Friday, October 9, 2020

The Missing Ward: John of Vigo County


Vigo County,  Indiana Courthouse

Son Ward - That is how he is listed in numerous family trees for  Thomas Ward of  Ward's Creek in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Family researchers could tell by the dashes in early census records, or in some other manner, that Thomas had a son older than Eli Ward, who was already an adult and had flown the coop by 1850. Many must have thought him dead. 

While examining the Probate file of Henry Ward, younger brother of both John and Eli, I had found a short file tacked on to the end of it involving a John Ward. This was the John that the Frankin Auman vs Sadler Tucker was referring to.

A random family tree listing of the wife and children of Thomas Ward

Had I not discovered this lawsuit, filed some 40 years after the approximate date of death of Thomas Ward, I would not have discovered John.

In Montgomery County, NC, the Ward family in 1850, the first year to name all of the inhabitants of a household, looked like this:

Name:Thomas Ward
Birth Year:abt 1778
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Real Estate:235
Line Number:41
Dwelling Number:531
Family Number:533
Household Members:
Thomas Ward72
Susan Ward56
Mary Ward38
Fereby Ward26
Reuben Ward24
Sarah Ward22
Henry Ward17
Susan Ward16
Margaret Ward14
Thomas S Ward11
Elizabeth Ward7

And living nearby, was son Eli, who had already married and started his own farmstead. He was also father to 2 year old daughter, Feraby (version of Phoebe) and infant son, Jesse. 

Name:Eli Ward
Birth Year:abt 1819
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Real Estate:50
Line Number:10
Dwelling Number:532
Family Number:534
Household Members:
Eli Ward31
Aggy Ward30
Feraby Ward2
Jessee Ward0

How did descendants know there was one missing? Probably from the 1840 census, by then, all of the other children had been born, except for Elizabeth, who was an 'afterthought', one of those babes who come along near menopause, when conception is diminished, but not impossible. 

Name:Thomas Ward
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):West Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:2 Reuben and Henry  (Thomas Y. probably on his way).
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19:1 Eli 
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1 John 
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69:1  Thomas
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:1 Margaret
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:1 Sarah
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:1  Fereby
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:1 Mary
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:2  Unknown, Not daughters-in-law. Possibly younger sisters of Susan
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 49:1 Thomas's wife, Susan
Free White Persons - Females - 90 thru 99:1  Unknown Grandmother perhaps
Persons Employed in Agriculture:6
Free White Persons - Under 20:7
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:4
Total Free White Persons:13
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:13

The firstborn child was actually Mary, who never married, and John came second, and Eli third. 

At the end of the Probate file of Henry Ward in NC archives listings of Probate files for Montgomery County, North Carolina was this interesting one for John Ward. On August 25, 1914, David Ward, Walter Ward, Willis Ashley and Jesse Ashley, of Edgar County, Illinois, had appointed Hiram Freeman of Montgomery County, NC, as their attorney to collect any funds for them " due us from the estate, real or personal, of John Ward, deceased, as heirs at law."

I had been researching the heirs of Thomas Ward at length, and all of the Wards in Montgomery County, NC seemed to lead back to Thomas, and had not came across this John. There was another John, but he was not deceased at this time, and had no 'heirs', that I had found. 

Page Two read:

Paris, Illinois  May 13, 1916

Mr Hiram Freeman, Ether, NC

Dear Sir, 

     Mrs. Bessie Walls came in today and signed her receipt for her share of the Ward Estate as she was the last one to sign. I am returning them to you today. David Ward is dead so his Administrator is signing for him. I think you will find them all inclosed (sic).

Respectfully yours, 

Paul B. Launer

So David Ward had died between August 25, 1914 and May 13, 1916. I had noticed that in the first document, David Ward was the only one of the four from the first page who had signed with a mark. The other 3 had signed their own names, a sign of having had a better education than David, maybe they were of a younger generation than he. 

It was on page 4 of the file that things began to come together.


I had already came across the Auman vs Tucker lawsuit, and had been trying to piece together the generational connections of the individuals named within, and what I had managed to determine was that they were descendants of Thomas Ward, Jr., of Montgomery County North Carolina.

When I saw the hiers of John Ward named in the Auman vs Tucker lawsuit, I was led to believe they were referring to a younger John Ward, however, when the County of Edgar in Illinois was mentioned, it opened up an entirely different door. I had found Boy Ward. Sadly, it appears the decendants of John Ward, had not seen the North Carolina probate file from 1914, and over the last 100 plus years, had lost their roots. 

Page 4 is where it began to break down the descendants of John, himself, which gave corroborating evidence of who John Ward was.

"This is to certify that  I, Hiram Freeman, Have recieved from Edgar Haywood, Clerk of Superior Court of Montgomery County, the sum of $43.52, for the heirs in fact of John Ward, deceased, whose names appear below. The said $43.52, being and representing their interest in certain lands sold by John T. Brittain, Commisioner, in a special proceeding entitled Franklin Auman  et als vs Stadler Tucker vs et als, Number 540. The interest of each is as follows:

David Ward  1/4 interest        $16.11

Willis Ashley  1/16  "              $4.03

Katie Ashley  1/16  "              $4.03

Jesse Ashley  1/16  "              $4.03

Harvey Ashley 1/28 "           $ 2.30

Claude Ashley  "    "             $2.30

David W. Ward 1/24  "          $2.68

Walter Ward     1/24 "           $2.68

Chester Ward   1/24 "           $2.68

Sarah Creech   1/24 "          $2.68

-----------------------------------------------------------  $43.52

Hiram Freeman,  Attny in Fact

The shares of interest allowed each one shows a decling range of relation. David Ward held the highest share, 1/4 suggesting perhaps that he was one of four siblings, and perhaps the only one still living. Willis Katie and Jesse Ashley held 1/16 each, suggesting they were of a further relationship to John Ward, perhaps grandchildren, and as they were Ashley's and not Wards, perhaps the children of a deceased daughter. The rest of the list, at 1/28 and 1/24 shares, were even further in a relationship.

     The next page clearly states the relationships of these before mentioned heirs and adds more. It also gives additional and crucial information. Paul B Lauler was a Notary of the Public from Edgar County, Illinois who had sworn David Ward, Walter Ward and Willis Ashley in a statement that they were residents of Edgar County and personally had known the late John Ward, who was originally from North Carolina and had lived and died in Edgar. That John Ward had married Jemimia Humble, who had also died in Edgar County, Illinois and that as far as they knew, he'd only been married once. They then named the surviving heirs of John and Jemima Ward. These were not all of his children and grandchildren, etc. These were just the ones who were still living in 1912. It began with David Ward, as son, the only child who outlived their father, apparently. Then were listed Willis Ashley, Jesse Ashley and Katie Ashley, 'children of Jane Ashley, a deceased daughter.' So now I knew that John had a son named David and a daughter named Jane, who had married an Ashley. Next mentioned were David W. Ward, Ollie Cr....?, Walter Ward, Chester Ward, and Sarah Creech, children of Eli Ward, a deceased son of John Ward, deceased. So, I now knew that the 1/28ths interests were grandchildren, not great grandchildren, but that there were more of them. I'd also discovered that John had named a son for his brother, Eli Ward, of Montgomery County, NC. The mystery was Ollie, likely a daughter as the surname was not Ward, but something that started with Cr and declined like a fading heartbeat into death. 

Next mentioned were Bertha (B?)all, Mona Taylor, Emma Taylor, children of Nora Taylor, a deceased grandchild of John Ward deceased. Also, Harvey Ashley, Bessie Walls, Ethel Walls, Fred Ashley, Claude Ashley, Lula Ashley, Sadie Ashley, children of Conrea (?) Ashley, a deceased grandchild of John Ward, deceased.

The remainder of the Probate file was all receipts, signed by the descendants of John Ward. They revealed not much more in the way of usable information, except in the verrification that John was indeed, 'Boy Ward', son of Thomas Ward, as it was Johns' share of his father, Thomass' estate that was being divided.


It was also revealed that the only surviving child of John, David, had died during the proceedings, before 1915. There were also receipts to heirs not metioned in the previous pages, and I believed that perhaps these were the children of David, who would not have recieved a share of Johns estate, as they had a living parent.

It was also revealed that some of the heirs were still minors, as Sadie and Luella Ashley were, Luella having not been previously named. 

So, now I knew that the missing Ward son was John, that he had married Jemima Humble and that he had at least 3 children, most likely 4, as David had been portioned off one quarter, and that I was looking for the names David, Eli and Jane among those children, and that Jane had married an Ashley. That was quite a bit to go on, and John was easily found. 

Name:John Ward
Birth Year:abt 1813
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Morgan, Owen, Indiana, USA
Real Estate:350
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Line Number:39
Dwelling Number:459
Family Number:460
Household Members:
John Ward37
Jemima Ward38
David Ward18
Thomas B Ward8
Eli W Ward6
Jane Ward2
George Hamble37

I first find John and his family in the 1850 census in the town of Morgan in Owen County, Indiana. He is farming and his brother-in-law, George Humble, is helping them out. He has 4 children in the home, David, Thomas B., Eli W. and Jane. The first thing I notice is the 10 year age gap between sons David and Thomas. It almost looks like David could have been by a first marriage, but in the probate files that I had came across in Montgomery County first, David was alive and had informed, as the only living child, that his father had came from North Carolina and that his mother was Jemima Humble. It could have been that children were born between David and Thomas, but had not survived to see 1850.

Owen County, Indiana is located west of center in the middle of Indiana. It was established in 1819 and it was probably because of people known there, or even family who had previously migrated there, that lured John Ward from North Carolina. 

In "General History of Owen County, Indiana", by Roger Peterson, he states that most of the early settlers to Owen County came from either southern Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina, with one group coming from the Winston-Salem area with surnames reminiscent of the Mormons in that area, and another group from Montgomery County, NC. 

"The Montgomery County N.C. families containing 18 surnames; Beaman, Langdon, Nichols, Jordan, Haltom etc. settled in the northwest portion of the county. "

The history and report of the area seems rather unremarkable. Mr. Peterson states that the communities were rather isolated to themselves, so the history is best told by the history of the individual communities themselves. In fact, the most remarkable thing about Owen County is in its anomalousness, itself. It seems to have remained so until this day. as of the most recent census, the population of the entire county is a little less than the population of Albemarle, NC, the County Seat of Stanly County, and a small town itself, and Morgan Townships population, named for Morgan families from Montgomery County, NC, is only about 1200 people, with no incorporated towns, only 3 unincorporated communities, once towns; Jordan, Atkinsonville and Beamer, again reflecting immigrants from Montgomery County, North Carolina and one lake with the attractive name of Graybrooke Lake. 

A look at the early marriages of Owen County show an 1828 marriage between a James Ward and Miss Jenny Brown and an 1838 marriage between a Willis W. Ward and Susan Jane Foster. Also in 1838, Elisabeth Ward to Jeremiah C. York, Sally Ward to William Holston, Anna Ward to James Baker and in 1837, Nancy Ward to Shadrach Phillips. Many other family names that echo the Uwharrie hills are found in these early records. As these married couples are small in number and the weddings close in range, could they lead to one family, one Ward from Montgomery County who migrated to Indiana prior to John L. Ward? It's possible. More research would be required. Perhaps even the John Ward who shows up in the 1810 census of Montgomery County, NC, before this John was even born.

Name:John Word
Birth Year:abt 1811
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Morgan, Owen, Indiana
Post Office:Vandalia
Dwelling Number:57
Family Number:55
Occupation:Cabinet Workman
Real Estate Value:1000
Personal Estate Value:300
Household Members:
John Word49
Jemima Word50
Eli W Word15
Jane Word13

John and family are still living in Owen County in 1860. Next door are newlyweds, Thomas, and his wfie, Charity and another of Jemimia's brothers, John Humble. Oldest son, David has also married. Eli and Jane are now teenagers and John is working as a cabinet maker.

David Ward had married Artemecia Ann Creech, affectionately known as 'Artie", about 1855. 1860 finds the young family in Washington, Clay County, Indiana.

Name:David Ward
Birth Year:abt 1830
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Washington, Clay, Indiana
Post Office:Bowling Green
Dwelling Number:385
Family Number:360
Real Estate Value:600
Personal Estate Value:300
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Household Members:
David Ward30
Artemisia A Ward19
Edward Wilson3
Jane J Ward1

The Creeches are a family tied to this branch of the Ward family in multiple ways.

Name:David Ward
Event Type:Marriage Registration (Marriage)
Marriage Date:29 Sep 1855
Marriage Place:Indiana, United States
Spouse:Artimesa Ann Creech
FHL Film Number:001404536

25 year old David married 14 year old Artie in Clay County, Indiana. Three years after David married Artemecia Creech, his younger brother, Thomas Branson Ward married Charity Creech in Vigo County, Indiana. 

Name:Thomas B Ward
Spouse Name:Charity Creech
Marriage Date:28 Jan 1858
Marriage County:Vigo

At first, it may appear that two Ward brothers married two Creech sisters. Charity and Artemesia Creech were not sisters, but genetically, they were nearly as close. Let's take a close look at the Creech and Jenkins families.

The Pope and Creech families reflect the typical North to South and east to west migration of settlers during the Revolutionary War era of expansion and the years that followed. William Pope II was the son of William Creech Sr. and wife Tryphenia Perkins Creech, who had migrated from Connecticutt to the part of Montgomery County, Virginia that was to become Grayson County. Charity Pope was the daughter of Rev. Elijah Pope who was from the eastern county of Edgecomb and had migrated west across the state. He married Charity's mother, Mary Davis, in the county in which she lived, Rowan, in 1783. From there they progressed even further westward, to the most NorthWestern county of North Carolina, Ashe.

This was the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Applachian chain. The above map shows the close proximity of Ashe County, NC and Grayson County, VA. It also shows how close they were to not only Tennesee, but to West Virginia.

The Popes and the Creeches both owned property in North Carolina and Virginia. These neighbors lived right upon the state border. William Creech Jr. married Charity Pope in Ashe County, NC in 1804. William and Charity would not remain on the border, and the birthplaces of their 8 children reflect their migration northwest to Indiana:

1805 Martha "Patsy" Creech born in Grayson County, Virginia.

1808 Elijah Creech born in Lee County, Virginia.

1811 Zilphia Mary Creech born in Ashe County, North Carolina.

1813 Joseph Creech born in Tennessee during the migration.

1817 Phobe Creech born in Crawford County, Indiana.

1820 John B. Creech  "     "                   "     "       ".

1822 Temperance Creech   "     "     "    "      "     ".

1827 Levi D. Creech born in Owen, Clark County, Indiana.

Thomas Jenkins was a Virginian, born in 1780 in Westmoreland County, Virginia to a Revolutionary War veteran, Ezekial Jenkins and wife, Sabina "Sibby" Lewis Jenkins. On September 4, 1804, Thomas, 24 married a 14 year old Kentucky girl, Telitha Elkins, in Jessamine, Kentucky. Their oldest children, daugthers Malinda "Linda" Mira Jenkins, Louisa Susan Jenkins (1806) and Atlantic Oshen Jenkins (1810), were all born in Kentucky, but by the birth of their last child, Thomas Minnion Jenkins in 1825, they had relocated to Morgan County, Indiana. 

Cataract Park, Owen County, Indiana

On September 11, 1827, Elijah Creech married Louisa Susan Jenkins in Owen County, Indiana.

On March 14, 1833 Joseph Creech married Atlantic Oshen (yes, pronounced Atlantic Ocean) Jenkins.

Two brothers marrying two sisters, meaning their children were double-first cousins.

Elijah and Louisa, the older pair of siblings, had 13 children:

1828 Malinda

1830 William T.

1831 Lucinda

1833 Telitha

1836 Charity (named for her grandmother)

1839 Louisa Ann (named for her mother, probably)

1840 John Emmanuel (The Jenkins sisters had a brother named Emmanuel)

1841 Martha

1842 Dewitt Clinton

1844 Mary Jane

1846  Elijah Jr.

1848 Levi D.

1851 James Marion

Joseph and Atlantic would have 4 children:

1837 Artemecia Ann

1841 John Bailey

1845 Narcissa D.

1848 Joseph B. II

Atlantic Oshen Jenkins Creech died in 1849 at the age of 39.

On July 18, 1850, Joseph remarried to Susannah Boyd and to this marriage were born 3 children:

1856 Phobe

1858 William Albert

1861 Louisa Eliza

In the 1850 census, Joseph is listed in Clay County, Indiana with his new bride, Susannah, his 4 children by Atlantic, his mother, Charity, and his youngest brother, Levi.

Name:Joseph Creek
[Joseph Creech] 
Birth Year:abt 1814
Home in 1850:Washington, Clay, Indiana, USA
Real Estate:300
Line Number:1
Dwelling Number:146
Family Number:146
Household Members:
Joseph Creek36
Susanah Creek28
Artrinecy Creek11
John Creek9
Narcissa Creek5
Joseph Creek2
Levi Creek22
Charity Creek80

So Artiemcia Creech and Charity Creech were double first cousins and they married brothers David and Thomas Ward, making the children of these two unions....much closer relations than just first cousins.

Grave of Thomas B. Ward, contributed to Find-a-Grave by
John Maxwell.

Tragically, Thomas Branson Ward April 12, 1860 at the age of 22. He was buried at the New Union Carolina Church Cemetery in Morgan Township, Clay County, Indiana. His only child, Louisa Jane Ward, was born 2 months later, in June of that year. His widow, Charity, has her own story. She had other children, attributed in multiple family trees, to Thomas B. Ward. While they carried the surname Ward, they could not have possibly been his. Unless of course Charity concieved them with his ghost. 

1870 finds that John L. Ward and wife, Jemima have moved to the community of Riley in Vigo County, Indiana. The only child remaining at home is the youngest, Jane, and of a very marriable age. living right next door is the widowed Charity Ward, their daughter -in-law and 10 year old granddaughter, Louisa. 

Name:John Ward
Age in 1870:57
Birth Year:abt 1813
Dwelling Number:270
Home in 1870:Riley, Vigo, Indiana
Post Office:Riley
Cannot Read:Y
Cannot Write:Y
Male Citizen over 21:Y
Personal Estate Value:150
Real Estate Value:1200
Inferred Spouse:Jemima Ward
Inferred Children:Jane Ward
Household Members:
John Ward57
Jemima Ward57
Jane Ward23

Vigo County adjoins Clay County, Indiana and is home to Terre Haute. It's located on the westernmost border of Indiana. If you will notice on the below map, Vigo borders Edgar County, Illinois, to the west.

Oldest son, David, is also living in Vigo county with his family, which has now grown to 6 children.

Name:David Ward
Age in 1870:41
Birth Year:abt 1829
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:204
Home in 1870:Riley, Vigo, Indiana
Post Office:Riley
Cannot Write:Y
Male Citizen over 21:Y
Personal Estate Value:480
Real Estate Value:1760
Inferred Spouse:Artamissa Ward
Inferred Children:Edward W Ward
Jemima J Ward
Eli L Ward
John Ward
Joseph B Ward
Frank Ward
Household Members:
David Ward41
Artamissa Ward30
Edward W Ward13
Jemima J Ward11
Eli L Ward9
John Ward7
Joseph B Ward5
Frank Ward3

They all lived in the township of Riley, southeast of Terre Haute.

Between 1860 and 1870 came a big upheaval in American society called the Civil War. Davis had served, but enter near the end of the war. Records state he was drafted into the Union Army in October of 1864.

Name:David Ward
Enlistment Date:14 Oct 1864
Enlistment Rank:Private
Muster Date:14 Oct 1864
Muster Place:Indiana
Muster Company:E
Muster Regiment:57th Infantry
Muster Regiment Type:Infantry
Muster Information:Drafted
Muster Out Date:20 Oct 1865
Muster Out Information:Mustered Out
Side of War:Union
Survived War?:Yes
Residence Place:Terre Haute, Indiana
Last Known Residence Place:Quincy, Illinois
Death Date:8 Jan 1915
Title:Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana; GAR Dept of Illinois: Death Rolls

David wasn't the only member of the family to get caught up in the war. Younger brother, Thomas had already passed, but Eli Washington Ward also served.

Name:Eli W. Ward
Birth Year:abt 1844
Enrollment Date:22 Jul 1862
Discharge Date:17 Jun 1865
Place:Bowling Green, Indiana
Cavalry, Battery, Unit:6th Cavalry
Notes:Mustered out at Pulaski, Tennessee.

Eli was only 18 when he enlisted, unlike his older brother, David, who was drafted. David, however, was already 30 with an enlarging family. That may have been the difference. Both brothers survived. Eli married to Nancy Jane Thomas in 1870, and was enumerated in the 1870 cenus as a newlywed, also in Vigo County, Indiana.

Name:W Ward Eli
[Eli W Ward] 
Age in 1870:25
Birth Year:abt 1845
Dwelling Number:273
Home in 1870:Riley, Vigo, Indiana
Post Office:Riley
Male Citizen over 21:Y
Personal Estate Value:285
Inferred Spouse:Jane Ward Eli
Household Members:
W Ward Eli25
Jane Ward Eli25

I do not know what made the family cross the border into Illinois, but they were in a continuous western crawl. By 1880, John, with Jemima, now in his late 60's, was farming in Edgar County, Illinois.

Name:John Ward
Birth Date:Abt 1813
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Edgar, Edgar, Illinois, USA
Dwelling Number:163
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Married
Spouse's Name:Jemima Ward
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
John Ward67
Jemima Ward70

Listed just above him was son, Eli, who now had a house full of children. Just below him, with a Burkett neighbor in between, was their daughter-in-law, Charity, who seems to have hitched a ride to the Ward family, still. She had several younger children in her home.

Name:David Ward
Birth Date:Abt 1832
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Edgar, Edgar, Illinois, USA
Dwelling Number:86
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Married
Spouse's Name:Arty Ward
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
David Ward48
Arty Ward42
Eli L. Ward18
John E. Ward17
Joseph B. Ward13
Thomas F. Ward11
Sarah Ward10
Otis B. Ward6
Emma Ward3

David had also picked up his family and moved with his parents to Edgar County, Illinois. The Wards seem to have been a very tight-knit bunch. Whatever caused the decision to relocate across the state line, they made it together. Davids' records always clearly state he, and both of his parents, were born in North Carolina. His younger siblings were all born in Indiana. I can't help but think that their were likelysome children born between David and Thomas who didn't grow up. They may have passed during the northwest migration of John and his family, buried perhaps in Tennessee or West Virginia

Name:Eli Ward
Birth Date:Abt 1845
Home in 1880:Edgar, Edgar, Illinois, USA
Dwelling Number:162
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Married
Spouse's Name:Nancy Ward
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Household Members:
Eli Ward35
Nancy Ward33
David Ward9
Olive Ward7
Nora Ward5
Walter Ward3

Eli Ward, now married with children, has a family with names reflective of the probate records. 

David, age 9, is David Wayland Ward, the David W. Ward mentioned in The 1912 Probate papers.

Olive Ward, 7, is "Ollie" ?, actually Ollie Ward Crum.

Nora Ward, 5, and sadly, is the deceased granddaughter, Nora Taylor.

Walter Ward was also mentioned.

John C and Jane Ward Ashley

Only daughter, Jane Ward, had maarried in May of 1872, in Vigo County, Indiana to John Christopher Ashley. She was about 25 years old. In 1880, Jane's family remained in Edgar County, Illinois. 

Name:John Ashley
Birth Date:Abt 1848
Home in 1880:Edgar, Edgar, Illinois, USA
Dwelling Number:146
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Married
Spouse's Name:Jennie Ashley
Father's Birthplace:Kentucky
Mother's Birthplace:Kentucky
Cannot Write:Yes
Household Members:
John Ashley32
Jennie Ashley32
Willis Ashley8
James F. Ashley5
Carrie B. Ashley10/12

Jane, known as Jenny by nickname, was not without family nearby. Next door was her Uncle, George Humble and two households away was John B. Creech. There were also Crum families nearby, who had married into the Ward familly.

Edgar County, Illinois was in a state of growth during this era. According to the History of edgar county, John Ward and his sons, David and Eli were listed as taxpayers in Horace township, town of Edgar.

This is where John Ward and his wife, Jemima, spent their last days. Jemima was called away first, on August 22, 1891. She was 75.  John followed 4 years later on April 20, 1895. Both were buried in Franklin Cemetery, Pairs, Edgar County. 

Tombstone of Jemima Humble Ward

In December 1853, John and Jemina (sic) Ward were granted Letters of Dismissal from the New Union Baptist Church (Carolina church) in Owen Co., Indiana. Records of the church report that Elder John Ward was hired as a minister in 1863 to serve one year.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Vermilion and Edgar Counties, Illinois, p:1028-1029.


Brazil Daily Times
Brazil, Indiana
04 Jun 1909, Fri  •  Page 2

Eli Washington Ward was the second child of John and Jemima to pass away. That is why his children were the ones to show up in the 1912 Montgomery County,  NC Probate Records. His wife, Nancy passed away in 1903 and Eli followed in 1909. Several of their children appear to have had tragic lives, dying young, divorces and other troubling sings followed them. 

The children of Eli Washington Ward and his wife, Nancy Thomas Ward were:

1871-1942 David Waylon Ward

1873-1916 Olive Bryon "Ollie" Bryon Ward Crum

1875-1912 Nora Leora Ward Taylor

1877-1953 Walter Ward

1881-? Chester E. or A. Ward

1884 - 1918 Sarah Ellen Ward Creech.

As the marriage of Sarah Ellen involved a loop back into the Creech family, I wanted to look into that a little closer.

In 1904, twenty- year -old Sarah married James Freeman Creech. Three years later, they would have one daughter, Cloteal Estelle Creech Boyd.

Freeman was the son of Elijah Pope Creech, who married Susan Longus. He was a grandson of Elijah Creech who married Louisa Jenkins. His father, Elijah Pope Creech was therefore a brother of Charity Creech who married Thomas Branson Ward, making Charity his aunt. Artemecia Creech Ward, who married David Ward would have been his triple first cousin once removed, if I've calculated that relationship correctly. Keeping it all in the family, y'all.

Sarah's marriage would not last. She shows up in 1940 with her 3 year old daughter, as divorced. She's working as a servant for the Vance family in Edgar.

Name:Sarah Creech
[Sarah Ellen Ward Creech] 
Age in 1910:25
Birth Year:abt 1885
Home in 1910:Paris Ward 3, Edgar, Illinois
Street:N Main St
Relation to Head of House:Servant
Marital status:Divorced
Father's Birthplace:Indiana
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Industry:Private Family
Employer, Employee or Other:Wage Earner
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Number of Children Born:1
Number of Children Living:1
Out of Work:N
Number of weeks out of work:0
Household Members:
James L Vance77
Berms Vance34
Eda Vance24
Sarah Creech25
Cloteal Creech3

Sarah's husband, Freeman, remarries to a Nora Ethel Brown, who has a young son, Earl. Together, they have two more sons.

Sadly, Sarah dies tragically young at the age of 32. She is buried in Edgar. 

Jane Ward Ashley was the next of John and Jemima's four children to pass away. She followed her brother Eli, one year later on March 10, 1910, at the age of 62. Jane was buried in the town of Paris, Edgar County, Illinois. She and her husband John Christopher were the source of most of the 'Ashley's" named in the probate papers. They, however, were not the only source, as some of her brothers children would also marry back into the Ashley family.

The 5 children of Jane Ward Ashley and her husband John Christopher were:

1873- 1952 Willis Booth Ashley

1875-1939 James F. Ashley

1879-1880 Carrie B. Ashley (Died as a toddler of Flux).

1882-1952 Jesse Davisd Ashley

1888-1960 Nellie Katherine Ashley Graham

The Ashley Family

David Ward, the oldest sibling, a decade older than his oldest brother, was the last alive.  As he had survived unitl the Montgomery County,  NC Probate case, none of his children are mentioned, as they fell under his umbrella.

David did write a will, and the executoer was  his son J. B. Ward (Joseph). Joseph stated that at the time of his death, Dacvid lived in Horace, Illinois, but had died at Danville, Illinois on January 8, 1915.

His deldegatetees were listed as:

J. B. Ward, son, from Horace, Ill.

Otis Ward, son, from Chrisman, Ill.

Sadie Elkins, daughter,  "     "     "

Emma Scott, daughter,   "  "   " .

Charley Ward, Grandson of Nebraska.

Vernie Ward, Grandson of Chrisman, Ill.

Alva Ward, Grandson of Chrisman, Ill.

David outlived a number of hischildren. Sadly, many of them fell as young adults. The children of David, and his wifeArtie, who died in 1905, were:

1857 - 1877 Edward Wilson Ward. His tomebstone at the Franklin Cemetery in Paris said he was only 19 years, 9 months and 14 days old. What, besides war, would take a young man at the beginning of his adult life?

1859 - bef 1880 Jemima Jane Ward. Janie shows up in the 1860 and 1870 census reocrds. She is probably buried in the Franklin cemetery, too, but her grave site is unknown.

1862-1887 Eli L.Ward. Eli Ward , named for hisUncle, obviously, also died in the prime of his life. He was only 25, but had married, in 1884, to Ella Sims, and had one son, Charles James Ward, the "Charley" that David had mentioned in his will.

1864-1913 John E. Ward. John also predeceased his father, but left heirs. He married EttieWiley in 1894. They had two sons, Vernie and Alva mentioned in the Will were his. He was 49.

1866 - 1931 Joseph B. Ward, the executor of his Father's will.

1868- 1891 Thomas Franklin Ward, another who died young, at age22. No children.

1871 -1927 Sarah Elizabeth 'Sadie' Ward Elkin.

1873- 1949 Otis Bartley Ward.

1877 - 1943 Emma D. Ward Scott.

Below is the Obituart of John E. Ward.

The Paris Daily Beacon, Edgar Co., Illinois, Friday, July 18, 1913, pg 7

Well Known Citizen of Near Horace Passes Away On Friday Morning
Also Survived by His Aged Father, Two Brothers and Two Sisters
Funeral Sunday Morning at Franklin Church

- Special to the Beacon. -
Horace, July 18. - John E. Ward, a well known farmer of Edgar county died at his home three miles east of Horace Friday morning following a long illness . . . .

Mr. Ward was born in Vigo County, Ind., February 16, 1864 and was aged 49 years, five months and two days at the time of his death. He came to Edgar County when young and has since been a resident. He always followed the occupation of a farmer and was quite successful in his calling.

He is survived by his wife and two sons, Vernie and Alva, both residing at home. He is also survived by his aged father, David Ward of Horace and the following brothers and sisters: Joseph, of Horace; Otis of Chrisman; Mrs. Ed Elkins, of Horace; Mrs. Leo Scott of Chrisman.

The funeral will take place from the Franklin church east of Horace at 11 o'clock Sunday morning Rev. Fuson, of Fairbanks, Ind., officiating. Burial will be in the Franklin cemetery.

The Paris Daily Beacon, Monday, March 7, 1910, pg 7
Death of Mrs. Ashley.

Horace, Mar. 7. - Mrs. John Ashley residing near here, passed away at 2:15 o'clock Saturday afternoon, following a severe illness of pneumonia, aged 62 years. The deceased was born in Putnam County, Ind., and has resided in this locality since 1872. The following children survive: Willis(,) James and Kate, all residing in Edgar county; Jesse of Sullivan, Ind., Mrs. Ashley is also survived by one brother David Ward.

The funeral was conducted from the Franklin church at 11:30 o'clock this morning, Rev. Ryan officiating. Interment was made in the adjoining cemetery.

And below, the Obituary for David Ward.

David Ward

The Paris Daily Beacon, Paris, Edgar, IL, Monday, January 11, 1915, pg 8

David Ward was born in Montgomery Co. North Carolina Feb. 26, 1832 died at the Soldiers' home in Danville, Ill., Jan. 8, 1915 being therefore eighty-two years, ten months, and twelve days old. When a small child he came with his parents to Clay Co., Ind., and lived there until his marriage to Arta Creech Sept. 29, 1855. She having died ten years ago. To this union were born eleven children: Joe of Horace, Sarah Elkins, Otis and Emma Scott of Chrisman, Wilson, Janie(,) Eli, John(,) Frank and two infants having preceded him to the better land. He joined the army Oct. 14, 1864 and was discharged at Victoria, Texas, Oct. 14, 1865. He then return'd to Edgar Co. where he lived the remainder of his life. He was a member of the Baptist church .... Funeral was at the Franklin church Sunday the 10th and the remains were laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery. The funeral was preached by Rev.F. A. Morrow of Tolono, Ill., a former preacher of Horace Baptist church. The services were in charge of Driskell post G. A. R. of Paris of which the deceased was a member.