James Grady Ware (1888 – 1954)

(Note:  Information supplied by Wayne Ware and Vanessa Short)

James Grady Ware was born August 20,  1888 to William Merriwether and Lulie Grady Ware in Guthrie, Todd County, Kentucky.  If he had had children they could have traced their ancestors back four generations to Edmund Ware, the last son of James Ware who migrated with two more sons and their families to Fayette and Woodford Counties, Kentucky.  Woodward was divided  about the same time James Ware Sr. arrived to settle his property, and his cabin was located just across the county line in Franklin.  Edmund’s property was  a portion of his father’s estate.  When Edmund died this land later became a part of what is known today as “Scotland”, a large estate and mansion which belonged to Robert Scott.  It is only a few miles from Frankfort, Kentucky.  After Edmund’s death, in 1814,  his property, both real and personal was auctioned off and his sons, Edmund Jasper and James,  headed south to Todd and Christian Counties.

William Merriwether Ware was born July 23 1862, son of Charles William Ware and Louisa V. Anderson, whose father was Edmund Jasper Ware.   William married Lulie Grady in 1884 and they had 3 sons and a daughter.  James Grady Ware was the second son.  Nothing much is known of this branch of the Ware line.  Even today, descendants of his uncles do not have  information about William’s family.

Therefore we will begin with what we know about James Grady Ware.  James was born in Guthrie, a small farming community in southern Todd County.  The city is named for James Guthrie, president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad when the city was incorporated in 1867. (Wikipedia)

James began his Naval career prior to the first WWI.  He graduated form the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1910.


James Grady Ware………..Present Duty Station, California…….Date of Present Duty of Leave, 11 July 10…….Expiration of Last Cruise or Tour of Sea Service…….Aug. 09″

Source: Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States, Vol.1914, by US Department of the Navy,1914, page 56

“Four Middies Promoted.
Washington, March. 15. Four out of six Kentucky midshipmen were nominated as ensigns by the President Tuesday, and at the same time Senator Bradley announced that he will reappoint Jonathan Duff. Head, of Louisville, to Annapolis.
The four new Kentucky ensigns are David Hunt Stuart,  Robert Nicholas Miller,. James. G.Ware and Timothy A.Parker. …”   (Hopkinsville Kentuckian, March 6, 1912 – page 5)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during the World War I

“The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Lieutenant James Grady Ware, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. TRUXTON, engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested with enemy submarines and mines, in escorting and protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unrelentingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity; and especially for his prompt daring, and resolute conduct upon the occasion of the burning of the steamship FLORENCE “H”, in Quiberon Bay on the night of 17 April 1918. The FLORENCE “H” was loaded with explosives, and within a few moments after the outbreak of the fire the ship was completely enveloped in flames and the water in the vicinity thickly covered with burning powder boxes, which from time to time exploded, scattering fire throughout the mass. Lieutenant Ware drove the TRUXTON into the burning mass and, assisted by small boats from other vessels in the harbor, succeeded in rescuing a large number of men who, but for the help so promptly and heroically extended, must have perished in the flaming wreckage.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Book of Distinguished Service (Stringer)

Action Date: 17-Apr-18

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Truxton”

Source:  Military Times; Hall of Valor, on-line

The family was still living in Kentucky as indicated on the 1920 Census.

Emergency Passport Application, June 1921

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This Application states that James residence had moved to Columbus, Mississippi, where his father William was engaged in business.

Emergency Passport Application, April 1922

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October of 1923 James married Georgetta Marchand of Switzerland in Constantinople, Turkey.


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William Merriwether Ware died in 1923 in Columbus, Lowndes, Mississippi.

of Todd County Kentucky
Friendship Cemetery
Lowndes County
Mississippi, USA
Plot: 583
Created by: Dixie
Record added: Feb 21, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48415357

William Meriwether Ware

The 1940 Census indicates Mrs. L Ware, and adult children, Frank and Louise are  living in Norfolk City, Virginia with no visible means of support.

Death records for James Grady Ware’s mother, Lulie, brother Frank Walton and sister, Louise show they all died in Norfolk.  They are buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Norfolk City, VA.

Charles William Ware, the oldest son, married Janette R of Mississippi.  His occupation was listed as  Real Estate salesman on the 1920 Census.  They had two daughter,  Luly Grady, named for her grandmother, Mary Elizabeth and one son, Charles William Ware, Jr., who died in infancy.   Charles died June 6, 1969 and is buried in Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia

Charles William Ware

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(One of several ship’s Passenger Lists, denoting their movements abroad.)

The 1930 Census shows James and Georgette are living at the US Naval Academy in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and he is listed as an officer.  The 1940 Census still indicates them living in Annapolis, Maryland.

James died November 4, 1954 and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, Virginia.  Georgette died December 7, 1959 and is buried in Arlington with James.

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