The Descendants of Meredith Edwards of Westmoreland County, Virginia

Title:The Descendants Of Meredith Edwards Of Westmoreland County, Virginia
Author:Jason M. Farrell
Publication date:2020
Publisher:Jason M. Farrell
Digitizing Sponsor:Jason M. Farrell
Contributor:Jason M. Farrell
Repository:Internet Archive
The Descendants Of Meredith Edwards Of Westmoreland County, Virginia
The Descendants Of Meredith Edwards Of Westmoreland County, Virginia

Seldom has a single genealogy been so riddled with mistakes and faulty research as the Edwards family of Westmoreland County, Virginia. Compounding the problems of scarce colonial records was an outright fraud in the 19th century that left genealogists and historians copy-pasting bad information for over a century, and some rare, heroic souls trying to fix the mistakes as far back as the 1930s. I’d like to show where genealogists went wrong, and hopefully illuminate the real origins of this Edwards family.

While a number of fake “traditions” swept quite a few Edwards ancestors into this mess, it seems the Edwards family of Westmoreland County, Virginia may be the most impacted. These early gentleman planters spread out into Spotsylvania,

King George and Stafford Counties by the 1730s. But by the 19th century, genealogists were already confusing them with unrelated families all over the Tidewater. In each case, the erroneous claim can be identified by its total lack of supporting evidence.

Identification for the origin of the Westmoreland branch seems to follow one of two major theories: one that posits them as descendants of an immigrant to Surry County, Virginia in the early 17th century, another, inspired by the Edwards Fortune scam, claims they descend from a Welsh clergyman and his sons who supposedly immigrated in the mid-i8th century.

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Despite their prevalence in journals, newsletters and in genealogies all over the internet, both theories are demonstrably false.

Jason M. Farrell

Notes About the Book

A genealogical study of the Edwards family of Westmoreland, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Prince William, Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, Virginia between 1665 and 1800. Traces the descent from Meredith Edwards of Westmoreland County (c.1655-1712) through his sons John, William and Thomas Edwards. Many later generations migrated to Kentucky.

Included are two essays critiquing previous research on the Edwards families of colonial Virginia as well as the Edwards Heirs debacles, and some compiled biographies of noteworthy members of this lineage, including Senator John Edwards of Kentucky and his sons, Haden and Benjamin Edwards of the Fredonia Rebellion (1826).



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