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Edwards, Doles

Elias Burlington Edwards and Nancy Jane Doles


Proposed Edwards-Doles Lineage

Compiled by Judy & Gary Griffin, 2007 - email address




William Edwards

The father of Elias was probably William Edwards, born circa 1804 in North Carolina. (1) There is a family story that William was from Edwards Crossing, North Carolina. There is an undocumented (FHL) marriage that lists a William Edwards, spouse Serepta Jackson, married on August 3, 1830 in Nicholas, Kentucky. Since William and Serepty’s first child our Elias B.’s birth date is an estimate (from census), their first three children were born in Kentucky, and Serepty/Serepta is an unusual name, it is likely that this marriage record giving Serepty/Serepta’s surname are the parents of our Elias Burlington Edwards and his siblings. One inconsistency is the obituary of Elias B. Edwards that lists his age at death as 64, which would make his birth date 1829, before the marriage of William. However, obituary information is not always accurate. Further documentation is needed regarding this marriage record and Serepty/Serepta’s surname.

A check of the Nicholas County census for 1820 does list a Benjamin Edwards and Robert Edwards, no Jackson surnames. The 1830 census shows Benjamin Edwards, Robert L. G. Edwards, John Jackson and Polly Jackson. The 1840 census has two Benjamin Edwards, Robert L. G. Edwards, James Jackson, two John Jacksons and a Tanner Jackson. There is an undocumented marriage between a John Jackson and an Elizabeth Spoors on March 4, 1830 in Nicholas County, Kentucky, submitted by the same person who provided the marriage information for William Edwards and Serepta Jackson.

By circa 1836, when their daughter Zarilda was born, William and Serepty were in Indiana. According the to the 1850 census, Serepty was born circa 1812 in Kentucky. They had ten children (1850 census): Elias Burlington, Henry, Mary F., Zarilda, Amanda, Martha, Jacob, Abram, Celia A., and Anderson J.



Elias Burlington Edwards

Elias Burlington Edwards was born circa 1829 in Kentucky and died on June 13, 1892 in Peru, Miami County, Indiana. He married Elizabeth Doles on December 4, 1852 in Miami County, daughter of William Doles. He next married Nancy Jane Doles on January 28, 1860 in Miami County, also said to be a daughter of William Doles. Nancy Jane was born circa 1841 in Indiana. See Doles family history. Elias’ obituary stated he was 64 years old, providing a birth date circa 1828. Census records also provide this approximate date. His obituary only listed one daughter and a son Jacob Elias as surviving, though other children were still living in 1892. His obituaries:

June 1892 Obituaries (no source): “Burlington Edwards for many years a resident of this city, died on Monday after an illness of six months. Aged 64 years. He was buried in Clayton cemetery, south east of the city, on Wednesday. Services by Rev. S.C. Dickey. Burlington Edwards living on West Second Street, died this evening.”

“E. Burlington Edwards died yesterday afternoon at his residence on West Second Street from the effects of the grippe. He was 64 years old and had been a familiar figure on our streets for many years. One daughter and a son Jacob Edwards survived him. The funeral will occur tomorrow morning at ten o’clock. Service by Rev Dickey. Interment in Clayton Cemetery.” Miami County Sentinel, Thursday, June 16, 1892, p. 5. An attempt to find his gravestone in Clayton Cemetery met with no success.

Elias was old enough to serve in the Civil War, but no record of his service has been found. When Elias reported that he was a teamster in Peru in 1870, he may have followed this occupation full time or part-time in addition to farming. He probably had a horse and wagon to haul items for other people such as hauling farmers’ produce to market. Or he could have hired out as a dray or a wagon driver. Regardless, he probably drove one or more draft animals to pull materials, vehicles, or implements. He would have had to hitch up a team to the wagon, load and unload the wagon, and care for his team of horses. In the 1880 census, Elias was listed as a farmer in 1880 in Peru Township. He was consistently reported as unable to read or write, though his wife Nancy Jane apparently had some education. Elias lived in Adams Township, Decatur County in 1850 (census). By 1852 he was in Miami County, probably Peru (marriage). Unfortunately Elias was not found in the 1860 census, though he married in Miami County in 1860. In 1870 only Elias’ son George was in school, though William, Elias J. and possibly Mary E. were old enough – even though the family lived in Peru where there should have been an available school. By 1880, Elias’ daughters, ages 12 to 16, were attending school, as well as his 13-year-old son James Oliver. There must have been a school beyond 8th grade, probably in Peru. Sons William H. and Jacob Elias were no longer in school and were working part of the year. According to his son Elias Jacob’s obituary, the family came to Traverse City, Michigan when Elias Jacob was young, (5) possibly in the 1880s. At least his children Jacob Elias, William H., and Alwilda married in Michigan in the 1880s. However, Jake [Elias Jacob] was listed as a barber on Fifth Street in the 1905-06 Peru City directory. It appears that Elias B. returned to Peru where he died. His two daughters, Rosetti and Lucy J. were still under age when Elias died. They may have remained in Michigan instead of returning to Peru with Elias or gone to live with one of their siblings after Elias died.

Elias first married Elizabeth Doles and had three children: Margaret, Nancy Alice, and George W.

Elias had seven children with Nancy Jane Doles: William H., Jacob Elias, Mary Ellen, James Oliver, Alwilda M., Rosetta, and Lucy J.