Wareland and the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church Franklin Co. Kentucky REVISED

A little over a week ago, Judy Ware e-mailed me a current map of the area around Frankfort and Versailles KY.  She had just been to that area on a research trip with her husband.  (Judy is the author of the story entitled New Nation/New land, and her particular area of interest is the family of James Ware and his sons.  She is descended through James’ son, James and I am descended through James’ son, John.)  She was literally on her way out the door for a planned trip, when she dashed off an e-mail to me regarding the whereabouts of “Wareland.”  Was James farm in Kentucky actually called “Wareland” ?

I love a mystery, so I got right on it.  She had written William Ware’s name in the upper corner of the map near Midway in Woodford Co.  I had been in contact with the Historical Society there a week earlier and a very nice gentleman had given me the the name of  a lady named Margaret Ware Parrish.  A few days later, she and I talked about her connection to the Ware family.  She did not  know why her middle name was Ware, so I researched it for her and I believe her grandfather Phillip Parrish was related to the Ware family.  I sent her the information and she was delighted to know.  She is 90.  Anyway, getting back to the story.  I called her again to ask her about some of the landmarks on the map and she told me she would look into it.

I had also placed a call to Brenda Glover, my cousin, who lives in Madisonville, KY and who is a member of the DAR.  (I was doing research on John Ware, before I posted the story last week and Brenda had told me about a site I might look at to find military graves, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.)  After I found John’s information, just for fun I typed  Ware and who should come up, but William Ware, buried at Wareland cemetery on Sam Mason.  Thinking Sam Mason is a road in the area of northwestern Woodford Co.,  I start searching the maps for Sam Mason.

Meanwhile, I have sent an e-mail to Judy, describing my find.  This is just the first of the many I would send to her over the course of the next 10 days, praying all the time her e-mail box wouldn’t be full and reject them.

The next piece of information came while doing a Google search for Wareland.  A small notation from a DAR record file, stated “Ware,William Born 29 1750 buried at Frankfort KY Wareland the place of Mr. Sam Mason….”  Above was another  notation “Gano Rev John Born 1726 died Aug 8 1804 buried at Frankfort KY at Wareland the place of Mr. Sam Mason. Chaplin 19th Continental Infantry….”  Next I looked up Gano and learned he was the minister who had baptized George Washington.  I went to Ancestry and searched Gano and came up with a descendant who had photos of the tombstones.  Great, I say to myself, find Gano’s grave and you will find William Wares.  Find William Wares grave and you will find Wareland. This is proving to be easier said than done.

NEW INFORMATION:  ”April 10, 1791, Benjamin Ashby sold 300 acres of this to James Ware, 300 acres to Charles Webb, and 200 acres to John Cordell.

Benjamin Ashby 17 Nov 1785 CGB V:152 1000a Fayette/ on the waters of the North fork of Elk horn.”

Courtesy of Marti Martin.  Marti also found that Ashby’s wife had to be examined in Frederick Co., Virginia.  This means she was interviewed there to assure that it was she who was agreeing to sell the property along with her husband. James Jr. had come to Kentucky from Frederick County.

We have come to believe Wareland was a combination of properties, titles held by James, and sons William and Edmund.  After James died the will was probated but we can find no inventory of property or settlement agreement.  We think William and Edmund integrated James share of land into their own and may never have sent money to John, Clary or the heirs of Nicholas as was specified in James will.

We also believe Agnes never made the trip to Kentucky and died in Virginia.  Since William became heir to the portion of James’ land where James resided, it is possible given James advanced age, he lived with and was cared for by William’s family.  There is new evidence stating William built a house on the property and late rented it out, reserving a portion as a designated cemetery.  Research of the deed of that section is planned for a future time.

Another search on Google produced as article in the “Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society.”



This is perfect, I have all the information I need.  The cemetery is on Ducker Station Pike.  Ken and I get on Google maps and see a church near the corner of Duckers Station and interstate 64.  I don’t know that name so call the Woodford Historical Society and speak with Donna.  I am told it is called the “Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church.”  I get the number and call.  The secretary doesn’t know anything about the graveyard and suggests I call David Nance, church historian.  I call but no answer.  I tried several times over the next two days, but no answer.  Finally leaving a message, I was hopeful he would return my call.

I had been talking with and e-mailing Brenda over the course of the next few days, discussing her involvement and how she might be able to help.  She had a friend who would  be able to get in touch with Mr. Nance and to wait until the next day.  I am a very impatient person and especially when I want to know something.  I have learned how to find peoples phone numbers on a search site called anywho.com.  I type in David Nance, Frankfort, KY and come up with 4 possible choices.  I called my first choice and Mr. Nance answered.  I asked if he was the historian for the Forks of Elkhorn church and he tells me, yes.  He had gotten my message on his cell phone  earlier, but hadn’t had a chance to return my call.

And here is where it gets more complicated.  We spoke for over an hour and he over-loaded my brain with information which I am still trying to sort out.  The Forks of Elkhorn Church had several locations over the years, but the cemetery I am looking for is not at the current location.  It was located near 421 S, the old Leestown Pike, west of the other end of Duckers Station Pike.  He told me about a map drawn several years ago and published in a book no longer in print called “Forks of Elkhorn Creek”, by Ermina Jett Darnell.  Mrs. Darnell lived in the area.  (While we were speaking, Marti Martin, of  the Woodford Co. Historical Society is e-mailing me the map and other information in the book from her home computer.)

Click on map to enlarge

This map was drawn as a compilation of all that the artist remembered, so you will see several of the Church’s locations.  The one we are concerned with is circled in blue and Wareland is circled in green.  (Click on the map to enlarge. )  I’ve also included the information from the book about James Ware and family.  There I some Ware names  I don’t recognize at this point, but I will investigate further to see which part of the Ware family they belong to.



To back-track a bit you will notice on the map a little above and to the right of Wareland is the name Scotland, property once owned by Robert Scott.  In the information above, “Edmund (1753-18140), m Susanna ______” (Brassfield), “and they probably built the original house at ‘Scotland,’ now owned by the Hay family.”  Keep this in mind because it is important later. (Edmund Ware’s descendants moved to Todd Co., KY.)

Now getting back to the investigation.  In my conversation with Mr. Nance, I learn that the grave of Gano, along with his wife and Rev. Hickman, who was not buried at the cemetery, but on his own land a bit further away were moved to the DAR section of the Frankfort cemetery.  But he didn’t know when.  (I learn later from Brenda, it was in 1916.)  So where is William Ware?  I had been thinking all this time that the cemetery was at the location of new Forks church.  Did they remove the graves when interstate 64 was built in the mid 1960’s?

The next day I called the cemetery in Frankfort and spoke with Mrs. Coleman.  The graves were indeed there in the DAR section, but no William Ware.  Then I called the History Library in Frankfort and spoke with Ann Johnson, who is in charge of Cemetery Preservation, she tells me they might have pulled a permit to move the bodies and to where.  I call the cemetery at Frankfort again and they know nothing of a permit.  I called Vital Statistics about the permit, leave a message, but the call is never returned.  (I later learned permits for exhuming bodies weren’t issued until a few years ago.)

I think I am at  dead-end with this, but another clue comes the next day.  Mr. Nance had told me about Professor G.C. Downing who had written several articles for the “Regsiter.”  I found this article written in 1904.



Mr. Nance had told me he had spoken with the grand daughter of Sam Mason, and she had told him, her grandfather told her, George Washington’s minister had been buried over in the pasture.  David also told me that Sam Mason’s house was near the old church.  (Located on that spot now is an industrial park.  Mr. Nance believes the graveyard is under the parking lot.)  I call Brenda to tell her the news and she tells me she knows the grand daughter too, and will contact her.

When the church was dismantled in 1866, according to David Nance, materials were used to build the home of Hillary Bedford. (Bedford being a later owner of part of the Wareland property.)

Ann Johnson, tells me if we can find the cemetery, then she will work towards getting a marker placed there.

Mr. Nance has done extensive research tracking the old deeds for the church and tells me he has found previous owners of the land to be Mason, Bedford, Scott and Brown.   Many years of deeds are missing and county road improvements have changed landmarks, making it almost impossible to correlate old and new maps.  He tells me to get in touch with John Hay the current owner of Scotland.

A week after Judy has left, I call Mr. Hay and he tells me about Scotland and refers me to a book called “Footloose in Jacksonian America,” published by the University of Kentucky Press in Lexington.  He says there is lots of information in the book regarding the property.  We had a nice conversation and he tells me the exact location of  the house he currently lives in, which can be seen from Interstate 64.

The next e-mail I get is from David Nance with a link to the old minutes of the Church, from 1800 to 1807,  which are on-line.  I download them and there are several mentions of the Wares; William, James Ware Jr., Edmund, Nicholas, Agness and others I recognize as marrying into the family, Bacon, Blanton, Read, Bullock.  Gano’s and Hickman’s names are prominent also.

David also forwards me the link to the book about Scotland, “Footloose …”  The property description says the farm contains 368  acres.  This is not large enough to be James Ware’s, Wareland.  And it is over a mile from the county line, which according to the information in the  first description from the “Register” article was ” within a short distance of his log residence.”

Mr. Nance sent this map.


Blue rectangle:  Scotland house

Purple oval:  Ware farm

Blue square:  Sam Mason’s house, which was the old Bedford house

Red circle:  Location of old Forks of Elkhorn Church and cemetery

Area circled in green:  Present location of Forks of Elkhorn Church

Mr. Nance tells me that the members of the church are  on working on trying to get a monument placed at the location of the old church and cemetery, but with no documentation, he doubts they will achieve this goal.  Some hope rest on a future interview with Sam Mason’s grand daughter as to her recollection of the location, but I doubt this will even be enough.

If our relatives and other members of the old Kentucky families of this area lie in unmarked graves, under a parking lot, it is our duty as their descendants, to see that this place is honored.  If you are member of any of the above families, please lend your voice and your support to this cause.

I believe Judy Ware’s original question as to the location of Wareland has been answered.  I don’t believe the farm was called Wareland, but was Ware’s land, as Scotts land was called Scotland.

More information will be forthcoming in the future and I will keep you abreast of additions or changes.


Wareland and the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church Franklin Co. Kentucky REVISED — 6 Comments

  1. Vicki William Ware B 29 Mar 1750 was my 4th great grandfather thanks for all the research you have done

  2. Very nice work. I’m also looking for a cemetery and the grave of Joseph P. Edrington. He probably came from Virginia with the Wares in 1791. He was an early member of the Forks Church and helped to either donate or purchase the land for the first building. You will see his name on your map above, immediately west of Wareland. I have been to Scotland and the Hays are cousins, being related via Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. I’ve bookmarked your page, but if you find out more about a possible cemetery location, please be in touch.
    Thanks, David Edrington, Eugene, OR

  3. WOW Vicki, this is terrific information. You should check your DNA again, because I believe you are part ‘Bloodhound”. 🙂 I find this really interesting as my wife and I have travelled I-64 through here several times in the past. Thank you for this post.

    R1b Group

  4. Wow, Vicki!! I need to leave town more often! You really should be hired by some detective agency – you have a real talent for tracking down information!! Bless you for all your hard work and unbelievable research. It is such a joy to work with you.

  5. Thanks Vicki and others for your diligent work on this issue. What a great job you have done! It is a huge service to all of us! Thanks many times over!! Linda Hilton Ball (descended from John Ware, son of James Ware).

  6. You put some time into this one Vicki. Excellent work. We Ware’s appreciate it and I for one really enjoy reading what you research and find on our family ancestors. Wayne

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