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The Fratoni Family submitted the following pictures and story
Click on the thumbnail images to the right to see full size pictures.

Left:  Ada and Sam Hunt and their children

Right:   Rosalee Fratoni

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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.

1700’s, Revolution.

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 Monmouth.

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 rabies.”

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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