Saturday, January 14, 2012

Surname Saturday - Ward Family

I got an email this week from someone on Find-A-Grave who asked me if I could connect my ancestor, Martha Ward Putman to her parents, Castleton Ward and Mary McGrada. I opened the links and found a wealth of information for both Castleton Ward and his wife Mary that I did not previously have. I emailed the contributor and asked her where she learned all of this information from and she has been sending me articles, emails, and information ever since. So from this little request I have learned more information about my Ward family, and learned about two new surnames - MCGRADA and AKE. Here is my Surname Saturday Ward Family Profile:

My 3rd Great-Grandmother was Martha Ann Ward Putman. She was born July 24th, 1850 [1] in Arkansas and died 10 Jan 1924 in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas.[2] She married Thomas Adolphus Putman on January 20th, 1869 in Sebastian County, Arkansas.[3] Thomas and Martha Putman lived in a house at 3720 Park Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas until they died in the 1920s. Their daughter Rosalie Putman and her husband James Lasiter lived in the house as well. Rosalie and James Putman's son James Putman Lasiter Sr and his wife, Louise Benson Lasiter (my great-grandmother) lived in the house as well. After Louise's death, the house was sold. Louise's brother Jimmie Putman Lasiter Jr lived next door around the corner until he died a few years ago. His house burned down in a fire.

Martha was the daughter of Castleton WARD and Mary Malinda MCGRADA. I was unaware of Mary's maiden name and Castleton's parents' names until the FAG contributor emailed me. Castleton WARD was born October 1st, 1820 (or 1821)  in Tennessee to William WARD and Letha Leah AKE. He died September 18th, 1899 in Lavaca, Arkansas and is thought to be buried in the Ward Family Cemetery at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Castleton's wife Mary MCGRADA was the daughter of Robert and Sally MCGRADA.

So this is what my pre-Research chart looks like:

Ancestors of Martha Ann Ward (pre-Research) with new Surnames
Here is a list of Castleton and Mary Ward's children I've learned about so far:

  1. Asberry Alexander Ward (1842-1852)
  2. William Franklin Ward (1844-1897)
  3. John Robert Ward (1845-1895)
  4. James Madison Ward (1847-1889)
  5. Martha Ann Ward (1850-1924)
Mary Ward died in 1881 and Castleton Ward remarried to Sallie Hood in 1882.[4] 

From emailing with the FAG contributor I have learned that most of the information about the Ward family came from Martha Ward Presson and a book she wrote on the Ward and allied families. The FAG contributor forwarded a digital pdf copy of the 130 page book to me. Unfortunately it is not searchable, so navigating the information in the book is a bit difficult. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how the author, Martha Ward Presson, was related to this Ward family. And there are no sources (of course). Although I am happy to have more information about this family, I am not 100% comfortable taking it at face value without verifying it first. I can, however, use it as a guide. In fact in my post from yesterday I already found some errors on the information the author wrote about my family (Martha Ann Ward Putman).

Another surname I learned about is JOY. Castleton Ward's brother, Joseph S WARD, married Amanda JOY and his sister Nancy WARD married Amanda JOY'S brother, John William JOY. With regards to autosomal DNA, any children that Castleton's brothers and sisters had, regardless of surname, would be genetically linked to me and could possibly show up as genetic matches to me through ftDNA's Family Finder DNA test. This is why building up my collateral lines has become a priority for 2012.

[1] Headstone for Martha Ward Putman, Forest Park Cemetery, 5001 Midland Blvd, Fort Smith, AR: "Martha Ward-Putman, July 24, 1850, Jan 11, 1924"
[2] See Note 1 above; Fowler, Robyn and Karrant, Wanda, Fowler's Index to Interments in Forest Park Cemetery, 5001 Midland Blvd, Fort Smith, AR: 1910-1988, "Martha H Putman died 10 Jan 1924, Interred by Putman Mortuary."
[3] The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas, Chicago : The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889; "Sebastian County," Article on Thomas A. Putnam, p. 1356-7. See also,, "Arkansas, Northwestern Counties History, 1889," Online database, [ : accessed 20 January 2009]. [4] Jim Tipton, Find A Grave, database and images (, accessed 7 January 2012; miscellaneous data and gravestone image for Caselton Lawrence "Cash" Ward (1820-1899), memorial # 82778690, webpage created by S Remmark-Fuhrman, 31 Dec 2011, citing Ward Cemetery, Sebastian County, Arkansas.


  1. I've always found that 3rd cousins have very interesting information, sometimes even photos, of common ancestors. And, yes, I use their info details as great clues, not necessarily "the truth". What a nice find, Ginger!

  2. Thanks Celia, I am hoping to learn more about the Joy family from her as well. I've found this is important, especially when trying to connect with my Family Finder matches.