The surname Edmonds is an Anglo-Saxon name, patronymic for Edmund. According to The Edmonds DNA Project website, the name Edmonds was derived from the personal name Eadmund, which was formed from the old English words ead meaning prosperity and riches and mund meaning protector.
John Edmonds, born in Wales circa 1716, is believed to be my first Edmonds ancestor to arrive in America. It is further believed that he married and settled in Jamestown, Virginia. He would have been the father to my fifth great grandfather, Francis Edmonds who was born circa 1736.
After further research, I cannot confirm that John Edmonds of Wales was my ancestor. There have been no records found of a John Edmonds living in Jamestown, Virginia; an area that is well documented. Also, there have been no records found showing a Francis Edmonds/Edmunds living in that area of Virginia. There is a possibility that Francis Edmonds was born in Maryland and moved to Halifax County, Virginia prior to 1768 as noted by Virginia Land Office Patent 37, 1767-1768, page 261.
|Francis Edmonds - 1768 Land Office Patent 37|
According to the research of Francis Edmonds' descendant, Vivian Cates, the second record of Francis Edmonds is found in Halifax County Deed Book 8, page 225, dated June 20, 1771. Deed of James Bailey, buyer, and Francis Edmunds, seller, to 150 acres on the Banister River in Halifax County, Virginia.
At some point prior to 1795, Francis Edmonds and family migrated to Georgia. The 1795 tax records for Wilkes County, Georgia list Francis Edmonds as a landowner.
The will of Francis Edmonds was signed on February 16, 1795 and probated on July 9, 1799. This is the first documentation I have found which states the name of Francis' wife as Rachel. Also listed are the children born to the marriage of Francis and Rachel.
Page 214--EDMUNDS, FRANCIS. To wife Rachel the land whereon I now live and half the land bought of Benj. Palmer, all personal estate for life or widowhood. To son Richard 167 1/2 acres on Newford creek. To son William the other half of the land whereon I live, and 40 acres bought of Jonas Moore. To son John at wife's death the land loaned to her. All slaves to be divided between all children, to-wit, Catherine, Richard, Mary, John, William, Dolly, and Eloi Edmunds, and Ann Dixon, Sally McClendon, and Elizabeth Bailey. Wife Rachel and son William, Excrs. Signed
Feb. 16, 1795. Probated July 9, 1799. Azariah Bailey, Josiah Stovall, Hartwell Jackson, Test.
Source: The Early Records of Georgia, Volume I,Francis Edmonds is named in the 1808 Wilkes County, Georgia court records where a son named William sold 140 acres to Bolling Anthony. This land was a portion of a much larger area which was originally sold to Francis Edmonds by Solomon Palmer on February 5, 1795. Francis later willed this portion to William Edmonds and another portion to John Edmonds.
abstracted and compiled by Grace Gillam Davidson, published in 1933 at Wilkes County Macon, GA
The 1808 Wilkes County, Georgia court record is the second piece of documentation I have found which names Rachel as the wife of Francis Edmonds. Her maiden name is still unknown.
My Edmonds line descends through John, son of Francis and Rachel Edmonds, who married Winifred Buckner. Winifred was the daughter of Anthony Thomas Buckner and Amey Powell.
John and Winifred's son, Anthony Edmonds (ca.1780- ca.1849) was my third great grandfather. He and his wife, Keziah, are believed to have been married circa 1809. They had the following children:
Reuben Buckner, 1810-1866 (m. Miriam Kennedy)
James Powell, 1812-1864 (m. Rebecca Snow)
William A., 1814-1902 (m. Mary Frances Appling)
Frances Matilda, 1817-1887 (m. Silas Weaver Gresham)
Amy Elizabeth, 1818-?
Pittman R., 1819-1864 (m. Elizabeth Malone)
James Powell Edmonds was my great-great grandfather.