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Society of Edgar Families
EDITORIAL: The Society of Edgar families was formed not only with a view to the investigation and 'vetting' of the pedigree of the various Edgar families but also in order that the results of the researches carried out by the Society, or upon its behalf, should become available to the members and associates in permanent form.
In the period since the Inaugural Meeting in February, 1937, a great deal of data has accumulated. The task of sorting and editing this material has been a considerable one, yet worthwhile because of the interest which so many of us take in the history of the Edgars. The Executive Council of the Society has always kept in mind the fact that it is important that all members should have access to this collection of records. The records of particular branches of the Edgar family will often be of interest to members of other branches because, in some cases, a common origin may be established by an exchange of information.
If it becomes possible to publish more of the material now available, it is certain that many valuable clues indicating the connections between the various Edgar families will be brought to the notice of those who can best make use of them. It will then be open to all our members to take part in the fascinating task of establishing with certainty from whence their families came and with whom they can claim kinship.
The records of the family of Edgar formerly settled at Moffat, in Dumfries-shire, Scotland, are made available in this, the first issue of the Newsletter.
Members will see, from a perusal of this genealogy, what can be done to reconstruct the history of any family. Several of these Edgars have contributed the information which has enable the Society to prepare this history of the family and they have thus secured the preservation of many interesting facts for all time. Their industry and co-operation should inspire us to follow a fine example. We may all set out, as some others are already doing, to collect the necessary facts which will enable us to construct our own family histories on similar sound lines."
Since the last General Meeting we have been pleased to welcome the following supporters:
Associates: Mrs James Daly, Harrow Vic; Miss Agnes C Edgar, Casterton Vic; Mrs H Hobbs, Horsham Vic; Mrs WA Harris, North Canterbury NZ; Mrs AG Stewart, Hamilton Vic; Mrs JH Soper, Lawrence NZ; Dr RW Edgar, Port Chalmers NZ; Mrs WN Taylor, Cromwell NZ; Mrs Robert Mackie, Gore NZ; Mrs AJ Neil, North Invercargill NZ; Mrs EC Edwards, Casterton Vic; Mrs Margaret Preston, Temora NSW; Mrs C Orr, Lake Cargelligo NSW; Mrs Hugh Howat, Dunedin NZ; Mrs Agnes Edgar, Tatanur NZ; Mrs DE Calvert, Harrow Vic
All our Members and Associates can assist the growth of the Society by persuading as many members of their families as possible to join. In this way the Society will become more truly representative of the Edgar families and will rapidly reach a position where it can undertake the compilation and publication of
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other Edgar family histories and will be enabled also to carry out much necessary research work among public records, especially among those located in Scotland.
NEWS LETTER: Members and Associates will receive free copies of all publications which may be issued by the Society from time to time. They will be kept in touch with the operations of the Society by means of the News Letter to be published quarterly from January next. Financial considerations must, of course, govern the size of the News Letter but it is felt that with a lengthening list of subscribers such as we enjoy at present this periodical can become all that could be desired.
All those interested are cordially invited to make use of the opportunity provided by the News Letter to contribute item of "Edgarana" (to coin a description) for use in the sections for Notes and Queries. The Editor will always be pleased to receive any appropriate short article for treatment as a feature of a particular issue.
of Birth, Marriages and Death, is sent for inclusion, will serve to enable
relatives to keep the family history up to date and at the same time provide a
worth-while permanent record.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: For the convenience of those who may wish to interest others in the work being carried on by the Society of Edgar Families the very reasonable rates of subscription are set out below.
All those who bear the surname of Edgar, or who are married to an Edgar, or who have any Edgar blood, are eligible for either class of membership.
Members (per annum)
Associates (per annum)
Persons resident at a distance of more than 30 miles from Melbourne may be Members of Associates according to choice. Only Members may vote at Meetings. Associates enjoy all other privileges.
The Edgar family, of Moffat, records appended hereto are very extensive, embracing as they do a period of about 200 years. Few Australian families have so many members scattered so widely and few are blessed with the longevity which seems to be their special inheritance.
As has been noted elsewhere, the Moffat Edgars are from Troloss, in Nithsdale and cannot be traced earlier than about 1710. Further research may quite well lead to the construction of a more lengthy pedigree. This is a task which the Society hopes to be accorded sufficient support to undertake in the immediate future.
Perhaps some members of the family will be disappointed to know that the Moffat Edgars, so far as can be established at present, have no right to a coat of arms (which, of course, includes a crest). There is nothing which connects the family to other families of the name in Nithsdale or, more distantly, to the Edgar Lairds of Wedderlie, in Berwickshire.
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VOYAGING: Mr William H Edgar, our Vice President, who, with Mrs Edgar left Melbourne in May last on a tour of Great Britain, has written some enthusiastic letters describing his stay in the Edgar country in the Scottish Lowlands. One of the main purposed of the visit he paid to Scotland was that he might undertake research on behalf of the Society. Mr Edgar has collected many monumental inscriptions and has abstracted entries from local records which will extend our knowledge of various families of the name.
At the invitation of Lady Hersey Baird, Mr and Mrs Edgar, with Lt Col J M Edgar and his wife (the Colonel was one of the three founders of this Society) visited Wedderlie, the ancestral home of the Edgars, which still stands near Westruther, Berwickshire. A ramble through the old house, occupied since 1736 by the Lords Blantyre and their connections, was full of interest for the party. The old stone seat high up in a 14th century tower upon which the Edgars sat, suitably armed, to guard their cattle from marauders is still to be seen. The tree from which those guilty of cattle thefts were hanged was pointed out. The house, which boasts a ghost known as the Green Lady, has been much altered in the last two hundred years but most of its more ancient features are still discernable. The coat of arms of the former Lairds can be faintly traced upon one wall.
Mr Edgar located two Edgar monuments in Westruther Churchyard and was able to gain access to the Church at Bassendean now owned privately, which is partly ruined but interesting because of old associations with the Edgars.
Before he leaves Great Britain in October our Vice President will have visited the former homes of the Edgars of Keithock, Peffermyln, Newtoun, and Auchingrammont and will have spent much time in Nithsdale in search of information likely to be helpful to the Society. He will bring back photographs illustrating his interesting tour.
CANADIAN EXPERIENCES: Lt Col J M Edgar who is, as has just been mentioned, also abroad was, while in Canada, the guest of Professor Pelham Edgar of TorontoUniversity. Professor Edgar is a son of the late Sir James Edgar KCMG, the Canadian Statesman, and is an uncle of the present head of the Edgar family formerly Lairds of Keithock. It was to this family that Henry Stewart, Cardinal York early last century, remembering the long service of James Edgar of Keithock as Secretary to his father, the Old Pretender, left a valuable collection of miniatures and other Steward relics. Lt Col Edgar was shown many of these heirlooms while in Toronto and also took the opportunity of inspecting the book concerning the extraordinary adventures of Secretary James Edgar, upon which Lady Edgar, the Professor's mother, was engaged at the time of her death in 1910. For the purposes of this work Lady Edgar secured special permission to examine and copy the letters of James Edgar in the king's Library at Windsor. She was an experienced writer on historical subjects and it is deplorable that the work upon which she laboured so patiently and long is still unpublished although it lacks only the concluding chapters originally planned by the author.
The Society of Edgar Families hopes to be able to raise sufficient funds later on to secure a typescript copy of this notable MSS.
ROBERT EDGAR: Has any reader knowledge, additional to that given in the appended records, of Robert Edgar, son of John and Isabella Edgar of Moffat?
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QUESTIONNAIRE FORMS: Will all Members who have retained the questionnaire forms sent to them kindly take a not of such particulars as are still required to complete them and return the forms to the Hon Secretary so that the necessary sketch-pedigrees of their families can be prepared for the Society? The Hon Secretary may be able to suggest how missing details can be obtained.
LIMITED OFFER: A few copies of the News letter, with the records of the Edgars of Moffat appended, are available upon application to the Hon Secretary & Treasurer at 7/6 a copy.