Mr William Bally was born in around 1769 in the county of Somerset and he went into business as an upholsterer. In the first half of the 19th century, he was living and working in the city of Bath. He took on an apprentice, Thomas Peacock, in 1801.
William was in a business partnership with Benjamin Bartrum. The firm of Bally and Bartrum carried on a number of varied business activities from their upholstery warehouse at 10 Milsom Street. They were described as: “Upholsterers, Cabinet-Makers, Auctioneers, Undertakers, and House-Agents”!
Bally & Bartrum regularly placed advertisements for auction sales in the Bath Chronicle, until their partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 25th March 1822. On 13th May 1824, an advertisement appeared in the Bath Chronicle for a house to let at 19 Gay Street. Interested parties were to apply to the house agent or to Mr Bally of Sion-Hill. William Bally continued to work on his own account well into the 1840s.
William married Matilda Payne at St. George’s, Hanover Square in London in June 1806; however, it is not known whether they had any children. On census night, 6th June 1841, William Bally, aged 70, who by then was of independent means, was living with his wife, Matilda, aged 55 at their home on Sion Hill. Also living with them were Elizabeth Payne, a relative of Matilda’s, aged 60, also of independent means; and James Payne, aged 14. They had three servants living in: John Sheppard, aged 45; Eliza England, aged 30 and Martha Manning, aged 25.
Mr William Bally died at his residence on Sion Hill, on 21st December 1848 at the age of 79.
Family and house stories from the 1900s can be harder to piece together than those from the 1800s, because our old friend the UK census stops in 1911. What to do? Here are some great resource tips to help you make swift progress!
If you have an address, electoral registers are a great place to start. Find them at the County Record Office for the place you want to search. They are available for most years – not 1917, 1919 and 1940-44 – but remember that, in the early 20th century, not everyone was entitled to vote. Start with later years and work backwards.
The Absent Voters’ Registers of 1918 onwards are great for finding servicemen who were serving away from home as they give details like rank and regiment/battalion. Again, the local History Centre or Record Office is the best place to look. Use TNA’s“Find an archive” search toolfor this and search by county name.London Metropolitan Archiveshave produced a useful online guide to the electoral registers they hold and this gives the boroughs and dates for which they have absent voters’ lists.
Hard copies are great for flipping back and forth between…
pages by street name,
pages by surname and
advertisements for ancestors’ trades or professions;
…great for tracing the history of a house that used to be a business premises. If you are looking for someone who was in business, check out TNA’sDiscoverypages to see if company records are at the County Record Office. NB: to search for records held locally, don’t tick the two boxes below the search box, as that will restrict results to material held at TNA.
Find My Past has a great collection of British Newspapers for 1710 to 1953that are well indexed and an excellent way to find stories about your ancestors and things that happened to them, even if, back then, their names were in the paper for the wrong reasons!