Monday, February 15, 2010

"Ball McNeil Hatfield Wilson" Family Bible

These copies from the original Family Bible were made in 1970 when I was given permission to briefly see the bible.  Sorry, but back then I did not know I should make a copy of the title page of the bible.  But, according to a deposition by Levi T. Ball in his Civil War pension file, the bible was published in 1851 (see bottom of this post)

Bible history:  The original Henry Ball Family Bible bible was given to his son Benjamin then to Benjamin's daughter, Laura.  Laura gave the bible to her uncle Levi Taylor Ball when he needed proof of his birth for his pension application (see below).  The bible most likely came into the possession of the McNeil family through the Susannah McNeil Ball, wife of Levi Taylor Ball.  The bible then eventually came into the possession of Susannah's sister, the Nancy McNeil Hatfield family.  As the bible was passed down through the McNeil and Hatfield families,  information was added to the bible in the form of family records written on the back of the bible photos and loose sheets of paper, and obituaries, newspaper clippings, etc were tucked into the bible.

Nancy McNeil Hatfield's daughter, Lillie Hatfield Smith had the bible in the late 1950's and left the bible with her sister, Pearl Hatfield Wilson, of Cortez, Colorado.  Pearl added Wilson family information and records to the bible.  As the bible passed down through the different families, it became the:
Ball-McNeil-Hatfield-Wilson Family Bible
After Pearl Wilson died in 1966, the bible was given to her son, Clayton Pat Wilson.  His widow, Anna Wilson of Oregon, was still in possession of the bible in 2004.  It has not been cared for and has not been kept in good condition.  The extended  family has not been given access to it.  A few years ago (2004), a grandson of Anna Wilson was permitted to make copies.  He said the bible was falling apart with the cover and title page of the bible missing and many of the pages loose.   clm

Ball Family Bible Pages
Henry Ball was born 1798 in Kentucky and died 1880 in Parke County, Indiana.  He married Nancy Wise who was born 1804 in Kentucky and died 1856 in Indiana.  This first page shown is the Births of the Henry Ball Family.
Henry Ball Family Births
The following pages appear to have been torn out of another bible and stuck into the Ball Bible.  They appear to be miscellaneous information for the Henry Ball family.

Henry Ball family births

Henry Ball family deaths

The next pages shown are bible page entries for the Levi T and Susannah McNeil Ball family.  There are also a few entries for the McNeil family.  Loose McNeil family records from the bible can be found by clicking here and here.

Levi T Ball children deaths

Deposition by Levi Taylor Ball, found in his Civil War Pension File, dated Dec 17, 1912, giving reference to the Ball family bible. 

"My age is 65, having been born January 17, 1847...The bible from which the date of my birth as above given was taken, was my father's family bible, the first one he ever had in his house, and the only one. The record of the date of my birth is in my father's handwriting. He and mother told us that they made the records of our births at the time each child was born. At the time of my father's death the bible passed into the hands of my brother Benjamin Ball. After his death, two or three years ago, his daughter, Laura, husband's name not known, now living at Bedford, Iowa, gave me the bible.
I had six brothers and five sisters, all of whom are now dead.
Their names and the dates of their births as given by my fathers bible are as follows:
Elizabeth, born July 24, 1821
Manlinday, born April 13, 1823
Calamata, born March 3, 1825
Benjamin L, born January 16, 1828
James H, born February 1, 1830
William E., born October 3, 1831
Daniel W. born December 27, 1833
Mary, born April 10, 1836
David W., born August 6, 1838
Nancy, born March 1, 1841
James H., born February 18, 1843
Phebe, born July 26, 1844
Levi T. W., born January 17, 1847
Both of the children named James Henry died in infancy

When I enlisted I was 16 years of age but my age was put down as 18. I enlisted December 9, 1863, in Co. C 10. Ind. Vol. Cav. and was discharged August 31, 1865 as shown by a copy of my discharge certificate...I am a married man - my wife's maiden name was Susana A. McNeil. We were married August 27, 1876 near Hopkins, Mo., by Rev. Edward Otis. Neither of us had ever been previously married...Since you have called my attention to the fact that father's bible was not printed until 1851, I do not know what to say. My understanding always was that my father made those birth records at the time of birth of each child. The records are in my father's handwriting; I can swear to that..."

signed Levi T. W. Ball

Related Posts with information that came from the bible:
Levi Taylor Ball
William S McNeil Family
William and Sarah McNeil Family Record
Pearl and Charles Wilson Family Record

Note: These bible pages have been added and can be viewed on and

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these bible pages even though they were not your direct line. It is interesting how the Ball Family Bible came in possession of the Hatfield family. And to think it ended up with someone who did not care for it! So sad...
Again thank you for preserving a bit of our history for us!!
From a grateful Ball family descendant.