Steven Butler's Family History Website

BIOGRAPHIES INDEX

Biographies

The Ward Family

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

I am a Ward descendant by virtue of the marriage of my grandfather William Ollie Jenkins to Ida Lee Seay, who was the daughter of Margaret Inez (Ward) Seay, who was the daughter of Morris Ward, Jr.

The roots of the Ward family reach back, apparently, to the earliest years of British settlement in America. Who was the first member of this family to come to America? At present, we do not know but in October 1728 a man named Mathew Ward was sentenced at Middlesex County Court in England to be transported to America as punishment for some crime. This sentence was carried out the following month when he was one of a hundred passengers who boarded the Forward - a sea-going vessel bound for Virginia. The captain was one W. Loney.

During the six-to-eight week voyage across the storm-tossed Atlantic (it surely must have been, for it was late autumn), fourteen persons died aboard the little ship before it reached its destination. Happily, Mathew Ward was not one of these, but no doubt he watched, as one by one the bodies of those fourteen unlucky would-be-colonists were sent to their watery graves - far from England and far from their hoped-for homes in the New World and it surely brought him little comfort. A sea voyage in those days was a far-from-pleasant experience, marked by bad food, bad water, cramped sleeping quarters and almost constant seasickness. Furthermore, as a transported criminal, his future in America was uncertain. Probably, his only crime had been poverty. England's debtor prisons, in the 1700s, were overcrowded. One way to ease conditions was to send the surplus prison population to the colonies. No doubt, Mathew hoped for the best - it certainly had not come to him in England. Whether it came to him in the New World is unknown.


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


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