Will the Real Father of James Ware Sr., Stand Up?

James Ware Sr. was born November 15, 1714 in King and Queen County, Virginia.  He married Agnes Todd  in Gloucester County,Virginia, in1734.  James and Agnes settled in Caroline County and seven children were born to them between 1736 and 1753, according to genealogist Judy C. Ware, in her family biography entitled New Nation/New Land (to be found on this blog site).  When James was approximately 56, he and Agnes held a lottery to sell property in order to liquidate their holdings in Virginia and buy large amounts of land in Kentucky prior to relocating there.  James would also have had land given to him, as compensation for his military service.; called a warrant

”Once the frontier county of Fincastle was dissolved and became Kentucky County, it was later subdivided into Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln. Even more divisions took place. On May 1, 1785, Fayette County was divided into two counties, the northern part being called Bourbon and the southern part keeping the name of Fayette. In 1788, Woodford County was formed out of Fayette County.”  (Ref. Judy C. Ware)

At this time it is not known if Agnes accompanied her husband and several of their children on the perilous journey.  Some researchers record her death as September 25, 1790 in Gloucester County, Virginia.  We do know, however, that James died in Kentucky.


WRITTEN 25 SEPT 1790 WOODFORT (Woodford) CO. KY.

PROVED 19 APR 1796


In the transcribed copy, James bequeaths his belongings to his children and no mention of Agnes is made.

It is believed that only three of James’ sons accompanied him to Kentucky; James II, William and Edmund.  Very little is known of son, Richard and daughter, Clary.  The two oldest boys, John and Nicholas, stayed behind even though they both did their military service and would have been entitled to warrant land.  John married and his family moved to Goochland County.   Nicholas and his family located at Ware Shoals, Abbeville, South Carolina.

Now that you have a short history of James, we pose the question,” Will the Real Father of James Ware Sr., Stand up?”  During the time of the Revolution, many local government offices were sacked by the British, thereby destroying records.  Over the years, some documentation has been discovered in government offices of other counties or in personal records, but conclusive evidence as to the heritage of James Ware Sr. remains a mystery.

In order to understand James’ lineage we must go back to what is known and who is agreed upon by researchers of this family, Peter Ware Sr.  Two descendants of  Peter Ware Sr. claim to have connection with James Ware and conjecture as to his father.  First is the Garrett line as described by John E. Garrett, “The Author’s Garrett Line: 1000 Years of Garrett Family History.”

The following information is taken from his on-line website.

Click on to enlarge.

Click on to enlarge.

Peter Ware Sr. had a son named Peter Jr., who had a son named Valentine, (named for the family of his mother, Jane Valentine.)  The last child born to Valentine Ware and his wife Mary Leigh, in 1691, was Edward who married a descendant of the Garrett line; Elizabeth born in 1689 in Stratton-Major Parish, King and Queen County, Virginia.  Her father was probably John Ware Garrett III.

”Parishes in King and Queen and King William.Stratton Major.

The following list of vestrymen, commencing in 1739, will show who were the leading men in all the civil and ecclesiastical matters of the parish and county:—Richard Roy, Richard Johnson, Henry Hickman, Edward Ware, Thomas Foster, Thomas Dudley, John Collier, Gawin Corbin, Valentine Ware, Roger Gregory, Richard Anderson, John Robinson, Benjamin Needier, Robert Dudley, John Livingston, Robert Gaines, Philip Roots, John Ware, Richard Shackleford, William Taliafero, John Strakey, William Lyne, Charles Collier, Thomas Thorpe, Thomas Langford, John Shackleford, John Foster, Philip Roots, Francis Gaines, John Whiting, Thomas Reade Roots, John Whiting, James Prior, Thomas Dillard, Lyne Shackleford, Hon. Richard Corbin, William Hall, John Taylor Corbin, Benjamin Robinson, Humphrey Garrett, Richard Bray, James Didiake, Philip Taliafero, Lyne Shackleford, Jr., Thomas Dillard, John Kidd.”

(Reference: Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, Vol. 1,by Bishop William Meade, J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, 1906, page 376)

In this reference you can read the names of Valentine Ware, Edward Ware and John Ware among many others.  Ware family researchers will also  recognize Shackleford, Garrett, Didlake and Taliafero, sometimes spelled Taliferro.  The descending lineage of these other families are intertwined with the Wares.

Edward Ware and Elizabeth Garrett were married in 1713 and their first son was reported to be James Ware, born in 1714.

Another researcher familiar to many is Wanda Ware DeGidio.  Her popular theory is as follows in abbreviated form.  Her entire Genealogy can be viewed on-line at WARE FAMILY HISTORY.

Peter Ware Sr., wife, Mary Hickes.

Descending son Nicholas Ware I, wife Unknown.

Descending son Nicholas Ware II, wife Unknown.

Descending son Nicholas Ware III, wife Jenny Garrett.

Click on to enlarge.

(Note:  On this document, the name Todd has been added to James wife Agnes and the Pace name is stricken through.  Proof of this was provided in “Agnes Todd vs. Agnes Pace,” by Judy C. Ware, also to be found on this blog site.)

Judy C. Ware has other documentation raising a new theory as to the father of James Ware Sr.  On a old typed genealogy contributed by Mrs. Lewis B. Burton, wife of the Bishop of Kentucky:

Click on images to enlarge.

(Edited for content.)

More documentation is provided in another old type-written letter, owned by Judy C. Ware, and dated August 9, 1930 by Rev. Sigsimund S. Ware, son of Josiah W. Ware.  Josiah was the great-great-grandson of James Ware Sr.

Click on to enlarge.

(Note: The letter states the father of Peter Sr. was Robert Ware.  This is also written by Mrs. Burton in her genealogical review.  Mrs. DeGidio now has DNA evidence which does not connect the lineage of Peter Ware Sr. to a Robert Ware, or for that matter to Sir John Ware or his father Christopher Ware, as most researchers have come to believe.)

John Stein, a distant Ware cousin, contributed this method of naming children:

”The following pattern is common in Irish and English families:

1st son named for father’s, father.”

The oldest child born to James and Agnes was John.

Given all of the above information, I leave it to you the researcher, to make up your own mind and call for the “Real Father of James Ware Sr. to Stand Up!”


Will the Real Father of James Ware Sr., Stand Up? — 2 Comments

  1. It is with interest I read the above. I descend from a Richard Ware b,abt 1754 in I believe VA. Some of his children’s death certificates say VA and others looks like MD, but that could be the handwriting of the person writing. I think perhaps my Richard is the same as the s/o James.
    My Richard settled in Randolph co, VA which later became WV. He married Polly Wilson and it is believed they had between 10 and 15 children.
    Richard has been a “brick wall” for many of his descendants. Any information you can share about your Richard would be much appreciated and hopefully we can know once and for all just who our Richard was and who his parents might be.
    Thank you.

  2. I have poured over this for four long years now and all I can say is that: “It isn’t me”. And that a positive statement you can go to the bank on.

    Seriously, this is very confusing and I have to admit that I have stayed with what Judy has researched in her publication “New Nation/New Land” until it can be proven otherwise. The arguments do sound reasonable though.


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