I am David Ball and, as a child in the early 1950's, used to visit my father's parents in Marshalls Road, Raunds (my mother came from faraway Stanwick). Much later I was surprised that most of his ancestors came from Ringstead. In my tree are the names Manning, Phillips, Andrews, Childs, Warren and Ball. I stalled in about 1800 in tracing my direct ancestor John Ball (born about 1783 according to the entry for his death in the Parish Register). I therefore tried to move sideways and found many had more interesting lives than my direct ancestors. I also felt that their aggregated lives began to give a feeling for the people of Ringstead in the nineteenth century - both its stability but also its surprising fluidity

I have written about those who went away whether to Manchester or Toronto but I have also written about the ordinary people, the labourers and shoemakers, lacemakers and limestone workers, who stayed.

The most famous Ball from Ringstead is William Weekley Ball. the alleged murderer of his mistress. I cannot prove his side of the family to be connected to my own. I do have a connection by place and I have included his story, trying to add a little to what is already in print.

I see this website as a work in progress and hope the biographies will be amended and improved and new ones added. I would love other people to include their own biographies of their nineteenth century ancestors. Do contact me on if you have any criticisms, comments or ideas.