[Originally published Wednesday, October 18, 2006]
There have been a lot of genealogists in the Edwards family. The first genealogist I know of was Sarah Estella (Gurney) Edwards, wife of Seeber Edwards. I have correspondence of hers and her brother, Harris, showing their research into the Gurney family history in the early 1900s. I can only imagine that she also researched the Edwards line as well. There was also one letter I saw where Seeber, as well, was corresponding regarding one of his family lines.
The most well-known Edwards family historian to-date was William Henry Edwards II, or as we affectionately knew him, Uncle Bill. Uncle Bill had a tremendous love and knowledge of the Edwards family history. I believe this must have come from his parents. Uncle Bill had a number of records and notes on the family and could recite the family history from memory. He made quite an impression on my mother, Helen Edwards, and inspired her to become a genealogist. Unfortunately he died while I was still quite young so I never got the chance to know him.
In the 1960s my parents did quite a bit of family history research. They even went to Glen, NY and visited with the Dillenbecks, descendants of William Henry Edwards, who were still living in the Edwards homestead. They recorded an interview with Lucy Dillenbeck but unfortunately, 40 years later, nobody knows where that tape is.
And now here we are in 2006. I started researching the Edwards family history in 2004 in anticipation of the birth of my 3rd son who was named after my great grandfather, Seeber Edwards. I was looking for a unique name for my son and I couldn’t find any family name more unique than Seeber. However, at that time I knew little about my family history. Before naming my child after an unfamiliar relative I sought to find out a little more about his namesake. And thus began my journey into family history.
However, I didn’t stop with just my direct ancestors. Inspired by another family history book, The Silver Family in America by Benjamin Stump Silver, I decided to try to create a similar book for the descendants of William Edwards and Christina Smith. And since then I have been on a wonderful journey discovering all the descendants of our original Edwards immigrant ancestor. My website is a compilation of that work in progress.