On this page: Biographies Adam EDGAR
Latest update: Wednesday, 11 March, 2015
Find details, photos, and sources in the Family Tree Database.
Adam EDGAR (abt 1745 - abt 1799) (Family Tree Database)
Living through the American Revolution, Adam EDGAR
was an American, but was he born in AMERICA? There
are two texts that indicate Adam EDGAR was born in
Article: Reminiscences of the Reformed Presbyterian
Church in South Carolina by the Rev. David S.
FARIS in 1876 and
However, the sources of these claims about Adam’s place of birth are thus far unknown; it’s possible Rev. EDGAR’s source, or
at least one of his sources, was Rev. FARIS' document. Confirmation that Adam was indeed born in America, and if so,
where, is being pursued. It’s also possible Adam was born in southern SCOTLAND's Dumfriesshire area, the most likely place
of his ancestral roots, and he immigrated to America as a child.
"About the middle of the Eighteenth Century -- probably between 1745 and 1755 -- Adam Edgar was born
in Pennsylvania. It is not known whether his ancestors came directly from Scotland, or whether they came
by way of the North of Ireland. The place of Adam's birth is not known. It was thought that there were other
children in the family, but my informant had no trace of them."
"He was an American from Pennsylvania."
"He was born in Pennsylvania, but we (and there have been a lot of people looking) haven't found anything
about a place in PA, who his parents were, how long they had been in America, etc. E-mail from Robert
Copeland, descendant of Adam Edgar, June 26, 2000."
Harrod-Stevenson-Hedden-Piper @ Ancestry.com by Sam HARROD
Adam's estimated birthdate of 1745 is based on the research of three genealogists (referenced in the Family Tree Database),
who have yet to post their sources; we are in search of documentation of Adam's birthdate.
Thomas Delbert EDGAR's genealogy is the only record we have of Adam's childhood and formative years: "Adam Edgar's
father died while Adam was yet a boy, and his mother later married a man by the name of Simpson, of whom nothing is known
except that after the second marriage of his mother, home was not pleasant for young Adam. Following a custom which was
quite common in those early days, his mother bound him out to another man, which action he bitterly resented, and it is
supposed that he sought larger liberty by running away." The Edgar Family By Thomas Delbert EDGAR, August 1931
To date, there is no documentation of Adam's marriage. It is probable that Adam married his wife Mary, in PENNSYLVANIA at
Co, ILLINOIS enumerates William's sister Margaret as "Jane Little, age 75 [about 1775], Female, Place of Birth Pennsylvania,"
so it is reasonable to believe William, who was older than his sister Margaret, was also born in PENNSYLVANIA.
? After leaving his PENNSYLVANIA home at a young age, Adam EDGAR relocated to what is now Chester County, SOUTH
"The next that is known of him is that he was an honored and respected citizen of Chester District
(now called County) in South Carolina."
"He ended up in the vicinity of Chester, S.C. Apparently, he lived in Chester for some time. When he bought
a "plantation" (just 100 [sic] acres, which would be a family farm and not the usual image of a Southern
plantation!), the land records refer to Adam as a tailor, so it would appear that the man he was apprenticed
to in PA was a tailor. (BTW: that "plantation" can still be located, although far from a main road, because he
sold a couple of acres of it to the church for a church building and cemetery, and the cemetery is still there.
E-mail from Robert Copeland, descendant of Adam Edgar, June 26, 2000."
Harrod-Stevenson-Hedden-Piper @ Ancestry.com by Sam HARROD
Adam was certainly part of a larger migration that populated the "backcountry of the Southern United Sates, including the
northern area of SOUTH CAROLINA, where Adam settled.
"Over two centuries before, the first "Covenanters" had moved into the Piedmont along the banks of Rocky Creek,
coming from Pennsylvania, but also from the old countries of Scotland and Ireland."
Chester County, South Carolina, is situated in the north central part of our state... Many of the countless founding
families came from Scotland and Ireland via "The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road", from PA, VA and NC.
Others, the English and French Huguenots via the Charleston SC seaport. There was a sprinkling of German,
Welsh and Swiss also. Later, many of the early settlers - especially the Covenanters, disturbed by the issue of
slavery and seeking greater economic opportunities - migrated to the West, Southwest and to the Illinois-Ohio
area, leaving behind their early American roots...
"The Great Wagon Road was a colonial American improved trail transiting the Great Appalachian Valley from
Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and from there to Georgia. The Great Wagon Road was the heavily traveled main
route for settlement of the Southern United States, particularly the "backcountry". This was the area that received the
great proportion of German and Scots-Irish immigrants in the 18th century. The Scots-Irish and English from the
Anglo-Scottish border area were the largest group of immigrants from the British Isles before the American
"The Scots – Irish who poured into America from Ulster were middle class farmers and craftsmen who came from
poor rural counties of Northern Ireland where English rule had grown increasingly severe and where the 1740
famine in Ulster hastened their departure."
The Scots-Irish From Ulster and The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road by Brenda E.McPherson Compton
By trade, Adam was a Tailor, which during Colonial America was spelled -- or misspelled as -- "taylor."
Family tradition suggests "Following a custom which was quite common in those early days, his mother bound
him out to another man, which action he bitterly resented, and it is supposed that he sought larger liberty by running
away" The Edgar Family By Thomas Delbert EDGAR, August 1931 It is most possible young Adam was bound to a
According to a land transaction dated 04 February 1778 between Adam EDGAR and Benjamin MITCHELL"Adam
Agers [ s/b EDGER] of the County & State aforesaid and District of Camden & St. Marks Parish, Taylor"
In the 1791 document conveying about two acres of land from Adam to his Reformed Presbyterian Church, the
document identifies Adam as follows: "Adam Edgar of Rocky Creek in Chester County Camden District and State of
South Carolina (Taylor) of the one part"
Internet searching "camden district south carolina planters" results in many examples in early SOUTH
CAROLINA documents where the occupation of the individual is listed after the geographic location of the individual;
example "William RICHARDSON of the Parish of St. Mark's, State of SC, planter " and "Jean Dupuy of Hills Borough
Township, SC, planter" and "John Christmas of SC, of Black River, planter."
"A New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew, 1700. Tayler is a variant spelling of
tailor." World Wide Words
"Stitch, a Tayler." A New Dictionary of the Terms Ancient and Modern of the Canting Crew (Wikipedia;
A History of Colonial Williamsburg VIRGINIA indicates, "In the early 1770s there were more tailors than any other
trade in Williamsburg."
As an interesting aside, President Andrew JOHNSON, although a generation after Adam EDGAR, also worked
as a tailor in SOUTH CAROLINA. "President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), a native of North Carolina, worked as a
tailor in the town of Laurens [County, SOUTH CAROLINA] for a brief time in the 1820s."
This begs the question, if Adam purchased 150 acres of land in 1778 and sold about two (2) acres to the church in 1791, why
would his occupation in 1791 still be "Taylor" when he had been a land owner for about sixteen (16) years? Why wasn't Adam
also documented as a "Planter"? Perhaps Adam was still a practicing tailor; perhaps an occupation of skill and apprenticeship
was more prestigious than that of a planter; perhaps the person who wrote the 1791 conveyance document copied Adam's
occupation from the original 1778 land purchase document; perhaps we will never know.
Before 1778 Adam, Mary and their three (3) children were living in St. Marks Parish, Camden District of South Carolina,
(today near Pinewood, Sumter, SOUTH CAROLINA); in his 04 February 1778 purchase of land, Adam was identified as
"Adam Agers [ s/b EDGER] of the County & State aforesaid and District of Camden & St. Marks Parish, Taylor"
On 04 Feb 1778 -- during the American Revolution -- Adam purchased 150 acres in "Rocky Creek in Chester County
Camden District and State of South Carolina, what today is Chester County, SOUTH CAROLINA. And Adam and Mary
moved there family about 100 miles north to their new EDGAR Family Homestead.
? About 1779 Adam was elected an Elder in his Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church.
[Session Begin, Name, Session End]
1779 - Adam Edgar - 1799 - Died, 1799.
1779 - Samuel Laughridge - 1794 - Died 1794
1779 - Thomas McClurkin - 1816 - Certified to form Bethesda Cong
About 1785, Adam and Mary had their fourth child who lived to adulthood, Abigail.
? In the summer of 1789, Adam became an elder of the newly formed Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church.
"In the summer of 1789, the Rev. James Reid, of Scotland, came on a missionary tour to America, and visited
the societies in South Carolina. He set in order the affairs of the Church as the representative of the Scottish
Presbytery, and dispensed the sacraments.... At that time he also organized the Rocky Creek congregation,
and the elders were Samuel Loughridge, Adam Edgar, John Wyatt, Thomas Morton and James McQuiston."
"From these I glean the fact that in the summer of 1789, the Rev. James Reid came on a missionary tour
to America, and visited different societies in South Carolina, setting in order the affairs of the Church and
dispensing the sacraments. At that time he organized the group that lived in the neighborhood of Rocky Creek,
Chester County, South Carolina, into a congregation. Five elders were elected at that time, one of whom was
Adam Edgar. He bore an honorable name, was an ardent Covenanter, and doubtless continued in the
eldership until his death, which occurred probably some ten years later."
It was called Edgar's, because Adam Edgar, one of the earliest elders, ceded the land on which it stood."
Adam and his family were enumerated in the 1790 Census of what is now Chester County, SOUTH CAROLINA. The names of
the other family members are assumed.
[Line 15] Adam Edgar
Number of Free White Males 16 and Over: 2 [Adam, William?]
Number of Free White Males Under 16: 3 [John, James, 1 Other?]
Number of Free White Females: 9 [Mrs. Edgar, Margaret, Abigail, 6 Others?]
Number of Household Members: [blank] [14?]
Perhaps Adam and Mary were living with another family or perhaps Adam and Mary had other children who did not live to be
recorded in adulthood.
And on 10 September 1790, Adam and Mary had their last of five children who lived to adulthood, James.
Adam died about 1800...
Adam Edgar - 1799 - Died, 1799. RP Church Rosters, GLASGOW
"This commission was constituted at the Rocky Creek meeting house, (widow Edgar's) January 28,
"January 28th, 1801
"Rocky Creek Meeting House (widow Edgar's).
"The Committee of the Reformed Presbytery having repaired to South Carolina met and constituted by
prayer, Rev. Messrs. McKinney and Wylie, ministers; John Kell and David Stromont, ruling elders…
3d. We crave that the Presbytery would proceed to the trails and ordination of some elders over us,
as five of our elders are dead, viz. Samuel Lowridge, Adam Edgar, John Wyatt, Thomas Morton and
"He bore an honorable name, was an ardent Covenanter, and doubtless continued in the eldership until
his death, which occurred probably some ten years later. I draw this conclusion from the fact that record is
again made of the Rocky Creek meeting house, which was then known locally as “Widow Edgar’s meeting
house”, the date being January 28, 1801. Her husband must have been dead at least a few years for the
church to have become known by the name of the widow."
"He died in 1799. Chester Co. has no will, estate, or probate records for him; but many Carolina estates from that
period were filed in what are now other jurisdictions--even in North Carolina."
email from Robert COPELAND [S279] to Samuel HARROD IV [S272], 29 Jun 2000
Given the following data points (all soured in this website), it is easy to interpolate that Adam EDGAR and his wife Mary are
buried in the Cemetery of the Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Adam was an elder in the church for twenty (20) years (1779-1799) until his death.
Adam died about 1799 and Mary died about 1809 and would have been among the first buried in the Church Cemetery.
William, Adam's eldest son who grew to adulthood, was active in the Church and was an elder for five (5) years
(1801-1805) until he relocated his family to TENNESSEE.
It's hard to advance any theory that Adam and his wife were buried anywhere but in the Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian
Church Cemetery. The fact there are no marked gravestones for Adam and Mary is not surprising or unusual. Hand-etched
inscriptions may have long ago weathered away from the sandstone markers or the gravestone markers may have
CHILDREN OF ADAM AND MARY
Adam EDGAR and Mary UNKNOWN EDGAR had five (5) children who grew to adulthood. All were born in what is now Chester
possible Adam and Mary had other children.
As soon as Adam and Mary died, their five children and families relocated to TENNESSEE from the EDGAR Homestead in
SOUTH CAROLINA. Their relocation was driven in large part by their and their church’s opposition to slavery. While slavery
did exist in TENNESSEE in that era, it was much less prevalent and pervasive in TENNESSEE then, than it was in SOUTH