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Chapter 3

James and Agnes ~ the Early Years

There is not much known of the childhood of James Ware I except that he grew up in Gloucester County. (Ref. 34)  Monumental historical changes occurred during his lifetime, however, and he would find himself an integral part of that history as it unfolded.  The two maps below portray how dramatically the face of Virginia changed from the years just prior to James’ birth to the period about 45 years later.

Maps courtesy of the late Sherrianne Coleman Nicol


In 1714, two events occurred that did not seem related at the time:  King George I became the King of England and tea was introduced to the American colonies.  How ironic it was that the name ‘King George’ (albeit his descendant) and tea would prove to become such irritating thorns in the side of the colonists prior to the Revolutionary War. 

By the time James turned six years old, the three largest cities in America were Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City.  At this point in his life, that probably was of little concern to him since his world tended to revolve around Gloucester, Virginia.  It would not be long, however, before counties like Caroline, Goochland, King and Queen, and Spotsylvania would factor into his thinking in a big way.  

1734 Map (Ref. 1026)

According to documents at the Rutherford B. Hayes Library, James Ware and Agnes Todd “were married in 1735.”   They were both 21 years old at the time, and it was during the next 18 years (1736-1753) they established their family.  All of their children were born in the colony of Virginia.  They lived in typical colonial fashion, and the love of fine horse flesh, good farmland, and family honor were as much a part of their DNA as hair color. 

Colonial Virginia

Agnes had her first child, a son, in 1736, and they named him John.  There were three more sons to follow:  Nicholas (1739), James (1741) and Richard (1745).  In 1747, their only daughter, Clary, was born and two more sons, William and Edmund, rounded out the family in 1750 and 1753.

(Ref. 6)


(Ref. 4)

The above list was compiled by Mrs. Lewis B. Burton, wife of the Bishop of Kentucky, using data from old records and bibles.  

This was a time when the Wares were surrounded by many great men who would make their mark in the history books.  George Washington was born two years prior to their marriage, and Benjamin Franklin was busy publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack from 1732 to 1758.  Since it was somewhat of a “best seller” in the American colonies, it likely found its way to the Ware reading table while James and Agnes awaited the births of their seven children.

All of the Ware offspring were raised as subjects of the King of England.  The years when they were toddlers were relatively free from great political strife, but that would prove to be the ‘lull before the storm,’ so to speak.  James and Agnes, along with their family, were heading into a whirlwind of change.  The life of each child would be forever altered by the events that loomed on the horizon, and their decisions would largely dictate the future for generations yet to come.



(1) Capt. John Ware      B. Dec. 12, 1736      D. June 17, 1816

 Married Ann Harrison

(2) Nicholas Ware          B. Aug. 12, 1739      D. Mar. 26, 1787

 Married Martha Peggie Hodges

(3) Dr. James Ware II   B. Mar. 13, 1741/2   D. May 7, 1820 (Ref. 870, 959,  978,1074, 2023)          

Married Virginia Catherine Todd 

(4) Richard Ware           B. May 18, 1745       D. Sept. 1765

(5) Clara Ware               B. Dec. 11, 1747       D.

Married Mr. Sale

(6) William Ware            B. Mar. 29, 1750      D. Sept. 10, 1829

Married Sarah Samuel

(7) Edmund Ware           B. Apr. 25, 1753      D. 1814

(Ref. 1, 2, 4, 6, 621, 651, 692, 871, 978)


Supporting Documentation for Chapter 3


Bible record of Sarah Ware of Belton, Texas


Ware bible page courtesy of Debbie McArdle

Ware Family Bible owned by James & Judy C. Ware


Ware Bible owned by James Thompson Ware – published in 1854 by the American Bible Society; kindly provided through the dedicated research of Debbie McArdle


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