The link to the ABBOTT family occurs when Judith DURRANT ABBOTT (ABBIT) married James BALLS at Potter Heigham, Norfolk on 11 October 1789 - see BALLS Family page
Judith was baptised at Potter Heigham, Norfolk on 12 October 1775 along with her twin brother William, They were the illigitimate children of Mary DURRANT, a widow, and John ABBOTT. It does not name John as the father on the Baptism Records from Potter Heigham for Judith and William but it does for other children baptised previously.
Mary (possibly Mary CRANE married William DURRANT at Edingthorpe, Norfolk 10 November 1743) had been married to William DURRANT and had six children with him: William born 1743, Thomas 1744, Mary 1747-1751, Ann 1749, Mary 1752 and Elizabeth 1754-1755. Thomas died and was buried at Potter Heigham on 24 March 1755 leaving Mary a widow with four young children.
Soon after this Mary took up with John ABBOTT. It is not known whether she lived with him permanently but their relationship did span some years and she did have four illegitimate children by him. Elizabeth 1757, Judith 1760-1761, Judith and William, twins born in 1775.
It seems unbelievable these days, Mary's child bearing life spanned over 32 years! She must have been at least 48 years old when Judith and William were born and there is a significant gap between them and Mary's previous child. I cannot find a burial record for Mary. There is a burial record for John Abbott, 9 April 1784 and he is described as a pauper in the Record Book.
It would also appear that Judith was very young when she married James BALLS, only 14 years old, this of course was legal at that time. Poor Judith was only 25 when she died in 1800 being buried at Potter Heigham on 11 September 1800. Judith and James had three children: James, William and John. See Balls Family Page