Portrait of Delila Brown Ward (1825-1903). Collection of Evelyn Morgan Shahan, courtesy Judy Blackstock.

Last week I talked about Villanow and Subligna as the scene of my family tale going back many generations. Delila Brown Ward is one example among many of those deeply rooted connections. Let’s look a little closer at Delila to show how even a single ancestor can take you down many interesting paths.

Delila Brown married Alfred C. Ward (son of Absalom Ward of Union County, South Carolina). Delila and Alfred’s son Andrew Clement Ward is my 3rd great-grandfather. Andrew married Martha Ann Keown, my 3rd great-grandmother, connecting me to the well-known Keown family of Armuchee Valley (and beyond).

It’s important to look beyond your direct line ancestors too, though. Exploring the many branches and stems can lead to new and interesting connections. In the case of Delila, two of her other children married into the Puryear family. Some of Delila’s grandchildren married into the Shahan, Morgan, and Hunt families.

But that’s still not the end! Delila leads the way to yet more discoveries. An examination of her siblings shows connections to the Ramsey and Rea families (as an aside, one of the Brown/Rea descendants was one of my good friends in high school and I didn’t even know we were blood cousins until very recently). If you keep following the branches there are more and more connections (to the Keown family and Pope family and more).

I won’t bore you here with details about the links to these and other important Armuchee Valley families, but you can see my tree at Ancestry.com for a deeper dive. As always, leave a comment here to get in touch, and we can discuss any connections in more depth.

That web I spoke of last week is so expansive. It connects us all–literally–in a sprawling family tree. But beyond that, we are one in spirit as well, each of us a unique expression of individuality and hope that transcends the generations. Delila is but one symbol of the interconnectedness between us all.

Many thanks to Judy Blackstock for the above portrait of Delila. Judy’s generosity with her mother’s (Evelyn Morgan Shahan) archive has been key in my quest to document the Armuchee Valleys.

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