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Late in 1656, the Town of Watertown took official notice* of deterioration in the Ball household.
On the next page of the Record, it appears that our Grandpa (Mary’s Papa) John “Baall” dutifully attended a smaller meeting of the seven Selectmen, three days later. They decided to entrust twelve-year-old John and five-year-old Mary to the care of their maternal grandparents (“Brother Pearce”), and their younger sibling to a player to be named later. “Capt Masan” I take to be Hugh Mason, that year’s First Selectman.

*We owe these transcriptions of the Town Proceedings to the Historical Society of Watertown, which undertook in 1891 to publish all the extant early records of the Town, with a grant of $1000 from the Town Meeting. A century later, the New England Historic Genealogical Society republished them as a compact disk (Boston:2002) with Bond, Henry, M.D., Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts. I reproduce these extracts gratefully and literatim, without any attempt to correct their imperfections; may their successors show as great indulgence toward mine… I do comment, of course, where I may hope to clarify. As, for example, in the passage above about “such as may be thought sitt to take the fame.” Here the transcriber seems to have confounded the letters “s” and “f”. A common and forgivable error, when 19th- (or 21st-)century eyes squint at 17th-century handwriting.
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William and Mary
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