Sam Ward

Samuel Ward (1725 - 1776)

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Gov. Samuel (Sam) Ward
Born in Newport, Rhode Islandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Washington, Rhode Island, British Colonial Americamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvaniamap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Apr 2014
This page has been accessed 705 times.

Categories: American Founding Fathers | Signers of the Continental Association | Special Improvement Projects | American Revolution.

Gov. Sam Ward served during the American Revolution
Service started:
Service ended:


Gov. Sam Ward (son of Richard Ward and Mary Tillinghast) was born 25 May 1725 in Newport, RI, and died 26 Mar 1776 in Philadelphia. He married Anna Ray on 20 Dec 1745, daughter of Simon Ray and Deborah Greene.

Ward began his public career when he was elected to the colony's General Assembly in 1756, and he served there until 1758. Between 1758 and 1761 he made three unsuccessful attempts to be elected governor. In 1761 the Assembly named him to the office of Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. He served only a year before being elected Governor in 1762. He served additional terms as governor in 1765-66. He was also the only colonial governor who refused the oath to enforce the Stamp Act.

In 1774, Rhode Island sent Ward to the Continental Congress. He served on several important committees, including the Committee on Secrets and frequently sat in the chair when the Congress met as a committee of the whole. While at the Congress Ward contracted smallpox and died in Philadelphia three months before he would have signed the Declaration of Independence. He was originally buried in Philadelphia but, in 1860, he was reinterred in the Common Burying Ground and Island Cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island.

Samuel and Anna were the parents of Charles, Ann, Catherine, Mary, Samuel, Deborah, Simon Ray, John, Richard, and Elizabeth.


  • Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, 1636-1899,
  • Dictionary of American Biography, v. X, p. 437
  • James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing three generations of those who came before May 1692: (1860-1862., Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1994); v. 4, p. 412
  • G. Andrews Moriarty, "The Ray Family", Genealogies of Rhode Island Families from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume II Niles-Wilson (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989), p. 103.


27 Apr 2014 K. E. created this profile.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Sam by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Sam:

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Sam Ward Image 1
Sam Ward Image 1


Sam is 28 degrees from Jelena Eckst├Ądt, 10 degrees from Theodore Roosevelt and 12 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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