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Elizabeth, the eldest child of John and Susannah Denty, married Thomas Ward on 12 Mar 1817 in Madison County, Alabama at the age of fifteen or sixteen. Elizabeth's aunt, Jonathan's daughter Mary Denty, had married Walter Ward in Fairfax County, Virginia, but these two families were most definitely not related. Thomas' father Mathias Ward was reportedly born in Dublin, Ireland, settling in Savannah, Georgia just after the Revolution. Thomas was born there about 1790.
After several unsuccessful attempts to acquire land, Thomas and "Lizzie" purchased eighty acres in Madison County on 22 Dec 1821. They sold the parcel in 1826, not buying other acreage until 1830, when he received two grants, each for eighty acres. In early 1834 they moved to Talladega County, Alabama, located due east of modern-day Birmingham at the southern tip of the Appalachians. (See map, Counties Significant to the Southern Dentys.) Talladega County had been inadvertently opened to white settlement by the Treaty of Cusseta on 4 Apr 1832. Like so many treaties before and after, it resulted in a flood of land hungry settlers, including Thomas and Elizabeth Ward, who settled close to that county's western border on the Coosa River, just north of the present-day town of Childersburg. They were accompanied by Mathias Ward, William Melton Ward, Lewis Ward, and by 1839, Elizabeth's younger brother Jonathan Milton Denty, who settled close by. The Wards apparently prospered in their new home, because they appeared on the 1840 Census with two black males and two black females in the household, and in the 1850 Census with ten slaves.
Although there was mention of "Sister Ward" visiting the family in Madison County in the late summer or early fall of 1834, it hasn't been determined if that visit, or indeed any other, actually occurred. Certainly with the passing years there was little or no contact. Unlike her younger siblings, Elizabeth was illiterate, a condition that made communication difficult. When the Ward family moved to Choctaw County, Alabama, a move that possibly occurred as early as 1852, the Dentys were unaware of it. Nor were they aware of Elizabeth's death about 1857 or Thomas' on 28 Dec 1860. Instead they seem to have thought the Wards moved to Texas, a belief with some foundation since their oldest son William Harrison Ward, with whom Thomas lived in his last years, eventually moved to Marion County, Texas.
Thomas and Elizabeth Denty Ward had the following children:
Lucinda L. Ward, born about 1820, married William L. Wallis on 27 May 1836. She died in 1902.
Born on 8 Apr 1824, William Harrison Ward, married Margaret Salina Reid about 1850. William died on 9 Feb 1872 in Marion County, Texas.
A daughter, name unknown, born between 1825 and 1830, was enumerated in the 1840 Census. On 2 Sep 1846 Elizabeth Ward married John Vincent in Talladega County. Perhaps that Elizabeth was this unknown daughter.
Madison Lewis Ward, born on 23 Jul 1837, married Elizabeth Francis Smith. Madison served in Company E, 40th Alabama Infantry during the Civil War. Captured at Vicksburg, he was paroled after signing an oath not to take arms against the federal government, but was captured again only five months later at the Battle of Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga. Sent to the infamous prison at Rock Island, Illinois, he was exchanged on 20 Mar 1865. He and wife Elizabeth, both of whom were schoolteachers, moved to Jones County, Mississippi in 1877. Madison died there in 1919 and was buried in Sharon Cemetery in Laurel, Mississippi.
James B. Ward was born about 1843.
Research Notes: Thomas and Elizabeth Denty Ward
Sister-in-law Elizabeth Abernathy Denty believed that Elizabeth had married Thomas Ward "in her fifteenth year", resulting in a birth year about 1802. [Deposition, 7 Jun 1889: Copy appearing in Abernathy and Smith, The Descendants of Thomas Jefferson Denty and Elizabeth Abernathy Denty]
Called "Lizzie" in letter written by Alice Denty Dean on 4 May 1891.
Marriage: 12 Mar 1817. [Madison Co Marriage Record, Vol. 1, p. 305]
22 Dec 1821: Thomas Ward purchased 79.82 acres from John and Isbel Hannah for $400. Parcel described as S ½ SE ¼ S26 T4 R1E in Madison Co; is now occupied by the Marshall Space Flight Center. Wits: B. Brendon, L.M. Wilson. [Book H, p. 577]
7 Jan 1826: Thomas and Elizabeth Ward sold 79.82 acres (S ½ SE ¼ S26 T4 R1E) to Wm Wright for $475. [Book K, p. 85]
4 Oct 1830: Thomas Ward obtained land grant for 79.40 acres in Madison, described as E ½ NE ¼ S33. Rec'd 78.80 acres described as W ½ NW ¼ S34 on 12 Nov that same year. According to John Smith, land is located southeast of Huntsville, near Keel Mountain. [Cowart, Old Land Records of Madison County, Alabama, p. 178]
1830 CENSUS Madison Co, AL: 1 male 5-10, 1 30-40; 1 female under 5, 1 10-15, 1 30-40; 1 male black under 10, 1 20-24 [Pg 11-64]
5 Oct 1830: Thomas' father Mathias Ward signed will in Madison Co, AL, then apparently moved to Talladega County where it was actually probated. Heirs were: Thomas Ward; Margaret Ward Cornelius, wife of Absalom Cornelius; Martin and Elizabeth Ward; John C. Ward; Eleanor Ward Huggins, wife of Benjamin Huggins; Wm Ward; Mary Ward Conner, wife of Hector Conner; Katherine Ward; Mathias Jr; Lewis S. Ward, not yet 17 in 1830. (Mathias Ward born Dublin, settled in Savannah, GA after the Revolution.) [Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 23, p. 12-13/Orig: Book A, p. 209]
6 Mar 1834: Purchased S17 T20 R3 in Talladega Co from the Old Mardisville Land Office. This would be just north of present-day Childersburg close to Coosa River. [Barefield, Old Huntsville Land Office Records and Military Warrants 1810-1854, p. 12] (The very next day, William Melton Ward entered S10 T22 R2.)
7 Jul 1834: In letter written by Thomas Jefferson Denty to parents, he conjectures that: "If sister Ward & family will be up about the last of August or the first of Sept perhaps we can make some arrangement to see you all together".
16 Apr 1839: Thomas and Elizabeth Ward sold several parcels to Marshall Keith of GA. They were: 30 acres, part of T20 R3E and 40.18 acres, part of NE ¼ SW ¼ T20 R3E and 49.21 acres, part of S17 T20 R3E and 39.75 acres, part of S17 T20 R3E. [Book B, p. 617]
9 Sep 1839: Purchased several parcels in Talladega Co from Roland Cornelius: 40.12 acres in SW ¼ SW ¼ S33 T19 R4E and 80.27 acres in S ¼ SE ¼ S32 T19 R4E and 40.14 acres in SE ¼ SW ¼ S33 T19 R4E. (These lie just east of Kymulga, AL.) Wits: Lewis Ward, Milton Denty. [Book C, p. 134]
1840 CENSUS, Talladega Co, AL: 1 male under 5, 1 5-10, 1 15-20, 1 40-50; 1 female 10-15, 1 30-40; 1 male black under 10, 1 24-36; 1 female black under 10, 1 10-24; 4 persons in agriculture. [Copy appearing in Abernathy and Smith is almost illegible]
3 Oct 1850 CENSUS, Talladega Co, AL: Thomas Ward age 60, born GA, farmer with real estate estimated at $1300; Elizabeth 50, born VA; Matison L. 10 and James C. 7, both born aft 1840; 10 slaves. (Enumerated next to Milton Denty family.) [Pg 356]
10 Jan 1852: Thomas and Elizabeth Ward sold three parcels in Talladega Co totaling 160 acres to Nathaniel Welsh for $1,000. Described therein as SW ¼ SW ¼ and SE ¼ SW ¼ of S33 T19 R4E and E ½ SE ¼ S32 T19 R4E. [Book G, p. 642]
Ruby Hughes and Don Ward both claim Elizabeth died in 1857. (Was still thought to be alive by her Denty relatives on 13 May 1891 when named as one of the heirs of Susan Kent Denty. Described as the wife of Thomas Ward, "whose post office is unknown". [Madison Co Probate Record, v. 38, p. 74]
1860 CENSUS, Choctaw Co, AL: W.A. 35, born AL; M.S. 27; female F.F. age 9; female A.H. age 6; Laura 5; Thomas 70, born GA. [Pg 469]
Date of Thomas' death: 28 Dec 1860. [Don Ward]
 Thomas' mother was Elizabeth Salmons.
 In the 1850 Census the families were enumerated next to each other.
 However inaccurate our modern romanticized or demonized view of slave-owning families, they were seldom poverty-stricken. The number of slaves remains a fairly accurate gage of a family’s economic status, and will be used as such throughout the text.
 Both are buried in the town of Butler, Alabama.
 For those readers unfamiliar with the various censuses: Those from 1790 through 1840 only identified the head of household by name. All other family members or live-in servants were recorded simply by gender and age range. This is only one of the reasons why it often remains so difficult to learn even the first names of our early female ancestors.
 Don Ward, Ruby Hughes.
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