The Edwards family

Pictured is the home of Phillip and Maude (Burton) Edwards of Arichat.

Edwards, Burton, Dobson, Maugher: these surnames are familiar to this area, and are most certainly British, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish. These people, like other ethnic groups, came to the New World and established the foundation of a new nation. How did this come to pass?

Between 1630 and 1640 some 20,000 persons left England and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. They sought refuge from the political and religious persecution they suffered in their native land. It was as a result of this migration that New England came into being. However, in time, New England too experienced political turmoil.

During the American War of Independence, many of these expatriates maintained loyalty to Great Britain. They fervently opposed violent conflict; they became known as Tories and later as Loyalists. Once again they were persecuted for their views. Repressive laws were passed against them. They could not hold office, could not vote, and their property was either confiscated or taxed excessively.

In 1776 Sir William Howe departed Boston in the grip of revolution and settled in Halifax. This precipitated a major migration with the majority settling in what was to become Canada. In this province the Loyalists occupied the lands the Acadians were forced to vacate during the expulsion of 1755 and were known as United Empire Loyalists. The Edwards family made its way to Richmond County.

Clifford Edwards was born (1911) and raised in Arichat, the son of Philip Edwards and Maude Burton. He took degrees from Acadia University and McGill University, as well as post-graduate studies at Columbia University in New York. He was a teacher, principal, and inspector of schools, and was widely recognized in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom for his writings in the field of education.

John Edwards was the great great grandfather of Clifford Edwards. John was a Welshman born in 1771 to Roger Edwards and Sarah Jones. In 1790 at the age of 19, John joined H.M. 66th Regiment of Foot. He was discharged in 1802 at St. John’s, Newfoundland where he married Mary Chambers, a widow from the Isle of Arran, Scotland. Her first husband had procured a grant of 10 acres of land on Isle Madame and this passed on to John and Mary. In 1811 John Edwards became the first Constable of Isle Madame.

John Edwards was something of a land speculator having owned property on the Mira River, in St. Peter’s, Rocky Bay, and Arichat where the courthouse is currently located.

According to family lore, John Edwards owned land in Washington, D.C. where the White House stands. In addition , he supposedly received a large grant in New York and Long Island which he sold for a “song.”

John Edwards died in 1834 at Rocky Bay at the age of 63. Mary Chambers died at Arichat in 1847 at the age of 88.

Genealogy of Clifford Edwards

Generation 1: Francis Hall born circa 1637, resided in Ellesmere, Shropshire, England

Generation 2: Mary Hall born 1665 Shropshire, married Edward Edwards (born circa 1670) on January 29, 1685 Shropshire

Generation 3: William born circa 1710 Shropshire, married circa 1733 to Mary born circa 1714 in Shropshire

Generation 4: Great great great grandparents Roger Edwards born December 1739 Shropshire died February 1787 Coventry, innkeeper and cooper, married Sarah Jones born December, 1740

Generation 5: Great great grandparents John (1802-1876) married Mary Chambers

Generation 6: Great grandparents John married Catherine Maugher

Generation 7: Grandparents John Edwards married Mary Maugher

Generation 8: Parents Philip Edwards married Maude Burton

Generation 9: Clifford married Marguerite Foster

Generation 10: Children Karlyne and Gary