THE WARD FAMILY About the year 1760 George Ward, with his wife, Mary Greer, and son Thomas, left their home,
in Durham, England, and sailed for America. They settled at Hanover, Dolphin county, Pennsylvania, near the city of
Harrisburg. Thomas was born in England in 1759, He enlisted and served in Wisner's regiment through the
Revolutionary war. In 1796 he came to Livingston county and located on a tract of land in what is now the town of
Groveland, eight miles south of the village of Geneseo. He married Mary Howd and five children were born to them.
John, Samuel, Thomas G., Elizabeth and Ann. John, the oldest son was born in 1794, married Olivia Watrous,
January 2, 1831 and had five children: Mary Ann, Augusta, Olivia A., John W. and Henry Dana. Olivia Watrous was a
daughter of Captain Josiah Watrous, a noted officer of the state militia and a soldier in the war of 1812. He was
a descendant of Jacob Watrous who,in 1647, had assigned him a tract of land embracing what is now the city of New London, Connecticut.|
John Ward became prominent in the early history of the county. In 1822, when Livingston county was first contemplated, five of the leading men of this region namely, Myron H. Mills, Charles H. Carroll, W. H. Spencer, Daniel H. Fitzhugh and John Ward, met and drew up a petition that resulted shortly thereafter in the formation of the new county. To John Ward was intrusted the conveying of the document to Canandaigua where it was deposited with the county clerk. He made the journey on horseback, and a leather pouch at his side encased the petition. These five men then formed a body to promote the interests of the county, and they performed a noble work along the lines of progress, at a time when the future growth and prosperity of the county demanded intelligent and concerted action on the part of its leaders. These men have all passed away but much of the fruits of their labors still remain and stand as monuments to their zeal and industry. John Ward was appointed postmaster, February 15, 1819, and was the first to hold that office in the town of Groveland. He resigned the office November 3, 1829. He remained in Groveland until 1848 when be sold the farm to Patrick Gilbraith and removed to the village of Geneseo, where he resided until 1863 when he purchased a farm in the town of Leicester. In 1867 he disposed of his farm in Leicester and purchased the place in Avon now occupied by his son John W. He resided on this place until his death which occurred August 22, 1867. An interesting family relic of Colonial days is a back comb, made of pure turtle shell, which was worn by Mary Howd Ward at General Washington's funeral and is now in the possession of her grand- daughter, Miss Clara 0. Dake, of Rochester, N. Y., and the family clock, brought from England, by George Ward in 1760 and carried overland from Pennsylvania to the new home in Groveland, and is now owned by William Ward Dake. This clock has been in continual service for upwards of two hundred and fifty years and is, today, the equal of modern clocks as a time keeper.
John W. Ward was born in Geneseo, October 14, 1844. He attended the district school and a course in the Temple Hill Academy completed his education. When fifteen years of age he engaged as clerk in a Geneseo store where he remained until 1863, when he removed with his parents to their farm in the town of Leicester, remaining there until the spring of 1867 when the family removed to Avon, locating on the place now occupied by John W. Ward. In 1874 he engaged with the Rochester Scale works, as salesman, with whom he remained fourteen years. He then became salesman for the Hawley Salt Company, of Warsaw, N. Y., and one year later engaged with the LeRoy Salt Company. In 1898 that company passed into the hands of the National Salt Company, and in 1902 was reorganized as the Empire State Salt Company. Mr. Ward has retained his position with this concern during its changes in ownership, and continues to, represent its interests on the road. On September 30, 1869 he was joined in marriage with Amelia D. Lindsley, daughter of Solomon Lindsley of Livonia, N. Y., and they have one son, Allen W. born November 7, 1871, who resides in Avon.
Doty, Lockwood R., History of Livingston County, New York, 1905; part II, pp.109-110