A glance at the early history of this family in England discloses the fact that it is of Welsh origin. One of its representatives in the mother country was created a baronet in 1615, and the immigrant ancestor of the branch now being considered was himself a man of substance and intelligence. It is quite probable that William, Edmund, and John Edwards, who arrived in New England either simultaneously or at about the same time, were reltaives, possibly brothers.
William and Edmund are said to have sailed from London in the "Hope" in July 1635. John probably located first at Watertown, Mass., and in 1640 settled at Wethersfield, Connecticut.
(I) William Edwards was accompanied from England by his wife Ann, or Anna, and one child, and there are reasons for believing that they came from Maidstone, in the county of Kent. He was in Taunton, Mass., in 1640; was in Lynn, same state, five years later, and about the year 1650 he located permanently at East Hampton, Long Island, as one of the first settlers. He died in that town in 1685, aged eighty years.
His children were: William, John, Thomas, Ephraim, Sarah, Annie, Elizabeth, Hannah.
(II) John, son of William Edwards, resided in East Hampton and died there in 1693. He married Mary Stansborough and their children were:
5. Sarah, married James Stansborough in 1703.
6. Margaret, married Isaac Stretton in 1703.
7. Another daughter who became the wife of Samuel Daniels.
(III) Josiah, son of John Edwards, was, in all probability, a life-long resident of East Hampton, and his death occurred there Feb. 14, 1713. His will was made in 1712 and recorded in New York. In April 1699 he married Mary Churchill, born April 6, 1675, daughter of Joseph and Mary Churchill, granddaughter of Josiah and Elizabeth (Foote) Churchill, and great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Foote, of Wethersfield, Conn.
Josiah and Mary (Churchill) Edwards were the parents of:
1. Josiah, born March 17, 1700.
2. Churchill, April 17, 1703.
3. Jonathan, Jan. 13, 1704.
4. William, 1706.
5. David, April 6, 1707.
6. Mercy, Sept. 24, 1710.
7. Nathaniel, again referred to.
8. Mary, twin sister of the preceding, born April 12, 1713; married Captain Zebulon Feck, of Bristol, Conn.; died May 23, 1790.
"A child of Josiah's died Feb. 11, 1713; on Feb. 14, Josiah himself died, and on April 13, the wife and mother died."
After the death of their parents the children were taken to Wethersfield, Conn., where they were reared.
(IV) Nathanile, son of Josiah Edwards, was born in East Hampton (L.I.), April 12, 1713, died in Waterbury, Conn., March 20, 1768. He married Margaret, born July 8, 1720, daughter of John and Margaret (Strong) Root, of Farmington, Conn. She was a granddaughter of Stephen Root and a great-granddaughter of John Root, an immigrant who was one of the first settlers in Farmington.
Nathaniel Edwards resided in Watertown, Conn., and the names of five of his children were recorded in Middletown:
1. Nathaniel, see next paragraph.
2. Margaret, born Oct. 15, 1740.
3. Asahel, March 8, 1743.
4. Mary, Dec. 28, 1744, died in infancy.
5. Abigail, Feb. 15, 1746.
(V) Captain Nathaniel (2) son of Nathaniel (1) and Margaret (Root) Edwards, was born Oct. 30, 1738. He was evidently residing in Waterbury or the immediate vicinity at the breaking out of the revolutionary war, in which he participated, and the adjutant-general's report of "Connecticut Men in the Revolutionary War," page 41, contains the following record of his service:
"Nathaniel Edwards, 1st Lieut. of Waterbury, Conn., commissioned May 1, 1775. Discharged, Dec. 20, 1775. In 5th Company, Capt. Benedict Arnold's Co. This company served at the Siege of Boston."
On page 414 (same book) appears the following: "Nathaniel Edwards, 1st Lieut. of Waterbury, prisoner at Fort Washington, Nov. 16, 1776. In Bradley's Battalion."
On page 547 (same book), viz: "Nathaniel Edwards, 2nd.. Name appears as Captain of a company in General Waterbury's State Brigade, 1781."
On page 586 (same book) appears the name of "Nathaniel Edwards, of Watertown, Captain in a Provincial Regiment, 1781. Appointed to be an officer in the regiment ordered by the General Assembly to be raised and put in readiness to march on the shortest notice, in case his Excellency, General Washington, should call for them"
The maiden name of Captain Nathaniel Edwards' wife cannot be found in the records examined, and a list of his children is also wanting.
(VI) Dr. Joseph Edwards, son of Capt. Nathaniel (2) Edwards, was born in Watertown. He settled in Lisle, Broome county, New York, and died there in 1830. He married Susanna Frost, born in Woodbury, Conn., in 1758; died in Watertown, Conn., Oct. 28, 1802.
(VII) Joseph Wadsworth, son of Dr. Joseph and Susanna (Frost) Edwards, ws born in Watertown, Dec. 13, 1779; died in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Aug. 21, 1853. About the year 1800 he settled in Plattsburgh, and Dec. 25, 1803, was married in that town to Betsey, daughter of John Roberts.
1. Gustavus Vasa, again mentioned.
2. Adna Susanna, born Aug. 15, 1806.
3. John Wadsworth, Sept. 3, 1807.
4. James Madison, Sept. 9, 1810.
5. Edna E., Jan. 10, 1813; married Theodore Roberts.
6. Hiram Pierpont, April 18, 1815. He was a captain in the war of 1812, and was at the battle of Plattsburgh.
(VIII) Gustavus Vasa, son of Joseph W. and Betsey (Roberts) Edwards, was born in Plattsburgh, Sept. 2, 1804; died Feb. 26, 1874. He began his business career as a merchant in Plattsburgh, whence he removed to Grand Isle, Vermont, and carried on a mercantile establishment there for seven years. In 1837 he established himself in Norwalk, Ohio, but returned to Plattsburgh in 1841 and resided there for the remainder of his life, the latter years of which were spent in retirement.
Oct. 17, 1830, he married Augusta Goodnow, born in Alburg, Vermont, Feb. 13, 1813; died Jan. 11, 1903.
1. Christopher Gore Selfridge, born at Grand Isle, March 21, 1833; died March 29, 1868; married Jerusha B. Miller.
2. Charles Edward Milton, again referred to.
3. Augusta Maria, born in Norwalk, Ohio, Dec. 3, 1838; died March 2, 1907.
4. John Quincy, born in Plattsburgh, Sept. 22, 1844; died Nov. 8, 1896.
(IX) Charles Edward Milton, son of Gustavus Vasa and Augusta (Goodnow) Edwards, was born at Grand Isle, May 29, 1835. He accompanied his parents from Norwalk, Ohio, to Plattsburgh when six years old, and received his education in the public schools of that town. When a young man he engaged in mercantile business with his father, but later became a member of the firm of Sowles & Edwards, hardware dealers, and continued in that line of trade for many years or until his retirement some ten years ago. [transcriber's note: This material was published in 1910].
He is now devoting his time exclusively to the management of his real estate and other investments. He is a director of the first National Bank of Plattsburgh, also trustee of the Samuel F. Vilas Home; member of the Presbyerian church. Politically Mr. Edwards is a Republican. For some years he served with ability as water commissioner, and was one of the original members of the board of alms, which was formulated for the purpose of checking the useless expenditures of public moneys.
Mr. Edwards married, Oct. 23, 1861, Margaret, born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Oct., 1838, daughter of John and Margaret (Joralemon) Dimon.
1. Margaret Augusta, died young.
2. Jane Joralemon; married Charles H. Winship, formerly of Randolph, N.Y., now of Plattsburgh.
3. Gustavus Vasa.
4. Charles Milton, married Mildred Parkhurst, of Plattsburgh; children: Beatrice Margaret and Marian Parkhurst.
5. George Hartwell, maried Lida Greaves of New York City.