Newsletter No. 7


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News Letter Number Seven

Society of Edgar Families

Melbourne, Australia



We have come together once more, this time to celebrate the third birthday of the Society. The three years gone by have been a time of achievement. We have made progress which it will be a pleasant duty to accelerate in this difficult time of national emergency.


The Society's work and influence did not stop on the 3 September 1939; indeed, our task of welding the Edgars together into one body had found a further justification. All the British peoples need unity, and any organisation which serves to keep the citizens of the sister democracies together is one worth supporting.


We have entered upon our new year with a substantial monetary surplus - for the first time. That we are serving the interests of our Members and Associates satisfactorily is shown by the splendid loyalty of our old members and the eagerness with which others continue to join our ranks. If our financial position remains healthy, I feel that we should seek to make contact with every bearer of the surname whose address we can obtain from directories and other reference books. Our work deserves to be more widely known and to that end we must advertise the Society as widely as possible. This can be done most effectively by the publication of attractive booklets and leaflets which would clearly indicate to a recipient the advantages of membership of the Society.


Through the work of the Vice-President, we have been able to acquire, at a reasonable price, a full range of stationery supplies sufficient to last the Society for about three years at the present rate of consumption. As it is likely that the continuance of the war will force a rise in current prices, this action may be the means of saving the Society an appreciable sum.


One of the real highlights of the year has been the wonderful co-operation which we have had from our honorary member in Toronto, Canada - Mr James Keithock Edgar. Mr Edgar, capably aided by his wife, has copied for our library the whole of Lawrence-Archer's authoritative book, published in 1873, on the Edgar family. This work is extremely rare and the many efforts made by this Society to obtain a copy had proved unavailing; but now, thanks to our Canadian friends, both of them young people, we are no longer obliged to work without this indispensable reference book.


The News Letter continues to justify its publication and already more than fifty pages of Edgar material has been made available to our members. Now that we have our own duplicating machine, it should be possible to average at least twenty-five pages a year. This figure may be raised by some issues having appended to them the history of particular families. The full family history of the Keithock Edgars has now been completed, but publication will be delayed until the manuscript can be safely mailed to Canada for approval. Efforts are now being made to interest the branch of the Keithock family which settled in New Jersey, about 1719, in this work. It is hoped that the co-operation of some of the members of this United States family will lead to the publication of the history of their interesting branch. The late General CG Edgar, of Detroit, USA, left a valuable collection of Edgar records and relics at his death a few years ago.


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General Edgar was a keen student of genealogy and, being a wealthy man, he was able to acquire many family treasures. One wing of his summer residence on the shores of one of the northern lakes was constructed to the exact plan of Old Keithock, in Scotland - once the home of the General's ancestor, Thomas Edgar, brother of James Edgar, the Secretary to James Stewart (the Old Pretender).


In closing this Report, I should like to say that I believe that the Society of Edgar Families is doing all that can be done successfully with the funds at present at its disposal. We must continue to aim at increasing our influence and therefore our membership. If possible, too, we should endeavour to secure a permanent headquarters to serve as a repository for the necessary accumulation of family papers, pedigrees, books, maps and pictures which continue to come to us by presentation or upon loan.

(Extracts from the Third Annual Report of the Society of Edgar Families read by the Hon Secretary at the Annual Meeting at Melbourne 5 Mar, 1940).



Appointment of Patron: On a Motion of Mr Robert Halbert Edgar, seconded by Mr Otho Swan Edgar, and carried by acclamation, Mr James Keithock Edgar, of 44 Glen Road, Toronto, Canada, was appointed PATRON of THE SOCIETY OF EDGAR FAMILIES. The Meeting thus recognised the sterling work which Mr J H Edgar, who is head of the House of Keithock, has done for the Society. Our Patron is very interested in the history of the Edgar family and has made many valuable contributions to the files of the Society.


Selection of Office-Bearers: Although Mr William H Edgar JP, believing that the honour should be enjoyed on this occasion by another, at first declined re-nomination as Vice-President, he was persuaded, after a resolution had expressed the Meeting's unanimous wish that he should withdraw his objection, to continue to give his helpful guidance to the Executive Council in that capacity for another year. Mr Edgar will also continue to act at Assistant Hon Secretary. The other retiring office-bearers were re-elected.


Holiday Outing: It is regretted that it has not proved possible to arrange a suitable date for the visit which our Members and Associates hoped to pay to the gardens of the Hon WH Edgar MLC and Mrs Edgar at Upper Macedon. Mr and Mrs Edgar had undertaken to entertain at Macedon the members of various charitable organisations on the dates submitted by this Society. In expressing disappointment that the outing could not take place on those dates, Mr Edgar cordially renewed his invitation to our members to visit "Duncraggan" at some future time.



The Hon Secretary will be pleased to receive from Members and Associate Members the names and addresses of those members of their families who are serving with the Navy, Army or Air Force at home or abroad. Full Service address should be sent to the Hon Secretary, I Trentham-Edgar, 75a Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne S2, as soon as possible. When sufficient names are available, a Committee of the Society will arrange for the regular despatch of comforts to these men. Those who would be willing to send newspapers and magazines or other useful articles under the Society's scheme are invited to help.


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This is a worthwhile cause and one which deserves the support of all our Members. Send names and addresses and offers of assistance NOW. Notifications already received are as follows:

NX3753, L/Cpl Edgar SK, Unit HQ, Sigs, 6th Aust Divis AIF, Abroad [younger son of Bertram Kinmond Edgar, of Mosman, Sydney, and grandson of John Coupar Edgar, of Tasmania]



Page 44, Error in Notation, page 43 is followed by page 45.

Page 49, NL No.6 - sub. Mary Edgar (Mrs Wood) for "… son of the Headmaster of "Totteridge School" read "… grandson of the Headmaster of Totteridge School".

The Rev CFW Wood MA, of "The Maisonette," Clapham Common, was the son of a Doctor of Law.

(Information supplied by Mrs Helen Maffey, mother of Mr William H Edgar JP)



Flying Officer AM Edgar

We extend heartfelt sympathy to Lieut Col JM Edgar and Mrs Edgar in the loss of their second son, Allan Matheson Edgar, who was killed on Active Service in France on 26 March 1940, when serving as a Pilot Officer with the Royal Air Force.


Flying Officer AM Edgar was born on 5 November 1912 and was formerly an officer of the State Saving Bank, and was stationed at Sunshine. He first offered his services to the Royal Australian Air Force, but was not accepted, and so, in 1938 he went to London and became a pilot of the Royal Air Force. While awaiting advice of his acceptance he spent some time travelling in Great Britain, first with his parents and afterwards with Mr and Mrs WH Edgar, of Mont Albert, Victoria.


Lieut Colonel JM Edgar VD, is a former Commanding Officer of the 58th Battalion, which has its headquarters at Moonee Ponds. He is Secretary of the Essendon Rotary Club and a foundation member of the Society of Edgar Families. Lieut Col Edgar is a native of Ballarat and is the only child of the late Mr John Edgar (d. 1929), a native of Onchan, Isle of Man, who came to Victoria in "The Lightening" in 1867. (The earliest known ancestor of the family was the grandfather of Mr John Edgar. He was born at Whitehaven, Cumberland, Eng, on 31 May 1791. He was married at Whithorne Scotland, on 21 January 1812, to Agnes Maxwell (born at Whithorne, 12 October 1791), and by her had a numerous issue).


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(Vide News Letter No. 6)

This family of Edgars were for long settled at Riddings, Cumberland, England. Two tombstones in Arthuret, Cumberland, Churchyard, bearing the lion rampant within heraldic shields, are known to mark the graves of ancestors of William Edgar (1791-1869). The inscriptions on those stones record the deaths of David Edgar, on 13 February 1654, aet 53, and his wife Ann Edgar, on 9 September 1676. With Ann is also buries David Edgar, in Riddings (d. 26 March 1691, aet 53), presumed to be her son.


Agnes Armstrong, the eldest of the three sisters of John Armstrong of Greive (he was a descendant of the famous "Kinmont Willie" … of ballad fame … and died before 1752, when a Decreet of the Lords of Session declared his three sisters to be his heirs), married a David Edgar of Riddings. They had a son, David Edgar, whose eldest son, David Edgar, is described in 1865 (in a sasine on Charter of Adjudication granted to William Elliot, Writer in Edinburgh, who had purchased, the estate of Greive, co. Dumfries, of John Rae, who had bought it before 1731, of John Armstrong), as a mariner. (Vide, the Dumfries-shire and Galloway natural History and Antiquarian Society. Vol XVIII).


WILLIAM EDGAR, in Rowanburnfoot, co, Dumfries, was buried at Canonbie in the same county. He died 12 October 1788, aet 85. His widow, Margaret Graham, died 27 February 1800, aet 84, it is considered probably from the evidence that this William Edgar is to be identified as the William Edgar, lawful son of William Edgar and Joan Murray, who was baptised at Canonbie, 27 November 1703. The same parents had two older sons: John, bapt 14 September 1694, and James, bapt November 1699; and two daughters: Janet, bapt March 1696, and Agnes, bapt 9 March 1702 (Parish Register).


It should be remarked that on the tombstones erected to the memory of Edgars, the palce-names – Riddings, Canonbie, Rowanburnfoot and Longtown frequently appear in association and are indicative of the common descent of the Edgars buried there from the Edgars of Riddings.


William and Margaret (Graham) Edgar, had issue, three sons:


I.        David Edgar, in Riddings, of whom presently


II.       James Edgar, in Riddings. He died 13 April 1813, aet 73. (MI Canonbie). He married Margaret Wilson, who died 6 February 1825, aet 82 (MI Canonbie). They had issue, a son, and two daughters:


1.       David. Died at Longtown, 4 June 1845, aet 69. (MI Canonbie). His Will, dated 23 April 1842, was proved at Carlisle, 9 July 1845, and describes him as "David Edgar of Longtown, gentleman, formerly of Longleat in the county of Wiltshire …". From his note books (now, together with two grandfather clocks which he also owned, in the possession of William Herbert Edgar, of Melbourne), it is clear that he assisted his cousin, William Edgar, of Swan and Edgar, to finance his business. David Edgar married Juliet Forbes. (Mr WH Edgar has a gold tie-pin with her hair and a picture of Napier, which she once owned). There was no issue of the marriage.

1.       …, a daughter. She married firstly Mr Holliday, and secondly Mr Losh. By her first husband there was issue, two daughters:-

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a.       Ann Holliday, of Longtown, residuary legatee in the Will of her uncle, David Edgar, and Executrix of the Will

b.       Hannah. Married John Beaty, of Longtown, and had issue:

2.       Mary. She married Mr Graham, of Hobbiesburn. They had issue, a son, James, and a daughter.


III.      William Edgar, tenant in Rowanburnfoot. He died 21 June 1823, aet 71 (MI Canonbie). His family Bible gives the dates of birth of his children by his wife Margaret Carruthers (who died 13 August 1816, aet 63 - MI Canonbie). They had issue, five sons and four daughters:


1.       Richard, born 17 August 1774.


2.       John, born 16 December 1777; farmer in Inch. He died 30 August 1836, aet 59. (MI Canonbie). His widow, Margaret Hill, died at Slack, 26 January 1862 (MI Canonbie). They are believed to have been the parents of a son:

I.       Joseph Marshall, of Millees; died 14 September 1876, aet 71 (MI Canonbie). His wife, Tamar …, died 11 February 1876, aet 76 (MI Canonbie). They had issue, one son and two daughters:

a.       John Henry, died at Baten Bush, 4 may 1914, aet 69. Upon his death a property at Baten Bush passed, after some dispute, to maternal cousins named Fisher.

a.       Mary Ann, died at Baten Bush, 2 May 1914, aet 75

b.       Margaret, died at Baten Bush, 5 May 1902, aet 60.


3.       William, Born 28 April 1782. He was a surgeon at Brampton, Cumberland, and died 23 January 1813, aet 30 (MI Canonbie). He married, and had a son:

I.       William. He died 7 May 1816, aet 9 (MI Canonbie)


4.       Charles, born 8 January 1794. He married Mary …, and had issue, three sons and four daughters:

I.       William

II.      James

III.     David. He married Jessie Campbell. They had issue, four sons and four daughters:

1.       Charles, born 1867. Has issue.

2.       John, born 1869. Post Master at Canonbie, Dumfries-shire, 1938

3.       William, born 1870; died 1928. He married Margaret Regan. They have issue, three sons, and two daughters:


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a.       David, born 1899, in South Africa. Married Anna Schultz. Issue, two daughters, (1) Noreen, b. 1933; (2) Margaret Iona, b. 1936.

b.       John, born 1900; died 1924

c.       David Regan, born 1912 in South Africa. Unmarried

a.       Margaret. Member of Society of Edgar Families. Resides in Melbourne.

b.       Mary. Member of Society of Edgar Families. Resides in Melbourne.

4.       David, born 1877, died 1882

1.       Janet Johnson. Married Robert Calvert. They have issue.

2.       Mary, born 1872; died 1874

3.       Mary Isabella, born 1875

4.       Helen, born 1881. Married T Morrison.

I.       Aggie

II.      Jenny

III.     Marion

IV.     Margaret, born 1829, died 1910. She married Mr Armstrong, and had issue, a son, Isaac, born 1870


5.       Robert, born 11 January 1796, of Rowanburnfoot; farmer. He died at Langholm, co. Dumfries, 12 February 1863, aet 67 (MI Canonbie). His father's Bible records the dates of birth of his children. He married Mary …, who died 28 October 1857, aet 59 (MI Canonbie). They had issue, five sons and five daughters:

I.       William, born 5 December 1822. He died 26 November 1853 aet 51 (MI Canonbie)

II.      Archibald, born 25 August 1824

III.     John, born 17 March 1830. He died 22 February 1855, aet 22 (MI Canonbie)

IV.     Robert, born 10 January 1840

V.      Joseph, born 24 April 1842

I.       Margaret, born 16 June 1826

II.      Jane, born 4 August 1823

III.     Thomasine, born 17 August 1834. She died 6 May 1860, aet 25 (MI Canonbie)

IV.     Frances, born 1 June 1836. She died in infancy

V.      Frances, born 15 February 1838. She died 18 March 1854, aet 16 (MI Canonbie)

1.       June, died 5 October 1781, aet 4 (MI Canonbie)

2.       Janney, born 2 February 1780. Died in infancy

3.       Janney, born 5 December 1784.


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4.       Menney, born 29 March 1788. She married Christopher McGlasson. They had issue, a daughter, Margaret, who married Walter Kean (now o "The Nurseries", Longtown, but formerly of Scotchdyke), and had issue, a son, Thomas (who married an Edgar), and a daughter, Mrs Cochrane, who died 7 December 1939. Mr Thomas Kean assisted Mr WH Edgar, of Melbourne, to make local enquiries about the family 1934 and 1938.


DAVID EDGAR, son of William and Margaret (Graham) Edgar, was born in 1736, and lived at Riddings until his death on 3 October 1809, aet 73 (MI Canonbie). He married Helen Warde, who died 6 June 1839, aet 87 (M I Canonbie). They had issue, three sons and one daughter:


I.        David Edgar, in Riddings, Scotch Draper. He died 1 January 1834, aet 54 (MI Canonbie). He married Margaret Grindley, who died 11 December 1862, aet 66 (MI Canonbie). They had issue, three sons and two daughters:

1.       David, died aet 1 (MI Canonbie)

2,       David, born at Riddings; died in London, 30 April 1863, aet 32. He is buried at Norwood Cemetery, London.

3.       William, born 25 April 1833, at Riddings. Educated at the Dumfries Academy. Scotch draper. He married on 29 April 1862, at St Bartholomew's Church, London, Catherine Grierson, (died 24 March 1898, at Longton, Preston, Lancs), daughter of John and Peggy Curle. William Edgar died on 20 November 1920, at Liverpool. They had issue, three daughters:

a.       Frances Curle, born 27 January 1865. Unm (resides with her sister, Hannah Curle Edgar, at Torville, Sedburgh Park, Ilkley, Yorkshire)

b.       Hannah Curle, born 9 Jan, 1865. Unm

c.       Eleanor Ann, born 9 January 1867. She died unmarried at Ilkley, Yorkshire, on 9 August 1939.

1.       Frances, born 2 February 1829, at Riddings. Married at Kirkland, in December 1857, James Jardine, of Blackburn. She died on 24 January 1912 at New Longton, Preston, Lancs. They had issue, a son, Alexander, and a daughter, Mary Ellen.

2.       Helen, died when aged 5 years (MI Canonbie)


II.      John Edgar, died 9 September 1834, aet 48 (MI Canonbie).


III.     WILLIAM EDGAR (1791-1869), proprietor of the firm of Swan and Edgar, Piccadilly, London (see News Letter No. Six - January 1940)


I.        Hannah Edgar, died before 1867. Married James Little, who managed his brother-in-law, William Edgar's shooting box and farm called Kirklands, at Closeburn, co. Dumfries. They had issue, two sons and a daughter:

1.       David Little. Received a legacy of 1,000 pounds under his uncle William's Will

2.       James Little, Received a legacy of 1,000 pounds under his uncle William's Will. He died in 1872, leaving a son, George Lewis Little, born at Kirklands, in 1868 (resides at Carronbank, Thornhill, Dumfries)

1.       Mary. She received an annuity under her uncle William's Will.


ABBREVIATION: M I Canonbie (Monumental Inscription at Canonbie)


Compiled for the Society of Edgar Families by I Trentham-Edgar, FSAG, Melbourne, April 1940

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