Select Edmonds Miscellany

Here are some Edmonds stories and accounts over the years:

Edmund the Martyr and Bury St. Edmunds

Edmund was King of East Anglia from around 855 until his death in 869.  At that time a Danish army advanced on East Anglia and killed Edmund.  It was said that, after he refused the Danes' demand that he renounce Christ, the Danes beat him, shot him with arrows, and then beheaded him.

By 925 the fame of St Edmund had spread far and wide and Bury St. Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk had become a site of pilgrimage.  The name of the market town of Bury was then changed to Bury St Edmunds.

By the 1100’s the surname of ‘de St. Edmunds’ (from Bury St. Edmunds) had emerged in Suffolk and was later to be found in nearby counties

Edmonds and Edmunds Today

Numbers (000's)

The Edmonds spelling is more to be found in England, the US, and Australia; Edmunds more in Wales.

Josiah and Thomas Edmonds of Dorset and Hampshire

Josiah Edmonds was born in Corfe Castle, Dorset in 1727, married there and lived his life out at Kingston nearby.  As did his eldest son John, a carter by trade.

Josiah’s second son Thomas joined the Royal Navy in 1769, became a Master in 1797 and a Superintendent Master at Portsmouth in 1811.  This naval life was handed down to his son Thomas who was a Commander and to his daughter Martha who married Spencer Smyth, a midshipman at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Thomas’s second son John, however, decided to be a missionary instead.  He departed for India in 1824, but had to return three years later as the climate did not agree with him.  He became a minister of a Congregational chapel in Staffordshire

William Edmunds and His Land in Glamorgan

William Edmunds left a life interest in land at Eglwysilan near Caerphilly in Glamorgan to his wife Mary in 1739.  She promptly sold the land to John Richard of Llandaff, thereby dispossessing the heirs of William Edmunds of their inheritance.

In trying to reclaim the lands at Eglwysilan the Edmunds family took their case to the court at Swansea where the verdict was found in their favour.  However, they lost their case at the assizes on appeal.

Samuel Edmonds in the Revolutionary War and After

Samuel Edmonds was born in New York City in 1760, the grandson of Charles Edmonds who had arrived there some thirty years earlier.

When war came, he joined the Continental army, served through the war, became a commissioned officer, and was present at both Monmouth and Yorktown.

At the close of hostilities he started out to seek his fortune, being the possessor of a horse, saddle, bridle, two blankets, and a little Continental money.  With this outfit he journeyed northward and came to Claverack Landing.

There he became a paymaster general of the militia, a member of the Assembly, and sheriff of Columbia county, New York.  He died in 1825.

Thomas Edmunds in the Revolutionary War and After

Thomas Edmunds from Sussex county, Virginia enlisted in the Continental army with the 15th Virginia Regiment during the early stages of the Revolutionary War.

He was soon appointed a captain of that regiment.  Although seriously wounded in one leg at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777, he continued fighting throughout the balance of the war.  He served with the army at Valley Forge and at Eutaw Springs, where he was wounded again in September 1781.

In 1786 the county court recommended that Edmunds be appointed colonel of the local militia, but he refused the commission.  Later references to Colonel Edmunds may have been rendered out of respect rather than official designation.  He did receive a bounty of 4,000 acres for his war service.

In April 1784 Sussex county voters elected Edmunds to the House of Delegates.  His popularity as a wounded veteran was probably a factor in his success here.  He was returned to the House in 1787 and won election to four more one-year terms.

John Samuel Edmonds and His Children in New Zealand

John Samuel Edmonds was a Christian missionary from Dorset who came with his family and the Rev. John Tucker to the Northland region of New Zealand in 1835.  He was the father, with his wife Mary Ann, of eleven children, five born before their arrival in New Zealand and six afterwards.  However, he disowned two of them.

Arthur Edmonds, born in England in 1825, adopted the Maori name of Aala, having married a Maori woman.  His fatherdisowned him for having married her.

John Tucker Edmonds, born in 1835, was named after the Rev. John Tucker.  He too was disowned.  When John Samuel listed his children in the family bible he omitted John Tucker Edmonds and would refer to him as "Edmonds by name but not by blood."   It was thought that Mary Ann and the Rev. John Tucker had an affair and, as to not cause controversy within the missionary community, John Samuel claimed John Tucker Edmonds as his own but only by name.

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