1600’s, Coming to America.
Kezia Osborne was eleven
years old when she arrived in the New World. Her name is listed
as a servant on the “Stephen & Edward” went it delivered new
settlers to the Virginia Colony in January 1685. She married
Edward Ball in 1693 and together they raised eleven children.
Evidence of the hardships that the couple faced can be found in
the Vestry Book of Christ’s Church Parish in Middlesex County,
Virginia. In that time, people of need were given the job of
Church Sexton as a means of providing financial support. Edward
Ball (in those days spelled ‘Bawl’) was appointed sexton of “Ye
Midle Chappel” on October 12, 1714. He was paid for his duties
every October. As were most others in Colonial Virginia, Edward
was paid in the local currency. Each year, until his death in
1726, he was paid 600 pounds of tobacco. After Edward’s death,
Kezia received the same compensation of 600 pounds of tobacco
as Acting Sexton until her death in 1736.
David Ball took up arms
against the King of England and in his own way helped to create
the United States of America. Several decades later, in 1818,
pensions were made available to those who could prove service
during the Revolutionary War. An elderly and impoverished David
Ball sought a pension under this new law and generated the
following three court documents:
On December 28, 1819, in
Fauquier county, Virginia, David Ball of said County, aged 60,
declares that in February 1778 he entered the service as a
private in the company of Captain John Blackwell of the 3rd
Virginia Regiment commanded by Colonel William Heath. He
remained in the company twelve months and was discharged in
1779 at Middlebrook, New Jersey. He was in the Battle of
On September 27, 1819, in
Fauquier County, Virginia, the court certifies upon the
evidence of Captain John Blackwell that David Ball served for
one year during the Revolutionary War.
On August 29, 1820, in
Fauquier County, Virginia, David Ball, in his 62 year, makes a
similar declaration of his service.
He owns 80 acres of thin,
broken land in Faquier County, a small mare for which he is
still in debt, one cross-legged walnut table, half a dozen
peuter plates, knives and forks, three or four stools and
benches, one cow and a calf and a bull and four hogs and five
shoats, valued at $61.00.
He is blind. All his children
are grown but at destitute or nearly destitute of property.
David Ball of Fauquier
County, Virginia, private in the regiment of Colonel Heath in
the Virginia Line for one year, was placed on the Virginia
pension roll at $8 per month from December 28, 1819 under the
act of 1818. Certificate 16835 was issued on May 4, 1820. The
last written reference to David Ball is the following:
On September 13, 1826, in
Fauquier County, Virginia, John Ball, administrator of David
Ball, dec., declares that David Ball died on July 29, 1826 in
his 68th year. He was born in Fauquier County,
Virginia, where he always resided.
1800’s, Pioneer Spirit.
Sam Hunt of San Patricio
County, Texas recorded several stories about his grandparents
including the following that took place in the late 1880’s.
“Sam and Ada Hunt were living
at their place on the south bank of the North San Gabriel River
of Williamson County, and had three small ‘feisty’ dogs. One
night they were awakened by an animal attacking the dogs and
hurting them badly. The dogs would escape and circle the house
jumping onto and off of the front porch as they circled the
house. It was common practice for farmhouses to have hooks from
the porch rafters on which they hung their saddles. These
little dogs were not able to outrun their attacker all the time
and were caught and severely beaten several times. This
happened on a very dark night and Samuel and Ada could not
determine exactly what kind of animal was after their dogs, so
they lighted a lantern and while the animals were at the back
of the house, Samuel hung the lantern on a saddle hook. When
they circled again they could see the animal and felt sure it
was a timber wolf. Wolves were not common in this part of the
country, but one was sighted every now and then. They had no
gun in the house so they decided they would let the dogs in as
they circled the house. They let in one each time around. When
the last dog came in, the wolf also got his head in the door.
Samuel slammed the door on his neck and held it there while Ada
brought a butcher knife from the kitchen. Then she held the
door while Samuel cut the animal’s head off.
“Later they learned that a
rabid German Shepherd from up the headwaters of the river had
been traveling down the riverbottom for many miles, biting
dogs, cattle, and hogs all the way.
“Samuel knew that handling
dog with cuts and scratches on his hands had probably exposed
him to rabies. The hospital in Georgetown was the medical
center for central Texas, and it had a ‘mad stone’, one of the
few in the whole country. The only source for this white porous
stone was from the stomach of an albino doe deer, so it was
extremely rare. Samuel went to the hospital for treatment of
his hands. All day the stone would be placed on his hands for a
short time, then boiled in sweet milk until the green poison it
had absorbed was removed, then the process repeated until the
milk no linger turned green. Samuel never had any symptoms of
1900’s, Childhood Memories.
Rosalee Fratoni (born Rosa
Lee Shipp) lived in numerous locations in the American South
during the Great Depression: from a horse ranch in Texas to the
Baptist Children’s Home in Bethesda, Maryland. Each location
generated it’s own childhood memories. The following was
recorded in a letter to her granddaughter in 1995.
“We lived in Velkville,
Maryland where Buddy was born. (We were told Dad found Buddy on
the golf course and the Easter Bunnie brought me – that was sex
education in those days!!) Aunt Carrie’s first husband, ‘Uncle
Strat’, was a mechanic, had a wonderful machine called a car!!
And would give us a ride sometimes!! You had to button down the
sides if it rained and the next one had a rumble seat. I was so
afraid of falling out, but it was so small only little people
could fit in it.
“We then moved to Bates
Street, Washington, D. C., and were lucky enough to have the
downstairs apartment next to the alley. Our refrigerator was a
box on the windowsill in the winter months. There was an alley
between the streets and the vegetable man and iceman
(watermelons when in season) would come down selling their
wares. Dad was a milkman.
“We went to Sunday School and
my Sunday School teacher offered to teach me piano. Mother
somehow bought a piano (she paid five or ten cents a week I
think). That was the year I got the doll and cart for
Christmas. Mother had helped a man with his dying wife and when
she died she rented him a bedroom in our house (we had a two
bedroom apartment). Buddy slept in the living room with Mother
& Dad. We three older ones slept in a pull out bed in the
living room and could watch the lamp lighter turn on the gas
lamps at night.”
2000’s, Making New Stories.
A descendent of the above
mentioned individuals, Claire Rosalee Fratoni, lives, and is
creating her own stories, in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
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