Robert William Rowe Ball
Dwelling #67
Group Number 1

Group Members

The table below shows the people that make up the group.

No Last Name First Names Maiden Name Relationship Occupation Born Died School Year
1 Ball Robert William Rowe (William) Husband Carpenter, Builder, Wheelwright 1840 21 Sep 1899
2 Ball Sarah Kent Wife 1838 20 Nov 1914
3 Ball Mary Jane (Polly) Child 1868 10 Nov 1934
4 Ball Harry William Child 28 Nov 1869 1954 1881
5 Ball Arthur Child 21 Jul 1871 16 Sep 1961 1881
6 Ball John (Jack) Child 1874 17 May 1958 1881
7 Ball Ada Child 20 Jun 1875 16 Oct 1959


The table below shows any historical notes about the party group.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
944 1838 Birth of Sarah Kent.

Sarah Kent was born at Hallew Farm in Napean, St Dennis, Cornwall. The daughter of William Kent and Mary Best, who were farmers at Hallew Farm. Hallew had been in the Kent family for over 200 years.

945 1840 Birth of Robert Ball

Robert Wiliam Rowe Ball was born at St Columb Major, Cornwall. The son of Catherine Rowe and Robert Ball who were farmers. William had three sisters and a brother John Ball (1). (For details of John Ball(1) see dwelling #68). William took up the trade of carpentry and cabinetmaker. He moved to Blackburn in Lancashire, where he became the foreman in one of the oldest established cabinetmaking businesses.

946 1864 Marriage of Robert and Sarah.

Robert William Rowe Ball married Sarah Kent in St James's Church, Blackburn in Lancashire. The Balls settled in Blackburn and had five children. William continued in the carpentry trade.

947 1880 The Ball family emigrate to New Zealand.

The William Ball family decided to emigrate to New Zealand. William carpentry tools were contained in a beautiful inlaid tool chest which he brought to new Zealand with him. This tok chest is now in the Naseby Museum.

948 1880 Ball family travel to NZ on the sailing ship 'Piako'

On September 25th 1880, the William Ball family boarded the sailing ship 'Piako' at Gravesend, London. The group included : Mr Robert William Rowe Ball Mrs Sarah Ball Mrs Catherine Rowe Ball (William's mother) Mary Jane Harry William Arthur John (2) Ada

949 1880 The voyage to New Zealand

The 'Piako' was a handsome little iron ship of 1,075 tons. She was a frequent visitor to New Zealand under the command of Captain Boyd. The ship was built by A Stephens of Glasgow in 1877. On the voyage from London to Port Chalmers in Sept 1880, the Piako was delayed several days in the Channel by head winds, and then met with a terrific gale accompanied by high seas in the bay of Biscay. So bad was the weather that the second class passengers had to be battered down. During the height of the storm, able seaman John Heywood fell overboard, the ship then logging 11 knots. In spite of the heavy seas, a boat was lowered and in less than an hour the man was safe on board again.

950 1880 Part of the voyage diary of William Bell.

Our accommodation on the voyage is 36 ft. square, for beds, tables and all for three tables. Table No 1 seats nine people, table No 2 seats fourteen people, and table No 3 seats twelve people. That is thirty five first class plus two second class.. Thirty three people to Port Chalmers. Sept 25 1880 : We got on board the Piako at 1.00 pm and got out of the docks about 5.30 pm, stopped at Gravesend all night. Sept 26: Got off at 6.00 am, pass over Dover at 4.30 pm. Weather very hot. Had roast beef and soup for dinner then got on nicely through the night. Rather foggy. Sept 30: Wind strong, women, children and some men sick. Got to mouth of Bay of Biscay about 1.00 pm. Oct 5: Got on deck at 7.00 am, blowing a gale all day at he stern. Going at a rate of 10 knots. They battened the hatches at about 7.00 pm, gale still increasing. Shipping heavy seas. 200 miles off Cape Finisher. Oct 10: Up at 6.30 am, weather fine, going at 4 knots. Between Madera and the Western Islands. 1900 miles from the line. We leave England behind. Went to church at 10.30 am. Oct 16: Up at 6.00 am. Got the trade winds, fair going at 7 knots, plenty of flying fish, very hot. Oct 19: up at 6.30 am. Good breeze, 5 knots, very hot. Sarah very poorly. Oct 22: Up at 6.00 am. In a headwind, two vessels in sight. Came on a squall at 2.30 pm and rain water was collected. The ladies started washing clothes. I am not well, cannot eat but not sick. Oct 25: Up at 6.00 am. Mrs Fallifield given birth to a daughter at 1.00 am. Both well. Nov 4: Up at 6.00 am. Good wind, but ahead as usual. We cross the line at 11.00 am. King Neptune came on board at 7.00 pm. After Neptune came on board the Captain sent a bottle of whiskey for us men and a bottle of wine for the ladies. Then we had one to wet the childs head and one from our second class passengers so we had a very comfortable night. Nov 11: up at 9.00 am. Not well, wind died. 160 miles in 24 hours. Nov 13: Up at 6.00 am. Felt better, fair wind. At 8.00 pm we had a concert in the shape of Christies Minstrels with nine performers. It went off in splendid style. There was a good moon, light wind and ship steady. Lost the ships cat overboard. Nov 21. Up at 7.30 am. In a good breeze. Our captain and officers have been in a bad temper for the last few days owing to bad winds. This morning we sighted the 'Otaki', one of the company's ships that left London three days before us. She was astern of us at about 9.00 am. Nov 22. Up at 6.30 am. The 'Otaki' is now on our port side level with us in a splendid breeze. The race is very exciting and there are some heavy bets on. She got out of sight around 2.00 pm. Dec 2. The wind got up rather rough around 3.30 pm and continued al night with plenty of sea on deck. Dec 4. Saturday night - we are now ten weeks at sea. I am just thinking about my friends at home at old mother Fielding's. I could do very well with a glass or two of her beer and a smoke. We can get bottled beer here but have to pay one shilling per bottle so I can tell you that they do not get many of my shillings, nor sixpence per glass for whiskey or rum. In fact I can't afford it. However tonight I think I should have one but don't like to change a half sovereign. I can tell you the food is beginning to tell on Sarah and me. One thing over and over again. Beef one day and peas the next, Then peas and beef for a change. Dec 9. Up at 6.00 am. Heavy sea and not much wind up there, but plenty down here with us ! Another birth at 10.00 am - Mrs Mouldson delivered a daughter. Dec 25. Up at 7.00 am. Weather fine up to 12.30 pm then the wind began to blow strong and continued all night, a gale, the worst night that we have had. We spent a merry christmas although it blew so hard and rained heavily. (William Bells diary was never completed.)

951 1881 William and family arrive in New Zealand

The William Ball family arrived safely in the 'Piako' at Port Chalmers. They settled in Dunedin and William tried unsuccessfully to find work as a carpenter and wheelwright.

952 1881 William and family move to Bannockburn.

William Ball decided to move to Bannockburn to visit his brother John Ball (1) and try for work there. They stayed with his brother in dwelling #68. It may be that William and his brother John built dwelling #67, as 8 extra people living in dwelling #68 would have been very cramped. William and his family stayed in Bannockburn, probably in dwelling #67 for six months.

953 1881 General notes.

On Sept 19, Williams three sons were enrolled at the Bannockburn school. William may have been working as a carpenter during his stay in Bannockburn. It is not clear if William Ball's mother, Catherine, travelled with the family to Bannockburn. However it is mentioned that she did not stay long in New Zealand before returning home to England.

954 1882 William Ball and family move away to Naseby.

William Ball and his family moved from Bannockburn and settled in Naseby where William worked as a foreman for a builder Mr Abbott.

955 1892 William goes into business.

William Ball went into business on his own as a builder, carpenter and wheelwright, at his premises in Leven Street, next to the County Chambers in Naseby. His son Arthur went into partnership with him. William served on the borough council and was a prominent member in the local Lodge.

956 1899 Death of William Ball

On September 1899, Robert William Rowe Ball died at the age of 59 years, of Bronchitis and heart failure. He is buried in the Naseby cemetery.

957 1914 Death of Sarah Ball.

On November 20 1914, Sarah Bal died at the age of 76 years, of heart disease. She is buried with her husband in the Naseby cemetery.


The table below shows a list of images related to the party group. Click on 'View Image' to display more details about the image, and to view the image.

Image Id Source Date Short Description
256 Mrs D McLean - Kawarau Gorge 1976 Hallew Farm in Nanpean, St Dennis, Cornwall, England. View Image
257 Mrs D McLean - Kawarau Gorge c1881 The Sailing Ship Piako - Captain Boyd. View Image
258 Mrs D McLeod - Kawarau Gorge c1877 The William Ball Family. View Image
259 Mrs D McLeod - Kawarau Gorge c1892 Robert William Ball View Image
260 Mrs D McLeod - Kawarau Gorge c1892 W Ball & Son View Image