It is probably best to load it, then go off line to read it. Or, perhaps, save it to file as it is almost sixty pages long. The illustrations are now scanned and included too. You can access them from the index below.
I found the reading of this book quite interesting many years ago, before I even thought of getting into genealogy as a hobby. Of equal interest is "The Seelys of New Brunswick" by Harold N. Fanjoy and C. G. "Hap" Ward published in 1992. It presents the United Empire Loyalists account of the American Revolution among the biographies of various family members.
Both the Ward and Seely families emigrated to North America in the 1600's from England. Both families have intermarriages, and large branches in Canada and the United States.
Nehemiah Ward b 7 Nov 1740 in Attleboro, Bristol, MA married in Sackville, New Brunswick (then Nova Scotia) 13 Feb 1765 and died there in May 1827. He also had land there in 1662. Nehemiah was a fourth great grandfather of "Hap" Ward and a third great grandson of the William Ward born in England about 1603. None of his descendants appear in "The William Ward Genealogy" and he is only mentioned briefly in a footnote of his father.
Of course, in the "Canadian" book it is the stories of the United Empire Loyalists that are featured.
Fortunately my grandfather, Horace Clark (son of Carrie Janette Ward), harnessed his oxen and left a homestead in North Dakota for one in Saskatchewan in much friendlier times in 1905. None of his immediate family were tarred and feathered, or worse, and his children are also included in "The William Ward Genealogy".
May our relationship continue to be as friendly.
Robert Kline Apr 2000
THE HISTORY OF
THE DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM WARD
OF SUDBURY, MASS., 1638-1925
"The life of Artemus Ward,
the first Commander-in-chief
of the American Revolution"
OF THE SEVENTH GENERATION
Copyright, 1925, by
I THE SEARCH FOR THE ENGLISH HOME OF "WILLIAM WARD OF SUDBURY"....................................................................................... 3
II THE ENGLAND AND THE NORTH AMERICA OF THE YOUTH OF WILLIAM WARD. HIS EMIGRATION............................................ 5
III THE VOYAGE.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14
IV THE FIRST WEEK IN THE NEW WORLD..................................................................................................................................................... 20
V FOUNDING SUDBURY, MASS....................................................................................................................................................................... 24
VI PIONEER LIFE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS ................................................................................................................................................ 27
VII POLICIES AND SUFFRAGE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS.......................................................................................................................... 35
VIII FOUNDING A SECOND TOWNSHIP.......................................................................................................................................................... 40
IX KING PHILIPS WAR ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 49
X AFTER KING PHILIP'S WAR TO THE DEATH OF WILLIAM WARD ......................................................................................................... 54
THESE ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON LINE
The General Artemus Ward School, Shrewsbury, Mass.
The London of the time of William Ward's emigration
The type of ship which carried William Ward and his family across the ocean
The "house-lots" of the founders of Sudbury, Mass., placed upon a modern map of Wayland, Mass.
The contract for the construction of Sudbury's first Meeting-house --William Ward one of the signers
Along the "Old Indian Trail," only a few minutes walk from the site of the house-lot of William Ward, his home from 1638 to 1661
A modern map of the center of Marlborough, Mass., showing the site of the dwelling erected by William ward in 1660
Marlborough's preparations during King Philip's War
Mount Ward, between Marlborough and Sudbury, Mass.
The Pioneer Memorial Pier, on the Boston - New York route through Marlborough, Mass.
The southerly view of the Pioneer Memorial Pier
The William Ward - Elizabeth Ward monument in Spring Hill Cemetery
General Artemus Ward, the first Commander-in-Chief of the American Revolution
The granite marker of the Artemas Ward House, Shrewsbury, Mass., on the Boston - Worcester highway
The Artemas Ward Annex to the Howe Memorial Library, Shrewsbury, Mass.
The General Ward tablet in the main vestibule of the Congregational Church, Shrewsbury, Mass.
The Ward tablet in the wall of the New England Historic Genealogy Society building, Boston
Artemas Ward, a noted lawyer and judge, son of General Artemas Ward
Andrew H. Ward, Compiler of the "Ward Family," published in 1851
Nahum Ward, an early settler of Marietta, O., and one of its largest land operators
James Otis Ward, a prominent ship - owner, founder of the shipping business from which developed the "Ward Line" and the "Cuban Mail S. S. Line"
William Hayes Ward, many years editor of "The Independent" and a distinguished Assyriologist
Artemas Ward, publisher of this Genealogy
Joseph Ward, one of the founders of the State of South Dakota; the founder and first president of Yankton College, Yankton, S. D.
I, ARTEMAS WARD ( Number 2722 of the original
genealogy) see in this fourteenth day of March, 1925, a
day of many various Thanksgivings.
I feel sure that everyone included in its pages will be thankful that it has appeared, and that it delivers into their hands the names and histories of all the known members of our Ward family.
I thank in memory, Andrew H. Ward, who in 1851 issued the "Ward Family" and gave me the opportunity to publish this later compilation.
I cheerfully and reverently thank Almighty God that He has spared my life to fulfill in my seventy-seventh year the ambition which started in my tenth year, and I thank Him for having so prospered me that I was able to complete the work, which has been both costly and difficult.
I thank Charles Martyn, compiler and editor of the genealogy, and I congratulate him on the very successful and wholly satisfactory result of his labors. His accuracy, fidelity, and industry know no limits, and I believe that he will secure greater reward than this commendation of mine in the place that this volume will give him among genealogists.
I thank Philip Leroy Shaw, Mr. Martyn's chief assistant, for his tireless and unstinting devotion to the work--the long hours he gave to it and his conscientious struggle for the nearest possible approach to perfection of genealogical detail. I do not doubt that the ability and energy that he possesses will carry him forward to important positions.
Finally, to each and all of my active office force I extend my sincere thanks for any assistance that they may have contributed to the undertaking, the consummation of which has made me extremely happy.
(Artemas Ward's signature)
The covers of this book enclose the tribal story of an Englishman named
William Ward who established his family here in the first generation of the
settlement of North America. It's pages carry the account of his descendants
down to he present day.
Much of the history of our country is told in the life stories of " William Ward of Sudbury" and his descendants.
The first several chapters portray the labors and dangers of the pioneers of old Massachusetts. The biographies of the succeeding genealogical division supplement their story and disclose various cross sections of the struggle for independence. They tell also of members of the family participating in the opening of the great Western country, and in the death struggle of the recent World War.
The family has shown a healthy growth since the publication of Andrew H. Ward's "Ward Family" in 1851. That volume recorded 4027 descendants. This new Genealogy(in 1925) gives a record of 10,746.
(NOTE: IN AUG 1999 WE HAVE 13,205 DESCENDANTS WITH MANY LINES STILL NOT FOLLOWED, BUT ONE ESPECIALLY LONG ONE ADDED. THAT OF THE ANCESTORS OF ROBERT NELSON WARD OF NEW BRUNSWICK, BACK TO THE MID 1700's. IF LIVING PEOPLE HAD BEEN INCLUDED, AS THEY WERE IN THE ORIGINAL, THE NUMBER WOULD BE MUCH HIGHER).
All totals would be considerably larger if it had been possible to list all descendants. Some are inevitably missing, for it happens many times that families move away, leaving only faint traces that are speedily obliterated.
These 10,746 descendants include 396 graduates from 149 universities, colleges, and normal schools (fifty-six of them from Harvard College and University); fifty-nine representatives and senators in colony, state, and national legislatures; twenty-two judges; army and navy officers in every conflict in which the United States and its predecessor-colonies have been engaged; and a substantial and creditable showing in practically every other calling comprised within modern civilization.
Most numerous in its pages are farmer--as befits a family which set its first American roots in the wild lands of Old Massachusetts and relied upon its crops and its cattle to make its way in the New World, rather than by trade or in other manners. The Ward farmer of today cover every part of the continent-- raising sheep in Canada, oranges in Florida, and wheat and corn and cattle in he Central West, and specializing in various other products in various other sections.
Next in numerical importance are school teachers
(both men and women) and ministers of the Gospel--facts
worthy of a sturdy pride and a good text for anyone who
wishes to reflect upon the part that members of the
family have played in welding the nation's children and
youths into the citizenry upon which rest all the
privileges and institutions which we have slowly and
painfully acquired and erected.
Well represented also are the other professions-- doctors and lawyers and engineers being the most prominent in the order given. The world of business has given success to number, and every branch of trade and mechanical art has its exponents. There are writers and architects, salesmen and accountants and railroad men, singer and nurses, and so in great variety. Prominent among living members is Charles Artemas Ward (4420d in the original), an admiral of the Chilean Navy, and at the moment that this volume goes to press a member of the triumvirate constituting the provisional government of Chile, which has ousted the reactionary revolutionary junta and is arranging for the return of Chile's legally elected president, Arturo Alessandri.
The volume should be an inspiration to very descendant. Let him, or her, note how will the family has borne its share in the development of the continent and with what diversity it has taken its part in the activities of a great nation, and then determine to do his or her utmost to "carry on" with equal strength and honor.
This genealogy of the family of William Ward who
settled in Sudbury, MA, in or about the year 1838 records
all his known descendants along male lines and three
generations along female lines of marriage into other
The first two generations along female lines married into other families are treated in full. Of the third-- i.e., the grandchildren of Ward daughters--only the names are given. To have continued the female lines further would not only have been to step far outside the name "Ward"-- it would also have duplicated entire sections of the genealogies of other names.
There are errors of course. Also there are omissions. Some of the latter are unavoidable. Others might have been supplied if publication had been delayed for a still more through search of records and depositories--but id one were to postpone the printing of a book of this kind until every available possibility had been exhausted, the book would never appear.
I have avoided the conventional method of padding the first pages with undigested, and largely indigestible, material in the form of verbatim wills and other documents, disconnected extracts from public and private record, etc. Instead, I have told in narrative form the life of William Ward and his family in the New Word, maintaining equal accuracy and embodying much more information.
I have not appended to each individual his or her ancestry by generations, as frequently in modern genealogies. Both ancestry and descendant can so readily be traced that neither the extra space entailed or the monotony of persistent reiteration seemed to be justified.
Nor have I wasted space in comment on, or the discussion of, debatable points of minor importance, such prolixity being of more interest to genealogists than of value to descendants.
On the other hand, for the sake of clearness, many additional pages have been consumed by practically avoiding abbreviations and by the free repetition of the names of birthplaces, etc., instead of attempting to evade such repetition.
Except only the grandchildren of female wards, I
have given each descendant a serial number instead of
numbering only those who are continued to separate
headings. This aids identification and the noting of
relationship, and also has the advantage of showing the
holder's approximate position among the descendants of
William Ward of Sudbury.
The aim has been to ;make a volume that will be at once accurate as a genealogical record and of interesting and comfortable reading as family history.
Prior to this final compilation, work had several times been started on the genealogical portion of the volume. Credit is due for additions made at those earlier dates by the late Paul Theodore Bliss Ward (Number 3077 of the original Genealogy), The Reverend George K. Ward (a genealogist but not a descendant of William Ward of Sudbury), and the late William H. Blanchard of Montpelier, Vt.
During the last several months of editorial preparation I have been ably assisted by Mr. Philip Leroy Shaw.
The task of abstracting the Wards and their immediate connections from the printed Massachusetts vital record was performed by Paul Theodore Bliss Ward. He added also the story of Elizabeth, the eighth (known) child of William Ward, of whom no record, save her birth date, appeared in the "Ward Family," 1851.
The production of the work has been an undertaking of considerable magnitude, yet it is only ;one of numerous related enterprises carried through by its publisher, Mr. Artemas Ward of the Seventh Generation.
Prior to him, nothing had been done in memory of Ward ancestors excepting the mentioned publication of the "Ward Family" in 1851 and the erection of a family monument in the Shrewsbury Cemetery.
The burial-stone of Elizabeth, the first Ward mother in the New world, lay for generations forgotten and neglected in a disused, uncared-for cemetery of Marlborough, Mass. The name of her most distinguished descendant, General Artemas Ward--despite the high tribute paid to him by John Adams as a man "universally esteemed, beloved and confided in by his army and their Country"-- was permitted to slip almost into oblivion without any attempt to give him the place rightfully his due. Other landmarks and heirlooms, and other descendants of worth and prominence, were unknown to a majority of the family as of kin to them.
From his boyhood onward Mr. Ward had felt a strong impulse to
rectify these conditions, and an earnest desire that the
family should "find itself"--that the honors and
distinctions earned by its members should be the common
possession of all instead of being known to only a few.
The dreams of youth are not readily attained. As Mr. Ward mounted toward success and distinction n the business world he found a multitude of claims upon his attention repeatedly frustrating attempts to make his dreams become realities, Time always pressed and the right kind of assistance was not always available.
Up to this point the story is a common one, many times repeated-- plans long envisioned and long hoped for, too often to be finally pushed aside and dropped, immersed by conflicting circumstances.
This story differs in the fact that Mr. Ward never relinquished his dream. In 1918 came the first substantial result--the erection of the General Ward Memorial Entrance to the Shrewsbury Cemetery. Next followed, in 1921, the publication of "The Life of Artemas Ward, the first Commander-in-Chief of the American Revolution," a volume which represented a labor of five full years, during all of which period the heavy expenses of research were borne by Mr. Ward. The reception accorded the volume by reviewers, historians, and teachers justified his long-held belief in the greater recognition due General Ward. The work has found its way into every library of importance, and every university and college throughout the United States.
Succeeding these two steps came many others.
He bound into five large morocco-covered volumes the manuscripts on the time of General Ward and his father, Colonel Nahum Ward, that had come down with the Artemas Ward House, and presented them to the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, to be cared for in perpetuity in its fireproof vaults and alcoves and to he held in trust as a valuable original-source for students and historians.
In the preparation of these big volumes, 19.5 by 13 inches in height and width, each of the more than 1000 manuscripts was covered on both sides with invisible gauze for its preservation.
Also in Boston, he placed portraits of General Ward in the Old and New State Houses and a memorial tablet in the home of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
In Marlborough he built the Pioneer Memorial Pier at the entrance to Spring Hill Cemetery; embedded Elizabeth Ward's headstone in a granite monument; and set all the other Ward gravestones in that cemetery in separate concrete slabs. In addition, he placed a new fence around the cemetery. As
recent Marlborough administrations also have displayed a
laudable interest in the upkeep of the town's early
burial-grounds and have made regular appropriations for
their care, Old Spring Hill is now one of the most
attractive of ancient Massachusetts cemeteries--a strong
contrast to the weed and bramble overrun disgrace of a
few years ago.
In Shrewsbury Mr. Ward has kept the Artemas Ward House in repair and has maintained it as a place of historical interest accessible to visitors, with a bold marker commanding the highway to Boston; and in January of 1924 he presented to the town the Artemas Ward Annex, a handsome stone and brick addition to the Howe Memorial Library, dedicating it to the memory of the General. The annex contains a Children's Room, a History Room, and a modern stack-room capable of housing from twenty to thirty thousand books. Further, he has set a tablet to Artemas Ward in the Shrewsbury Congregational Church -- the General had been one of the residents to help raise its frame when it was erected, a "new meeting-house," in 1766. And in the courthouse of Worcester, Mass., he has placed a third portrait of the General.
The Marlborough memorial pier and monument, the Artemas Ward Annex, the Shrewsbury Church tablet, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society tablet, are illustrated in this volume. The Memorial Entrance to the Shrewsbury Cemetery and the Artemas House are depicted in "The Life of (General) Artemas Ward."
The accumulative result of these projects has been very marked. They have gone far towards establishing for the Ward family the recognition to which it is entitled for the contributions its members have made to the upbuilding of the country. Recent references to General Ward have shown him the considerations that was formally lacking. His home town of Shrewsbury has given the title of "The General Artemas Ward School" to one of her largest public schools. And Marlborough has bestowed the name of "The Artemas Ward Playground" on the twenty-acre recreation center she is building.
Conjoined with these special plans of Mr. Ward was for a number of years the collection of Americana, printed and manuscript, specializing in Eastern Massachusetts and the early days of the Revolution. The books and pamphlets thus acquired, more than 1500 titles, he recently presented to the Shrewsbury library.
He is a Tercentenary member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; Life member of the Bostonian Society; Life member of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities; Life member of xvi
the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; Life
member f the New England Society of New York; and a
member for many years of the City Club, Aldine
Association, and Church Club, New York City. He was one
of the founders of the Sphinx Club, New York City.
Much, or all, of the foregoing and of the biographical material given in his numerical position in this volume is of common or readily ascertainable information concerning Mr. Ward. The full measure of his personality can be appreciated only by those who have been in long contact with him in his daily life and activities. Such has been my privilege. The compilation of this volume; the preparation of "The Life of (General) Artemas Ward"; and the execution of other Ward projects, have necessitated close association for a number of years and under all conditions--in days of success-crowned research and in periods of unprofitable investigation; in fair weather and foul; in good health and poor; in times of general prosperity and in periods when the county's industries slackened. Through all such circumstances Mr. Ward maintained the buoyant enthusiasm that is characteristic of him, the same unswerving adherence to his plans, and the same kindly courtesy for all those engaged upon them.
That the bulk of the work on the Genealogy had been done and the matter was passing to the printer's hands, Mr. Ward fell dangerously ill. The doctors attributed his breakdown in part to his too close application to the preparation of the book, yet so strong was his interest in it that even on his sick-bed he kept constantly in touch with its production. Also while thus confined, he consummated a plan long held in mind by which the Artemas Ward House will become a public museum of colonial and revolutionary life and a permanent memorial to the General.
Such is the man who is responsible for the production of this Genealogy and for all the other Ward projects of this generation. Every descendant, and particularly every owner of a copy of this work, will be interested in this brief story and description. For further concerning him ( he was Number 2722, page 362 in the original).
THE EMIGRATION OF WILLIAM WARD
AND HIS FAMILY AND THAT OF HIS
FAMILY IN THE NEW WORLD
The search for the English Home of " William Ward of Sudbury"
William Ward "of Sudbury", head of the line to which
this book is dedicated, was born in England about 1603.
He emigrated, probably in the spring of 1638, to the new
Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England, bringing with
him his second wife and five children.
In the earliest records his name is written both "Ward" and "Warde"--at first, commonly with the final "e". Later, it appears consistently without the "e". In its original use, the name--with either spelling, or as "Weard," etc.--signified a guard, military or civil.
From what part of England did he come? Who were his ancestors? These questions must go unanswered as in the case of many another of the country's founders.
Determined efforts have been made to obtain the information. A few years ago I visited England and directed inquiries to every parish possessing a register that goes back to 1638. I followed clues in person and by correspondence in three hundred and eighty-nine parishes- - thirty-nine of England's forty counties being represented. But to no avail!
Some of the clues were entirely without merit and were speedily discarded. They included entries of the names Deane, Elward, Everard, Harte, Warren, and Waite, the old style writing having been misread and reported as "Ward" or "Warde."
The true Ward entries embrace the baptisms of several infants of the mane of William(or Gulielmus) Ward of Warde of about the right date, but it was not found possible to identify any one of them with "William Ward of Sudbury". Most of them were eliminated by finding their deaths recorded in England, or residence there after our William Ward had emigrated to America, or children of the wrong names, etc.
Three of them remain enigmas. There was disclosed no information to tell their fate: how long or where they lived, or when or where they died; whether they remained in the parishes of their birth, or moved to other parishes, or emigrated. These three frequently recur to my imagination. Was one of them William Ward of Sudbury? If so, which one?
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
Perhaps not any one of the three. The true entries
of William Ward himself, his wives, and his children, may
be patiently awaiting discovery in the register of a
parish whose incumbent did not heed my circular appeal to
consult his records, or who (quite pardonably) was unable
to recognize the entries in the weird penmanship puzzles
which the pages of may of the old registers present to
It is possible that they are not in any register. English parish records are very far from complete. Some of those early pastors were so lazy or so careless or so obstinately defiant of civil decrees that they entirely omitted the required entries of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, leaving the pages blank for years at a stretch.
And, if made, the entries may have been in one of the numerous registers which have been lost or destroyed.
The "bishops' transcripts" of the records are similarly incomplete.
The search was continued through a long list of wills in Somerset House, London, and elsewhere, and many documents in the Public Record Office on the British Museum.
There remains, of course, a great deal of material in the two latter, and various other, depositories that time did not permit me to inspect, and it is one of my dreams that some day I may be permitted to delve deeper.
There were several finds that would have satisfied, have even rejoiced, an easy-going family historian or the uncritical genealogist so much in evidence a few years ago. It would have been the most facile thing in the world to have adopted one of the three possible William Wards f the parish registers and thus have established the much desired " English connection."
It would not even have been necessary to have ransacked either the registers or the transcripts, nor to have scanned innumerable wills. There was at hand in the published "Visitations" a William Warde who fitted all the "certainties" and "possibilities" of Andre H. Ward's introduction to his "Ward Family," 1851. There was, it is true, no confirmation--but neither was there any contradiction--and the connection carried a fully authenticated coat-of-arms!
All these "possibilities" have been set aside. This volume makes no claims or assertions concerning the English ancestry of "William Ward of Sudbury." All that we know concerning his English life is contained within the first paragraph of this chapter.
The England and the North America of the Youth of William
The England which gave birth to William ward was a
notion developing into an empire, a nation which had
drunk of the pride of world place and achieved a new
measure of prosperity, A nation also in which unrest was
being Fired by many ferments, economic, political, and
It was a strange England which travailed--not easily recognized today.
The sixteenth century had seen marked manufacturing and commercial growth, but it was still essentially an agricultural country, with half its grain grown in open lands of common cultivation, dotted with manor-houses (imposing and otherwise), and village groups of the dwellings f small farmers (or yeomen), artisans, and laborers. It was distinguished in parts by great flocks of sheep which had encroached upon its arable land. The dense forests of earlier generations had disappeared, leaving only a moderate, an insufficient, acreage of woodland.
The population was less than four million. London was the only city of size. No other had grown beyond the status of a country town.
The standard of education was high among a select few but low among the people in general. Customs and manners were coarse; conversation, and plays, and books practiced bread freedom. The fastidious cleanliness of later generations was unknown. Except among the stricter Puritans, drunkenness was a national custom, and immorality but a peccadillo. Superstition saturated all classes and there was a general belief in and fear of witches and witchcraft.
And ever in the background the gallows reaped its early toll of victims. In these days in England (as elsewhere in Europe) the government and judiciary recklessly wasted the human resources of the nation, blotting out the lives of its citizens for almost any crime. The prohibited catching of a wild rabbit was ample cause for a man to be hanged.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
Withal, a people hardy and enterprising. And during
the recent decades of Elizabeth--a mighty queen, poor in
health but strong of brain and will--English "sea-dogs,"
backed by English "Merchant Adventurers," had been, as
never before, exploring and trading and fighting upon and
across the seas and oceans, seeking new routes, new
sources, and new outlets, elbowing their way toward
maritime dominion. Englishmen had bound their way
everywhere on the water that gain and fighting beckoned.
Nor were they the less successful because of the many
occasions on which there was little to distinguish the
acts of English armed merchantmen, or of vessels of the
royal navy, from those of out-and-buccaneers.
Thus we enter the seventeenth century and the birthday of William Ward.
One hundred and eleven years have passed since the discovery of the New World, and Spanish (and Portuguese) colonization has progressed so far that there is a well attended university in Mexico City, and other universities and colleges in South America, yet the treat territory comprised within the twentieth-century United States and Canada stretched its broad expanse all but untouched by the white man. For a hundred years English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese have fished and summered in the Newfoundland waters, and for more than half that period occasional Frenchmen have hunted and traded along the Saint Lawrence, but no settlers disputed the Indians' possession save Spain's meager handful in Florida and her few colonists in New Mexico.
The vast spaces have vainly invited. The mirage of miracles having faded--disclosing neither the road to Asia, nor gold, nor eternal life--the Spanish and Portuguese openers of the New World continued to direct their main energies southward, England and France had not yet embarked upon their careers as colonizers, nor their duel for New world empire.
Anther turn of the wheel is due. William Ward's childhood sees the prologue of the conquest of the continent. France establishes a little settlement at the mouth of the Annapolis River, Nova Scotia--and another at Quebec-- and, despite vicissitudes, they live. England plants a colony in Virginia, also to be buffeted by tribulations, but also it lives. England and France have joined Spain in taking root in the North-American continent.
Religious ferment, furthermore, is working to fruition in England. In 1603 the large Puritan element in the church--also the Roman Catholics-- had
WILLIAM WARDS YOUTH. HIS EMIGRATION
awaited the concessions they expected from the ascension
of Presbyterian king, James the sixth of Scotland and the
first of England, only to be hugely disappointed.
This disappointment stimulated a movement of prime importance in the world's history.
While Ward was still a youth he heard the story of the Pilgrims' venture and their struggle to maintain their foothold in the "New England"--their heroic fight against hunger and disease, their fearful losses; and, later their final victory as a pioneer religious community fairly established.
These happenings stimulated the imagination of many Englishmen--and Englishwomen. Of influence too was a slack in the woolen and shipbuilding and other callings. There was not, and never has been, a large margin of comfortable condition for the bulk of the population of England, and the pinch of any depression quickly radiates through the ranks.
So it came to pass that year by year more thousands turned to the thought of a new life across the Atlantic where opportunity night be greater, and presently in increasing numbers they were migrating overseas" some to Virginia, others to the West Indies, particularly to Barbadoes.
By this time Ward was a young married man with little John and Joanna in his home.
Then came the conception of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Joanna was still within her second year and John, the firstborn, only four, when a Puritan fleet of seventeen ships carried over more than a thousand souls within the single span of 1630.
King Charles the First meantime had succeeded to the throne. He elected to follow his father's policies and was to travel still further the dangerous path of absolutism. A good man in many ways, but with the wrong viewpoint for the England of his reign and lacking the strength to cope with the conditions which beset him. He, as had his father, lacked also Queen Elizabeth's personal patriotism, her intense nationalism, and her ability to focus in herself her people's pride of growth and achievement.
The year 1628 had seen the last English parliament which was to meet for eleven years. There followed the times in which the King, abetted by his Star Chamber, trod heavily on English pride and sensibilities and essayed the hazardous practice of helping himself to funds by forced leans, compulsory knighthood's at high prices, monopolies of (next page)
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
great variety, * and diverse other devices. When the
antiquated Ship Money levy was stretched to the breaking
point. When the country rolled uneasily in the suspicion
that the King's party, including the prelates, was
piloting it back into the Roman church. When Laud as
Archbishop earned the hatred of the Puritans which was in
a later year to cost him his head.
One or another, or all of these causes affected many men of varied fortunes. The tide of emigration rose. Taverns and other public places witnessed numerous sales by auction, and much bargaining of miscellaneous farm and household goods--country gentlemen and their yeoman constituents raising money for the voyage and for their settlement overseas, and disposing of such of their belongings as they could not take with the. Laborers who could not hope to pay for their passage obtained it by hiring themselves out to work abroad for those who could.
Various arts of the New World were now open to emigrants, but to Ward (as to many others) "New England" seemed the most desirable, for there most nearly could one hope to duplicate the old English village life. There also could every man immediately become an independent landowner--a strong appeal in all ages and especially potent in parts where English village life had been restricted in opportunity, and sometimes wiped out, by the seizure and enclosure of thousands of acres of common land by unscrupulous overlords. And of New England, the Massachusetts Bay project was the largest and most promising--particularly attractive furthermore to those of strict Puritan faith, for its leaders had seized the opportunity to establish in the New World a miniature commonwealth molded on Puritan tenets and convictions.
Not that clear-headed men still expected to find an El Dorado across the northern seas. The first New England emigrants had been buoyed with roseate hopes, but those who planned to follow needed, instead, high courage and resolution. There were no longer visions of a land of " milk and honey." The tales sent home in writing , or brought back in person, had proved that the new domain was not for dreamers or idlers. Many had gone unprepared for the
* The privy council registers show that several
members of the Ward tribe got into trouble for disregard
for these royal edicts in "restraint of trade."
On October 22, 1634, A. Warde was arrested for "divers misdeamanors and contempts, against his mats proclamation" concerning tobacco and for " abusing his Mats patentee for retayling of tobacco within ye towne of Oswestri in ye county of Sallopp."
Again on December 16, of the following year, Thomas Ward was up before Archbishop Laud and other members of the Privy Council in Star Chamber session, having been arrested "for going up and down the country with a Lyon." A monopoly of that particular branch of the show business had been "graunted" to a Mr. Gill, and he was the complainant whose protest resulted in the warrant. (Spelling from the original)
WILLIAM WARDS YOUTH. HIS EMIGRATION
difficulties to be encountered, and "missing of their
expectations, returned home and railed against the
Country". Numbers had gone with the mistaken idea that
the colony would afford immediate support, and provisions
were frequently "deare and scant."
Various things had grown in the telling. The rattlesnake was depicted as a flying creature that could kill a man with its breath!
Yet each year saw a number of "Mayflowers" beating their way across the ocean, each with its complement of English families courageously seeking homes on the outer rim of the great unknown continent of North America.
The quotations above are from Wood's "New England's Prospect," a work which must have an impelling interest for every descendant of William Ward of Sudbury, for it is not to be doubted that he and his family devoured its every line. The first edition appeared in 1634, with succeeding issues in 1635 and 1637, so great was the demand. One can picture the absorption with which its pages were read--the most concise and complete contemporary account of that part of the New World: setting forth its attractions and disadvantage; telling of its climate, of the products of its soil, of its beasts, birds, and fishes, of the several "plantations" already established; telling what clothing should be included in an emigrant's equipment, what supplies he should take with him. Concluding with a second part devoted to the most fascinating topic of all--the Indians, their appearance and habits, and their women, etc. That the Indians in the vicinity of Massachusetts Bay had, a few years earlier, been greatly reduced by pestilence did not dissipate their fearsome glamour, but rather added to it the threat of a new strange plague that might at any time strike again.
Copies of the first edition of Wood's "New England Prospect" bring high prices today. One was sold at a recent Mew York auction for $2800, Anything below a thousand dollars is a bargain.
It is an inspiring thought that a book which William Ward purchased for a shilling or two should now be worth $2800. It is will within possibility that the copy which brought that price was the very one which he read and discussed with his family.
The continued exodus to Massachusetts Bay excited apprehension. The government felt that the conditions were different from those of other English colonies. Plymouth Colony with its meager population and scant resources had
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
been regarded with complaisance even when it had failed
to develop into a financially profitable enterprise for
its underwriters. The settlements on the West Indies
greatly increased English trade and London incomes. Those
in Virginia also spelled large profits from the tobacco
trade, and in addition served as a welcome vent for those
"undesirables" whom the "Customer of London" described in
memorial to the Privy Council as "better out than within
the Kingdom." But another story was this recent
persistent emigration to New England, this "disorderly
passing out of the Kingdom," of thousands of British
subjects, carrying with them much wealth in cattle,
provisions, and other stores, to a part of the world
whose estimated future commerce with the mother country
was very small compared with the immediate drain upon
Political exigencies had favored the first Puritan exodus, but its revival in 1633 and its continuance in the years following were very differently regarded. The King and his Privy Council distrusted the new transatlantic commonwealth and the expiring "Council for New England" aided the plan to disrupt the charter of its foundation. The Privy Council attempted to apply the brakes and declared that none henceforth were to leave without licenses. The requirements included oaths of allegiance and affidavits that emigrants were not "subsidy men"--i.e., subjects whose lands or goods had been levied on to make up a "subsidy," or tax--and searchers were appointed to prevent unlicensed emigration. But the government was too troubled to be efficient and the empire continued to leak much of its issue for the upbuilding of a future rival.
How long Ward planned his emigration with his family. I know not. Certain it is that many days and still more numerous evenings were spent in absorbing cogitations. Finally came the decision that they too would stake out a home in the New World....Then followed the plans and discussions of ways and means....
His family was larger now by the births of Obadiah, Richard, and Deborah. His first wife had died and he had taken a new partner--Elizabeth, whose tombstone may still be seen in the old Spring Hill Cemetery of Marlborough, Mass.
It was resolved that they should make the voyage in the spring of 1638. That is at least an excellent guess, both because of the number who did go then and because of Ward's first appearance in Sudbury as a fellow settler with some of them. Then in the spring the journey to London by stage-coach...
London may not have been entirely new to William Ward, but it
WILLIAM WARDS YOUTH. HIS EMIGRATION
probably was for his family. It was a rambling sort of
city, almost entirely of wooden building, hugging the
shores of the Thames--the river its main highway, busy
both with ships to and from all parts of the world and
with boats of local traffic--the boats doing most of the
work for which taxis and other automobiles, motor-buses
and tricks, ply today.
A most picturesque city! The people who sat in the boats, and those who passed along the irregular streets ashore, would seem startlingly theatric to modern eyes. All classes in England, particularly in London, had been seized "with a age for apparel," and one saw not only women most gaudily attired, but also men gong about their daily tasks in satins and silks, with added doublets and great ruffs around their necks, with colored feathers in their hats and gold embroidery on their variously colored shoes, with hair curled and perfumed and perhaps ornamented with a rose or a piece of jewelry! Much of this finery was soiled and often it was confined to only one or two such touches--and on a costume most incongruous--but, except the most degraded, few there were who escaped entirely the infection of this fever for self adornment. Think not however that there was necessarily anything weak or effeminate about the man who curled and perfumed his hair and carried a rose in it! Those were days in which men held life cheaply and were ready to take or surrender it at any moment on slight provocation. Every man, unless he were very poor indeed, carried a sword or a dagger, and if he had neither, he probably carried, or had handy, a heavy stick or club as a weapon of both offense and defense.
This "rage for apparel" had bred a new flock of storekeepers. One writer complainingly notes that "Forty years ago there were not twelve haberdashers in London who sold fancy caps, glassed, swords, daggers, girdles; and now from the Tower to West Minster Abbey, every street is full of them."
The other extreme of the picture was furnished by the very wretched poor, who lived and died homeless, sick, and uncared for in the streets.
There was, indeed, much to be seen in London, but for William Ward and his family there was nothing that compared in interest with the eight vessels at their moorings awaiting the day on which their masters should set sail for America.
What style and size of craft were they that thus engaged attention? Instead of a huge modern steamship, picture a little vessel of about 200 tons--100 feet or so in extreme length "from taffrail to knighthead"; 24 foot beam
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
or thereabout; three-masted; short and low in the waist,
and high in bow and stern--somewhat "blocky" in general
effect. The very smallest transatlantic passenger vessel
sailing from New York today has thirty times her tonnage,
and the largest would make 250 to 300 of her!
She will travel slowly when she has taken on her heavy load of humans, cattle, and freight, but she has smart under-water lines which give fair speed under more favorable conditions.
Several cannons of good size are on the main deck; lighter hums on the poop; and a long-range large-caliber hum on the forecastle. For in those days no ship went to sea unarmed.
When full spread, her canvas wings display a small sprit-sail, square sails on the fore and main masts, and a lateen sail on the mizzen-mast.
Above all flies England's flag--the red cross of St. George.
The passengers for these eight ships came by single families, by twos and threes, and larger parties, from various counties, north and south. Many brought with them rumors which added to the general excitement. Would the ships be allowed to sail? Most of those going had sold all their belongings, often at high sacrifices, to finance their emigration. Many, after paying for their passage, had invested a considerable part of what money remained in grain and other provisions, bought in a high market, for their maintenance while establishing themselves in New England. Few had the special emigration licenses which the King's Council required. Suppose they should be turned back? Suppose that even more drastic punishment should be meted out?
There was a superabundance of time in which to worry over these possibilities, for in 1638 one did not cross the Atlantic on a modern steamship-company schedule. There were may and long delays in getting started. The outfitting was unconscionably slow. and when that was finally completed one might wait for many days for favorable winds. It was not uncommon for passengers to live on board a vessel for weeks before it sailed.
Nor were the suspicions and fears unwarranted. The apprehension aroused by the Puritan emigration had grown to real alarm in high places. Among the complaints to Laud was Maynard's, March 17, averring that such numbers of persons of good abilities had sold their lands and were departing, that divers parishes were in danger of being impoverished, and that the emigrants were taking with them so much grain that there would be hardly
WILLIAM WARDS YOUTH. HIS EMIGRATION
enough left in the country to serve till harvest. And
straightway from the Council issued and order to the Lord
Treasurer to detain every ship gong to New England, and
to put all passengers and their goods ashore.
Instructions also were issued to sheriffs and other
officials to seek out and hold all provisions stored with
intent to ship them to America.
Picture the consternation on the seeing of the Lord Treasurer's order. Their plans apparently destroyed. Compelled to quit the ship of their long-planned migration, and set ashore with the effects which represented so much sacrifice, labor, and expense. Their old homes broken up and their new home denied them.
Fortunately it was not only the emigrants who were affected. Merchants and shipowners found these emigrant voyages very profitable, the ships on their return being laden with fish from Newfoundland. The order in consequence aroused so many influential protests that the Council bowed to the storm and revoked it, setting the ships "at libertie to proced on in their intended voyage." In so doing King Charles could not refrain from slapping at those of his subjects who had chosen a home in New England rather than remain within the closer range of his benevolence, by referring to "the factious disposition of the people (or a great qte of them) in that plantation and how unfit and unworthy they are of any support or of contenance."
With so changeable a government, one could not tell what new proclamation the next messenger night bring. It was with joy and relief that the emigrants saw the anchors raised and the ships proceed one by one down the Thames and tack slowly around the North Foreland on the first leg of their voyage to the New World.
We do not know whither or not William Ward and his family were on board one of the ships, but is very probable that they were.
The emigrant ships sailed slowly seaward. Round into
the Downs and through the Straits of Dover into the
Channel, where contrary winds and heavy seas were wont to
levy long delays and deal out the full woes and miseries
On past Portsmouth to drop anchor at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, a favorite rendezvous for vessels bound to and from the Indies and many other parts of the world-- traders, fishing-boats, and men-of-war.
Here the captains filled their water-casks and took on additional wood and a supply of fresh fish, the emigrants meantime enjoying themselves ashore--for most of them, the last time they were to walk on English soil. In turn was much visiting, some very formal, between shore and ship, and between the ships themselves. Advantage was also taken of the opportunity to test the passengers at musket practice, for the sea was full of enemies, and the Turkish pirate a continual anxiety. There was a gun and a sword for every man aboard. The number of emigrant sail would spell safety at the start, but when separated by the variability of wind or ship, it might fare ill with any bark which found herself outsized by a Turk.
Even more to be feared than a real Turk was an encounter with one of the numerous English and French pirates flying the Turkish flag--or any other that suited their purpose.
Then out of Yarmouth, sailing W. by S. and W. by N. until the horizon began to immerse the Scilly Islands. As each ship witnessed the blending of land and sky, the emigrants pressing together on its poop for a last view of the Old World knew this for a fateful moment! They were full abreast the Atlantic, and, even though but started, thus measurably on their way to New England.
Now for weeks, perhaps months--for fifty days was a quick passage--the vessel under their feet will confine their while world, severing them from the hemisphere of their forefathers and filling its sails with their lives, their hoped, and their fears.
I repeat that it is only a supposition that William Ward and his family
THE VOYAGE TO NEW ENGLAND
were aboard one of the ships of the little fleet whose
sailing I have chronicled, but this I will vouch-- that
these pages, both in what they have already told and in
what follows, present a veracious picture of an emigrant
voyage of the time. Every member of the family may accept
it, and ponder and ream over it, as depicting the
transatlantic coming of his or her first American
It was a terribly crowded little ship for such a long voyage. Aboard were close upon a hundred and fifty souls, including the crew ( who perhaps numbered thirty), and a great quantity of miscellaneous freight.
The captain, the most distinguished passengers, and some of the women and children were berthed in the cabins on each side of the big Common Cabin, or saloon, under the poop-deck; the others in cabins and (single men) in hammocks and open bunks between decks, The crew bunked in the forecastle.
The cattle, and goats and poultry, were housed in pens on the forward deck.
The ship's and passenger' stores of while grains, meal, salt meats, peas, and other provisions were stowed in the hold. Much bulky fodder, too, for the cattle, And tools, farming implements, and household and personal effects, overflowed from the hold and filled every available square foot between decks.
On fair days, meals were enjoyed on the main and poop decks; otherwise at bench-tables in the Common Cabin and between decks.
But picture not a bugle nor a gong, and the passengers trooping down to a hot meal already prepared, The ship provided sufficient food (deputed passengers distributing it to families or groups) but she furnished her passengers with neither cooks nor stewards. Before they could enjoy a fresh-cooked meal, they must themselves cook it! Also they must wait upon themselves. Jolly enough in good weather, for the divided duties helped to while away the hours, but in bad weather and in sickness entailing not a little hardship.
The supplies furnished by the ship for the main meal, at noon, consisted generally of salt beef or pork, or cheese ( salt cod or smoked erring on "fish days", peas (or some other vegetable, as cabbage or turnips), "biscuit" (hard tack, or ship-bread, taken aboard in great quantity in barrel), and beer. Reasonably satisfying provender, but very monotonous when often repeated. No wonder that a catch of fresh fish meant a " merry feast"!
Well-informed voyagers of sufficiently full pocketbooks fared better,
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
for they had planned to spice the ship's diet with "some
comfortable refreshing of fresh victual" from private
stores of apples, lemons, prunes, preserves, biscuit of
finer quality, claret, etc.--and even a few live fowls
and sheep to be slaughtered aboard.
The ships galley provided the equipment for group cooking. For the preparation of special individual and family dishes--for the stewing of prunes, or burning of claret, or frying of bacon--the passengers had brought their own skillets and frying-pans.
On stormy days no cooking at all could be done. Lucky then if anything could be got at and if one did not find that the salt water had wrought havoc on the bread- room!
The lack of fire was felt less than it would be today. A twentieth-century ocean voyage without tea or coffee would seem incredible, but those emigrants knew neither, nor drank water except under compulsion of circumstances. They enjoyed their beer instead.
A very small vessel fighting its way across a very great ocean. Day after day and night after night alone upon the face of the waters. The eight and twelve o'clock watches set with a prayer and the singing of a psalm.
Sometimes becalmed; at others heavily buffeted by the elements. If winds were unfavorable, days were consumed where hours would now suffice. "Ten leagues a watch," seven and a half miles an hour, though not maximum, was being "carried apace."
To the children, living actively in the present without a past to breed anxiety for the future, the long voyage was less trying than to their parents, but all the more vivid the impressions it stamped upon their minds to last throughout their lives.
`Twas a day of excitement when a sail drew eager eyes to the horizon. This might happen four or five times during the several weeks at sea. Perchance an Englishman or a Frenchman, or two or three of them together, bound for the Newfoundland fishing-banks, or a boar from Virginia or the Somers Islands (as the Bermudas were then generally styled). Perchance, also, a pirate--do feelings were mixed until a ship's identity was discerned.
With so many people closely housed, there was, inevitable, some friction, and how and then a trifle of disorderly conduct. As the case of the man who "was whipt naked at the Cap-stern, with a Cat with Nine tails, for filching 9 great Lemons out of the Chirurgeons Cabbin, which he eat rinds and all in less than an hours time."
And that other who created a disturbance, being drunk with "strong
THE VOYAGE TO NEW ENGLAND
waters" which he had stolen, and who for punishment was
ducked at the main-yard's arm.
Omens were read in natural phenomena and raised hope, or spread alarm, as superstition interpreted them. One night " a flame settled upon the main mast, it was about the bigness of a great Candle, and is called by our Seamen St. Elmo's fire. It comes before a storm, and is commonly thought to be a "Spirit." A somewhat common occurrence in the days of wooden ships, and electric glow appearing at night on a ship's spars, but full of mystic significance to early mariners.
Then, a tempest to test every seagoing quality. The waves mountainous above the little vessel as she wallowed in the troughs; the sky shut off by flying foam; the decks continuously awash and the sea searching down until between-decks ran in streams. Impossible for even the experienced sailors to move about, or to stand, or to sit, or to lie, save by desperately gripping rail or rope. The waves and wind buffeting and tossing and twisting the ship until it seemed impossible that she could withstand their force.
The emigrants, with awe straining their hearts at this proof of their insignificance, humbled themselves before their Maker, glorified His power, and supplicated His assistance and protection.
Only those who have ridden through a heavy storm in a ship of the early emigrant size, 200 tons or so, can realize how vividly the experience must have impressed a company of farmers on their first voyage. It is vastly more sensational than when you have a 50,000 ton, or even a 10,000 ton, vessel challenging the elements.
When the passengers emerged on deck after the sea had subsided, they looked fully as distressed as the ship herself, They were bruised and chilled and sick from the storm's rough treatment, and from lying for many hours in wet cloths on wet bedding, their lungs poisoned by the foul air of the battened interior.
But bad weather past is quickly forgotten when skies turn fair and comfortable breezes fill the sails.
As soon as possible, bedding and clothes were brought up on deck to be dried. A peculiar looking vessel then, if onlookers there had been--with wearing apparel and blankets and mattresses spread all over her as though she were come queer ocean dry-goods market.
As the novelty of sea life wore off, many hours dragged tediously, but "ever and anon" the voyagers found instruction and delight in watching the various creatures of "the great waters": the sea-bats," or flying fish; the tiny
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
carvels sailing along the surface; the big sunfish, the
"porpoises," and the "mighty whales."
The whales astonished the new voyagers by their size, and excited apprehension when they "spouted water through two great holes in their heads," the water pouring down again "like a river" so that if it "should light in any Ship, she were in danger" of being "sunk sown into the Sea," the water falling "with such and extreme violence" as to make "the Sea to boyle like a pot, and if any Vessel be near, it sucks it in."
The most consistently entertaining of all were the "porpoises," or "herring-hogs," their antics of uproarious delight to the youngsters.
A porpoise would occasionally be harpooned and hoisted aboard. The farmer-passengers were keenly interested in the first one caught, noting that it was in size, shape, and meat a good deal like a hog.
Its flesh was cut "into thin pieces, and fryed." Opinions differed as to its desirability. Some found that it tasted "like rusty Bacon, or hung Beef, if not worse"; but they were contradicted be less captious voyagers who affirmed that , properly cooked and seasoned, it made good eating.
Among other curious sea-denizens to find their way into the skillets or kettles were occasional specimens of the flying-fish, and swordfishes and a shark or two. The flesh of the shark found little favor, but its brains were in those days prized as a great delicacy and considered a valuable medicine for women in childbirth.
Later, the voyagers marveled at the first iceberg sighted... "an Island of Ice... three leagues in length, mountain high, in form of land, with Bayes and Capes... and a river pouring off it into the Sea... two or three foxes or Devils skipping upon it."
Next were gained the famous "Banks" of Newfoundland. Heavy fogs made progress slow there but compensation was to hand in an abundance of fresh cod for little trouble in catching, and great numbers of waterfowl.
Of high interest as the vessel neared its destination was the meeting of boats with fresh tidings of New England. Happenings there, had become matters of personal concern, instead of belated far-away stories of a remote continent:
"At 4 of the clock we descryed two sail bound for New-found-land, and so for the Streights, they told us of a general Earth-quake in Mew England, of the Birth of a Monster at Boston, in the Massachusets-bay a mortality."
THE VOYAGE TO NEW ENGLAND
Meat in that little batch of news for much thought,
conversation, and conjecture!
Then, never to be forgotten, the first sight of the New World--stirring to a fever the hopes and ambitions which had driven the emigrants across the ocean.
Only a few hours longer, and land is finally drawn into "clear and comfortable sight," the sea-worn little ship sailing proudly along the New England coast. Seen thus, and at that season, in its happiest aspect, it fulfilled their every vision of a wondrous promised land. Water and land joined in the promise. Schools of mackerel encompassed the ship, and mainland and islands alike were rich in verdure.
As the ship lay by near Cape Ann, a few of the most favored emigrants experienced the happy adventure of actually setting foot upon the shore, bringing back ripe wild strawberries and gooseberries, and fragrant wild roses.
Cape Ann and the islands near by were early famous for wild strawberries. It is not to be doubted that the berries were trebled in delicious delicacy by the many weeks of salt meat, nor that their fresh flavor lingered forever in the memory.
Then sailing on again for the last miles of the long voyage, each moment and each detail of entrancing interest.
The panorama continued to unfold until finally our Emigrant Ship passed the narrow entrance into the "still Bay of Massachusetts" and came within view of the three hills of Old Boston-- as momentous to the world's history as ever were the Seven Hills of Rome.
The First Weeks in the New World
At the time of William Ward's arrival, Boston was
only about eight years old but it had already achieved a
population of a thousand or so, and it palpitated with
life for it was one of the main portals through which the
English race was entering a continent.
It was essentially a pioneer town. Its streets were unpaved. Its wooden buildings were interspersed with a larger number constructed mainly of clay and sod, for the peninsula offered the settlers so little timber that they were compelled to carry it by water from the harbor islands or from the mainland. There were only about thirty residences of sufficient size to command a traveler's respect.
The town entered on that part of the peninsula running back from the "Great Cove" on the east side. Its business heart was around the inner Bendall's Cove, then the chief landing-place but now for many years solid ground--part of it is the site of Faneuil hall. Thence the twin business of shipping and merchandising extended southerly to the foot of the road which is the westerly portion of the State Street of today. There were warehoused along the wharves and in their vicinity, and other warehouses and shops (of ships' and general supplies) and residences along "State Street," where also was the town's one thatched church and its whipping-post.
The thirty larger houses (including just one of brick!) were furnished much like those of the moderately well-to-do in the England of the time. They sheltered the leaders of the community, the more prosperous, the socially elect--for emigrant ships, be it remembered, carried social distinctions among the diversity of their cargoes.
Trade and traffic were far in excess of what might have been expected of the population of a thousand. Boston's position as the link connecting the colony with other parts of the world--the shipping and the continuous arrival of immigrants--furnished employment for many people and numerous business opportunities. The butcher and wine merchant, the linen draper and apothecary, the carpenter and plasterer, the tailor and shoemaker, the shipwright and blacksmith--all there callings, and numerous other, were represented.
THE FIRST WEEKS IN THE NEW WORLD
Many sails rested in the harbor. Nearly every week
during the spring and summer of that year saw one or more
ships from England carrying additions to the rapidly
growing population. With them lay from time to time ships
trading from and with Virginia and the very young
settlement of Maryland, the Dutch in New York, and the
French in Canada. Occasionally also an Indian pinnace or
The peninsula then contained fewer than 800 acres, for this was generations before broad stretches of marsh and shallow water were filled in to serve as foundations for the building of great city streets. On the south it was joined to the mainland by the narrow extremity of a low-lying, marshy neck of ground completely submerged by high tides in the spring, Boston then becoming an island, On the north it was separated by a strip of water, about a quarter of a mile in width, from another smaller peninsula of similar contour--that later to become famous as Charlestown and for the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The Boston peninsula had very good land, "affording rich Cornefields, and fruitful Garden; having likewise sweete and pleasant Springs," but it offered insufficient pasture, so that the inhabitants early extended their holdings to the mainland.
Ward unquestionably went "sightseeing" with his family. They traversed the crooked roads around the wharves, and walked up "State Street," stopping to gaze at Governor Winthrop's residence--the main hall of the Exchange Building now covers the site of the house he occupied in 1638. Then past the meeting-house to the market-place, and along "Washington Street," Pausing to view the house in which Anne Hutchinson had lived. She was no longer there, for the opening of the spring of 1638 had seen her excommunicated and banished from Massachusetts for expounding an unorthodox "Covenant of Grace." They wandered next over the common, notable in several periods of American history--the park of today, the cow pasture of then.
Probably one fine day or another saw them follow the new `footway" over the neck to Roxbury, noting the log rails which "secured the cattle from the wolves" and the defenses to guard against Indian attacks.
In Roxbury they must have admired the further evidences of New World prosperity, for already at the time of Wood's "New England Prospect" it had become "a faire and handsome Countrey-towne; the inhabitants of it being all very rich."
Thence to Dorchester, the third of the triplet of peninsulas, the first settlement in the Massachusetts Bay, "well wooded and watered," with "very good arable grounds, and Hay-ground, faire Corne-fields, and pleasant
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
Gardens, with Kitchin-Gardens: In this plantation is a
great may Cattle, as Kine, Goats, and Swine, This
plantation hath a reasonable Harbour for ships..." but
"here is no Alewife-river, which is a great
When Wood wrote, Dorchester was "the greatest Towne in New England," In the few brief years that had elapsed, the palm had passed to Boston, never to be returned. Another probable visit was to Charlestown--over the ferry, a big rowboat, at a penny a head.
Dividing interest with the country itself was its varied social, political, and religious life. The men among the immigrants mingled freely in the town "ordinary" with the colonists already established, and over their beer and cider swapped gossip from the old world for tales of the new. Ward heard the full story of the massacre of the Pequot Indians and the practical extermination of the tribe, of the turmoil that had preceded Anne Hutchinson's expulsion, and of the great earthquake; and listened to debates on the prospects of the new separate colony of Connecticut. He followed also a discussion on the possibility of taming moose to do the work of oxen, and found interest in the peculiar diversity of the money in use--the Indian shell-beads, or "wampum," loose and in strings, which passed as currency everywhere, and the musket-bullets which had taken the place of farthings.
Meantime, the family learned the diet of New England. Fish and shellfish there were in great abundance to supplement the salt pork and salt beef--lobsters that weighed thirty pounds, had fifteen-inch pincers, and a total length (with claws pulled out straight) of close upon four feet. Of novelties was Indian corn as samp, "hasty pudding," nocake, etc., in bread made of cornmeal and rye flour, and the ears plain boiled.
A dish of "corn on the cob" then was more picturesque than it is today. Yellow and white were the common colors for the ears, but these were varied not only with the red with which we are familiar but with various other hues--olive and other green tints, blue, and, black, and speckled and striped and mottled. Milk, also, was a very important article. Bread and milk vied with mush and milk as a staple breakfast and supper dish. There were, too, "pompion" (pumpkin) and milk, and berries and milk--native whortleberries and strawberries, etc.
The "sightseeing" did not consume more than two or three days for after all there was not a great deal to see in that very new Boston of long ago-
THE FIRST WEEKS IN THE NEW WORLD
-and what there was, was quickly reached by English legs
well trained in walking. So Ward returned to the
important task of establishing himself and his family.
Numerous choices presented themselves, for the line of civilization was spreading over the eastern part of Massachusetts by successive "swarming" from the points first settled, as ship after ship discharged its passengers and spread the rising tide of population. Before 1638 eighteen "towns," or organized groups of settlers, had achieve existence of Massachusetts Bay.
The sites most sought were those which contained a good water supply, sufficient pasture, and open land which could with the smallest amount of labor be used for the planting of grain. Timber also was an essential, but that was discussed little as it was found in nearly every part of the colony outside of Boston.
Among the most promising was the tract, named "Sudbury" in 1639, whose settlement had been projected by a number of the inhabitants of Watertown and had been approved by the colony legislature, the "General Court." It was part of the Concord River region known among the Indians as "Musketahquid," signifying "grassy ground" or "grassy brook." It adjoined Watertown (the part now Weston) on the east and the new Concord "plantation" on the north. Its attractions included the river (Sudbury River) and smaller streams traversing it, a rich acreage of pasture (or "meadow") alongside them, and open woods. Crossing the southeasterly section was the "Old Bay Path," an Indian trail which ran for hundreds of miles inland from the sea and which had already become an accepted route for settlers journeying to the Connecticut River.
Founding Sudbury, Mass.
Ward decided to join the Sudbury "plantation." Of
like mine were others among the newcomers. Fresh
immigrants, indeed, constituted a majority of the first
settlers, from forty to fifty in number, who thus placed
themselves and their families on the outskirts of
The General Court grant was intended to enclose about five miles square. As laid out, the tract fell short of this dimension, but the deficiency was made good by a second grant in 1640. The native tile was obtained by purchase from the Indian "Cato" (known also as "Karte" and "Goodman").
As already noted, this territory touched that of Weston and Concord on the east and north. West and south stretched the wilderness, broken only by Indian villages.
A few wigwams stood within its boundaries. Cato dwelt with his family and retainers on "Goodman's Hill"; Tantamous, a "powwow," or medicine man, on Nobscot Hill; Nataous, or "Indian William," near Lake Cochituate, And the well-worn trails told of red men traversing the section to hunt and fish--for deer roamed and turkeys strutted through the woods; bears were at home in the highlands; and salmon, shad, pickerel, and alewives filled the river and streams. This wild food was as acceptable and nearly as important to the new white settlers as for centuries it had been to the Indians.
The streams were also a favorite habitat of muskrats and beavers, the pelts of the latter being early rated as valuable merchandise. And grouse and other game birds were plentiful in their seasons. Pigeons were so prolifically numerous that settlers could not consume all they caught. After stripping off the feathers to make mattresses they fed them to the hogs.
Permission by the General Court "to go on in their plantation" was given September 6, 1638. Many of the settlers (Ward among them?) anticipated this formal authorization and were at work with their ox-teams early in the summer, felling trees for their cabins, making rough roadways, mowing the meadows, and clearing logs and brush form patches selected for
the planting of the first "common," or community, fields.
Of great moment were the first town meetings which decided on the division of lands, on the roads to be laid out, on planting questions, on fences, and on all the other problems of community life, especially pioneer community life.
Four acres was the average size of the "house-lots," or home plots, agreed upon.
The cabins of these pioneer families were small and of simple construction. A single story of whole and split logs, with two rooms at most in the beginning, with a wide log chimney covered and filled between with clay (the interstices of the walls being similarly closed), the roof of thatch, the windows of oiled paper, and the hearth of field stones.
Some of the cabins were in all probability built chiefly of clay, timber being used only for the frames; or consisted of a timber (or timber and clay) front on a home cut into a hillside.
They were mostly grouped for mutual companionship and protection, and were laid out east of the river, in the vicinity of the present Wayland Village, chiefly to its northwest and north. Twenty or more were situated in a row along the westerly side of the "Old Sudbury Road," northwesterly of its junction with Bow Road. They were not on the easterly side of Old Sudbury Road as generally stated.
Ward's house-lot was on a road long discontinued--a fork of Glezen Lane which formerly ran northerly, from about the same point that Training Field Road forks easterly, into the first easterly turn of Moore Road and thus into the road to Concord (see the map facing page 26). It was on the present Patterson farm, in the lee (the southerly side) of the first southerly slope west of the first easterly turn of Moore Road. One of its attractions was a good spring in the vicinity.
Along this some road were the house-lots of Walter Haynes and William Pelham (two of the "principal men" in the early history of the settlement), Solomon Johnson, and John Freeman.
After the cabins were roofed came the transportation from Boston and Watertown by slow two-wheel ox-drawn cars, and on horseback, of the store of food across the ocean, and corn and other produce purchased since arrival; and clothing, bedding, and a few pieces of furniture. With them or following them came the women and children.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
For travel on later occasions when there was nothing
to bulky to carry, the settlers quickly adopted the
Indian use of canoes and took to the rivers and streams
as highways, finding this the easiest method of getting
to various near-by points and, on occasion, to Boston.
Several of the settlers brought families of fair size--from five to nine children of all ages. Ward had five children, as we have already noted: John, the oldest, being in 1638 about twelve years of age; Joanna ten; Obadiah six; Richard three; and little Deborah, one.
As became pioneers, the heads of families were of active years. Only one of the newcomers from England had passed fifty. Perhaps three or four were between forty and fifty. All the others were under forty. Ward was about thirty-five.
Then came the winter. Those who have experienced the severity of a Massachusetts winter, even amidst modern conditions, may imagine how rigorous it must have seemed to those immigrants from milder England. It was no small labor even to cut the wood to feed the big open fireplaces. There were also the cattle to care for, roads to be "broken out" after a heavy snowfall (by ox-sleds and plows drawn by all available ox-teams), and (when weather permitted) the clearing of ground for cultivation in the spring, the building of wall fences, etc.
But they fought it through and by the spring of 1639 the township had been successfully founded.
Pioneer Life in Old Massachusetts
It is probable that early in 1639 the Sudbury settlers arranged a first division of meadow ("as much as shall be thought meet") on the following plan:
"To every Mr. of a ffamylie 06 akers
"To every Wiffe 06 akers & 1/2
"To every childe 01 akers & 1/2
"to Every Mare, Cow, ox or anny other Cattle that may
amount to 20 pound, or soe much monnye 3 Akers."
Only the resolution has been preserved. There is no
record of such a distribution. If made, Ward was entitled
to twenty acres for his family alone.
About the same time commenced allotments based upon "men's estates and abilities to improve their lands"-- conditions imposed by the General Court.
"Estate" was a term frequently employed to signify a community's composite estimate of an inhabitant's resources, social position, etc. The result was variously arrived at, but the significance and intent are clear. Recognition of a settler's "estate" served as recognition both of the social precedence inbred among the colonists and of the desirability of giving the utmost opportunity for a man of means to aid in the development of a township--and such opportunity could be given only, or could best be given, by land grants.
The conjoined requirement to weigh the respective abilities of men to improve their lands is self- explanatory. The consideration was one of prime importance in pioneer days. Disregard of it was responsible for the failure of numerous early attempts at colonization.
Every original Sudbury settler received a share in each land division but the size of the shares on the "estate" basis varied greatly. The first lands thus allotted were of "meadow," and these meadow divisions were taken as a measure for future divisions of the "common land" of the original grant, and for the use of "common land" until divided.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
They served also as a basis for taxation, the rates
being levied in the same proportion.
Ward's allotments in the first three estate distributions of meadow were 4 1/2, 11 and 7 3/4 acres, a total of 23 1/2 acres.* Several of the founders received considerably more, the maximum being 75 acres. A larger number received less than Ward. Several were given similar allowances.
The land being parceled out at various times (its location within certain limits being generally decided by lot) a man's real property came to consist of a number of scattered pieces--much after the fashion of the acre and half-acre "strips" of early English villages. This gave every one representation in each section opened, but it increased the difficulties of ownership and led to numerous sales and exchanges.
Important too was the election of town officials, particularly of "selected men" to serve as executives of the township and as its informal local judiciary. Selectmen under pioneer conditions held widely diversified authority, both delegated and assumed. They were necessarily of character and standing among their associates, and generally "freemen," i.e., those who had taken the "freeman's oath."
The term "freeman" signified in Massachusetts at that date a fully qualified voter. The chief requirement was membership in a duly recognized church. Membership signified admission to the church corporation. It did not refer to attendance at worship. Everyone physically able attended church whether a member or not.
The spring and summer of 1639 saw a good many acres under cultivation and every spare moment occupied in building fences and breaking more land, both in the common planting fields and in "men's particular fields."
There was "store of plowland" but it was difficult t break up "by reason of the oaken roots... this kinde of land requires great strength to break up, yet brings very good crops, and lasts long without mending."
A grist-mill was built by a miller with the appropriate name of Cakebread. The community gave him 130 acres by way of encouragement.
* These figures are from an original "record of the names of the inhabitants of Sudbury, with their severall quantity of meadow to every one granted according to their estates or graunted by gratulation for services rendered by them, which meadow is ratable upon all common charges." This is given in the first part of the first book of records. It bears no original date. The "1638" that some town clerk added is incorrect and has been erased. 1639 would probably be accurate for the first two divisions at all events.
At this point one may question the assumption of this genealogy that William Wad settled on the Sudbury tract in 1638, for his name does not appear on an old separate list of the first and second estate meadow divisions. The early records are too incomplete to permit deductive certainly from omissions, but they warrant the conjecture that he may have joined the settlement in 1639 or 1640, purchasing rights earlier granted. He appears on a record of "third additions," November 18, 1640.
PIONEER LIFE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS
Mills did not then convent grain into the finished
flour we know. Their work ended with grinding it into
meal. "Bolting" the meal was a domestic duty.
Accomplished by means of hair or cloth sieves.
There was a vast amount of labor to be performed.
Those who are related to families who have taken up government claims, or "quarter-sections." during this generation, know how hard has often been the strugle to establish a living competence, even though shielded from all hostiles, both red and white; though spared the loss of time and population incidental to war, and aided in many ways by improved means and conditions in agriculture. There were no government bureaus or experimental stations to serve the farmers of those days. The settlers must of their own strength and courage meet all the difficulties of opening a new country, and in addition be ever ready to insure their titles in a rain of blood. It was only the simplicity of their lives that rendered possible the comfortable prosperity which followed their efforts.
There was the important mitigation that much of their toil was in neighborly companionship. There was little of the lonely isolation that weighed on the later pioneers of the western states. "Rich' or poor, they labored at similar tasks and often side by side, and they all owned a share in the constructive pride of seeing a new township take form as the result of their toil.
Community obligations, too, were equitably divided. The richer the man's stake in the district--not only the higher the rates he paid, but also the more community labor expected of him. An early order required all inhabitants to "come forth to the mending of the great road" upon a summons by the surveyor: the "poorest men" to work one day; the others to work a day for every six acres of meadow owned.
A church was organized in 1640 (with, of course, Congregational form and Calvinistic creed), the Reverend Edmund Brown being engaged as pastor. His salary for his initial year was 40 (pounds), half in cash and half in produce.
He must have held services in the cabins during his first winters, for work on the meeting-house was not commenced until 1643.
This first meeting-house stood in the "Old Burying- ground" which abuts on the Old Sudbury Road near Wayland Village. It was perhaps set a little back of the supposed site which is marked by a slight embankment and a granite- imbedded bronze marker. It stood across the highway from the row of twenty or more house-lots mentioned on page 25.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
Opposite is a reduced facsimile of the contract for
its construction William Ward being one of the six men
who signed for the township. *
(THIS MAY NOT BE ON THIS COPY).
This document is of the haze which obscures his prior life, and assumes definite form visioned in the mirror of his associates, and of his and their acts.
What type of man was he? Of what character and what circumstances?
Apparently he was not one of the few (comparatively) well-to-do among the Sudbury founders. It has already been noted that the meadow divisions "by men's estates" gave a number of settlers land considerably in excess of his allotment. In the table of the "third additions" of 1640, twenty-two of the forty-nine inhabitants named were given substantially more than Ward--some of them very much more--and only five received appreciably less. His worldly possessions were evidently not such as to accord him special preference. **
But he was just as evidently a man whose character and personality impressed the community, or he would not appear as one of the six chosen to represent it in the meeting-house contract. The five others were all "freemen," and three of them were of those of especially high rating by "estates." Ward was the only one of the six neither well-to-do nor a freeman.
The erection of the meeting-house frame took place in May, 1643. Every man in the settlement was on hand to help, for "raising time" was a jolly occasion in Old New England, with plenty of substantial food and inspiriting beverages to stimulate and reward the workers.
The completed meeting-house was only a rough, raftered building, 20 by 30 feet in size, with plain wooden benches and sanded floors, but it served as a veritable social and political center. It was in many respects a replica of the English parish church as it had been prior to the time of Laud.
At the drum-beat signal, the inhabitants gathered to it every Sunday morning, each taking the seat assigned to him (its position denoted his standing in the community) to profit by the minister's long sermon and fervid
* It will be observed that in the church contract Ward's surname appears as "Warde." As noted on page 3 he was known by both styles during his first years in Massachusetts. The two spellings were, in general use, long practically interchangeable. Some o his twentieth- century descendants have re-adopted the "e." The original writing of the date "1642" for a contract made in 1643 is a reminder that the ecclesiastical and legal year then commenced on the twenty-fifth of March, instead of the January 1st of the historical year. On the upper date line the "2" was changed to a "3." The date on the canceled clause at the foot of the page remains clearly "1642." ** His house-lot has been given as 20 acres, much larger than the average, but that tract included "a second addition which he bought of Edmund Rice."
PIONEER LIFE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS
exhortations, and to take part in the singing of psalms
from the "Bay Psalm Book," now known as the "Old Bay
Psalm Book" but then a very new volume, published only
three years before and the first book (save an almanac,
it that be a book) printed in English America.
On occasion also, as the years went by, the confession of doctrinal or moral sins by members, and once in a while testimony, or "prophecy," by visitors.
Long, long services. In winter, a severe test of the physical endurance of both minister and congregation, for no fire was allowed to temper the freezing atmosphere. Nor much less a trial on torrid summer days. But in contrast the more enjoyable was the noon intermission in one or other of the near-by houses, there to refresh both with food and drink and with welcome social intercourse.
The community life revolving around the meeting- house was much fuller and much brighter than has generally been depicted. Banish the idea of somberness. It does not fit a crowd of men and women of kindred interests, chatting over their beer, cider, or rum, with the rough jocosity and wide freedom of those times--a community furthermore which knew its neighbors most intimately--so will that every happening found its reflection in another's, or many others', experience. They probably derived at least as much pleasure from their broad jokes and neighborly converse as the modern family does from its afternoon at the movies, unless the show is very good indeed!
The Boston artisan and shop-clerk felt sadly cramped, and frequently and variously rebelled at Sabbath restrictions--and children and youths of communities of all sizes were restless under the repression of their inherent activity--but strict "Lord's Day" observance was not considered irksome by the adults of the farming lands. If (being a woman) you are continuously busy during six days at the spinning-wheel and with cooking, washing, and cleaning, it is not much of a punishment to sit restfully down in the company of your neighbors and listen to, or doze through, even the longest sermon, except the weather be extreme. Golf was not for the men of those families. After following the plow, or building stone fences for six days in a week, they would have found no zest in pursuing a little ball over their pastures on the Seventh. And motoring in its colonial forms of driving and riding lacked both novelty and pleasurable roads.
Even their costumes! Whence came the tradition of a drab Puritan?
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
They had not left all vanities behind them in the Old
Country. The women particularly, but not exclusively,
were much given to "slashed clothes" and lace and
embroidery. So string indeed was the love of dress and
display that numerous laws were passed to curb the "great
supfluores and unnecessary expenses" occasioned both by
"newe and immodest fashions" and by the "ordinary
weareing" of lace, and gold and silver girdles, etc. And
a crowd of men of the twentieth century would feel
themselves the very reverse of somberly attired if decked
out with green and red waistcoats, enlivened with a
sprinkling of red caps, and perhaps "ruffs" and some gold
or silver lace. Yet so were our colonists clothed.
The meeting-house was, furthermore, made to pay its way by various other general uses. It served as a proud new place for the town meetings which ruled the miniature republic, the meetings now opened with a prayer by Pastor Brown. Presently, too, it drew the inhabitants for the Thursday "lecture."
Also within its walls was stored the community's reserve supply of gunpowder--a dire essential, for William Ward's Sudbury was not the sheltered village of later generations. Over its "50 or 60 families" with "about 80 souls in Church fellowship," always hung the possibility of a life and death struggle with the aborigines. No Indian trouble of any magnitude had disturbed the immigrants who arrived after the Pequat War, but the "red danger" was no imaginary fear as everyone was to learn in after years.
The need of constant vigilance was fully recognized by the provincial deputies. Every township was required to organize and drill its "trainband," or militia company, to keep a stated reserve of gunpowder to agree upon alarm signals, and to arrange a safe retreat for women and children.
Also at various times the General Court ordered the sending out of "carefull and daly skouts for the rainginge of the woods upon the borders" of the towns and in 1645 (just two years after Sudbury raised its meeting- house) came instructions "by reason of the psent warre with the Indians," to have part of their "souldiers" ready to march at "halfe an houres warning." Thus early we find the idea that a hundred and thirty years later produced the Minute-Men of the Revolution!
It was not sufficient that every able-bodied man belong to his town-ship train-band. On May 14, 1645, the General Court advised the training of boys in the use of both bow and arrow and firearms:
PIONEER LIFE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS
"Whereas it is conceived yt ye training up of youth to ye art & practice of armes wilbe of great use in ys country in divers respects, & amonge ye rest yt ye use of bowes & arrows may be of good concermt, in defect of powder, upon any occasion it is therefore ordered, yt all, youth wthin this jurisdiction, from ten yeares ould to ye age of sixeteen yeares, shalbe instructed, by some one of ye officrs of ye band, or some othr experienced souldier whom ye chiefe officer shall appoint, upon ye usuall training dayes, in ye exercise of armes, as small guns, halfe pikes, bowes & arrowes, &c, according to ye discretion of ye said officer or souldier, pvided yt no child shalbe taken to ys exrcise against yir parents minds; ys ordr to be of force wthin one month after ye publication hereof."
So we must picture young Obadiah, then thirteen, and
Richard, ten, practicing on the Common, supplementing the
martial preparations of father William and big brother
This, too, was an echo of old-country memories, for it had been the custom in Southhampton and other exposed English coast-towns to require all children, commencing with the age of seven, to practice archery as a measure of public protection.
Sudbury's position was considered so precarious that the same General Court forbade any emigration from the township save by special permit:
"In regard of the great danger that Concord, Sudberry, and Dedham wilbe exposed unto, being inland townes & but thinly peopled, it is ordered, that no man now inhabiting & settleed in any of the said townes (whither married or single) shall remove to any other towne without the allowance of a magistrate, or other select men of that towne."
On May 10, 1643, Ward became a "freeman" and thus
secured the right of full suffrage and eligibility to all
The following spring, he was selected the township deputy, or representative, to the General Court. The term in which he took part was the first in which the Deputies and Assistants (or Magistrates) had sat as separate bodies, a result generally credited to the famous fight between a "rich man" and the "poor widow Sherman" over a stray sow.
Ward's first legislative duty was on a committee appointed June 7 to examine a revision of the colonial laws submitted by ex-Governor Bellingham "and returne theire objections & thaughts thereof to this howse in wrighteinge."
The next year (1645) he was, together with Peter Noyes and Walter Haynes, appointed a commissioner "to end small causes" in Sudbury. Which appointment was repeated in 1646, with William Pelham and Edmund Rice as associates.
He also for several years as chairman of Sudbury's selectmen and represented his community on the grand jury of the county court at Charlestown and Cambridge.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
His holdings, too, increased by division of the
township land, by occasional purchase, and by
"gratulation," i.e., by grants from the township for
special services rendered. A particularly large dividend
came at the division on 1651 of a new colony grant, two
miles wide, the length of the western boundary of the
township. this time every proprietor shared alike, 130
acres each, the locations being decided by lot. Ward's
total holdings thus rose to between two and three hundred
acres. The change of hemisphere had been well rewarded.
The colony likewise had proved its strength and vitality, standing firmly now on its own feet. The tide of immigration had stopped. Other colonies chiefly attracted those who left the old country--emigrants found life easier in the West Indies. The development of the Massachusetts which was later to challenge the mother country was left to the descendants of the original settlers who had carved homes out of its wilderness.
The change had brought a commercial crisis to Massachusetts but she had weathered it and worked out her salvation in her own way, greatly increasing as a substitute her ship-carried barter and trade, especially with the West Indies. She fought her own fight through the crisis, entirely unaided by the mother country, but also undisturbed by it, for King Charles was too busy engaged to interfere, too thoroughly occupied with efforts to retain the crown slipping from his head.
Policies and Suffrage in Old Massachusetts
The cardinal policies that quickly developed in the
Massachusetts commonwealth were practical independence
for the colony, identity of church and state, and
intolerance of all "unorthodox" religions.
Bearing on the first point, the "foreign policy" of the Massachusetts Bay pioneers is easily summed up in the determination of their leaders to resent any interference with their methods of self-government and the charter upon which they based and built their rights--or claims. An appeal to England was considered an act of treason, to be thwarted by any means--by exile, imprisonment, or death; and the chief necessity, an undivided front opposed to all attempts of the English government, secular or religious, to extend its control. Firmly set was their intent to establish their own plans and ideas of government upon the virgin soil that fate and themselves had given into their keeping.
Equally emphasized is the identity of church and state. The colonial government soon came under the potential control of the people by the annual election of the governor, assistants, deputies, military officers, etc., but complete suffrage was (as already noted) early limited to church members. Until 1664 only "freemen" could vote for governor, assistants, or deputies, or fill such offices, and only freemen could hold military rank. And commencing with 1631 only members of orthodox Congregational churches were eligible for the freeman's oath. From 1635 to 1647 there existed also a law to debar non-freemen from holding township positions and rendering them ineligible to vote on town matters of importance.
A considerable proportion of the adult males of 1638 were freemen, but various circumstances, chiefly creed dissensions and restrictions, resulted until 1664 in a decreasing percentage if inhabitants who could, or would, qualify by accepting orthodox covenants. It is estimated that only one in five or one in six were freemen in 1664.
These statements may suggest, as has often been stated, that a majority of the inhabitants were politically inarticulate. Under Massachusetts conditions the practical result was very far from anything of the sort. In the
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
country townships (i.e., throughout the greater part of
the colony) non-freemen largely disregarded legislative
restrictions and took an active and official part in the
management of their communities; * and local opinion was
so vital a force that there seems no reason to doubt that
the inhabitants of Massachusetts would have compelled the
annulment of the church membership qualification if there
had been any deep general dissatisfaction with it, or if
legislation or executive authority had shown itself
inimical to the material rights of those not
enfranchised. Had there been an attempt to withhold
suffrage against public opinion, the Massachusetts Bay
men could have taken it by pressure of numbers, as the
freemen took the reins of government from the unwilling
hands of those "principal men" in whom. its temporary
possessors, it had commenced to crystallize.
It should further be noted for its influence on public sentiment that, within the church membership, suffrage was free to all men, poor or well-to-do. This gave full voting power to poor men who were disbarred when property qualifications were substituted.
The restriction of suffrage gave to the colony leaders very real power over religious professions and observances so long as they could hold the support of the freemen, because those outside the pale were divided or indifferent, but no autocratic pretension on secular subjects could have existed.
The orthodox hierarchy mimicked the practices of the religious authorities in England and played the part of Laud against dissentients--the jealousy and dissatisfaction it aroused accelerated the colonization of Rhode Island and Connecticut--but in material points there was no similarity to the conditions which had stimulated emigration from England. There was no arbitrary taxation, no official corruption, no autocratic irremovable government.
The distribution of land is an all-important factor in the opening of a now country. The average man's immediate interest was much more intimately affected by the division of township territory than by the lack of a vote for an Assistant or a Deputy.
The Massachusetts settlers came from a country of landlords and tenants, both classes being represented in the migration, but on the new soil everyone who took part in the settlement of a township shared in the division
* The law of 1635 referred to on page 35 was ignored in the case of Sudbury both by the settlers and by the General Court itself. The legislature had specifically debarred non-freemen from any vote concerning the "layeing out of lotts, &c.," yet only two of the seven Sudbury men that it commissioned, September 4 1639, to "lay out lands" were freemen at that time; and, as already noted, Ward was not a freeman when he was appointed to sigh for the town.
POLICIES AND SUFFRAGE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS
of its lands, irrespective of his suffrage qualifications
or lack of them. The size of a family and its financial
resources, social rank, and other considerations were
influential in determining the social rank, and other
considerations were influential in determining the size
of allotments, but suffrage qualifications accorded no
No great discernment required to perceive the weakness and dangers of the theory of the church membership restriction, but it draws more indignation from modern writers than it did from those who lived and toiled and hoped and built within its shadow. It was not as a rule sensed as oppressive except by some residents of the older towns, as Boston and the vicinity. Those in the newer settlements had their minds and hands very full in the established and operation of their communities.
Full suffrage was indeed a duty frequently evaded by those eligible--to such an extent that the General Court of 1647 passed a law with penalties for those "many members of churches, who, to exempt ymselves from all publik service in ye common wealth, will not come in to be made freemen."
It seems to me that altogether too much has been made of the early restriction of suffrage in Massachusetts. Many of those entitled to the privilege, did not want it; and those not entitled to it, could have obtained it if they had made a general demand for it.
Also, a wrong perspective is attained by historians who recite the history of Boston as that of Massachusetts. Too much space is accorded to controversies and their happenings in the capital. It was to a large degree the development of the hinterland that made Massachusetts great.
On the last of the tree points cited at the commencement of this chapter--religious intolerance--one finds, on the other hand, ample evidence to sustain the modern indictment against the leaders of the first generations. Some of them aggressively and others with lingering unwillingness set from themselves the light they had earlier held for freedom of religious exercise; and for this the entire enrolled body of freemen--holding in their power the election of governor, assistants, and deputies, and themselves "settling" the clergy--must bear their share of responsibility.
The intolerant spirit which animated the freemen and clergy in 1637--the setting aside of Vane as the result of the Anne Hutchinson religious excitement, and the edicts of the famous Synod--was indeed representative of the trend of Massachusetts thought. A dispute over, or the non-acceptance of,
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
a doctrinal point was a very serious matter. Local
histories tell of many community quarrels and dissensions
over ambiguous, gossamered theological tenets, and the
political happenings of the summer of 1637 prove that the
policy pursued was at the time the general wish of
Massachusetts outside of Boston.
Furthermore, though, as decades went by, the freemen shrank to a small minority, the orthodox church party always probably constituted an active plurality, for dissentients presented a very wide variety of indifference and division.
There are many other interesting sides to the subject:
The idea of a theocracy built upon the Old Testament was strongly held by many of the early settlers. The manner of the colony inception favored the idea of a proprietary community. The "principal men" believed that the safety of the new commonwealth lay in its continuing as much as possible under their personal control--and the delicacy of the political connections between Massachusetts Bay and the old country constantly excited the fear that any schism or dissension that was not crushed or smothered might destroy the power which they exercised by virtue of charter, precedent, and personality, or might develop into a cause or pretext for royal interference, Some of the clergy were autocratic but they had been placed in their offices by virtue if the trust felt in them by their congregations--they were not appointed by any King, bishop, or individual patron. They were respected for their learning and they stood in the forefront of the spirit of independence.
To ascribe to Massachusetts' suffrage and religious restrictions the cessation of immigration from England is an unreasonable stretching of the indictment. Neither one, nor both together, would have sufficed if economic conditions had equaled or exceeded the apparent promise of other colonies. The majority of those who emigrated from England were not so self-sacrificingly devoted to religious tenants nor so accustomed to suffrage privileges or rights. It will be remembered that immigration was not resumed when religious restrictions were removed.
It would, truly, have made a handsomer historical picture if Massachusetts had from the first both accepted and practiced the theory of religious tolerance, but there is enough glory for her in that she held steadily burning the light of abundant opportunity for the development of prosperous family life. In that respect she was infinitely in advance of the mother country, which was instead steadily cramping her citizenry.
POLICIES AND SUFFRAGE IN OLD MASSACHUSETTS
William Ward's Political Views
Of this New England party of secular opportunity and
religious intolerance was William Ward. He was early
prominent among the lay members of his church, and he was
after May 1643 a fully accredited freeman. Beyond these
general facts we lack sufficient information to determine
his personal views. Massachusetts policies had set before
his arrival, and during its first decades Sudbury was
blessedly free from church disputes, its inhabitants
living together in "godly peace and unity."
A number of Ward's associates were quicker than he in enrolling as freemen. Was he a full-fledged church member (and therefore entitled to take the oath) prior to 1643? There is nothing to decide this. Did he become a freeman because he wanted to be a deputy? He was elected the following year. Or had he refrained from becoming one, because he did not want to me a deputy or to have other additional responsibilities?
Founding a Second Township
Seventeen years have passed since the founding of
Sudbury. In Old England, King Charles has been beheaded
and Oliver Cromwell rules as Lord Protector. In New
England, one finds the pioneer settlements developing
into an oversees nation, already with a population of
nearly fifty thousand, more than half of it in
Boston, with three to four thousand inhabitants, has grown to the stature of a famous seaport. She is busy with shipbuilding, and craft engaged in fishing, and trading in fish and lumber and other commodities. She deals much with the other colonies, and is the chief market of the West Indies. Her ships ply freely across the Atlantic also, trafficking both with England and with other European countries. The milestones of pioneer conditions have been left so far behind that they are will nigh forgotten. Several more brick buildings have made their appearance. There is a noticeable showing of the luxuries of life.
In contrast are other conditions difficult to visualize. New York, for example, is still a little town of fewer than a thousand inhabitants. Though easily accessible from Boston by water, it is overland, separated by a hard two weeks or more of riding, part of the way through virgin forests. You can go today from New York to Japan nearly as quickly, and with much less discomfort. Another eighteen years is to pass before the first post carries letters between the two towns, and even then it is to prove a plan too far advanced for the times and to be soon abandoned.
The flight of time has dealt kindly with the Sudbury settlement. Herds have multiplied until the neat cattle alone total several hundred, and households have added comforts impossible during the first few years. Ward's family has been increased by seven children--a total now of seven sons and five daughters.
But the knowledge that every year added to the number of their children attaining marriageable age and ready to establish their own homes, raised a new problem in the minds of the Sudbury proprietors. The township
FOUNDING A SECOND TOWNSHIP
which had first appeared so spacious, now seemed too
It is true that its territory of thirty-five square miles contained only about seventy-five families, and one may be inclined to smile at their assertion that they were cramped, but the conditions of those days were not the conditions of twentieth-century Massachusetts, nor their needs our needs. Their principal wealth, apart from their lands, was in cattle, and a plentiful supply of natural mowing ground and pasture was to them essential.
About 1650 John had married Hannah Jackson and had settled in Cambridge (that part now Newton). With his exception, all the members of the family set their thoughts on the virgin lands of the province, and Ward with various other representative men of Sudbury took many a prospecting trip "to view the country."
They finally decided (in 1655 or early in 1656) on "a place which lyeth westward abut eight mikes from Sudbury" which they conceived might be "comfortable for their subsistence," and promptly on the convening of the General Court at Boston on May, 1656, they presented their petition for authority to establish a "plantation" there, stating that they were "so streightned" for land for their stock.. "God haveing given us some considerable quantity of Cattle".. that they could not "so comfortably subsist as could be desired."... That "God hath been pleased to increase our Children, which are now divers of them growne to man's Estate; & wee, many of us, growne into years, so as that wee should bee glad to see them setled before ye Lord take us away from hence."
Ward and twelve others were the signatories. All but one of them were members, or sons of members, of the earliest roll of Sudbury pioneers.
The General Court granted the request without hesitation or demur. The Sudbury record of the petitioners was ample guarantee of their ability to establish a new settlement. They were accorded "a proportion of land sixe miles square, or otherwise in some convenient forme equivalent thereunto, at ye discretion of ye Committee, in ye place desired; provided it hinder no former Graunt; and that there bee a Towne settled with Twenty or more families within three years, so as an Able Ministry may be there maintained."
It was later found that the grant conflicted with one given to a group o "Praying Indians." This difficulty was overcome by setting off 6000 acres for an Indian Plantation, the founders receiving compensation in other adjacent
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
unoccupied land. The grant also overlapped private
concessions, but the disputes were adjusted. *
Then came plans for land divisions, and a careful consideration of the possibilities of the new township, which was variously known at this stage as Ockoocangansett, Whipsufferadge, and Whipsuppenicke.
The founders discarded the comparatively compact, central-village style of Sudbury. The house-lots they laid out averaged much larger-- from sixteen to fifty acres--and their homes were consequently further apart. This was a few years later to make the settlement easy prey for Indians.
Also unlike Sudbury, the size of the house-lots was determined by the "estate" standing of the settlers. All later land divisions were in proportion to them. and all public charges were assessed by the same measure.
Three men were recognized by their estate standing as the most prominent in the new community. Each was accorded a fifty-acre house-lot. Ward was one of the three.
Two of his sons also participated: Obadiah, then twenty-five years of age, received a house-lot of twenty- one acres, and Richard, twenty-two years old, a house-lot of eighteen acres. (The ages given are of 1657.)
It was agreed that all the proprietors must "themselves...bee resident" in the township "within two yeares time, or sett a man in that ye Towne shall approve of, or els to loose theire lotts"; and Ward, Thomas King, John Ruddocke, and John Howe were chosen to put its affairs "in an orderly way."
Among their first acts was the "settling" of a minister, the Reverend William Brimsmead, a very worthy man but said to have been so strict a Sabbatarian that he refused t baptize children who had been so indiscreet as to come into the world on Sunday. Pastor Brimsmead was given a plot of thirty acres.
The successful launching of the project with its opportunity for new homes had been quickly followed by two marriages in the Ward household. Hannah married Abraham How of Waterton in the early spring of 1657, and Deborah was united in the fall to John, son of Solomon Johnson, who had been the Ward' nearest neighbor in Sudbury until his removal to Watertown in 1652, following the sale of his house-lot and other near-by plots to William
* A survey of the township made in 1667 shows an area of 29,419 acres instead of the six miles square of the original grant. Other additions and subtractions preceded the present boundary lines of Marlborough. Westborough, Southborough, and Northborough are largely on land formerly within its limits.
FOUNDING A SECOND TOWNSHIP
Ward. Abraham was accorded a twenty-five acre house-lot
in Marlborough and John received thirty acres, the small
difference probably constituting an allowance for a poor
stretch of ground, or to encompass a spring, or for other
reasons of location.
The most energetic men of the new township--which included Ward, for his name is found on orders urging speedier action in making improvements and laying penalties for neglect to do so--had their lots "perfected," and some had houses built and their families installed in them by or before 1659, others were slower-- a fact which caused much ill feeling and later raised a hornet's nest of disputes and community squabbles.
Drastic action was threatened at a town-meeting held in December, 1659. It was resolved:
That all such as lay clayme to any Interest in this
new Plantation at Whipsufferadge are to perfect their
House Lotts by the five & twentieth of March next
insueing or els to loose all theire Interest in the
It is also ordered That every one that hath A Lott in Ye foresd Plantation shall pay Twenty Shillings by ye ffive & twentieth of March next ensueing or els to loose all theire Interest in the fforesaid Plantation."
On June 12, 1660 (May 31, Old Style) the General
Court confirmed the plantation grant and named it
This was followed by the town's confirmation and record of the house-lots laid out and by its first division of meadow. The number of proprietors had by this time increased to thirty-eight.
The settlers avoided to some extent Sudbury's ownership of scattered outlying pieces of pasture and arable land by so ordering the first division of meadow and the second division of upland that each man's shares lay "most convenient" to his "Habitation."
Some of the Wards were early in Marlborough, William Ward himself moved there for good in the early spring of 1661.
The family constituted quite a colony in itself. There were father William "of Sudbury" and mother Elizabeth; their four big sons--Obadiah, twenty-nine years old, Richard, twenty-six, Samuel, nineteen, and Increase, sixteen; Elizabeth, a girl of eighteen, and Hopestill, of fourteen; and three children--William, twelve; Eleazer, eleven; and Bethiah, two. With them came one of the three married daughters, Deborah Johnson. Hannah How joined them soon after. The records are incomplete so we cannot tell how many children the married daughters brought with them, but Hannah had three at all events.
Only John and Joanna were missing. Joanna had married Abraham
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
Williams and lived in Cambridge. One other defection came
in the fall when Richard married Mary Moores of Sudbury
and returned there, his Marlborough grant reverting to
Samuel. The loss was balanced later by Joanna and her
husband and a child or two joining the plantation.
Richard's marriage was followed in a few months by the marriage of Elizabeth to John Howe, Jr., son of John Howe--the latter, like Ward, being one of the founders of both Sudbury and Marlborough.
The total number of residents, including children, was about a hundred.
Ward's big house-lot was excellently situated. Its northeast corner faced the settlement's first meeting- house, soon after erected, and the town's main read was laid out to run along its northern boundary. Opposite, across the man road, west of the meeting-house, was the minister's plot.
The meeting-house was built just within the southerly end of the Indian planting-field before title to its site had been secured, and the purchase of the site from an Indian by the name of Anamaks provided only a bare ten feet of ground around the building, so Ward deeded to the town about half an acre of that part of his house-lot directly opposite.
The town "gratefully accepted" and ordered
"first yt the sd William Ward shall have liberty to cutt & carry away all the wood & timber that is upon ye same: 2ly That hee shall bee satisfyed to his content in any other part of the Towne (not yett granted) in liew thereof: & 3ly it is ordrd that this peice of Land now by him surrendred into the Towns hands as before sd shall lye for A perpetuall common or Highway not to bee taken upp by any, or othrwaise disposed of, without the consent of every Proprietor that hath Towne Rights."
This plot is part of the present High School Common.
The house that Ward built was near the end of the
present Hayden Street, a few steps from the library,
where the home of Mr. John E. Hayes now stands (see the
map opposite). Its site was selected because of an
abundant spring near by.
A much more commodious dwelling it was than the first log cabin in Sudbury. Similar rough-hewn logs formed its frame, but it was shingle-roofed, clapboarded outside, and boarded within, contained several rooms, and had a cellar.
The fields behind are now Marlborough property and are being converted into the town's fine new recreation center--with running track, football gridiron, baseball diamonds, &c.--named "The Artemas Ward Playground" in joint memory of General Artemas Ward, the great grandson of
FOUNDING A SECOND TOWNSHIP
William Ward, and of his great-grandson and namesake, Mr.
Artemas Ward, the publisher of the volume.
As would be expected, Ward was prominent in Marlborough affairs. He was continuously a selectman, and a deacon of the church from the time of its organization, and his house was frequently chosen for the midweek meetings which became a feature of the township's religious life.
The deacons constituted a general committee for the management of church affairs and to assist the minister in his duties, one of them taking his place when he was ill or absent. During divine service they sat in a special pew near the pulpit.
Ward probably held other township offices, but the records from 1665 to 1739 disappeared many years ago.
He was also frequently selected to represent Marlborough on the county grand jury, and in 1666 was again in Boston as a deputy.
The years which had seen the confirmation of the new home of the Ward family and their removal thither, gave birth also to happenings of wide significance on both sides of the ocean--the passing if the friendly Cromwell government on the triumphant return of Charles II, and the death of Massasoit, the first influential Indian friend of the white man in New England.
The restoration of the Stuart monarchy gravely imperiled the practical independence which Massachusetts had arrogated to herself, for popular revulsion had suffocated Puritanism in England and there remained no widespread or effective sympathy with her aims.
Numerous charges lay against the colony: her encroachments northward in territory claimed by heirs of Gorges and Mason; her limitation of the suffrage; her frequent assumption of the place of source in allegiance, laws, and writs; her protection of the regicides; her disputes with other colonies; and her disregard of the Navigation Acts designed to control the trade of the empire.
Many of the London merchants who had hitherto held their influence in favor of Mew England, now turned their faces away--in jealousy of the trade that Massachusetts was doing with other countries in violation of the Navigation Acts.
To meet these conditions was no longer an undivided front. Puritanism retained ascendancy in the colony but observers could note the rising of the "English party" tide. The older towns had developed a crop of well-to-do families who leaned rather towards England and memories or dreams of its wider social life than to the young commonwealth rising directly around them.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
And others, though colonial in thought, were afraid to
risk their worldly goods in controversy with Great
The politically dissatisfied, also, knew that their appeals against Congregational rule would now fall on willing ears.
Massachusetts, however, "avoided and protracted" and--aided by English local conditions, Charles personal pursuits, and the Dutch wars--was able to postpone the issue.
The establishment of Marlborough involved the same problems of settlement and the same labor in highways, fencing, and other public improvements as had the development of Sudbury. The experience that the latter township had given should have made the new project progress smoothly, but there was a lack of the harmony which had marked Sudbury's pioneer days. Factional fights divided the inhabitants--with accusations and counter- charges over the failure, or alleged failure, to pay rates and perform allotted tasks, and quarrels over numerous other matters.
The disputes extended into religious matters and kept the entire community in a turmoil. A minister had quickly been chosen and a meeting-house was erected in 1662-1663, but no "church" was organized until 1666, the congregation still continuing to be officially of Sudbury.
Reference has already been made to the warning of December 1659 that delinquents must pay their assessments and perfect their house-lots by the following March or lose their rights in the settlement. The next September those who had failed to pay their rates were threatened with a similar penalty. In October of 1661 it was voted that only those who had perfected their house-lots should participate in the second division of upland and that others should, further, be subject to a tax of twelve pence for every acre not laid out. In November of the following year it was ordered that those who had not settled on their house-lots and had not paid rates "according to their full proportion," should "have ye Lotts they lay claime to seized and distrained for the use of ye Towne."
When some, whether from inability or unwillingness, still did not pay their rates the authorities attempted to enforce the forfeiture penalty. A long fight followed, the delinquents appealing to the General Court, and the latter sending a committee to investigate conditions.
The committee reported (1663) that, in the event of forfeiture, the town should reimburse those dispossessed for all improvements made. To meet the criticism that orders and penalties were issued and inflicted without sufficient
FOUNDING A SECOND TOWNSHIP
notice, it also ordered that "no town act passe, but in
some publicke towne Meeting orderly called, and only by
such as are by lawe enabled so to doe."
Obadiah, who seems to have been the lawyer of the family, brought a "test case" against Thomas Rice on behalf of the town. In court at Cambridge (April 6, 1664) the case was settled by the town withdrawing its claim for repossession and paying its own expenses, but the defendant paying all arrears in rates and engaging "for the future to yeeld ye Assistance of his person & Estate for ye carrying an end of the affaires of the place both Civill & Ecclesiasticall as Religion & duty binds."
The case was of absorbing interest to the community, and the men of Marlborough had flocked to Cambridge to hear it argued, "The Inhabitants of the sd place being generally present," the court took advantage of their presence to advise them all to pay their arrears; that so doing and giving their "assistance for the future" they "may continue in theire possessions & Allotments... non- observance of any Towne Orders of Agreements notwithstanding."
"Also ye Court solemnely advised them, That they all Joyntly concurre in such waies as might lead to the furtherance of peace among themselves, freely forgiveing one anothr all matters & occasions of former grievances & forbearing to make any repetition thereof, to the upbraiding of any or interrupting of theire future peace that so the God of peace may bee theire portion & his blessing upon the sd place, them. & theires in all wherein they stand in need of his favourable presence to bee with them."
But by this time other controversies had developed
involving titles and divisions.
The Wards and their friends constituted the party in power, but the opposing clique were numerous and bitterly dissatisfied, declaring themselves a majority both of residents and of proprietors, and in "gravity" able to "ballance or overballance" their opponents. Some of them, believing in "direct action," seized the Town Book--not, as they afterwards explained, to destroy it, but only "to rectify what was amise" in it. They were also charged with but denied any intention or desire to "root out" pastor Brimsmead.
The Ward party appealed to the General Court, requesting it to appoint another committee with power to weigh and adjust the community's troubles--which, they said, had come "partly through out owne corruptions and by ye temptations of Sathan hindering our succeeding in matters both civill and ecclesiasticall, which have been and ise very uncomfortable to us and our friends."
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
The fifteen signatories included Ward, his sons
Obadiah and Samuel, and his sons-in-law Abraham Williams,
John Johnson, and Abraham How.
The opposing party remonstrated against the appointment of a committee and the implied interference of the legislature in the town's management of its affairs.
The General Court appointed a committee, nevertheless. But no peace resulted. Mutual complaints and recriminations filled year after year until a temporary suspension was enforced by the breaking out of the Indian war known as "King Philip's."
King Philip's War
The mutual disposition of the Indians and colonists
varied with local circumstances.
In martial prowess, the red men shrank in the eyes of the whites as the latter grew in numbers and strength, and around Boston the Indians early realized their impotence and accepted a dependent position. In numerous other parts of Massachusetts, where the apparent strength was more nearly equal, or favored the savages, the feeling was very bitter. The whites coveted the lands claimed by the Indians, and too frequently held their traditionary rights, and their persons, in scant respect.
After the Pequot war (1637) and until the death of Massasoit in 1661, a showing of neutrality was generally maintained. The Indians with their women and children were frequent visitors to the settlements with furs, venison, mats, etc., to sell, or passing along the trails to fish and hunt. But the border towns, as Marlborough, were never entirely free from danger, and shortly after Massasoit died--and, first, Alexander ("Wamsutta") and then Philip ("Metacomet") became chief of the Wampanoags- -many Indians began to chafe anew at the civilization that had spread so far over their former hunting-grounds.
In Marlborough, jealousy of the Indian ownership of the Indian Plantation lent special rancor to the general prejudice against the natives.
Superstition helped to increase the mutual distrust. From merely "poor heathen" who had never heard of Christianity, the Indians had come to be regarded as literal agents of the devil.
The mutterings of the coming conflict were heard on all sides. Men's minds were taut and read their fears in every brewing of the elements. Horses were heard "galloping in the air" and told of as a token of war. An Indian bow was seen in the sunset.
The storm broke in 1675, and for fourteen months death and destruction ravaged the colony.
The Indian horror as it appeared to those early colonists was not in the
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
conflict of battle. During King Philip's war there was
only one battle worthy of the title, and that quickly
terminated in a frightful holocaust of Indians of all
ages and both sexes. The horror was the wraith of bloody
tragedy raised by small parties of the red men stealthily
traveling from point to point, burning outlying houses
and killing at every opportunity; and by larger bands
descending upon isolated settlements, in some cases
destroying them entirely, slaying many of their
inhabitants and carrying others into captivity. There
were no non-combatants. Men, women, and children alike
paid tribute with their lives.
At the rumor of the red men's approach, the inhalants of outlying houses abandoned everything--their cattle, their barns, all the possessions which had cost them years of infinite labor--glad to be able to save even their lives by flight to stronger towns.
But often there was no opportunity for either flight or defense. Death fell as from the sky and with less warning than the thunderbolt.
A family sets out for the meeting-house. The bushes belch smoke--and that family is no more.
At dawn the father opens the cabin door--to meet the bullet of the red man who had crouched outside, awaiting him.
The mother prepares the noonday meal, unconscious of the approach of Death. She comes to the door at his summons--and the swift stroke of the tomahawk is his fatal message.
The father and sons working in the fields do not return as the evening descends--for on the boughs of a tree hang their corpses, mocking the glow of the sunset with their bloody mutilations.
Such tragedies marked every hour when the races were in open conflict, and even in periods of general peace they were many times the portions of those whose vigilance had been relaxed.
True indeed that it was only the people of the frontier townships who were thus imperiled, but is was those people who stretched the bounds of civilization and rendered possible the great republic in which we live today.
Marlborough, being a frontier post upon the road to Connecticut, quickly engaged the attention of the General Court, and a colony fort, or "blockhouse," was built there. The settlement was from time to time the scene of much activity as it developed into a rendezvous for troops going to and from other parts of the colony--we read of a new army of 600 men parading in front of Ward's home--but the resident garrison was only a handful of men,
KING PHILIP'S WAR
thirty or thereabouts, living in the blockhouse and
billeted among the inhabitants.
A blockhouse in those days was ordinarily a square windowless log structure of two rooms, one above the other, the walls solid except for musket-loopholes, and impervious to musket-balls. The upper room (reached by a ladder and a trapdoor) projected two or three feet all around, the floor of the projection having slits through which the musketmen could command the sides of the building.
A number of the inhabitants of Marlborough moved to older and more populous towns when hostilities commenced. The Wards were among those who held their ground.
Those remaining were not, however, satisfied with the plans of Lieutenant Ruddocke, who had been given the command. The Wards were among those who held their ground. There were many disputes over the housing and feeding of the garrison, and concerning the dwellings to be fortified. As a result the community on October 1 held a general "council of war."
It was decided to maintain seven (or eight) "garrison-houses"--dwellings selected for their central or more easily defensible positions--as shelters in case of an attack. These were equipped with arms and ammunition and surrounded with "stockades"--solid wooden walls, eight feet high or thereabouts, of split logs driven deep into the ground.
Many other preparations were hastily made. Barrels were filled with water to supplement the food supply found in every pioneer home, and boxes of sand were got ready to cope with conflagrations. The protection of each garrison-house in case of assault was assigned to designated residents, reinforced by a few of the colony soldiers.
William Ward's, Abraham William's (Joanna's), and John Johnson's (Deborah's), were chosen as three of the garrison-houses.
Inserted between this and the preceding page is the report of the "council of war." Some changes were made later but they were not of sufficient importance to justify detailed consideration here.
It will be noted that Samuel Ward and Abraham How (Hannah's husband) were assigned to Deacon Ward's, and Increase Ward to Thomas Rice's. William Ward Junior lived with his parents and therefore was another of the defenders on Deacon Ward's--he was now the only unmarried son and shared with his father in the development of the latter's property instead of taking up land on his own account. John How, Jr. (Elizabeth's husband) was probably one of the nine townsmen assigned to the home of John Johnson. Obadiah Ward may have been also of the nine, or he may have been with
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
Deacon Ward. Eleazer Ward was probably in Sudbury--he had
during the previous spring married Hannah Rice to that
township and had taken up his residence there. he may,
however, have been with Deacon Ward, just as local
tradition has it.
Of the women of the family: Joanna and Deborah were in their own fortified homes; Hannah was, in time of alarm, with her husband in Deacon Ward's--as were also Sarah (Samuel's wife) and the two unmarried girls, Hopestill and Bethiah; Elizabeth and Mary (Obadiah's wife) were either in John Johnson's or Deacon Ward's; and Record (Increase's wife) was with him in Thomas Rice's. (Samuel and Obadiah had both married in 1667, and Increase in 1672.)
Some day perhaps the story of "King Philip's War" will be adequately told. It has never yet been. The narrative would be too long to give it here.
Settlement after settlement was attacked and a number were burned to the ground.
So long as the people of Marlborough stayed close by their garrison-houses, they felt fairly secure, but outside the stockades death was everywhere, No man dared work alone in the fields that fall or winter or in the following spring, nor was there safety anywhere except in numbers.
In the fields or in their homes, waking or sleeping, men had their weapons always at hand. The Sabbath congregation was a gathering of armed men.
The Indians passed through the township towards the end of February (1676) on their way to their attempted and partially successful destruction of Medfield.
Weeks of suspense followed, the inhabitants continually alarmed by reports of the savages in large numbers to the west. Then on Sunday, March 26, while they were assembled in the meeting-house, came the alarm, "the Indians are upon us." Picture the excited fright of the children, the stumbling haste of the old and feeble. Heartening them, and hastening them to safety in the nearest garrison-houses, are the men and the more confident of the women--the men gripping their muskets, ready for any emergency, and shouting orders and adjurations.
All gained shelter, many in Deacon Ward's close by, but not a minute too soon. One man was crippled for life from a bullet that entered his elbow before he could reach the stockade.
The Indians did not attack the garrison-houses, but they burnt the meeting-house, thirteen dwellings, and eleven barns, killed and mutilated may cattle, destroyed fences and orchards, and then retired to their camp in the
KING PHILIP'S WAR
neighboring woods. Ward was one of the heaviest losers.
Marlborough did not take its losses "lying down." The following night Lieutenant Jacobs. with some of his soldiers and a party of citizens, surprised the Indian camp and killed and wounded a number of the savages.
This reprisal frightened the enemy off for a time, and the interval was seized by yet more families to flee the township, utilizing the last available carts and teams for the removal of their effects. But not so Deacon Ward despite his seventy-three years! He and a few others stayed on. The number of garrison-houses was reduced to five, and then (by accidental fire) to four.
On April 18 the Indians suddenly returned, destroyed every remaining unfortified dwelling or other structure, and hovered about the township for two days, hoping to surprise some of its defenders outside their garrison- houses, and tempting them to a sally which might be diverted into an ambush--their favorite and often murderously effective trick of war. But both settlers and soldiers were too wary to be drawn out, so the red men abandoned their designs against Marlborough and went on to Sudbury.
The next day (April 21) saw the Indian attack on Sudbury, with slight mortality but great destruction of property, immediately followed by the ambushing and practical annihilation of Captain Wadsworth's relief party.
Two of the Ward family lost their lives during those forty-eight hours. John Howe, husband of Elizabeth, was killed in the Sudbury fighting, and Eleazer (Deacon Ward's youngest son) was shot down as he rode over a hill between Marlborough and Sudbury that has ever since been known as "Mount Ward."
The Indians did not return to Marlborough, There was indeed little to return for. Save the four garrison- houses, they had left nothing but heaps of ashes and charred logs, and abandoned fields stripped clear of cattle.
Four months later, the death of Philip, following the dispersal, killing, or surrender of his followers, marked the end of the war within the present bounds of Massachusetts.
After King Philip's War to the Death of William Ward
While New England was fighting the Indians, her
political life was undergoing a renewed and intensified
consideration by the English Privy Council. Massachusetts
was again the subject of the most searching scrutiny, for
she had gone much further on her bold way to independence
than had the other colonies.
No drastic action followed, but Massachusetts was warned to stay within her own boundaries; to see that all military commissions and judicial proceedings be in the name of the king, and that every official take the oath of allegiance; and that she must obey the Navigation Acts and repeal any colony laws that ran counter to them.
Back of these warnings were plans to forfeit the colony's charter and thus bring her under the direct control of English authority.
The odds were heavily against Massachusetts. England for the moment was at peace with all Europe and had a well-equipped, experienced navy, and a fair army, both capable of taking the offensive, New England was weakened by the expenses and losses of King Philip's war. But Massachusetts' leaders fenced and parleyed, and the colony continued substantially along her independent course, despite the steady growth of the Moderate Party within her borders. She "spun out the case to the uttermost," and the crises was delayed yet a few years longer.
In Marlborough, local disputes broke out again when the settlers returned to rebuild their homes, and the controversies were not ended until the report of another General Court committee in the fall of 1779. This found, among other things, that Deacon Edward Rice, the chief of the contestants fighting with Samuel Ward and Abraham How over some land in Assaba meadow, was "justly blameable for his turbulent opposing ye Order made by ye former Committee."
The committee awarded the land between Abraham How, Edward and Samuel Rice, and the minister, but decreed also that "Recompence be made to ye abovesaid Abrahm How, & Samuel Ward to the full value of ye Meadow taken away from them by virtue of this order."
Fifteen months later, in January of 1681, the two warring parties were
THE LAST YEARS OF WILLIAM WARD
united by matrimony--Deacon Rice becoming father-in-law
to Bethiah Ward by his son Daniel's marriage to her.
The plans for this marriage resulted in a revolutionary change in Ward's home and home life.
Hopestill from the beginning and Bethiah as she became old enough had helped their mother keep house after the family removal to Marlborough. (Elizabeth, the fourth daughter, three years older than Hopestill, had married within the first year in the new township.)
The number grouped around the table had steadily lessened as Richard, Samuel, Obadiah, Increase, and Eleazer had taken wives and set up their own establishments. Of the thirteen children only Hopestill, William, and Bethiah were living on the family homestead when the year 1676 came around. Then, in April 1678 Hopestill married James Woods and set up her own household, and in August of the following year William Junior renounced bachelorhood in order to marry the young widow Eames, leaving Bethiah as the only unmarried child.
William had brought his bride to Deacon Ward's house, but the arrival of their first-born, William of the third generation, had stimulated a desire for a separate home. So, with Bethiah the last unmarried child about to wed, Deacon Ward and his wife, respectively seventy-eight and sixty-eight years of age, decided that they also would also try housekeeping by themselves. An entirely new experience it was to be, for when Elizabeth became a bride her husband had been a widower with several children.
Thus plans had gone ahead simultaneously for Bethiah's marriage and for setting up William Junior in his own home.
First, in recognition of the latter's many years of virtual partnership, Deacon Ward bestowed "an estate of lands and housing" upon him. The estate comprised several tracts and the westerly half of the original house-lot together with its proportionate right in all future land divisions. Within the half of the house-lot together with its proportionate right on all future land divisions.
With the half of the house-lot went the new barn standing on it and the westerly half of the Ward house itself, with the right accorded to William Junior to sever it from the easterly half and move in onto his own property. This was done, and William Junior and his wife and baby thenceforth conducted a separate establishment.
And for the next four or five years Deacon Ward and his wife lived by themselves, in the house thus forcibly reduced in size, the quiet restful life of an elderly couple of comfortable means whose children are all married and well provided for.
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
These years furnished also an excellent example of
the manner in which the early stiff-necked, controversial
settlers weighed events in their own balances and acted
upon their won decisions. They would not let even the
opposition of the General Court stand in the way of their
thirst for more land.
In May of 1684 thirty-five Marlborough proprietors petitioned the General Court for authority to purchase the Indian Plantation. Among them were William Junior, Samuel, Henry Kerley (Elizabeth's second husband), Abraham Williams, and Abraham How. Some Indians joined the request, but others of the natives opposed and the legislature refused permission. The Deputies were in favor, but the Assistants saw "no cause" to grant the petition.
The Marlborough men disregarded the refusal and completed the purchase.
The General Court declared the deed illegal, but Marlborough took possession and laid out lands. And those who received them held on most pertinaciously--finally, after thirty-three years of uncertainty, persuading the legislature to confirm their titles.
The dispute with England had dragged, but this time did not die. In the same year that Marlborough acquired the Indian lands came the news that Massachusetts' charter had been revoked.
There were no plans for resistance as there had been half a century earlier. The Moderate party had gained ascendency among the Assistants and increased its following among the Deputies.
The people were divided in sentiment, and many had lost heart in the long struggle to keep English authority from actual contact with their institutions. They felt no inspiration to accept the gage of battle in defense of a theory of independence. The prosperous and more or less citified residents of the coast towns particularly did not welcome the thought of jeopardizing the accumulations of half a century--even if they were, which many were not, of separatist instinct. And the religious zeal, the uncompromising zealotry of the first generation, had grown mild both from overuse and from time's ravages among its exponents.
Nor in England were there any to aid. Charles II had become absolute there.
Percy Kirke was slated to take charge of New England. His record in putting down the Monmouth rebellion indicates the measures he would have used to crush any opposition in Massachusetts.
The colony was spared that infliction by the King's sudden death.
THE LAST YEARS OF WILLIAM WARD
There followed another breathing spell, affairs going on
in the colony as before the revocation of the charter.
Meantime, in Marlborough, William Ward began to feel the weight of his years, and he entered into a contract with his son Samuel to assume the management of his herd and his lands land to furnish him and his wife with all the household supplies and fuel that they should need for the remainder of their lives, taking his reward it the succession to the William Ward home and the land it stood on, the remaining half of the original house-lot, and various other tracts.
Next, in colony affairs, came an interim administration of English selection, and then in December 1686 arrived Andros, governor of all New England, the first royal governor that Massachusetts had ever known.
There were many who found him bitter to the palate. The Moderates and their friends basked in the sunshine, but the popular party discovered ample vindication for their fears of what would happen under the direct rule of an English appointee.
Andros knew only the rights vested in the King. Representative government came to an end. The House of Deputies was abolished and a council removable by the governor took the place of the Assistants. Taxes were arbitrarily levied, with heavy fines for resistance.
Well might people feel that their hard-developed, hard-earned country had been turned upside down. All the joys of self-government wrested from them--a grievance for every man in the colony, former voter or not--for in the latter case was always the underlying consciousness that he could have been a voter if he and his fellows had wished it very earnestly.
Deeper still the knife went, for King's patents were required for all land that rested on town grants--and that meant practically all the occupied land in the colony. The farms and homes that they and their fathers had hewn out of the wilderness, were suddenly declared not theirs unless they paid fees and obtained fresh titles from the new government. And the fees and expenses became increasingly greater as the conditions disclosed their full possibilities to the grafting officeholders of those days.
Massachusetts submitted to all these indignities. She was angry but inert. Consolation can be found in the knowledge that England herself lay prone at the feet of the same despotism. London and other lesser cities had similarly been stripped of their charters by procedures directed by the notorious Judge Jeffreys, who "made all the charters like the walls of Jericho,
THE WILLIAM WARD GENEALOGY
fall sown before him, and returned laden with surrenders,
the spoils of the towns."
In the full heat of that turbulent and exited summer, the sturdy old Englishman, "William Ward of Sudbury," passed away and was laid to rest in Spring Hill Cemetery, to be loved and reverenced by succeeding generations as the patriarch of the family.
For nearly half a century he had lived and labored in the New World of his adoption, playing an important role in the founding of two successful townships, seeing thirteen children develop to ripe manhood and womanhood; and for himself achieving the age of eighty-four years.
He had made his last will a few months earlier "enjoying the entireness of my understanding, but by reason of my great age, and the infirmities thereof being sensible of my approaching death."
He appointed his wife Elizabeth his executrix, and made her heir for life to all his cattle and other "moveable goods of every sort, both within doors and without." Whatever she did not use during her lifetime was to go in equal shares "unto all my children, viz., those which I have by her, and those which I have by my former wife."
He divided his real estate among his sons Samuel, John, and Increase, and his grandson William (son of Obadiah). Samuel was, conditionally, the chief beneficiary, in virtue of the agreement to care for Elizabeth Ward for the remainder of her life. William Junior received no land, his share having been already deeded to him, as noted on an earlier page.
He gave small money bequests to all his children and to the widows and children of his two deceased sons Richard and Eleazer.
His sons John and Increase and his son-in-law Abraham Williams were named "overseers' of the will, "to be helpful unto my wife as occasion shall serve,"
His worthy helpmate--who had in her wifely, motherly sphere participated to the full in his struggles and successes--survived him by thirteen years and then joined him on Spring Hill: "Here lyes the body of Elizabeth Ward, the servant of the Lord, deceased in the 87th year of her age, December the 9th, in the year of our Lord, 1700."
From the death of William Ward, the story of his descendants must be sought in the following pages under their own separate names. From Marlborough they spread to other parts of the colony, sharing in the founding of other new townships, and then yet further in course of time throughout the continent--and beyond its limits--to carve out their destinies in a multiplicity of ways.
WILLIAM WARD'S DESCENDANTS
THE PLAN AND USES OF THE GENEALOGY
In the following pages the record of every Ward
parent is printed in 10-point type, the same type as on
The succeeding information concerning his or her children is given in 8 -point type, as below:
574. ITHAMAR 5, born April 24, 1752.
575. NAHUM, born August 11, 1754.
When the number opposite a child's name is given in bold-face figures (as 574 above) instead of light-face figures (as 575 above), it signifies that a further record of that child has been carried forward separately and printed in the same large 10-point type as the story of its parents.
AT THIS POINT THE TRANSCRIBING OF THE BOOK STOPS. I WILL ADD THE SECTION ON THE SPELLING OF FIRST NAMES ONLY.
THERE ARE TWO MORE PAGES DESCRIBING HOW THE BOOK IS LAID OUT. THE LAYOUT OF VARIOUS GENEALOGY PROGRAMS AND EVEN THE FORMATS WITHIN EACH ONE VARY TO A LARGE DEGREE, SO I WILL END HERE.
CHRISTIAN, OR GIVEN NAMES
Various spellings of Christian, or given names have been accepted in family records, for a name is not necessarily of orthodox formation. Its essential purpose is the identification of an individual, and that is equally well accomplished whether Jeannette is spelled "Jeannette" or "Jeanette" or "Jennett" or with other modifications. Some names are consistently spelled at variance with the customary style. The family, for example, has always spelled "Mehetabel" with an "I" instead of the biblical "e" as the fourth letter and has never used the old form of "Mehetabeel."
This is page 61. Page 749 is the last page of the book. In between, are the names, dates and notes. That information is available by accessing the database from my home page. Happy Browsing.