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Chapter 7

Son ~ Richard


Daughter ~ Clary

There is not much information available about the next two children of James and Agnes.  Their third son, named Richard, was born on May 18, 1745, and for many years he remained shrouded in mystery.  Only recently has information been found about this elusive son.                      

Son ~ Richard

In the Last Will and Testament of James, written in 1790, he listed his beneficiaries as John, Nicholas’ heirs (since Nicholas had already died), James, Clary, William, and Edmond.  The natural conclusion was that Richard had already died without any offspring.  A court record, found by Ginny Olsen of the Goochland County Historical Society, has finally provided solid evidence for the circumstances surrounding his death.  In this legal document, we learn that Richard Ware was murdered by a family slave who poisoned him. 

In 1765, the Ware and Harrison families were still living in Goochland County, Virginia.  On May 25th of that year, John Ware had married Ann Harrison, and the couple set up their home.  One of the slaves that John owned at the time was a female named Peg.

Ann’s brother, William Harrison, lived nearby and owned a male slave named Dick Harrison.  Obviously, Dick and Peg must have known each other and held some kind of grievance against Richard Ware, who was possibly living with his older brother, John, and his new wife at the time.  According to testimony that Peg provided to avoid her own prosecution, Dick conspired with her to murder Richard.  He prepared a poison for her and instructed her in the way to use it.  Peg followed his directions, gave the concoction to Richard, and he consequently “languished and died.”  (Ref. Court Record)

The trial of Dick Harrison occurred on September 20, 1765, and he pled innocent to the charge of murder.  Even though he was given a verdict of “not guilty” for the actual homicide, the court did find him guilty of “feloniously preparing and exhibiting a certain medicine and mixture of a poisonous quality with a felonious evil and wicked intent that the same should be given and administered to one Richard Ware and did deliver the same to the said slave Peg, advising and directing her to give and administer the same to the said Richard Ware, with a felonious and malicious intent thereby to kill and murder the said Richard Ware.” (Ref. Court Record) With his conviction, the court ordered Dick to be executed by hanging.  The following is a transcription of part of the actual document:

The Sheriff upon entering the Court; “Having with the approbation of the Court waved any prosecution against the said slave Peg in order to have the benefit of her testimony against the said slave Dick exhibits an information in writing against the said slave Dick, charging him with feloniously preparing and exhibiting a certain medicine . . . and in consequence of such advice and directions of the said slave Dick did give and administer the said poisonous medicine to the said Richard Ware who took the same by reason whereof the said Richard Ware languished and died.”

The court ordered Dick to “hang by the neck til he be dead” and set the date of execution for Friday, the 4th of October.  According to the execution records for 1607-1976, the sentence was carried out on time.  (See below)

The actual court record (on the next page) is interesting to read because the names mentioned in the document are so closely related to the family history of the Wares - - i.e., John Smith, John Payne, William Miller, Joseph Pollard, James Cole, George Payne, Thomas Mann Randolph, Thomas Bolling, John Bolling, Thomas Fleming, Tarleton Fleming, William Mitchell, Josias Payne, Jr., Thomas Randolph, Richard Fleming, Matthew Woodson, and Joseph Woodson.  It is also fascinating because the wording used in the proceedings gives us an idea of life under British rule.  The oaths administered and taken were done so under allegiance to the King.   

James and Agnes Ware were both 51 years old when their son, Richard, died.  He was only 20 years old.

In English law, “Oyer and Terminer” meant “to hear and determine.”

(Ref. 2378) Courtesy of Ginny Olsen of the Goochland County Historical Society

Daughter ~ Clary

The only known daughter born into the Ware home arrived on December 11, 1747.  James and Agnes named her Clara, or possibly Clarissa, but she was usually called Clary.   From James’ will we know that she married a man with the last name of “Sale,” but little else has come to light concerning Clary.  We assume she was still alive in 1790 since that is the date the will was drafted. (Ref. 372)

While there is no further hard evidence on Clary at this date, there is an interesting scenario that might bear further investigation.  I leave it to the readers to decide if this information is helpful.

We know that Clary Ware (daughter of James and Agnes) was born on December 11, 1747. (Ref. 5, 6, 27, 56, 173, 386, 830, 871, 940, 975)  At least four of these references are original, handwritten family bible entries, so this evidence is very reliable.  Her name as it appears in her father’s will is also reliable since it was a legal document.

On several recent genealogy sites we can find a “Clara Sale” with a date of birth ‘around’ the same time of Clary Ware, and she is connected by marriage to James Hurt.  The speculation has been that James Hurt wed Clara Sale; thereby making her name Clara Sale Hurt (no mention of the Ware name), and this couple had two daughters - Agnes and Elizabeth Hurt.  The birth date given for this Clara Sale is about 1749.  Here is where it gets interesting.  Notice the postings below: (Any highlighting or underlining done by me)

Concerning Agnes, the daughter of Clara and James Hurt:

[Note by O.H.: Agnes Hurt was a daughter of James and Clara Hurt of Caroline County. James Hurt died in Caroline County in 1772. Clara Hurt is believed to have been a daughter of Robert Sale, but no proof of this is available.

James (5) Hurt. His wife was Clara Hurt who is thought to have been a daughter of Robert Sale. James Hurt died in 1772. They had two children, viz: 1. Agnes (6) Hurt, married Richard Peatross on 5-3-1787 (14). 2. Elizabeth (6) Hurt, married Thomas Ellis 5-3-1787 (82).

Also concerning Elizabeth, daughter of Clara and James Hurt:

Elizabeth Hurt married Thos. Ellis in Spotsylvania County, Va. on May 3, 1787. (Page 24 of Original MSS--Douglas Register, Page 70). (Note by O. H.: Elizabeth Hurt was a daughter of James and Clara Hurt of Caroline Co., Va. James Hurt died in Caroline County in 1772. Clara Hurt is believed to have been a daughter of Robert Sale but no proof of this is available.)

Clearly, the aforementioned ‘Clara Hurt’, who is the mother of both Agnes and Elizabeth, was linked to the ‘Sale’ name in some way, but only by way of speculation to the role of a daughter.  As a conscientious researcher, Oscar Hurt, author of the above information, explained his notes as follows:

“Some of my setup of “The Early Hurt Family of Virginia” . . . is frankly speculative, which speculative part I have tried to clearly show as speculative, so that there would be no misunderstanding about it.”

Going on the limited information available, there have been numerous other postings on the web following that line of thought.  I have found no further clarifications or documentation, but the sample postings appear as follows:

From ancestry -  Clara Sale (1749 - Unknown)

Born in Caroline, Virginia, on 1749 to Robert Sale. Clara married James Hurt and had 2 children.  

Another listing shows:   daughter          Elizabeth HURT (born 1769)                                         Father:  James HURT            Mother: Clarissa SALE

There has also been occasional speculation that Robert Sale was the husband of Clary Ware and their child was Clary Sale.  This would create two separate, and individual Clara’s.   That would be impossible, however, because of the birthdates.  Clary Ware was born in 1747, and Clara Hurt was born about 1749. We know for certain that a “Clarissa Sale married James Hurt,” but there is no way that Clara Sale Hurt (born about 1749) was the daughter of Robert Sale if he, indeed, married Clary Ware, who was born in 1747.  Clary would have been two years old when she gave birth to Clarissa.

Instead of looking at Clara Ware Sale and Clara Sale Hurt as being two different people, what if we look at them at them as if they are one and the same??  We know the birthday for Clary Ware is correct.  The date for Clara Sale is shown as being just two years off, but that date is always listed as an ‘approximate’ anyway.

Bear in mind that when the supposition is made that Clarissa Sale Hurt is the daughter of Robert Sale, at no place does the name of ‘Ware’ come into the picture.

So – here is the supposition:

Clary Ware, born December 11, 1747, married James Hurt, thereby making her name now Clara Ware Hurt.  James and Clara (Ware) Hurt have the two daughters named Agnes and Elizabeth.  As will be seen later in this chapter, both daughters carry the family names of Ware, Hurt, and Sale onto their children.  This is an important clue.

Clary would have been 20 years old when she gave birth to her first daughter, Agnes Hurt in 1767.  Notice that name for her firstborn child.  It was very much the custom of the day to name your child after your mother or father – another clue!  Clary Ware’s mother was Agnes Todd Ware.  Clary’s second daughter, Elizabeth Hurt, was born January 11, 1769.  Clary would have then been 22.

James Hurt, who we know died in 1772, would have left Clary a widow at a very young age.  If she re-married after his death (to Mr. Sale) that would make Clary’s last name Sale as shown in her father’s will of 1790.  It would also account for her children still holding onto their father’s name of Hurt – i.e., Agnes Hurt and Elizabeth Hurt.  Unless her new husband formally adopted them, they would still carry their birth father’s name.  Clary, upon her second marriage would have been Clary Ware Hurt Sale.  There are several documents that lend support to this theory. 

References: "Clara Hurt: 58-1G38-1772, Caroline County, Va.  At a Court held for Caroline County, Va. on 5- ? -1772. "On motion of Clara Hurt (who having taken the oath prescribed by law) certificate for obtaining letters of administration on the Estate of her husband James Hurt dec'd is granted her bond acknowledged and ordered to be recorded. Ordered Reuben Samuel, Benjamin Robertson, James Munday and John Dismuke or any three of them being first sworn to appraise the Estate of James Hurt dec'd and return an Inventory thereof to Court."      (Order Book, Vol. 2, 1770-1772, page 456, Caroline County, Va.)."   This, first, validates the death date of James Hurt.

It also points to the fact that Clara Hurt was our Clara Ware because one of the men designated to appraise the Hurt estate was Rueben Samuel – his son and namesake would later marry Nancy Ware.  Nancy was the daughter of Clary Ware’s youngest brother, Edmund Ware.


29 Jun 1802    Reuben Samuel /Nancy Ware   Reuben Samuel & Morgan Bryan 
Father: Edmond Ware       marriage record

Caroline County, Virginia Order Book 1746-1754  Abstracted and compiled by John Frederick Dorman, Washington D.C. 1970

The above record from the ‘Virginia Order Book’ lets us know again that James Hurt died in 1772, but more importantly, that James Ware was appointed guardian of his daughters.  Clary Ware’s older brother was James Ware, son of James and Agnes Ware!

More evidence: At a Court held for Caroline County, Va. on 6-__-1785.  James Ware guardian to the daughter of James Hurt vs. Albin Sears and Nathaniel Norment. Also James Ware Extr of James Hurt vs. Albin Seats and Nathaniel Norment and Matthew Peatross.   (Order Book 13, 1785-1787, Caroline County, Va.) 

At a Court held for Caroline County, Va. on 3-_-1787.  James Ware Exc of James Hurt Dec’d vs. Albin Sears and Matthew Sears Debt.

The above records show that James Ware was still the guardian of the girls as of 1787.  We know, however, that James was thinking about moving to Kentucky as early as 1784, and by 1787, was really putting his affairs in order in Virginia.  (See below)

“It was in the fall of 1784 when James II decided to visit Kentucky for the first time and he remained there all that winter.”  (Ref 334,35G)

“Dr. Ware returned to the Old Dominion after the winter, but in 1789, he revisited Kentucky and left his sons, Thompson and James III, there.” (Ref. 6, 35G)

James would, indeed, move to Kentucky permanently in 1791.  With his travels taking him from Virginia to Kentucky often over the years from 1784 to 1791, it was only logical that Agnes and Elizabeth would need another guardian who was closer by.  By law, as female minors, they had no rights and could not even marry until the legal age of 21 without a guardian to represent them.  Consequently, in 1787, both Agnes and Elizabeth petitioned the courts to name William Young as their guardian.  Coincidence?

1. Hurt, Oscar H., THE EARLY HURT FAMILY OF VIRGINIA:  a compilation, 1963 pg. 5, (unpublished typed document) FHL# 34425-13. 

2. Order Book 1787-1789, Caroline Co., pg. 1 - as orphan of James Hurt, Agnes and Elizabeth chose William Young as their guardian - Apr 1787.   3. Marriage, Douglas Register, pg. 70; pg. 24 of the original MSS.

Another source:  13-1K23-1787, Caroline County, Va.

At a Court held for Caroline County, Va. on April 1787 - - Elizabeth and Agnes, orphans of James Hurt chose William Young as their guardian.   (Order Book 1787-1789, page 1, Caroline County, Va.)

Agnes Hurt was the daughter of James Hurt (1738 - May 1772, Caroline Co., VA) and Clara Sale. She had at least one sister, Elizabeth Notice this record says that Agnes is the daughter of James Hurt and Clara Sale – showing that, by now, Clary had remarried and was known by her married name.

Another website shows:     Agnes Hurt:  Born in Spotsylvania, Virginia, on 1767 to James Hurt and Clara Sale. Agnes married Richard Peatross and had 11 children. She passed away on 1828 in Caroline, Virginia.

*** Another key factor to remember is that Clary Ware’s family all lived in Caroline County and owned property in Spotsylvania County - - notice both counties mentioned above.

To further connect Clarissa (Clary Ware) Hurt Sale to the Ware family – look at the daughters.

Agnes Hurt who was born in 1767.  She married Richard Peatross in May of 1787, and they had 11 children.  Agnes died in 1828.  (Notice again that Agnes is the name of Clary Ware’s mother)

Assuming that Clary Ware Hurt does remarry and her new husband is Robert Sale – look at how Agnes Hurt Peatross names her children – a very telling sign during this era.

These are the children of Agnes Hurt and Richard Peatross:

1.  James W Peatross  born 1783  (The initial ‘W’ could very well be for “Ware”)

2.  Richard C Peatross  born 1778  married Lucy Johnson

3.  William C Peatross born 1784

4.  Amey Peatross  born 1780

5.  Matthew D Peatross born 1783

6.  Agnes Peatross  born 1786

7.  Sarah E Peatross born 1789 married Major W.M. Mason

8.  Clarissa Peatross born 1792  married Richard Turner

9.  Joanna Peatross born 1794  married Joseph Lawrence on 20 Sep 1815

10. Robert Sale Peatross born 1805   Married Elizabeth Ann Scott

11. Mary Ann Peatross  born 1813 married Warner M Mason

*** Notice that son #10 is named Robert Sale Peatross – which would be appropriate for Agnes to do if she wanted to honor her stepfather – Robert Sale.  Also, traditional Ware family names are James, Richard, William = all brothers of Clary.  Another Agnes appears in #6.

Clary’s second daughter, Elizabeth Hurt, born January 11, 1769, married Thomas Ellis on May 3, 1787.

81-1K23-1787---Elizabeth Hurt, Caroline Co., Va.    At a Court held for Caroline Co., Va, on 4-1787.  Elizabeth and Agnes orphans of James Hurt, chose William Young as their guardian.  (Order Book 1787-1789, Page 1, Caroline Co., Va.)   82-10A119-1787---Elizabeth Hurt, Caroline Co., Va.

Again, assuming that Clary Ware Hurt remarried and her new husband was Robert Sale (or at least some “Mr. Sale,” as mentioned in records) – look at how Elizabeth Hurt Ellis named her children.  

Elizabeth and Thomas had the following children:

1.   Rebecca N. Ellis  1789 -1838   married  William Thomson - had 9 children

2.   John Ellis 1792 -1847  married Mildred Marshall Ferguson

3.   James Hurt Ellis  Feb. 5, 1793  - 1840   married Mary C Woolfolk

4.   William Henry Ellis  1794 -1850  wed  Frances Louisa Duke & Mary Dickinson 

5.   Elizabeth Hurt Ellis 1796-1796

6.   Sarah (Sallie) Ellis  1797-1876  married John Thomson

7.   Clarissa (Clara) W. Ellis 1799-1861 married William Woolfolk

8.   Thomas Joseph Ellis Jr. 1801- 1882  married Cynthia Ann Ferguson

9.   Mary Ann Ellis  1802 -1855  married Collin Johnson and had 10 children

10.  Maria Louisa Ellis 1805- 1870   married David Thomson

11.  Robert Sale Ellis  1807-  1886  married Emily A Sneed

12.  Richard P. Ellis 1809 -1862  married Margaret Vivion Ferguson 

13. Frances Agnes Ellis 1811-1880 married Charles Yancey Crawford

*** Notice again a child named for Robert Sale - #11

*** Again, John, James, William, and Richard were all names of the brothers of Clary Ware.

Look closely at #7 - Daughter named Clarissa W. Ellis - born

July 5, 1799, in Orange County, Virginia.

Clarissa married William Woolfolk on Nov. 28, 1816, in Orange County.  Her middle initial of ‘W’ could very well have stood for Ware, but more importantly, look at her 11th child!!   

Their children (which would be the grandchildren of Elizabeth Hurt and the great grandchildren of Clary Ware) were:

1. Thomas Ellis Woolfolk 1817 -1842

2. Col. William Ellis Woolfolk  born Jan. 28, 1819  wed Ann Elizabeth Thomson on Jul 22 1842   died 1860

3. Mary Cole Woolfolk  1820-1821

4. Elizabeth H. Woolfolk born June 20, 1821 wed Littleton Sneed on Aug 14 1842    Died 1881

5. Susan Cole Woolfolk born Jan. 30, 1823 wed Robert Goodwin on Dec 15 1838

6. Dr. John L. Woolfolk born Sep. 23 1824   died 1890

7. Judge James Hurt Woolfolk born 1826   wed Maria Louise Thomson in 1847

8. Lee Woolfolk?

9. Clarissa W. “Clary” Woolfolk born Feb 28 1828  wed Samuel P. Hackett in 1845

10. B. W. Leigh Woolfolk 1830-1852

11. Robert Ware Woolfolk   1832

#11 Robert Ware Woolfolk was born on Jan. 8, 1832, in Louisa County, Virginia.  Notice the ‘Ware’ middle name.

With the above information, it seems more than plausible that Clary Ware first married James Hurt and had two daughters with him.  He died in 1772, and her brother, James Ware, became guardian of her daughters.  When James moved to Kentucky in 1791, William Young became their new guardian – ironically in the very same year both girls married.  Clary married Robert Sale sometime prior to 1790, making him a ‘stepfather’ to her girls.  This would account for her name being ‘Clary Sale’ in the will of her father and for the tradition of Agnes and Elizabeth Hurt carrying on the family names.  There is no proof at this time for the above supposition, but it gives one pause to wonder.  Hopefully, legal documents will appear one day that will fully validate any findings concerning Clary Ware. 

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