no image
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Mary Margaret Ward (bef. 1790 - aft. 1840)

Mary Margaret Ward
Born before [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
Sister of and
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Mother of
Died after after age 50 [location unknown]
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Shari S private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 9 May 2015
This page has been accessed 259 times.


The justification for Mary Margaret Ward as the mother of the Nave children is as follows:

  • Silas Turnbo wrote that Jake Nave's father died when he was young and that his mother remarried to a man named Denison.
  • The only Denison known to be in the area is Lewis Denison.
  • Turnbo quotes Jim Yocum as saying that his mother Emiline Yocum was a daughter of Lewis Denison, her brothers were Henry and George (a twin), and her sister was Eliza (later also a Yocum).
  • In the 1840 census, "Mary M. Denison" is enumerated a household away from William Nave and Isaac Nave.
  • In the 1850 census, two Denison children are living next to the Abraham Nave household.
  • George W. Denison's death certificate names his parents as L. C. Denison and Margaret Ward.
  • Martha Denison's death certificate names her parents as Louis C. Denison and Mary Margaret.

One sticking point is that Eliza Denison, sister of Emiline Denison Yocum, has a name like Elizabeth Nave's. Given that she was born seven years before the next known Denison child, she may be a daughter of Lewis Denison's by an earlier marriage.

According to her children's responses in the 1880 census. Mary Margaret was born in either Tennessee (Henry Denison; Taney County, Missouri; page 255b) or North Carolina (Martha Hopkins; Linn County, Kansas; page 146a).

The surname of the father of the Nave children is unknown. Speculation that he was Henry Nave who married Mary Thornton has been debunked by researchers who have followed that family to Alabama. Joel Thomas Orcutt, in particular, published a thorough discussion of this (as well as the likely ancestry of Mary Margaret) in 2013 in his "Mary Margaret Ward Nave Denison: Pioneer Mother of the Ozarks".

At this writing Orcutt no longer maintains a public tree with this document shared, but he may still be found and contacted via, and the document is still attached to some trees there.

Orcutt has also presented in the same publication a detailed case for Mary Ward - child of John Ward and Rachel McFarland of Jefferson County, Tennessee, who is mentioned in the will of John Ward - to be the same as Mary Ward who married a Nave then married Lewis C. Denison. The short (and inadequate) summary of Orcutt's arguments is that the Mary Ward in the will is not found elsewhere, the location is apt, some other people named in the will and in John's brother Alexander's will of the same year had significant connections to Michael Yokum or later ended up near Mary in Missouri, and the would-be McFarland uncles likewise lived in locations near or meaningful to Mary Ward Nave Denison.


Sponsored Search

Is Mary your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Mary by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Mary:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Sponsored by Ancestry ®

Family History Search.


Enter a grandparent's name. Just one grandparent can lead you to many discoveries.


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.

Rejected matches › Polly Baird (1788-)

W  >  Ward  >  Mary Margaret Ward