Annie Ward was born about 1844 in Tallahassee, Florida. Her parents were George Taliaferro Ward (1810-1862) and Sarah Jane Chaires (1825-1859). Annie was the eldest of five children born to the couple. The other children were: Sarah or “Sallie” (born about 1847), George R. (born about 1849), Martha or “Mattie” (born about 1851), and Mary (born about 1856).
Annie’s mother was George T. Ward’s second wife. His first wife and daughter (named Georgima) died of yellow fever in 1841 and are buried in the Old St. Joseph Cemetery, Port St. Joe, Gulf County, Florida.
No picture of Annie Ward has been found. But the picture at right is of Cornelia Grant, the daughter of Annie Ward and her husband, James Bond Grant. She, no doubt, bears a striking resemblance to her mother.
That Goodrich was smitten with Annie is evident from his numerous references to her in his diary. On July 20, 1860, he wrote, “If I knew that Annie had one spark of feeling or affection for me, it would make me indescribably happy. But she would look with contempt on such a poor, ugly looking man as I. Annie Ward is something over fifteen, rather tall, red hair, high forehead, white clear complexion but sadly freckled, gray eyes, but pretty, light eyebrows, a small sweet mouth, and a graceful nose. Her bust is well developed [and she has a] rather noble carriage.”
In his book of poems, Goodrich wrote of her:
Dear Annie, Sweet Annie, I love you the best
Of all the fair gallants you ever caressed.
After leaving Florida, Goodrich wrote the following reflection in his diary on December 8, 1860:
I think if I ever was in love, it was when I was in Florida & with Annie Ward. But oh! I tremble for the consequences if I had had the presumption to essay. She would have hated me more than she does now. How many charges, crosses, and insults one must meet.
Annie was named after her maternal grandmother, Annie Hooe, of Virginia. Her grandfather, George W. Ward was of Irish descent, lived in Paris, Fayette County, Kentucky (where her father was born), and came to Florida around 1825. He established the very large plantation east of Tallahassee known as “Southwood” which was passed on to her father when Annie’s grandfather died in 1835.