Steven Butler's Family History Website



The Ward Family

Ward Family
Mathew Ward | Morris Ward, Sr. | Morris Ward, Jr.

MORRIS WARD, SR. (1802 - BEF. 1870)

Morris Ward, Sr., was born in 1802, probably in Duplin County, North Carolina. His parents were Mathew and Ann (Ellison) Ward. When he was a child, the family removed to Columbus County, North Carolina.

About 1834, probably in Columbus County, Morris Ward was married to Elizabeth Ann Wilson, a native North Carolinian born about 1813. She was the daughter of Edward and Rebecca Wilson, about whom little is known except that the family may have previously resided in Bertie County.

The first two of Morris and Elizabeth Ward's children were born in North Carolina: Robert Ward, born about 1835; and Wilson Ward, whose date of birth is uncertain.

Sometime during the mid-1830s, Morris and Ann Ward and their children moved, along with Elizabeth's parents, to Pike County, Alabama. This move was not unusual. Many North Carolinians left the state during the this time in search of new opportunities in the new states to the south and west: Alabama and Mississippi. Although it was admitted to the Union in 1819, much of Alabama was not open to white settlement until after the Creek Indian "war" of 1836.

The family of Morris Ward and his in-laws, the Wilsons, all settled in Pike County, Alabama, which is located in the southeastern portion of the state. The town of Troy, founded in 1824, was, and still is, the county seat. There, several more children were born to Morris and Elizabeth, all, presumably, in Pike County: William L. (or S.) Ward, born about 1836; Henry Marion Ward, born about 1839; Alfred N. Ward, born about 1841; Elizabeth Ward, born about 1843; Morris Ward, Jr., born June 1846; and Sarah Ward, born about 1853.

In point of fact, the birthplace of Morris Jr., and possibly others of the Ward children, is uncertain. Early census records give Alabama as Morris Junior's birthplace while later records name Florida. Which is correct? We don't know. Perhaps the Wards lived for a short period of time in Florida. It is not very far from Pike County to the "panhandle" of Florida.

Edward Wilson, Elizabeth Ward's father, died in 1848. We do not know when his widow, Rebecca, passed away or where.

Sometime after the birth of Morris' and Ann's daughter Sarah, the Ward family migrated again. This time they came to Texas, settling in Upshur County, which is located in the eastern part of the state. There, a tenth child, Mary, was born in 1858.

In 1862, when the War Between the States broke out, Morris Ward, Jr. joined the Confederate army, serving as a private in the 28th Texas Cavalry (Dismounted). In 1863 he participated in the Battle of Milliken's Bend, near Vicksburg, Mississippi and in early 1864, he was taken prisoner at Fort DeRussy, Louisiana when the garrison surrendered to federal troops after a brief siege. While he was being held prisoner at New Orleans his regiment participated in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, which were decisive Confederate victories, and the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry in Arkansas. After being exchanged in June or July 1864, he returned to his regiment and served, presumably, to the end of the war.

It appears that both Morris Ward Sr. and his wife died sometime before 1870. The location of their final resting place is unknown.

Ward Family
Mathew Ward | Morris Ward, Sr. | Morris Ward, Jr.

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