Rose Dove Dalton and Albert Lee Dalton Homeplace

Rose Dove Dalton and Albert Lee Dalton Homeplace
This house and property belonged to John Ward, Jr At his death he willed the property to his nephew William Ward

Thursday, March 25, 2010

march 25, 2010 Astounding Past

I am sorry folks, but I have been reading all day and I have no time to write. Will write some more tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Our Astound Past March 24

I have been researching different websites today. I researched and I traveled down the River Road in Halifax county via the internet. I was looking for the Chiles Plantation that is suppose to be in Halifax County, but I have yet to find it. The Chiles plantation was called Riverview and it was the home of John Ward's wife's(Ann Chiles) brother. She is supposedly buried there. She was not buried at the Mansion house of John Ward. John Ward's second wife, Sarah Clark Lynch is buried at that location. I also checked out the book,"Finding Your Family on the Internet" by Michael Otterson.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our Astound Past March 23

March 23, John Ward
I am afraid my search was fruitless today. I logged onto to their message board yesterday, but no one has written. I contacted several of the message boards. I never realized how many people were out their searching. There must be thousands.
I suppose I am one of the lucky ones. I have always known who my grandfather, my great grandfather and my great great grandfather were. I can’t imagine how hard it could be, if you had no information at all.
I do have some documents that may help
The compendium of American Genealogy Volume II 1942 Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company 1968 says the following:
Major John Ward (died 1808) with his brother Jeremiah resided in Albemarle County as early as 1753 built Ward’s Mansion Campbell County Virginia and Ward’s Road running south from Lynchburg. M. lst in 1744, Ann Chiles.
So he lived in Albemarle County as early as 1753, but he was in Virginia long before that time because he was married in Virginia to Ann Chiles in 1944.
Virginia Revolutionary Publick Claims Volume 1 compiled and transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slattern has the following:
John Ward, Gent. Late Comr. Of Prov. Law for Bedford was employed in that office 206 days alld 5s per day for 2 soldiers on march from Camden to Cumberland Old Court house 10 diets.
John Ward, Gent. 183 gals. Peach brandy of best quality for General Greene army what at Deep River in Chatham, 4 bu. Corn, 1qt brandy for public Nov. 1782
John Ward, Gent. 57 days pasturage for 40 head publick beaves for Xpher. Irvine Com. Pro. Law.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Major John Ward the person and patriot and father.

We have learned the following:
I gleaned this information from the book Frontiers Along the Upper Roanoke River by Clement.
He acquired many acres of land in Virginia making him a wealthy man. He married into a fine family. One of the first families of Virginia. (Anne Chiles) The Chiles family.
His wife died young after having five sons and two daughters. The daughters, Anne and Agatha were twins. He later married a prominent Campbell County widow, Mrs. Sarah Clark Lynch. They had no children.
For a while they lived near Anne’s brother probably Paul Chiles. His home was called Riverview in Halifax county.
He was a vestryman. According to the above book, in the Halifax County Court Minute book 2 page 504, there is recorded the following words. Oath of a vestryman of the Church of England.
I, John Ward, do subscribe to be conformable to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of Englands as by Law Directed.
He built a mill, surveyed and helped build roads.
He was the Captain of the County Militia and took oaths. Halifax County Book 2 page 467.
In 1778, he was a member of the Committee of Safety for Bedford County and was recommended for the office of major in the county militia and was shortly approved for that office.
He built his home The Mansion for his wife Ann Chiles Ward, but she died before she could move in. This property was located in Bedford County which would later be Campbell County.

I have also foundd a search area. I could not find any of their graves on this list, but there are thousands and you may find this useful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Astound Past March 16

The Mansion house of John Ward

As I promised, I have been researching the Mansion house of John Ward through the internet. In the future, I plan on having pictures of the ruins and the graveyard.
The mansion house burned down at the end of the nineteenth or beginning of the twentieth century and it was never rebuilt.
Below is a link to a National Register of Historic Places form for the House Locust Hill which is on the property which belonged to the Ward family and is near the ruins of the Mansion House.
According to the link below, John Ward settled in Pittsylvania County with his brother Jeremiah, and his wife, Ann Chiles. Ward and his brother operated multiple mills, including a mill on Chiles Creek. John Ward also ran a ferry on the Staunton river and ran a tavern. In this link, they describe the mansion as three stories which he located near his ferry. He also built a second house that served as batchelor quarters for his two unmarried sons, John Jr. and Jerre. In 1805 94 year old Ward received a license to run an ordinary at the location, but it was his sons who transformed the modest house into “The Waldorf Astoria of Pittsyvlania County” The sons also built a kitchen, a smokehouse, and a carriage house to service the establishment. This tavern serviced stagecoach passengers on their trip from Lynchburg to Danville. The tavern tract remained in the family until 1849 when it was sold by Robert Ward to James Hoskins Stone.
In the detailed description of the property for Locust Hill they list as No. 19. Mansion Site. Late eighteenth century. Remains of John Ward’s House. 10. Tavern Built ca. 1772. Dismantled and moved to present location ca. 1859 with additions. 11. Carriage House. Late eighteenth century. Two story wood frame building with pitched roof.

According to the book Frontiers Along the Upper Roanoke River, John Ward built his house on land that had been bequeathed to his wife, Ann Chiles Ward, by her father,Colonel Henry Chiles. Sometime around 1760, the mansion was completed, but Anne Chiles Ward did not live to enjoy her mansion as she died before she could move into the home he had lovingly built for her. The Mansion was erected on the high bluffs between Otter and Roanoke Rivers. The book Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches by R. H. Early places the mansion east of the mouth of Otter river near its entrance into the Staunton and only a few miles from where the town of Altavista now stands.
A description of the house is found in the Frontiers Along the Upper Roanoke River:
A massive front door, studded with hand-wrought nails in an ornamental pattern, opened into a hall-living room with a corner fireplace. Above the mantel shelf there were two small cabinets let into the chimney. The hall opened into the master bedroom and the dining room, each of which also had doorways to a small rear hall leading outside. A stairway led to four bedrooms above and continued to the third floor which was constructed like the rest of the house with smoothly plastered walls and smoothly finished floors.
Ann and Agatha Ward, twin sisters, were married in the house. One can only imagine the celebration that took place. In early colonial times, a wedding would last over two days with dancing, feasting and music. The wealthier the families the more sumptuous the occasion. So these weddings must have been a gala event.
Although, Ann Chiles Ward never resided in the house, John Ward married Sarah Clark Lynch, a quaker and the mother-in-law to his daughter Anne, on December 17, 1766. There they both resided until their death. They were buried on the grounds.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our Astounding Past - March 9, 2010

Tithables list continued:
I read through the Library of Virginia website on tithables. There is a link to the website that lists all the counties that have some tithables available. Campbell County was not listed. Bedford County was listed, but I do not have any available information at this time for Bedford.

John Ward’s Will:
Will of Major John Ward recorded at Campbell County Circuit Court in Will Book 3 page 462
In the name of God, Amen. I, John Ward, of the County of Campbell, State of Virginia, being of perfect mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of this life, do make this my last will and testament, in manner & form following:
First, I give my soul to God and my body to the earth, to be decently buried by my executors hereafter named, who I doubt not will manage it with all requisite prudence. As to my worldly estate I will and positively order that all my just debts be paid.
Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved son William Ward all my lands above the mouth of Old Woman’s Creek adjoining Staunton River which he has a patent for. Also his proportional part of all personal estate during his natural life and after his death to descend to his three children Robert, John Ward and Milly Ward, to be equally divided between them.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved son john Ward the two tracts of land I purchased of Col. Thomas Dillard containing by estimation 800 acres. Also my tract of land in Amherst on the north side of James River near Lynch’s Ferry, containing by estimation 1000 acres. Also my stone house and lot in Lynchburg. Also the Spring Tract of land he purchased of his brother William. Also a tract of land known by the name of the Talbot Place, containing 597 acres. Also a tract known by the name of the John Stone Place which I purchased of Edward Terrell. Also a tract I purchased of Frank Smith on sycamore Creek in Pittsylvania, containing 645 acres. Also a small tract of 76 acres adjoining it. Also my tract purchased of Davis known as Indian Camps. Also his proportional part of negroes and all personal estate, all to him and his heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved son Henry Ward all my land adjoining the Ferry on the south Side of Staunton River, also my lands adjoining my ferry and the place I now live on the North side of Staunton River, on Otter river, on Cheese Creek and the branches except the tract given to my son John. Also the tract of land at the mouth of Old Woman’s Creek which he has possession of, together with the mill and the mill tract. Also a tract of land on the South Side of Staunton River purchased of Henry Chiles, known by the name of Jack’s Place. Also his proportional part of negroes and personal property, all to him and his heirs forever.
Item. I lend to my beloved daughter, Agatha Calloway her proportional part of negroes and all personal property during her natural life, and after her death to descend to her three children, David Calloway, Henry Calloway & Margaret Calloway, to be divided as follows, one half to Margaret and one half to David and Henry G. Calloway.
Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anne Dillard five pounds, she having received her part already.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my three grandchildren vix. Lynch Dillard, Lucinda Dillard, and John Dillard my tract of land on Sycamore Creek above Early’s mill containing by estimation 840 acres to be equally divided between them, but they are to give their mother Ann Dillard the privilege of cultivating as much thereof as she may choose to cultivate, also one fifth part of my negroes & personal estate to be equally divided between the above name Lynch, Lucinda & John Dillard, but my desire is that Lynch, Lucinda & John Dillard do give their bonds to their mother, Anne Dillard, before they receive their portions for twenty five pounds a year during her natural life, to be laid out on her at the discretion of my executor.
My further desire is that John Calloway and Henry Ward to have all my back lands on Smith River in Franklin, Patrick and Montgomery Counties, except the lands on Buck’s Ford.
I do constitute, ordain and appoint John Ward and Henry Ward Executors of this my last will & testament revoking all other wills by me heretofore made. Whereof I have herunto set my hand and fixed my seal this 23rd day of January one thousand eight hundred and nine.
John Ward (seal)
Hartwell Allen, Wm. Harris, James X Williams, James Luster
At a court held for Campbell County November 11, 1816, the within last will and testament of John Ward, deceased, was proven by the oaths of Jas. Williams and James Luster and by the solemn affirmation of Wm. Harris here of the witnesses thereto subscribed, and ordered to be recorded. And Henry Ward, one of the executors in said will named, having in open court refused to take upon himself the burden of the execution thereof. On the motion of the said Henry Ward and Robert A. Ward who make oath together with John Ward minor, Lynch Dillard, Charles l. Terrell, John Lynch, Jr., Samuel Pannill, and James C. Moorman, their securities entered into and acknowledged their bond in penalty of Sixty thousand dollars.
Teste – R. O.Alexandee C.C.C.

John Ward’s will was written in the 1809. By his will, we know that at that time he owned 3,958 acres in Bedford, Campbell , Pittsylvania and Amherst counties. He owned a stone house and lot in the City of Lycnhburg, more acreage in Pittsylvania and Campbell County which there is no acreage listed. He also owned land in Franklin, Patrick and Montgomery counties on the Smith River.
He named the following children in this will:
• William Ward
• John Ward
• Henry Ward
• Agatha Ward Calloway
• Anne Ward Dillard
Please note that in my March 8 Ward list of children I did not have John Ward listed.
Grandchildren were also listed in John Ward’s will
Agatha Ward Calloway’s Children
• Henry Calloway
• Margaret Calloway
• David Calloway
William Ward’s Children
• Robert A. Ward
• John Ward
• Milly Ward
Anne Dillard’s Children
• Lynch Dillard
• Lucinda Dillard
• John Dillard

In John Ward’s will, a bond was posted in the amount of 60,000.00. A bond is an extra administrative expense of your estate whose cost increases in the size of the estate. A bond is a form of insurance to replace assets that may be mismanaged or stolen by the executor. So a bond’s dollar amount is determined by the size of his estate. So I put 60,000 into a measuring worth calculator which you can find in the link below and these are the results:

• $1,079,884.23 using the consumer price index
• $970,380.74 using the GDP deflater
• $9,893,076.92 using the unskilled wage
• $28,677,771.14 using the nominal GDP per capita
• $1,258,078,320.70 using the relative share of GDP
This would make John Ward a millionaire by today’s standards.
In the past two days, we have discovered that John Ward held thousands of acres in the piedmont of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he was a father of five children and had nine Grandchildren and that he was a slaveholder. In the future I will address this unfortunate part of our history, but at this time I will be sharing other parts of his history. We also discovered that his primary residence was on the north side of Staunton River, on Otter River and Cheese Creek.
Tomorrow we will continue with John Ward and we will be addressing stories about his home called “The Mansion”.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our Astounding Past March 8

I will begin with the Ward Family of Bedford, Campbell and Pittsyvlania County, Virginia.
John Ward
• Born August 12, 1720 Albemarle County, Virginia
• Death 1805, Virginia
• Married to Ann Chiles
• William Ward
• Agatha Ward
• Anne Ward
• Thomas Ward
• Jeremiah Ward
• Henry Ward
John Ward’s second wife was Mrs. Sarah Clark Lynch, widow of Major Charles Lynch. There were no children from this marriage.

Tithables of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 1767.
The term “tithable” referred to a person who paid one of the taxes imposed by the General Assembly for the support of civil government in the colony. In colonial Virginia, a poll tax or capitation tax was assessed on free white males, African American slaves and Native American servants. In a law passed in the House of Burgesses in 1705, the tithable list included all male persons sixteen years of age and over, as well as all negro, mulatto, and Indian woman sixteen years or over. The Tithable lists did not include anyone under the age of 16 and adult white women. The only time a tithable was assessed on an adult white women was if she was the head of household.
In order to stop fraud among sheriffs bringing in tithable lists, the House of Burgesses passed an act in March 1660 requiring that each county be divided into four precincts. A commissioner was appointed in each precinct. The commissioner would post a notice on door of the church notifying the public when the tithable should be ready before the June 10th deadline. In August the commissioner would turn these lists over to the county court clerk, who then turned the list into the clerk of the House of Burgesses.
In a further effort to discover concealed tithables, the colonial government passed an act requiring that tithables lists be made to the public. After the June deadline, the county clerk would post the tithables list on the courthouse door for a whole day. This procedure allowed people that lived near those that were concealing reporting the fraud. Masters concealing tithables forfeited a servant to the informant.
For more information on tithables please see
You can also find this list in “The History of Pittsylvania County” by Maud Carter Clement. This book can be found at Genealogical Publishing,, Barnes and Noble and Books a Million.
The Pittsylvania county website

The following is the List of Tithes taken by John Wimbush, Gent, for the Year 1767
• Robert Adams
• Mrs. Sarah Piggs Tithes, Richard Pigg,Philis, Jim, Lucas, Dorcas and Peter
• James Pigg
• Henry McDaniel
• Jeremiah Worsham
• Joseph Gorman
• Thomas Hardy
• Jonathan Jennings
• Thomas Hardy, Jr. and John Bailey
• Richard Thomas
• Nathaniel Christian
• Adam Clement
• Captain John Ward’s Tithes: John Cleveland, Thomas Hardy, Peter Lee, Harry, Jack, Abram, Bess, Tom and Ben, Nant, jack, Dick, Matt, Tom, John, Thomas and Nant
• John Nichols
• Samuel Smith, Jack, Tom, Will, Hannah &Bess
• Edward Polley, Jr.
• John Adams, John Adams, jr.
• Alan Adams
• Charles Beasley
• William Pigg

The above is the list of tithables taken by John Wimbish, Gentleman in the year 1767. This indicates that John Ward owned property in Pittsylvania County. His list indicates that he had 17 tithable men and women on his property which means that he probably had more, but they were under the age of sixteen. As you will see in further records, John Ward lived in Campbell County. So it is a possibility that his male children were listed in a Campbell or Bedford County tithable.
You may want to take special notice of some of the other names on the tithable which indicate that they owned some property nearby. Special attention should be made of Robert Adams at the beginning of the list that had close ties to the family.
It is my attention to offer the reader a closer insight in the life of John Ward by providing documents pertaining to the history of the area and pictures, maps and stories. I hope that this information about tithables will bring you some information or understanding of the area and the people living there at the time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our Astounding Past: March 7

I grew up in a small village called Motley, Virginia. It doesn't have a post office or a zip code. Everyone knew everyone and their families. It was not unusual for families to know about your grandparents and their grandparents and where they had lived for a century.
My parents would take us on Sunday afternoon trips which they called “grave hopping.” This is before all the genealogy craze began. We would visit the Ward cemetery which was on the edge of Leesville Lake, Brights, Virginia and back then, it was overgrown and lost to the world except for us that knew. There, alone, surrounded by ancient trees and cow pastures, we would trek through the field to stand silently and stare down at these people that were a part of us. At the time, I didn't appreciate the significance of their contribution to my way of life or to just, maybe, my personality. Did their voices sound like mine, did they have my eyes? Were their bodies built like mine? For many of these people we will never know, but maybe with a little research we can understand the life they led and their motivations behind their actions.
I had worked on an ancestry tree and I showed it to one of my family. They stared at the chain with the names and dates. Then after a moment, they looked up at me and said, "This is interesting, but what does that tell me?" And I realized that the people that were are more than a birthday and a spouse, or a child. They were living, breathing people. They were a part of my human experience because they were a part of me. No, they weren’t kings or witches, but the greatest heroes of their time. The Ordinary American which isn’t so ordinary at all.
I will begin by sharing as much information as I have available. I will give reference material and documents that I discovered.
I will also be willing to go courthouses in North Carolina to discover information for other people. Of course, there will be a charge to cover my time and expense.
I hope to find documents and make photos available on this blog.
Please keep coming back because I will, hopefully, be posting additional information frequently.