Family Members

Nahum and Martha Ward settled in Shrewsbury in 1717 and raised a family. The farm stayed in the family for five generations. See the family biographies to learn more about individual family members who lived in the house.


Each generation of Wards dispersed as the children grew older. Some family members left the farm but stayed nearby, sometimes even in Shrewsbury, itself. Others went far away, to the growing edges of the United States like Ohio and Nebraska. Some went to school, married, and lived and died in distant parts of the country. Yet, to others the Shrewsbury homestead remained the family home. Many of the heads of household returned to the farm after many years to take over from aging parents. See the family tree to learn more.


While General Artemas Ward is the best-known family member, other Wards lived intriguing lives as well. Andrew Henshaw Ward, Henry Dana Ward, Elizabeth Ward, and the twentieth century Artemas Ward were all authors. Charles Grosvenor Ward fought and died in the Civil War. Sarah Henshaw Ward Putnam was a widow who spent much of her life traveling to visit family members, helping each family with their domestic work, and creating a patchwork quilt without the aid of a quilt frame.

Thomas Walter Ward attempted major agricultural innovation on the farm. Harriet, Elizabeth, Ella, Clara, and Florence preserved the house and the oral history of the family after Wards ceased to operate the farm; through their actions, they made the history of the Ward family available to the public.

Read more about the Ward family members.