James Ward
William Ward


Family Links

1. Nancy Ann Courtney

William Ward

  • Born: 25 Dec 1743, Hampshire, England
  • Marriage (1): Nancy Ann Courtney in 1775 in Virginia
  • Died: 28 Nov 1814, Pickaway County, Ohio at age 70
  • Buried: Reber Hill Cemetery, Pickaway County, Ohio

bullet  General Notes:

William Ward emigrated from either Hampshire or Liverpool England, to Pendelton County, Virginia, as an indentured servant. He served as a Private in the Revolutionary War. William was in Captain Francis Taylor's company (No. 8) in the 2nd Virginia Regiment, commanded by Colonel Alexander Spotwood from March 28, 1777 to September 30, 1777. From September 1777 to March of 1778, the regiment was under the leadership of Colonel Christian Febiger. He was paid $6.66 per month and was at Brandywine and Germantown, and spent the winter at Valley Forge. When he mustered out in March of 1778, he recieved $2.66 since he only served 12 days that month. William migrated from Virginia to Hocking Valley, Ohio, in about 1800.

In 1780 he moved to an area along the Blackthorn River near Franklin, Virginia (Now West Virginia). He obtained a patent for 160 acres along that river on March 1, 1781. He paid one pound sterling ($2.80) for this parcel. He also obtained a patent for 35 additional acres along the Blackthorn River, which was issued under the administration of Thomas Jefferson. Pendelton County was formed from Augusta, Rockingham and Hardy counties on 12/4/1787. William was one of seven constables appointed at that time. He added to his holdings in Virginia by buying 50 acres on 12/13/1794, 125 acres on 9/26/1796 and 230 acres on5/27/1797, all along the Blackthorn River. He lived in Virginia until May of 1802, when he moved to Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio. He sold his 600 acres of land in Pendleton County for 200 pounds to James Botkin.

According to the history of Pickaway County, Ohio by Aaron R. VanCleaf, written in 1906, (Pages 431-432) "William Ward was born in Hampshire, England. His father, desiring that he should learn a trade, apprenticed William to his Uncle Charles who did not; however, treat the lad as he deserved. He accordingly resented his uncles mistreatment and ran away. He secured a place on an English vessel through a distant relative, Commodore Ward of the English Navy. After making several trips across the ocean, he finally concluded to remain in this country despite the fact that Commodore Ward offerred him every inducement to return to England. The Commodores motive in constraining the young man to return to England was not wholly unselfish, for William owed the the Commodore the price of passage across the ocean. It resolved itself into a case of 'Ward eat Ward' and terminated in the Commodore's selling the young man for an amount equal to the price of passage across the Atlantic, to a Mr. Snyder, a resident of Pendelton County, Virginia. Between young Ward and freedom lay 10 acres of saplings and underbrush which he had to grub to secure his release from servitude. While engaged in working out his freedom, he became acquainted with a young woman named Nancy Courtney, whose birthplace was somewhere in Scotland and who, like himself, was working out the price of her passage to this country. After securing his own freedom, he assisted Nancy in her work and hand in hand they emerged from the gloom of servitude into the clear light of American freedom. Soon after they were married.

To this union were born eight children, six sons and two daughters. The sons were named: Charles, William, Robert, George, James and Richard. In the spring of 1802 the fact was brought home to Mr. Ward that greater opportunities presented themselves in Ohio than in the Old Dominion and accordingly he set out for what was then known as the Northwest Territory. In the month of May, 1802, he and his family, with their teams, working tools and household goods, disembarked from a flatboat at Portsmouth, Ohio, from which point he set out in a notherly direction. He was not tempted to to remain in Chillicothe, the early capital of the territory, but continued on to the north to section 17, township 9, range 21 in what is now Pickaway County. Much of this journey required cutting a road through the dense unihabitated wilderness. Arriving at his destination, he located on the half section of land now owned in equal parts by his great grandsons, Charles and James Ward. The old log house that was then built is still standing. Four generations have dwelt within its walls. Rain and snow have fallen on it, winds and tempests have swept against it, but for a century it has withstood all. What mighty changes have been wrought since the old house was built. When its timbers were hewed in the forest, the greater part of Ohio was still uncultivated and uninhabited save by wild animals and the Red Man. They were happy people who lived in the old log cabin. It was home to them; love was there, peace was on the walls and joy stood in the door. Little children were born there and from its confines the souls of the father went up to God. How dear to my heart were the scenes of my childhood. William Ward died 28 November, 1814 at the age of 71 years and his wife died December 1834 aged 89 years."

According to another source, the couple and children came overland to Wheeling, then by flatboat to Portsmouth, then to their 320 acres in Section 17 in Walnut Township. He signed to buy the east half of section 17 near Ashville on 6/15/1801, paying $35 and $128 for the first installment for the 320 acres, priced at $2 per acre. He paid $1.12 tax on that land 7/30/1801. On June 10, 1802, he paid the remaining three installments on that land of $473.66 for a total of $636.66. He sold 600 acres along the Blackthorn on 4/6/1802 for 200pounds ($560).

Williams Section 17 was originally in Washington County in 1790, then in Adams County in 1797, then Ross County in 1799 then Franklin County in 1803 and finally Pickaway County in 1810. He later purchased Section 23, Township 13, Range 20 for $2 an acre. He paid $1333.75 for the 654.5 acres. This is located near Amanda. On 5/19/1814, he deeded half of that section to George and the other two quarters each to Robert and William. In exchange they were to pay William or Nancy $50 per year as long as either survived if demanded. At the same time William deeded the S.E. quarter of Section 17 to James and the N.E. quarter of that section to Richard, with the same payment arrangement. James and Richard were also to furnish firewood, go to the mill, take care of the stock and allow use of the dwelling, kitchen, outhouses, meadows and barn as long as either William or Nancy lived. When they both died, they were buried in the Sixteenth Burying Ground, then moved to Reber Hill Cemetery in 1905. William was the first Justice of the Peace in Walnut Township.

William is buried in the Sidner J. Ward (a cousin) plot in Reber Hill Cemetery. He was moved there in 1905 from Sixteenth Burying Ground. Reber Hill Cemetery is located on the east side of Winchester (Twp. 8) about a half mile south of Ashville-Fairfield Road (County 32) in Walnut Township. This is near Ashville in Pickaway County, Ohio.

Of the children, Charles, William, Robert and George settled in Fairfield County while Elizabeth spent a couple of years and returned to Virginia. James and Richard lived in Walnut Township.


William married Nancy Ann Courtney in 1775 in Virginia. (Nancy Ann Courtney was born on 4 Mar 1744 in Scotland, died on 14 Dec 1834 in Pickaway County, Ohio and was buried in Reber Hill Cemetary near Ashville, Pickaway County, Ohio.)

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