Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Allen line: Francis Ball Immigrant, died 1648

I sure could use some help with this ancestor.  He is erroneously confused with a Frances Ball in Virginia, who was a female and apparently not of this family.  His birth date is given as anywhere from 1599 to 1624.  His parents are given as William Ball and Alice Waltham, and if the parentage is correct and the age of the parents is correct, 1599 would be a likely date, but 1609 and even 1619 are within the realm of possibilities.  The most frequent place of birth given is Wiltshire, England, with no parish that I can locate.  So I am left wondering...

Is his father the William Ball who died in New Haven, Connecticut in 1647?

Was Abigail Burt, who was born in 1623, his first wife?  If Francis was born in 1599, she would have been 24 years his junior, and there would have been plenty of time for an earlier marriage.  Francis Ball and Abigail Burt, daughter of Henry Burt and Eulalia March,  were married in August of 1644 in Springfield, where Francis had arrived about a year earlier. They lived in Springfield, where they had two sons, and where Francis purchased land from John Woodcocke, valued at 5 pounds. 

The most common fact I find about Francis Ball is that he drowned in the "Great River", known to us as the Connecticut River, on October 3, 1648.  So either he was a mariner, unlucky on that day, or he was not used to water and a storm or accident may have caused his death.  Of course, there are other possible explanations but these two seem the most likely to me.

Abigail married Benjamin Munn in April of 1649, and after his death, she married Thomas Stebbins, who is an Allen ancestor through his first wife, Hannah Wright.  Abigail died in 1707, three times widowed and about 84 years old.

I sure would like to know more about Francis Ball.  I'd like to pin down his birthdate and birthplace, to verify whether William and Alice were his parents.  I'd like to know if the marriage to Abigail was his first marriage.  And I'd like to know how he happened to drown.  If someone has this information, please contact me!

The line of descent is

Francis Ball-Abigail Burt
Samuel Ball-Mary Graves
Mary Ball-John Hitchcock
Samuel Hitchcock-Ruth Stebbins
Margaret Hitchcock-Samuel Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants