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Part 4 of Ware Connection to Grace Episcopal Church

Elizabeth Alexander Ware (Britton) (McGuire)

On the same side of the monument that has the inscription for Charles Ware is the dedication to Josiah and Fanny’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth Alexander Ware.   She was quite a remarkable woman.  At the age of 18, Elizabeth attended Mr. Archer’s Academy in Baltimore.  The principal of the school later moved to The Patapsco Female Institute around the mid-1850s - an elegant finishing school for young women.  Robert H. Archer became the headmaster around the mid- 1850s.




Elizabeth Alexander Ware
Photos owned by James & Judy Ware

The following is a dedication written on the inside cover of a book entitled The Poetical Works of John Milton which was presented to Elizabeth Ware as an award “for attention to study and amiable deportment.”          

Book owned by James and Judy Ware

Elizabeth went to visit her brother James in Texas around 1858.  While there, she met and fell in love with Dr. Edward Wharton Britton, a prominent physician in Galveston.  They were married on March 10, 1864.  By the end of that year, Elizabeth (often called Bessie, Kee, or Key) had delivered a baby boy whom the couple named after her beloved father.  Sadly, little Josiah Ware Britton was destined to live only one year.

Since Dr. Britton had to be gone so much during the war, he wanted his wife and child to be safe with her family.  According to her niece, Cornelia Ware Anker:

He put them on a boat at Corpus Christi and they ran the blockade.  She showed me, probably 65 years later, a little purse which he had handed her when he told her goodbye.  In it was 200 dollars in gold.  He told her not to use it except in case of emergency.  She never used it.  I remember figuring what she had lost in interest by keeping it for sentimental reasons.  She arrived home to Springfield and shortly thereafter her baby died, and on that same day she received the news of the death of her husband of yellow fever.”  (Ref. 2)

Elizabeth buried her son in the graveyard adjoining Grace Church.

Grave for Josiah Ware Britton

The inscription on his tombstone reads:


to the memory of


Son of

Dr. Edward and Bessie Britton

of Texas

Died November 1865

“Aged one year”

“On the other side he waiteth”


J. W. B.

There is a tiny foot-stone with his initials right behind this marker


Photos taken by James and Judy Ware 1998

Elizabeth Ware Britton stayed in Virginia for approximately a year.  When her sister, Lucy Balmain Ware Lewis, died in 1866 at the birth of her only surviving child, Elizabeth “took the baby [named Lucie Lewis] and cared for her til her father remarried, about four years.  They both went to Texas in this time where Aunt Key [Elizabeth] was governess for the King children on the famous King Ranch (Ref. 2, 420)  After young Lucie went back to her father and new stepmother, Elizabeth traveled to Pennsylvania to visit with some of her mother’s family.  She stayed with the Josiah Eno family in Luzerne County for some time.  In 1878, she received a note from the White House where her cousin, Mrs. Lucy Ware Hayes, was now residing.  It was an offer for her to work at the Treasury Department.

Although the writing is incredibly faded, the transcription is included below as follows:           

Original letter owned by James and Judy Ware



“My Dear Mrs. Britton

At the time I wrote to you last, Aunt Luc did not know that the place in the Treasury would be left open until the first of December, neither did she know of your engagements.  She agrees with you about the necessity of fulfilling one’s engagements but wishes me to say, if your term expires before the first of Dec. you can still have the place or if, within the next year you should wish a position in the Treasury, if you will let her know of it she will do what she can.” (Ref. 17)

On April 30, 1884, at the home of her aunt and uncle in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Alexander Ware Britton became the wife of Dr. James Mercer Garnett McGuire.  Dr. McGuire was already well known to the family.  His father, Rev. John Peyton McGuire, had been the “Rector of the Episcopal High School in Alexandria (Ref. 2312) and in 1864, the good doctor had married Elizabeth’s cousin, Betty Holmes McGuire, daughter of Dr. William D. McGuire and her Aunt Lucy Catherine Ware.  (See page 15)

When she married for the second time, Elizabeth was in her 40’s and Dr. McGuire (born April 20, 1833) was in his early 50’s.  (Ref.  838)  Reverend Edward Hayden, who would later write a large book on genealogy for the family, officiated at the wedding.  He actually dedicated his genealogical work to Elizabeth.

(Ref. 6)  Dedication page

Although Elizabeth never bore any more children of her own, when she wed Dr. McGuire, she “made  a home for his children; besides she took the Campbell children to rear.  Their parents had been her friends and after their deaths, she took them, five of them, and Palmer a baby.  They were devoted to her.”  (Ref. 2)


Dr. James Mercer Garnett McGuire and Elizabeth Alexander Ware

Photo owned by James and Judy Ware

There is a large marker in the Grace Cemetery for Dr. McGuire, his first wife, Betty, and some of their six children.  There are many names on the same stone.  On the front:

Dr. James McGuire CSA     Elizabeth Holmes McGuire     John Peyton McGuire
     1833-1903               1834-1874                1869-1890

On the back of the stone

William David McGuire       James M. G. McGuire      William David McGuire
1865-1866                1868-1875                 1873-1877

It is of interest to note that John Peyton McGuire died by drowning in the New River in West Virginia while saving a child.

The following was written of him:


“Brave and faithful to the last ~ true to the unselfish nature which had endeared him to the hearts of all who knew him, he died the death of a hero, giving his life that another might live.  He now sleeps by his mother in Grace Churchyard, Berryville, Virginia.”  (Ref. 557)


Of the other two children of Dr. McGuire, Charles Fenton McGuire (born May 19, 1871) wed Margaretta Holmes McCormick, the daughter of Marshall McCormick.  Charles died in 1917.  Even though he was living in Hoboken at the time of his death, “his remains were brought to Berryville and internment made in the McGuire lot in the church yard of Grace church.”  (Ref. 557)   His sister, Maria Garnett McGuire (born 1867) married William Travers Lewis.


After her marriage to Dr. James Mercer Garnett McGuire, Elizabeth and her new husband moved back to Berryville and she became very active in Grace Episcopal Church.  A newspaper clipping from the “Clarke Courier” in 1902 mentioned the fact that she was the President of the Ladies Aid Society.



Article showing Elaizabeth as President of Ladies' Aid Society


In 1903, a year after the above article appeared in the local paper, Elizabeth became a widow for the second time.  After sharing 19 years of marriage, Dr. James McGuire passed away suddenly at their home.  He had been resting peacefully on a couch when the heart disease, which had weakened him for several months, took its’ toll.  His obituary provided great insight into how beloved he was to all who knew him.  Elizabeth would live another 22 years before her own death in 1925. 


Obituary for Dr. McGuire

Dr. James M. G. McGuire

On Saturday last, at his home in Berryville, Dr. J.M.G. McGuire

died very suddenly.  He had been in feeble health for some months,

but his death came as a great shock to the host of people with whom

he was acquainted.  Shortly after one o’clock, the members of his

family left him in his room, resting on a couch, reading a newspaper.

A few minutes later Dr. J. Edward Harris, who was staying at the

same house, went to the room to speak to him and found that the end

had come swiftly and painlessly.

Dr. James Mercer Garnett McGuire, son of Rev. John Peyton McGuire

and Maria Mercer Garnett, was born at the home of his grandfather,

Hon. James Mercer Garnett, “Elmwood” in Essex County, Va. on

April 20, 1833.    He grew up at “The Parsonage,” in Essex County,

leaving there in 1852, when his father became the Rector of the

Episcopal High School, near Alexandria, Va.  He was educated at the

University of Virginia, afterward studying medicine with his Kinsman,

Dr. Hugh Holmes McGuire of Winchester, and completing his medical

education at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.   He

married first, February 26, 1864, his cousin, Miss Betty Holmes

McGuire, daughter of Dr. Wm. D. McGuire, of “Norwood,” Clarke

County, Va.  Mrs. McGuire died May 4, 1874, leaving seven children,

of whom two – Mrs. William T. Lewis, of Berryville, and Charles F.M.

McGuire, of Hoboken, N. J., - are still living.  He practiced his

profession with great success in and around Alexandria until the war.

He then entered the army as First Lieutenant of the Alexandria

Artillary Company, but very soon, by the advice of his friends and

believing that he could in that way render more valuable service to his

state, he became a Surgeon and served in the Stonewall Brigade until

the close of the war.  He was with his command from Manassas to

Appomattox, except for several months spent in a Northern prison

awaiting an exchange, and took part in the consultation over General

Jackson when he was wounded.  After the war, he taught school in

Richmond for several years with his brother, Mr. John P. McGuire, and

then removed to this county where he farmed and practiced his profession

until his sudden death from heart disease last Saturday.

Dr. McGuire married a second time – April 30, 1884, Mrs. Elizabeth (Key)

Ware Britton, daughter of Col. Josiah Ware, of Clarke County, who survives

him.  He leaves, in addition to his wife and children, one brother,

Mr. John P. McGuire, of Richmond, and three sisters, Mrs. John Johns, of

Baltimore, Mrs. Kinloch Nelson, of Ellicott City, Md., and Mrs. Philip W. Nelson,

of Albermarle County, Va.  He was respected and beloved by all who knew

him,  and was a gentleman of courtly and polished manners.

The funeral took place yesterday at 12 o’clock, from Grace Episcopal

Church, and the internment was made in the church cemetery.  A large

concourse of friends and relatives of the deceased gathered from all parts

of the county, as well as from points in Virginia and Maryland, and listened

with bowed heads and aching hearts while the Rector, Rev. Edward Wall,

spoke the few simple words over their beloved one.

The pallbearers were:  Active – R. Powell Page, Chas M. Broun, J. S. Ware,

Louis Welton, J. W. Bell, and Frank Galloway.  Honorary – Conrad Kownslar,

Marshal McCormick, Province McCormick, S. K. Harris, Judge S.J.C. Moore,

Gen. Chas Thurman, Burwell McGuire, and H. W. Baker



Description: Leafy Swirl


On March 29, 1925, Elizabeth Alexander Ware Britton McGuire died of influenza at the age of 87.  Her death occurred on a Sunday morning at 10:00.  (Ref. 58)  Funeral services were held in Grace Episcopal Church and she was buried in the cemetery there.  

Ware section of the cemetery – photo owned by James and Judy Ware

Obituary for Elizabeth Ware McGuire - property of James and Judy Ware

The beautiful stained glass window pictured below is located in the foyer of Grace Episcopal Church.  It was dedicated to Elizabeth Ware McGuire and her husband.  The inscription appears toward the bottom, above the blue square.   

Photos taken by James & Judy Ware

1986                         2006


With sunlight shining through

“To the glory of God and in loving memory of

Dr. James Mercer Garnett McGuire and his wife,

Elizabeth Alexander Ware McGuire”

Dedicated to Dr. James Mercer Garnett McGuire and his wife,

Elizabeth Alexander Ware McGuire

Part 5

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