Thomas Ward Revolutionary War Mystery Solved and Pictures of Ward/Moffitt [Genealogy] –
Last week I left you wondering if Thomas Ward, the forefather of the many Wards who ended up in Ridgeville of Randolph County, Indiana, really did fight in the Revolutionary War. I didn’t just leave you wondering. I left myself wondering as well. My sources were giving conflicting information. Fortunately, a reader of last week’s post pointed me to further clues.
Related post: Did Thomas Ward Fight in the Revolutionary War?
I considered taking a break from the blog this week for the holiday, but I ultimately decided there could be no better way to celebrate Independence Day than a discussion of Revolutionary War service. Plus July 4th just happens to be the one-year anniversary of when I started this blog. You can read my very first post here if you would like. Starting the blog on the Fourth of July wasn’t exactly planned. Surprisingly, I didn’t even realize the first post had happened on the holiday until I went back to update some pictures in that post later.
I probably published the post after midnight and wasn’t even thinking of that day being the holiday yet. I tend to not think of it as a new day until I’ve slept. There was no planned significance of that date on my part. The real reason I started a blog that week, as opposed to any other week, is likely because the week of July 4th is Moratorium Week in Indiana. The moratorium is the only week of the year that the Indiana High School Athletic Association allows no practices or competitions. This is meant to give athletes a week a rest and families a week to travel, I suppose. I personally wish they would make the whole month Moratorium.
That Moratorium Week is the only week of the summer that I’m not running kids to multiple workouts, open gyms, or training for various sports. So on my one week of FREEDOM and on a bit of a whim, I started a blog. It was never supposed to be a genealogy blog at all, and it’s still not entirely a genealogy blog, but I reckon the Genealogy tab is here to stay because at this rate it will take me years to run out of ancient pictures.
Part of this post was originally shared on a blog I had several years ago and abandoned after a few posts. The additional information about Thomas Ward is newly researched on my part. You can read Rescued Photo Album – Ward Pettyjohn Families of Randolph County, Indiana for an explanation of how I acquired these photos. These individuals are not my own ancestors or relatives to my knowledge. For a family tree of these individuals, you can check out my previous post.
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John & Edith (Ward) Moffitt
Edith Ward was a daughter of Joab Ward, Sr. and Amy (Graves) Ward. Edith married John Moffitt.
The next photo of Edith gives her age as 75 and appears to be dated ’04 which would establish her birth date as somewhere around 1829. A note on this photo also indicates Edith was a sister of Eleanor Ward.
[These photos had an interesting back, so I thought I would include that as well.]
Moffitts & Wards, Wards & Moffitts
John Moffitt was not the only Moffitt to marry a Ward. Apparently, the Wards and Moffitts were a tangled web. There are lots of tangled webs in early American history. In case you are wondering, you likely have some great-great-great-?-grandparents who are your ancestors a couple of different ways, and that’s okay. We’re all bound to have them. The web got even a little more tangly for Quakers living in the backwoods because they weren’t allowed to “marry out of unity.”
If there was only one other family living nearby, all the siblings had to marry all those other siblings, and sometimes that other family just happened to be cousins, but that didn’t always make a difference. Often they were second cousins or cousins a couple of times removed, so it was usually fine. Kentucky sometimes gets a bad rap about cousin marriages, but trust me, it wasn’t just Kentucky. This was happening all over the place in pioneer times. They didn’t always have much choice in the matter.
I don’t know that there were any cousin marriages going on between the Wards and the Moffitts. I just know when browsing family trees online. There were quite a few Moffitt-Ward marriages closely connected to this line. It might have just been siblings marrying the siblings of another family which isn’t inbreeding, but it results in the interesting genetic arrangement called double-cousins. In genetic testing, double-cousins often have enough shared DNA to fall into the range of half-siblings. Double-cousins kind of trick the DNA test.
If I had to guess, I would suspect the Moffitts were also Quakers. In looking at the migration patterns of the grandparents and parents, they were definitely showing up in the locations I would expect Quakers to be living, and they were often marrying known Quakers lines.
Joseph & Mary (Ward) Moffitt
The Edith Ward pictured above had an aunt named Mary Ward (sister of Joab Ward, daughter of Thomas Ward). Mary Ward married Joseph Moffitt. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of Joseph Moffitt and Mary (Ward), but Randolph County, Indiana 1818-1990 does include statements given by Joseph Moffitt and Mary (Ward) Moffitt. It would take a lot more extensive research to sort out the connection between this Joseph Moffitt and the John Moffitt pictured above. Each generation of Moffitts and each branch kept naming sons Joseph and John, so it gets tricky. I’m confident they are related considering it’s not a common surname, and they ended up in the same small town.
On page 586 of Randolph County, Indiana 1818-1990, Joseph Moffitt names his parents as Hugh Moffitt and Hannah Davis. Joseph declares his father was raised in Ireland and his mother’s parents came from England. Joseph begins with, “Now we are going to give thee an account of our relatives.” The use of thee instead of you is yet another clue the Moffitts were Quakers.
Thomas Ward Mystery Solved?
The Ward-Piggott entry, which was the clue one of last week’s readers sent me, on page 663 of Randolph County, Indiana 1818-1990 clearly states:
“Thomas Ward, a Revolutionary Patriot of North Carolina, and his wife came to Indiana by way of Ross Co., OH, by 1819, with most of their children and grandchildren.”
The entry goes on to print an account given by Mary (Ward) Moffitt listing the names and locations of her various siblings, parents, and other relatives.
Does this entry prove that Thomas Ward fought in the Revolutionary War? The entries in that particular book were normally submitted by family researchers. The proof is only as good as the diligence of the person who submitted the entry in seeking proper citation. Was the submission based only on family oral history? Did this researcher have any military records to support the claim?
One thing seems to be for certain. The descendants of Thomas Ward must have believed he fought in the Revolutionary War. That may be as close as we ever get to “evidence.”
Let me know if you connect to any of these lines. Feel free to comment below.
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