On this page: Biography of Mary [UNKNOWN] EDGAR
Latest update: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Find details, photos, and sources in the Family Tree Database.
Mary UNKNOWN EDGAR (Family Tree Database)
(about 1750 - bef 1805)
To date, the only documentation of Mary's given name is the 1800 Census of what is now Chester County, SOUTH
CAROLINA (detailed below). Since Adam died before the 1800 Census, "Mary Edgar" is listed as the head of the household.
Her birthdate of about 1750 and her birthplace of PENNSYLVANIA are based on family lore and have yet to be sourced.
This family lore is probably based on two data points:
Mary's first child who lived to adulthood, William, was born about 1770.
Mary's second child who lived to adulthood, Margaret, is documented as born in PENNSYLVANIA.
Mary’s maiden name is thus far unknown.
"When or where he had married is not known. Neither do we know the maiden name of our
Family lore (primarily from their first born son William’s descendants) suggest that Mary was part Cherokee or Catawba.
"At all events, there is a tradition that the wife of Adam Edgar, who was a good and honorable woman in every
respect, was remotely descended from the Cherokee Indians. Let me say that Mrs. Mary Edgar Burns, who lived
in Sparta a good part of her life, told me that it was her father's understanding that the tradition was true. When I
relayed that impression to my aunt, Mrs. Mary Jane Armour, also of Sparta, she replied with considerable heat:
“I do not believe a word of it. ” Who am I, that I be the umpire?"
"I'm a descendent of Adam Edgar through his son William. One of the things I'm dying to find out through DNA is
the riddle of Adam Edgar's wife. Family tradition says she was Indian (probably either Cherokee or Catawba)."
email from Robert M. COPELAND, 11 Feb 2009
"One interesting thing I've noticed: In every family that I can identify as Reformed Presbyterian, the wife signed her
own name on real estate transfers . . . EXCEPT for Adam's wife, who signed with an X. This would be entirely consistent
with her being a Cherokee, or at least not one of the RP colony. (The other RP women may have learned to read and
write in Ireland, before they came to S.C.) We also know that of all the tribes, the Cherokee intermarried with whites the
most (partly because Cherokee religion had some very curious parallels with Christianity). So in light of the persistent
family legend of her origins, I think it's most likely that she was either Cherokee or mixed-blood. There are no Cherokee
birth or genealogy records dating that far back, so in terms of US Govt. standards, we can never "prove" Cherokee
descent. (My brother, who is career military, recently told me that a woman official of some kind had come to ask him
questions about his ancestry, and when he described the situation to her, she ticked the box for "Native American" on
his record, so he's now a "minority" in government statistics.)"
email from Robert COPELAND [S279] to Samuel HARROD IV [S272], 29 Jun 2000
"My maternal grandmother, Evelyn Piper (1909 - 1981), is a descendant of Adam Edgar (1745-1799). We had
always been told that Adam's wife was part Cherokee. I got in touch with a distant relative, Robert Copeland, who
is a descendant of Adam Edgar's son William, whose family had heard the same story." email from Samuel G.
HARROD, 17 Nov 2008
"I do have is an old photo we had restored of Arthur S. EDGAR who was one of Adam's grandsons through Adam's
son, James. Arthur was my GG Grandfather… You can draw your own conclusions as to whether Arthur might have
had a near ancestor (i.e. paternal grandmother) who was at least part American Indian. I lean toward 'yes.'" email
from Robert Merritte WEBB to Robert M. COPELAND, 08 Oct 2011
Add family lore to the lack of reference to Mary in Adam's land transaction documents (posted on this site) and to the absence
of documentation about Adam's wife and lore becomes possibility.
first child who lived to adulthood. [See Adam's data for sources.]
The Widow Mary EDGAR, her family, and her eldest son's family were enumerated in the 1800 Census of what is now
Chester County, SOUTH CAROLINA. The names of the other family members are assumed. In addition, included are the
Heads of Households who were enumerated around the EDGAR household, who were also members of the Rocky Creek
Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Line 20 Mary Egger [Member of Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church]
Line 21 Wm Willy [Member of Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church]
Line 22 Hugh McQueston [Member of Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church]
[next census page]
Line 1 Margret Adams
Line 2 Hugh Mcmillin [Member of Rocky Creek Reformed Presbyterian Church]
Line 3 Wm Ross
Line 4 Wm Jones
Line 5 Mary Mills
Mary Edgar [Ancestry.com Transcript, Mary Egger]
Free White Persons - Males - under 10: 1 [William son Adam]
Free White Persons - Males - 10 under 15: 2 [John, James]
Free White Persons - Males - 25 under 45: 1 [William]
[William married abt 1800]
Free White Persons - Females - under 10: 2 [William daughter Janet, William daughter Other]
Free White Persons - Males - 10 under 15: 1 [Abigail]
Free White Persons - Males - 15 under 25: 3 [Margaret, 2 other daughters from 1790 Census]
Free White Persons - Males - 25 under 45: 1[Mary MORRISON, William's wife]
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and Over: 1 [Mary]
Mary apparently died between 1801 and 1805.
"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. In 1801 there is a reference to
his wife as "Widow Agur," so she was alive then. I *suspect* that she died in 1804 or 05--i.e., before
her children William and Polly migrated to Tennessee, but that's a guess, and I can't find any evidence
of her death. E-mail from Robert Copeland, descendant of Adam Edgar, June 29, 2000."
Harrod-Stevenson-Hedden-Piper @ Ancestry.com by Sam HARROD