex County, Virginia, and Granville County, North Carolina. The will of Daniel Ball Sr of 1794 names William first amongst his sons.

It seems likely that William Ball married about 1762 and his eldest son was the revolutionary pensioner Daniel Ball born in 1763 who married Ann, traditionally Jarvis. That Daniel was drafted in Franklin County, which was cut off from Bute, which was in turn cut off from Granville. So the family had not moved, the county boundaries had.

William Ball's traditional wife was Betty Debord. William Ball and John Debord, of an age to be Betty's father, had strong associations in records in Granville and Bute. And the Balls and Debords migrated together to Iredell.

William Ball Sr was granted land on Hunting Creek in Iredell (then Rowan) in 1780 but the land was not surveyed until 1786 and not granted until 1789. He is not found in the 1790 census (though his son William b 1766 was) but is in the 1800 census of Iredell as over 45 years of age (born before 1755).

Research Notes

There is a separate profile for William Jonas "Bill" Ball, who married Sarah Campbell. It lists his father as Daniel Ball, Jr. and mother as Elizabeth Osborne. I am not sure if this is right. Could this William Ball be his father, instead of Daniel? Another son James Ball is also listed. There is a Alabeth Ball Freeman daughter but I think this is incorrect.

Is the Wm Ball in the 1790 Census this William Ball or his son William Jonas Ball.

William was born about 1740. William Ball . He passed away about 1800. [1]

William Ball I

Their family immigrated to America about 1650. He patented 240 acres on the northern side of the Rappahannock in May of 1651. In For Love of Family, Peter Baron describes William's contributions to the Northern Neck:

William never lived at Millenbeck and never saw the mansion built there. Part of the land William acquired in 1667 bordered the Millenbeck tract to the north, it was not until June 30th, 1680 that he purchased three separate pieces of land from William Wroughton totaling 280 acres that the area now known as Millenbeck came into the Ball family.

William wrote his will on October 5th, 1680 and it was recorded just over a month later on November 10th. William was buried at his plantation on Narrow-Neck Creek, near the western side of the mouth of the Corrotoman River. In 1754 his grandson, Joseph Ball II wrote a letter to his cousin Joseph Chinn asking Chinn to go to the plantation where his grandparents lived and have Hannah Dennis show him where they are buried. Joseph asked that the spot be marked with locust stakes because, "I think to find a stone to put over them." Apparently the spot was not found and the grave site of William and Hannah has been forgotten.

William was the great-grandfather of President George Washington. His son Joseph had a daughter named Mary Ball who would go on to marry Augustine Washington and become the mother of George Washington.

William is an ancestor of Mark Dameron through his daughter Hannah and an ancestor of Maida George through his son William.

William Ball - History

© 2006 By Thomas Balch Library. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Austin A. Backus

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open for research

Use Restrictions

Preferred Citation

Ball Family Genealogical Chart (OM 005), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Acquisition Information

Gary Slaughter, Knoxville MD

Alternative Form Available

here is a use copy of the largest of the three manuscripts.


Biographical Information

Several Ball lines existed in and around Virginia in America's early days. While it is nearly certain that the several lines all have English roots, they did not all come from the same colonist, or even the same family.

The most prominent line is that of Colonel William Ball I (1615-1680) of London, England who immigrated with his wife Hannah Atherold (d, 1695) and two of their three children, Joseph (b. 1649), and Hannah (b. 1650), in 1650 and settled in Lancaster County, VA as planters and eventually merchants. Colonel William II (1641-1694) was only nine when he and his parents left for the colonies. Colonel William I, Hannah, and their three children continued to live, work, and thrive in Northern, VA for several generations becoming one of the leading families in America's early years.

Confusion exists between the location of William I's home and that of his son, William II. They both died in Lancaster County, VA. It is believed William I had settled at the mouth of the Corotoman River in Lancaster County, VA by 1663. William II is usually associated with the Millenbeck estate on the Rappahannock River in Rappahannock County, VA.

Colonel Burgess Ball (1749-1800) was the great great grandson of Colonel William Ball I, and a resident of Leesburg VA. He was also an aide-de-camp to General Washington in the Revolutionary War. Washington's mother was a granddaughter of Colonel William I. Besides the Washingtons, the Balls intermarried with other families in and around Virginia. Hannah, the eldest daughter of Colonel William I, married Captain David Fox (1647-1669). The Foxes were a prominent family in 17th and 18th century Virginia. Other families include the Conways, Taylors, Taliaferros, and Chinns.

Captain Alling Ball of New Haven, CT and his wife Dorothy (d. 1690) whose name appears on the William Ball chart are hard to place in relation to William Ball I. Some sources decided they must be brothers though little or no evidence is given. The same mystery exists between Francis Ball (d. 1648) and William Ball I. Furthermore, conclusive evidence is yet to be found linking Alling and Francis Ball in any sort of kinship. Whether or not he had brothers in the colonies, the descendents of William Ball I were the most well-known and studied.

Another line is that of Edward (d. 1726) and Kezia Ball. Less is known about Edward and his family except for the names and some dates of their 13 children who appear on his family pedigree.

James Ball and his wife Ann (Nancy) (d.1822) were the founders of another Ball line. They resided in Fauquier County, VA where they leased land on which to build a home, and raise their ten children. James was an apple farmer by trade his orchard stood on the same piece of property. Sheltial Ball (1780-1836), James and Nancy's fourth child and first son was the first of the family to settle in St. Louis County, MO in 1834. A year later, Sheltial's brother, James Jr. (1787-1852) followed him to Missouri as did their younger sister Nancy (1792-1855) with her husband, William Ellis. John Ball (1790-1838) with his wife Elizabeth Ellis (1790-1852) ended up in St. Louis County, MO probably around this same time though their date of arrival is uncertain. The rest of James and Nancy's children remained in or around Fauquier County, VA.

John (1670-1722) and Winifred Ball were of Stafford County, VA. Their son Moses Ball Sr. (1717-1792) settled in Fairfax County, VA. Moses Ball Sr.'s children and grandchildren eventually made their way to Southwest Virginia. His son, Moses Ball Jr., settled in Hawkins County, Tennessee, while others of the family established roots in Kentucky.

Scope and Content

This collection contains three charts of various sizes depicting genealogies of several Ball families. All of them are fraying and yellowing around the edges. All three charts are hand printed, the smaller two on onion skin paper, while the largest is on card stock. There is also a copy of the William Ball chart in the collection.

The William Ball chart begins with Colonel William Ball I and traces his progeny down to 8 generations. Captain Alling Ball and Francis Ball appear at the top of the chart though the connection between any of the three is doubtful.

The Edward Ball chart records two distinct Ball lines with no apparent relation between the two. The first line begins with the family of Edward (d. 1726) and Kezia Ball and their thirteen children. Five more generations from the children are recorded.

The second line begins with James Ball and ends with his grandchildren. Confusion exists regarding his birth and death dates some sources indicate 1744-1784, while others claim 1754-1794. This James Ball does appear, however, on the William Ball chart mentioned above. On that chart his father is not recorded but his uncles, William and James Ball, are. Additionally, James' descendents down to several generations are recorded on the William Ball chart.

The John Ball chart spans ten generations. The latest family member is Elizabeth Ball (b. 1932), in the line of George Ball of the third generation from John Ball.

Adjunct Descriptive Data


Ball Family Genealogical Chart (OM 005), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Ball: Genealogy and Family History. Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Ball, Helen, compiler. The Burgess Ball Family of Loudoun County, VA. Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Ball, Palmer R., compiler. The Ball Family of Southwest Virginia: Genealogy of Some of the Descendants of Moses Ball of Fairfax County. Virginia: The Cumberlandcrafters, 1933.

Hayden, Rev. Horace Edwin. Virginia Genealogies. Pennsylvania: Wilkes-Barre, 1891. Reprint, Baltimore: Clearfield Company, 1992.

Genealogies of Virginia Families. Vol. 1. "Taylor's Quarterly: Historical and Genealogical Magazine." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1981.

Family Search: Family and Genealogy Research, www.familysearch.org.

Other Finding Aid

Other Finding Aid


Ball Family Genealogical Chart (OM 005), Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Ball: Genealogy and Family History. Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Ball, Helen, compiler. The Burgess Ball Family of Loudoun County, VA. Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA.

Ball, Palmer R., compiler. The Ball Family of Southwest Virginia: Genealogy of Some of the Descendants of Moses Ball of Fairfax County. Virginia: The Cumberlandcrafters, 1933.

Hayden, Rev. Horace Edwin. Virginia Genealogies. Pennsylvania: Wilkes-Barre, 1891. Reprint, Baltimore: Clearfield Company, 1992.

Genealogies of Virginia Families. Vol. 1. "Taylor's Quarterly: Historical and Genealogical Magazine." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1981.

Disputed Spouses

It is believed that William probably married three times - or had relations with three "spouses." Although his marriage to Margaret Downman is "confirmed" in ca 1675 according to The Colonial Families of the Southern States and it records all children with Margaret Downman, the Encylopedia of Virginia Biogaphy records sons William and James with Miss Harris. The Colonial Families in the U.S. does not record which children with which spouse.

And then the Tyler's Quarterly Magazine [10] , noting problems determining the mother(s) of William's children stated:

"Genealogists seem in the past to have all conceding that he [William] was married several times but until recently it was uncertain by which wife he had the various children. It has now been proved by records that his third and last wife was Margaret Williamson who died and left a will dated 1697 mentioning all the children of Captain William Ball and herself and designating herself the sister of Mary Rozier, both daughters of James Williamson and Ann Underwood. Colonial record has been established for Margaret Williamson for an original land grant in Rappahannock County Virginia, Book 4, page 57, March 11, 1662." [This year needs checking]

The order in which he married these three women is also in dispute:

  1. Margaret Downman [1][3][4][7][11] est. 1664 in Lancaster County, Virginia, daughter of Rawleigh Downman. She was born Est. 1645 in Morattico, Lancaster County, Virginia, and died est. 1720 in Lancaster County, VA, USA.
  2. "Miss" Harris [2][3][4][7][8] est. 11 Nov 1672 in Lancaster County, Virginia. She was born est. 1643 in earliest record, Bay View, Northumberland County, Virginia, and died before 26 Mar 1673 (when William married third).
  3. Margaret Williamson [2][4][7] 26 Mar 1673 in St Mary's White Chapel Parish, Lancaster County, Virginia, daughter of Dr. James Williamson. She was born est. 1653 in or nearby Rappahannock County, Virginia, and died 06 Feb 1696/97 - 09 Sep 1702 in St. Mary's Whitechapel Parish, Lancaster County, Virginia. Her will was dated 06 Feb 1696/97, and recorded September 9, 1702.

Added 2020-06-23 16:25:46 -0700 by Private User

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About William Ball, Lord of the Manor of Barkham

Lord of the Manor of Barkham Commissioner of Berks County

1. The surname "Ball" is probably a shortened form of "Baldwin" datin g from Norman times meaning "one who is bold enough to win in battle". For many generations the Baldwins were Counts of Flanders. The shortened variations of the spelling included "Baell", "Ball", and Balle".

John Balle, born 1263 in Norfolk County, England, is one of the earlie st recorded but with very little information. The "Mad Preacher of Kent", John Ball, is the most recorded following John Balle. Having great disdain for royalty while preaching "equality among men" and believing no man had the right to set himself as master of others, he was beheaded by Richard II, King of England in 1381.

2. William was titled "Lord of the Manor of Barkham" and the reason fo r this is unknown to us. The Ball family did not possess Barkham Manor according to available records beginning in the 1300's. D. J. French of Barkham, in a letter to us in 1999, made this comment:

"There is nothing to suggest any connection between the Balls of Barkh am & Wokingham and Barkham Manor.

By way of background to this conclusion, please also find attached th e chapters about the modern Barkham

Manor and the Bullock family (lords of Barkham) which will appear i n a book I am writing about the history of

Barkham. Please note that the William Ball (alias Bennett) referred t o in the former was a member of the

Standen family (from Surrey), and appears to be quite unrelated to th e Balls of Barkham and Wokingham."

We believe many Ball individuals were born and/or raised in Barkham bu t their families were not the owners of Barkham Manor.

In the following excerpts from Mr. French's pending book, a William Ba ll, referred to as a "kinsman" and heir to William Standen (owner of Barkham Manor at the time of his death in 1639 and childless), with wife Margaret, lived in Barkham Manor as early as 1645 and as late as 1657. Mr. French did not consider this William related to our Ball family. William Ball Jr and his wife Margaret Downman appear to be too young but his father William Ball III would be of the correct age:


The sale of the manor of Barkham by Philip and Henry le Botiller to Jo hn Mautravers in 1330 had been disputed by

Agnes de Nevill, through legal proceedings (called an assize of nove l disseisin) commenced before the forfeiture of

John Mautravers' property, and Agnes recovered title to the manor an d a carucate of land (corresponding to one hide,

say 120 acres, consistent with the 1331 valuation) under a judgment i n 1334(1). Agnes de Nevill is reputed to have

married Gilbert Bullock, son of Robert Bullock, lord of Arborfield, an d so the manor of Barkham passed into the

younger line of the Bullock family(2)(since Gilbert Bullock was not Ro bert Bullock's eldest son (another Robert)).

In 1343 Gilbert Bullock presented John de Insula as new rector to Bark ham church(3). The wooden effigy in the

church porch of a recumbent lady in a long, loose dress and linen head -dress is reputed to be an effigy of Agnes

de Nevill (see Chapter 18). The lordship of Barkham was to remain in t he Bullock family until 1589(4).

Agnes de Nevill and Gilbert Bullock may have died without male heirs , perhaps as a consequence of the Black

Death, since in 1368, when Agnes Mautravers (widow of John Mautravers ) unsuccessfully claimed rights of dower

(or widow's thirds) over the manor of Barkham, the lordship was in th e hands of Thomas Ganefeld and Agnes his wife

for term of Agnes' life under a family settlement, the reversion bein g held by John Bullokes(5). Agnes Ganefeld may

have been the daughter and heir of Agnes de Nevill and Gilbert Bullock , or the sister of either. There are also

references to Thomas Ganefeld in 1362 and 1372. Coincidentally, a Henr y Ganefeld was rector of Barkham about this

time until his death in 1396(6). There is no record of whether John Bu llokes became lord of Barkham, but by 1391 the

lordship was in the hands of another Gilbert Bullock (who could have b een his son)(7), who lived until at least 1415.

Gilbert Bullock was succeeded as lord of Barkham by his son Thomas Bul lock, who in 1419 presented Walter Bosum

as rector to Barkham church(8). Meanwhile, in 1405 Robert Bullock tert ius, lord of the manor of Arborfield for at least

forty years, died without male heirs, and the lordship of Arborfield p assed to his daughter and heir Margaret, and her

husband John Hertyngdon, for term of Margaret's life under a family se ttlement(9). In 1418/21 the reversion to the

lordship of Arborfield was conveyed to Thomas Bullock of Barkham and h is wife Alice(10), so that when Margaret

Hertyngdon died, Thomas Bullock became lord of both manors, thereby un iting the two branches of the family. There

survives at the Berkshire Record Office a 1429 deed whereby the mano r of Barkham was conveyed by family trustees

to Thomas Bullock absolutely(11).

Although Thomas Bullock (or a son of the same name) remained lord of A rborfield until 1463, a Robert Bullock was lord

of the manor of Barkham from at least 1444, when he presented John Eve rdon to the rectory of Barkham(12). Robert

Bullock appears to have died between 1483 and 1489, when his widow, El eanor, presented John Hawkyns as rector to

Barkham church(13), presumably as part of her widow's thirds (or right s of dower).

The identity of the lord of Barkham after Eleanor Bullokys' death, an d of the lord of Arborfield after Thomas Bullock's

decease in 1463, is unclear, on account of the paucity of surviving re cords, but by 1502 Gilbert Bullock was lord of both

manors. The 1566 Heralds' Visitation of Berkshire(14) says that Gilber t was the son of Robert (who married Eleanor), who

was the son of Thomas (died 1463) and his wife Alice Yeadinge, suggest ing that Thomas Bullock granted his son and

heir, Robert, a life tenancy of the manor of Barkham before 1444 in an ticipation of his inheritance. There are several

inconsistencies in the surviving documents relating to this period, an d another son, Richard, may have held an interest

in Arborfield manor after Thomas Bullock's death(15).

In mediµval and Tudor times the manor house was located on the moate d site adjacent to the parish church. This would

have been the residence of the Bullocks as lords of Barkham, until th e lordships of Barkham and Arborfield were in the

same hands, when the head of the family resided at Arborfield (as th e more substantial manor). It is possible that the

surviving building was built (or re-built) as a dower house for Eleano r Bullock in the mid 1480's. Following Eleanor's death

Arborfield became the permanent seat of the Bullocks, and the manor ho use at Barkham was let as a farm to a succession

of tenants (family and non-family), as recounted in Chapter 9.

Little is known about Gilbert Bullock, except that he presented Rober t Towneshend to the rectory of Barkham in 1504(16),

and married Margaret, daughter of Sir William Norris of Bray. By 151 4 Gilbert Bullock had died, and had been succeeded

by his son Thomas (who presented Thomas Hornby to the rectory of Barkh am in that year)(17), who remained lord of the

manors of Arborfield and Barkham until his death in 1558. He married A lice, daughter of John Kingsmill, one of the justices

of the Common Pleas (whose estates included Langley Pond Farm in Barkh am, where his father, Richard Kingsmill, had

Thomas Bullock was a minor member of Henry VIII's household, and he ap pears in a list of the Royal Household in 1516

as one of the Gentlemen Ushers Extraordinary(18). Thomas Bullock serve d the Crown in a number of capacities. In 1518 and

1528 he was Escheator (an agent of the Crown) of the counties of Oxo n and Berks(19), and he was also appointed a tax

commissioner for Berkshire several times. In 1544 Thomas Bullock was a mongst the nobles and gentry who supplied men

and horses to Henry VIII for the war with France(20). Thomas Bullock' s contingent consisted of 'archers eight, and billmen

thirteen', in all probability recruited amongst his tenants in Arborfi eld and Barkham.

In 1517 a government commission enquiring into private enclosures note d that Thomas Bullock had enclosed 100 acres of

arable land in Barkham, displacing one messuage and eight persons(21) . If converted to pasture for sheep, this would have

removed from tillage a significant proportion of the cultivated land i n the 1,362 acre parish, much of which comprised heath,

scrub or woodland. (Indeed, by 1613, only 57 acres of the mediµval ope n arable fields remained)(22). A list of heads of

household liable to pay taxes survives from 1524/5(23), which lists 2 4 taxpayers, suggesting that the population of Barkham

at the time was in the region of 110.

Thomas Bullock died in 1558, and his son Richard succeeded to the tw o manors. Little is known about Richard Bullock,

except that he and his wife, Alice, had a large number of children. Wh en Richard Bullock died in 1570, his son Thomas

succeeded to the manors of Arborfield and Barkham. In 1581 Thomas wa s Escheator of Oxon and Berks, and he also served

as High Sheriff of Berkshire 1581-82. He married Dorothy, daughter o f Sir William Forster of Aldermaston. A heavy

accumulation of debts forced Thomas Bullock to sell the two manors fo r ?4,000 in 1589, thereby causing the demise of the

Bullock family fortunes (see Chapter 14)."


The origins of the mansion house called Barkham Manor are obscure, sin ce there are few surviving records before the 1750's,

and it is not known who the early occupants were.

Although the present house (apart from the cellars) dates from the en d of the eighteenth century, the reputed origin of the

ornamental lakes as stew ponds and the magnificent plane tree (Platanu s Orientalis), reputed to be up to 450 years old, may

indicate the existence of a high status building on the site since a t least Tudor times. If the present lakes do indeed derive

from mediµval stew ponds, they would have been stocked with fish lik e carp, to be consumed on days when church laws

required abstinence from eating meat (i.e. Fridays and during Lent) an d during winter.

The mediµval manor house had been on a moated site adjacent to the par ish church. At some stage during the first part of the

seventeenth century, the site of the manor of Barkham migrated to th e present Barkham Manor site, although the property was

known as Barkham House until well into the nineteenth century. Curious ly, however, although the mediµval manor house was

described as a 'faire houfe' in a 1613 survey of the parishes in Winds or Forest, none of the other twelve houses in Barkham

listed attracted any special mention(1).

If there was a high status building on the site in Tudor times, one o f the early occupants may have been John White, a partner

in the Reading and Wokingham bellfoundries(2), who retired to Barkham , where he died in 1551. White was a wealthy man by

contemporary standards, leaving a personal estate of ?81. 15s. 7d.(3) , and had been mayor of Reading (before, and after, the

dissolution of Reading Abbey) in 1536 and 1542. This is, however, pure ly conjectural.

In 1589, the lordships of Arborfield and Barkham, together with 2,20 0 acres (78% of the two parishes) were sold by Thomas

Bullock (who was almost bankrupt) to Edmond Standen, Clerk of the Pett y Bag of the Court of Chancery, for ?4,000(4).

On his death in 1603, Edmond Standen was succeeded by his son, William , who lived at Arborfield manor until his death

(aged 73) in 1639. The lengthy Latin epitaph on his tomb in St Barthol omew's, Arborfield (which is opposite the porch when

you enter the church) is fulsome in its praise of his generous natur e and Christian virtues. William Standen died childless,

and his heir-at-law was a kinsman called William Ball, who was the gra ndson of Edmond Standen's second brother. The

Arborfield and Barkham estates passed, however, under a family settlem ent to another kinsman of the same name, William

Standen, who was the grandson of Edmond Standen's fifth brother. The t rustees were William Lenthall MP and Nicholas

It appears that William Standen (kinsman) and his (first) wife, Sarah , took up residence in Barkham, probably at the mansion

house on the Barkham Manor site, not long after William Standen's deat h in 1639, and remained at Barkham during the troubled

Civil War years, since the Barkham parish registers include 5 Stande n family entries in 1642-45 (1 baptism and 4 burials)(6),

whilst Mary Standen (widow of William Standen) continued to live at Ar borfield until her death in 1645. Little is known about

William Standen (kinsman), except that he was at some time a member o f the Barber Surgeons' Company in the City of London,

and was High Sheriff of Berkshire in 1648.

When Mary Standen (widow) died in 1645, William and Sarah Standen move d from Barkham to Arborfield manor, whilst his

kinsman, William Ball, a supporter of the Parliamentary cause and writ er of political pamphlets, took up residence at Barkham,

where he and his wife Margaret continued to reside, when not in London , until at least 1652(7). It seems that William Standen's

wife, Sarah, predeceased him, and by 1657 he had taken a second wife c alled Elizabeth.

The history of the dispute between William Bullock and Edmond Stande n in the 1590's, and between Edward Bullock and

William Standen 1650-62, about the ownership of the manors of Arborfie ld and Barkham is recounted in Chapters 14 and 16.

The next occupiers of the manor house appear to have been the family o f John Stronghill and his (second) wife Judith, from

at least 1654 until Stronghill's death in 1666(8). John Stronghill's N ew Year 'Guifte' to the parish church in 1664 of a silver

paten, engraved with his coat of arms, is still part of the church pla te. According to the surviving hearth tax returns for 1662-64,

Barkham House had nine fireplaces at this time(9). John Struggle seem s to have occupied as sub-tenant 1662-63.

William Standen died in 1686, and was succeeded by his son John. Whe n John Standen died in 1694, he was succeeded by

Edward Standen. It is not known whether Edward was the eldest son of J ohn Standen or his third brother.

Watermans, Kingsmills & Osgoods 1700 to 1768

The Standens continued to own the manor of Barkham until 1700, when Ed ward Standen sold the Barkham estate (including

the lordship and the advowson) to William Waterman I of Southwark (gra ndson of Sir George Waterman, Lord Mayor of London

1672)(10). Little is known about William Waterman, although he serve d as High Sheriff of Berkshire 1709-10. William

Waterman's daughter Eleanor married Edward Standen's son, also calle d Edward (of 'The Ballad of Molly Mog' fame).

William Waterman died in 1733(11), and his eldest son, the Rev.d Joh n Waterman, succeeded to the Barkham estate after the

death of his widow Mary. John Waterman's wife Penelope was the daughte r of Sir William Kingsmill of Sydmonton in Hampshire.

The Kingsmill family had been major landowners in the locality since t he middle ages, and owned Langley Pond Farm in the

parish. The marriage may have been the reason for the gift of a silve r flagon to Barkham church by Penelope Kingsmill's mother,

As well as owning the advowson of Barkham, John Waterman held the righ t to make the next presentation to the living of

Arborfield. When the Rev.d John Sale, who had been rector of both Arbo rfield and Barkham since 1694, died in 1739, John

Waterman presented himself as rector of Arborfield, but presented th e Rev.d William Dawes to the living of Barkham(12).

The Rev.d John Waterman seems to have divided his time between Barkha m House and Sydmonton Court, which appears to

have been his principal residence, where his wife Penelope would hav e looked after, initially, her mother, Dame Rebecca

Kingsmill, who died in 1727, and her brother William, who, though a ce rtified lunatic, was head of the Kingsmill family from

John Waterman appears to have ministered to the needs of his parishion ers in Arborfield from Barkham House, since a notice

in the Reading Mercury in 1746 about criminal damage to a coppice owne d by him in Arborfield indicates that he was then

resident in Barkham(13). The atmosphere at Sydmonton Court, notwithsta nding its 3,000 acres, must have been difficult at

times, and the manor house at Barkham would have offered a welcome res pite.

In 1755 John Waterman died, without male issue, and the Barkham mano r estate passed to his nephew, William Waterman III.

In September 1755 William Waterman III began raising money on the secu rity of the estate, and a number of complicated

transactions involving the estate were to ensue over the following tw o years(14).

The Rev.d John Waterman's daughter, Rebecca, married Lawrence Head Osg ood, son and heir of John Osgood, lord of the

manors of Chieveley. Osgood, who served as High Sheriff of Berkshire i n 1748/9, leased Barkham House from 1751(15) until

his death (aged 47) in 1768, when the contents of the house were aucti oned in a two-day sale, and the house offered for

re-letting(16). A daughter, Penelope, was baptised at Barkham in 1754 .

The surviving Kingsmill manuscripts give various addresses for Lawrenc e Head Osgood from 1758 onwards (including

Sydmonton), and he died in Oxfordshire. In 1758 (whilst living at Bark ham) his wife, Rebecca, became co-custodian of her

insane uncle, William Kingsmill. When William Kingsmill died (aged 81 ) in 1766, without issue, the Kingsmill estates were

divided between Rebecca Osgood and another neice, Elizabeth Brice, an d their respective husbands (since married women

could not own property until 1882)(17). (See Chapter 6).

Pitts & Fonnereaus 1757 to 1787

In December 1757 Edward Wise, an entrepreneurial Wokingham solicitor , bought Barkham manor, and on-sold the estate to

William Pitt of Binfield Manor for ?6,513(18). When William Pitt die d in 1774, the Barkham estate passed to his brother, John

Pitt, whose estates were in Dorset. The Pitt family trustees activel y tried to sell the Binfield and Barkham estates (which

necessitated a private Act of Parliament to unravel a strict settlemen t created by William Pitt's will)(19).

The Rev.d John Gabriel became tenant of Barkham House by 1780. Gabrie l was a well-to-do Georgian cleric, with three

carriages and two male servants (including a footman)(20), who had pre viously resided at his other living at Hampstead Norris.

Following his death in 1782 there was a two-day sale of his furnitur e and personal effects at Barkham Manor(21).

In 1783 John Pitt sold the Barkham manor estate, the lordship and th e advowson, to Thomas Fonnereau, who took up residence

at the house. At the same time John Pitt and Thomas Fonnereau jointl y agreed to sell about 1,783 oak trees, growing in various

parts of the manor, to a Reading timber merchant, who was to be respon sible for their felling, for ?4,000(22). In January 1784

Thomas Fonnereau sold Barkham Manor to his brother Harry(23), althoug h Thomas continued to live there, and was on good

terms with the new rector, the Rev.d David Davies (contributing to th e cost of pulling down the old parsonage house (a 'mean

cottage, badly situated'), and re-building it).

In summer 1787 Barkham Manor was offered for sale: 'a commodious dwell ing house, the principal part recently built and

genteelly fitted up and finifhed'(24). Why the principal part of the h ouse had been re-built is unknown. Either it was in a serious

state of disrepair or there had been some calamity, perhaps a fire. "

Title: Ball Family Records

Title: Merson Family Records

Title: The Visitation Of London

Author: William Ball, of Lincoln's Inn

William Ball was born around 1450, married c. 1470 and died in 1480. His entire life was spent at Barkham Manor in Berkshire County, England. His wife is unknown, and a complete listing of his children has yet to be found. He had at least one son, Robert.

William lived his whole life in Barkham, Berhshire County, England. No information is available on the name of his wife. There is not a listing of his children, but it is known that he had at least one child:

The Lee's of Virginia, Washington, Ball, Bowie, all connect to this database at Charles Henry Lee and Susan Randolph Cooke.

!Page 114 "A Brief Look At The Family Of Colonel William Ball of Virginia."

His wife unknown b. Abt 1454 Reference to the Ball family and its improtance greatly antedate William Ball. In Hertfordshire, there is an estate known as "Balls Park" taking its name form John de Ball, who represented Hartford druing the reign of Edward I, 1271-1307. There are perhaps as many as seven variations of the Ball Arms. The lion rampant holding the globe is common to all. Three stars appear on the shield rather than star fish. The motto, "Coelum Qui Tueri," appears on all. It is sometimes translated as "Behold the Hevens" rather than "Heaven to those who dare." The helmet indicates knighthood in the lineage. The fancy scroll work represents the tattered remnants of a crusader's cloak which implies that there were crusaders in the family. The shield is silver with a black chief or upper portion having three starfish. Shaded portions of the scroll work and other similarly shaded areas may be either red or black.

William Ball was Lord of the Manor, as it stands today. It is a 17th century mansion house on 5 acres of ground and adjoining land. The orginial building was enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries when the Georgian and Victorian elements were added. It is listed Grade 2 building of special architectural or historic interest and is mentioned in Sir Nikolaus Pevsner's Building of England. The high brick wall of the property flanking Barkham Road is a prominent feature of Barkham and dates from the early 19th century. It encloses the former gardner and stable block. There was a Ball family at Barkham from 1480-1600

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About Capt. William Ball, of the New Haven Colony


A lot of old & disproved genealogy myths about William Ball. It seems he married Alice Waltham & Dorothy Tuttle, but many of the children ascribed to him have been found to be genetically unrelated.


  • Please see the New England Ball Project for assistance in clarifying this Lineage. Their site is http://www.newenglandballproject.com/index.htm
  • Alling Ball is not a son. See http://www.newenglandballproject.com/ui18.htm#a0
  • no relation to Col. William Ball of Millenbeck, VA. See The English Ancestry of Colonel William Ball of Millenbeck. Peter Walne. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Vol. 67, No. 4 (Oct., 1959), pp. 399-405 Published by: Virginia Historical Society Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4246576

"Of course the first cold water to be thrown on this fable was the proof by the highly respected genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus that Alling Ball of New Haven CT was the son of an Alling Ball of London, England (see "The American Genealogist", Vol. 10, pp. 208-212). The real clincher is DNA testing see the Project DNA study (also see FamilyTreeDNA Ball Study). There have been DNA tests completed for descendants of Alling Ball of New Haven CT, Francis Ball of Springfield MA and Francis Ball of Dorchester MA and both purported sons of John Ball of Watertown and those DNA results are different from both and William Ball of VA, as well as from each other.  None of the early Ball immigrants to New England are genetically related to William Ball of VA or, for that matter, to each other."

Born in Wokingham, England c.1570.

[NB Wokingham is and was in Berkshire the confusion arising may be explained by this: At the Peach Street end of Cross Street stood an iron marker. This defined the boundary of a parcel of land enclosed in Berkshire that was owned by a Wiltshire estate. The old marker can still be seen at the foot of the building, which is opposite All Saint's church.]

Married in England to Alice Waltham about 1590.

William brought his family to America in the 1620s and settled in the Puritan New haven Colony in Connecticut.

William died in New Haven in April 1648.

Alling BALL born 1595 (our line). [SIC: disproven]

John BALL born 1597. He died in Watertown, MA on 1 Nov 1655

Francis BALL born 1599. He married Abigail Burt on 8 May 1644. He died in Springfield, MA on 3 Oct 1648. [SIC: disproven]

married second Dorothy Tuttle abt 1601.

Richard Ball b. 1602, Wiltshire, England. d. 1684, Norfolk VA

William BALL born 1603 (1614?). He married Hannah Atherold 2 July 1648. [DISPROVED by DNA studies]

married third Joanna King b. 1604 d. 1637

Immigrated from England to Virginia on the Ship "Planter."

Colonel of the Royal Navy.

Brought his family to America in the early 1620s and settled in the Puritan New Haven Colony in Connecticut.

(Both of the above are found in different documents for the same William Ball.)

Arrived in America around 1635 with six sons, the children of his second wife, Dorothy. William III was a Captain-

William Ball - History

WILLIAM BALL. - A prominent and well-to-do stock-man of Wyandotte county, William Ball, of Rosedale, owns and occupies one of the most attractive and desirable farming estates in this section of the state. A native of England, he was born, June 20, 1858, in Yorkshire, and was there bred and educated.

In 1888 he and his family, and his brother Arthur, immigrated to America. After spending a week in New York city, he came to Kansas, and six years later bought his present property in Rosedale, and on the bluffs built the pleasant house of nine rooms in which he and his family now reside. Mr. Ball has ten acres of rich and fertile land, and as a stock raiser has met with eminent success. A man of intelligence and ability, he takes great interest in public matters, and for seventeen years has been a member of the local school board and for thirteen years president of the same, and at the present writing is serving as township trustee.

On September 3, 1883, in England, Mr. Ball was united in marriage with Amelia Marshall, a daughter of Frank and Ann (Vernon) Marshall, a descendant on the maternal side of Dorothy Vernon, famous in olden days. Four children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ball, namely: Una, born June 9, 1884, is the wife of Rollin Campbell, of Brownsville, Texas Elsie, born August 6, 1886, is a teacher in the Rosedale schools William, Jr., born November 14, 1889, is a plumber, and lives with his parents and Amelia, born February 15, 1891, is at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Ball also brought up from her childhood one of Mr. Ball's nieces, Annis Ball, a daughter of Arthur and Jennie (Jackson) Ball. She was born September 25, 1883, and married for her first husband John D. Hanson. Mr. Hanson was born November 25, 1877, and for a long time was in the service of the Union Pacific Railroad Company as a brakeman. He was accidentally killed March 4, 1908, his body being laid to rest in Forest Hill cemetery. He left two children, John, born August 12, 1905 and Dorothy, born August 1, 1907. Mrs. Hanson married for her second husband, April 2, 1909, Edwin S. Wilbur a farmer in Buffalo, Missouri, and they have one child, Ruth Wilbur, born October 12, 1910.

Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.]

Watch the video: Ποδοσφαιρικά νέα l Νεύρα, ντέρμπι και το βραβείο ανθρωπιάς στον Τούχελ (July 2022).


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