The English surname Ball, also found in Ireland and Scotland, is a topographic name for someone who lived on or by a knoll or rounded hill, from the Middle English word, bal. The name may also be a nickname for a short, rounded person. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Balle, which was dated 1137, in the "Early London Personal Names." Robart Ball was a very early emigrant to the American colonies; he is recorded as resident in Virginia in 1624, having arrived in the "London Merchant" in 1619, a year before the arrival of the "Mayflower." Today there are approximately 78,000 bearers of the name Ball living in the US.
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