William Ware (1760 – 1828)

William Ware was the third son and child born to John and Ann (Harrison) Ware in Goochland Co., Virginia.  His father John, was born in 1736 in Gloucester Co., Virginia and migrated with his parents, James and Agnes (Todd) Ware to King and Queen County; a part which later became Caroline Co.  When John’s father, James, gave permission for his son’s marriage to Ann Harrison, born in 1740, the bond stated, “John of Caroline Co.”  Ann’s parents were Andrew and Jane (Dillard) Harrison.  (Jane was Andrew’s second wife, his first wife was Jane’s sister, Mary.)  The Harrison lived on Byrd Creek and Ann was known as Ann of the Byrd.

William was probably baptized at St. James Parish Church, Northam, however his birth and that of a younger sister, Mollie (Mary), are missing from the records kept by Rev. William Douglas in his Register.  (In the years following Rev. Douglas’ death some of the pages in the Register were lost.)  Their relationship to the family was verified by John’s Will. and specifically Mollie’s tombstone which is inscribed “Daughter of Capt. John Ware.”

We know the Wares lived in the vicinity of Rock Castle which is close to the borders of Fluvanna and Cumberland Counties, but little else is known of the family, prior to the Revolutionary War.  John became a Captain in the Goochland Militia in 1777.  William’s oldest brother, James, served as John’s, First Lieutenant.  Another brother, Andrew, served as an Ensign in the Goochland Militia.

John was replaced by Samuel Richardson, April 20, 1778 .  William served as Second Lieutenant to Captain Richardson, July 16, 1782 and was promoted to Captain in 1783.  (Ref:  Biography of Captain John Ware, this site.)

In the decades proceeding  the Revolutionary War, some of the Goochland families moved to southern Virginia; Dilliards, Todds, Perkins, Coles, Flemings, Richardsons, Napiers, Paynes and Harrisons.   “Old Andrew,” as he was called by his family had  moved south, and had property in Hailfax and Pittsylvania Counties.

“William Harrison came from Goochland County to Pittsylvania in 1770, when he purchased for 700 pounds, 432 acres on the Dan River from John Payne the Elder, of Goochland…  In 1773 he purchased 500 acres for 500 pounds on the north side of the Dan River…”

During the War his house was used as a hospital.  “The Court of Claims held May 11th, 1785, paid for the use of hospital as follows:

‘To William Harrison for the Rent of houses, Beds and etc., for the use of the General Hospital keep at Peter Perkins, three months…35 pounds”

Source:  History of Pittsylvania County, by Maud Carter Clement, J.S. Bell Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Va., 1929, page 183

William Ware also petitioned the Circuit Court for payment for goods and or services he provided during the Revolutionary War, leading us to believe he had relocated to Pittsylvania County prior to the end of the conflict or he may have served there and chose to stay when the War ended in 1783.

Source:  On-line Catalog for the Library of Virginia, Court Booklet page 10 and Commissioner’s book, No. 5, page 32.

William Ware married his first cousin, Susannah,  the daughter of his uncle William Harrison, February 10, 1785.  Susannah died after the birth of their first child, a daughter, who was named for her mother.

“Susanna Ware (Eldest Daughter to William & Anna Harrison) was born the 22nd January 1768 and departed this life on Sunday the 29th January 1786. She was delivered of a daughter on the 21 st January 1786 and desired it to be named Anna Payne, but being taken very ill, and found she shod not recover, she called her mother to her and desired it might be named Susanna Harrison after herself being her maiden name-she requested her mama would take care of it for her and desired it might be brought up in a Godly course which request she also made to her husband who she took leave of in the most tender and affectionate manner with the rest of her friends-saying that she hoped to see them in heaven where she would be looking for them and hoped they would be preparing to follow her and join in praising God in the pretty green field above the heavens forever and ever. She was asked if she was willing to die, she declared she was but hoped God would not suffer her to die til he had prepared her which she prayed for most ardently. She said this was a troublesome world, and that she had promised herself a great deal of pleasure when she got home to housekeeping but if it is God’s will to take her she was willing to go to him, desired her friends to give her up freely and not to grieve for God took away nothing but what he gave; she told her mama she hoped to see her little sisters & brothers that was gone before her and her grandaddy & join them in praiseing and glorifying God on the throne forever and ever & that she would pray for and be looking for the appearance of her relations in heaven. The next day she desired Mr. Church to sing and pray with her and for her, which he did with many others that was in the house, and while they were singing she was all at once in raptures of joy and said she felt as light as a feather and that it seemed like she could fly up to Heaven into God’s bosom … countenance changed & she seemed to have a view of Heaven by an eye of earth from her looks, words & action-after this her father interrogated her on this matter and told her she might be mistaken, but she said Daddy let me live or die I will never give up what I have now experienced-he asked if she thought God had forgiven her sins, she said yes-and held out her hand & said she knew she was safe and thanked Mr. Church and said he had been an instrument in Gods hands of doing her great good or words to that import-she called her mama to her and desired she would give her little sisters part of her clothes & keep the rest for her little girl, and give one of her rings to her husband to wear in remembrance of her and the rest to be kept for little girl, she said she desired …. she asked her daddy where he would bury her he told her anywhere she would choose-she said one comer of the garden would do as well as any place, he told her that he intended his family shod be buried in the top of the hill, well she replyed Daddy bury me there too–and desired to have a coffin for her and gave her mama some directions about the clothes that she would be buryed in-she said she knew it would do her no good but that it looked clever and decent-she desired that a funeral sermon might be preached on the occasion by some good preacher not that it would do her any good but she hoped that every person that was at her funeral might be benefited by the sermon that might be delivered, she was asked who she would choose to preach it, she was recollecting the name, her mama said is it Mr. Ivy-she readily answered, yes, mama-Mr. Ivy-she desired her husband to endeavor to follow her and that he would mourn for her as long as he lived, there was room in Heaven for him and everybody else that would come-she desired he would take care of her little girl she should look down from Heaven with pleasure and delight to see it jumping and skipping about a little befon she dyed she was heard to say, Oh Blessed Jesus, and breathed out her last with a smile­which she seemed to retain even when she was dead her corpse was most beautiful & pleasant.”

Source:  Kitty Neal Dawson, descendant of Susannah Ware.

“Since early roads were rough, most of the travel was done on horseback, but a chaise, or ‘wheel chair’ is recorded here and there in tax lists.  Early owners of chaises, between 1770-80 were John Smith of ‘The Pocket’, John Dix, Capt. Hugh Innes, William Ware, John Briscoe and William Tunstall.”

Source:  History of Pittsylvania County, by Maud Carter Clement, J.P. Bell and Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Va., 1929, page 105




Source: ” Norfolk and Portsmouth Journal”, Nov. 5, 1788, p.3

His conviction of horse stealing may have arisen from a misunderstanding regarding a horse that wandered onto his property.  (We don’t believe he was a horse thief.)  The custom in those days was to let horses wander; not being corralled or fenced in.  If someone either lost or found a horse they would advertise in the newspaper.  If no one claimed the animal, it belonged to the finder who had fed the horse.  Or payment  for food might be asked of the owner, if he did come to claim the horse.  Obviously this situation was ripe for misinterpretation.

In the Abstracts of Pittsylvania County, Va. Deeds 1783-1790 there are two deeds to William Ware.

Page 3, Wares Gift Deed from Harrison

“I, William Harrison of P, for five shillings together with love and affection I bear my loving Son in Law William Ware, give the following Negros, Viz: John Silvey, Sarah, Molly, Bettey, Moll, Lavinia and Will, also one Horse, one feather bed and furniture, one chest of drawers, two Tables.  Decem 25, 1788

s/Wm Harrison

Wit: None

May 17, 1790”

Page 1, Ware’s Deed from Perkins

“October 11, 1789 between Nicholas Perkins of P and William Ware of P for 300 pounds, a parcel of land containing by estimation 81 acres Bounded: Dan River on the North side at the dividing line between William Stone and David Chadwell, Silvester Adams line, now George Adams line, it being the middle lott of land that Henry Stone formerly sold to David Shadwell which granted to Henry Green by Patent, the said tract of land Henry Stone Deeded to David Chadwellss/ Nicholas Peerkins

Wit: Wm Harrison, N Perkins, Ann Harrison (William Harrison wife) , James Oakes, Const Perkins

May 17, 1790”

William was taxed on 100 acres in the next 4 years.  In 1797 he had purchased an additional 40 acres from James Oakes.  In John’s Will, William was said to have inherited 613 acres of land, but to date, no record of ownership can be found.

William Ware was one for the first members of the “Order of Masons” which was organized at the Pittsylvania Court House on September 15, 1788; Pittysylvania Lodge Number 24.

William married, next, another cousin, Susannah Payne, the daughter of Robert Payne, the brother-in-law of William Harrison, October 17, 1789.   Susannah was born between 1768-70  in Pittsylvania County and lived with her family on Cascades Creek.  She was a cousin of the famous “Dolly” Payne Madison, wife of President  James Madison.

“Josias Payne, and English gentleman of affluence and education settled in Goochland county on the James River, and married Anna Fleming, grand-daughter of Sir Thomas Fleming, second son of the Earl of Wigton, who came to Virginia in 1616 and settled in New Kent county.  He married Mary, daughter of William and Lucy (Winston) Coles, and a first cousin of Patrick Henry, the orator.  Of their issue was Dolly who married first, John Todd, and secondly, James Madison, fourth President of the United State.”

Source:  Paine Family Register, No. 1, January 1, 1857, listed in Hening, Vol IX, page 320 and Hening, Vol. XII, pp. 613-64.

This story was related to me by Betty Fitzgerald, descendant of William and Susannah (Payne) Ware’s first child, Anne Payne Ware.

“A Story, as told by daughter Agnes Ware Sergeant to Family.

Taken from the “Richardson/Ware/Stanfield” notes:

Selected by Betty Jean (Davis) Fitzgerald.


The story is based on the following quote:  “1800 Grandmother Ann Payne Ware 1.  James Richardson,  2. Steven Sergeant , often spoke to Mother Agnes Ware Sergeant and of her many pleasant visits to her Aunt Dorothy Payne nee Madison, living in Virginia, when she (Grandmother) was twelve to fifteen years of age, as she being the oldest “niece” was a special favorite.’  ”

(More on Dolly’s  interesting heritage can be found on the site, “Susannah Ware and Daughter Ann Payne “Take Tea” with “Aunt” Dolley.”, by Betty Fitzgerald).

Six children were born of the union of William and Susannah Payne Ware: Ann Payne, (Nancy), born August 30, 1792; Susan Elizabeth (Eliza), born 1793; Agnes Ware, born in 1795; John Ware, born in 1797, Robert Payne, born December 1, 1801; William, born in 1805.

William Ware’s Will, stated he lived on the “South side of the Dan River called  Stubblefields fishing place.”  According to  Betty Fitzgerald, “The Map shows the STUBBLEFIELD plantation on the north side of Hogans Cr., but quite close to the county line with Rockingham Co.  The Stubblefield family intermarried with families on both sides.  Their story is told in the Caswell Co. Heritage Book #701.  The STUBBLEFIELD fishing hole is not mentioned in any of my sources, but they did have a small grist mill.  A picture of that ruin shows the typical narrow creek, with a grinding stone lying to one side.  This operation would have required some form of raising the water with a dam fro the sluice.  Something like that could have provided a pond for fish.”

There is discrepancy about which state William lived in at the the time.  The confusion has arisen from the fact that in 1728  a surveying party was led by William Byrd and instructed by the King of England to determine the border between Virginia and North Carolina.  Byrd so liked the area round the Dan River and Cascade Creek, he was said to have bent the line around area to exclude it from Virginia.  North Carolina at time was a more loosely regulated Colony, meaning little tax money going to the King.  I have read the book, “The History of the Dividing Line,” the saga of this journey by Byrd and many others to adequately survey the boundary between the two states and I did not find any evidence of this diversion.  Today, this area is part of Pittsylvania County.

Cascade Creek Campsite Along VA 860

As the gravel road crosses a bridge over Cascade Creek, one can look downstream to the site where the Byrd party camped on the evening of October 17, 1728: “We markt out our Quarters on the Banks of a purling Stream, which we call’d Casquade Creek, by reason of the Multitude of Water-Falls that are in it.”

On the morning of October 18, “We crost Casquade Creek over a Ledge of Smooth Rocks, and then Scuffled thro’ a mighty Thicket, at least three Miles long.”

Source: Col. William Byrd’s Observations 1728-33

A Self Guided Tour of Pittsylvania County’s Southern Border


There is a point on Dan River known as Wynne’s Falls named in honor of William Wynne, a very early settler who had moved with his family to this section from Brunswick County.  At the falls there was a ford across the river over which ran the great mail road from north to south.  The cultivation of tobacco was the main industry of the people of Pittsylvania County, and the burden of carrying their product to Richmond and Petersburg for inspection was so great that the inhabitants of the county petitioned Legislature in October 1793 for an inspection of tobacco as Wynne’s Falls on Dan River.  The petitioners further stated that ‘the situation of the place suitable calculated for a Town, which will make the convenience of Inspection more Serviceable,’  and asked that a town be established ‘on the south side of Dan River, adjoining Wynne’s Falls on the lands of Larkin Dix sold to John Barnett’ –Signed John Wilson, John Wilson Jr., William Ramsey, Joel McDaniel, George Adams, William Harrison, Robert Harrison, William Ware, Fra Mayberry, Robert Somerhays, James Paine, Peter Perkins, John Sutherlin, George Sutherlin, Sr., Thos. Fearne.’

In answer to the petition Legislature enacted on November 23, 1793: ‘That 25 acres of land, the property of John Barnett adjoining Wynne’s Falls on the Southside of Dan River in Pittsylvania County, shall be and they are hereby vested in Thomas Tunstall, Matthew Clay, William Harrison, John Wisslon, Thomas Fearne, George Adams, Thomas Worsham, Robert Payne, John Dix, John Southerland, John Call, Thomas Smith, gentlemen trustees, to be by them or a majority of them laid off into lots of half acre each, with convenient streets and established a town by name of Danville.’ …”

Source:   The History of Pittsylvania County by Maud Carter Clement, J.P. Bell Company, Inc. Lynchburg, Va., 1929, page 231

“Another custom of colonial days that was retained under our Republican form of government was that of having each county organized for military defense. …

At a court held for Pittyvlvania County, June 1803, it is ordered that the following person do Procession Lands in their respective Precincts, between the 1st day of October and the 30th of March next: …William Smith and William Ware in Capt. Wm Smith’s Company.”

Source:  The History of Pittsylavania County, by Maud Carter Clement, J.P. Bell Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Va., pages 210-11

In the Account Current Book Number 4, Pittsylvania County, 1805-1812, William and his cousins, William Harrison, Jr.  and Robert Harrison were lending money and earning interest on the loans.

William Harrison died January 25, 1811.   His Will states “I confirm the gift to my daughter Susannah Ware wife of William Ware who is deceased and to William Ware I give five shillings.”  Apparently, William felt his ex-son-in law and nephew was not in need of or was not worthy of more.   William Harrison and his wife Ann rest in unmarked graves in a rock-walled cemetery near their home.

John Ware died June 17, 1816.  His will states:

“3rd. I give unto my son William Ware my tract of land on Dan River, laying near the lands on which my said son lives, containing six hundred and thirteen acres, also the rents which he owes me for the rent of the said lands, to him and his heirs forever the aforesaid lands and rents, being his full proportion of all my estate, both real and personal.”



Source:  Richmond Virginia “Enquirer”, Oct. 15, 1824. p.4


William died January 16, 1828.  A transcription by Kitty Neal Dawson follows:


The Following is a Genealogy of the Children of William and Susannah Payne Ware

1) Anne Payne Ware; b. Aug. 20, 1792.  Married (1) James Richardson, Nov. 10, 1811.  Seven children were born to this union: William Ware; Susan Payne, 1814; James Sargeant, 1816; Edmund (Ned), 1818; Robert Payne, 1820; Mary A., 1824; Elizabeth, 1825.  James Richardson d.  June, 1826.  Married (2) Stephen Sargent, 1828.  Two children were born to this marriage, Margarett Delphia, 1829; Agnes Payne, 1832.  Stephen Sargeant d. Jan. 24, 1864 in Caswell Co., NC.  Anne Payne Ware Richardson Sargeant died while on a train trip to visit her son, Edmund who lived in New Orleans, Nov. 29, 1872. (The biography of James S. Richardson can be viewed on this site.)

2) Susan Elizabeth Ware; b. 1793.  Married Henry Sargeant.

3) Agnes Payne Ware; b. 1795.  Married William Hunt Dupuy, Oct. 26, 1816.  Two children were born to this union, Susan, 1826; Agness Matz, 1839.  (There may have been more children, but the author can only find record of these two.) Agnes d. Aug. 2, 1852 in Christian Co. Ky.  William d. Aug. 19, 1853 in Ky.

4) John Ware; b. 1797.  Married Elizabeth (Betty) Saunders, May 5, 1819, Caswell Co. NC.  ” John Ware and Elizabeth, his wife gave land for a church, ‘on the north side of the public road below Bachelor’s Hall,’ naming as Methodist trustees,…Henry Sargeant and William Dupuy.”

Source:  The History of Pittsylvania County, by Maud Carter Clement, J.P. Bell and Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Va., 1929, page 135.

From information provided by Kitty Neal Dawson taken from an article in the Danville Register and Bee, 1991.

“Starting from Rt. 58 and heading to NC, we have:

(1) Bachelors Hall–Early records indicate that two brothers named Dupuy built the house in the latter part of the 18th century.  They were bachelors and built it as a big hall, with a loft.

…(6) Also living down this road were Constant and Nicholas Perkins and William Harrison, father of William Ware’s first wife, Susannah.”

5) Robert Payne Ware; b. Dec. 1, 1801.  Married Martha Sanders, April 4, 1834, Christian Co., Ky.  Nine children were born to this union: Mary Ann, 1834; William Nicholas, 1836; Thomas Edward, 1839; Susan H., 1841; Virginia Elizabeth, 1842; John Payne, 1844; Martha Ellen, 1847; Antonia, 1851; Sarah A., 1854.  Robert d. June 5, 1868 in Todd Co., Ky and Martha d. Dec. 10, 1870.  Robert and his brother William continued to live in Pittsylvania Co. after their father died, but sometime prior to the death of their father’s spinster sister Mildred, their sold their property and moved west to Kentucky.  When their grandfather John Ware died he had left instructions in his Will:

“One other tract or parcel of land laying in the County of Fluvanna on the Rivanna River, my son James is to try to endeavor to get an Act of Assembly passed for building a Mill on the said tract of land by taking the water from the Rivanna River, and if he gets leave to build a Mill, he is to have it built out of my estate, and after the death of my son James, I give the aforesaid tract or parcel of land to the sons of William Ware and John Mosby, to them and their heirs forever, subject to a regulation hereafter to be made. It is my express will and desire that all the above tract or parcels of land requiring a division that it be done equally agreeable to its value and in no case those to whom I have given it shall be at liberty to make sale of it to any person during their lifetime without it is to one of the parties who claim in the aforesaid lands or to one of the heirs of my estate, being desirous that it should continue in my family during their lives.”

John Mosby chose to sell his sons 2/5’s.  I believe that forced the sale of the rest of the property, because it is stated in Mildred’s Will:

“Children of my brother Wm. Ware, $500, in bonds as compensation for the loss they sustained in the sale for the land left to them by my father.”

It is also stated in John’s Will:

“…and the children of my son William Ware, and they shall have the sum of one hundred dollars paid them in lieu of a young Negro, as they live at so great a distance, and I not wishing to divide or separate parents and children.”

6) William Ware; b. 1805.  Married Alphia Clark, Jan. 17, 1833 Christian Co., Ky.  Five children were born to this union: Mildred, 1838; Ann, 1841; Samuel, 1844; Marietta, 1848; Agnes Payne, 1854.  William died at his brother Robert’s Farm in Todd Co.,   June 12, 1868, a week after his brother died.  William lived near Clarksville, Tennessee.  He was Councilman for the 7th District.

Additional Information Concerning Susannah Payne Ware

by Betty Fitzgerald

“William’s spouse, Susannah Payne Ware, is documented in several deeds in Pittsylvania, all dated after 1810. This is the year her mother, the famous “Widow Payne of TN”, Ann Burton Payne died in TN, clearing the titles. Three entries testify that Susannah, wife of William, is to be examined privately by Robert Harrison and Robert Payne “gentlemen and Justices”. Susannah is giving up her dower rights in land that had come to her from her father. This repeated private examination served to protect her from being forced to sign against her will. Her father had left large holdings. One sells to Dupry, spouse of  her daughter Agnes.”

There is no known death date for Susannah, but it is suspected that she died after William.

This is the authors lineage and there are several articles in the Archives, regarding descendants of this family, William Nicholas Ware, Thomas Edward Ware, John Payne Ware, John Eugene Ware, Frank Ware,and Aileen May Baker Ware.   You will also find photographs of my ancestors in the Gallery.

The information I have written here, regarding  William Ware, Susannah Harrison and Susannah Payne, and their descendants, has been the labor of many years and the contributions of Betty Fitzgerald; Kitty Neal Dawson; Alice Ridgeway; Phyllis Bryant, Pittsylvania County Public Library, Chatham, Virginia; Judy C. Ware; Marti Martin, Woodford Co. Ky Historical Society; Vonnie, McCracken County Public Library; Brenda Glover; Becky, Christian Co.Ky Public Library; Connie, Muhlenburg Co. Ky Public Library, Ginny Olsen, Goochland Co., Virginia Historical Society and the Circuit Court of Goochland  Co., Virginia, and various on-line sources regarding Harrison Genealogy.




William Ware (1760 – 1828) — 2 Comments

  1. BF cont. Spelling, Flemming, Sir Thomas line and Lord Flemming line come into colony, but the two lines are distinct. The Lord Fleming line has descendants, but I do not have them. However the Sir Thomas line, which has the three sisters does follow our history, and the spelling is seen as both Anna & Anne. (remember, these are Scots of the line of the “Great Justicar of Scotland Flemmings, going back to the Bruce era. King James I made Flemming the head of his London court. From King James II we get dau.’s Mary m. William of Orange & & Anne, Queen through a very long period, The spelling, Anne could come from her. this time matches her. But we have all three spellings in this trio.

    Please note: The Edmund “King Cotton” Richardson family cemetery plot is in the “Magnolia Cemetery”, in the center of Jackson, MS, with his giant pillar with Italian statue of him. (Among many other famous notables of MS.) Mother, Ann Payne (Ware) 1. Richardson, 2. Sergeant is buried there. Also Gen. James Kerr Lea, husband of Margaret Delphy (Sergeant).
    He did have an elegant home in New Orleans, as he had his cotton exchange there.

  2. Great! One correction: Name of Payne Patriarch of Goochland, father of John, Robert & Anna was “JOSIAS”, He married one of the three Flemming sisters, ANNA. (written as John, in many records). Any way, he & Anna migrate down to the Dan following his offspring. Betty Fitzgerald.
    (The FLEMMING notes are not mine, but that is another story. Mine does go back to Col. William Farrar & his wife Cecily 1. Bailey, 2. Jordan 3 Farrar. She did sail into Jamestowne at age eleven with her parents. A new book is coming out about her. Quite a woman.

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