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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Ball family come from? What is the English Ball family crest and coat of arms? When did the Ball family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ball family history?

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Ball. It was given to a person who was bald deriving its origin from the Old English word Bealla, which meant bald. The surname may also refer to someone who had a rotund or stocky stature.


One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Ball has appeared include Ball, Balle, Balls, Balders and others.

First found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ball research. Another 203 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1381, 1887, 1631, 1690, 1680, 1626, 1640, 1631, 1690, 1675, 1664, 1530, 1553 and 1992 are included under the topic Early Ball History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 311 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ball Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Ball family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 349 words(25 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Ball arrived in North America very early:

Ball Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Jas Ball, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1622
  • Mrs. Robert Ball, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Goodwife Ball settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Mrs. Ball, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Richard Ball settled in Virginia in 1624

Ball Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliz Ball, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Saml Ball, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Will Ball, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Catharina Ball, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Richd Ball, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Ball Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Matthew Ball, who landed in Maryland in 1803
  • Prudence Ball, aged 30, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • James Ball, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1807
  • Luke Ball, who arrived in America in 1810
  • Abraham Ball, aged 45, arrived in New York in 1812


  • Ernest Ball (1878-1927), American composer
  • Lucille Désirée Ball (1911-1989), American actress, comedienne, television star and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Anne Firestone Ball (1934-2013), American philanthropist, heir to Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
  • Samuel Henry "Errie" Ball (1910-2014), Welsh-American professional golfer, the last living person to compete in the first Masters dying at the age of 103, inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 2011
  • Air Vice Marshal Sir Benjamin Ball (1912-1977), English RAF Air Officer Commanding-in- Chief at Signals Command
  • Air Marshal Sir Alfred Henry Wynne Ball KCB, DSO, DFC (b. 1921), English former Deputy Commander of RAF Strike Command
  • Sir John M. Ball FRSE, FRS (b. 1948), English mathematician
  • Captain Albert Ball VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (1896-1917), English First World War fighter pilot awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Kenneth Daniel "Kenny" Ball (1930-2013), English jazz musician, lead trumpet player and founder of Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen
  • Mrs. Ada E. Ball, (née Hall), aged 36, English Second Class passenger from Bristol, Avon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10



  • Ball Cousins: Descendants of John and Sarah Ball and of William and Elizabeth Richards of Colonial Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania by Margaret B. Kinsey.
  • Ball Family Chart by Charles M. Noble.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fulcrum dignitatis virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the support of dignity


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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Ball Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ball Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 October 2014 at 20:27.

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