|Benjamin Ware of Gilsum, New Hampshire
May 18, 1773 – Jan 1, 1858
by Emily Osborn
Many of the Ware descendants in llinois who formed the Ware Family Association trace their family lineage to one Ware ancestor, Captain Benjamin Ware, of Gilsum, New Hampshire (pictured left,) and one of his two wives, Huldah Wilcox or Martha Chapin. Benjamin outlived both Huldah and Martha and married a third wife, Fanny Willis, when he was 78 years old and Fanny was 52. Benjamin had nine children with Huldah and eight children with Martha. Thirteen of the children lived to be adults.
Benjamin was one of the sixth generation of Wares on the North American continent. His parents, Moses Ware and Rebecca Puffer, were cousins. She was named after her mother, Rebecca (Ware) Puffer, and he was named after his father, Moses Ware. These sibling grandparents were the children of John Ware of Dedham, Massachusetts, a grandson of the original immigrant from England, Robert Ware. The source for this early Ware family history is Robert Ware of Dedham, Massachusetts, 1642-1699, compiled by Emma Forbes Ware and published in 1901.
Benjamin Ware’s parents moved first from Wrentham, Mass., to Swanzey, N.H., and then later moved on to Gilsum, N.H. Benjamin, the fifth of nine children, was born in 1773 in Norton, Mass. At the age of twenty-one years, he married Huldah Wilcox. Huldah and Benjamin’s first son, named Obadiah after his maternal grandfather, was born within a year of their marriage. Other children were born every two or three years until Huldah’s death at the age of 35. Two of their daughters also died in childhood.
Left with seven children under the age of sixteen, Bejnamin sought another wife. Within five months, he married Martha Chapin, age 23. Benjamin and Martha had eight children, beginning with Maria Taylor Ware, born in 1812.
According to Sylvanus Hawyard’s History of Gilsum, New Hampshire, Benjamin was a tall man with a strong voice. In 1814, when the government issued a demand for soldiers to fight in the War of 1812, Benjamin volunteered and served as Captain of the local militia. His oldest son Obadiah, then age 19, became the drummer. Solomon Mack, whose sons Orlando and Calvin would also settle in Montgomery County, Illinois, was Sergeant.
Sources: Ware Genealogy: Robert Ware of Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts and His Lineal Descendants by Miss Emma Forbes Ware, and Ware Genealogy in Two Parts by Amelia C. Westcott of Montgomery and Cook County, Illinois.