Surname Saturday: Ward

Ward genealogy Johnson ForresterWard is one the surnames for which I can’t go back very far.  I only have information on three generations, beyond those still living.

Newton Coleman Ward (1890-1974) – I’ve written several times about Newt, or Pepaw Ward as I call him.  He was my great-grandfather and I vaguely remember him from when I was little girl.  Pepaw Ward was a farmer, ran a still, and later worked in a talc mine.  He also worked on a streetcar at some point in time, according to my grandmother, but I have yet to find documentation of that.  He was born in Fannin County, Georgia on October 24, 1890, where lived until his only son, Worth, was killed.  After Worth’s death, the family moved to Murray County, Georgia, where Newt lived until he went into the nursing home in Dalton, Georgia.  He died on August 1, 1974 and is buried in Fannin County.  He and his wife, Rachel Johnson, had eight children.

Newt’s father was William Harvey Ward (1864-1933).  He was born in September 1864 in Georgia.  He lived in Fannin County in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 and died there on April 15, 1933.  He was a farmer.  I know that he also lived in Fannin County in the 1890’s, because that’s where Newt was born.  I have no information about him prior to 1890.  He and his wife, Mary Lourania Forrester, had seven children.

I’ve recently obtained a copy of William’s death certificate, which confirmed that his father was Harvey Ward, who married Mary Tucker.  I have not had a chance to do further research on Harvey, so for now, the line stops here.

Ward Surname Fun Facts

Wards were among the earliest immigrants to the New World, a John Ward having been recorded in Virginia in 1624.(Surname DB)  Most Wards immigrated from Ireland or England.  The name means “guard,” or “watchman” in English and is derived from “son of the bard (aka poet)” in Irish.  About 1/10 of 1% of the U. S. population are Wards; in 1990, there were almost 270,000 Wards, making Ward the 66th most common surname in the U. S.  In 1880, Wards were most heavily concentrated in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, although they were also spread evenly through the South and Midwest.  The 1880 census enumerated 2,251 Wards in Georgia.  In 1840, there were 3,592 Wards in the United States, but only 100 in Georgia.  It will be interesting to see from whence my line migrated.

More about the Wards

Research To-Dos

  • Locate William H. Ward on the 1870 and 1880 censuses.
  • Look for any information I can find on Harvey (presumably locating William on the missing censuses will kickstart this line of research).
  • Locate a copy of William and Mary’s marriage license.  They were married in Fannin County, so I should be able to find this online at Georgia’s Virtual Vault.
  • Look for additional children of Harvey and Mary.

If you have any additional information (or corrections) on this line of Wards, comments are most appreciated!

This post is part of an ongoing series focusing on specific surnames. To see all posts in the series, click here.

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