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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Edwards family come from? What is the Welsh Edwards family crest and coat of arms? When did the Edwards family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Edwards family history?

The Welsh surname Edwards was derived from the personal name Edward. This name is in turn derived from the Old English forename "Eadweard," which literally means "prosperity-guard."


Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Edwards name over the years has been spelled Edwards, Edward, Edwardes and others.

First found in Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county, created in 1536 at the Act of Union with England, and located in Northeast Wales, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and were descended from Einion Efell, Lord of Cynlleth, living in 1182, son of Madoc, Prince of Powys, who built Oswestry Castle in 1148.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Edwards research. Another 403 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1283, 1597, 1776, 1605, 1656, 1629, 1712, 1686, 1712, 1615, 1681, 1636, 1648, 1664, 1679, 1652, 1721 and are included under the topic Early Edwards History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 109 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Edwards Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Edwards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 121 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Edwards:

Edwards Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Arthur Edwards, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Arthur Edwards, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Robert Edwards, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Rich Edwards, who arrived in Virginia in 1634
  • Jon Edwards, who landed in Virginia in 1635

Edwards Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Walter Edwards, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Anne Edwards, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Eliza Edwards, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Benja Edwards, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Hannah Edwards, who landed in Virginia in 1703

Edwards Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • David J Edwards, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • G Edwards, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Edward Henry Edwards, aged 23, landed in Ohio in 1812
  • Hayden Edwards, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1813
  • Haden Edwards, aged 16, landed in Texas in 1829

Edwards Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • John Wesley Edwards, who arrived in Colorado in 1906
  • Ben Edwards, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906


  • Douglas Edwards (1917-1990), America's first network news television anchor
  • James Burrows Edwards (b. 1927), American Republican politician and oral surgeon, who was governor of South Carolina from 1975 to 1979
  • Admiral Richard Stanislaus Edwards DSM (1885-1956), American sailor, served in the United States Navy during World War I and World War II, and rose to Vice Chief of Naval Operations
  • Edwin Edwards (b. 1927), American politician, Representative from Louisiana, governor of Louisiana (1972-1980, 1984-1988, 1992-1996)
  • Walter Alison Edwards (1862-1924), American educator, President of California Institute of Technology from 1897 to 1907
  • John Reid Edwards (b. 1953), American Lawyer and Senator from North Carolina (1998-)
  • Gus Edwards (1879-1945), American songwriter and vaudevillian inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970
  • Sherman Edwards (1919-1981), Tony Award winning American composer
  • Junior D. Edwards (1926-1951), American Army soldier during the Korean War posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Lena Frances Edwards (1900-1986), American physician from New Jersey, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom



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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Edwards Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Edwards Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 September 2014 at 15:37.

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