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John Ward attended a county court meeting in Halifax county in August of 1759 and was recommended to the governor as a person suitable for the commission of peace. Also in 1759, he attended court when he produced a commission appointing him captain of the county militia and took the usual oaths. These were the years of French and Indian War. The county militia was called out for active service against the Indians on the war path.
It is a possibility that I found information that John Ward served or provided provisions for the French and Indian War. In the online archives for the Library of Virginia, John Ward is listed as serving under Capt. William Leftwich during Lord Dunmore’s war in 1774.
On or about 1760, he and Benjamin Clement were ordered to lay off a road from the mill place of John Ward to the Pocket Ford. The surveying and building of roads were important to the frontiersman for outlets to the courts, markets and neighbor’s homes. This roadway led from John Ward’s mill place near the mouth of Chiles Creek, and followed the meanderings of the stream to the top of the high bluffs of the Roanoke leading by the Chiles settlement on the mouth of Reedy Creek, near the present town of Altavista. Later he surveyed the road leading to Lynchburg which still bears his name and still remains although with modern improvements.
Prior to the outbreak of the Revolution on May 23, 1775, Major Ward was chosen as a Committee of Safety Member for the County of Bedford along with Charles Lynch, John Calloway, James Calloway and William Calloway. John’s daughter Anne was married to John Calloway, Charles Lynch was his neighbor and his wife’s son.
As early as 1769 Major Ward built mills at Sinkler’s Creek and Chiles Creek and raised large yields of hemp on his land.
Major Ward was active in the development of the county and he owned large acreage in numerous counties. In his tax list of 1777 for Pittsylvania County, he employed three overseers for his property in that county. They were Thomas Hardy, Christopher Sutton and Fielding Robertson.
Major John Ward received his title for Major of the Bedford County Militia in March 22, 1779. He resigned his position on September 24, 1781 due to his age. In September 1832, he was also listed as a citizen that furnished supplies and arms to the Continental Army. In the Virginia Publick Claims Book For Campbell County I found that John Ward, Gent. for 51 ½ barrels corn, 32 diets for ditto. In Bedford County, John Ward was the Commissioner of the Provision Law. In the court of Campbell County, held in September 1783, John Ward Gent.- 57 days pasturage for 40 head pulick beaves for Christopher Irvin Com. Provision Law. In the Virginia Magazine of History, page 193, John Ward is cited as provided provisions to the Bedford Militia to guard the lead mines.
In the Calendar of Virginia State Papers I found that a John Ward and Joseph Childreis were put in charge of canoes ordered by the Quarter Master General. It says the following: He has sent the canoes already purchased to Westham, in charge of Joseph Childreis and John Ward, who are men that have long run this River & such as I would recommend to you, as Honest & Trusty.
There is nothing to prove that this is our John Ward, but it is the James River they are discussing and Albemarle County.
In 1778 Major Ward established a ferry across the Staunton having previously kept there a boat free to passengers and in 1810 he obtained permission to erect a toll bridge near his ferry. The General Assembly ordered a ferry from the land of John Ward, in the county of Bedford over Staunton river to the land of the said Ward on the opposite shore, the price for a man sixpence and for a horse the same.
An Act was passed on November, 1781, for the formation of Campbell County which went into effect on February 7, 1782. A meeting was held in the house of Micajah Terrell on Thursday, February 7, 1782, appointing the commission of the peace to be Samuel Hairston, Richard Stith, Charles Lynch, John Ward, John Calloway, John Fitzpatrick, Francis Thorp, John Ward, John Callaway, John Fitzpatrick, Francis Thorp, John Hunter, Robert Adams Jr., James Callaway, John Talbot, George Stovall, Jr. and William Henderson. John Ward and John Henderson administered the oath of the justice of the peace to Samuel Hairston and then Samuel Hairston administered the oath to all the gentleman above.
Henings Statutues Volume 10 page 447
An act for dividing the county of Bedford
1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly that from and after the first day of February next the count y of Bedford shall be divided into two district counties, by a line to begin at the mouth of Judy’s Creek on James river, thence to Thompson’s mill on buffalo creek, thence to the mouth of Back creek on Goose creek, thence the same course continued to Staunton river, and that part of the said county lying east of the said line, shall be called and known by the name of Campbell; and all the residue of the said county shall retain the name of Bedford. That a court for the said county of Campbell shall be held by the justices thereof on the first Thursday in every month after the said division shall take place, in such manner as is proved by law for other counties and shall be by their commissions directed.
2. And be it further enacted, That the justices to be named in the commission of the peace for the said county of Campbell shall meet at the house of Micajah Terrill.
In 1753 John and Jeremiah Ward, of Albemarle, patented 3200 acres of land on the north side of Dan river in Pittsylvania county which was located “in the mountains”. In 1753, Pittsylvania was not yet formed. It was Halifax county until 1767.
Major John Ward married Anne Chiles Ward on or about 1744. I have yet to find proof of this marriage other than the fact of many articles and the children born of the marriage. In Virginia Marriages by Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, she cites John’s marriage to Anne but does not give a date or a place. I found no marriage license and no tombstone record. Prior to the 1760’s John Ward and his wife made their home close to Anne’s brother Paul Chiles in Halifax County. Her father Henry Chiles died in Amelia County on or around1746 after which her mother lived with her brother Paul.
Sometime during the year of 1759 he took the oath as vestryman of the Church of England in Antrim Parish located in Halifax County.
In the 1760’s he began building his new home, The Mansion, east of the mouth of Otter river near its entrance into the Staunton and only a few miles from where Altavista, Virginia, now stands. This house was built on land bequeathed to Anne by her father. Anne’s father’s will was probated in Amelia County, Virginia. John Ward later bought 400 more acres to add to the “Mansion” estate. He completed this house before 1766.
During his marriage to Anne Chiles, they had the seven children:
1. John jr. John jr. never married Will was in 1826
2. William b. 1745 d. 1808 married Mildred daughter of Robert and Penelope Lynch Adams
3. Agatha married Colonel John Callaway. She died on 1812.
4. Ann married lst Christopher Lynch son of Charles Lynch and Sarah Clark Lynch on October 15, 1765 by consent of her father John Ward. (Note: John Ward would marry Christopher’s mother in 1766.) 2nd she married Benjamin Dillard.
5. Henry born April 5, 1751 died April 12, 1823 married Martha Barbour .
6. Jeremiah Ward moved to Texas
7. Thomas Ward married Mildred (Milly), daughter of Richard Walden and moved to Ohio.
After the death of his wife, Anne, John Ward married Sarah Clark Lynch on December 27,1766. Sarah Lynch was the daughter of Christopher Clark, a fearless frontiersman. Obviously, John had come to know Sarah from the relationship that already been established by the marriage of his daughter Anne to Sarah’s son Christopher in 1765. In the Bedford County marriage books, Sarah Lynch gave consent for the marriage by herself. Sarah Lynch was a Quaker and she was disowned from the church for marrying out of the religion. John Ward was a member of the Church of England. They lived at the “Mansion” until their deaths and there they are buried. Sarah Ward died January 20, 1792 and John Ward died November, 1816. Many of the structures still stand at the location of the Mansion, but the Mansion burned down over one hundred years ago and was not rebuilt.
John Ward was a father, plantation owner, patriot and community leader. For more information on John Ward see the following dates of this blog. Also for more information I have included my references.
I started this blog with John Ward. I attached an explanation of tithables on March 8; March the 9th I attached John Ward’s will: March 16, a more detailed description of the Mansion and August 23 more information on Calendar of Virginia State Papers
I have one last reference which I found many months ago and printed out on my computer ; but alas, I didn’t write down or save the website. It is an excerpt of Samuel Houston’s journal of the expedition under Colonel McDowell against Cornwallis, the British General in North Carolina. I begin on Thursday, March 1, 1781
Thursday: March 1st - Marched from Lunie’s Creek to a mile beyond Howard’s; total seventeen miles. Drew liquor in the morning. I paid fifteen dollars for beer to Mrs. Brackinridge.
Friday,2d.- Marched from near Howard’s past Rag Hall, governed by President Slovenly; three or four of our men got drunk in the evening. Our march continued fifteen miles; encamped at Little Otter, Bedford.
Saturday, 3d – Marched from Little Otter to within two miles of New London; nineteen miles.
Sabbath, 4th – Marched two miles beyond New London to Mr. Ward’s; in which march we pressed a hog, which was served without scraping. On this day I kept guard No 16. The day’s march was twenty miles.
Monday, 5th – Marched from Major Ward’s; crossed Staunton river into Pittsylvania. I was on the fatigue to drive steers, but happly they had broken out of the pasture. Our march was eight miles, and encamped.
Tuesday 6th – Marched from Ward’s about fourteen miles. We were searched, and Mr. Ward’s goods found with James Berry and John Harris, who were whipped. The same were condemned to ten lashes for disobeying the officer of the day on Monday.
Wednesday, 7th – Marched from near Shelton’s to Col. Williams mill, about twelve miles; crossed Bannister, into which James McElroy fell; John Harris deserted, and James Berry was taken and sent to prison.
Thursday, 8th – March from Col. Williams’ to near three miles from Dan River. Some of the boys set the woods on fire, which the Major put out. Our day’s journey nineteen miles.
Friday, 9th – Marched from beyond Dan to the borders of N. C., six miles; we crossed Dan, where Gilmore’s wagon had nearly sunk by the chain of the flat breaking. At this river some mean cowards threatened to return. This morning, Lyle, Hays and Lusk went to Gen. Green and returned. The same day deserted at Dan, Geo. Culwell.
This is just an excerpt of his journal. I will try to find it again and hopefully, I will be able to provide the reader with the website. Of course, you surely noticed that on March 4 Sunday they marched two miles from New London and arrived at Mr. Wards and then marched 20 more miles to Major Wards. So they stopped at Major Ward’s house “Mansion”, but I wander which Ward was two miles away from New London. This is something I will probably have to investigate later. If anyway knows, I would appreciate the information. I know that John Ward, jr. was situated around Sulphur Springs which is now Gretna, Virginia so it couldn’t be him. William Ward was in Pittsylvania County in a mansion called Edgehill. It is probably Henry Ward. But as I said, this would have to be investigated further.
I have one last mystery that I hope can be solved. Ann Chiles Ward’s burial place is missing. I cannot believe that a prominent family member’s wife would not have had an appropriate stone for her burial.
They were living close to her brother and there is references to the Chiles Settlement, Chiles Creek, River View Plantation. So somewhere out there, is a burial place for Anne Harrelson Chiles, Anne Chiles Ward, Paul Chiles and his wife. I will keep searching.
Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches by Ruth Hairston Early pages 6, 525, 526, 527, 528
Henings Statutes at Large Volume 10 page 447
Henings Statutes at Large Volume 9 page 585
Henings Statutes at large Volume 13 page 151
Calendar of Virginia State Papers Volume 5 page 1 and page 38
Calendar of Virginia State Papers Volume IV page 18
Calendar of Virginia Stat Papers Volume I page 451
Frontiers Along the Upper Roanoke River by Maude Carter Clement pages 64 through 72
Halifax Court Minutes Book 2 page 504 (Antrim Parish oath)
Halifax Court Minutes Book 2 page 467
Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution 1775-1783 by John H. Gwathmey page 805
William and Mary Quarterly Volume VIII series 2 page 119, 120, 122, 123.
William and Mary Quarterly Volume XVI page 285-286
The Compendium of American Genealogy Volume VII 1942 page 54
John Ward Will Campbell County Will Book 3 page 462
Marriage Bonds of Bedford County, Virginia 1755-1800 Compiled by Erle S. Dennis
Virginia Publick Claims Book page 116, 175, 182
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography The Virginia Historical Society Volume XV page 193
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Volume XXIII page 378
Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy page 230 and page 1010
History of Pittsylvania County, Virginia by Maude Carter Clements page 108
Marriage of Virginia Residents 1607-1800 Dorothy Ford Wulfeck page 168
Adams Biographical Genealogies by Thomas Tunstall Adams page 32
Our Quaker Friends of Ye Olden time James Pinkney Pleasant Bell page 47
Virginia Militia in the Revolution Joseph Thompson McAllister page 189