For a long time, we descendants of James and Agnes Todd Ware have assumed that our Ware family ancestors had exclusivity to Franklin and Woodford Counties in Kentucky, and that all descendants of the Ware line in this area could and would be traced back to them.
Surprise! There was another group of people with the last name of Ware who lived within a stone’s throw, but to the best of my knowledge, they had nothing to do with each other. I can shed some light on this other family, because some new information which has come to me via Marti Martin, of the Woodford County Historical Society.
I have been tripping over the names of Rueben and Iverson Ware for about a year, thinking they would fit in somewhere, and I think I have finally, or at least partially, solved the mystery. According to a letter regarding the lineage of Rueben Ware found in the Ware Family File in the Frankfort Historical Library, Mrs. Leadru Ware Kirby of Missouri states, “Rueben Ware was born in Caroline County, Virginia, moved to Franklin Co. KY and died in 1803. Reuben was born in 1746 and married Susan Graves.” She lists the parents of Reuben Ware as Nicholas and Dolly (Garrett) Ware. Reuben “moved to Kentucky with his sister Sarah Ware Samuel and other Ware relatives to settle in Shelby County.”
Their children are listed as Thomas; William; Nicholas; Mary (Polly) who married Rev. George Waller (There is an archived biography about him.); John Burke Ware; James; and Iverson.
Mrs. Kirby believes that John Burke was her grandfather. And has supplied the Ware Family File at the Frankfort Library with numerous newspaper articles and photos of descendants. She does not give the name of a wife.
I have learned “Wares” came to Franklin and Woodford Counties with the “Traveling Church.” This group of Baptists who left Virginia, included several other names we have associated with our Ware line; Allen, Dupuy, Martin, Payne, Parrish, Schackleford, Sanders and Todd. And it was assumed that the Ware name mentioned was that of James. I have since learned from Judy Ware, that she believes James and Agnes or their sons, James, William or Edmund were not in this group.
One of the members of this group of travelers was William Hickman, who eventually became the minister of The Forks of Elkhorn Church located near Frankfort. (There is an archived article about the Wares and this church.)
It is also known that some Wares are buried at the Old Grassy Springs Church just across the county line in Woodford County. The only descendant of our Ware line who might be buried there would be Ann Richardson Ware Fogg, great-granddaughter of James and Agnes.
Grassy Springs, or as it had been called before, Hopewell Church, became a Disciples of Christ Church. Differences in beliefs with regards to slavery had caused a rift with church members and the new church was organized. William Hickman had left the Forks Church for two years because of anti-slavery beliefs. He later returned to his congregation.
Therefore, I believe the two Ware family groups, who as far as we know did not inter-marry, were separated because of the differences of their religious faith.