Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

JOHN WARD, SON OF WILLIAM WARD WHO LIVED NEAR GREENVILLE, VIRGINIA
by Judy Anderson

There is a great deal of discussion before this concerning whether the John Ward who settled in Wythe County was the brother of David and William, or the son of John Ward, son of James Ward the Elder. ("the Elder" is used as a distinguishing title only.) I feel that he is a son of the William Ward who lived near Greenville, Augusta Co., VA as he, David and William all located in Wythe County around the same time, and further interaction between the three would seem to point out that they were brothers rather than just relatives.

In Wythe County, John Jr., William and David were active participants in the War of Independence, all being stationed at one time or another at the forts in the Clinch and Holston Valleys. The Montgomery County Story , compiled by Charles W. Crush, pg. 33, shows that the State of Virginia was indebted to Thomas Inglis for 200 lbs. of pork for the use of Capt. John Ward's Company of militia whilst on duty on the head of the Clinch, by order of Col. Walter Crockett, July 12, 1772.

There were land purchases made by a John Ward in the Southwest Virginia area between 1785 and 1790, but the John Ward of the Boyd's Creek Battle (John III) moved to Tennessee. These later land purchases may have been made by another John Ward - there appear to be at least three other Ward families in the area, apparently unrelated; or, simply because John III had moved from the state wouldn't preclude his continuing to purchase property in Virginia.

Some additional research on my part disclosed a land grant in Tennessee, #2263, to David Stuart & Co., 155 acres on the fork of the Big Pigeon and French Broad River [North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778 - 1791, pg. 48]. John Ward was included in the "company." Also, the Land Records of Green County, Tennessee , Bk, 3, pg. 142, #885, showed a grant to John Ward for 400 acres on the south side of the French Broad River. It was registered in Bk. B, pg. 505, Feb. 6, 1792. The grant was signed by Alexander Martin, Nov. 15, 1790. Since Jefferson County and Cocke County enter the discussion from this point, it should be noted that Jefferson County was formed from parts of Green and Hawkins in 1792, and Cocke was taken from Jefferson in 1797.

The will of John Ward III is found in Bk. 1, pg. 6. His wife is living, but her name is not given, nor is the will dated. In addition to personal items, he bequeathed to his wife the benefits of his claim of land on the Big Pigeon. To his sons, Cyrus and John, he gave his lands, (indicating there were probably other properties to be considered) to be equally divided between them. The remainder of the estate was given to his daughter, Mary. The executors of his estate are listed as John McFarland, Alexander Rogers, and David Stuart.

In the Jefferson County, Tennessee Court Records, microfilm #968303, from July 1792 to July 1802, it is noted that on Feb. 1793 the will of John Ward was proven in court. In May of 1794 [pg. 94] it states the will was proven and recorded. The August session of court in 1794 [pg. 57] qualifies John McFarland and Alexander Rodgers as executors of John Ward. In May of 1796 [pg. 109] they are given permission to sell the personal estate of the deceased.

Alexander Ward's will is written Apr. 1, 1793. He leaves his land, 300 acres south of the French Broad, (remember that John III had a land grant for 400 acres south of the French Broad) to his son, David, with benefits from the land providing a decent living for his wife, Mary, and daughters Phebe and Rachel. Unaware that John Ward is deceased, Alexander names him as executor of his estate. The will was proven in the May session of court 1793 by the oaths of John McFarland and David Stuart, subscribing witnesses. The two of them handled the sale of personal items at an auction October 4, 1796.

The January 1793 session of court stated that John Ward, III had been commissioned as a Justice and appeared to take the oath. In February, he is dead. Alexander wrote his will in April of 1793. By May he is dead.

To further point out the Wythe County - Jefferson County Ward connection, Summer's Annals of Southwest Virginia , pg. 87, indicated that Alexander Ward was recommended as an Ensign in William Ward's Militia Company November 17, 1781; John Ward was a Lieutenant. In the Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol. 47, 1939, pgs. 38-3 for about 1782, John Ward, Alexander Ward, William Ward and Alexander Rodgers are shown as members of William Doack's Company. On page 153 of the same source, it shows George McNutt, John McNutt, John McFarland, Sr., and John McFarland in Capt. James Finley's Company. The Settlement Map of Wythe County by J. R. Hildegrand, cartographer, shows that William Ward, John Ward, John McFarland, Robert McFarland, James Finley, John McFarland, Jr. and John McNutt all lived in Wythe County. Annals of Bath County, pg. 41, states that Robert and John McFarland, descendants of Duncan McFarland, were early pioneers of Jefferson County, Tennessee. Their early settlement there may have been instrumental in the move of John III and Alexander to that area.

The concluding proof of the connection between John and Alexander Ward of Jefferson County, Tennessee, and John Ward of Wythe County, Virginia, came as a result of a land search in Russell and Wythe Counties, Virginia.

In Wythe County Deed Book 2, pg. 541, dated November 4, 1799, David Ward and Eleanor of Russell County (later Tazewell County), relinquished all right and title they had as heirs-at-law of John Ward, Sr. (John, Jr. - named as Sr. in Wythe County to distinguish him from his son, John.) deceased, for $100, relinquishing any claim to 340 acres in Wythe County on Evans Creek. It was designated as the land on which John Ward, deceased, formerly lived, and upon which William Ward now lived. The deed was proven in court January 14, 1800.

In Deed Book 3, pg. 23, was the following (punctuated for clarification): "This indenture made January 25, 1802 between Molly Fulton, one of the heirs of the estate of John Ward, Sr., deceased, who died Intestate, of the Co. of Augusta and State of Va. of the one part, and William Ward of the Co. of Wythe & state aforesaid of the other part - sd Molly Fulton, for the sum of $1, sold the 347 a of land in Wythe, which was on the waters of Evans Cr., a branch of Reed Cr., being the land on which the said John Ward formerly lived. Signed Molly Fulton - her mark."

Finally, in Deed Book 4, pg. 438, January 16, 1806, was an agreement between David Stuart and Alexander Rodgers, of Cocke County, Tennessee, coheirs of John Ward, Sr., deceased, and executors of the last will of John Ward, Jr. and Alexander Ward, deceased, who were coheirs of John Ward, Sr., deceased. In full discharge from a former obligation to William Ward, the land in Wythe County, on Evans Creek, was signed over to William by John Ward, Alexander Ward, Alexander Rodgers, and David Stuart, dated Apr. 1, 1793 - the same date as Alexander's will.

Besides proving the connection between the families, the deeds exhibited two other points of interest: 1) John Ward, Sr. (Jr.) had a daughter named Molly (Mary?), married to a Fulton (James Fulton - Dec. 19, 1781, Mary Fulton & Jno Ward administrators of James Fulton [Annals III, pg. 390.]); and 2) as coheirs of John Ward, Sr., deceased, both David Stuart and Alexander Rodgers must have been married to Ward daughters.