Notes, Explanations, and Research Shortcomings

§ A convention I have used in the database is to place parenthesis around a surname which is unproved. A case in point involves the identity of Keziah, wife of Edward Ball of Middlesex. There was a Keziah Osborne who, upon arrival, had her age adjudged by the court to be eleven years. This placed her in the proper age category to become the future wife of Edward. She was indentured to the Rev. Duel Pead until his ministry contract expired and he returned to England. No other Keziah appears in the records of early Middlesex and she would have been of equal social class to Edward.

There were researchers who concluded Keziah's surname was Williamson. The reasoning apparently was based upon the fact that Edward and Keziah were paid by the parish to give shelter to Charity Williamson. This was quite common in wealthy Middlesex and in fact was a form of subsidized welfare for folks of lower economic stature as were Edward and Keziah. Charity was about Edward's age and was one of a dozen children of Andrew and Sarah Williamson who originally came into Middlesex from Gloucester County. These poor freemen had no daughter, nor any kin, named Keziah. To add to this I suppose was Haden's recognition of "Williamson" for William as noted under "Caveats".

Edward and Keziah were married during the ministry of Rev. Samuel Gray, a man of somewhat dubious character who was unceremoniously relieved of his duties. History can thank Rev. Gray for the absence of marriage entries in the parish register during his ministry. Keziah's undisclosed identity is one of many unknowns directly attributable to this man.

§ Little is known of the early life of Edward Ball other than he was a poor freeman who entered Middlesex from Essex and initially resided in the northern portion of the county. He likely was native born and is mentioned in his father's will.

It had been speculated that Edward was the son of a William and Elizabeth Ball who were imported into Middlesex by Oswald Cary, a wealthy young merchant who became a parish vestryman. This William appears to have died shortly upon arrival, or possibly even at sea. Elizabeth served a stormy indenture and then married John Tidbury. There seems no further record of them. It is now known and proved that Edward's parents were William and Ann Ball of (Old) Rappahannock.

§ Edward and Keziah had three sons known to have survived to adulthood. It is likely the futures of Edward Jr., Daniel, and Benjamin would have been as tenant farmers or sharecroppers had they remained in Middlesex. The dramatic increase in slave population forced them and others to move on. While Edward Jr. and Benjamin moved northward, Daniel went south into the Carolinas. Advances are underway in unraveling this NC line.

Meanwhile, there are published genealogies which give Benjamin, son of Daniel Ball, as the Benjamin who married Ann McIntosh and moved into Kentucky and fathered a sizable family. There is no evidence to support this.

Quite contrary to the above, the Benjamin who went to Kentucky was the son of Benjamin Ball and Ann Owen. This Benjamin Jr. married "Ann" McIntosh who appears to be Peggy McEntosh of Stafford County. Benjamin Jr. went into Kentucky with his brother James and was joined by other family members.

§ The families which descended from Benjamin and Edward appear to have remained close for several generations. The various lines which moved into Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana seem to have remained in contact with their roots in Virginia. No evidence of contact has been found between descendents of Benjamin and Edward, Jr. and their cousins out of Middlesex following the move north. The single exception to this may be members of the Owen family who may have settled in Prince William.

§ A final note: Please understand this database and these notes are intended to give the researcher some guidance and understanding. Generally, there is enough data presented to give the researcher clues as to where further research may be undertaken. This database is not a clearinghouse. I've tried to remain reasonably close to my pedigree lines, at least within the limits of a second or third cousin to the earliest common ancestor. To expand too far beyond this I would lose control of the data.


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    Copyright © 1998, James D. Ball
    Revised: Oct 2009