Transcription of 1831 Letter from Charles Ware in KY to his Niece in Clarke Co., VA: by: Judy Ware

Transcription of 1831 Letter from Charles Ware in Kentucky (son of  Dr. James Ware)

to His Niece Sally (Sarah E.T. Ware) – Sister of Josiah Ware

Transcribed by Judy C. Ware    April 2009

Original letter on file in the R.B. Hayes Library


No envelope or address shown


January 12, 1831

Sally My Dear; (Sarah Elizabeth Taliaferro Ware Stribling)

I have concluded to give you some account of your father’s (James Ware III) history; not all the particulars but the leading features.

Your grandfather and grandmother (James Ware II and Catherine “Caty” Todd Ware) were both raised in Caroline county (Virginia). They were neighbors and married early in life, particularly your grandmother (before she was 14 years old.) They remained in that county for some time and until your Uncle Thompson was born (1769) and perhaps your father (1771.) Of this, however, I am not certain.  They then removed to Frederick County, in what year I can’t say, but they continued to live there until 1791.  My father (James II) (and your grandfather) then moved his family to Kentucky in the spring of this year and arrived at his home on the 16th of June.  He had, previous to this time, sent out some Negroes and an overseer to make a settlement and clear some ground on the same place that he lived and (eventually) died on.

Previous to these events, and before my recollection of particulars, in the fall of the year 1784 my father (James II) visited Kentucky and remained there the winter.  This was at a time when people lived in Stations (forts).  He then, in the year 1789, revisited this country and brought with him your Uncle Thompson and your father (James III) and left them here.  Your father then engaged with a Mr. Johnston, the clerk of Jefferson County, and wrote in his office until he became fully acquainted with the business.  He then returned to Virginia in the spring of the year (1791) that my father moved here, and he accompanied us some days and then returned (to Virginia).  Through the friendship of General Daniel Morgan, he obtained an introduction to General S. Smith of Baltimore, whence he commenced merchandizing in Louisville and continued this business until 1795, (in the fall of this year he married your mother) in which he made the beginning of his fortune.  I did not go to live with him until the fall of 1793.  We then continued together almost until I married in 1803 and sometime after your amiable and affectionate Mother had quit this world for a more blessed aboard.

Your grandmother (Caty Todd Ware) had 7 children; your father being the second and I the fifth.  I believe they all live at this day except your father.  There is a great many circumstances during this interval I could relate that would be worthy of your attention.  I have, in getting tired of writing, cut short of many particulars that you would be glad to know of.  I would rather communicate them face to face.  If that’s not done soon, I fear it can’t be done in this world for I find I decline more than my years speak of.  Your aunt (Frances Whiting Ware) is, at this time, in bed seriously diseased with severe fever and cold, and I have myself just resigned to the bed.  I have written this in some haste, so please correct the mistakes and believe me with the sincerest friendship

Affectionately yours,

C (Charles) Ware

My dear:  If there is any particulars of your father that you wish to be informed of that is within my recollection, please advise me and it shall be attended to.  C ware

This is miserable paper – I did not intend sending it, but thought to copy it.  I must ask you to excuse it.

I shall expect to hear from you soon.

C. (Charles)


** This letter was written by Charles Ware – son of James Ware II and brother of James Ware III – the only sibling who returned to Virginia to live.  Charles was part of the large family move to Kentucky that included his father & mother (James & Caty Ware) and the following siblings who made up the “7 children” he wrote about:

1. Thompson Ware who married Sallie Conn

2. James (whom he was writing)

3.  Mary “Polly” Todd Ware who married Charles Webb

4. Lucy Catherine Ware who married Isaac Webb

5. Charles (author)

6. Catherine Ware who married John Mitchell Scott

7. George Ware who married Nancy Ferguson.

** Sally was Sarah Elizabeth Taliaferro Ware Stribling – the sister of Josiah Ware, daughter of Elizabeth and James Ware III, and granddaughter of Caty Todd and James Ware II.

**The “Daniel Morgan” mentioned in the letter was an American pioneer, soldier, and United States Representative from Virginia. He is most remembered for his outstanding service in the Revolutionary War that awarded him a gold medal in 1782.  His incredible and heroic military maneuver at Cowpens is “widely considered to be the tactical masterpiece of the war and one of the most successfully executed double envelopments of all of modern military history.” Wikipedia

“We then continued together almost until I married in 1803 and sometime after your amiable and affectionate Mother had quit this world . . .”   Charles married Frances Whiting on November 29, 1803.  They never had any children.  James and Elizabeth were married on November 10, 1796, but Elizabeth passed away on August 29, 1803 at the age of 29.  James remarried in 1808 to Harriet Taylor.

I believe they all live at this day except your father.

When this letter was written in 1831, Thompson was 62 years old.  He would live another 21 years and die at the age of 83.

Mary “Polly” was 59 years old.

Lucy was 58 years old and would only live another 2 years before she would die of cholera at the age of 60.

Charles, himself, was 56 when he wrote.  He would live another 8 years before dying in Versailles, Kentucky at age 64 in July 1839.

Catherine (or Kitty) was 54 years old.

George was 52 years old and would live another 18 years to die at the age of 70.

Brother, James, was the first to pass away on September 13, 1821 on a Thursday night.  He was only 50 years old at the time.


The Ware Family Bible – This is kept in my home and has dates and names recorded in it that date all the way back to the 1700’s.

VIRGINIA GENEALOGIES: A genealogy of the Glassell Family of Scotland and Virginia by Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden, M. A. Printed in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1891 – copyrighted 1885.

1825 Letter from Thompson Ware to his niece, Sarah (Sally) E.T. Ware Stribling.  Thompson was the brother of her father (James III) and also the uncle to Josiah.  Researched and transcribed by Judy C. Ware  April 2009

The Proceedings of the Clarke County Historical Association Volume XXIII 1983-1984 copyright 1985 by the Clarke County Historical Association – printed by Commercial Press, Stephens City, Virginia 22655

Letter from Isaac Webb to RB Hayes (his cousin) on November 29, 1883

Letter written by James P. Riely of the County Court in regards to a request President Hayes made for information on his family.

Last Will and Testament of Catharine Ware Scott: Courtesy of Maunsel White

** Further information on James Ware can be found at

Transcription of 1831 Letter from Charles Ware in Kentucky to his niece, Sally Stribling.  The letter concerns family history of relatives that moved from Virginia to Kentucky. -03


Transcription of 1831 Letter from Charles Ware in KY to his Niece in Clarke Co., VA: by: Judy Ware — 2 Comments

  1. WOW! This is fascinating and so special in the history of our Ware ancestors. I truly enjoyed this. Thank you so much. Your research work effort is so important and greatly appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.