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The Ball Family

Part 2 18th-19th century

Lancaster, Poulton, Fleetwood

sps.(sponsores) = godparents

An extended family tree showing the complicated inter-relationships between several families can be seen on the Family Tree page. It would be useful to make a printed copy for easy reference while reading these pages.

Thomas Ball of Bulk, Lancaster

Thomas Ball of Lancaster wrote his Will on 26 Apr 1766, proved on 10 Apr 1769. A Thomas and a William were confirmed at Thurnham in 1768 along with Robert, George and John Ball who can be identified as sons of William & Cecily, and he must be related to William Ball & Cecily Worthington (see the Ball Family Part I) though probably not their son as he referred to his own family as follows:

Thomas Ball appoints his namesake, 'son of my brother William', as one of three executors. He says he is 'very sick and feeble of body' and is 'very anxious that the appointed executors should look after my dear and loving wife, Agnes' and should 'always show a respect for her for my sake'. In fact he lived 3 more years till 1769. He does not appear to have had any direct descendants.

Nothing is known of William, his brother, but this line continues with William's son, Thomas, b.1738.

Thomas Ball and Elizabeth Brown

Thomas's nephew Thomas Ball of Bulk (1738-1816), married Elizabeth Brown (1740-1808) on 28 Aug 1758 at St Mary's, Lancaster and they are known to have had eight children though the birth or baptismal dates of some are unknown. 'The return of Papists' of 1767 to the Bishop of Chester lists Thomas Ball aged 29, husbandman and as 'resident for one year' at Dolphin Lee. His wife Elizabeth was given as 27 and his children as Ellen 8, Mary 6, John 4, and Richard 3 months so the others were all born after 1767. Thomas was said to have been living at Dolphinlee for a year, having presumably taken over the farming when his uncle was sick.

  1. Ellen Ball b. 1759
  2. Mary Ball b. 1761 Farleton, Westmorland, m Robert Cornthwaite d. 19 Feb 1796 in Hornby
  3. John Ball b. 1763 m (1) Jane Cornthwaite (2) Mary Greening d.1847
  4. Richard Ball b. 1767 Bulk, Lancaster
  5. Henry Ball b. Bulk, Lancaster
  6. James Ball b. Bulk, Lancaster, d. bef 1816
  7. William Ball 'of Preston'
  8. Elizabeth Ball (aka Betty) m. Gregory Walker of Wyresdale (dau. Jane)

Robert and Jane Cornthwaite, brother and sister, came from the same family as Bishop Cornthwaite of Leeds. John Ball married Jane Cornthwaite on 17 Jan 1785 and 3 weeks later Mary Ball married Robert Cornthwaite on 7 Feb 1785, both ceremonies being at the Mason St Chapel on Leonardgate, Lancaster (recorded as 'St Peter's') which succeeded Dolphinlee.

Perhaps there was another son, Robert, not included in the list above. The possibility is suggested by a later connection with the Kirkham family.

Thomas married again after his wife Elizabeth died on 4 Jan 1808, his 2nd wife being Ellen Parker who survived him by over twenty years, dying on 28 Feb 1844. He wrote a Will in 1816 which is the source for much valuable information. His son John and his grandson, Thomas were appointed as executors. There was "property in Bulk and premises in Penney (sic) St in Lancaster" to leave to his heirs. He also left "£4 for life" to Ellen, his second wife. His property was divided into four parts:

The rest of the estate was to be administered by the executors and divided in the same proportions.

Thomas died 6 Apr 1821 at his home on Mackerall St (now Spring Garden St) of "old age and asthma". The Will was proved on 2 May 1821.

His wife Ellen died at 31 Spring Garden St, Lancaster at the age of 93. She also wrote a Will, leaving "all my Dwellinghouse with the appurtenances thereto my said daughter Ellen " and money to her daughter Mary, wife of Samuel Lee of Sandbach in Cheshire, and her sons Thomas Parker of Lancaster, shoemaker and John Parker of Lancaster, labourer.


Rossall Grange Farm

This farm was one of the farms belonging to the Rossall Hall estate, land originally owned by the Allens of Rossall Grange. Rossall Grange itself disappeared under the sea in the 16th century. What remained of the property was taken by the Heskeths and the Allens were driven into exile in the Spanish Netherlands because they were Catholics. William, Cardinal Allen, founded Douai which trained priests for the English mission throughout penal times. As devout Catholics the Ball family must have been delighted to farm here in the early 19th century. A will listed for a William Ball in 1799 is connected with Rossall and this may be the reason that John and Jane Ball took over the farm. The only survival of the farm is in the name "Rossall Grange Lane" This lane runs from the Queen's Hotel in Fleetwood up to the Golf Clubhouse. The farm was at the end of the lane opposite the Clubhouse.

John Ball and Jane Cornthwaite

of Rossall Grange Farm, Thornton

Jane Cornthwaite was born at Claughton in 1763, daughter of William Cornthwaite and Elizabeth Townson. She was baptised at the mission at Robert Hall on 29 Jun 1763, apparently at the same time as John, her godparents being James Cornthwaite and Jane Townson. Perhaps they were twins but perhaps they were not even related!. Although no parents are given in this record there is little doubt at least about Jane's identity as all names and dates agree with other records.

The Cornthwaite family tree has been traced through William back to Bryan Cornthwaite 1702-1772 and Agnes Bruce 1703-1783 and lastly to William Cornthwaite d. 1718 and Elizabeth Russell 1662-1726 Bishop Cornthwaite of Leeds also belongs to this family). She was probably baptised in the chapel at Hornby Hall.

John and Jane were married at the Mason St Chapel on 17 Jan 1785, their witnesses being Robert Cornthwaite, Mary Ball and Agnes Cornthwaite. They had ten children all probably born in Lancaster and baptised in the Catholic chapel there, only the records for William and Robert not yet being located.

  1. William Ball b. 1785 (chr. see note*) m. Margaret Abram 15 Aug 1814 at St Chad's, Poulton, d. 23 Jun 1854 at Heaton with Oxcliffe, Admon
  2. Thomas Ball b. & chr. 27 Jul 1787, sps John Carter, Mary Cornthwaite, m. Elizabeth Salthouse 13 Aug 1810 at St Chad's, Poulton.
  3. John Ball b. 2 Jun 1789, chr. 10 Jun 1789, sps William Swarbrick, Elizabeth Ball d. bef 1801
  4. Richard Ball chr. 4 Sep 1791, sps James Ball, Mary Carter, m. Ann Waring 7 Jan 1830 in Poulton, d. 10 Nov 1869 in Fleetwood
  5. Elizabeth Ball b. 25 Dec 1793, chr. 26 Dec 1793, sps. John Swarbrick, Mary Carter, m. James Kirkham 5 Nov 1811 at St Chad's, Poulton, d. 13 Nov 1842 in Thornton, bur. 16 Nov 1842 at St John's, Poulton (this link is to the Kirkham page - return via the menu)
  6. Mary Ball b. 1796, chr. 28 Feb 1796, sps. Thomas Noble, Anne Croskell, m. (unknown 1st name) Whittam
  7. Agnes Ball b. 1798, chr. 6 May 1798 sps. John Noble, Elizabeth Carter, m. Robert Abram 7 Jan 1830 at St Chad's Poulton
  8. John Ball b. & chr. 23 Aug 1801 in the Catholic chapel sps. Brian Cornthwaite, Jane Allison d. after 1851; ordained priest
  9. Jane Ball chr. 28 Feb 1804, godmother only, Margaret Parker, m. Peter Clarkson

It was usual to baptise babies as soon as possible, so most took place the same or the next day. Thomas was initially baptised by Elizabeth Cornthwaite 'in danger of death' and the rest of the ceremonies and prayers were supplied later by John Lindow, with only a 'conditional' baptism since a child could not be baptised properly twice.

*Note - and corrections : there is no evidence for William's godparents being Peter and Margaret Walmsley or the date of 4 Sep 1791 for his baptism. A more plausible baptism is for a William Ball 'of Farleton' at Robert Hall & Hornby Missions on 27 Nov 1785, no parents given. Farleton is not far from Hornby.
There is no evidence for a son Robert and the entry has been removed from this list

John and Jane Ball made an inventory of their books at least twice, in 1802 and again in 1806, noting this inside the cover of one of them:

This book is only on my shelves - please ask if you wish to know what it contains. It does tell you quite a lot about them!

In 1841 Thomas Ball, 4th child of this family, was listed as a tin-plate worker, living in Market Place, Poulton with his wife and four children, Betsy, Anthony, William and Margaret. Robert could perhaps be identified with the farmer at Holm Nook, Carleton, with wife Mary and children John 9, Eleanor 6 and Mary 3.

Jane died on 12 Oct 1829. John afterwards married again, living with his 2nd wife Mary on Breck St in Poulton where he is recorded on the 1841 census. having left his son Richard to look after the farm, and died on 14 Jul 1847. John and Jane are buried together next to the old chapel of St John the Evangelist in Poulton which is now used as a parish centre. Their grave, marked by a flat gravestone is one of the oldest in the cemetery there. John's Will can be seen in full on the Wills page.

To the memory of Jane, Wife
of John Ball of Rossall Grange
who died October 12th 1829 aged
66 years
Also John, Husband of the
above Jane Ball. He died on
the 14th of July 1845 aged
82 Years
The old chapel of St John's, Poulton - the grave of John and Jane Ball is in the far corner to the left under the trees. When we found it, it was quite buried under a good deal of rubbish, ivy, other plants and dead leaves and it took quite a while to clear it enough to read the inscription.

Robert, son of Thomas Ball and Elizabeth Brown (possible connection)

On 26 Nov 1829 at Poulton, a Robert Ball married Mary Kirkham, a contemporary of James Kirkham but nothing is known for sure about the earlier generation of the Kirkham family other than about James Kirkham himself. They were quite possibly related, even perhaps brother and sister. Robert and Mary had two daughters as far as is known, Mary Jane Ball chr. 20 Aug 1837, sp George Kirkham and Margaret Ball  Return


Families descended
from John & Jane Ball

1. William Ball and Margaret Abram

William and Margaret were married at St Chad's, the parish church in Poulton, on 15 Aug 1814. All their children, including also probably the last, Mary, were baptised at the then new Catholic chapel of St John the Evangelist in Poulton.

  1. John Ball b. 12 Oct 1815, baptised the same day and died soon after, bur. 31 Oct 1815 at St John's.
  2. Elizabeth Ball b. 22 Dec 1816, d. 18 Jan 1819 at Heaton nr Lancaster, bur. at St John's, Poulton
  3. Robert Ball chr 14 Feb 1819 at St Peter's, Lancaster d. 1819
  4. Robert Ball chr 10 May 1820 at St Peter's, Lancaster d.1 Dec 1821, bur. St John's, Poulton
  5. Robert Ball chr 3 Feb 1822 at St Peter's, Lancaster, m. Elizabeth Rogerson
  6. Elizabeth Ball chr. 29 Apr 1823 at St Peter's, Lancaster, m. James Seed
  7. Richard Ball chr. 2 Jan 1825 at St Peter's, Lancaster d. Sep 1827 bur 27 Sep 1827 at St John's, Poulton
  8. William Ball chr. 11 Jun 1826 St Peter's, Lancaster, ordained priest,  d.1880 at Dolphin Lee
  9. Jane Ball chr 6 Jan 1828 at St Peter's, Lancaster, m. Thomas Brown, lived at Dolphin Lee.
  10. Richard Ball chr 24 Dec 1829 at St Peter's, Lancaster, m. Mary Draper
  11. Thomas Ball chr. 10 Jul 1831, at St Peter's, Lancaster, d. 1831
  12. George Ball chr. 21 Oct 1832 at St Peter's, Lancaster
  13. Henry Ball chr. 19 Nov 1835 at St Peter's, Lancaster, m. Ann Rogerson
  14. Mary Ball b.1840 in Heaton, nr Lancaster m. Thomas Verity
It appears that William and Margaret moved from Thornton to Heaton with Oxcliffe some time between 1816 and 1819. The first time they are recorded as 'of Heaton near Lancaster' is for the burial of their infant daughter Elizabeth on 18 Jan 1819.
Their 8th child, William, was ordained at Ushaw in 1850 and died aged 54 in 1880 at Dolphin Lee, Bulk, Lancaster. His sister Jane was living there, now married to Thomas Brown.
Thomas Verity was a tobacconist and manufacturer with a shop on a corner of Damside St. Outside above the door was a carved wooden Red Indian, symbol of their trade. The shop is pictured in Lancaster, A Pictorial History, no.46. Thomas and Mary had ten children. (Details available)
A tree shows the involved relationships resulting from the marriages of both Thomas Verity and his parents:

William died intestate about 23 Jun 1854 and Margaret, his widow, took out letters of administration in the following month. She signed and sealed the document and it was witnessed by her brother in law Richard Ball of Thornton in the parish of Poulton who had taken over Rossall Grange from his father John and is noted as a farmer. The other witness was James Rae of Heaton with Oxcliffe in the parish of Lancaster, farmer. Return


2. Thomas Ball and Elizabeth Salthouse

Thomas and Elizabeth were married on 13 Aug 1810 in Poulton, presumably at St Chad's, the parish church. Their 7 children were nearly all baptised at St John's, Poulton. sps.(sponsores) = godparents
  1. Betsy Ball b. abt 1814 or earlier, chr. at St Chad's (?)
  2. Jane Ball b. 14 Feb 1815 chr 15 Feb 1815 sps. James Kirkham, Agnes Ball
  3. Agnes Ball b. 11 Jun 1817 chr 13 Jun 1817 sps. Richard Whittam, Agnes Salthouse
  4. Ellen Ball b. & chr. 10 Jun 1820 sps. John Kirkham, Helen Kirkham
  5. Anthony Ball b. 19 Jun 1822 chr. 20 Jun 1820 sps. Rev. Ralph Platt, Anne Wharton
  6. William Ball b.5 Dec 1825 chr 9 Dec 1825 d.8 Jul 1896 sps. Elizabeth Kirkham, George Kirkham
  7. Margaret Ball b.18 Feb 1828 chr 28 Feb 1828 sps. John Clarkson, Jane Clarkson
The Rev. Ralph Platt was the local priest ( Miss.Ap., Apostolic Missionary,) who baptised them all. He had relatives locally Return

4. Richard Ball and Ann Waring

It was Richard Ball, 6th child of John and Jane Ball, who eventually took over Rossall Grange Farm. He married Ann Waring on 7 Jan 1830 and they had six children in the next eleven years. All were baptised at St John's, Poulton, then the only Catholic Church in the area. (sps = sponsors - godparents: the same surname does not automatically imply married couples or siblings))
  1. Ann Ball b. 1 Aug, chr. 7 Aug 1831, sps William & Mary Gornall
  2. Jane Ball b. 22 May, chr. 26 May 1833, sps William Waring, Ann Platt
  3. John Ball, b. 5 Dec, chr. 5 Dec. 1834, sps Thomas & Alice Cardwell
  4. Agnes Ball b. 7 Oct, chr. 9 Oct 1836, sps Henry Wary, Mary Platt
  5. William Ball b. 31 May, chr. 1 Jun 1838, sps James & Elizabeth Kirkham
  6. Thomas Ball chr. 3 Oct 1841, sps Henry & Ellen Wells Return
9. Jane Ball and John Clarkson
Their children are recorded at St John's, Poulton. They were:
  1. William Clarkson, b and chr. 9 Aug 1824
  2. Jane Clarkson, b 16 Dec chr. 17 Dec 1825
  3. John Clarkson, b. 7 Feb 1828 chr. 8 Feb 1828
  4. Robert Clarkson b. and chr. 21 Aug 1830 Return

With thanks to cousins and others for vital information and invaluable related family trees.
More on these sources on the contact page!