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Moore, Simpson, Ballard Family Tree - England and Scotland to Australia

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Welcome to the history of the families Moore, Simpson, Gwynne and Ballard.

This is an ongoing work in progress compiled by Dr. Ralph Gwynne Ballard.  More data is being added periodically.

You will see from the family tree that the history of the families is very clearly documented and verified back to the early 1800's.
Prior to that there is a proven link to the Gwyn / Gwynne family - landed gentry who lived at Forde Abbey in Dorset, England.  You will see that this was a well-to-do family who married into Irish nobility (the FitzGerald family - Knights of Glin).  In addition a daughter of the family married John Griffith Esq. of Stogumber, Somerset, and they provide the connection to the Moore family - the daughter of John Griffith Esq. married Richard Percy / Pursey.  In turn Richard Percy's daughter married Thomas Webber Moore of Devon, and they migrated to Victoria, Australia - and so we have our line of descent.
The Gwyn family also connected into the Fraunceis family - an old established family of landowners of Norman origin, who came to England soon after William The Conqueror's invasion.
And perhaps there is a link into one of the great English noble familes - the Percy family, hereditary Dukes of Northumberland.

The most contentious point is the figure of "Richard Percy of Deer Park, Devon" in England.  He is a crucial link as family lore claims that he was a son of Hugh Percy, second Duke of Northumberland.
This family tradition further claims that Richard was a legitimate son of the Duke but died young and predeceased his father - either due to being gored to death by a bull or subsequent to wounds obtained in a duel.

Extensive research over the last few years has provided much useful information about Richard Percy.  It has become apparent that he was a man of means living at Stogumber, Somerset, and was known as Richard Pursey / Purssey.  See the individual entry for "Richard Percy of Deer Park, Devon" on this website for more details.
Note that prior to the 1900's there was little consistency in spelling surnames - the sound of the name was the key.  Hence the same surname could be spelled variously as Percy, Pursey, Purssey, Pearcey, etc.

However there has been no evidence so far to prove the link Richard Percy may have with the Percy family.  In fact the librarian at Alnwick Castle, seat of the Percy's, suggested that Richard may be an undocumented illegitimate son of the second Duke.  Hugh Percy was well known for his enjoyment of the ladies and fathered many illegitimate children - including the scientist James Smithson who founded the Smithsonian Institute in the USA.
So, appealing as the story of Richard Percy is, at present we can only class this as a wonderfully romantic tradition - yet to be substantiated.
If Richard is indeed a son of Hugh Percy (whether legitimate or "natural" - ie. illegitimate), then the Moore family links into the history of the Percy family which can be traced back to the 6th century.  I particularly enjoy the fact that the patron saint of brewing beer "Saint Arnold Of Metz" could be a direct ancestor.  You will also see other significant historical figures in the Percy ancestral line - such as the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne and King Heinrich the Fowler who has a role in the opera "Lohengrin" by Richard Wagner.  The Percy linkage also connects the Moore family to Thomas Percy, one of the plotters with Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up Parliament and King James The First.  We even have a linkage to various English monarchs through the Percy's - distant relatives by marriage include William The Conqueror, Richard The Lionheart, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard - wives of King Henry The Eighth, and Queen Elizabeth The First.  Quite a list for the history buff.

If anyone can shed extra light on Richard Percy, especially to prove his connection with the Percy family, this would be greatly appreciated.

Anyhow the rest of the family ancestry is well documented:
- The Moore family had its origins in Wales and then moved to Devon as land owners and farmers.  In the 1850's various family members emigrated to America, and some then came to Australia in search of fame and fortune in the gold rush - and perhaps to avoid family disgrace in England if Richard Percy had in fact fought a duel and killed a man (this emigration story relating to the duel now appears unlikely).  The Moore family did well with gold and settled on a sizable property at Nowhere Creek, Elmhurst, in Victoria.  They have continued there as successful graziers.  Later generations have also moved into the professions - law, medicine, art, and dentistry for example.
- The Simpson family may have originally sprung from lowland Scotland as a sept of the Fraser clan.  For a number of generations my Simpson ancestors lived in middle England (around Pytchley, Northamptonshire) as labourers, miners, etc. then emigrated to South Australia in 1850 with an assisted passage, and later moved to Victoria in 1852 to join in the gold rush.  They went on to set up a thriving mixed business in Ballarat.  Family members subsequently spread out around Australia, generally following successful careers in business. 
The Simpsons were originally an old Anglo-Saxon family living in south-west England but many of them had to move north under pressure from the Normans following their invasion in 1066.  Subsequently members of this large family spread to the midlands & northern counties of England and up into the borderland of Scotland (especially around Fifeshire and Peebles).  Here in lowland Scotland they became associated with the Fraser clan.
- The MacKinnon family were highland Scots farmers who emigrated from the Isle of Mull in the mid-1850's, and who married into the Simpson family in Australia.  The MacKinnons left Scotland  as a result of famine, and had assisted passage to Australia.
- The Ballard family came from working class stock in Birmingham, England.  The surname is both French and English - going back to the 1100's.  The name may originally have meant "bald head".  My branch of the Ballard family were quite well known for running a big pub, the Barrel Inn, in Birmingham in the 1800's.  The Ballard's migrated to Melbourne, Australia, after World War I.

I have had my DNA tested with Family Tree DNA and the results are:

Y-DNA - Haplogroup I-M253 (previously  named I1 M253+).  This shows inheritance through the male line of the Ballard's in Birmingham, England. 
Genetically it arose approximately 3.000 years ago specifically in Denmark.  It then spread to the United Kingdom with the Anglo-Saxon and Viking incursions.
Haplogroup I-M253 arose from Haplogroup I-M70 which developed in Iberia (Spain) around the last Ice Age some 20,000 years ago. 
This group then spread to Scandinavia - probably as Angles from the Jutland area.  These Anglo-Saxons later came to England, especially in the north.  An alternative view is that one branch of this Iberian genetic group spread to Scandinavia, while another group travelled from Iberia through France and settled in the midlands and north of England.  There is also debate as to whether the I1 group in England represents intrusion by Anglo-Saxons or Vikings, or perhaps both. 
Further Allele typing of my Y-DNA shows that my DYS455 marker has 12 Allele repeats.  The work of Nordtvedt suggests that this is more likely to arise from Denmark or the northern Anglo-Saxon fringes, rather than from northern Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway and Finland).
See the websites  and
It has been suggested that my paternal Y-DNA shows I have Viking blood.  Impressive!

mtDNA - haplogroup H.  This shows inheritance through the female line back to MacDonald's on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. 
This may possibly be the H3 subclade. 
Genetically this group began in West Asia around 30,000BC then spread widely throughout Europe after the last Ice Age around 15,000 years ago.
See the website

Two important books have come to my attention - both are available for viewing online.  These resources have been kindly pointed out to me by John Criddle of Queensland, Australia.
"A History Of Ford Abbey, Dorsetshire" published 1846.  It is available online at and has provided much useful information about the Prideaux, Gwyn and Fraunceis families. 
"Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland" by Bernard Burke, 1847, page 519 - see "Gwyn of Forde Abbey".  It is available online at

My sincere thanks go to the following people who in recent years have provided much additional information:
- David Turner of Somerset, England, has provided important information on the Griffith and Fraunceis families.  He has also done much on-the-spot research into local historical records.  David is a descendant of John Griffith Esq. of Stogumber by his second marriage.
- John Criddle of Queensland, Australia, has also provided useful information about the Fraunceis and Griffith families.  He has pointed out some important historical reference books available for viewing online.  John is a decendant of John Griffith Esq. of Stogumber by his second marriage.
- Narelle Smith of Victoria, Australia, has helped with information on the early history of the Simpson family in Pytchley, Northamptonshire, England.  Narelle is a descendant of William Simpson from his first marriage.  My ancestor Samuel Simpson, who emigrated to Australia, is a son of William Simpson from his second marriage.
- Pat Horton of England has kindly passed on her research into the early generations of the Ballard family in Birmingham, England.
- Nic Pursey of London, England has provided some very useful information about the Purssey (Percy) family in Stogumber, Somerset, England which has helped tie down the details of my ancestor "Richard Percy of Deer Park, Devon".
- Beverley Robertson of Texas has done some recent superb work tracking down descendants of the Pursey family in Long Island, New York, North America.  Beverley hails from the Moore family in Victoria, Australia.  Through Beverley's detective work we have located the websites of David Dew, a direct descendant of Ophelia Phillipa Fraunceis Pursey, daughter of "Richard Percy of Deer Park, Devon". 
- David Dew has kindly provided great information about "our American cousins - the Webbers".  Amazingly the family is still living within a few miles of where the Webber / Pursey families first settled on Long Island, New York.
- Margaret Bourke of New South Wales, part of the Moore family descended from Thomas Webber Moore and Louisa Matilda Pursey, has recently provided some important information about descendants of the Webber family in North America, and also about the Luttrell family who held Dunster Castle in Somerset, England. 

The Luttrells were a powerful family of Norman lords who had direct descent from eight crowned heads of England.  We are related to them through marriage of a daughter of the Luttrells into the Fraunceis family.
We are therefore direct descendants of William The Conqueror, his son King Henry I, his daughter Empress Maud, her son King Henry II, and his son King John “The Bad”, his son King Henry III,  and his son King Edward I “Longshanks”.  We are also related to King John’s brother King Richard The Lionheart

More family connections will be added over time.  Please contribute to expanding this family web.

Feel free to add or correct information, and send photos, by contacting Ralph Ballard at:
- Email:
- Post:  P.O. Box 2, Warburton. Vic. 3799. Australia
Your contributions are valued.

All relevant documentation is held by Ralph Ballard, and he maintains this webpage.

You can navigate around the webpage using the icons at the top of the page.  This will take you to such things as a pictorial family tree or "genogram", all individuals listed in the tree, and all the photos and pictures on the webpage.  In addition there is an alphabetical navigation bar on the left to help you access all individuals and families listed.

Researching family history is a fascinating, complex and dangerously addictive pursuit.  Savour it if you dare.

Wishing you good reading,  Dr. Ralph Gwynne Ballard

Updated - August 2018

Excellent resources include:
- The superb website of Mr. Charles Percy in Auckland, New Zealand:
- The website of the Duke of Northumberland:
- The website of Forde Abbey:
- The online listing of births, deaths and marriages in the UK:
- The online listing of births, deaths and marriages in Victoria, Australia:
- The online encyclopedia:
- The family history website of Beverley Roberston:
- The website recording Dawn and Beverly Robertson's trip to England in 2003:
- The online genealogical records from the Isle Of Mull, Scotland:
- The website detailing the origins of the Simpson family:  
- Paul Ballard maintains an excellent website on genealogy of all Ballard's in the United Kingdom:
- David Ballard hosts an extensive Ballard website at
- The website of Glin Castle and the Knights of Glin:
- "The Knights Of Glin" published 2009 by Glin Historical Society.  To order contact the editor Tom Donovan at Corcamore, Clarina, County Limerick,  Ireland; or email him at
- "A History Of Ford Abbey, Dorsetshire" published 1846.  Available for free download at
- "Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland" by Bernard Burke, 1847, page 519 - see "Gwyn of Forde Abbey".  It is available online at
- The trilogy of novels by Carol Wensby-Scott about the Percy family in the medieval period:  "Lion Of Alnwick", Lion Dormant" and "Lion Invincible"
- A historical review of the Percy family by Alexander Rose:  "Kings In The North - The House Of Percy In British History"    ISBN 1 84212 485 4
- The Pursey Project website hosted by Nic Pursey in London, England - see
- The websites of David Dew in Long Island, New York, North America contain a wealth of information about the Pursey descendants living there:  AND  AND 

Most Popular Family Names

Moore  (54), Fraunceis  (29), Simpson  (22), Ballard  (22), Russell  (16), Webber  (14), Norris  (13), de_Percy  (11), McKinnon  (10), Luttrell  (9), Gwyn  (9), King_of_France  (8), Leach  (7), Pursey  (6), Meagher  (6), Griffith  (6), McKay  (5), Hufton  (5), Hall  (5), de_Luterel  (5)

Most Popular Places

Combe Florey, Somerset  (13), Elmhurst Cemetary, Victoria, Australia  (10), England  (8), Perth, Western Australia, Australia  (5), St. Martin, Elworthy, Somerset  (4), St. Mary's Church, Stogumber  (4), Stogumber  (4), Buried at Ford Abbey  (3), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia  (3), Long Island, New York, USA  (2), Suffolk, New York. USA  (2), St. Martin's Church, Birmingham  (2), St. Phillip's Church, Warwickshire  (2), Pytchley, Northamptonshire, England  (2), Plymouth, England  (2), Farway, Devon, England  (1), Gamsten, Nottinghamshire, England  (1), Awliscombe, Devon  (1), Dunkeswell, Devon  (1), Ottery St. Mary, Honiton, Devon, England  (1)
 View complete A-Z surname index  Overview Map of all geocoded places

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