Jesse Ward 1765-1839Here's a few highlights of Jesse Ward's life. Jesse was born in Middletown, Connecticut to Thomas Ward and Mary Johnson on 23 Jul 1765, the oldest of twelve children. While living in Massachusetts, Jesse fought three years in the Revolutionary War on the side of the patriots, even though he was only 11 years old. Jesse married Olive Nye in 1788, and they were the first settlers in Waltham, starting their household in a log cabin. Smith's 1886 History of Addison County Vermont states, "Jesse Ward figured conspicuously in giving character to the community and in promoting the general and important interests of Waltham." Jesse is buried in beautiful Ward Cemetery. His full biography can be found here.
An Interview with Peggy Jenks
VOCA: Peggy, when we talked to you in early 2014, you told us that the marble industry in the eastern part of the Rutland county and the slate industry on the Vermont - New York border, spawned many, many gravestone carvers. When did you become interested in researching these early gravestone carvers? How do you go about identifying the carver of any particular gravestone?
Peggy: My interest in gravestones began in the 1960’s when I decided to trace my husband’s ancestry. His mother’s ancestors were first settlers in Poultney and his father’s were first settlers in Windham County. Fortunately, my father-in-law knew where most of his ancestors were buried and took me to see the stones. My children have 20 direct ancestors buried in Poultney and a total of 95 in Vermont. There may be more if several “brick walls” get knocked down... Read on...