The importance of preserving family records in print is now universally admitted by intelligent people, and family histories are constantly appearing. In the pages that follow, an elaborate genealogy is not attempted, but simply a modes effort to gather a few threads that might otherwise be lost. It was hoped that Edward Ball might have been traced to his English home, but as was usually the case with the first comers to New England, no record is found to assist the investigator, nor is Edwardís name found in any ship list as a passenger.
At least half a dozen Balls of his generation, or the generation before, are found as settlers in various parts of New England, but they are not any of them known to be connected with the subject of our sketch, though one of them, John Ball, early of the Isle of Shoals, was there engaged in prosecuting the fisheries, which was in part the avocation also of Edward Ball.
Edward Ball1, the first settler of that surname who appears in Block Island, was born probably about 1640, and died in 1714. He married Mary George, daughter of Peter and Mary George, of Block Island. She was born Sept. 7, 1645, band died after 1714. The island had been purchased in 1660 for £400 by sixteen persons, many of whom became permanent settlers in 1661. Among these first settlers was Peter George, the future father-in-law of Edward Ball; and Mr. George received lots 8 and 9 with Simon Ray, in a division of lands in west part of the island, also lot 16 in north part of the island for his sole use. These grants may have decided Edward Ball as to his own location later. There was, perhaps, a white population of fifty persons when Edward Ball first came to the island, with an Indian population several times greater.
The records are but meager that relate to the early history of Block Island, but we find Edward Ball was a freeman three in 1678, and in 1689, when the French privateers made a descent upon the island, it is probable that the suffered from their plundering, as did his neighbors. In 1696 he and Simon Ray were chosen trustees for funds for a harbor. In 1700 the Rev. Samuel Niles was invited to the pastorate of the church at Block Island, and Edward Ball was appointed with Joshua Raymond and Simon Ray to lay out and appraise lands which were to be given Mr. Niles for a house lot. In 1702, June 8th, he was Deputy Warden, and held the office of "Crowner," (i. e. Corner.) In 1704 he was sheriff. He made his will Aug. 16, 1714; proved in the same month. He mentioned his wife Mary, sons Peter, John and Edward, daughters Mary Hall, Elizabeth Hall, and Jane Dickens, and grand-daughter Patience Hall. His inventory showed a bull, 4 cows, 4 heifers, 3 steers, 2 calves, 20 sheep, 16 lambs, mare, colt, 8 hogs, &c.
Edward1 and Mary (George) Ball had children as follows:
I. Mary Ball, m. ____ Hall.2. VI. Peter Ball, m. June 30, 1716, Mary Harris.
II. Sybil Ball. She was mentioned in Mary Georgeís will.
III. Elizabeth Ball, m. ____ Hall.
IV. Jane Ball, m. John Dickens.
V. Edward Ball, alive in 1714.
3. VII. John Ball, b. June 10, 1687, m. (1st)
Sept. 1st, 1710, Sarah Rathbone;
m. (2nd) Dec. 2d, 1718, Sarah Dickens.
2. Peter Ball2 (Edward1), married June 30, 1716, Mary Harris. He was a large landholder and prominent in public affairs. He was Deputy to the General Assembly in 1734, and was appointed in 1735 with Captain Simon Ray, to improve the £1200, allowed by the General Assembly, to build a pier at Block Island or repair the old one. He deeded on May 20, 1755, to Robert Hull, and Thankful, his wife, (daughter of Peter Ball), all his real estate and personal property, including household goods and negroes.
Peter and Mary (Harris) Ball, had children as follows:
I. Mercy Ball, b. Feb. 2, 1718.3. John Ball2 (Edward1), was born June 10, 1687, and died in 1769. He married (1st) Sept. 1, 1710, Sarah Rathbone. He married (2d) Dec. 1718, Sarah Dickens, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Dickens. His 2d wife was born July 5, 1696. He made his will Oct. 9th, 1764, (proved April 13, 1769). Executor, son Edward Ball. He mentioned his wife Sarah, son Edward; daughters Sarah Dodge, Priscilla Dunn, and Catherine Whaley; and grandchildren as follows: grandson Peter Ball, four children of daughter Priscilla Dunn, viz.: Mary Wright, Sarah Dodge, and Elizabeth Dodge.
John2 and Sarah (Rathbone) Ball, had children as follows:
I. Priscilla Ball, b. Aug. 10, 1711, m. Samuel Dunn.John2 and Sarah (Dickens) Ball, had children as follows:
II. Sarah Ball, b. Aug. 20, 1714, m. ____ Dodge.
III. Catherine Ball b. July 29, 1719, m. Dec. 17, 1741, Samuel Whaley.4. V. Edward Ball, b. Mar. 12, 1727, m. Aug. 31, 1746, Mary Dodge.
IV. Elizabeth Ball, b. Aug. 7, 1720, m. ____ Dodge (?)
Edward3 and Mary (Dodge) Ball had children as follows:
I. Sarah Ball b. Nov. 22, 1746, d. Dec. 23, 1747.5. III. Peter Ball, b. July 23, 1750, m. Elizabeth Sims.
II. John Ball, b. Mch. 17, 1748, m. Fidelia Littlefield. He had sons, 1, Lyman (who among other children had, (Lydia, Sarah, Caleb, Phebe, Wm. B. S., and Joseph); 2, Bartlett, (who among other children had Bartlett, and Thankful, now living, who m. John Ball, the son of Samuel & Peggy (Mitchell) Ball,) 3, Joseph, died 1852, (who had four sons viz.: Joseph, deceased, John, living in Otsego county, N. Y., C. S. Ball, of Springfield, Mass., and O. D. Ball, M.D., practicing in Albany, N. Y.) 4, Lydia, (who m. Capt. Pendleton of Isleboro, Maine. A grandson of hers publishes a paper at Belfast, Me., and others are interested in coastwise shipping in Maine.)
IV. Thankful Ball, b. July 31, 1752.
V. Edward Ball, b. Nov. 17, 1754. He had a son Samuel, who married Jan. 28, 1796, Catherine Dodge, daughter of Rev. Thomas Dodge. He had 1, Bathsheba, b. Nov, 25, 1798, m. Edmond Dodge; 2, Susannah, b. Aug. 30, 1801; 3, Edward, b. Sept, 27, 1804; 4, Samuel, b. May 6, 1809, m. Olive Mitchell, daughter of Amos Mitchell; 5, Priscilla, b. March 20, 18__, moved to Connecticut, and married; 7, Jesse, b. July 25, 18__, m. Abby Mitchell, daughter of Amos Mitchell. (Samuel and Jesse and their wives still living, as also Thomas).5. Peter Ball4 (Edward3, John2, Edward1), was born July 23, 1750. He married Elizabeth Sims, of Westerly, R. I., born Oct. 20, 1752, daughter of William and Jerusha (Lamphere) Sims.
VI. Elizabeth Ball, b. Sept. _, 1756.
VII. Dorcas Ball, b. Oct. 7, 1758.
VIII. Nathaniel Ball, b. Dec. 25, 1760.
IX. Isaiah Ball, b. June 28, 1763, m. Peggy Dodge. He had among others, 1, Gideon (who married Lydia Dodge, and had Gideon, Leander A., Amanda and Charlotte); 2, Nathaniel (who had son Nathaniel who married Margery Rose, daughter of James F. Rose. They had Asa, Henry, (twins), Nathaniel and Ray; the last two still living).
X. Samuel Ball, b. July 13, 1766.
Peter4 and Elizabeth (Sims) Ball had children as follows, though not in this exact order:
6. I. Edmund Ball, b. 1779, m.
(1st) in 1804, Charity Dodge; m. (2d) about 1843,
II. Joshua Ball, b. ____, m. (1st) Priscilla Dodge, dau. of Rev. Thomas Dodge; m. (2d) Margaret Wright. He lived just west of William P. Ballís present residence, on same side of road. By his first wife he had 1, William, who left the island when a young man; 2, Eliza, who m. Wm. Dodge; he is now living; 3, Lydia, who married Joshua Sprague; 4, Joshua, Jr., who m. Dorcas Ball, daughter of Washington Ball. They had four sons: William, Abel, Simeon and George, of who only Simeon survives, the parents having died in middle life of consumption, and their three other sons of same disease before manhood.
III. Peter Ball, b. ____, m. a Miss Fish, in New York State, and moved to Exeter, Otsego Co., N. Y., where he died, about 80 years of age. He had among other children, a daughter Phebe, who married Alvin Coleman. The Richfield Springs Mercury, Sept. 5th, 1889, has this notice:"Mrs. Phebe Coleman, widow of the late Alvin Coleman, died at the residence of her daughter-in-law in this village, Aug. 30, having attained the age of 80 years, and ten months. Deceased was a daughter of Peter Ball, and belong to one of the several families who emigrated from Block Island and helped to settle the township of Exeter in its Pioneer days. They were a sturdy, God-fearing race, and from them have descended some of our most prominent and respectable citizens. The deceased possessed strong straits of character, and was a worthy scion of the parent tree. Since the death of her husband she has resided with Mrs. Helen Coleman, of this village, where her declining years were made as pleasant and peaceful as possible."Mr. Alvin Coleman and Helen, his wife, had a son born in 1856, whose name is A. L. Coleman. In 1885, with his wife and their boy five years old, he emigrated from Richfield Springs to Red Bank, Big Horn Country, Wyoming Territory, where they now own a ranch of 160 acres. He is a member of the new State Legislature at the present time.
IV. Samuel Ball, b. ____, m. Margaret Mitchell, daughter of Alexander and Dorcas Mitchell, and had children: 1, John, who m. Thankful Ball, daughter of Bartlett, and 2, Esther, who married (1st) Rev. Elijah Rose; (2d) Robert Dodge. She is still living.6. Edmund Ball5 (Peter4, Edward3, John2, Edward1), was born 1779 and died July 16, 1864. He married (1st) in 1804, Charity Dodge, daughter of Joshua and Hannah (Littlefield) Dodge. she was born 1787, and died Sept. 10, 1829. He married (2d) about 1833, Mercy Mitchell, daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Williams) Mitchell. She was born in 1792, and died Jan. 8, 1856, without issue. Edmund Ballís house was demolished about 1865. It stood on the brink of the hill on the east part of the lot between the road and pond, now owned by Hiram D. Ball, one lot intervening between that and a Town Bridge know as "Sam Mottís Bridge," bearing southwest from the same.
V. Sarah Ball, b. ____, m. Levi Mitchell, and had six children, viz: 1, Levi; 2, Peter; 3, Ambrose; 4, Angeline; 5, Lucy; 6, Jerusha.
VI. Elizabeth Ball, b. about 1794, m. (1st) Mark Dodge, son of Mark and Penelope Dodge; m. (2d) John Willis, son of Abel Willis. She died, a widow, at Block Island, April 13, 1878, in about her 84th year, without issue.
VII. Abel Ball, b. ____, m. Nancy Paine. They had one child named Abel, who married a New York lady, and after following the sea for many years as an officer of a ship, returned from New York and settled on Block Island. He was born Sept. 7, 1805, and died Dec. 18, 1852. His widow died twenty-six years later, and both are buried in our cemetery here. They had four children: 1, Nathaniel, 2, Nancy, married Bowen, 3, Theophilus, and 4, Abel Edward, all are living.
The births of Edmund Ballís children which are to follow are taken from his family Bible.
Edmund5 and Charity (Dodge) Ball had children as follows:
I. Alazdie Ball, b. July 25, 1805, m. April 17, 1825, Silas Mott. Mrs. Mott now living. They had 1, Lucretia; 2, Ruth Ann; 3, Ebenezer; 4, Marium; 5, Alden.7. XI. Nicholas Ball, b. Dec. 31, 1828, m. (1st) Eliza Millikin; m. (2d)
II. Angeline Ball, b. Dec. 4, 1808, m. May 10, 1829, Ebenezer Tourgee. She d. Aug. 3, 1888. Two sons, viz.: Dr. Eben Tourgee, Director of New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, and Jeremiah H. Tourgee, who enlisted in 2d R. I. Regiment on June 5th, 1861, as a private, and was promoted to a First Lieut., and served through the who of the Rebellion, and received an honorable discharge on June 14th, 1865. There were daughters Charity, Mary A., and Anna C. Tourgee.
III. Lucretia Ball, b. May 20, 1811, m. Abram Mott. She d. Feb. 10, 1864. Their son, Nathan Mott, the only child, now living.
IV. Ruth Ball, b. Feb. 28, 1813, m. (1st) George Brown in 1835. They had Elizabeth, Octavie and George; m. (2d) Aaron W. Dodge, in 1865. She d. May 18, 1877.
V. Hannah L. Ball, b. July 6, 1815, m. (1st) Thos. Rose, Jan. 3, 1833; m. (2d) William Taplin, Aug. 2, 1853. By 1st marriage, Thomas, Edward and Hannah; 2d marriage, Lawson.
VI. Hiram D. Ball, b. June 22, 1818, m. (1st) Catherine Mott, daughter of Thos. and Catherine (Mitchell) Mott. Had one son, Noah, who died from effects of disease contracted while in the army; m. (2d) Mary Ann Mott, dau. of Freeman and Hannah (Littlefield) Mott. Had Hiram A., Macy A., Charity D., and Adrietta, all living.
VII. Noah D. Ball, b. June 13, 1820, m. Ruth Dodge, daughter of Moses and Nancy (Ball) Dodge. Had one daughter, Josephine, who m. Joseph Ball, son of Limon. He d. 1844. He sailed from New York, mate of schooner Empress, of Taunton, Mass., Benjamin Shores being Master, bound to Richmond, V., on the 20th day of May, 1844, and neither there vessel nor crew had been heard of since.
VIII. Almira P. Ball, b. April 23, 1822, m. William Mitchell, who now lives in Westerly, R. I. They have two sons, Nicholas and Hammett.
IX. Elizabeth M. Ball, b. Oct. 2, 1824, m. (1st) Joseph Holmes, Feb. 1842. They had two sons, Joseph and Frank L., whose names were changed from Holmes to Camm in 1855; m. (2d) Isaac Camm, June 1852; By 2d marriage, one daughter, Anna.
X. Charity D. Ball, b. Mch. 13, 1826, m. Apr. 13, 1843, Joseph W. Sherman; had children as follows: Joseph, Frederick, Irvin, Herbert, Frank, Clarence, Harriet, Jennie, and Effie.
The career of Nicholas Ball has been sketched several times by other hands, and it is not in the plan of this little work to give more than a brief summary. He lost his mother when he was but an infant, but desires to pay this tribute to his step-mother: that she was a kind, and affectionate woman, beloved and respected by all, and that she could not have administered to the wants of the children better if she had indeed been their own mother.
At fourteen, Nicholas Ball went to sea in a subordinate capacity. In 1849 he was chief mate of a ship bound to California, here he located twice for a time, but in 1854 was back at Block Island, engaged in business there. He was Representative in the General Assembly in 1854 and 1855, and State Senator most of the time from 1858 to 1872. His efforts toward procuring for Block Island its breakwater, life-saving station, signal-station, and submarine cable, are matters well known to most who will see this sketch, as also his career as a hotel proprietor.
In April, 1890, he again visited California as a member of the Society of California Pioneers of New England, in which society he was a director.
Nicholas and Eliza (Millikin) Ball had children as follows:
I. Eugene Randall Ball, b. May 6, 1852; d. Aug. 12, 1865.A boy was born May 5, 1874, of Nicholas Ballís second marriage, but died two months afterwards without a name.
II. Cassius Clay Ball, b. Nov. 15, 1854, m. Alice O. Lewis, dau. of Wm. P. and Wealthy (Dodge) Lewis, on June 15, 1876; had one son named Nicholas. Alice, his wife, died Sept. 13, 1884; 2d marriage was on Sept. 8, 1886, to Lucretia, daughter of Nathan and Phebe (Dickens) Mott. They have one daughter, Lucretia Beatrice, born Dec. 22, 1887.
III. Effie Aurelia Ball, b. Nov. 28, 1855, m. April 14, 1880, Frank C. Cundall, of Ashaway, R. I.
IV. Philemon Galusha Ball, b. Feb. 28, 1858, d. Sept. 11, 1858.
V. Imogene Vergelia Ball, b. Sept. 14, 1859, died Aug. 17, 1870.
VI. Schuyler Colfax Ball, b. Dec. 23, 1861; m. Lena W. Bartlett, of Haverhill, Mass.
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