Monday, July 25, 2011


SETH WARD may have immigrated to Virginia from Bassingbourn, Cambridge, England.  He was the immigrant ancestor of the Ward family of Henrico, later Chesterfield, Amelia, Nottoway, Lunenburg, Charlotte, Lee and other counties in Virginia and North Carolina.  SETH WARD and CAPTAIN JOHN WARD of England and Henrico, Virginia were probably kinsmen, but certainly they were not sons of the notable BISHOP SETH WARD of England.  He may be the grandson of SETH WARD of Abbington, Cambridgeshire, England who died in 1598 and left a will.

SETH WARD may be related, though no direct proof has yet been found, as son or brother of Ancient Planter CAPTAIN JOHN WARDE of early Virginia as described in a will found in the Prerogative Court  of Canterbury, 51 Lewyn, written on February 14th, 1598 by SETH WARD of Abbington, Cambridgeshire, England, yeoman, proved June 20th 1598 by JOHN WARDE. SETH WARD named in his will his wife, ANNIS/ANNE; sons, JOHN WARDE, ENOS WARDE, and THOMAS WARDE; Daughters MARIE WARDE and ANNE JACOB; Grandchildren JOHN WARDE and SETH WARDE, sons of testator's son JOHN WARDE; Brother ROBERT WARD; Sister WILSONNE; Grandchildren ANNE WARD (daughter of JOHN WARDE), MARTHA WARD, ALICE WARD and MARIE WARD.  The testator, SETH WARD, owned lands in Litlington and Stephen Norden, Cambridgeshire.  He made bequests to JOHN WARDE "the sonne of my said sonne JOHN WARDE tenn pounds of lawfull English monie to be paid unto him at the age of one and twentie yeares; also I give unto SETH WARD, his brother, the somme of tenn pounds of like lawfull English monie to be paide unto him at the age of one and twentie yeares."

Captain JOHN WARDE, Ancient Planter, and SETH WARDE appeared at the same time in the same locality in Virginia, each holding lands in Henrico County and along the James River.  The Ancient Planter JOHN WARDE was in Virginia by 1616. A census taken March-May 1619 enumerated twenty-six men, no women or children on "CAPTAYNE WARDES PLANTATION."  Records state that CAPTAIN JOHN WARDE arrived in Virginia on the ship Sampson on 22 April 1619 and left the next month to fish as far north as Maine. Researcher Mary Ward states that a record found in The Compendium of American Genealogy that traces SETH WARD of Henrico County, VA to CAPT. JOHN WARD, however, no record of JOHN WARD has been found that specifically names SETH WARD as his son. ( Note:  Seth Ward was in Henrico County, Virginia no later than February 11, 1632 when he was granted a lease for 21 years in the upper parts of Henrico County. Captain John Ward's land was located on the other side of the James River in Surry County, across the river from Jamestown and Williamsburg. Seth Ward did not qualify as an Ancient Planter as he arrived after 1616.)

Ancient Planter was a designation given as follows:  " A colonist in Virginia by the year 1616 was entitled to 100 acres of land provided he paid his own passage and had dwelt in the Colony for three years when application for land was made.  In accordance with a predetermined policy of the Virginia Company, no individiual assignments of land were made during the first seven years of the Colony's existence.  The policy of granting patents for acreage to settlers was inagurated during the later part of the time of Sir Thomas Dale, Governor from 1611-1616.  Those entitled to this land were designated as Ancient Planters." (Jamestowne Society Newsletter, April 2006, "Chronicle of Jamestowne Ancestors", by Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis)

On May 30th 1634, the governor of Virginia issued a land patent to SEATH WARD, Planter, of Varina in the upper part, a land patent, 60 aces in the upper parts, within the Corporation of Henrico, West upon the land of DANIEL SHURLEY {Shirley} extending Easterly towards a tree known as Powhatan Tree and abutting Southerly upon Three Mile Swamp, and Nly. into the maine woods, 21 year lease expiring May 30, 1655.  (Patent Book 1, Part 1, p. 148) (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 1, p 19)

On July 14th, 1637, Seth's son, RICHARD WARD, received a patent for 100 acres in Varina, Henrico County, adjoining JOHN BAKER, etc.  -- 50 acres due for his "own personal adventure" indicating that he was an immigrant to Virginia and an additional 50 acres by purchase (Virginia Patent Book 1, Page 440). (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 1,) According to Virginia Immigrants 1623-1666, RICHARD WARD was imported into Virginia in the year 1636, by Capt. John Chelsman, Charles River County.  Also in 1635 RICHARD WARD was shown to be imported into Virginia by John Cheeseman, Charles River County. (John Chelsman and John Cheeseman are more than likely one and the same man.)

The SETH WARD patent was land previously home to THOMAS SHEFFIELD and his family from 1619 to 1622.  THOMAS SHEFFIELD had received a royal land grant of 2,300 acres from the Crown of England;  he and his family were tragically killed in an Indian Massacre on February 22, 1622. From 1622 to 1634 the land remained uninhabited until the Indians and settlers reached an agreement and it was safe for the settlers to return to the area.  SETH WARD acquired the Sheffield property in 1634. RICHARD GREGORY of Dinwiddie bought about 1,000 acres from another SETH WARD sometime between 1797 - 1805 and built the house that sits on the property today.  Other owners of the land were MR. GREGORY's son and later his granddaughter LAVINA and her husband, MAJOR AUGUSTUS DREWRY; during this time the Confederates built a fort there known as Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff. After the Civil War Drewry traded the farm to CAPTAIN JAMES B. JONES, a confederate officer who had served at Fort Darling.  In 1887 the entire property was sold to JAMES BELLWOOD of Canada, and an agriculturist.  With his three sons JAMES BELLWOOD turned the 2,400 acres into a model farm.  In June 1941 the U. S. Army bought the land from the BELLWOOD sons who negotiated for the Army to take care of the elk that their father had placed on the land.  The old home is used as an Officer's Club today.  The property is the present site of the DEFENSE SUPPLY CENTER RICHMOND.

SETH WARD of Varina married KATHERINE SMITH and had son, RICHARD WARD, who was a Justice of Henrico County in 1666. His son, RICHARD WARD, married ELIZABETH _____ and died in 1682 having issue:  (1) a son, RICHARD WARD, who married MARTHA BRANCH, ELIZABETH BLACKMAN, & MRS. MARY JONES and had at least one son RICHARD WARD who removed to Carteret County, NC in or before 1746; (2) a son, EDWARD WARD,  who married a daughter of GILBERT ELAM SR.; (3) daughter, ELIZABETH WARD; and (4) possibly a son, JOHN WARD, who married HANNAH ____.

"Virginia Gleanings in England"  states that on Feburary 1, 1650 SETH WARD sold acreage to MORGAN PIERCE (Henrico County records, Volume 1677-92, page 239) that SETH WARD held as a patent for 350 acres of land in the vicinity of Varina, Henrico County, 150 acres by a former patent and 50 acres by purchase from JOHN BAKER and 150 acres for transportation of three persons (Virginia Patent Book 1, page 946).

On 22 November 1643 SETH WARD patented 350 acres in the vicinity of Varina, Henrico County of which 1250 acres by a former patent and 50 acres by purchase from JOHN BAKER and 150 acres for transporting of three persons.  (Virginia Patent Book No. 1, page 946).  SETH WARD sold this land to MORGAN PIERCE on February 1, 1650 (Henrico County Records, Volume 1677-1692, p 239).  The patent in Henrico County as recorded in Virginia Patents 1 on page 946, Library of Virginia Digital Collection, Land Office Patents and Grants.   It reads as follows:  SETH WARD  his Pattent  for 350  acres of Land Examd,   To all & C.  Whereas &c.  Now know yee that I the said. Sr:  WILLIAM BERKELEY Knt. doe with the advice and Consent of the Councell of State accordingly Give grant and Confirme unto SETH WARD three hundred & fifty acres of Land in the County of Henrico bounded (vizt) North north west up by ye side of the two Myle Creek South South west over against Varina, East South East upon the three myle Swamp takeing in the said Swamp North north east Extending in breadeth towards the foure Mile Creeke, and bounded at the End with a runing brooke (Called roundabout) the said three hundred and fifty acres of Land being due unto the said SETH WARD as followeth (vizt) one hundred & Fifty acres by Virtue of a former Pattent bearing date ye 13th of Feby 1635 and fifty acres by purchase from JNO. BAKER of a pattent bearing date the last of May 1636 and one hundred and fifty acres more by and for the transportacon of three persons into the Collony whose names are in the records mentioned under this pattent, To Have & to Hold &c.  To be held &c. yielding and paying unto our said Soveraigne Lord the King his heires & successors for every fifty acres of Land herein by these presents Granted and Given yearely at the feast of St. Michael the Arch-Angell the fee rent of one shilling to his Majesties use which payment is to be made for one hundred and fifty acres seaven yeares after the date of ye 13th of ffebry 1637 and for fifty acres seven yeares after the date of the last of May 1636 and for the remainder seven yeares after the date hereof and not before &c. dated 22th of (November) 1643

On July 14, 1637 RICHARD WARD patented 100 acres in Varina, Henrico County, adjoining JOHN BAKER; 50 acres for "his own personal adventure" and 50 acres by purchase (Virginia Patent Book No. 1, page 440).  SETH WARD's land patented in 1643 included land purchased from JOHN BAKER. According to "Virginia Gleanings in Virginia" this RICHARD WARD has always been deemed to be a son of SETH WARD.  RICHARD WARD moved to the southside of the James River and on March 9, 1665 patented 1,337 acres on the river and Falling Creek (Virginia Patent Book 5, page 164).  He served as a magistrate in Henrico County in 1666 and died in 1682 leaving four children:  eldest son, SETH WARD; RICHARD WARD, second son; EDWARD WARD, youngest son; and ELIZABETH WARD, daughter.

On 1 November 1640 SETH WARD sold 200 acres purchased of WILLIAM WORSHAM 200 acres in Henrico County. [Wm. Worsham :& George Worsham, 400 acres, Henrico County, 15 Feb 1652, p 23.  200 acres part hereof lying at the old Towne at Appomattox River siding SW by the Old Towne Creek upon John Coogney's land extending NE upon Mrs. DOROTHY CLERK (sic Clarke), widow; and 200 acres being part of the old Towne aforesaid, bounded from the S by W corner of said Worshams first 200 acres upon the head of the said land N by E, thence into the woods towards Swifts Creek &c 200 acres being part of a patent granted unto William Clarke deceased, 6 May 1638, and by said Clarke sold unto Seth Ward from whom it was purchased by Willliam Worsham, 2 November 1640; and 200 acres for transport of 4 persons:  Henry White, Jo. Plummer, Susan Chiles, Sarah Chiles; Oliver Green, land due for.] Source:  Cavaliers & Pioneers, p 237-238.  This patent was mentioned as follows in a patent to JOHN WILSON, 100 acres, Henrico Co., N side of Appomattox, 24 Sep 1667 (Patent Book 6, p 54) beg. at the river side @@ by N.  Nly along an old known fence being line parting his & Orphants of George & Will Wworsham &c. adj. his own land &c. Due for trans of 7 persons dated 6 May 1638 & the other 25 Sep 1663. Sd. 100 acres being part of a dvdt. purchased by WM. CLARKE containin 1100 acs. granted him by Sir John Havey late Govt. 6 May 1638; sold to LEONARD LANGTON 29 Oct 1638 who sold to SEATH WARD 3 Jan 1639 as by record of said deed at James City 24 Sept 1640 & assighnment endorsed may appear & for better confirmation the Widow DOROTHY CLARKE did afterwards surrender same to SEATH WARD at a court held at Varina 25 Mar 1640, who at a Ct. held at Varina 9 Nov 1640 assigned to Wm. Worsham 3200 acs. part oe 300 acs. lying at the Old Towne Cr. ^ by dec dated 2 Nov 1640 & endorced & C.  Said WARD for good consideration assigned the other 100 acres to MICHAEL MASTERS 28 Oct 1642 at a Court held at Varina at which Court said Masters surrended up said 100 acres to HENRY ROWEN who in like manner at the same Court surrendered same to PETER FEEPOND who at the same Court surrended to said WILSON.

On 22 November 1643, SETH WARD, recorded 350 acres, Henrico County, page 946, NNW up the Two Mile Creek, SSW over against Varina, ESE upon Three Mile Swamp, extending towards Four Mile Creek & bounded at the end with a running brook called a roundabout.  150 acres by former patent;  50 acres by purchase from JNO. BAKER & 150 acres for transport of 3 persons:  JNO WILKERSON, ROBERT FLEETE, JNO. MILLER.  [Source:  Cavaliers & Pioneers 151-152]

In 1682 died in 1682 leaving four children:  eldest son, SETH WARD; RICHARD WARD, second son; EDWARD WARD, youngest son; and ELIZABETH WARD, daughter.

In 1687 Henrico County Records, page 287, state "Upon ye petition of SETH WARD, These may certify that there is due unto him three hundred fifty acres of Land for ye importation of seven persons (whose names are underwritten) into this Colony:  Proof thereof being brought into Court made according to Law viz: EDWARD WISE, THOMAS STANNING, ANNE HEWITT, WILL BLAST, SIMON LIGON, MARY SPENCER, and ELIZABETH TURNER.

On 22 November 1643 SETH WARD  received a land patent , 350 acres, Henrico County, NNW up the Two Mile Creek, SSW over against Varine, ESE upon Three Myle Swamp, exting towards Four Myle Creek & bounded at the end with a running brook called roundabout; 150 acres by former patent, 50 acres by purchase from JOHN BAKER, and 150 acres for transport of 3 persons:  JOHN WILKESON, ROBERT FLEETE, and JOHN MILLER.  (Patent Book 1, Part II, p 946 & Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 1, pp 151-152)

[NOTE:   One source states that one of these imported individuals by Seth Ward prior to 1643 was SIMON LYGON, who may have been the brother of THOMAS LYGON.  SIMON LIGON was indentured to SETH WARD for his importation and worked for Seth’s son, RICHARD WARD as Richard’s will mentioned him. Robert Thompson imported a second Simon Lygon in 1688. This researcher has found no documents to date to prove that Seth Ward imported Simon Ligon into Virginia as of 10/29/03.]

SETH WARD purchased additional land of one WILLIAM CLARKE which he sold to WILLIAM WORSNAM on 2 November 1640, proven by a land patent (Patent Book 3, p 23)  dated 5 July 1653 belonging to  WILLIAM WORSNAM (WORSHAM) & GEORGE WORSNAM (WORSHAM) who filed a patent for 400 acres, Henrico County, Patent Book 3, page 23; 200 acres being part hereof lying at the old Towne at Appamattox River bounding E upon said River, siding SW by the Old Towne Creek upon John Coogney's land, extendinging NE upon land of Mrs. DOROTHY CLERK, widow; 200 acres being part of the old Towne aforesaid, bounded from the S by W, corner of said WORSNAM's first 200 acres, upon the head of the said land N by E, thence   into the woods towards Swifts Creek &c.; 200 acres being part of a patent granted WILLIAM CLARKE, dec'd, 6 May 1638, & by said CLARKE sould unto SETH WARD
from whom it was purchased by WILLIAM WORSNAM on 2 November 1640; & 200 acres for transport of 4 person:  Henry White, Jo. Plummer, Susan Chiles, Sarah Chiles,; Oliver Green, land due for.  (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 1, p 239)  The transaction is further proven by JOHN WILSON's patent dated 6  June 1666 (Patent Book 5, page 504) for 100 acres, Henrico Co., N side of Appomattox River, part of 100 acres purcahsed of WM. CLARKE which was granted by patent6 May 1638 & by him sould to LEONARD LAUGHTON 29 Oct 1638, who sould to SETH WARD on 3 January 1639 as by record of said deed at James City 24 September 1640 & assignments endorsed may appeare; & for better confirmation the Widdow DORATHY CLARKE surrendered the land to SEATH WARAD at a Court held at Varina 9 Novembe 1640 surrendered to WM. WORSNAM 200 acres being part of 300 acres at the Ould Towne Creek as by the records of that Court  & by a deed of sayle thereof dated 2 Nov. 1640 & assignment theron doth appeare; said SEATH WARD for good consideration, assigned the other 100 acres to MICHAELL MASTERS at a Court held at Variana 28 Oct 1642 & said Masters at the same Court surrendered the 100 acres to HENRY ROWEN who at the same Ct. in like manner assigned same to PETER FREEPOND who at the same Ct. assigned said 100 acres to said WILSON; beginning at ther iver side, running W by N 1/3 Nly, along an old knowne fence being the line parting said WILSON & the Orphans of GEORGE & WM. WORSHAM &c.  (Cavaliers & Pioneers Vol 1, p 556)  (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 2, p 37 - Patent Book 6, p 135, patent of George Worshan daed 29 April 1668)

 In 1650 Seth Ward transferred 350 acres to MORGAN PIERCE and they repatented it to FRANCIS PIERCE and WILLIAM PIERCE in 1667.  (Source unknown, further proof needed)

On 24 September 1667, FRANCIS PERCE & WILLIAM PERCE patented 350 acres, Henrico Couny, N side of James River, Patent Book 6, page 53; NNW on 2 Mile Creek, SSW against Varina, ESE upon 3 Mile Creek swamp, taking in the swamp, NNE towards 4 Mile Creek & bounded with a running brooke called the Rowndaboute.  Granted to SEATH WARD viz:  150 acres, 13 Sept. 1635; 50 acres purchased from JOHN BAKER, last of May 1636, & 150 acres 17 Nov. 1643 for transport of 3 persons:  Jonathan Blanchard, Elizabeth Gibbin, & Henry Chaddocke.  (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 2, p 15)

On 29 Septemer 1668 JOHN BROWNE patented 110 acres, Henrico County, N side of James River, Patent Book 6, page 189, adjacent SEATH WARD, Radford's line &c. for transport of 3 persons:  Elenor Willis, Jone Davis, Phyllis ___.  (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 2, p 49)

The following Colonial Survey report indicates that WILLIAM BYRD & SETH WARD were in close proximity to one another:  WILLIAM BYRD:  Patent - mos XBHSG Date: 20 Apr 1686 ref [Patent Book 7:549] to WILLIAM BYRD, 1820 acres Ref: 1820 acres Henrico/Falling Creek Grindons Run (Henry Sherman, SETH WARD loc 10215 -17298 F127 L0 P255 - Point A) Peter Lees Corner White oak in Grindon's Run HYD line Northeast 63 poles on Lees head line - Point B) Three Corner trees Corner of Henry Sherman line NNE; 202 poles on his headline - Point C) Line of Edward Deally line Northwest 246 poles - Point D) Corner pine line SWxS; 688 poles crossing Grindon's Run & main branch of Falling Creek - Point E) Corner pine line SxE; 186 poles - Point F) Corner pine line Southheast 256 poles - Point G) Corner pine nigh the line of SETH WARD line ExN; 344 poles on his line - Point H) Corner ash on main River HYD at mouth of Spring Run line NxE. 50pE; 56 poles along river - Point I) Mouth of Falling Creek HYD survey line ; up Creek with meanders 300 acres purchd of William Giles 29 March 1683 residue King's land" Sta. 6: poles from 44 to 344 - Quality of survey: Well located.  [COLONIAL LAND SURVEY REPORTS]  In Patent Book 7, page 549, this deed is recorded and the statement is made "crossing the maine branch of Falling Creek, nigh SETH WARD, to mouth of the Spring Run. (Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol 2, p 305)

About 1 August 1682 SETH WARD'S son, RICHARD WARD, died leaving four children:  eldest son, SETH WARD; RICHARD WARD, second son; EDWARD WARD, youngest son; and ELIZABETH WARD, daughter; as proven by Richard Ward's will.

Excerpts taken from: VIRGINIA GENEALOGIES 1600's - 1800's, Family Tree Makers Family Archives, CD 186:    "SETH WARD (the first of the name in Virginia) was in Henrico County as early as 1634 and was a planter. Seth's son, RICHARD WARD, was a magistrate in 1666, and in the list of Heads of Families 1679, appears as 'Mr. RICHD WARD, SEN.."  He died in 1682 disposing, by will of a substantial estate; probably a thousand acres of land, three servants (one of whom was an indentured servant and one an Indian." (p 762)  . . . SETH WARD  is the earliest ancestor to whom the WARD family of Henrico County has been traced; branches of which family lived at a later date in Amelia, Nottoway, Chesterfield, Prince Edward, Charlotte and Lunenburg Counties, Virginia, and in North Carolina.  The destruction of the Henrico County Records prior to 1677 and the fragmentary condition of this county's records since that date creates a problem in genealogy quite difficult of solution; but with a view to establishing certain heretofore circumstantially evident, though unproved, connections of Wards of post revolutionary date, with the original Wards of Henrico, an extensive search has been made in the remaining records in Henrico, the records of Chesterfield, Lunenburg, Cumberland, Amelia, Charlotte, and Nottoway, and the land patents in Richmond, in order to obtain whatever data these records might afford by wal of wills, deeds, and court orders.  (The research of the Ward family history was made at the request of Prof. E. F. Humphrey of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. Seth Ward was not the immigrant ancestor of the family.  For a note on Varina and its location, see Tyler's Cradle of the Republic, page 227.)  . . .  The earliest recorded mention of SETH WARD is as follows:  By order of Court 11 Feby 1632 that all such planters or persons whatsoever who shall have no land due unto them by adventure or otherwise should have certain quantity granted unto them by lease for 21 years, therefore under this provision, to SEATH WARD of VARINA, in the upper parts, planter, three score acres of land in the upper parts in corporation of Henrico; adjoining DANIEL SHERLEY, Powhatan's Three, Three mile swamp, dated 30 May 1634; Register of the Land Office, Patent Book I, p. 148.  . . . On November (9br) 12th, 1643, a patent for 150 acres of land was issued to SETH WARD as follows:  SETH WARD, 350 acres, Henrico Co., bounded NNW by side of twoe myle creek:  SSW 'over against Varina': ESE upon three myle swamp taking in said swamp extending in breadth towards the foure mile creek bounded at the end by a running brook called the roundabout; due as followest 150 acres  by virtue of a former patent dated 13 Feb 1635 and 50 acres by purchase from JOHN BAKER of a patent dated last of May 1635 & 150 acres more by and for transportation of 3 persons viz: JNO. WILKERSON, FLEETE, JNO. MILLER, into the colony.  Dated 9ber 12th, 1643. (Register of the Land Office, Patent Book I, p.946) (17 July 1637, John Baker, patent 200 acres, Henrico Co. near Varinas, adjoining land of Seth Ward & lands now in possession of John Baker & Wm. Davis, extending towards Cpt. Davis's bottoms. VA. Magazine VI, p 405). . . . The only other reference to SETH WARD that has been found is of a 'bill of sale of the aforementioned land  (i.e. 150 acres between Four Mile Creek & Two Mile Creek, patent 13 Feb 1635 by West, as governor, and renewed by Berkeley, as governor, on Nov 17, 1643, to SETH WARD, with addition of 50 acres purchased of JOHN BARBAR, dated May 1, 1636, and 150 acres more added thereto) 350 acres from SEATH [Seth] WARD to MORGAN PIERCE, dated February 1, 1650.  [On Mar. 23, 1633, JOHN WARD, of Varinas, planter, lease for 25 acres adjoining his own land at plantation of Varina. "VA. Magazine II, p. 312.) [Henrico Records, Vol. 1677-92, p. 239). . . . The subsequent history of SETH WARD is not known:  it is not known whom he married, nor is the date of his death known other than that it took place between 1650 (the date of his last patent, as above) and 1677 when the records, as at present preserved in Henrico, begin. . . . SETH WARD of Henrico County was the father of RICHARD WARD. [Virginia Magazine, p. 312. It is not improbable that SETH WARD was the father of other children.  SETH HATCHER, among the sons of EDWARD HATCHER (1633-1711) of Henrico may have come from Seth Ward, and hence Edward Hatcher's wife, MARY, may have been a daughter of Ward."

1 comment:

  1. The patent granted to Seth Ward in 1634 was NOT the property that became the family plantation named Sheffield. that property was purchased by Richard Ward in 1665. I have property maps that show the boundaries of both the original Seth Ward patent, and Sheffield. I can be reached by email at