Thursday, 22 November 2018

(353) Ball of Ballygall, Ballsgrove, Mooreside and Reynoldstown

Ball of Ballsgrove
This account of the Ball family is more than usually dependent on a single source: in this case, the Rev. William Ball Wright's Ball Family Records, which was published in 1908 and was based on his extensive research in the public records of Ireland (many since destroyed) and local parish registers. Where it has been possible to check his work against accessible original sources such as local newspapers and parish records available online, I have found a number of errors and these have been corrected in the genealogy below. It has seldom, however, been possible to add new information to Wright's account, except in relation to individuals who were living at the time of publication.

The Ball family were merchants and leading townsmen at Drogheda (Co. Louth) by the end of the 14th century, but first came to real prominence with Bartholomew Ball (c.1500-73), who moved to Dublin, where he was mayor in 1553-54. He acquired an estate outside the city at Ballygall near Glasnevin, and probably built the family's Tudor house there. Two of his sons, Walter Ball (1538-98) and Nicholas Ball (d. 1610) also held the mayoralty (in 1580-81 and 1582-83), and they founded two distinct branches of the family which have persisted down to recent times and in one case to the present day. Walter Ball espoused the new Protestant religion, and was one of the founders of Trinity College, Dublin, but has achieved a certain notoriety for the imprisonment of his mother in Dublin Castle (where she died) for her Roman Catholic faith. Although this may have occurred during his mayoralty, I have found no evidence other than tradition that it took place at his instigation. Walter inherited the Ballygall estate from his father, and passed it on to his eldest son, Robert Ball (1572-1636), who followed the family tradition and became mayor of Dublin in 1609-10 (as did his brother Edward in 1621-22). Robert and his successors remained Protestants, and his first wife was the daughter of Henry Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh. He was survived by his second wife, who remained at Ballygall until her death in 1650. By that time, his eldest surviving son, William Ball (1606-49), who had inherited his father's Dublin property, had died, and William's young children, who were the heirs to Ballygall, had also all died by 1653. In these circumstances, Ballygall passed to William's nephew, Robert Ball (c.1635-99), who was again a merchant in Dublin, but who settled at Ballygall and later removed to Drogheda (perhaps during the dangerous years of the 1680s and early 1690s). His eldest son, George Ball (1678-1760), seems always to have been based in Drogheda, and although he inherited Ballygall he sold it in 1725, and invested the proceeds in building a new house, known as The Grove, Mount Ball, or Ball's Grove, just outside the town of Drogheda and overlooking the River Boyne. The house was provided with elegantly landscaped grounds, which drew the favourable attention of Mary Delany and other writers, and which were generally open to the public as a promenade (a privilege which was sometimes abused). Here George, his son Robert Ball (1729-75) and grandson George Ball (1775-1842) were all established as country gentlemen, although they continued to have strong links with Dublin and were important figures in the life of Drogheda town. When the younger George died in 1842, however, his son George Ball (c.1809-85) was financially embarrassed and was obliged to transfer his life interest in the entailed estate to trustees for his creditors. The trustees let the house, and perhaps for this reason it escaped radical Victorian alterations. By the time George Ball died in 1885, his financial position had recovered somewhat, but the estate was let on a lease for lives which he could not afford (or did not choose) to buy out. On inheriting, his son and heir, George de Belle Ball (1861-1942) at once disentailed the estate, but again took no steps to recover possession of the property until 1910, when the third life name in the lease (most unusually, that of King Edward VII!) fell in. He never occupied Ballsgrove, however, and in about 1920, when his daughter and only surviving child died, he sold the estate and moved to England.

Nicholas Ball (d. 1610), the younger son of Bartholomew Ball, was as staunch a Roman Catholic as his brother was a Protestant. It is notable, however, that although his mother was imprisoned in Dublin Castle during his mayoralty in 1582-83, he was not able to contrive her release. He purchased property at Lunderstown in Clonalvy (Co. Meath) and Boltown near Kells (also Co. Meath) but seems to have lived in Dublin. He was succeeded by his son, Bartholomew Ball (c.1580-1643), who was educated at Lincoln's Inn in London but returned to Ireland and became a Dublin merchant like his father. He married twice, and his widow Anne survived until 1683. It is not known what provision he made for her, but it must have limited the inheritance of his son, Thomas Ball (1608-79). Thomas inherited Lundestown, but his adherence to the Roman Catholic religion made it prudent for him to transfer ownership to (Protestant) trustees, one of whom was his brother-in-law. Despite his taking this step, his lands were seized during the Commonwealth and he was 'reduced to great want'. Two of his widowed sisters came to live with him, but they cannot have been on the best of terms as they brought a successful legal action against him for treating them as unpaid servants and providing less than was reasonable for their diet and maintenance. Only after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, when he succeeded in recovering his lands, can his position have eased at all. Thomas was apparently unmarried and without issue, and when he died his property passed to his nephew, John Ball, who was already ensconced at Lundestown. Nothing is known about the family's house there, but he seems to have preferred it to living in Dublin. He may not have long survived his uncle, for by 1695 his second son, Michael Ball (b. 1675) was the owner. He (or perhaps more credibly his father) had evidently fought on the Catholic side in the wars of 1688-90, and in 1695 his lands at Lundestown and his property in Dublin were forfeited as a consequence. He subsequently lived near Kells. The next couple of generations of the family are but thinly documented. Michael's son Nicholas Ball (b. 1708) was succeeded by his son, Richard Ball (c.1745-1825?) and the latter managed to recover possession of Lundestown. His son, Laurence Ball (1776-1858) married Catherine Jordan, who was heir to the Wintergrass estate at Bellewstown (Co. Meath), and he also managed to buy a property at Mooreside in Clonalvy parish in 1811. He distributed these and other farms between his sons, most of whom are described as graziers in surviving documents, with Mooreside falling to his third surviving son, Richard Ball (1812-90). There was at this time no substantial house on the property, but the present Mooreside seems to have been built soon after Richard Ball came into possession. Richard's son, Richard Oliver Ball (1859-1941) was trained, and indeed practised, as a solicitor, and it may have been the profits of this business that allowed him to purchase the house and lands called Reynoldstown at Naul (Co. Dublin). Although it was in a different county, Reynoldstown was geographically close to Mooreside, and provided extra space for his passion, which was horse-breeding. He came to prominence in breeding circles at an advanced age, when his horse 'Reynoldstown' won the English Grand National in successive years (1935-36). His son and heir, Richard Ball (1898-1990) became a full-time breeder, and was Director of the Irish National Stud, 1956-59 and Champion Breeder in Britain and Ireland in 1958. When he died he seems to have divided his property between his son, Charles Richard Ball (b. 1952), who farms at Mooreside, and his daughter Janet Ball (b. 1949), who runs an animal farm at Reynoldstown.

Ballygall House, Glasnevin, Co. Dublin


Ballygall House: entrance front. Image: Ollamhnua. Some rights reserved.

Reputedly there was a Tudor house built by Bartholomew Ball on this site, which remained home to the senior line of the Ball family until 1725. It was then sold and rebuilt later in the 18th century (probably for the Rev. Dr. William Darby) as a five-bay two-storey double pile house with sash windows and a central doorcase with an open pediment supported on classical columns. The house passed in the 20th century to the Craigie family of Merville Dairy in Finglas, who retained it until 1964, when the whole property was sold for the Hillcrest Park housing development.

Descent: built for Bartholomew Ball (c.1500-73); to son, Walter Ball (1538-98); to son, Robert Ball (1572-1636); to son, William Ball (1606-49); to nephew, Robert Ball (c.1635-99); to son, George Ball (1678-1760), who sold 1725... John Cuthbert (fl. 1756)... Rev. Dr. William Darby (d. 1784); to son?, Rev. Dr. Anthony Darby (d. c.1803); sold after his death to Thomas Disney... John Dennis (fl. 1865)... John E. Dennis (fl. 1924); sold after 1924 to Creagh family; sold 1964 for housing development and demolished.

Ballsgrove, Drogheda, Co. Meath
Ballsgrove, Drogheda. Image: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage


To the south-west of Drogheda, on a site elevated above the River Boyne, stands this handsome five bay double pile house, built in 1734 for George Ball (1678-1760), who at first called it Mount Ball. The house has two storeys over a concealed basement, and there are curved curtain walls flanking the entrance court which terminate in square piers. The entrance front is of brick, articulated by stonework quoins at the angles, cornice and string-course, and the parapet is divided by short pedestals between each bay. There are regular sash windows except in the basement, where the windows are segment-headed. The rear elevation is rendered and has single-storey canted bay windows either side of the central doorcase. On the first floor are five regular sash windows set in architraves.

The grounds originally ran down to the river in a series of charming terraces, but a modern ring road has now been built along the river bank and much of the site has been lost to housing. In a letter of 1752 Mrs. Delany described her visit to the gardens:
"We then ... went to what are called 'Ball's Walks'. You wind up a very steep hill (which otherwise would be insurmountable) planted with trees - some in walks, others in groves, so that part of it looks like a thick wood - on the top is a long level walk with old trees on each side of it, and at the end a pretty, clean house and spruce garden full of flowers, which belongs to Mr Ball, who is so obliging to the town as to permit that fine walk to be a public one, and it is the Mall of Drogheda. The view from it is surprisingly beautiful. At the foot of this fine hill winds the River Boyne". 
Still surviving, by the ring road, is the pedimented entrance arch, erected in 1804, with circular niches either side of the arch and the Ball arms in the tympanum.

Descent: built c.1734 for George Ball (1678-1760); to son, Robert Ball (1729-75); to son, George Ball (1775-1842); to son, George Ball (c.1809-85); to son, George de Belle Ball (1861-1942), who sold c.1920... sold c.1970 to Drogheda Council; sold back into private ownership after development of a housing estate on the associated lands.


Mooreside, Clonalvy, Co. Meath


A three bay mid 19th century house, built on a greenfield site after the publication of the 1st edition 6" map. It has steps up to the front door, and at the rear a corridor connects the main building to a smaller block at a lower level, which has been converted into a library.

Descent: sold 1811 to Laurence Ball (1776-1858); to son, Richard Ball (1812-90), who built the house; to son, Richard Oliver Ball (1859-1941); to son, Richard Ball (1898-1990); to son, Charles Richard Ball (b. 1952).


Reynoldstown, Naul, Co. Dublin


Reynoldstown, Naul: entrance front. Image: National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

A detached three bay two-storey grey stone house of about 1860, with lower one bay single-storey wings recessed on either side. In the centre of the entrance front is a pedimented central door approached by flight of steps, flanked by two-storey bay windows. 

Descent: built c.1860... sold c.1890 to Richard Oliver Ball (1859-1941); to son, Richard Ball (1898-1990); to daughter, Janet Ball (b. 1949).



Ball family of Ballygall and Ballsgrove



Ball, Bartholomew (c.1500-73). Son of Thomas Ball of Stephenstown, Balrothery (Co. Dublin) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Birmingham of Rathronan (Co. Meath), born about 1500. A leading merchant and Alderman of Dublin (Sheriff 1541-42, Mayor and Keeper of the Keys of the Treasury, 1553-54); Auditor of the accounts of All Hallows monastery, Dublin, 1547-48. He married, c.1530, Margaret (d. 1584), daughter of Walter Bermingham of Corballis (Co. Meath) (who claimed a royal descent from King Edward I through his mother), and had issue including:
(1) Walter Ball (1538-98) (q.v.);
(2) Nicholas Ball (d. 1609) [for whom see below, Ball of Dublin, Mooreside and Reynoldstown]
(3) Thomas Ball (d. 1595); barrister-at-law and counsellor to the city of Dublin;  freeman of Dublin, 1587; Treasurer of City of Dublin, 1588; married Jane (d. 1595), daughter of Alderman Michael Penteney of Dublin, but died without issue, 29 October 1595;
(4) Bartholomew Ball, of Sprinkleston alias Spicleston Castle (Co. Dublin), merchant of Dublin; joined in the rebellion of 1580 and was imprisoned in Dublin Castle and deprived of his estate, but later pardoned and restored to his property on payment of a heavy fine; married and had issue one daughter;
(5) Katherine Ball; married Thomas Shelton of Dublin, merchant;
(6) Elinor Ball (d. 1621); married Alderman Walter Segrave of Dublin; died 10 December 1621.
He lived in a house on Merchants' Quay in Dublin.
He died in 1573 and was buried in St Audoen's church, Dublin. His widow had a strong Roman Catholic faith for which she was twice imprisoned, and she died in prison in 1584 and was also buried in St. Audoen's church. She was beatifiied by Pope John Paul II in 1992 as a martyr.

Ball, Walter (1538-98). Eldest son of Bartholomew Ball (c.1500-73) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Walter Birmingham of Corballis (Co. Meath), born 1538. A merchant and Alderman in Dublin (Sheriff, 1572; Alderman, 1573; Mayor 1580-81). Master of the Trinity Guild of Merchants, Dublin, 1593-94, 1596-97 and 1598. He was a Protestant in religion, despite his mother's efforts to convert him to Catholicism, and he was appointed a Commissioner in Ecclesiastical Causes in 1581. It is said by some sources that he arrested and imprisoned his own mother for her religious views despite the protests of his siblings, but no authority is shown for this statement. Later, he was one of those who collected funds for the establishment of Trinity College, Dublin, and to whom the premises of All Hallows monastery was granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1592 as a site for the new institution. He married Eleanor (d. 1613), daughter of Robert Ussher of Santry (Co. Dublin), and had issue, with two other sons who died in infancy:
(1) Robert Ball (1572-1636) (q.v.);
(2) Edward (k/a Ned) Ball (d. 1625) of Dublin; merchant in Dublin; Warden of the Merchants' Guild, 1610-11 and Master, 1623-24; admitted a freeman of Dublin, 1601; sheriff of Dublin, 1610-11; elected Alderman, 1616; Mayor 1621-22; inherited £300 from his father; married Alice, daughter of Nicholas Weston, mayor of Dublin in 1608, and had issue one daughter; died 1 December 1625; will proved April 1626;
(3) George Ball; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted by 1607) and Grays Inn (admitted 1610); inherited £300 from his father; probably died before 1625;
(4) John Ball (d. c.1650); educated at Trinity College, Dublin; inherited £300 from his father; died unmarried c.1650;
(5) Rose Ball (d. 1604); married Rev. Luke Challoner DD and had issue one surviving daughter (Phoebe Challoner, who married Archbishop James Ussher); died (with all but one of her children) of plague, 26 October 1604, and was buried in the chapel of Trinity College;
(6) Katherine Ball (d. 1633); married Patrick Segrave of Killeglan; died 30 September 1633.
He lived in Dublin, and also owned Ballygall, Finglas (Co. Dublin). He also rented land and houses from the corporation of Dublin.
He died 8 December and was buried in St. Audoen's church, Dublin, 10 December 1598; will proved in Dublin, December 1598. His widow married 2nd, Dr. Robert Conway, Master in Chancery in Ireland, and 3rd, Sir John Eliot, Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland, and died 5 December 1613.

Ball, Robert (1572-1636). Eldest son of Walter Ball (1538-98) and his wife Eleanor, daughter of Robert Ussher of Santry (Co. Dublin), born 1572. Merchant in Dublin. He was Master of the Merchants' Guild, 1601-2, 1602-3 and Warden, 1607-8, 1611-12, 1614-15, 1616, 1621, 1622. Sheriff of Dublin, 1600-01; elected Alderman, 1604; Mayor of Dublin 1604-05 (in place of John Shelton, who was removed from office after four weeks for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy) and 1609-10; Mayor of the Staple in the City of Dublin, 1622. He married 1st, before December 1598, Jane alias Jenet (d. 1620), daughter of Most Rev. Henry Ussher (c.1550-1613), Archbishop of Armagh, and 2nd, Margaret (d. 1650), daughter of Alderman Richard Barry of Dublin and widow of Nicholas Kerdiffe, sergeant-at-law, and had issue:
(1.1) Mary Ball (b. 1602), born 1602; married James Kerdiffe of Killamanagh (Co. Dublin);
(1.2) Walter Ball (b. 1603), born 1603; died without issue in the lifetime of his father;
(1.3) Margaret Ball; married, c.1631, Henry Bennett of Dublin, merchant, son of John Bennett of Sanghall Massey (Cheshire), and had issue;
(1.4) William Ball (1606-49) (q.v.);
(1.5) George Ball (d. 1636) (q.v.);
(1.6) Richard Ball (d. 1651), born after 1608; apprenticed to Robert Barnwall of Dublin and was made free of the Merchant's Guild, 1632; inherited £150 from his father; probably the man who married, 19 August 1632 at St John, Dublin, Ann Salisbury (d. 1642), and had issue one son and two daughters; buried 1 September 1651;
(1.7) Margery Ball (d. 1688); inherited £150 from her father; married 1st, Thomas Dowding of Dublin, gent., and 2nd, Richard Burder (fl. 1653), merchant, by whom she had issue two daughters; buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 2 April 1688;
(1.8) Eleanor Ball; inherited £150 from her father; died unmarried;
(2.1) Elizabeth Ball; inherited £150 from her father; married Nicholas Browne and had issue one son and one daughter.
He inherited Ballygall House, Finglas and a good deal of Dublin property from his father in 1598. He lived at Ballygall, and also in Dublin, where he acquired the site of the former Whitefriars convent in Ship St.  At his death, Ballygall passed to his widow for life.
He died 25 January 1635/6 and was buried at St Audoen, Dublin. His first wife died 5 June 1620. His widow died in 1650.

Ball, William (1606-49). Eldest surviving son of Robert Ball (1572-1636) and his first wife Jane alias Jenet, daughter of Most Rev. Henry Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, born 1606. Educated at Leyden Univ. (admitted 1633). Barrister-at-law; MP for Kells (Co. Meath), 1642-49; High Sheriff of Co. Dublin, 1643. He was a Captain in Lord Castlestewart's Regt. of Foot. He married, Ellinor (d. 1680), daughter of Christopher Bisse, Second Remembrancer of the Exchequer, and had issue:
(1) Charles Ball (d. by 1652); died unmarried; administration of his goods granted 1666;
(2) Christopher Ball (d. by 1652); administration of his goods granted to his aunt, Margery Dowding, in 1663;
(3) Elizabeth Ball (d. by 1652); administration of her goods granted 1663.
He inherited Ballygall House from his father. At his death his property passed to his children but on their deaths soon afterwards to his nephew Robert Ball (1645-99).
He died in 1649; his will was proved 11 December 1649. His widow was buried at St Audoen, Dublin, 3 February 1679/80.

Ball, George (c.1608-36). Second surviving son of Robert Ball (1572-1636) and his first wife Jane alias Jenet, daughter of Most Rev. Henry Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, born after 1607. He inherited £150 from his father in 1636. He married Jane (d. c.1653/4), daughter of William Rowles, Collector and Receiver of Fines in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and had issue:
(1) Robert Ball (c.1635-99) (q.v.);
He died in 1636. His widow died in 1653 or 1654.

Ball, Robert (c.1635-99). Only child of George Ball (c.1608-36) and his wife Jane, daughter of William Rowles, Collector and Receiver of Fines in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, born about 1635. Merchant and alderman of Dublin; High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1673. He married, 24 April 1671, Anne, daughter of John Desminieres, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1666, and widow of John Partington of Dublin, goldsmith, and had issue:
(1) Jane Ball (b. 1672), born 9 April 1672; married, 6 July 1714 at St Audoen, Dublin, Edward Dudgeon (d. 1762) of Dublin, alderman and brewer;
(2) Robert Ball (b. & d. c.1673); died in infancy;
(3) Anne Ball (b. 1674), born 5 October 1674; married, as his second wife, Capt. Paul Espinasse (d. 1740) of Dublin, brewer;
(4) George Ball (1676-78), born 19 April 1676 but died in infancy and was buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 7 December 1678;
(5) John Ball (1677-79), born 1677; died in infancy and was buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 16 May 1679;
(6) George Ball (1678-1760) (q.v.);
(7) John Ball (1681-1755); an officer in Gen. Churchill's Royal Regiment of Dragoons (Lt. by 1713; Capt.; retired about 1735); married, 10 July 1722 at Finglas (Co. Dublin), Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Paul Duclos (d. 1717), rector of Rathdowney and Chancellor of Kilkenny Cathedral, and had issue one daughter, who died young; after leaving the army he lived in Dublin, where he died 9 March, and was buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 11 March 1755; by his will he left his property among the children of his brothers George and Charles;
(8) Rev. Charles Ball (1683-1758), born 1683; educated at Drogheda and Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1700; BA 1704); ordained deacon, 1707; chaplain in the Royal Navy, c.1710-15; settled in Dublin and married, c.1725, Ellinor (d. 1788), daughter of Capt. Thomas RN, and had issue one son; buried at St Audoen, Dublin, 27 April 1758.
He lived in Dublin, then at Ballygall House, and finally, after 1692, in Drogheda.
He died intestate in May 1699 and was buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 1 June 1699. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Ball, George (1678-1760). Fourth, but eldest surviving, son of Robert Ball (c.1635-99) and his wife Anne, daughter of John Desminieres, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1666, and widow of John Partington of Dublin, goldsmith, born 1678. High Sheriff of Co. Louth, 1722. He married, c.1725, Mary, daughter of Peter Roe of Drogheda, and had issue:
(1) Jane Ball (b. 1726), born 12 January 1725/6 and was baptised at St Mary, Dublin; died unmarried and was buried at St Mary, Drogheda;
(2) Anne Ball (1727-32), born 29 January 1726/7 and was baptised at St Mary, Dublin; died young and was buried at St. Audoen, 6 April 1732;
(3) Mary Ball (b. 1728), born 23 February 1727/8 and was baptised at St Mary, Dublin; died young;
(4) Robert Ball (1729-75) (q.v.);
(5) John Ball (1730-1821), born 24 September 1730 and was baptised at St Mary, Dublin; married, 2 August 1761, Margaret (d. 1821), daughter of Brabazon Newcomen of Collinstown (Co. Louth), and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at St. George, Dublin, 1821;
(6) Alice Ball (1731-54), born 8 December 1731 and was baptised at St Mary, Dublin; died unmarried and was buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 27 September 1754;
(7) Charles Ball (1733-64), born 8 December 1733 and was baptised at St Mary, Dublin; died unmarried at Clontarf and was buried at St. Audoen, 3 March 1764; administration of his goods granted to his mother, 2 March 1764;
(8) George Ball (c.1738-1830), baptised at St John, Drogheda; an officer in the 59th Foot (Capt.); freeman of Drogheda, 1796; married Margaret, daughter of Richard Orson, of Tallonstown (Co. Louth) and widow of Robert Donaldson of Possextown (Co. Meath), and had issue three sons and four daughters; died in 1830; will proved 29 April 1831;
(9) Edward Ball (c.1740-1815); born at Drogheda; an officer in 59th Foot (Lt. by 1773); freeman of Drogheda, 1787; lived at Donover (Co. Meath); married 1st, 1774 (licence 14 April), Bridget Plunkett (d. 1779) of Co. Roscommon, and had issue one son and three daughters; married 2nd, Mary Anne, daughter of John Chamney, Esq., of Plattin (Co. Meath); and married 3rd, Catherine, daughter of Ephraim Cuthbert; died 1815; will proved 1816;
(10) Wilhelmina Ball (c.1740-97); born at Drogheda about 1740; married, February 1761, Dr. Arthur Magenis (d. 1809) of Drogheda and had issue one son and one daughter; buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 15 February 1797.
He inherited Ballygall House from his father in 1699, but sold it in 1725. He then lived in Dublin for some years while a new house was built for him at Drogheda, which he called Mount Ball but which was later known as Ballsgrove. After his death his widow lived in Dublin.
He was buried in St Audoen, Dublin, 8 July 1760; his will was proved 6 August 1760. His widow died in 1771 and was also buried in St. Audoen.

Ball, Robert (1729-75). Eldest son of George Ball (1678-1760) of Ballsgrove, and his wife Mary, daughter of Peter Roe of Drogheda, born 1729. Master of the Boyne Hunt. He married 1st, 6 June 1757 at St Peter, Drogheda, Frances (d. 1765), daughter of Stephen Sibthorp of Dunsany (Co. Louth), and 2nd, 14 March 1766 at St Anne, Dublin, Frances, daughter of Joseph Neynoe of Dublin, and had issue:
(2.1) Frances Ball (1767-1848), baptised 5 August 1767; married, 1788, Rev. William Coddington (1765-1847), vicar of Kilmoon, son of William Coddington of Drogheda, merchants, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died about February 1848;
(2.2) Mary Ball (b. 1768), baptised 18 June 1768; married, 1789, Lawrence Steele (d. 1849) of Bankstown (Co. Louth), Rathbride (Co. Kildare) and of 4th Regt., High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1776; and had issue;
(2.3) Jane Ball (1770-1847), married, 1797, Godfrey Massy of Ballinakill (Co. Limerick), and had issue two daughters; died 11 June 1847;
(2.4) George Ball (1775-1842) (q.v.).
He inherited Ballsgrove from his father in 1760.
He died 6 November 1775 as the result of a coaching accident a year earlier in which both his legs were broken, and was buried at St Mary, Drogheda; his will was proved 5 August 1778. His widow married 2nd, 7 June 1777 at St Mary, Dublin, Capt. Alexander McLaine, and had further issue one son; her date of death is unknown.

Ball, George (1775-1842). Only son of Robert Ball (1729-75) and his second wife Frances, daughter of Joseph Neynoe of Dublin, born 8 February 1775. During his long minority, his guardians were his uncle, Dr. Magenis, and the Rev. Dr. Norris. Sheriff of Drogheda, 1806. He married 1st, 2 March 1794 at Portpatrick (Wigtowns.), Margaret (d. 1805), daughter of Richard Sadleir, of Sadleir's Wells (Co. Tipperary), and 2nd, 22 February 1821, Sarah Webber (c.1773-1860), and had issue:
(2.1) George Ball (c.1809-85) (q.v.);
(2.2) Mary Jane Ball (c.1809-89); married, 24 November 1841 at St Anne, Dublin, Robert Sheppard of Bettystown (Meath); died aged 80, 11 February 1889;
(2.3) Elizabeth Ball (c.1812-91?); married, 7 December 1843 at St Anne, Dublin, Frederick George Greene (1811-90), youngest son of Dr. James Greene MD of Drogheda, and had issue one son and one daughter; probably the woman of this name who died at Ballinroan (Co. Wicklow), 9 September 1891;
(2.4) Louisa Ball (d. 1883); married, 31 May 1835 at Slane (Co. Meath), George Harpur of Killineer House (Co. Louth), but had no issue; died at Killineer House, 29 July 1883; administration of goods granted 9 April 1888 (effects £783).
(2.5) Thomas Ball (c.1815-37); educated in Dublin, where he evidently ran up bills with local shopkeepers and obliged his father to publish notices in the Dublin press in 1829 warning tradesmen that he would not be responsible for his son's future debts; died aged 22, 28 July 1837;
He inherited Ballsgrove from his father in 1775 and came of age in 1796.
He died at Ballsgrove, 25 September, and was buried at St Mary, Drogheda, 1 October 1842. His first wife died without issue, 5 March 1805. His widow died aged 86 at Bettystown House, Drogheda, 7 January, and was buried at St Mary, Drogheda, 13 January 1860.

Ball, George (c.1809-85). Elder son of George Ball (1775-1842) and his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Richard Sadleir of Sadleir's Wells (Co. Tipperary), born about 1809. He became financially embarrassed and assigned his life interest in the Ballsgrove estate to trustees for his creditors in 1843. He married 1st, Mary Eliza [surname unknown] (d. 1856) and 2nd, 11 March 1858 at Kilbroney (Co. Down), Isabella Jane Cockburn, and had issue including:
(1.1) A son (b. 1853), born 6 October 1853; died young;
(2.1) A daughter (b. 1859), born 4 April 1859; perhaps died young;
(2.2) A son (b. 1860), born 17 August 1860; died young;
(2.3) George de Belle Ball (1861-1942) (q.v.).
He inherited Ballsgrove from his father in 1842, but assigned his interest in it to trustees for his creditors the following year: it was leased to tenants from 1852 onwards.
He died at Bettystown House, Drogheda, 29 April 1885; administration of his estate (with will annexed) was granted 10 March 1891 (effects £3,242). His first wife died 22 November 1856. His second wife's date of death is unknown.

Ball, George (Joseph) de Belle (1861-1942). Only recorded son of George Ball (d. 1885) and his wife Isabella Cockburn, born 26 October 1861 and baptised at St Mary's RC Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 8 January 1884. An officer in the County Louth Militia (2nd Lt., 1879). He was active in promoting collective initiatives in farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including (ultimately unsuccessful) garden allotments at Ballsgrove and  a scheme during the First World War to collect herbs for pharmaceutical use. After the war he left Ballsgrove and moved to Suffolk, where he was active in promoting the establishment of the sugar beet industry. He married, 25 August 1885 at St Clement Danes, London (but sep. by 1913), his cousin, Caroline Elizabeth (d. 1945), daughter of Thomas Fairtlough of Drogheda, and had issue:
(1.1) Margeurite Frances (k/a Rita) Ball (1894-1920), born 5 August 1894; office clerk; died of tuberculosis in Dublin, 24 May 1920.
He inherited Ballsgrove from his father in 1885 and disentailed the estate the same year, but sold it after the death of his daughter in 1920 and moved to England.
He died Oct-Dec 1942. His wife died in Liverpool, 21 January 1945; her will was proved 10 July 1945 (estate £3,362).


Ball family of Dublin, Mooreside and Reynoldstown



Ball, Nicholas (d. 1610). Second son of Bartholomew Ball (c.1500-73) and his wife Margaret, daughter of Walter Birmingham of Corballis (Co. Meath), born about 1540. Merchant and Alderman in Dublin (Sheriff, 1570-71; Alderman, 1574; Mayor, 1582-83). MP for City of Dublin, 1585. Master of the Dublin Merchants' Guild, 1584-85 and 1592-93. He was a staunch Roman Catholic. He married, Begnet Luttrell (d. c.1619) of Luttrellstown (Co. Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Bartholomew Ball (1589-1643) (q.v.);
(2) A son; died in infancy;
(3) Jane Ball (d. 1641); married 1st, Robert Cusack (d. 1597) of Garrison; married 2nd, Richard Ussher (d. 1615) of Santry (Co. Dublin) and had issue; died 26 July 1641;
(4) Elizabeth Ball (d. 1651); married William Dungan (d. by 1607), receiver of the first fruits; buried at St John, Dublin, 15 February 1650/1;
(5) Agnes Ball; married Capt. Sir Edward Trevor of Rostrevor;
(6) Margaret Ball; married Robert Ussher of Santry (Co. Dublin), eldest son of Richard Ussher;
(7) Katherine Ball (d. 1616); married John Browne, son of Alderman Patrick Browne of Dublin; died 3 November 1616.
He lived in Dublin, but purchased estates at Lunderstown in Clonalvy (Meath) and Boltown near Kells (Meath). He also leased a good deal of property in Dublin from the corporation.
He died 26 February 1609/10; his will was proved in 1610. His widow's will was proved in 1619.

Ball, Bartholomew (c.1580-1643). Only recorded son of Nicholas Ball (d. 1609) and his wife Begnet Luttrell of Luttrellstown (Co. Dublin), born about 1580. Admitted a freeman of Dublin in 1585. Educated at Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1596). Merchant in Dublin. He was described as "a gentleman "always loyal and faithful, and inoffensive, and acted nothing against the Ormonde interest". He married 1st, Jane (d. 1618), daughter of Christopher Finglas of Tubbersale (Co. Dublin), and 2nd, Anne Gough (d. 1683) of Dublin, and had issue:
(1.1) Thomas Ball (1608-79) (q.v.);
(1.2) Nicholas Ball (b. 1610) (q.v.);
(1.3) Matthew Ball (d. 1662); Freeman of Dublin; had lands in Co. Kerry; died unmarried; administration of his goods was granted to his brother John, 4 November 1662;
(1.4) John Ball (d. 1685); merchant in Dublin, made a freeman of the city in 1641; married Katherine, daughter of Michael Browne, and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at St Audoen, Dublin, 19 March 1684/5; will proved in 1685;
(1.5) Richard Ball (fl. 1660); an officer in the Irish confederate army (Capt.) and one of the 'Forty-Nine Officers' rewarded at the Restoration in 1660 with grants of land near Ratoath; married Mary, daughter of Sir Christopher Bellew of Bellewstown;
(1.6) Begnett Ball (d. 1678); married 1st, Matthew May and 2nd, William Lattin of Naas (Co. Kildare); died 27 September 1678;
(1.7) Catherine Ball; married Patrick Segrave of Killiegland, Ashbourne (Co. Meath);
(1.8) Jane Ball; married, by 1645, George Taypole or Tadpole, gent.;
(2.1) Rose Ball (d. 1687); married William Blackney; buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 22 September 1687.
He lived in Dublin, but inherited his father's property in Co. Meath.
He died in November 1643 and was buried at St. Audoen's church, Dublin. His first wife died in 1618 and was buried at St. Audoen's church, Dublin. His widow died 25 February and was buried at St. Audoen, 27 February 1682/3.

Ball, Thomas (1608-79). Eldest son of Bartholomew Ball (1589-1643) of Dublin and his wife Jane, daughter of Christopher Finglas of Tubbersale (Co. Dublin), born 1608. A Roman Catholic in religion. His sisters Begnett and Rose lived with him in their widowhoods, but brought a successful action against him for treating them as unpaid servants and providing inadequate sums for their food and clothing. He was probably unmarried and without issue.
He inherited his father's property (167a.) at Lunderstown (Co. Meath) but in view of the penal laws transferred it to his brother-in-law, Matthew May, and Thomas Houghton, as trustees. His lands were nonetheless seized during the Commonwealth but after the Restoration he secured their return, claiming he had been 'reduced to great want'. He lived in Dublin.
He was buried at St. Audoen, Dublin, 13 February 1679.

Ball, Nicholas (1610-52). Second son of Bartholomew Ball (1589-1643) of Dublin and his wife Jane, daughter of Christopher Finglas of Tubbersale (Co. Dublin), born 1610. Merchant and freeman of Dublin. He married Thomasine [surname unknown] and had issue:
(1) John Ball (fl. 1670-78) (q.v.);
(2) Ann Ball (d. 1660); buried at St. John, Dublin, September 1660.
He lived in Dublin and at Lunderstown (Co. Meath).
His will was proved 3 May 1652. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Ball, John (fl. 1670-78). Only son of Nicholas Ball (1610-52) and his wife Thomasine, born about 1645. He married Catherine, daughter of Michael Browne, High Sheriff of Dublin, and had issue:
(1) John Ball (1670-1735), born at Trim (Co. Meath), 1670; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1687); married and had issue; will proved at Trim, 25 February 1735;
(2) Michael Ball (b. 1675) (q.v.);
(3) Bartholomew Ball (b. 1678), baptised at Drogheda, 1678;
(4) Elizabeth Ball;
(5) Mary Ball; married Richard Archbold of Eadstown, Naas (Co. Kildare).
He inherited the Lundestown (Co. Meath) property from his uncle in 1679, but was living there in 1670.
He died after 1678. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Ball, Michael (b. 1675). Elder son of John Ball (fl. 1670-78) and his wife Catherine, daughter of Michael Browne, High Sheriff of Dublin, born 1675. He married, c.1700, Elizabeth, daughter of John Nichols of The Forest, Swords (Co. Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Daniel Ball (b. c.1705), of Kilmainham, nr. Kells (Co. Meath), born about 1705;
(2) Henry Ball (b. 1706), of Chartes Street, Dublin, born 1706; married Elinor, sister of Sir Thomas Blackhall, Lord Mayor of Dublin;
(3) Nicholas Ball (b. 1708) (q.v.)
(4) Thomasine Ball (b. 1701); married Thomas Rose MA of Swords (Co. Dublin).
He inherited the Lundestown (Co. Meath) estate and some property in Dublin from his father but apparently forfeited it c.1695 for his [or his father's???] part in the Williamite wars. He lived subsequently at Killskyre near Kells (Co. Meath).
His date of death is unknown. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Ball, Nicholas (b. 1708). Youngest son of Michael Ball (b. 1675) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Nichols of The Forest, Swords (Co. Dublin), born 1708. He married, 1743, Catherine Prysse, and had issue:
(1) Richard Ball (b. 1745) (q.v.);
(2) Henry Ball (b. 1746);
(3) Catherine Ball (b. 1747).
His date of death is unknown. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Ball, Richard (1745-1825?). Elder son of Nicholas Ball (b. 1708) and his wife Catherine Prysse, born 1745. He probably married and had issue:
(1) Laurence Ball (1776-1858) (q.v.).

He recovered possession of the Lundestown (Co. Meath) estate and was living there by 1770.
He may be the man of this name whose will was proved in Dublin in 1825.

Ball, Laurence (1776-1858). Only recorded child of Richard Ball (1745-1825?) of Lundestown (Co. Meath) and his wife, born 1776. He married, 1802, Catherine (1778-1848), only daughter of Col. Nicholas Jordan of Wintergrass, Bellewstown (Co. Meath) of the Austrian army, and had issue:
(1) John Ball (1804-72) of Readsland, Dunshaughlin (Co. Meath); died unmarried and without issue, 25 February 1872; will proved 28 January 1873 (effects under £1,000);
(2) Nicholas Ball (1805-21);
(3) Lawrence Ball (1807-83) of Wintergrass, Bellewstown (Co. Meath), grazier; died unmarried, 4 October 1883; will proved 26 October 1883 (effects £9,639);
(4) Richard Ball (1812-90) (q.v.);
(5) William Ball (1814-98), of Beamore, Drogheda (Co. Louth), grazier; married Margaret Mary (d. 1899), daughter of Oliver Shannon of Mount Brown, Kilmainham (Co. Dublin); died without issue, 6 October 1898; will proved 14 November 1898 (effects £7,700);
(6) Patrick Ball (1815-93) of Wintergrass, Lundestown and West Carnea (Co. Meath); died unmarried, 4 May 1893; administration of goods granted to his niece, Catherine O'Keeffe, 8 June 1893 (effects £4,396);
(7) Margaret Ball (1803-63); died unmarried, 1863;
(8) Catherine Ball (1809-81); said to have married Henry Byrne of Ruby Lodge, Blackrock (Co. Dublin) and had issue; said to have died in 1881.
He inherited Lundestown from his father and Wintergrass through his marriage. He purchased Mooreside, Clonalvy (Co. Meath) in 1811.
He died 24 May 1858; administration of his goods was granted to two of his sons, 18 May 1859 (effects under £200). His wife died 14 April 1848.

Ball, Richard (1812-90). Fourth son of Laurence Ball (1776-1858) and his wife Catherine, only daughter of Col. Nicholas Jordan of Wintergrass, Bellewstown (Co. Meath), born 1812. He married, 22 August 1854 at St James RC Church, Dublin, Mary Agnes (c.1827-1914), daughter of Oliver Shannon of Mount Brown, Kilmainham (Co. Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Mary Ann (k/a May) Theresa Ball (1855-1921), baptised at Clonalvy, 21 June 1855; married 1st, 11 September 1883 at Clonalvy, Edward Spring (1849-86), barrister-at-law, of Possextown, Enfield (Co. Meath), fourth son of James Spring, who was fined £1200 for breach of promise after breaking off his engagement to Miss May Coghlan of Dublin in order to marry her; and 2nd, 18 November 1897 at Clondalkin (Co. Dublin), as his second wife, Stephen Joseph Brown LLD (d. 1931), of Ard Caen, Naas (Co. Kildare), Crown solicitor for Co. Kildare, and had issue; died as a result of a motor accident, 6 February 1921;
(2) Laurence Francis Ball (1856-1934) of Dowdstown, Maynooth (Co. Kildare), baptised at Clonalvy, 12 October 1856; educated at Tullabeg; married, 1889, Mary (d. 1894), daughter of Patrick Gargan JP of Drakerath, Nobber (Co. Meath) and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Dowdstown, 14 July 1934; administration of his estate granted 17 September 1934 (estate £10,034);
(3) Catherine Mary Ball (1858-1911), born 21 March 1858; inherited Lundestown from her uncle Patrick in 1893, but it was sold after her death in 1912; said to have married, 1886, Dr. William O'Keefe MD of Delvin (Co. Westmeath), and had issue; said to have died 15 June 1911;
(4) Richard Oliver Ball (1859-1941) (q.v.);
(5) Agnes Mary Ball (1861-1921), born 22 September 1861; died unmarried, 23 November 1921;
(6) (Mary) Wilhelmina Agnes Ball (1864-1947), born 10 March 1864; married, 20 August 1895 at Clonalvy, Gerald Tench (c.1864-1934), solicitor, of Ballinascorney, Tallagh (Co. Dublin) and Lacks, Shinrone (Co. Tipperary), but had no issue; died 15 February 1947; will proved 13 June 1947 (estate £2,882);
(7) George Jordan Ball (1865-1941), of Wintergrass, Bellewstown (Co. Meath), born 3 September 1865; educated at The French College, Blackrock (Co. Dublin), but was illiterate in 1890; farmer; married, 13 January 1910, Josephine (d. 1964), daughter of James Cunningham Mills, and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 4 January 1941; will proved 14 July 1943 (estate £185);
(8) Florence Mary Ball (1867-1956), born 2 June 1867; married, 23 June 1897 at Clonalvy RC Church, Albert Nicholas Reynolds of New Lodge, Garristown (Co. Dublin), second son of Nicholas Reynolds of Beashelstown, Clonalvy (Co. Meath), and had issue; died 2 August 1956; will proved 9 October 1956 (estate £1,556);
(9) William Henry Ball (1869-1904), baptised at Clonalvy, 28 November 1869; died unmarried of bronchitis in Dublin, 10 December 1904; administration of goods granted to his mother, 10 April 1905 (estate £645).
He inherited Mooreside from his father in 1858. 
He died at Mooreside, 11 January 1890; his will was proved 19 March 1890 (estate £13,316). His widow died aged 87 at Mooreside, 4 April 1914; her will was proved 11 July 1914 (estate £5,811).

Ball, Richard Oliver (1859-1941). Second son of Richard Ball (1812-90) of Mooreside and his wife Mary Agnes, daughter of Oliver Shannon of Mount Brown, Kilmainham (Co. Dublin), born 25 December 1859. Educated at The French College, Blackrock (Co. Dublin). Solicitor in partnership of Tench & Reynolds, and horse breeder, who twice bred the winner of the Grand National (Reynoldstown, 1935-36). He married, 28 April 1896, Mary (c.1872-1925), daughter of James Tench of Dublin and Ballinascorney, Tallagh (Co. Dublin) and Lacks, Shinrone (Co. Tipperary), who was also heir of his uncle, the Rt. Hon. Gerald Tench, Baron of the Exchequer. They had issue:
(1) Richard Ball (1898-1990) (q.v.);
(2) Moira Anna Ball (b. 1901), born 28 May 1901; unmarried in 1941.
He inherited Mooreside from his father in 1890 and may have purchased Reynoldstown in the 1890s.
He died 12 January 1941; his will was proved 6 March 1941 (estate £3,328). His wife died 24 December 1925; administration of her goods was granted to her husband, 13 July 1925 (estate £118).

Ball, Richard (1898-1990). Only son of Richard Oliver Ball (1859-1941) and his wife Mary, daughter of James Tench of Dublin and Ballinascorney, Tallagh (Co. Dublin), born 8 April 1898. Educated at Clongowes and University College, Dublin. Horse breeder, who was Leading Breeder in Britain and Ireland, 1958; Member of Agriculture Committee of Royal Dublin Society, 1940-46 and of the Council of the Irish Bloodstock Breeders Association, 1944-62 (President, 1959-62). Director of the Irish National Stud, 1956-59. He married, 10 June 1948, Mavis Norah (d. 1994), younger daughter of Capt. Francis Clemson Worrall MC, and had issue:
(1) Charles Richard Ball (b. 1952) (q.v.);
(2) (Mary) Janet (Florence) Ball (b. 1949), born Jan-Mar 1949; proprietor of Naul Animal Farm, Reynoldstown.
He inherited Mooreside and Reynoldstown from his father in 1941, and handed on Mooreside to his son and Reynoldstown to his daughter.
He died about 1 February 1990. His wife died 8 April 1994; her will was proved March 1995 (estate £351,214).

Ball, Charles Richard (b. 1952). Only son of Richard Ball (1898-1990) and his wife Mavis Norah, younger daughter of Capt. Francis Clemson Worrall MC, born 31 March 1952. Educated at Stonyhurst College and Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. Farmer. He married, 30 October 1982 at Branscombe (Devon), Janet Mary (b. 1955), daughter of Morgan George Selly of Bulstone, Branscombe, farmer.
He inherited Mooreside from his father.
Now living.


Sources


Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 56-57; W. Ball Wright, Ball family records, 1908; Drogheda Independent, 17 September 1910, p.7.


Location of archives


Ball family of Mooreside: deeds and papers, 19th cent-1902 [Collection held privately; enquiries to National Library of Ireland]


Coat of arms


Sable, on a chevron or, between three griffins' heads erased argent, langued gules and beaked of the second, three martlets of the field; all within a bordure compony of the first and third. 



Notes about missing information and help wanted with this entry


  • If anyone can provide additional information or images about the houses at Ballygall, Ballsgrove, Mooreside and Reynoldstown, I would be very pleased to hear from them. I am particularly keen to source an informative photograph of Mooreside, and to know more about the descent of Ballygall and Ballsgrove after they were sold by the family.
  • I would be most grateful if anyone can provide additional genealogical or career information about the earlier generations of this family. In particular, if anyone can point me at documentary evidence of Walter Ball's involvement in his mother's imprisonment in the 1580s I would be most grateful.
  • If anyone can supply portraits or photographs of people named in bold above for inclusion in this account, I should be very pleased to receive them. 
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.


Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 22 November 2018.

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