Mary Ball was born about 1651 in Watertown, Massachusetts, daughter of tailor John Ball and his wife wife Elizabeth Pierce. Within a few years, apparently due to mental illness on the part of her mother, Mary and her older brother were placed under the care of their grandparents. Mary's other siblings were fostered to Watertown residents at their father's expense
In 1657-8, Mary's mother was convicted of "disorderly cariages" against family and neighbors; reference was made to her mother's "distempered mind." Her father admitted to beating his wife, which may have contributed to her mother's mental state. Soon after, her mother died, and Mary's father (John Ball) remarried and moved to Lancaster.
When Mary was 16, her grandparents died and she was "put out to service" with the family of Michael Bacon Jr in Woburn. He impregnated her. She ran off to Portsmouth, Rhode Island where she was welcomed by Francis Brayton and his wife. When her pregnancy could no longer be hidden, she admitted she was pregnant by Bacon. Brayton took a letter from her to Boston, seeking assistance from Bacon. Mary's father brought charges against Bacon, who landed in prison, but escaped. He was captured a few days later and promised through a 1671 bastardy bond to support his child:
Child of Michael Bacon Jr., and Mary Ball:
Mary returned to Boston and ultimately married about 1672 Cambridge Scotsman William Munro by whom she had ten more children.
A previous version of this profile claimed a death date of 27 Feb 1749 but without source.
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