Edgar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The rich and ancient history of the Edgar family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from the baptismal name for the son of Edgar. Baptismal names are a form of patronymic surnames, which come from the vernacular and religious naming traditions. In this case, the bearer of the surname Edgar took his name from his father's given name, Edgar. Another source claims the name literally means "happy spear" or "blessed spear." "Eádgár was one of the commonest of Anglo-Saxon personal names." [1]

Early Origins of the Edgar family

The surname Edgar was first found in Berwickshire. "Eadgar, a well-known and royal personal name among the A- Saxons. There are probably several distinct families of this designation. The Scottish family deduce themselves from Gospatrick, earl of Northumberland, temp. William I., who was a kinsman of Eadgar Atheling, and a descendant of king Eadgar, great grandson of Alfred the Great. The Edgars of Suffolk claim from a John Edgar of Dunwich, living in 1237." [2]

Edgar or Eadger (944-975), was the King of the English, the younger son of Eadmund the Magnificent and the sainted Ælfgifu. "He was twenty-nine at the time of his coronation in 973 ( Anglo-Saxon Chron. sub ann. 972; Flor. Wig. sub ann. 973). He was probably brought up at the court of his uncle Eadred for his name, coupled with that of his brother Eadwig [see Edwy], is appended to a charter of Eadred dated 955." [3]

Edgar (1072-1107), King of Scotland was the eldest surviving son of Malcolm Canmore and Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, named after his Saxon uncle, was the first king who united Scottish and Saxon blood. "Canmore was slain by an ambush near Alnwick on 13 Nov. 1093, when engaged in a raid on northern England; his eldest son, Edward, fell at the same time or a day or two after. Edgar brought the fatal news to his mother, then in the castle of Edinburgh. Already enfeebled with illness she saw it in his face before he spoke, and adjured him to tell the truth. When told that both her husband and first-born were slain, she prayed to Christ." [3]

Scotland records for the family were extensive and quite old. "The Edgars of Nithsdale, notwithstanding their Old English name are of Gaelic origin. Other Edgars held lands in Berwickshire of the earls of Dunbar. Edgar, son of Duvenald, son of Dunegal of Stranid (Strath Nith), held extensive lands in Nithsdale during the reign of William the Lion, and his descendants assumed the surname of Edgar." [4]

Early History of the Edgar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Edgar research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1860 and are included under the topic Early Edgar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Edgar Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Edgar have been found, including Edgar, Edgair, Eger, Eager, Edzer and others.

Early Notables of the Edgar family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Edgar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Edgar family to Ireland

Some of the Edgar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Edgar migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Edgar, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Edgar Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Charles Edgar, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Charles Edgar, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [5]
  • Mary Edgar, who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • Mary Edgar, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 [5]
  • John Edgar, who arrived in Maryland in 1666-1750 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Edgar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Edgar, who landed in New York in 1784 [5]
Edgar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Day Edgar, who arrived in America in 1805 [5]
  • David Edgar, who landed in Maryland in 1809 [5]
  • Patrick N Edgar, aged 34, who arrived in North Carolina in 1812 [5]
  • Samuel Edgar, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1815 [5]
  • James Edgar, who landed in New York in 1820 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Edgar Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Harry Edgar, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1903 [5]

Canada Edgar migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Edgar Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Edgar U.E. who settled in Kingston, Ontario c. 1784 [6]

Australia Edgar migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Edgar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Anne Edgar, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Thetis" [7]
  • Ellen Edgar, aged 24, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"

New Zealand Edgar migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Edgar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Edgar, Scottish settler from Melrose travelling from Leith aboard the ship 'Melbourne' arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 18th March 1861 [8]
  • Mr. Adam Edgar, (b. 1839), aged 23, Scottish farm labourer, from Berwickshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen of Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1862 [9]
  • Mr. Robert Edgar, (b. 1846), aged 19, Scottish ploughman from Berwickshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tudor" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th September 1865 [9]
  • William Edgar, aged 45, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875
  • Ann Edgar, aged 46, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Edgar (post 1700) +

  • Robert William "Bob" Edgar (1943-2013), American politician and administrator Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th district (1975-1987)
  • Gilbert Edgar, Chairman of the Samuel Group
  • James Edgar (b. 1946), American politician who was the Governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999
  • Joe Edgar, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 48th District, 2012 [10]
  • James Edgar (b. 1946), American Republican politician, Member of Illinois State House of Representatives, 1977-79; Defeated, 1974; Secretary of State of Illinois, 1981-91; Governor of Illinois, 1991-99 [10]
  • George C. Edgar, American politician, Mayor of El Reno, Oklahoma, 1955 [10]
  • G. M. Edgar, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Gold Democrat National Convention from Alabama, 1896 [10]
  • Donald D. Edgar, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Hong Kong, 1932; U.S. Consul in Geneva, 1937-38 [10]
  • Betsy J. Edgar, American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates 4th District, 1972; Appointed 1972 [10]
  • Mrs. Allen P. Edgar, American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia Democratic State Executive Committee, 1945 [10]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • Michael Logan Edgar (d. 1942), British Lieutenant Engineer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [11]
RMS Lusitania


Suggested Readings for the name Edgar +

  • 2722 The Baker Family and the Edgar Family of Ralway, N.J. and New York City by John Milnes Baker.

  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ South Australian Register Friday 1st September 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Emigrant 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/thetis1854.shtml
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  12. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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