04 July 2009

Independence Day!

It was a great trip, saw some old friends, some family, traveled lots of miles, did a wee bit of research, took some headstone photo's... now we are back, I have work to do. I'd like to focus on the stuff I have pulled so far and try to get it all in before we leave again July 10th. We'll see.

When we think of July 4th, many people think of fireworks and backyard cookouts. Yes, those are good things. But when I think of July 4th I try to remember what it is really about - and the price some paid for our independence that we so take for granted.

I've chosen one of my ancestors, William Ward (1753-1836) to honor today. William Ward was my sixth great grandfather. His headstone, pictured above, lies in Oak Plains Cemetery, Sampson County, North Carolina. I don't know tons about him, but the things I know I will share here. William Ward was the son of Edward Ward & Mary Cannon Ward, one of two proven children. I don't know much about Edward & Mary except that they were supposedly born in London, England.

William was married to Mary Bell & they had eight children: Alfred, William, Robert, Nancy, Sophia, Samuel, Nancy Jane and Eliza. And yes I know there are two Nancy's here. It is reported (not proven as of this minute) that there were two Nancy's because the first one died young. I have not proven this as of this writing.

It is reported in several places that this Ward family traces its lineage back to a Sir Edward Ward, although the relationship is unproven by me, I do make note of it in my file - and the interesting history attached to the name. If true, Sir Edward would be 9th great grandfather. Anyway, more documention is needed indeed to tie my William to Sir Edward.

A History of Alfred and Elizabeth Robinson Ward, 1945... states the following regarding Sir Edward Ward ".. a London judge, who presided at the trial of the New England pirate, Capt. William Kidd, and sentenced Captain Kidd to be hanged on Tyburn Wall in London and Captain Kidd was so executed. Captain Kidd was in fact sentenced for having a sailor put to death on one of his ships." A story as yet unconfirmed in exsisting records, as is the relationship between this Ward family and the Judge Sir Edward Ward.

I have William's Rev. War Pension that he received for his military service to our country. Besides his marriage, his children, military service and parents, I really have no "color" for William Ward. His second son, William Jr., is my ancestor, who packed it in and left North Carolina to live & die in South Georgia.

If indeed you find yourself researching the Ward family in Sampson County, North Carolina drop a line, I'd love to find someone else who might have more info than what I have been able to scratch up on this line.

There are many persons in my files, who like William Ward fought for this great country, but many times their service is forgotten - replaced with fireworks & picnics. Today while you enjoy your fireworks and picnics - take a minute and say thanks to all those Vets who fought & died so you can celebrate your independence! They certainly do not hear it enough - THANK YOU!

Happy researching!

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