The Society of Edgar Families

News Letters


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The Society of Edgar families was founded in Melbourne Australia on 24th February 1937.  The society had two main objectives:

  1. To promote and encourage the study of the history Edgar family
  2. To make permanent records of all data collected by members

Sadly the society of Edgar families is no longer with us, but one thing that they have left behind for us all is their newsletters, these newsletters are nothing short of a goldmine for those interested in Edgar family history.

The following News Letters were kindly retyped by Maggie Tucker, Australia (An Edgar descendant).

News Letter Number One
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

"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:

Members: Mr AD Edgar, Dunedin, NZ; Mrs SL Officer, Toorak, Vic

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 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.

Notices 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.

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 Toronto University. 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?

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.

News Letter Number Two
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

Old Wedderlie Today
by William H Edgar, JP

Some ten days spent in the delightful surroundings of Westruther must awaken deep feelings of sentiment, romance and racial pride in the heart of an Edgar who is privileged, as I was, to tread the same paths and touch the same walls as were so familiar to the ancient Lairds of Wedderlie for some four centuries.

Here indeed is the "Cradle of the House of Edgar". The volume dealings with the Edgar history published by the Grampian Club in 1873 tells us that "the territory once in the possession of the Edgars of Wedderlie appears to have extended in a broken chain from the West in Berwickshire to the Solway Firth", and again, "at the opening of the eighteenth century, Edgars were still numerous in the neighbourhood of Wedderlie, and several families of the name still lived, - some of Lairds, others as "kindly tenants" - around the chief of their house." Today no Edgars are to be found at Westruther, but a few of that name, mostly in humble positions, are scattered across the Border counties.

The kindness of Lady Hersey Baird, mother of the young owner of Wedderlie, of Mr Mickle, the lessee of the property at the time of my visit, and of Mr Callen, Minister of Westruther, made possible the viewing of Wedderlie House and permitted access to the parish records and enabled me to tap every possible local source of information.

It is interesting to note, in view of the long period during which the Edgars remained at Wedderlie and their importance as landowners, that not even a gravestone is left to mark the last resting place of any one of them. One stone in Westruther Old Kirkyard, still legible, records the passing of "George Edgar in Evlie (Evelaw) who dyed May 9th, 1716, his age 74". The same grave contains the remains of his wife Margaret Stot and one Jean Hunter. Another stone is erected to the memory of "Margaret Edgar, the beloved wife of John Boyd, who died at Havering Park, Essex, 28th January 1863, aged 35 years".

Even the stone referred to in the volume already mentioned "on which the last resident Edgar Laird has left a memorial of himself" - is no longer to be seen. An iron-railed enclosure at the back of the kirk is, however, almost certainly the resting place of at least some of the family. This enclosure is supposed to occupy the site of the former Edgar Aisle, which was a small building joined to the kirk and, traditionally, the Edgar burial place. Of the chapel at Wedderlie no trace now exists. It was there, as Sir T D Saunders recorded in his Rivers of Scotland, that the earliest Edgars were buried in a structure of great antiquity; a number of charters yet preserved testifying to its existence.

The late Mr Silver, of Lauder, a noted antiquary, writing to Major Baird about 1917 says "the burying place of the Edgars is one of the many mysteries connected with them".

I wondered what these other mysteries might be as I emerged from the Fourteenth century tower, complete with its Ghost - the "Green Lady" she is called - and its five-foot-thick rugged stone walls, now modestly clad in ivy, and gazed across the Lammermuir Hills - surmounted at a few miles distance by the Twinlaw Cairns, the traditional scene of the mighty combat in which those Edgar twins fought for Scot and Saxon, so long ago. The villagers still eagerly tell that ancient tale and the Cairns yet mark the spot; old Wedderlie still stands amid its glorious trees and even Evelaw Tower, another Edgar stronghold, suggests its rugged strength, but, alas, the old Edgar Lairds are no more.

One likes to think that the efforts of our Society will eventually reveal the heir-male of this ancient and honourable house.

The Society of Edgar Families is most fortunate in having as Vice-President one who is so keenly interested in the history of the Edgars as Mr William H Edgar whose article an old Wedderlie is featured in this issue of the News Letter.

On his recent visit overseas Mr Edgar spent several weeks in the Scottish Lowlands and has brought back a great quantity of most valuable material relating to the various branches of the Edgar family. He has presented to the Society a number of large-scale ordnance survey maps which will be most useful in solving the difficult topographical problems which some Edgar pedigrees present.

Mr Edgar has made many contacts in Scotland which are likely to result in assistance in our researches there and which have already made our work known to a wider circle.

We look forward to being able to publish further articles from Mr Edgar's pen.


Moffat Parish Registers: The Registrar at Moffat, Dumfriesshire, has supplied the following list of the registers now kept in the Register House, Edinburgh. Births, 1723-1819; Marriages and Deaths, 1709-1732; Marriages, 1732-1781; Deaths, 1733-1825; Marriages, 1783-1819; Births and Marriages, 1819-1854; Deaths, 1825-1853.

Origin on the Moffat Edgars: Mr W H Edgar, Vice President, was told, on his recent visit to Moffat that an old identity, now long since dead, used to say that the Edgars around Moffat came from the original Begotten at Howeslack, which is a farm about 1.5 miles north of Moffat.

Moffat Churchyard: Mr Edgar has presented to the Society a photograph of the oldest Edgar tombstone in Moffat Kirkyard. This records the ancestry of David Edgar, the Australian pioneer pastoralist, quite legibly, from about 1717AD. Prints may be obtained from the Hon Secretary, price 1/6 each.

Mr Edgar copied monumental inscriptions on seven tombstones. A pedigree will be compiled incorporating this new material together with further details which are being sought from various sources in Moffat and this will be published in a later edition of the News Letter.

Corrigenda et Addenda:

No. 1 page 1 for Mrs Agnes Edgar, Tatanur should read Mrs Agnes Edgar, Tapanui

No. 2 page 9 for James Huston (Rev) born 19th July 1872 should read born 19th August 1872

No. 2 page 8 further information as follows:

Helen Isobel (Mrs L A Kirk, of Tapanui) died 9th June 1937

No. 2 page 23 (Sub. Lineage) Miss Jane Scott, of Moffat, died on 8th August 1838.

Wedderlie Photographs: Because Wedderlie is rightly regarded as the "Cradle of the House Edgar" a number of our members may desire to possess prints of some of the fine photographs of the old home brought back to this country by Mr William Edgar and Lieut Col J M Edgar. Sets of half a dozen different prints may be had for 5/-, post free.

Illustrated Lecture: Arrangements are in hand which will, it is hoped, make it possible for Members and Associates to enjoy the privilege of a lecture by Lieut Col J M Edgar on the subject of his recent visit to Scotland and the Edgar Country. Slides prepared by the lecturer will illustrate his tour. A General Meeting of the Society will precede the lecture.


Authorities: Nisbet's Heraldic Plates (1892); Account of the Surname (sic) of Edgar (1873); Genealogical Collections concerning the Scottish House of Edgar (published by a Committee of the Grampian Club, 1873)

The origin of the Edgar family is obscure but the traditional descent indicates that the Edgars were descendants in the male line from Maldred, brother of King Duncan the First. If such a descent can be accepted then the Edgars form a cadet branch of the Royal House of Scotland.

Crinan, (slain 1045), Lay Abbot of Dunked, a descendant of the Mormaers of Atholl, married Bethoc daughter of King Malcolm the Second (1005-1016). Their younger son:

Maldred, married Algetha, daughter of Ughtred, the Saxon Earl of Northumberland, by his wife Elgiva, daughter of King Ethelred the Second, of England (978-1016). Their son:

Cospatrick (1068) Earl of Northumberland. His son:

Cospatrick, was created Earl of Dunbar (c 1115). His son:

Cospatrick, second Earl of Dunbar, died 11 October 1147. he had issue four sons:

1. Cospatrick, third Earl of Dunbar, ancestor of the later Earls of Dunbar and March.

2. Edward.

3. Edgar, who appears to have adopted the Surname of Edgar; of whom later.

4. Ughtred, the supposed ancestor of the Dundas and Knox families.

Edgar, the son of Cospatrick, second Earl of Dunbar, married a lady with the baptismal name of Alice. They had issue two sons:

1. Patrick.

2. Alexander, of whom below.

Alexander married and had issue at least two sons:

1. Edgar.

2. Walter. This Sir Walter Edgar is mentioned in the Kelso Chartulary. He married and had issue a son:

(a) Patrick. This Sir Patrick Edgar lived at Coldstream. He married, about 1282, Margeta, widow of William, Earl of Home. They are believed to have been the parents of a son:

Richard Edgar, a witness at the second marriage of King Robert, the Bruce; appears to have been the first Edgar Laird of Wedderlie (Reg. Great Seal of Scotland, 1327), an estate formerly in the possession of the Polwarth family. he married Isabella, elder daughter and co heiress of Robert de Rous, Lord of Sanquhar in Galloway. Isabella de Rous was a descendant of William the Lion, King of Scotland and her children were thus nearly related to the competitors for the Scottish Crown. Richard and Isabella Edgar had issue five sons:

1. Richard; renounced succession to Wedderlie in favour of his younger brother Robert (Reg. Seal of Scotland, 1376). He is believed to have settled in Galloway.

2. Robert, second of Wedderlie, of whom later.

3. Douenald (Donald). Settled in Galloway.

4. Dungal, Settled in Galloway.

5. Edgar, only once mentioned in old documents, and often overlooked.

(to be continued)

NOTE: This is a reprint of News Letter number Two which was first published for the Society of Edgar Families in January 1939.

I Trentham-Edgar FSAG, Hon Secretary and Treasurer of the Society of Edgar Families, at 75A Fitzroy Street, Melbourne; 2nd March 1940

Lecture and Annual Meeting

A cordial invitation is extended to all bearers of the EDGAR surname and their immediate relatives, to attend the Third Annual Meeting of the Society of Edgar Families which will take place at 8.00pm (sharp), Wednesday 8 March, 1939 in Room 110, Railways Institute, Railway Buildings, Flinders Street, Melbourne.

At the conclusion of the Meeting, Lieut Col J M Edgar, who recently returned from a tour abroad will deliver an Illustrated Lecture.

The Lecturer explored the Edgar country in Scotland and while in Canada made contact with the ancient family of Keithock Edgars who were so closely associated with Bonnie Price Charlie. He brought back many curious tales and legends concerning the Edgars and their former extensive estates, together with photographs of historic places in Edgar family history. It is interesting to know that the "Screen" which will be used for the projection of photographs at the Lecture is actually a sheet which was spun and woven over a century ago by a lady of the Edgar family.


The Society of Edgar Families has entered upon its third year?

Every year so far has seen our membership up 100%

There are members of the Society all over Australian and in Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand?

Copies of the Society's quarterly publication, the News Letter, which is free to Members and Associates is accepted for filing by all the leading National and State Libraries throughout the English speaking world?

The Society has permanently recorded many Edgar pedigrees and has acquired a collection of many thousands of Edgar references which is being continually built up.

News Letter Number Three
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

The Twinlaw Cairns, near Wedderlie
by William H Edgar

Not the least of the romantic legends associated with the Scottish House of Edgar is that of the Twinlaw Cairns, a story told in 20 verses by some unknown bard about 200 years ago.

Today the twin cairns stand boldly silhouetted on top of the bleak but wild and picturesque moor land of the Lammermuir Hills - that part of Scotland immortalised by Sir Walter Scott and breathing history from every wind-swept flank.

The tale is said to be common to the folk lore of most countries in some similar form but to an Edgar standing between the two monuments, as the sun sinks below the hills, it is not difficult to watch them fade away and to see two misty figures of fine powerful young men take their place, one the beloved adopted son of the old Saxon who had stolen the boy when little more than a babe on a raid some 20 years before, and now had learnt to love him as his own.

What were the old man's thoughts, as on this occasion the two small armies - raiding Saxon and defending Scot - decided to settle the issue by single combat, the honour going on the Saxon's side to the old man's adopted son and that of the Scots to young Edgar, son of the old Scottish chief?

This mist of centuries rolls away and we see the two armies of sturdy, fearless men facing each other, the chiefs conferring, the two chosen men stepping forward, each anxious and proud to defend his national honour with his life.

Word is given, the fight begins, blow for blow, parry for parry; save the crash of steel on shield and quick drawn breath no sound is heard. Two armies stand and watch in silence as the two young giants engage to the death.

Blood in flowing now from Saxon and Scot but still they fight on; a murmur runs through the ranks of watching men, men who live by feats of arms.

At last a shout "The Saxon falls!" Still fighting the young Saxon, weak with loss of blood, sinks to his knees, then down; it is the end. The old Saxon, heartbroken hastens forward, "He's dead" he cried, "the bravest youth ever spring from Edgar's line".

Aghast, the old Scottish chief now knows the fallen Saxon for his lost son and crying "My son, my son" he falls to rise no more.

Young Edgar, mortally wounded, embraces his father and his brother, tears the bandages from his wounds and expires beside their bodies.

The villagers still tell the story and describe how the two armies formed a long line from the scene of battle to a burn and passed from hand to hand the stones for the two cairns.

In recent years the late Lady John Montague Douglas Scott had a cairn removed and an excavation made to learn if any relic lay below, but the search was fruitless and it is doubtless due to her interested that the two re-erected cairns today stand some 75 yards apart, about 10 feet high, un-cemented, but well built in …** a small tower some 6 feet in diameter, recessed to provide a seat for those who would sit and watch while the evening mist creeps up the Lammermuirs and, who knows? Two ghostly armies may perhaps be seen passing down the hillside laid a lasting memorial to two brave men.

** the paper was torn and a few words are missing

So that the material published in the News Letter may become known as widely as possible and be permanently preserved in a number of centres, complimentary copies have been presented to the following libraries:

National Library, Canberra FCT; Mitchell Library, Sydney; Library of the Society of Australian Genealogists, Sydney; Victorian Public Library, Melbourne; British Museum Library, London; Library of the Society of Genealogists, London; Scottish National Library, Edinburgh; Library of Congress, Washington, USA.

All these institutions will continue to receive all the genealogical publications of the Society.


Moffat Edgars: Correspondence entered into by the Hon Secretary and members of the Edgar of Moffat family who live in Scotland is still being carried on. The material being collected is being reserved for publication at a later date.

Canadian (Keithock) Edgars: James Keithock Edgar, of Toronto, the representatives of the Edgar Lairds of Keithock and a nephew of Professor Pelham Edgar, FCRS has forwarded a typescript of nearly 200 pages, suitably bound, which represents the labours of his late grandmother, Lady Edgar, in the Royal Library of Windsor Castle. Lady Edgar's considerable experience in historical research enabled her to trace the letters of James Edgar (of the Keithock family), Secretary of State to "James III" the Old Pretender, and transcribe them. It was her intention to publish this interesting collection but death claimed her before the task was done. The letters were written to the Secretary's nephew, the Laird of Keithock, and they are the more interesting because of the fact the Keithock's replies are included in the collection.

Only special consideration has obtained for us the temporary custody of Lady Edgar's unpublished typescript which must soon be returned to Canada and the Executive Council of the Society has, for some time, been earnestly considering what method of copying these letters would be the least expensive and yet satisfactory. It is most desirable, if possible, that all our members should have a copy of this collection of letters.

If it can be arranged a full history of the Keithock Edgars will be issued with the Jacobite letters. At present however the question of raising the necessary funds to finance the publication of this material is receiving earnest consideration.

Offers of assistance and donations towards the cost should be sent to the Hon Secretary.

There was a good attendance of Members and Associates at the Annual General Meeting on 8th March, 1939 at the Railways Institute Rooms. In the absence of the President, the Hon W H Edgar, MLC, who was prevented from attending by the illness of Mrs Edgar, the Vice President, Mr William H Edgar, took the Chair. The retiring Office-bearers were all re-elected.

Lt Col JM Edgar, with the aid of a projector, delivered a delightful lecture in which he told us of his visit to Toronto and his meeting there with the Keithock Edgars who own many most valuable family relics and paintings. Professor Pelham Edgar and his nephew, the titular Laird of Keithock "were very interested in the work of the Society" said Colonel Edgar, "and were keen to have anything which we might publish from time to time". Lt Col Edgar was shown the Chair which Sir James David Edgar, KCMG occupied from 1896-1899 as Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons.

At Westruther, in Berwickshire, Colonel Edgar was joined by our Vice President, Mr William H Edgar, and with their respective ladies, a happy re-union was enjoyed on the very threshold of Wedderlie itself. With the Colonel's son Mr Allan Edgar (who has since joined the RAF) making a third, the male members of the party explored the Westruther Churchyard and engaged in excavation work which might have been expected to yield at least the long lost family vault, but didn't. After the Colonel's departure our Vice President remained in the Wedderlie district for more than a week for the purpose of "pumping the old identities" as he put it. He was able to collect quite a number of worth while notes for our files.

Lt Col Edgar made his references to the Keithock Lairds very clear to his audience by means of a carefully prepared pedigree which he projected on the screen.

A vote of thanks to the lecturer was moved and was seconded by acclamation.

Corrigenda et Addenda
No 2 page 27, Edgar of Wedderlie for "Brinan" read Crinan"

No 2 page 27, Edgar of Wedderlie (Sub Authorities) after "Account of the Surname of Edgar, (1873)" read "by J H Lawrence-Archer"

Mr Walter Birmingham Edgar (born 23 March 1856, at Pine Hills Station, Harrow, Vic), third son of David Edgar, the pioneer pastoralist, died at Portland, Vic on 22 February, 1939. (see News Letter No 1, page 16). Mr Edgar disposed of the Pine Hills estate to the late Mr R Ellis, in 1936 and had, since that time, visited England with Mrs White, his daughter.

Although it is now just four months more than a century since David Edgar landed from Scotland, his eldest son Mr John Thomas Edgar, formerly of Kadnook Station, still survives as does his daughter Miss Isabella Edgar, of Babba Mia Estate, Harrow. The former, with Mrs Edgar attended the inaugural meeting of this Society and still retains a keen interest in its work.

Edgar of Wedderlie (Part Two)

Robert Edgar, 2nd Laird of Wedderlie, married …; their son,

John Edgar had a Charter of confirmation of the resignation of the Wedderlie estates in favour of his father, (circa 1384). He married …;

Adam Edgar, 4th Laird. In 1476 he claimed the land of Knockfield from the Abbot and Convent of Dryburgh. It is presumed that he stood in the relationship of a son to John Edgar (above) but it should be recognised that the succession to Wedderlie in the 15th and 16th centuries is still obscure.

Robert Edgar, 5th Laird. He had a grant of the ward and marriage of William Redpath, 16th November 1497. Supposed by most authorities to have been a son of Adam Edgar, (above). Lawrence-Archer suggests that he may have been a brother of George Edgar, of Swinton, or a nephew of Adam Edgar.

Robert Edgar. He was a witness to a Charter by Gilbert Grierson, of Dalton to John Lindsay, the younger, of Barclay, 2nd December, 1552. Lawrence-Archer states that this Laird's name was Richard, who married Ailsone …, (her Will proved at Lauder, 1564). Robert, (as given by Nisbet, 1892) or Richard, had issue as follows:

1. Robert, circa 1585-1586

2. James, ancestor of the Edgars of Grueldykes (Dunse)

3. Oliver, ancestor of the Edgars of Newtoun de Birgham, (Eccles-Newton), Berwickshire

4. John. He is usually identified as the John who is noticed below.

5. Richard, witness to a Charter, 26th October, 1557.

1. Margaret, married firstly William Spottiswoode; secondly Walter Scott, of Harden

John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie. He found caution to appear at next Assize, 19th November, 1556. Granted a Charter in consideration of a sum of money in name of dowry paid to George Hoppringle, of Torwoodlie, in favour of Elizabeth, daughter of the said George, his future spouse, 26th October, 1557. Acquitted of the charge of slaughtering John Ullasone and two others, 9th December, 1561. He had issue:

1. Robert, Laid of Wedderlie, of whom later.

2. Oliver.

3. William

1. Elizabeth

Robert, Laird of Wedderlie was served heir to his father in 1596. Had a Charter of the lands of Wedderlie and Bassendean, 28th January, 1606. By his wife, Mary Douglas, he had issue:

1. John, Laird of Wedderlie, of whom later.

2. James, he was witness to a Charter, 11th March, 1619.

(to be continued) 

News Letter Number Four
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

Lawrence-Archer's Notes on the Edgar Coat of Arms
by William H Edgar, JP

Some three year's efforts to obtain a copy of Captain JH Lawrence-Archer's work, "Account of the Surname of Edgar and particularly of the family of Wedderlie," 1868-1873, have proved unfruitful to our Society, but through the courtesy of Mr John Macleod of Edinburgh, an unsigned manuscript of some thirty pages came into the writer's possession, in which appears a marginal note in the same handwriting over the initials "JHLA", from which it may be safely assumed the author was none other than Lawrence-Archer.

In this mms it would appear that he scholarly writer has taken a short flight of fancy and woven a most interesting and picturesque theory as to the possible circumstances that brought about the inclusion of the legend "Maun do it" in the armorial device of Edgar of Wedderlie.

Lawrence-Archer, a painstaking and careful investigator, makes no claim to fact, but from the many authorities he quotes, he draws clever deductions and presents a convincing case and a fascinating picture with a ready appeal to the reader's imagination.

He takes us back to that tragic incident, the slaughter of the Red Comyn, and quotes the crest and motto of the Kirkpatrick family, "a hand grasping a dagger with gouts of blood," and the motto "I make sure," and draws attention to the similarity between this heraldic device and that of Edgar of Wedderlie, remarking that there are "equal, if not superior grounds for attributing" the Edgar motto to this incident than that of Kirkpatrick. Space permits no lengthy quotation, but after painting out the circumstances in which Sir Richard Edgar stood at that time and his relationship with Bruce, he graphically describes what may have taken place at the slaughter of Sir John Comyn at the high altar of the church in Dumfries in February 1305-1306.

"Hastening with his retainers on that cold morning in February 1306 to the castle of Loshmaben to ascertain the cause of the Bruce's sudden return from the English Court, we may readily picture the sombre Knight of Wedderlie, Lord of Nithsdale, in earnest consultation with the hero and his brother on the urgency of the occasion … There stands the knight in his linked coat of mail, plated gauntlets and triangular shield suspended round his neck. It is sable and bears the white lion rampant of Dunbar with the legend "Salutem disponit Deus." His helmet of steel, conical and covered with a hood and collar of mail, does not yet bear a crest. From his hauberk downwards, his stalwart limbs are shoated in flexible armour. On one side, secured by the knightly belt, is a long, broad falchion and on the other is a short dagger.

His black surcoat is embroidered with his armorial insignia and contrasts strongly with those of his companions.

Deeply attentive to the Bruce's recital of his wrongs and account of the deceit of "Longshape" (the injustice of whose pretensions must have been so familiar) and while the illustrious brothers earnestly debated the question and yet hesitated to incur the peril of renouncing their enforced allegiance, the taciturn knight, deeply impressed with the importance of a speedy decision, may have turned the scale by involuntarily clutching his dagger and muttering with deep emotion "Maun do it."

Or … Edgar, at first horror stricken and standing alone, may have been suddenly struck (since the deed could not he undone) with the duty of throwing all his energies into the cause of the future King, and already penitent friend, and, with the fierce exclamation "Maun dir it" (although abhorrent of murder), may have rushed into the church and joined the fray.

At all events, we know sufficient to be assured that, after the slaughter of the Red Comyn, Sir Richard Edgar was regarded with especial consideration by the Bruce."

The truth will never be known, but Lawrence-Archer says there is every reason to believe that the motto and crest of the family "originated during the heroic struggle of Robert the Bruce," and we are indebted to him for throwing much light on the age and probable origin of the armoury of the Edgars of Wedderlie.


Life Members: It was resolved at the Meeting of the Executive Council which took place on 17th May 1939, that the following persons should be admitted to the Society as Life Members:

Pelham Edgar, FRSC, PhD, BA, Professor of English Literature at the University of Toronto, Canada

James Keithock Edgar, of Toronto, Canada, Chief of the House of Keithock

We delight to honour both these gentlemen for the real interest they have taken in the work of the Society of Edgar Families, and for the great assistance which they continue to give in the preparation of a full history of the Keithock Edgars.

Jacobite Letters: Lieut-Col JM Edgar was able to arrange for the photographing by a miniature camera of the notable collection of Edgar letters of the Jacobite period which was loaned to us by Mr JK Edgar of Toronto. The file will be cared for by the Hon Secretary until such time as it becomes possible to publish the letters in the News Letter. Lieut-Col Edgar has presented the films to the Society free of cost and his most generous action is another and striking proof of his interest in our work.

Badges: Mrs Keith Nicholson has made the interesting suggestion that a special badge be made for sale to Members and Associates. Enquiries made so far seem to suggest that there would be considerable support for the idea. It would be necessary to ensure that the badge would be acquired by all those who would be eligible to wear it.

The cost of a suitable badge of neat design would approximate 2/6. All those who would like to have a visible token indicating their membership of the family Society should advise the Hon Secretary (I Trentham-Edgar, 75 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne S2) by letter. No money should be forwarded pending a further announcement in the News Letter.

Picnic Outing: Members, Associates and their families will be invited to attend a picnic outing at a place within easy reach of Melbourne when the weather is warmer. Private transport will be provided without charge where necessary. This outing should prove a happy one and all who can do so should attend, so that the various families of Edgar may become better acquainted. Details will be announced at a later date.

Photographs: Although stocks of views of Wedderlie House have been exhausted, two difference views of the Twinlaw Cairns (see Mr William H Edgar's interesting article in the May issue of the News Letter) are available at 9d each; postage 2d.

At a later time it is hoped to offer prints of other historic Edgar homes - Keithock, Peffermiln, Elshieshields and Evelaw.

Edgars in the Australian Imperial Forces – Victoria

The Secretary to the Trustees of the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, has kindly supplied the following list of Edgars who served in the Great War. Names, Regimental numbers and decorations are given.





























































































Military Medal






Military Cross




There are thirty four names listed: Messrs CA, JM, LC and OS Edgar are Members or Associate Members of this Society.

Origin of the Surname Edgar

"This name might be considered Saxon in origin, but it is not so, claiming a Glaswegian source (Celtic). The Edgars may look with interest on the Dovenald who, still a youth, was killed when fighting as one of the leaders of the "Wild Scots of Galloway" at the Battle of the Standard in 1138, when they lost heavily. According to the Historian of Sanquhar, he was one of the three grandsons of a Scoto-Irish chief called Dunegal of Stranith, who received Sanquhar. A son named Edgar appears in the reign of William the Lion, and it may not be improbably that David interested himself in the family of one of the leaders, victims of that battle, for which he was responsible".

Source: "anglo-Norman Peaceful Invasion of Scotland, 1057-1200, Origin of Great Scottish Families: 91922) by James Coutts

Edgars in Parliament

Alexander Edgar, provost; Haddington 1696-1702, 1703-1707

Edward Edgar, merchant; Edinburgh, 1640-1641; 1646-1647

John Edgar of Wedderlie; Berwickshire, 1681-1682; son of John Edgar of Wedderlie

Source: from Members of Parliament - Scotland, 1357-1882, by Joseph Foster, 1882

In the Parliament on Monday, 4th November 1706, Alexander Edgar voted with the No's on a division taken on the religious consequences of the Union of the two countries - England and Scotland.

Source: from History of the Union, Daniel Defoe (1709) reprinted in part in the Dundee Magazine, February 1799

Subscription Rates

For the convenience of those desiring to renew their membership of the Society, we set out the rates again. Members outside Australia should remit by International Money Order.

Members (per annum)






Associates (per annum)






Associate members may not vote at Meetings of the Society. Only those residing more than 25 miles from Melbourne may become Associate Members.

Edgar of Wedderlie (part three)

John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie (Reg Gt Seal, Privy Seal, etc), married Elizabeth, dau of William, 1st Lord Cranstoun (marr. contract C.1619). They had issue:

1. James, who died before 1643, unmarried

1. Elizabeth. She married John Edgar and the Wedderlie estates were settled upon them. She died before 1664.

2. Margaret. She was, about 1668, accepted as the heir of her brother James and sister Anna.

3. Anna, died unmarried.

Nicol Edgar, merchant and burgess of Edinburgh. His descent from the Wedderlie Edgars has not been ascertained. He had issue:

1. Nicol, merchant and burgess of Edinburgh. Tutor (or guardian) of Wedderlie. Buried 18 April 1667, at Edinburgh. He married at Edinburgh on 13 December 1655, Helen (buried 13 May 1697), dau of James Gillies, merchant, of Edinburgh, by his wife Helen Aikman. They had issue:

I. James, bapt 15 February 1657

II. John, bapt 26 June 1664

III. Samuel, bapt 16 June 1665

I. Joan, bapt 25 June 1667

2. John Edgar, in right of his wife Laird of Wedderlie, of whom later.

3. William, buried 1 January 1668. He married and had issue:

I. Richard

II Ninian

I. Isabella

II Bessie

John Edgar (d. 1657), married Elizabeth (Testament 22 October 1664), dau of John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie (see previously). They had a charter of confirmation in the lands of Wedderlie dated 5 July 1643. Issue:

1. John, Laird of Wedderlie, of whom later.

2. Alexander, apprenticed to Samuel Chieslie, Surgeon and was appointed Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, 1 July 1697, and Provost of Haddington, 1696. MP for Haddington, 1696-1702; 1703-1707. He died in November 1714. By his wife Agnes …, he had issue:

I. John (d. 1722). Admitted a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, 11 April 1712. He married Christian, dau of William Brown, Surgeon. They had issue a daughter (1) Christian, who married Thomas Sinclair

3. Nicol, bapt 27 July 1658, at Westruther. Minister of Hobkirk, 28 September 1694; died 31 May 1724. He married Susanna (d. 30 June 1713), dau of John Veitch, Minister of Westruther. They had issue:

I. John, d January 1715, aet 17

I. Susanna

II Elizabeth, married Robert Blyth

1. Alison (Testament dated 1654)

2. Mary Executrix of her father's Testament, Comm of Lauder, 18 October 1664

3. Agnes (or Jean). Married 8 April 1652, James Achisone of Ugstone, in the Stewartry of Lauderdale

4. Margaret, bapt 14 June 1657, at Westruther

John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie, was served heir to his father, 28 May, 1663. He was MP for Berwickshire, 1681-1682. He was declared a rebel in 1679. Married 17 March 1679, Jean, dau of Thomas Robertson of Lochbank, merchant and burgess of Edinburgh. They had issue:

1. John, Laird of Wedderlie, of whom later

2. Thomas, bapt 18 November 1680; bur 24 October 1694

3. Henry, bapt 5 January 1684; bur 6 November 1720

4. Alexander

5. William, bapt 19 June 1701, wright, merchant and burgess of Edinburgh (admitted 1726); Testament 14 October 1746 - 8 June 1753

1. Margaret. Married John Marhoribanks of Dedrige, par. Gordon

2. Mary, bapt 23 September 1681

3. Jean, bapt 30 March 1694

John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie, bapt 25 September 1682. Merchant and burgess of Edinburgh, 4 February 1736. he was the last of his family to own Wedderlie. The estate was sold to Robert, Lord balntyre, 1733-1736. On 25 July 1736, John Edgar presented a handsome Bible to the church and congregation of Westruther to mark the departure of the Edgars from the parish. This Bible was still (1938) in use, but the Laird's inscription in it has been removed by some vandal. John Edgar married Mary, dau of George Home of Chirnside. They had issue:

1. John, b 25 October 1720

2. Henry, b. 25 December 1721

3. Joseph, b 30 August 1724

4. Michael, b 1 November 1728

5. Alexander, of whom later

1. Mary, b 5 July 1719

2. Jean, b 30 April 1723

3. Marion, b 26 January 1726

4. Katherine, b 23 February 1733

Alexander Edgar, b 17 August 1736, was the eldest surviving son of John Edgar, last Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie. He was appointed Rear Admiral of the Red on 20 February 1799, and after living for some years at Great Yarmouth he died without male issue at Bedford Street, Bedford Square, London, on 20 February 1817. (Will, 123 Effingham, Perog Ct of Canterbury). Admiral Edgar married, in January 1773, Sophia Margaret, (d. 21 January 1807, aet 47), dau of James Johnstone, MD RN. They had an only child:

1. Sophia Bethia Edgar (d. 1856). She married firstly, in 1806, Robert Campbell, Captain RN; and secondly in 1819, Alexander Tait LL.D of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. There was issue only of the first marriage, (1) William Huntly *1808-1844). Captain, 20th Regiment; (2) Robert Edgar; and two daughters, (1) Sophia, married major Starkey, EICS, (2) Marguerite, married JJ Russell

Upon the death of Rear Admiral Alexander Edgar in 1817, Thomas Edgar, at that time head of the Edgars of Keithock, made application to the Lord Lyon for recognition as the head of the Wedderlie family. It is not now known what proofs Mr Edgar offered in support of his claim, but as he was deeply interested in the history of the Edgars, it is likely that he possessed some evidence illustrating the connection between the Wedderlie and the Keithock Edgars. Unfortunately, upon Mr Edgar's death on 7 September 1831, his extensive genealogical collections were neglected and when his brother, James Edgar, came to examine them about a year later, he found that most of the papers had been destroyed by the depredation of mice.

Edited for the Society of Edgar Families by I Trentham-Edgar

News Letter Number Five
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

Sir Edward Mackay Edgar, Baronet, the "Man with a Load of Millions" died in London on October 7, 1934. Broken in health and utterly disillusioned, Sir Edward Edgar passed away in a tiny cottage in the Buckinghamshire Village of Chalfont St Giles, famous for its association with John Milton. There was a time when he was the biggest and bravest gambler in the City of London. He earned the nick-name of the "Man with the Load of Millions". Any venture which he promoted was safe for a million pounds, if the amount was needed. Yet he faces two bankruptcies and died in relative poverty.

A Canadian by birth, he made his first fortune by organising big hydro-electric combines. Coming to London, he carried through even larger deals in cotton, iron and steel, and shipbuilding, in association with the financial house of Sperling and Company. But a day came when his luck turned, and in 1925 he was unexpectantly declared bankrupt, his liabilities being 80,000 pounds. Sperling and Company helped him to pay his debts, but the shock to his credit proved too great. henceforward he was a spent force. He was obliged to give up his home in Park Lane, and his country house, Merton Hall, Thetford. In 1931 he filed a petition in bankruptcy for the second time. After that time he lived very quietly at Chalfont St Giles, more or less forgotten by the City associates who followed his financial lead so eagerly, and even by those who used to enjoy his generous hospitality. Sir Edward said of the City of London in a moment of insight "If you win you're marvellous, and you will have friends standing in a queue a mile long. If you lose, it means facing the punishment - or death."

This prophetic pronouncement was made by Edgar in 1927, when he learned that his one time friend and associate "Jimmy" White, had poisoned himself. James White and "Mike" Edgar were both struggling to resuscitate waning fortunes, and they came into conflict over British controlled oilfields. White had large holdings, but was desperately in need of money for other projects. On a sudden, Edgar, who had seemed to be helping White to keep up the price of the shares, changed his tactics. He unloaded all his shared and White could not raise another pound on his own holdings owing to the depreciated price. White went down to his country house and put a pad soaked in chloroform over his face. "Mike" Edgar was fool enough to boast of his victory to a party of journalists in his flat in Mount Street, "It was a two years battle between "Jimmy" White and myself," he said. "And the one to lose was "Jimmy! It was rotten fighting an old friend, but it wasn't my fault. I didn't make the rules of the game."

The City of London didn't forget this ill-advised boasting, and it did not forget Edgar. For him finance was always a game, as he said on another occasion, "the greatest game in the world, this fighting with millions at stake." As a big gambler, he will long be remembered, but he did no real service in return for the immense sums of money which he took from the public and his influence was vicious, even if he did play the game of finance within the riles as he understood them. He showered costly gifts upon his friends, and his hospitality was unbounded, but he lacked the qualities which make for abiding success, even in financial juggling. His first big error was made early in the world war, when he sold out his holdings in the hydro-electric companies, which he really understood. They finally appreciated to about 4,000,000 pounds but he did not benefit. In the post-war boom he made more than one fortune, but he suffered huge losses. He was a leading figure in a syndicate which amalgamated cotton spinning companies, and his firm issued 3,000,000 pounds worth of debentures for Workman, Clark, and Company, of Belfast. But Edgar was mixed up in a deal which involved the purchase of Baldwins Ltd, for 3 pounds a share in cash. It plunged him and Sperling and Company into long and expensive litigation, in the course of which 845,000 pounds damages were paid to Baldwins. Mackay Edgar was a good shot, a fair tennis player, and a moderately successful owner of race horses. His only son was killed in a motor accident, so there was no heir to the baronetcy which he received in the height of his power.

Source: The Argus, Melbourne, 10 November 1934

Sir Edward Mackay Edgar was a son of Frank Edgar, of Montreal, Canada, and was born 27 February 1876. He married on 6 June 1902, Ethel Beatrice (CBE), daughter of John Pindar of Montreal. They had issue"

1. John Fewster Mackay, born 10 June 1903, Killed 3 July 1925

1. Catherine Beatrice, born 18 January 1905. Married on 8 April 1926, Edward Harvey, of the Manor House, West Tofts, Brandon, Suffolk, a son of WR Harvey of Ullington, Thetford, Norfolk. They have issue:

On 25th March 1920, the College of Heralds, London, recorded the arms of Sir Edward Mackay Edgar as follows:

Arms: Sable on a bend between two lozenges or each charged with and escallop gules a lion passant of the field. Mantling: Sable and or Crest: on a wreath of the colours, in front of a cross patea or, a dexter cubic and grasping in the hand a dagger, proper.

Badge: a sword and a pen, the points downward … … proper unveiled with a circlet… .

Words: "… … …"

Source: Vide Burke's "Peerage and Baronetage " and "Amorial Families" (1929) Fox-Davies

All our members will be sorry to know that Lieut Col JM Edgar has been very gravely ill. His friends are pleased at the steady recovery he is making and hope that it may not be long before he is quite restored in health. Pilot Officer Allan Edgar, a son of Lieut Col Edgar is at present on active service with the RAF and is probably the first of his surname called to active duty. We wish him many victories in the splendid Royal Air Force tradition.

The Future: The outbreak of War and its effects on the activities of the Society of Edgar Families was discussed at a meeting of the Executive Council on 7 October. It was decided to carry on the full work of the Society for the time being. The Executive Council believes that it is in the national interest that as little dislocation as possible should occur in the affairs of the individuals and associations. The slogan "Business as Usual" seems the best one for the present. If necessary, further decisions will be taken at a later date.

General Meeting: The next General Meeting will take place on Tuesday evening 24 October. Details will be advised by circular.

Keithock Edgars: Further large collections of material relating to the Edgar Lairds of Keithock have come forward from Canada. The genealogy of the family is nearing completion, but it is possible that the declaration of war may make it necessary to hold up publication for some time.

Mr JK Edgar, of Toronto (Life Member) has loaned a number of excellent photographs of Keithock House, the seat of the Edgars in Forfarshire, Scotland. A set of three prints is available to interested members and associates, price 1/6. Application should be made to the Hon Secretary, 75a Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne S2.

America hears of us: Mr Robert Munro Erwin, a descendant of Thomas Edgar, a cadet of Keithock, who journeyed to New Jersey, in 1718, and founded the family, settled at Edgarton, has joined the Society as a full member. Mr Erwin resides in New York and is a keen student of genealogy. With his help it may be possible to collect and publish a full history of the Edgars of USA at some future time. Our new member is connected to President Roosevelt's family by marriage.


Gilbert Harold Edgar, Lieut RFA, of the "Thatched House," Solihill, Warwickshire, married, 18 September 1923, Eileen Victoria (born 18 April 1897), younger daughter of Sir Stuart Montague Samuel, Bart, MP JP (1856-1926).

Source: Burke's "Peerage and Baronetage"

The actual derivation of the name Edgar is given by Alfred Wilfred Dellquest in his book "The Names of Ours" (1938)

ead = happy, blessed

gar = a spear, warrior

The origin is, of course, Saxon, and the name was often bestowed "with the hope that the bearer would grow up to be a distinguished warrior"

Source: Vide "News Letter (Number Four)

Edgar of Moffat

Mr David M Edgar, Belhaven, Brailfauld Gardens, Tollcross, Glasgow, supplies some further information regarding Robert Edgar, sixth son of John Edgar of Moffat, and brother of David Edgar of Pine Hills Station, Victoria, Australia.

Robert Edgar, (see news Letter No.1 p.23), born 17 June 1825; died aged 65 years. He married Anne Porteous, and had issue four sons and one daughter:

1. James

2. John

3. Walter

4. David. He married in 1884, Mary Macfarlane (aged 76 in 1939), and had issue one son and two daughters:

I. David Macfarlane. He married Annie Howie. Issue, Winifred

I. Isabella, d. unmarried

II. Annie (deceased). Married … Issue: Robert (RN), and Hazel

1. Grace



A small gathering of Members enjoyed the hospitality of our President, the Hon WH Edgar MLC, on the night of 24 October 1939. Mr Edgar made his room at Parliament House available for the General Meeting and afterwards conducted those who attended to witness the proceedings in the Executive Council Chamber.

The General Meeting agreed that:

1. Arrangements for an outing be further discussed at the next General Meeting

2. Thanks be expressed to the President for offering to entertain members and their families at his lovely Upper Macedon home on the afternoon chosen for the outing.

3. That the duplicating machine purchased by Messrs William H Edgar and I Trentham-Edgar be acquired by the Society under the special terms of repayment offered.


New Zealand Members and Associate Members, because the Government of that Dominion has found it necessary to restrict the right of its citizens to buy overseas exchange, they recently found it difficult to remit subscriptions as they fall due.

The Society of Edgar Families is very proud of the support of the Edgars and their connections in New Zealand and hopes that it will long continue. Negotiations are now in hand which should result in an arrangement whereby all New Zealand subscriptions shall be invested in the Dominion until such time as the present difficulties are resolved.

A statement of the new position will be made in the January issue of the News Letter. Remittances may still be made by International Money Order but a declaration may be required from the sender.

Edgar of Longtown: The history of the Edgar family, formerly of Longtown, Cumberland and Riddings, will be appended to the next issue of the News Letter. William Edgar, a member of this family, became the sole proprietor of the world-famous firm of Swan&Edgar, located in Piccadilly, London for more than a century. The Vice-President of the Society of Edgar Families, Mr William H Edgar, who is the great-grandson and heir-male of William Edgar, has spent much time in recent years on the interesting task of collecting material relating to members of his family. From his notes a very worthwhile genealogy has been prepared for publication.

Edgar Family Badges: It has been decided to defer until a later date any decision to issue, or not to issue, membership badges.

Subscription Rates:

Members (per annum)






Associates (per annum)






Associate membership is available only to those residing at a distance of more than 25 miles from the GPO Melbourne. Associates may not vote at Meetings of the Society.

Song written by Sir James David Edgar KCMG MP

Let other tongues in older lands
Loud vaunt their claims to glory
And chaunt in triumph of the past
Content to live in story.
Tho' boasting no baronial halls
Nor ivy-crested towers
What past can match they glorious youth
Fair Canada of Ours
Fair Canada
Dear Canada
This Canada of Ours.

We love those far-off ocean isles
Where Britain's monarch reigns
We'll ne'er forget the good old blood
That courses through our veins;
Proud Scotia's fame, old Erin's name
And haughty Albion's powers
Reflect their matchless lustre on
This Canada of Ours
Fair Canada
Dear Canada
This Canada of Ours.

May our Dominion flourish then
A goodly land and free
Where Celt and Saxon hand in hand
Hold sway from sea to sea
Strong arms shall guard our cherished homes
When darkest danger lowers
And with our life-blood we'll defend
This Canada of Ours
Fair Canada
Dear Canada
This Canada of Ours.

Published in "This Canada of Ours and Other Poems" (1893) 

News Letter Number Six
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

Editorial Notes
It has been necessary to publish the News Letter on this occasion without the usual special article. This decision was made because it was desirable to include the complete history of the Edgars of Riddings in this issue. Our readers will appreciate the importance of this record and will not regret the use made of the space usually devoted to less important items.

Lawrence-Archer's Book
Ever since the foundation of the Society of Edgar Families, three years ago, strenuous efforts have been made by members of the Executive Council to obtain a copy of Lawrence-Archer's book on the Surname of Edgar which was published privately in 1873. The work is a most important one and is now extremely rare.

None of the large retail booksellers in Great Britain who were approached were able to locate a copy for us, and it seemed that the Society would have to remain in ignorance of Lawrence-Archer's contribution to the published history of the family. However, our member, Mr James Keithock Edgar, of Toronto, Canada, was aware of our disappointment and he, with the wonderful assistance of his wife, copied out the whole of Lawrence-Archer's work, carefully checked the copy, and forwarded it to Melbourne by registered mail. The copy is a fine production and is enhanced by the copies of the pedigrees in the original book and Mrs Edgar's pencil sketches of the original illustrations. The task which Mr and Mrs Edgar have completed would have daunted most of us, and we must all admire such patience. We greatly appreciate the thoughtful kindness behind their fine action, and extend our grateful thanks.

New Zealand Members: Enquiries made for us in New Zealand since our last issue indicate that subscriptions may still be remitted to Australia by money order, although a declaration may be required by the Post Office. Should any of our members experience special difficulty in forwarding subscriptions, the Hon Secretary should be advised so that another arrangement can be made.

Annual General Meeting: The third Annual General Meeting will take place on 5 march 1940, in Room 110, Railways Institute Building, Flinders Street, Melbourne. One of the subjects listed for discussion is a proposal by Mrs Keith Nicholson at the Meeting of the Executive Council on 18 January 1940, that the Society make plans to provide comforts for Edgars who are giving their services for their King and Country.

Edgar of Moffat
(see NL No.1, pp4a-24; No.5, p43)

DAVID EDGAR, a younger brother of John Edgar (1778-1868) of Moffat, Dumfries-shire (see NL No.1, p23), died at Millgreen, Moffat, 17 August 1859, aet 73. He married Jane Fleming, who died 18 July 1878, aet 85. They had issue:

I. George. Died at Ballarat, Victoria, January 1841. Unm

II. John. Died at Moffat, 27 August 1873, aet 77. Married Helen Johnstone (died Claremont, Shandon, 24 October 1876, aet 79). At his death there was a legal dispute. They had issue:

1. Alexander Johnstone. Married Jane McLellan. They had issue:

a. Jessie. Died young

b. Jeanie Salmond. Married her cousin, Johnston Edgar (see this genealogy)

2. another son

1. Janet, unmarried

2. Jeanie. Married … Kean

3. Elizabeth. Married … Mr Proudfoot

III. David, died at Edinburgh, Scotland, 16 July 1892, aet 81. He married Janet Ewatt, who died 9 December 1893, aet 86. They had issue:

1. Carlyle. Died at Moffat, 11 July 1848, aet 16

2. William, died 1862, aet 26

3. John, Died 1864, aet 25

4. Thomas. Died in New Zealand, without issue

5. Johnston. Married Jeanie Salmond Edgar, daughter of Alexander Edgar, who was a grandson of David and Jane [Fleming] Edgar. They had issue:

I. Alexander Johnston. Married Margaret Marter. No issue

II. David, of Beliskene, Moffat. Married Catherine Fraser Mackay, and has issue:

i. Johnston Mackay

ii. Janet Fraser

III. Johnston. Lives in Ottawa, Canada, unmarried

I. Jessie. Died young

II. Jeanie McLellan. Married William Waddell, and has issue, a son, William Edgar Waddell, of Vancouver, Canada

III. Margaret, unmarried

IV. Isabella. Died young, Twin of Helen Somerville

V. Helen Somerville, unmarried

1. Isabella. Married Mr Parker

2. Marion. Married Mr Hogg

3. Christine

IV. James, of Moffat. Flesher. Died 8 June 1889, aet 72. Married Mary Hastie, who died 4 September 1848, aet 31. They had issue:

1. John, died in infancy

2. James, of Cragbeck, died April 1938

1. Margaret, died aet 15

2. Jane, died 1897, aet 53

V. Peter, He married and had issue. There is a grandson in Canada

VI. Robert, died unmarried

I. Margaret, died at Crossmichael Village, 28 February 1827 aet 4

II. Jessie, died at Cappergill, in March 1838, aet 2

III. Margaret, died 17 July 1905, aet 73

The Editor is indebted to Mr Edgar of Boliskene, Moffat, for an outline of this pedigree. Monumental Inscriptions in Moffat Kirkyard have confirmed several relationships, and supplied a number of dates. The ages given, from the same source, are in some cases likely to be wrong. It cannot be said that the order of aenisrity is correct or that the names of all children of the various marriages are recorded. The genealogy as given above is presented as a basis for further research.

Two [sic] Monumental Inscriptions at Moffat which relate to Edgars as yet unidentified are given:

1. In memory of Daniel, youngest son of John Edgar, Mason, of Moffat, who died at Singapore, East Indies, 16 July 1857, aged 26 years; also Ellen, his daughter, who died 5 December 1854, aged 17 years; also Robert, his son, who died 6 August, aged 9 months; also Thomas, his son, who died 8 October 1864, aged 43 years.

2. In memory of Thomas Edgar, who died 22 May 1845, aged 59 years; also Carlyle Bell Edgar, his son, who died 29 June 1832, aged 18 years; also Marian Edgar, his daughter, who died 5 May 1836, aged 15 years; also Marian Richardson, his wife, who died 23 January 1854, aged 78 years; also Robert Edgar, his son, who died 12 May 1885, aged 80 years; also Jane Edgar, who died 1 October 1890, aged 80 years.

3. In memory of William Edgar, who died at Caldwell, 9 September 1848, aged 51 years; also Thomas and Jane; also Thomas, his son, who died 27 May 1869, aged 43 years


No3, page 30 for "Professor Pelham Edgar, FCRS, should read "Professor Pelham Edgar, FRSC

No4, page 33 for "In this mss…" should read, "In this manuscript …"

No6 page 48 The reference to Burke's Baronetage should be read after the paragraph dealing with the PEEK family

Edgars of Riddings and Canonbie

William Edgar was born in 1791 at or near Longtown, in the parish of Arthuret, which is in the Diocese of Carlisle. Family tradition asserts that he served a draper in Longtown in his early youth. When still a lad, he set out on foot for London, with a letter of introduction to Mr Swan (d. 26 November 1821), a London draper with a small shop in Ludgate Hill. There he found congenial employment, and when it was decided to open a branch shop in Piccadilly, young Edgar was admitted to partnership and given charge of the new undertaking. Swan died within a few years, but William Edgar, possessed of an unusual aptitude for business, rapidly made the name of Swan and Edgar known throughout London, and indeed, throughout Great Britain. He was greatly assisted in the expansion of his undertaking by the financial assistance which his cousin, David Edgar, of Longtown, gave him. At his death, he left one of the most substantial fortunes which had, up until that time, been amassed by any person engaged in the soft goods trade. He died at his mansion home, Eagle House, Clapham Common, Surrey, on 25 September 1869, and was, until he disposed of it to the Duke of Buccleuch in 1872, the owner of a shooting box called Kirklands, which he built in 1850, at Closeburn, Dumfries-shire, Scotland. He was buried in the family vault in Norwood Cemetery. Will dated 21 February 1867. Estate sworn at under 300,000 pounds.

William Edgar married Frances Heyburn, daughter of George Heyburn (d. 17 December 1834, aet 64), by his wife, nee Skinner (1769-1851). He was actively associated with the construction of Old Waterloo Bridge and Highgate Archway. Mrs Edgar died at Eagle House, on 19 February 1889, aged 78 years. They had issue two sons and three daughters:

I. William Schindler, born 17 March 1824, of whom presently

II. George Henryk born in 1826, probably at East Hill, Wandsworth, London. Married Lucy Lowis. No issue

I. Margaret Maria, born at Eagle House. She married on 20 July 1848, Sir Henry William Peek (1st baronet created 13th May 1874) (DJ, Devon Conservative, MP for Mid Surrey, 1868-1884). He was born 26 February 1825 and died at his seat, Rousdon, Devon, 26 August 1989. Lady Peek died 2 May 1884. They had issue an only child - Sir Cuthbert Edgar Peek, 2nd Baronet, born 30 January 1855. He married 3 January 1884, the Hon Augusta Louisa (d. 3 November 1934), daughter of William, 8th Viscount Midleton. Sir Cuthbert Peek died 6 July 1901, leaving issue

II. Ellen, b 17 March 1827. Married Edwin Caldecott (see Burke's Baronetage), of Cheapside, wholesale merchant, and had, with other issue, a son, Andrew Edgar. She died 29 March 1882

III. Lucy, born 1835, probably at Eagle House. She married Alexander Mackintosh. He, who had two brothers in business in Melbourne, Australia, in 1835, had issue. A daughter, Dorothy, married Mr Macdonald, who is stated in one pedigree to have been "the son of Lord Kingsburgh." Mrs mackintosh died 20 March 1864.

William Schindler Edgar, born 17 March 1824, in London. He was educated at Totteridge. Upon his father's death he became proprietor of the family business. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace and resided at Coombe Warren, a fine Gothic mansion (sold in June 1884) at Kingston Hill, Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey. He died on 18 August 1885.

William Schindler Edgar married on 20 March 1850, at St Peter's Church, Belper, Derbyshire, Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Ingle, solicitor, of Belper and Derby.

Mrs Edgar died on 18 July 1897, aged 89 years, at 51 Cavendish Road, Clapham Common. They had issue, five sons and six daughters:

I. Henry Ingle, born 7 March 1851, at Clapham Common. He joined the Royal Navy and was trained on HMS Victory and saw service in Australian waters. Lieutenant RN died in mysterious circumstances at Coombe Warren on 13 March 1876. Unmarried.

II. Alfred, born 16 July 1855, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. He died, unmarried, on 20 July 1890, at 51 Cavendish Road, Clapham Common.

III. Lewis, born 28 March 1858, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. On 6 July 1878, he married one of his father's employees (Ann Carruthers). She died 25 June 1885, at Wanganui, New Zealand, without issue. He died 21 March 1899.

IV. Oswald, born 12 August 1860, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. He died at Bournemouth, on 7 December 1897, unmarried.

V. Herbert, born 8 October 1864, at Hollywood, Clapham Common, of whom presently.

I. Edith, born on 18 May 1852, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. She married on 9 August 1876, at the parish church, Clapham Common, Robert Clotworthy, of 8 Highfield Hill, Upper Norwood, London. She died, without issue on 24 October 1937, at her residence, 4 Clorane Gardens, Hampstead, London.

II. Margaret, born on 26 June 1853, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. She married on 3 November 1881, at Norbiton, Kingston-on-Thames, Thomas Hale, of Sevenoaks, Kent. She died at Victoria, BC, Canada, on 3 September 1924, without issue.

III. Mary, born on 21 July 1854, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. She married, on 4 June 1884, at Malden Congregational Church, Rev Charles Frederick William Wood, MA (d. 22 August 1927), of New Malden and afterwards of "The Maisonette", Clapham Common, son of the Headmaster of "Totteridge School". She died 6 January 1922. They had issue:

1. Paul Bernard, b. 5 October 1885. Killed in action on France, 23 April 1917

2. Keith Eric, b. 19 March 1888. Died of wounds in France, 27 May 1915.

1. Ivy Cicely Katherine, b. 5 July 1887

2. Violet Rosemary, b. 17 February 1892. Married 10 June 1920, James Berthon Sparke.

3. Phyllis Mary Eleanor, b. 12 August 1894

IV. Annice, born 27 May 1859. She died aged three years

V. Katherine, born 12 January 1862, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. She married 10 February 1886, at the parish church, Clapham Common, William Francis Hune (d. 25 January 1894), of Croydon, Surrey. No issue.

VI. Lillian, born 6 June 1863, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. She married on 15 January 1896, at Grafton Congregational Church, the Rev Edward Peter Rice, BA, of Bangalore, India. They had issue:

1. Ernest Edgar, b. 20 May 1898. Died 30 January 1921.

2. Llewelyn Cuthbert, b. 21 October 1903. Lieut 4th Batln, Nigeria Regt. Married in 1932, Doris Gwendoline Gilbury.

1. Grace Dorothy, b. 4 November 1899. Married 30 June 1931, Dr Dudley Proctor

2. Irene Katherine, b. 6 May 1901

3. Ursula Edith, b. 13 March 1909

Herbert Edgar, born 8 October 1864, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. He received his education at Windlesham House, Brighton, and at Uppingham. For a time he joined the family business. He served in the HAC as a Driver. About 1885 he came to Melbourne, Australia, in the ship "Cusco" to go on the pastoral property, Greenhills Station, Keilor Plains, which was owned by cousins of his mother, William Brown, Ingle Brown and Walter Brown. Herbert Edgar subsequently went to Bargrove, South Gippsland, to a property owned by Ernest Harriss, who had married his wife's sister, Isabella Mair.

Herbert Edgar married at Brighton Beach, Victoria, on 30 October 1889, Helen, daughter (and in her issue, co-heiress) of Lieut Colonel William Mair, of Mair Street, Brighton Beach.

(William Mair was born in Glasgow, on 31 August 1806, and died at Myora, South Gippsland, on 15 January 1904. He was a son of Hugh Mair, Captain 42nd Highlanders, who served under Abercrombie at Alexandra and also at Waterloo. William Mair held the following appointments: Marshall of St Lucia, 25 June 1830; Ensign 99th Regt. 26 November 1830 to October 1836; Lieut 1st West India Regt 23 April 1836; Lieut 99th Regt 29 July 1836; Paymaster, 99th Regt and Adjutant and Paymaster of NSW Mounted Police, 1842; Commander Port Phillip Mounted Police, 1846 to 1849; Commissioner of Disputed Boundaries, Gippsland District, 1849; Police Magistrate, Western District, 1849; Gold Commissioner and Police Magistrate for Buninyong and Ballarat, 1 September 1851, for four months (Mair Street, Ballarat); Commander Gold Fields Mounted Police, 1851 to 1853; Captain 99th Regt 7 July 1854; Paymaster and Commissioner of Police of Victoria, 1853 to 1872, when he retired on a pension. Lieut Colonel, Volunteer Force, 14 October 1863; Lieut Colonel, Victorian Military Forces, 20 April 1886. Lieut Colonel Mair arrived at Port Jackson on 22 March 1842 in the ship "Richard Webb" having earlier, 126 days out from Dublin, handed over to the Hobart Town penal authorities, his charge of 200 convicts. Lieut Colonel Mair was primarily responsible for the creation of the Moorabbin Roads Board and was chairman of the Board for nearly five years. He married Catherine Lyons, of Sydney, NSW.)

Herbert Edgar returned to England about 1896. His death occurred at Maidstone, Kent, on 2 September 1905.

Mrs Edgar married secondly, Charles Maffey (deceased) of Melbourne.

Herbert and Helen Edgar had issue an only child:

I. William Herbert, born at Melbourne, 23 May 1891. Educated at Maidstone Grammar School, Kent, England. Returned to Australia with his mother in 1908. Until 1924 he farmed property at Myora and Woodleigh, Gippsland. He was, for some time, a member of the Phillip Island and Woolami Shire Council, and was President in the Shire's Jubilee Year, 1924. From 1924 until 1935, Mr Edgar was the proprietor of a motor garage at San Remo, Victoria. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace, 29 May 1934. A convenor of the inaugural Meeting of the Society of Edgar Families on 24 February 1937. Elected first President of the Society. Now Vice-President of the Society, and Assistant Hon Secretary. Mr Edgar has several times visited Great Britain, and, in 1932, and 1938, undertook pilgrimages to the Edgar districts of Scotland. Mr Edgar was appointed Air Raid Precautions Instructor, 1939, and Post Administrative Officer, 1940.

William Herbert Edgar married on 18 February 1914, at the Australian Church, Melbourne, Elsa Margaret, daughter of Henry Keeble Aird, of Caulfield, Melbourne, and formerly of Nalong Station, near the border of Victoria and South Australia. Mr Aird, who was a brother of the late Sir John Aird, 1st Baronet, of London, married Margaret McCrae.

William Herbert and Elsa Margaret, who live at Canonbie, 6 St John's Avenue, Mont Albert, Melbourne, have issue two sons:

1. William Henry Ingle, born 13 January 1915. Educated at box Hill Grammar School, Victoria. Engineer. Foundation Member of the Society of Edgar Families. Unmarried.

2. David Herbert Harris, born 4 June 1922. Educated at Box Hill Grammar School, Victoria.

NOTE: The Lineage of William Edgar (1791-1869) will be published at a later date.

Edited for the Society of Edgar Families by I Trentham-Edgar


Walter Scott, second Laird of Harden, who died in 1629, was a famous character in the Lowlands in his day and was known far and wide as "Auld Wat". He was twice married, first to Mary Scott ("the Flower of the Yarrow"), daughter of Philip Scott, of Dryhope, and afterwards to Margaret Edgar, daughter of the Laird of Wedderlie. By his first wife he had a son who was ancestor to Sir Walter Scott Bt, the famous novelist.

"Auld Wat's" only child by Margaret Edgar was named after her mother and became the wife of David Pringle, younger of Gallasheils. Upon his death she married Sir William Macdougall, of Mackerston.

John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie, married (Marr. Contract C.1619) Elizabeth, daughter of William, first Lord Cranstoun and had issue. The Cranstoun peerage is considered to be dormant, an heir not having been found. By the terms of the remainder to the patent the descendants of the marriage of John and Elizabeth Edgar would stand in the line of succession.

Consult "Complete Peerage", second edition


A cordial invitation is extended to Members and Associates of the Society of Edgar Families to attend the Third Annual General Meeting which will take place at 8.00pm on Tuesday 5 March 1940 in Room 110, Railways Institute, Flinders Street, Melbourne (take the lift to the Third Floor).


Election of Officers

Annual Report

The President, the Honourable WH Edgar MP, has signified that he will take the Chair if he finds it possible to be in Melbourne on the night of the Meeting.

Hon Secretary: I Trentham-Edgar FSAG
Telephone: Windsor 3369
75a Fitzroy Street, St Kilda S2

News Letter Number Seven
Society of Edgar Families
Melbourne, Australia

Third Annual Report
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.

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 March, 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 JH 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.

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).

(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 place-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:

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:

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.

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 (MI 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 January, 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)

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

ABBREVIATION: MI Canonbie (Monumental Inscription at Canonbie)

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