To Everything A Season: James EDGAR and Selah WITHERINGTON EDGAR Family

Joseph Smith EDGAR

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Latest update: Thursday, 12 March, 2015

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JOSEPH SMITH EDGAR (~1816 - 1836)

(Family Tree Database)

The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was the decisive battle of the Texas

Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texas Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's

Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just eighteen minutes. About 700 of the Mexican soldiers were killed and 730 captured,

while only nine Texans died. Wikipedia

Joseph Smith EDGAR (JSE) was the first child of James EDGAR and Selah WITHERINGTON EDGAR. James and Selah were

married 6 Jan 1816, and JSE was born in Maury Co, TENNESSEE about 1816.

• 1816: "He was born in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of James and Selah Witherington Edgar,

and came to Texas in 1835… Their first born was Joseph Smith Edgar, who was the first of the family

to come to Texas at the age of nineteen." Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas, referencing DeWitt County

History by Patsy GOEBEL, Curtis Media Corp., 1991

• "Joseph Smith Edgar, the first born, came to Texas at the age of 19 years, participated in the Battle of

San Jacinto and died in the summer of 1836 without having located his colonization grant of a third of

a league of land." A History of DeWitt County by Nellie MURPHREE, page 76.

• "We Stephen R. Roberts, Jesse Bartlett, and James W. Smith, The Board of Land Commissioning for

the county of Washington aforesaid, do hereby certify; that it has been proven in accordance with the

Act of the fourteenth of December eighteen hundred and thirty-seven and in a manner satisfactory

to us that Joseph S. Edgar arrived in this country in the month of November eighteen hundred and

thirty-five" Land Certificate Number 37

In the 1820 Census of Maury County, TENNESSEE, Joseph and his brother John were enumerated as the two "Free white

males under 10 years" in his parent's family of four. [Census posted in Family Tree Database.]

In the 1830 Census of Maury County, TENNESSEE, brothers Joseph, John and Henry were enumerated as the three "Free

white males of ten and under fifteen" in his parent's family of nine. [Census posted in Family Tree Database.]

In November 1835, JSE, the first of his family to emigrate from TENNESSEE to TEXAS, left Maury County to participate in the

TEXAS Revolution to gain independence from Mexico.

• "In the Headright Certificate issued to his heirs January 10, 1838 for one-third of a league of land

by the Gonzales County Board it is stated that Joseph S. Edgar came to Texas in November, 1835."

San Jacinto Museum of History

• "We Stephen R. Roberts, Jesse Bartlett, and James W. Smith, The Board of Land Commissioning for

the county of Washington aforesaid, do hereby certify; that it has been proven in accordance with the

Act of the fourteenth of December eighteen hundred and thirty-seven [*] and in a manner satisfactory

to us that Joseph S. Edgar arrived in this country in the month of November eighteen hundred and

thirty-five" Land Certificate Number 37

• "He was born in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of James and Selah Witherington Edgar, and

came to Texas in 1835." Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas

"Indications we have thus far are that JSE was “recruited” to come to TEXAS specifically to join the TEXAS army… We believe

that one or more family friends from middle TENNESSEE influenced and encouraged his recruitment.  One of those may have

been Williamson County, TENNESSEE emigrant James Gibson SWISHER, who was one of the signers of the TEXAS

Declaration of Independence and at whose home near Independence, TEXAS, JSE was reported (by Dixon and Kemp) to

have died." Robert Merritte WEBB, 07 May  2011

• In 1833 he [James Gibson SWISHER] arrived in Texas with his brother Harvey H. Swisher,

who later participated in the battle of San Jacinto." The Texas State Historical Association;

Handbook of Texas Online; James Gibson SWISHER,

Another man from Maury County, Asa WALKER (b. 1813; three years older than JSE), was recruited to come to TEXAS at

about the same time as JSE; they may have come from TENNESSEE to TEXAS together.  William Washington GANT (b. 1809;

seven years older than JSE) who was also from Maury County, paid WALKER's way from TENNESSEE to TEXAS.  GANT may

have also paid JSE's way.  After arriving in TEXAS, WALKER became doubly famous, first due to his actions on his way to join

the TEXAS Army in San Antonio. He was in a hurry and needed a coat and rifle, so he "borrowed" them from GANT, leaving a

letter of apology and a promise to repay.  In addition, Asa WALKER was one of the noted Texas heroes who died at the Alamo

06 Mar 1836.

• "GANT, WILLIAM W… arrived in Texas, April 21, 1835, as is shown in the Headright Certificate

issued to him for one third of a league of land by the Washington County Board, January 10, 1838…

The Probate Records of Washington County contain an interesting letter to Mr. Gant from his friend

Asa Walker who emigrated to Texas with him in 1835, from Columbia, Tennessee, Mr. Gant

advancing $35.87 for Mr. Walker's expenses for which Mr. Walker gave his note, November 28, 1835.

Later in the year Walker joined the Texas Army taking with him Mr. Gant's rifle and overcoat. He fell

with Travis at the Alamo and Mr. Gant put a claim in against the 640 acres of land due Walker for

being killed of $35.00 for the rifle and $20.00 for the overcoat. As evidence of the indebtedness he

filed the following note with the Court, from Mr. Walker: "Mr. Gant - I take the responsibility of taking

your overcoat and gun-your gun they would have any how and I might as well have it as any one else.

If I live to return I will satisfy you for all -if I die I leave you my clothes to do the best you can with. You

can sell them for something. If you overtake me you can take your rifle and I will trust to chance. The

hurry of the moment and my want of means to do better are all the excuse I have to plea for fitting out

at your expense. Forgive the presumption and remember your friend at heart. (Signed) "A. WALKER".

Mr. Gant also produced the note from Mr. Walker for $35.87 1/2 for transportation from Tennessee to

Texas, paid by Gant." San Jacinto Museum of History

Gone to Texas: genealogical abstracts from "The telegraph & Texas register", 1835-1841

Eighteen minutes: the battle of San Jacinto and the Texas independence campaign

By Stephen L. Moore

The Re-litigation of Asa WALKER's Alamo Land Grant

JSE enlisted on 26 Feb 1836 in Capt. Peyton Splane's Company (Interestingly, William W. GANT also "joined Capt. Peyton R.

Splane's company on February 27, 1836, and fought at the battle of San Jacinto." Texas State Historical Association: GANT,

WILLIAM WASHINGTON)

• "In Service Record No. 6488 it is certified that he enlisted in Captain Peyton R. Splane's

Company February 26, and was discharged at (Sylvanus) Hatch's on the east side of the Lavaca

May 26, 1836. For this service his heirs on January 24, 1838 received Bounty Certificate No. 2063

for 320 acres of land. He was a member of Captain Robert S. Calder's company at San Jacinto

and on January 15, 1838 his heirs received Donation Certificate No. 764 for 640 acres of land

due him for having participated in the battle." San Jacinto Museum of History

On the afternoon of 21 April 1836, JSE saw combat with Capt. Robert J. Calder's Infantry Company K, 1st Regiment Texas

Volunteers, in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto.

• "Joseph Smith Edgar served in Capt. Robert Calder's Infantry Company K, 1st Regiment Texas Volunteers,

at the Battle of San Jacinto and through 26 May 1836". Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas

• "In Service Record No. 6488 it is certified that he enlisted in Captain Peyton R. Splane's

Company February 26, and was discharged at (Sylvanus) Hatch's on the east side of the Lavaca

May 26, 1836. For this service his heirs on January 24, 1838 received Bounty Certificate No. 2063

for 320 acres of land. He was a member of Captain Robert S. Calder's company at San Jacinto

and on January 15, 1838 his heirs received Donation Certificate No. 764 for 640 acres of land

due him for having participated in the battle." San Jacinto Museum of History

Officers and Enlisted Men: Battle of San Jacinto Sons of DeWitt Colony, Texas

• "Joseph Smith Edgar, the first born, came to Texas at the age of 19 years, participated in the Battle of

San Jacinto and died in the summer of 1836 without having located his colonization grant of a third of

a league of land." A History of DeWitt County by Nellie MURPHREE, page 76.

• "... Joseph Smith Edgar, came to Texas when he was 19 to fight for the freedom of Texas. He took part in

The Battle of San Jacinto and for this action the family received a colonization grant of a third of a league

of land in DeWitt County, which they claimed in 1853. DeWitt County at the time was a part of Gonzales

County. The small town of Edgar developed." Yoakum Community: the First 100 Years, 1887 – 1987

[BOOK], page 187, posted in HISTORIES

JSE was wounded in battle.

• "Edgar, Joseph S - Wounded in Battle" USGENWEB ARCHIVES; TEXAS REVOLUTION;

Battle of San Jacinto Veterans & Casualties April 21, 1836; Contributed by: Joan Renfrow

• THIRTY-FOUR WOUNDED: Orin D. Anson (C.D. Anderson), Washington Anderson, Mosely Baker,

Jesse Billingsley, James Cooper (died late 1836), James Cumba, Joseph Smith Edgar, Calvin Gage,

Albert Edward Gallatin, Giles A. Giddings (died Jun 1836), Samuel Houston (severe), Allen Ingram

(severe), W.F. James (severe), George Washington Lewis (Lonis) (severe), Thomas H. Mays, James

C. Neill (severe 20 Apr), James Nelson, William A. Park, Michael (Mitchell) Putman, Elbridge Gerry

Rector, George Washington Robinson (severe), William H. Smith, Alphonso Steele (severe), John F.

Tom (severe), Thomas Utly (severe), Logan Vandever (severe), Elijah Votaw, Martin Walker (severe),

William S. Walker (severe), George Waters, Leroy Wilkinson, William C. Winters (severe), Devereaux

J. Woodlief (severe 20 Apr), William Foster Young (severe) sdct

Officers and Enlisted Men: Battle of San Jacinto Sons of DeWitt Colony, Texas

Officers and Men of the Texas Republican Army: Footnote

JSE was was discharged at Sylvanus Hatch's on the east side of the Lavaca, May 26, 1836. [Texas Historical Marker]

• "In Service Record No. 6488 it is certified that he enlisted in Captain Peyton R. Splane's

Company February 26, and was discharged at (Sylvanus) Hatch's on the east side of the Lavaca

May 26, 1836. For this service his heirs on January 24, 1838 received Bounty Certificate No. 2063

for 320 acres of land. He was a member of Captain Robert S. Calder's company at San Jacinto

and on January 15, 1838 his heirs received Donation Certificate No. 764 for 640 acres of land

due him for having participated in the battle." San Jacinto Museum of History

Officers and Enlisted Men: Battle of San Jacinto Sons of DeWitt Colony, Texas

• "In the summer of 1836 the Army of the Republic of Texas established Camp Independence on

acreage belonging to Sylvanus Hatch about four or five miles from Texana."

Handbook of Texas Online: Texana, TX

"Camp Independence, established in December 1836, was the main camp of the Texas army

until March 1837. It was on land belonging to Sylvanus Hatch, east of the Lavaca River and five

miles from Texana in Jackson County." Handbook of Texas Online: Camp Independence

Camp Independence, Texas Historical Marker

"I suspect JSE marched from the San Jacinto battleground to Sylvanus Hatch's, a distance of about 125 miles southwest, still

feeling the effects of the battle wound.  Then, after he was discharged, he probably walked from Hatch's to Independence,

Washington County, TEXAS, which is a distance of about 125 miles headed north northeast." Robert Merritte WEBB, 15 May

2011

"Joseph Edgar died in 1836 at the age of nineteen (19) at Capt. James G. Swisher's home near Independence, TEXAS.  What

caused his early death is unknown, but records show he had suffered a minor wound in the Battle of San Jacinto.  That

wound, and the harsh conditions faced by the Texas Army in early 1836, may have contributed to his death."  Robert Merritte

WEBB, June 2006, Album Cover)  "I do have some leads on the location of Swisher's land. I fully expect JSE was buried on

that land, probably in a grave with little if any marker, and surely lost now. By the way, it's beautiful there with rolling hills,

green pastures, lots of oak trees, and tons of wildflowers in the springtime."  Robert Merritte WEBB, 15 May 2011

• "Joseph Smith Edgar, the first born, came to Texas at the age of 19 years, participated in the Battle of

San Jacinto and died in the summer of 1836 without having located his colonization grant of a third of

a league of land." A History of DeWitt County by Nellie MURPHREE, page 76.

• According to Dixon and Kemp in Heroes of San Jacinto he died in 1837 at the home of

Capt. James G. Swisher in Washington County, TX... He was in the Battle of San Jacinto but died

before he had located his colonization land grant of a third of a league of land. He died in 1836."

Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas

• "Mr. Edgar died at the home of James G. Swisher near Independence,

Washington County, in 1837."

San Jacinto Museum of History

On the 24th June 1838 William W. GANT, referenced above, was appointed

administrator for JSE and Asa WALKER. "Estates of Jos. D. Edgar and Asa

Walker. I have heretofore been appointed administrator on the above estates

by the honorable the probate court of the county of Washington; notice of which

is hereby given to all persons interested in said estates. W. W. GANT, Adm'r.

june 24. 38-St" Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 44,

Ed. 1, Saturday, June 30, 1838; Cruger & Moore, editor; University of North

Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, crediting Dolph Briscoe Center for

American History, Austin, Texas.

For his service to TEXAS, JSE posthumously received several grants of land in DeWitt Co, TEXAS. It was this land that

brought his family from TENNESSEE to TEXAS in late 1853.

BIOGRAPHIES

EDGAR. Joseph Smith Edgar enlisted in Capt. Peyton Splane's Company on 26 Feb 1836 and served in Capt. Robert

Calder's Infantry Company K, 1st Regiment Texas Volunteers, at the Battle of San Jacinto and through 26 May 1836. He was

born in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of James and Selah Witherington Edgar, and came to Texas in 1835, later followed

by his parents and 8 brothers and sisters. According to Dixon and Kemp in Heroes of San Jacinto he died in 1837 at the home

of Capt. James G. Swisher in Washington County, TX.

James Edgar was born September 10, 1790. He married Selah Witherington and they had nine sons and one daughter. The

children were all born in Tennessee. Their first born was Joseph Smith Edgar, who was the first of the family to come to Texas

at the age of nineteen. He was in the Battle of San Jacinto but died before he had located his colonization land grant of a third

of a league of land. He died in 1836. James and Selah's second son, John Edgar who was born in 1820, came to Texas about

1850 to clear his brothers grant, which was located in northeastern DeWitt County. John was married three times. His first wife

was Molly Brown, second was the widow Knox, and the third was the widow Ellen DeLooch. The widow Knox was a Culpepper

by birth. She had a son, Thad, that John Edgar raised. John Edgar died on September 12, 1906 and is buried in the Edgar

family cemetery. His first wife, Molly, is also buried in the family cemetery. Henry B. Edgar was born in December of 1821. He

married Alice Morton and they had two daughters, Jane and Bammy. Henry B. then married the widow Jane (Brown) Davis.

Their children were: Henry B., Eliza, Sarah, Kate, Kitty and John L. Edgar. Henry B. Edgar died July 22, 1908 and is buried in

Hillside Cemetery in Cuero. Hyman Edgar was a veteran of the Civil War having served with Captain M.G. Jacobs in the

Concrete Home Guard. He married Amanda Thorpe and they had six children: Paul, Perry, Thalia, Annretta, Kate, and Bertie

Edgar. Arthur "Art" Edgar was the fifth child of James and Selah Edgar. He married Harriett Brown and their children were

Perry and Lee Edgar. William Edgar was born 1824 and died in 1882. He had one son, William E. Edgar. William Edgar is

buried in the Edgar family cemetery. James D. Edgar was born in 1826 and died in 1912. He married Martha Jane Hadley who

was born in 1834 and died in 1910. They had two sons, Joseph Smith Edgar and Christopher "Kit" Edgar. James and Martha

are buried in Hillside Cemetery in Cuero. B.F.W. Edgar II, who was born in 1901. Benjamin Franklin W. Edgar was a member

of Company H., Texas State Troops, during the Civil War. Joshua Edgar married Martha Washington Woodward and they had

two children: Joshua and Caledonia. Joshua and Martha are buried in the Edgar family cemetery but have no dates on their

tombstones. Palina, the only daughter of James and Selah Edgar married Robert P. Carr, Civil War veteran under Captain

M.G. Jacobs of the Concrete Home Guard. Palina and Robert had a son named Wesley Carl, and another son and daughter.

James Edgar died April 29, 1869 and Selah Edgar died April 23, 1873. They are both buried in the Edgar family cemetery on

property that is still in the Edgar family in 1990. There was also, a small community between Cuero and Yoakum, Texas which

was named Edgar for the family. Patsy Goebel (From The History of DeWitt County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of Curtis

Media Company)

Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas

EDGAR, JOSEPH SMITH

Born in Maury County, Tennessee, son of James and Selah Edgar, who were the parents of the following children: Joseph

Smith, John, Henry, William, Joshua N. Hyman T., James D., Arthur S., B. F. W. and Paulina Edgar. In the Headright

Certificate issued to his heirs January 10, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Gonzales County Board it is stated that

Joseph S. Edgar came to Texas in November, 1835. In Service Record No. 6488 it is certified that he enlisted in Captain

Peyton R. Splane's Company February 26, and was discharged at (Sylvanus) Hatch's on the east side of the Lavaca May 26,

1836. For this service his heirs on January 24, 1838 received Bounty Certificate No. 2063 for 320 acres of land. He was a

member of Captain Robert S. Calder's company at San Jacinto and on January 15, 1838 his heirs received Donation

Certificate No. 764 for 640 acres of land due him for having participated in the battle.

Mr. Edgar died at the home of James G. Swisher near Independence, Washington County, in 1837.

John Edgar, brother of Joseph, came to Texas in about 1840 and served in the United States Army under Benjamin

McCullough in the Mexican War. He had no children.

Mr. and Mrs. James Edgar, parents of Joseph S. Edgar, with their children, came to Texas in 1853 and settled on the Joseph

Smith Edgar headright in De Witt County.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been

corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that

sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other

sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

San Jacinto Museum of History

Family Stories

"I am afraid that I will be unable to fill in the blanks on my great grandfather [Christopher H.

"Kit" Edgar, Sr] except for the last visit... when he told me about San Jacinto.  He was very intent on telling

me about that. After [my] trip to the San Jacinto Monument, he [Christopher H. "Kit" Edgar, Sr] told me he

(I thought he said James Edgar) [Joseph Smith EDGAR] had come to Texas, was in the Battle of San

Jancinto and wounded. He then returned to Tennessee and was chopping wood for a man, ate some

green grapes and drank some buttermilk which locked his  intestines, causing his death... When my father

[Carlos LeRoy EDGAR] died, he was buried in the cemetery at Yoakum.  We were invited to a lady's

house for refreshments.  I assume that she was Martha Jane Edgar. She told me that Joseph Edgar died

in East Texas fighting Indians and I told her what her father had told me.  When I said "her father" she did

not correct me."

emails from Neville LeRoy EDGAR  to Robert Merritte Webb, January 26, 2008 and

January 28, 2008 [editorial comment]

DESCENDANTS OF JOSEPH SMITH EDGAR

To date, no descendants of Joseph have been identified.

end