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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Indiana Ward Wilson

Indiana Ward Wilson (October 27, 1868–November 9, 1960) and her granddaughter, Obera. Indiana is the daughter of David and Nancy (Martin) Ward and the sister of  Sarah Elizabeth Ward Bates (known as Big Granny to her grandchildren).


  1. Do you have any more information on David Ward and Nancy Martin? Indiana was the sister of my great grandfather, Marion Ward.

    1. Yes we have information in the book about them. Here is a section:

      There is conflicting information available about when and where David Ward was born. The 1860 Census for District 410, Hall County states that he was born in North Carolina about 1826. The 1870 census shows him born about 1818 and living in Brasstown, Clay County, North Carolina. The 1880 Census for Whelchels, Georgia (where he is listed as a farmer) states that he was born about 1816 in Georgia. Their marriage certificate dated March 31, 1837 shows him married at age 21. If you do the math, it supports his birth year as 1816. Plus, it would be unlikely that an 11-year-old male would be married.
      However, we believe he was born in North Carolina because family stories passed down orally reveal that our Big Granny was part Cherokee Indian. Since we cannot find his parents in the US censuses, we suspect, but cannot prove without specialized research into the vast, but undetailed, Native American records, that David Ward might have been Cherokee.

      Hall County was formed in 1818 by combining parts of Franklin and Jackson counties, which included the cities of Gainesville, Whelchels, Polksville, Lula, Flowery Branch, Clement, Gillesville, Murrayville, Oakland, and New Holland. It was first established as Mule Camp Springs, near the crossing of two Indian trails. A lot of the creeks and lakes were named by the Cherokee Indians, who had populated this land for centuries prior. Settlers—primarily farmers—migrating from North and South Carolina began to inhabit the Hall and White County area in 1821. The Indians were forced out, and the city of Gainesville was chartered and soon became a boom town. The Bates clan was part of the rural community and farmed the land that skirted the city.

      Children of Nancy Martin and David Ward

      On March 31, 1837 in Orange County, North Carolina, David Ward married Nancy J. Martin (1832–1921). During their years together, they had three children:

      • Marion Ward (May 1858–March 23, 1929)
      • Sarah Elizabeth Ward (December 27, 1860–May 2, 1954)
      • Indiana (India) Ward (October 27, 1868–November 9, 1960)

      After David Ward died, Nancy remarried, which was common in those days since a woman rarely had the ability to financially support herself and her children without a man’s income. The 1850 US Census shows Nancy at age 18 living with the Abels before she married David, and at age 70 she was living with her second husband’s parents, William and Delaney Carlyle, in Flowery Branch of Hall County, Georgia. There are no children recorded as a result of her second marriage.