Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ball Bounty

Although Mr GeniAus (my husband Robert) is not particularly fond of research he loves making connections with distant cousins and sharing stories and photographs with them. He will and has travelled to the ends of the earth to meet up with them. We have travelled to Rochdale Lancs., the town of his Ball line on several occasions and visited local archives, churches, cemeteries and homes of the Balls. The British Newspaper Archive has recently enabled us to add to the Ball story.

In the early 1800s the Balls lived at Wolstenholme Fold near Rochdale

Way back, when DNA was the new research tool on the block Mr GeniAus took a Y-DNA test which hasn't really helped us make any connections. Then in 2015 we added an autosomal test from FTDNA followed by an Ancestry test. Through these we have identified several matches and connected with a few on his Ball line but to date haven't added to our knowledge of the family until this week. 

I recently received an Ancestry  message from Alli in the UK relating to three kits that I manage so I promptly messaged her back to confirm that the relationship she asked about was indeed correct. Alli who is Mr GeniAus' third cousin was as excited as Robert and I were to make this connection. It was easy to work out the connection because both Alli and Robert have trees attached to their DNA accounts.

Ancestry message from Alli
Alli kindly responded with a copy of a document recording notes on family members written by her grandmother whose grandparents James Ball and Betty Clegg are also Robert's 2xGreatGrandparents. 

James Ball and Betty Clegg's grave in Rochdale Cemetery 

The information in the document filled in many gaps for us and provided some clues for further research. The icing on the cake was being sent a copy of a photo of James Ball held by Alli's branch of the family. It was the first image we have ever seen of Robert's ancestor. 

I wrote to Alli "We have just sat and read through your grandmother's account. Even though I am not related to the Balls it brought tears to my eyes as I read James' story, having researched them for eons I am quite fond of them.

This is the best and most valuable geneasurprise I have had in years, thank you for taking a DNA test."

As we are visiting the UK in June 2022 we are making arrangements to meet up with Alli and her family. Alli has also agreed to upload her results to Gedmatch so I can examine her chromosome matches with Robert, James and Norma.

It's been an exciting geneaweek for two distant Ball families. Isn't DNA just grand!


  1. It sure is, Jill. I recently found my grandfather through DNA. Turned out to be the butler! Not the ‘young man of the house’. Have a great time in the UK. Let’s cross fingers eh about no more lockdowns. Margaret

  2. This is wonderful Jill. I can imagine the excitement. You’ve reminded me I really do need to start following up my DNA matches.

  3. Just great news for all and another inspiring blog. Thanks for the story Jill, it pays to ‘Hurry up and wait’ - Helen Smiths favourite saying at our GSQ DNA meetings.

  4. So great to hear about your DNA success. Sure makes a big difference when people add trees and are willing to share information. I hope Mr Ball had tears too :)

  5. Thanks all for your comments. Alli have been communicating all week. And @Danielle Mr Ball is a real softie so was also a bit teary.


I'd love to hear what you have to say so I encourage you to say G'day in comments on my posts.

Sorry I have turned word verification on but I am just getting too much spam to allow comments without this feature.