The Wares and The Other Wares of Kentucky

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.


The Wares and The Other Wares of Kentucky — 11 Comments

  1. This is Judy Ware – author of New Nation/New Land – the Biography of James and Agnes Todd Ware. While it is true that I originally did not think this branch of the Wares came with the Traveling Church, I thankfully found information before printing that gave me a clearer picture. The copy of the book (which is posted on this site) provides such findings in CHAPTER 11. I hope this clears up any confusion – Judy

  2. Howdy Y’All; my ancestors were also of the WARE family, Thompson Ware moved his family from Virginia in late 1700s and settled in/around Paris, Bourbon County, KY. James Rockwell

  3. This was very interesting. My great uncle is named Thomas Waller Ware, and there are several in the family that have the Waller name.

    Susan Eaton
    Daughter of Beverly Ware

  4. My father, Thurman Hickman Ware,s/o Elias Martin Ware, s/o Iverson Joseph Ware, s/o (?)John W Ware.
    My question for years has been, where did the Thurman Hickman come from. Not until I hit upon this site did I ever find Hickman in my search.
    Can my line be connected to the Hickman mentioned in the article above?

  5. Hi All

    Many years ago I was intouch with a researcher who was of this line. We felt pretty sure that Iverson was the son of Reuben Ware & Susana ? but was unable to document, if memory serves me
    Reuben moved south but don’t recall where. The family bible is at the Filson Club in Louisville. Iverson was born 28 Apr. 1786, Thomas, 5 Nov.1770, William, 22 May 1772, Nicholas, 27 Nov. 1773, Mary (Waller) 6 Dec. 1775,
    John Burke, 14 Apr. 1780, James, 30 May

  6. This is a new find and extremely interesting. Something that I really want to follow up on. I will look forward to future findings on this set of WARE’S. I have traced my ancestors back to Bourbon County, KY and this may be the clue I’ve been searching for. Thank you for this post.

    C. Wayne Ware
    Cedar Falls, IA

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