I'm not sure what county they lived in before Grayson. I find a Jno. Ward in Wilkes Co., NC 1790,and Jonathan's wife, Elizabeth McGowan (or McGown) was born in North Carolina -according to the 1850 census. Jonathan and Elijah were in White Co., Tennessee by abt. 1807 (Nathan Ward is also mentioned there), and on to Vigo Co., Indiana between 1830 and 1840. I would appreciate any information you find. I did find a mention of the Ward family in "The New River Frontier Settlement on the Virginia-North Carolina Border (1760-1820) Appendix: Some Early New River Pioneers,"
"There were six Wards in the 1786 Mont. Co. tax list, : Peter, John Sr., John Jr., Wells, Nathan, and James. Osborne's militia included Nathan, Wells and James Ward (1783). Later Militia lists also had Stephen, Walker and William W. The Wards first settled on Saddle creek. Nathan, Stephen, and Wells W. on tax list there 1815. Later many Wards lived on Buck Mt. which surrounds Saddle Creek. The Prior to 1800 list includes Elijah, Jonathan; (Nathan, and P. Ward (Fields, 58). Nuckolls discusses some Wards that married with Nuckolls family. The Wards included many noted musicians in the Appalachian tradition."http://www.ls.net/~newriver/nrv/Paula_Anderson-Green.htm
(I'm not sure if ls is el s or is.)
The Nuckolls referred to is: Nuckolls, Benjamin Floyd, "Pioneer Settlers of Grayson County, Virginia," Bristol, TN, 1914