This unproven oral tradition is very interesting, especially the references to Deep Creek.
There are three Cherokee mixedblood grandsons of Bryant Ward who appear on the 1818 Reservation Roll living at the "mouth of Deep Creek" in what is now northern Georgia. At that time this area was in the Cherokee Nation--possibly in what became Habersham County, Georgia.
The three grandsons were James, George, and Charles Ward.
Their father was John Ward (white), and their mother was Catherine McDaniel, mixedblood Cherokee.
Another son of Bryant Ward was Samuel Ward. Both men lived in Franklin County, Georgia. Bryant Ward was the second husband of Nanyehi, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee Nation, whose first husband was killed at the Battle of Taliwa (versus the Creeks).
James Ward, the husband of Mildred Gentry, was probably a son of Samuel Ward.
It may be that this is the James Ward who was chosen to be the legal guardian of Michael and Absolom Ward (and their other younger brothers) in Hempstead County, Arkansas, circa 1827. According to the document that shows these Ward brothers as the "wards" (pun intended) of James Ward, Michael Ward's deceased father was named Philip Ward....
At that time (circa 1830), James Ward was living in Clark County, Arkansas, but his in-laws (the Heffingtons) were living in Hempstead County, Arkansas, after 1830.
--Patrick Pynes, Ph.D.