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Collection Number: 01811

Collection Title: John Ball and Keating Simons Ball Books, 1779-1911

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 10 items)
Abstract John Ball and Keating Simons Ball (1818-1891) were planters of Charleston District, S.C. Records of Comingtee, a Cooper River, S.C., plantation, in Charleston District (later Berkeley County), and other rice plantations of the Ball family, including Stoke, Kensington, and Midway. Volumes contain slave records listing supplies issued, births and deaths, names, and other data, 1780-1833; and shipping receipts for crops, 1841-1851. They also include diaries and notebooks of Keating Simons Ball, 1849-1840 and 1874-1884, that record weather, planting, and neighborhood and personal activities. Included in one volume are two pages headed "Orderly Book for the Regiment of Light Dragoons," 1779. Family members mentioned include Elias Ball (fl. 1675-1751) and John Ball, Jr. (1782-1834).
Creator Ball, John, 1760-1817.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the John Ball and Keating Simons Ball Books #1811, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Charlotte D. Cordes of Jacksonville, Florida, in in April 1951.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Elias Ball (fl. 1675-1751) of Devonshire, England, came to South Carolina around 1695 at the invitation of his uncle, John Coming. Materials in this collection relate to Elias Ball's descendants, particularly his grandson, John Ball (1760-1817), his great-grandson, John Ball (1782-1834), and his great-great-grandson, Keating Simons Ball (1818-1891).

Note:An extensive genealogy of the Ball family, beginning with Elias Ball in the late 17th century and continuing through the early 1900s, may be found on pages 83-119 in Volume 5 of this collection.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Records of Comingtee, a Cooper River, S.C., plantation, in Charleston District (later Berkeley County), and other rice plantations of the Ball family, including Stoke, Kensington, and Midway. Volumes contain slave records listing supplies issued, births and deaths, names, and other data, 1780-1833; and shipping receipts for crops, 1841-1851. They also include diaries and notebooks of Keating Simons Ball, 1849-1840 and 1874-1884, that record weather, planting, and neighborhood and personal activities. Included in one volume are two pages headed "Orderly Book for the Regiment of Light Dragoons," 1779. Family members mentioned include Elias Ball (fl. 1675-1751) and John Ball, Jr. (1782-1834).

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911.

21 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 1a

Volume 1: 1779-1817, 102 pp. #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 1a

Chiefly a register of the names and birthdates of slaves born on Ball family plantations, 1780-circa 1813, and lists of slaves who received clothing and blankets, 1782-1817, at the following locations: Midway, Marshland Farm, Belle Isle, Pamlico, Kensington, Hyde Park, and Garden Lot. Pages 97-102 were used as a register of colts, fillies, and mules belonging to John Ball, 1783-1802. Pages 15-16 were used as an "Orderly Book for the Regiment of Light Dragoons, commanded by Colonel Daniel Horry," listing regimental orders and a roster dated March-April 1779.

Folder 1b

Enclosure in Volume 1 #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 1b

Small piece of paper with notation of names and dates.

Folder 2a

Volume 2: 1803-1834, 27 pp. #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 2a

Inscribed on inside front cover: "John Ball, Comingtee, 23 November 1819." Pages 1-8 serve as a register of slave names and descriptions of how the slaves were acquired by John Ball. One such heading reads: "Names of the Negroes of children at Comingtee Plantation in May 1803 belonging to Elias Ball and conveyed by will to his nephew John Ball in 1810 together with the increase of the females." Pages 9-25 list the birth and death dates of slaves at the Comingtee and Stoke Plantations. Entries begin in 1803 and most continue through the 1830s.

Folder 2b

Enclosures in Volume 2 #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 2b

List of slave children belonging to John Coming, 1836; fragment dated 13th Jan 1880; letter of invitation to attend the second Annual Address of Harmony Circle Association at St. James R. E. Church, Comingtee, dated 15 December 1884.

Folder 3

Volume 3: 1818-1833, 156 pp. #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 3

Pages 1-13, 15-44, and 46-65 were used as a "blanket book," by John Ball, listing slaves who received blankets annually from 1818 through 1833 at Comingtee, Stoke, Backriver, Kensington, and Midway Plantations. Pages 150-155 were used in 1813-1818 as an account book of supplies, wages, and crops by John Ball, Jr.

Folder 4

Volume 4: 1841-1851, 32 pp. #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 4

Receipt book used to record bushels of rough rice shipped by Keating Simons Ball on board the schooner Nancy and received at various Charleston wharfs and South Carolina mills. Receipts are signed by Keating Simons Ball and others.

Folder 5a

Volume 5: 1849-1871, 219 pp. #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 5a

Pages 1-77 were used as a plantation daybook by Keating Simons Ball of the Comingtee Plantation. Included are entries which were made regularly, 1849-1850, and scattered entries and miscellaneous records of 1852, 1869, and 1871. Entries chiefly concern the planting and care of rice, corn, and oat crops; weather conditions; work progress of slaves; trips to Charleston for the sale of rice; hunting; and community activities. Pages 83-119 consist of an extensive Ball family genealogy, beginning with Elias Ball and continuing through the early 1900s.

Folder 5b

Enclosure in Volume 5 #01811, Series: "1. Plantation Record Books, 1779-1871, 1884, 1911." Folder 5b

Unsigned letter to Frederic Bancroft, Washington, D.C., dated 19 April 1911, about the deaths of Hugh and Anna Ball in an explosion aboard the steamer Pulaski in 1838, and two genealogical notes.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884.

11 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 6

Volume 6: 1874, 225 pp. #01811, Series: "2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884." Folder 6

Pocket diary recording the daily activities of Keating Simons Ball, work on Comingtee Plantation, and the weather. Pages 194-224 were used to record accounts.

Folder 7

Volume 7: 1875, 58 pp. #01811, Series: "2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884." Folder 7

Unbound fragment of pocket diary probably kept by Keating Simons Ball of Comingtee Plantation. Daily weather reports and church and neighborhood activities are recorded.

Folder 8a

Volume 8: 1879-1884, 244 pp. #01811, Series: "2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884." Folder 8a

Pages 1-111 of this pocket memorandum book and diary were used in 1879-1880 for brief entries concerning Keating Simons Ball's daily activities on Comingtee Plantation and reports on the weather. Pages 112- 244 were used chiefly to record store accounts, 1879-1884.

Folder 8b

Enclosure in Volume 8: #01811, Series: "2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884." Folder 8b

Six small pieces of paper containing financial notations.

Folder 9

Volume 9: 1883, 176 pp. #01811, Series: "2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884." Folder 9

Pages 1-127 of this pocket diary contain brief entries for 1883 concerning the daily activities of Keating Simons Ball and Comingtee Plantation. Pages 128-135 list names and addresses. Pages 136-174 were used to record accounts of Keating Simons Ball.

Folder 10

Volume 10: 1884, 170 pp. #01811, Series: "2. Pocket Diaries, 1874-1884." Folder 10

Pages 1-129 of this pocket diary were used chiefly by Keating Simons Ball to record daily weather reports. There are brief mentions of trips to Charleston and other community activities. Pages 130-166 were used to record "Cash Accounts" and "Bills Payable." Pages 167-168 list names and addresses.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Alice Thomas, May 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009

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