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Latest update: Sunday, November 20, 2011
[Sourced as [TDE 1956] Family Genealogies of Sparta, Illinois [S287]]
submitted to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints at www.TempleReady.org, a text titled, "Family
Genealogies of Sparta, Illinois"
Title: Family genealogies of Sparta, Illinois
Compiled by Mrs. Frank S. Torrens and her daughter, Louise M. Torrens
Authors: Torrens, Frank S., Mrs. (Main Author); Torrens, Louise M. (Added Author)
Notes: Typescript; These genealogies were gathered from courthouse records, church records, Bible records,
cemetery and mortician records, gravestone inscriptions, city records, and through correspondence and personal
Subjects: Illinois, Randolph, Sparta - Genealogy; Illinois, Randolph, Sparta - Bible records
Call Number: FHL US/CAN Book
Format: Books/Monographs (With Film)
Physical: 10 v.
Subject Class: 977.392/S1 D2
Note: Also on microfilm. Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1984. on 1 microfilm reel;
35 mm. - FHL US/CAN Film [ 1033992 ]
James H. LYNN's work Dispersal of Some of the Descendants of John LYNN and Jennet MALCOLM refers to this text as
follows: "About 1956 Mrs. Frank S. TORRENS prepared a monumental work on families in Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois.
Mrs. Frank S. Torrens and her daughter, Louise M. Torrens, Family Genealogies of Sparta, Illinois, 10 vols. typescript, c.1956,
FHL film no. 1,033,992."
This 1956 TORRENS Version may be a prequel-draft of the 1931 Thomas Delbert EDGAR genealogy, which TDE expanded
and polished for his 1931 presentation, but more likely is a sequel note-taking of the 1931 TDE genealogy by the TORRENS.
This 1956 TORRENS Version has most of the data and the prose of the 1931TDE genealogy, however there are many
noticeable differences and one significant difference.
Much short-hand is used, for example,
the 1956 TORRENS Version has "Adam Edgar was b in Pa." and TDE's 1931 Genealogy has "Adam Edgar was
born in Pennsylvania" and
several uses of the word "thot" in 1956 Version are correctly recorded as "thought" in the 1931 text.
The order of the data and the prose is slightly different in the two versions; for example,
the 1956 Version begins with the section titled "Recorded History," which is in the body of TDE's 1931 Genealogy and
the "Traditions" section, which is in the body of TDE's 1931 Genealogy, is after TDE's signature in the 1956 text,
although the content of both versions is similar.
In the 1931 TDE Genealogy, there is a large section devoted to Mary and her possible Native American ancestry; this 1956
Version has one line, "It is said she was of Indian blood, others say not, but whoever she was, she was respected in her
community." In addition, this 1956 Version does not mention the first name of Adam's wife; the 1931 TDE genealogy identifies
Adam's wife as Mary.
There are many examples of data in the 1931 TDE Genealogy, which are not in the 1959 Version. However, there is also
data in the 1956 Version, which is not in the 1931 TDE Genealogy.
Page 687, Alex.John who m 1st Janet Campbell ["buried old Bethel Cem" written in handwriting], m 2nd Jane
Sinclair (sis. of Mgt.above)
The whole section at the bottom of page 687 in homage to TDE's direct linage.
"The descendants of Alex.John Edgar have been influential in educational lines, - teachers, ministers, missionaries
to Syria, China & the Indians, as ;
Rev. Alfred Edgar spent many yrs. with the Indians
Dr. Rbt.S.Edgar of Coulterville Ill.,& wife were parents of 7 sons
Rev. Thomas Delbert
Our mother d at Wilkensburg Pa.& is bur.at Coulterville Ill. Cem
The most significant difference in these two texts is the section labeled "The Family Tree" in the 1931 TDE Genealogy. The
1956 Version has only a few lines for Adams's son William, while the 1931 TDE genealogy has over a page of data for
William's children and grandchildren and even several great grandchildren. However, page 688 in the 1956 Version is an
outline version of Adam's family tree, which includes much more information about Adam's Margaret's branch -- and possibly
more. [Unfortunately our copy ends in the middle of the Margaret EDGAR LITTLE family tree.]
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: On 26 Nov 2008, Lucy HIGGINS, a member of the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK)
organization, sent these copies of pages 686-688 of a genealogical publication. Lucy lives in Randolph County, ILLINOIS. I
had asked her to send information in Randolph County records about William EDGAR. We'd like to thank Ms. HIGGINS for her
TRANSCRIPTION AND .pdf FORMAT (1.6MB) OF PAGES 686, 687 AND 688
Leaving the traditions, which every one will evaluate for him self, we fortunately have some records of history, which we can
gather piece-meal, from printed records. Of course the Edgar name appears only incidentially [sic], for the records are not
primarily a history of the Edgar family, but a history of the Reformed Presbyterian(Covenanter) Church in So. Car.,Tenn.,&
From these I glean the facts that in the summer of 1789, the Rev.Jas.Reid, came as a missionary to America,& invited
different societies in So. Car., setting in order the affairs of the Church & dispensing the Sacraments. At that time he organized
the group that lived in the neighborhood of Rocky Creek,Cheater District So.Car.,into a congregation. Five elders were elected
at that time, one of whom was Adam Edgar.
He bore an honorable name, an ardent Covenanter,& doubtless continued in the eldership until his death, which occured [sic]
probably some ten yrs.later. I drew 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 1-28-1801. Her Husband must have been
dead at least a few yrs., for the Church to have become known by the name of the widow.
Among other things which happened at that time, was the ordination & installation of Rev. Thos. Donnelly as pastor of that &
other churches in that general region, & also the election to the eldership of quite a number, among whom was Wm. Edgar,
the eldest son of Adam Edgar, and the progenitor of the line from which we spring.
In this connection it may be said, that the convictions of Adam Edgar & his wife have been stamped upon posterity, that in
each succeeding generation they have not lacked one or more descendants who have been elders in the Covenanter church.
It is true that many of us have sought & found fellow ship, with many communions now represented among the descendants ;
but that Godly couple who established their home in the southland, more than almost two centuries ago, so impressed their
religious convictions upon theirchildren [sic], is evidence that they had the strength of character for which all of the generations
following may be grateful.
It seems that after the death of his parents, &partly due because of slavery, the children with their families, migrated to Tenn.,
which while a slave state, was not so dominantly so, as was So. Car. This was probably in the yr. 1808 or 1809, Some of them
settled in Lincoln Co., not far from Fayetteville, & some of them, either then, or later, settled in Hickman Co., at Duck River, a
little SW of Nashville Tenn.
Wm. Edgar was probably of the group, for in 1812, a commission was appointed to organize a congregation in Lincoln Co., &
on that commission was elder Wm. Edgar of Duck River. At the same time of the organization of the congregation, one of the
elders elected was Samuel Little, who m Mgt. Edgar, a dau. of Adam Edgar. This family of the Little's later came to So. Illinois.
Some yrs. later, 1819, several families of both Tenn. communities migrated to Randolph Co. Ill. & were among the pioneers of
that section of the country. From Glasgow's History, I quote concerning the formation of a congregation at Eden Ill., by the
Rev, Samuel Wylie; "The first Covenanter congregation organized was in June 1821, with 35 members & the promise of a
salary of about $200. per yr. The elders were Samuel Little & Wm. Edgar, who had the yr. previously emigrated from Tenn."
Thus ended the lesson, as far as the printed records are concerned.
What has happened to the family in the yrs. since, is a part of the history of So.Ill. Some have been identified with this part of
the country. Others have made it their point of departure, & have gone to the four points of the compass. A goodly number
have gone to Kan., others to Pa., which state Adan [sic] Edgar left somewhat unceremoniously many yrs. ago.
Representatives of the
[end of page 686]
family are to be found in most all the professions & lines of business, & have achieved the average measure of success.
However, I have not known of one of the name becoming a multi-millionaire. That tho, is not the climax of distionction [sic].
To present the family, the genealogy is thus;
To Adam Edgar were born ; Wm.,John,Jas.,Mgt., & Abigail.
John had 2 sons ; Samuel remained in Tenn. &Wm.migrated to Mo.
Jas. was father of 8 sons & 1 dau. One son was Hy.& another Wm. This family, in whole or in part, moved to vicinity of
Houston Texas, yrs ago.
Mgt. m Samuel Little, came to So. Ill. & has many descendants, - Littles, Pipers, Beavers, Coulters & others near Coulterville &
Abigail m Mr. Walker & is thot to have remained in Hickman Co. Tenn.
This brings us to the eldest - the one from whom the most of us descend. Wm. m Mary Morrison & they moved to Rand.Co. Ill.
in 1819. To this union were b ;
Adam who m Mgt. Sinclair
Robt, S.who m Jane McMillan
Alex.John who m 1st Janet Campbell ["buried Old Bethel Cemetery" written in handwriting],
m 2nd Jane Sinclair (sis. of Mgt. above)
Wm. who m Mary Morrison
Janet who m ghn Alexander.
I shall not attempt to designate further. No one can do it perfectly, but perhaps others may pick up the thread & weave it
In the main I believe this to be a fairly correct account.
(signed) Thos. Delbert Edgar.
Let us recall a bit of tradition, as it has come to us by tradition, not being a matter of record. -
About the middle of the 18th century, probably between 1745-1755, Adam Edgar was b in Pa. It is not known whether his
ancestors came directly from Scot., or whether they came by way of the N of Ire. The place of Adam's birth is not known It is
thot that there were other children in the family, but we had no tract of them.
Adam Edgar's father d while Adam was a boy, & his mother, later, m a man by the name of Simpson, of whom nothing is
known, except that after the 2nd m of his mother, home was not pleasant for young Adam.
Following a custom which was quite common in those days, his mother bound him out to another man, which action he bitterly
resented, & it is supposed that he sought larger liberty by running away.
The next that is known of him, is that he was an honored & respected citizen of Chester District, So. Car. When & Where he
had m is not known, neither do we know her maiden name. It is said she was of Indian blood, others say not, but whoever she
was, she was respected in her community.
"The descendants of Alex.John Edgar have been influential in educational lines, - teachers, ministers, missionaries to Syria,
China & the Indians, as ; Rev. Alfred Edgar spent many yrs. with the Indians.
Dr. Rbt.S.Edgar of Coulterville Ill.,& wife were parents of 7 sons, -
Rev. Thomas Delbert
Our mother d at Wilkensburg Pa.& is bur.at Coulterville Ill. Cem
[end of page 687]
1. Adam Edgar
b possibly Pa. 1745-1755
d before 1 - 28 - 1801 m
her name not now known to us.
2. Their children were; Wm., John, Jas., Mgt., & Abigail(possibly others)
We will speak of Wm., the eldest last in this genealogy.
2. John Edgar b m lived in Tenn.
3. Samuel Edgar b [three ditto marks for "lived in Tenn.]
3. Wm. Edgar b
migrated to Mo.
2. Jas. Edgar b
& migrated to vicinity of Houston
Texas. Have reason to know they had 8 sons & 1 dau. Only know of 2 sons.
3. Hy. Edgar b
3. Wm. Edgar b
2. Mgt. Edgar b m in Tenn. Samuel Little who d aged 84 yrs. near Sparta Ill. Their early home was about 30 mi.
from Nashville Tenn., where he taught school. Later they moved to Rand.Co. Ill. She was sometimes called
"Polly" Little. Samuel was an elder in the 1st session of Rev. Samuel Wylie's church at Eden Ill., on 5 - 24 - 1819.
On 5 - 3 - 1819 there is a record of Polly Little"of some age"being baptised [sic] by Rev. Wylie. Samuel Little signed
the 1st & 2nd calls for Rev. Wylie to be minister at Eden Ill. (Church record)
3. Josiah Little b m 1 - 9 - 1822 Anna Lessley a dau. of Hugh & Jane Lessley) Josiah & anna [sic] were admitted
to the church membership in Eden, Ill., on examination, June 1822 .
4. Jane Little baptised in that church 5 - 15 - 1823 m in Ill. Robt. Lyons
4. Eliz. Little [dittos for baptized in that church] 1-15-1824 m in Ill. ---- Skelly
3. Wm. Little b
4. Wm. Little b m 1 - 4 -1844 Mary Ann Linn b
5. Wm. Little b Englewood Kan. m 9 - 15 - 1878 Ophelia McGuire b 1856 d 1919
6. Chas. Little
b 8 - 25 - 1879
6. Wm. Little
m 1st m 2nd Mrs. Clara McDill & separated.
6. Josiah Little b
6. Minerva Little b
6. Jane Little b
6. Jas. Little b
6. Mary Little b
3. David Little b 1805 reared abt 30 mi. from Nashville Tenn. d 6 - 4 - 1888 m Mgt. Linn b 1809 a 1891 Ill.
(dau. of Wm. & Rebecca Ervin Linn. Rebecca was an aunt of Mrs. Tom Dunn of Sparta Ill.)
4. Nancy Little d. 11 - 3 - 1920 m J. Davidson Elder b 9 - 5 - 1821 d 5 - 24 - 1901 Marissa Ill.
5. Mgt. Elder b m Nevin b.
5. Anna Bell Elder b 12 -
24 - 1872 m 7 - 25 - 1888 Geo. Cherry b 6 - 23 - 1867
6. Fred Vincent Cherry b 9 - 25 - 1889 d 10 - 27 - 1927 m 10 - 16 - 1907 Lydia Madeline Houser
b 1 - 9 - 1899
7. Melba Anabel Cherry b 6 - 27 -1908 m 7 - 15 - 1927 John E. Geselsch b 1902
8. Janice Claire Geselsch b 10 - 3 - 1928
8. Jas. John [ditto Geselsch] b 2 - 2 - 1935
6. Jas.Alonzo Cherry b 9 - 5 - 1891 d 5 - 26 - 1910
5. Martha Elder b 9 - 25 - 1851 d 8 - 23 - 1940 m --- Houston
5.Mary Ann Elder b 2 - 9 - 1854 d 1 - 28 - 1935 Marissa Ill.
5. Ella Elder b 2 - 9 - 1854 d 8 - 24 - 1935 m 1885 John Richmond b 12 - 14 - 1856 d 12 - 26 - 1945
6. Harold Richmond b
5. Eliza Elder b m 12 - 24 - 1905 Robt. D.Hood b 1880 d 1941
6. Alonzo Hood b
6. Maude Hood b m --- Kimmel b
7. Bobby Lee Kimmel b
[end page 688]