Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Rest of the Story: #1 George Harrison Ware

The internet is wonderful for advancing family history.  I have been using it since @1995 and I have found the most "funderful" cousins from everywhere.

I have always been interested in who my Great Grandmother, Sarah Emma Ware Rape Cates, was.  Her story which I will tell in this series of posts, but not today, reads like a novel and  think the whole Ware family has a deep romantic streak in their souls because they have some of the most amazing people in their ancestry and in their descendants.  I have been privileged to meet a few of these people and today I am sharing a post by "Cousin" Tom Ware of Louisianna.

Tom was refered to me in early 2010 by another "cousin" and he had a piece of the puzzle, "What happened to the family of William and Martha Gee Ford Ware after the Civil War?"  William and Martha had at least 8 children:
Martha Ophelia 1850-1892,  George Harrison Ware 1852-1922, child died at birth 1854, Homer Cicero 1855-1904, Mary Elizabeth 1856-1883, Sarah Emma 1858-1937,  Child (possibly twins lived 24+ hours)1862,  William1864-1923.  William died 9 days after Appomattox and the end of the war.  Within 10 years the family was scattered, I know the two older sisters married but died early, Sarah and Homer married siblings in Texas, but the two brothers George and William could not be found until Tom contacted me.
This is part of the "rest of the story".

George Harrison Ware

Colonial Heights
My grandfather, George Harrison Ware was born 12 August 1852 near Six Mile, Floyd County, GA, the 2ndst son to William Ware (1828 – 1865) and Martha Gee Ford (1833 – 1900).  He is believed to have grown up in the Joseph Ford plantation home known as Colonial Heights located (34 deg 10’ 12.49”N 85 deg 13’ 20.14”W) on old Booze Mountain Rd SW about 1.2 miles SW of Six Mile, GA which in turn is located appropriately 6 mi SSW of Rome, GA out the old Cave Springs Rd SW.  Note the southwestern leg of Booze Mtn. Rd is now called Samuel’s Mtn. Rd SW and Colonial Heights address is now 54 Samuel’s Mtn. Rd SW, Rome, GA.  His father & mother are both buried there in what is now known as the Birdsong Cemetery. 

The old Ware family home (Courtesy Plantation) is 1.6 mi to the west down that same road at present day 486 Booze Mountain Rd and the Ware Cemetery is about 700’ north and in front of the home.  The old refurbished home, on 1.75 acres, has been up for sale about three years and is now offered at $159,000 (see GA MLS#2539624).  Most of the old plantation of 1820 origin is now a large industrial park between Booze Mountain and Paris Lake in Floyd County, GA.  Part of a new Hwy By-Pass south of Rome, GA will pass just behind Courtesy Plantation and just in front of Colonial Plantation.  The fact that both homes are Historical Landmarks, originally built in what was then The Cherokee Nation, is probably what saved them from being gobbled up in the Hwy By-pass project.   

Grandfather’s early life, was disrupted by the Civil War, and torn asunder by the death of his father in April of 1865.  Thereafter, his mother’s older brother (Arthur S. Ford) was appointed Administrator of the Estate of William Ware and Guardian of the children until his mother could remarry – since at that time property rights were not granted to women.  His mother, Martha Gee Ford Ware, then married John Jetter Miller, a widower with children, on 16 Sep 1866 in Floyd County, GA; whereupon the property issues were resolved and Mr. Miller then became George’s Guardian.  It was said that life with the new step- father was not too desirable and by the 23rd August 1870 Census neither George H. nor his younger brother Homer C. Ware were listed in the Miller household.  At that time George H. Ware would have been almost exactly 18 yrs old and his brother Homer C. Ware would have been about 15 yrs and 6 mo old.  They reportedly both left the home of their stepfather ultimately moving west to “Arkansas and Mississippi,” probably to a relative’s household until becoming established on their own, although Homer turned up as a single boarder in the 1880 US census for Ellis County (just south of Dallas), Texas.
George H. Ware next turned up in Little Rock, AR in the Pulaski County Clerk’s Marriage Records at age 23 yrs & 9 mos as having married the 40 yr & 9 mo old, widow, Isabella Eliza Jane Mills Culpepper on 19 Dec 1875.  Then in the 1880 Census for Little Rock (2nd Ward), Pulaski Co., AR he was enumerated 12 Jun 1880 as Head of Household at 1105 Welsh St. (built by George H. Ware and occupied continuously by Ware’s until the late 1990’s) living with wife Isabella, 19 yr & 8 mo old “daughter” Fannie,  and 17 yr & 5 mo old “son” James.  George H. became a skilled carpenter along the way and later worked as a cabinetmaker in a Railroad Shop building passenger-train cars and also was a contractor  building numerous homes on Welsh St and on the east side of little Rock.

As it turns out Fannie was not his daughter but the foster daughter, Fannie L. Thomas, of the Rev. James L. and Isabella Eliza Jane Mills Culpepper, taken into their home in 1862 at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co. AR.  Also 17 year old James (b 8 May 1863) was the only natural born child of the Rev. and Mrs. Culpepper to reach adulthood.  They and all their families were affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church of the South and later with the First Methodist Church in Little Rock.

George H’s. 1st wife, Isabella, died 12 May 1889 and was buried beside her 1st husband  in Bellwood Cemetery in Pine Bluff, AR; thereafter, it appears that George H. at age 38-4/12 yrs then married 30-10/12 yr old Fannie L. Thomas  (my grandmother) on 10 Nov 1890 in Pine Bluff, AR, per Jefferson Co. Marriage records.  Between 1892 and 1906 they had six children the last being my father when she was 46-2/12 years old.  George H. Ware died 22 Jul 1922 at age 69-11/12 in Little Rock, AR, from a blood clot in his leg, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock beside Fannie L. Ware.

Thanks to Tom for this sketch of George Harrison Ware's life.

If anyone out there reading this blog is a descendant of Martha and William please feel free to comment or contact me.  I would love to find the "rest of the story" on a lot of my Ware relations.