The Wares of Fenwick’s Colony

“On the fifth of May, 1675, a company from England, principally members of the Society of Friends, landed from the ship ‘Griffith,’ which had brought them from England to find a home in West Jersey.  The leading spirit of the enterprise and owner of the lands now included in what are now known as Salem and Cumberland counties, New Jersey, was John Fenwick, from which the colony received its name.  The landing place of the Fenwick colony appearing as a good location for a town called it New Salem.

Among these Fenwick colonists was Joseph Ware, of Monmouthshire, Wales.  Thomas Shrouds, in his ‘History of Salem County,’ says that Joseph Ware came as a ‘servant’ to Edwin Wade.  But as Smith, in his ‘History of New Jersey’ says–Fenwick’s daughters, Anne and Elizabeth, married two of his ‘servants’; it would seem that the meaning of servants then was one who worked for wages and not one of inferior social position.  But that is of little moment.  Joseph Ware soon became a man of importance in the colony, his name appearing several times as a member of and sometimes as a foreman of the grand jury.  He bought within a few years five hundred acres of land on Lower Alloways Creek, part of which is yet owned but descendants.  He died March 30, 1711, leaving a will in which he divided his property among his children, after providing for his widow Mary.  He made no mention of his, son, John, who early in life became a follower of George Keith, known as the Quaker Baptist, which fact probably estranged him from his father.  Joseph Ware married (first) May 30, 1683, Martha, daughter of John Becket, of Essex, near Kingston-on-the-Thames, England: Four children.  He married (second) Mary, who is mentioned in his will, who bore him a daughter, Patience.

John Ware, second son of Joseph Ware by his first wife, Martha (Becket) Ware, was born in New Jersey about 1688; his will, probated June 20, 1734, was made May 1, preceding, when he declares himself ‘sick and weak in body, but of sound mind and perfect memory.’  He was styled ‘yeoman’ and declares in his will that he is a resident of Cohansie, Salem county, Province of New Jersey.  He left to his loving wife, ‘Bathsheba’ all his ‘plantation lands with the appurtenances situate and being in Cohansie’ until his first born son John, born in 1772, ‘shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years.’  After that she was to have one-third of all he possessed so long as she remained a widow.

Elanthan Ware, second son and fourth of the six children of John and Bathsheba Ware, has had no mention of his early life preserved beyond mention in his father’s will in which he was given twenty-five acres and ten pounds in gold.  There is no record of him until 1760, when he gave bond to the state when he obtained ‘License to Marriage’ to ‘Mercy Moore.’  He was then resident of Greenwich, Cumberland county, New Jersey, his wife, Mercy, a daughter of Enoch Moore of the same town.  Elanthan and Mercy (Moore) Ware were the parents of nine children of which Joseph was the sixth child and fifth son.

Joseph Ware, fifth e son of Elanthan and Mercy(Moore) Ware, born August 27, 1771, in Greenwich, Salem county, New Jersey, removed to Cape May, New Jersey, where he died.  He married (first) Deborah Whillden, (second) Harriet Whillden, supposed to have been sisters.  Chidren: 1. Samuel Fithian, born October 16, 1800, died 1876; married (first) Esther Teal, (second) Lydia Thomas. 2. Deborah Whillden, born May 4, 1804, died 1866; married Thomas Eldridge. 3. James Whillden, born January  12, 1806, died 1890; married Deborah Hampton. 4. Joseph, born May 16, 1809; married (first) Ann Hughes, (second) Lydia Leaming. 5. Daniel Crowell, born November 1, 1810, died 1891; married (first) Rachel, (second) Louisa Ford. 6. Welmon W. 7. Maskell, born 1822; married (first) Leah Mathais, (second) Mary J. Warick. 8. John G.W., born 1825.

Welmon W. Ware, fifth son of Joseph Ware and his second wife, Harriet (Whillden) Ware was born in Cape May, New Jersey, 1818, died in July 1886.”  (His biography appears independently in the Archives.)

“Preston W. Ware, son of Welmon W. Ware and his second wife, Lydia C. (Schellinger) Ware, was born in Cape May, New Jersey, June 1, 1866.”  (His biography appears independently in the Archives.)

Source:  A History of Delaware Co. PA, Vol. 3, by John Woolf Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., N.Y., 1914, pages 5886-5887.


The Wares of Fenwick’s Colony — 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for putting this together. I’m a 7th great-granddaughter of Joseph Ware and have eagerly started learning about these early ancestors. Here’s my Ware connection:

    Joseph (the immigrant) with Martha Becket
    Joseph Jr. (1684) with Elizabeth Walker
    John (1720) with Elizabeth Fogg
    Job (1766) with Grace Thompson
    John (1790) with Hannah Acton
    Clement A. (1816) with Lydia Allen
    Mortimer (or Montimer) J. (1863) with Mary Lizabeth Conaway
    James Milton (1898) with Madeline Frances Dodge
    Barbara Ann (1933) with Robert Philip Holmes

  2. Great website. Thanks for your hard work.
    My Grandfather was Ralph Ware Schellenger, son of Sarah Eldridge Ware and Samuel Mills Schellenger. Ralph was born in Bridgeton, raised in Cape May, and eventually Philadelphia where I was raised. My father was a Delaware River Pilot as were many generations before him.

  3. Now this is digging deep in the records Vicki. Great article and well presented. I would say you win the 5 star award for this one.


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