Edwards Family Notes
by Richard A. Edwards

Here is everything that I know about the Edwards line...

William Charles Edwards
Born August 23, 1893 in Brooklyn, NY
Married July 18, 1925 to Elizabeth Kelley-Day in Bennington, VT
Died March 20, 1966 in Denville, NJ

I have a copy of a letter from the Christ Evangelical Reformed Church, 50 Wyona St., Brooklyn NY, dated August 10, 1940 from Fred. H. Wirth, addressed "To whom it may concern":
"This is to certify that according to the Baptismal records of this church, page 105, William Charles Edwards, son of William Edwards and his wife Sophie, was born in Brooklyn on August 23, 1893 and baptized in this church on October 1, 1893."

His Marriage Certificate from VT says:
Name of Groom: Edwards, William Charles, Jr.
NAme of Bride: Day, Elizabeth Kelley
Residence of Groom: 270 union St., Bennington, VT
Date of Marriage: July 18, 1925
White, age 31, 2nd marriage (widowed)
Occupation: Laborer
Place of birth: Brooklyn, NY
Father's name: William Chas. Edwards
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Mother's Name: Sophia (Kessner)
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Name of Party Officiating W.G.Towart, Baptist Clergyman
Name of Bride: Day, Elizabeth Kelley
White, age 28, 2nd marriage (Divorced in her favor)
Place of Birth: Rockville Center, N.Y.
Father's Name Charles Kelley
Birthplace: Westbury, N.Y.
Mother's Name: Rose (Leonhardt)
Birthplace: Westbury, N.Y.

His Death Certificate from NJ says:
Died March 20, 1966 at 10 Oakdale Road, Rainbow Lakes, Denville, Morris
County, New Jersey.
Usual residence was Gilboa, New York where he had been the last 15 years
(since 1951). His address was R.F.D #1, Gilboa, NY
Male, White, Married
Born August 23, 1893.
Born New York, USA
Age at death, 72.
Machinist (Retired) in the Metal Processing Industry.
Cause of death: Myocardial Infarction due to Coronary otheosclorosis.
Buried Fairview Cemetary, Fairview, NJ
PARENTS: William Edwards and Eliza C. Kezner
(according to the Informant, Alfred J. Edwards!)

William Edwards
Born August 4, 1863 New York, NY
Married June 21, 1882 at Brooklyn, NY
Died August 2, 1933, Hudson County, NJ

Marriage License:
City of New York, Borough of Brooklyn
William Edwards, residing at 1932 Fulton Ave born age 21 of New York, NY
USA and Sophia Kaszner
residing at New Lots age 18  of New York, NY USA
Were married on June 21, 1882 at Brooklyn, NY USA
1st marriage for both parties
groom's parents: J.W.Edwards & Jane Soyers
bride's parents: Lewis Kaszner & Amelia Miller
Witnesses: W.H. Springsteen, Jr. and Katie Reichtling

[Interestingly, his address on Fulton is near the church where his son, was baptised and I believe near Evergreen Cemetary where they are buried.  I also have a photocopy of the original marriage book which they signed so I have their autographs!]

Death Certificate:
Died August 2, 1933
Hudson County, NJ
Residence: Fairview
Male White Widowed
Spouse: Sophia Kaszner
Date of birth: August 4, 1863
Age 69
Trade: Harness maker
Birthplace: New York
Informant: Elizabeth Edwards
Buried Evergreen Cemetary, August 5, 1933

Sophia Edwards
Death Certificate from NJ
Fairview, Bergen County, NJ
Sophia Edwards, died April 15, 1916
White, married, age 52
Born NY

1900 United States Federal Census for Truxton Ave, Brooklyn, New York
Name                    status  sex    color    birthday   age married/yrs birthplace dad's bp mom's bp  occupation
Edwards, William   Head  Male White  Aug 1863   36  M 18        New York England England Harness Maker
                Sophia  Wife    F        W      Nov 1864  35    M   18       New York Germany Germany
                Mary    Dau     F         W     June 1883  16      S              New York  NY        NY     Operator-dresses
                Amelia  Dau    F          W    Dec 1885   14      S             New York  NY        NY      At School
                John      Son    M        W    Apr 1887    13      S              New York  NY        NY      At School
           Elizabeth    Dau    F          W    Sep 1889    10      S             New York  NY        NY      At School
           William      Son    M         W   Aug  1892     7   S
           Matilda     Dau   F           W   Dec 1898     1   S

[also mentions that Sophia has had 7 children, 6 of which are alive]

Family notes show that John Edwards was born in 1888. Alfred sent me a copy of a baptismal certificate for John Edwards that says:
John William Edwards
child of John Wm Edwards and Sophia Edwards
Brooklyn NY born April 22, 1888, baptized Sept. 16, 1888. Sponsors Dina
German Evangelical Reform Church, Brooklyn NY
[This is the only mention of his name being "John William", likely an error or a turnaround]

John W. Edwards
Born in England

Jane Soyers
Born in England

They had at least one child, William Edwards, born in 1863 in New York,

William Edwards's daughter, Mathilda, recalls her father had a brother, "Charlie" who lived in Conneticut.

This is ALL we know for sure.

We can speculate that his name was likely John William Edwards and his son was likely William John Edwards, but he only ever used "William" except on that one certificate he used "John William Edwards", his dad's name.

We know they were both born in England from the US Census, but that's the only record and it was written by their children in 1900 so it could be fallible.

We do have some family research from a Muller cousin:

TWo baptism certificates from St. Timothy's Church in Brownsville, Long Island.
One is for a Mary Jane Edwards born September 11, 1865 and the other for a John Edwards born January 14, 1867.
Both baptised on the 6th of June, 1875.
Their parents are listed as: John W. Edwards and Jane E. Edwards

No way to tell for sure if these are the right ones. We have no baptism or birth record for William but he was born in 1863 and that fits. Both parents names are right. But Brownsville? I don't know. This is good, but no proof.

Family history, orally passed down from Mathilda Muller (b 1898), recalls that her grandfather (John W. Edwards) was a shoemaker.

While there are several stories written about William Edwards by his grandson, Alfred who knew his grandfather for several years, nothing really adds to moving the genealogy backwards.

Know you have all the facts I do. The search for this elusive "John W. Edwards" would be best fit by finding a birth record for William Edwards (1863) or a census record of some type showing our William living with his parents (thus identifying them). Given that we're talking about NEW YORK CITY, even in the 1860-1900, there are so many people and Edwards
is so common it will be difficult to be sure we have the right John Edwards without attaching him to his wife, Jane and his only known son, William.

Richard Alan Edwards, son of
Harry John Edwards, who is the son of
William Charles Edwards, who was the son of
William Edwards, who was the son of
John W. Edwards