Ethel Butterfield

I have a photo of a person called Ethel Butterfield. She is supposed to be the sister of Annie Bean nee Ball who immigrated to Australia in the Abegeldie in 1881.

Ethel Butterfield

Ethel Butterfield

Every now and then I delve into the Bean family and then decide to go back to my more major interests, but at the moment I am doing a large amount of Bean family research, maybe it is an attempt to catch my Bean family up to my Gransden family.

I found Annie years ago, she married Leonard Bean and they came out to Australia with their eldest son when he was just two years old, Percy. There was probably another child at some stage as well, according to death and marriage certificates, but to date I have not been able to find out who that child is and when it was born.



Over the last few weeks I have gone back over some of my Bean family research. Found amazing information about Ray Bean, as detailed in earlier posts, and then started to follow information further back. I have done a little bit on Percy and his siblings. I have chased up Leonard a bit more and have gradually been fleshing out a bit of my research. So today I decided to tackle Annie Ball.

My information for Annie tells me that her father is Thomas Ball and her mother Ann Smith. She had at least one sister, Alice Ball who married Harry Butterfield, thus the Butterfield connection. All good and I now know where the photo belongs as Harry and Alice had a daughter name Ethel- thus Ethel Butterfield is a Bean cousin and that fits nicely with the family stories I had of Ethel Butterfield who used to write to the Bean children in Australia and was a cousin.

All good, but then I did a bit more digging. The Ethel Butterfield connections stands up, as does the Thomas Ball connection but where on earth did I get the Ann Smith and is it correct? I have an 1881 census for the Bean family who have Alice living with them just weeks before the Beans leave to come to Australia. Then I found the most amazing 1871 census.

Thomas Ball     Head                M           44        Leicester, Leicestershire           Bricklayer

Mary Ball          Wife                  F           43        London, Middlesex

Annie Ball         Daughter          F           18        Leicester, Leicestershire           Hoisery Worker

Mary Ball          Daughter          F           15        Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Hoisery Worker

Elizabeth Ball    Daughter          F          14        Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Zadock Ball      Son                  M           11        Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Scholar

Alice Ball          Daughter          F            7          Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Scholar

Emma Ball        Daughter          F           6          Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Scholar

Eliza Ball          Daughter          F            5          Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Scholar

Louisa Ball        Daughter          F           3          Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Scholar

Lillie Ball           Daughter          F           0          Nottingham, Nottinghamshire    Scholar

“England and Wales Census, 1871”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 February 2016), Mary Ball in entry for Thomas Ball, 1871.

This gives me so many more family members for Annie. Seven previously unknown siblings. The dates and places are totally correct and fit in with my prior knowledge of the family, the professions fit in with my prior knowledge of the family the siblings between Annie and Alice make sense and I have been expecting to find more children for this family for a long time. But, there mother/ wife is a Mary. So where did Anne come from? Was she a first wife, in which case Thomas moved very quickly between Annie and Mary Ball, but it would certainly make sense of the names with Annie named after her mother and Mary named after her mother. Or, did Ann Ball nee Smith not exist at all?

My original research for this family is so old that I don’t know and can’t be sure if I made sound decisions in the first place. I have found a possible birth registration for Annie, but I can’t be certain. So I have sent off for the marriage certificate of Annie Ball and Leonard Bean. I know I am on solid ground with this one. So it is time to do the right thing and take it one step at a time, making sure I have the correct documents the whole way.

So Annie, who is your mother really. She is not on your death certificate and I have no real information for her. So your life is about to come under the microscope, as much as I can do that from this distance in time and space.

Leonard Bean and Annie Bean nee Ball, grave

Leonard Bean and Annie Bean nee Ball, grave

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