- John spent much time clearing land and trading with Indians 40 miles west in Lancaster. His father-in-law must have approved of his absences, for John Pers was an investor in the new town. But his prolonged absences harmed his marriage and may have harmed his wife’s health -- she was ill and suffered from depression. Eventually Watertown officials intervened and ordered an investication “into the estat of Sister Baall” and required that John appear at town meeting.
Elizabeth Ball’s parents, John Pers and his wife Elizabeth, took charge of two of the children, Mary and John, promising to train John as a weaver. Other townsfolk took in the other children. But Elizabeth continued to suffer: the Middlessex County Court convicted her of disprderly conduct in both 1657 and 1658 -- both against her neighbors and husband, and for a fist fight with her father, nearing 70 years old.
The court even warned the town to be wary of Satan’s temptation in her. She countered by saying herhusband beat her, to which he agreed. When the Watertown church pleaded leniency, he received no punishment, but was ordered to live with his wife “according to Gods Holy word & Rules [and] to use her kindly.”
Elizabeth soon died and John remarried. He sold his farm in Watertown and moved to Lancaster. The 16 year old Mary was put out to service for both her grandparents ahd died.
Savage says: JOHN, Watertown, s. of the preced. b. in Eng. m. Elizabeth d. of John Pierce of the same, had John, b. 1644; Mary; Esther; Sarah, 1655; and Abigail, 20 Apr. 1658, wh. d. soon; was much troubled by insan. of his w. wh. made separat. needful. After her d. he m. 3 Oct. 1665, Elizabeth d. prob. of Thomas Fox, had Joseph, b. 12 Mar. 1670; rem. to Lancaster, where he had short resid. 1648, there was k. by the Ind. 10 Sept. 1675. [3, 4]