Family Stories

Fielding Edwards and the Edwards Family of Woodford County

The name Fielding Edwards caught my attention immediately as there are a couple of Fielding Lewis’ in my line – in Gloucester County, Virginia, descendants of John Lewis III and Frances Fielding.  I do not know if Fielding Edwards and the two Fielding Lewis’ are related at all – just a nice happenstance.

img_1229Fielding Edwards, born November 24, 1782, died November 25, 1855.  Versailles Cemetery, Woodford County, Kentucky

from History of Woodford County, William Edward Railey, 1938

John Edwards was a native of Wales who came to Virginia at an early period in the history of the state.  His son, John Edwards, moved his family to Woodford County, Kentucky, about 1798, and was a farmer.  His father had served in the Revolution and the son is listed in the census of 1810 as John Edwards, Sr., who had a family of ten person and owned eleven slaves.  Of this large family of children he had a son, Fielding, who was born in Virginia in 1782.  He married Jane Wright of the county, and though a mechanic by trade, he was also a farmer and stock trader.  In 1855 he died leaving a widow and a number of children.  Five years later she succumbed to the grim monster death.  They had a son, Davis Edwards, who was born in 1826, became a farmer and devoted his entire life to the duties of that vocation.  In 1854 he married Amanda Latta, who lived but a few years, and his second marriage was to Ann Mastin in 1863.  Of this union the following children were born:  William H., John G., James Y., Jane, Alexander W., Davis W. and Boyette, several of whom are now residents of the county.

img_1230Janes, wife of Fielding Edwards, born April 14, 1797, died April 16, 1850

img_1227John, son of F. & J. Edwards, born April 20, 1830, died October 29, 1853

img_1234Davis W. Edwards, 1826-1898.  Ann Mary Edwards, 1840-1925

img_1235Amanda M., wife of Davis W. Edwards, born July 25, 1830, died October 20, 1855

img_1233Jane Mastin Edwards, daughter of Ann Mary and Davis W. Edwards, June 25, 1870 – August 15, 1963

Another son of the pioneer John Edwards was Wiley Edwards.  He was born in Virginia in 1787 and came with the family to Woodford in 1798.  He was a wagon maker by trade, but owned and operated a distillery in the county from 1828 to 1847, the date of his death.  This distillery was on Glenns Creek, not far from the residence of John Edwards, the pioneer, whose home lay between the farm of the late Harry Brown and that of Mason Henry.  Wiley Edwards married Nancy Sullinger in 1812 and she died at the residence of her son, Thomas S. Edwards in 1872.  Of this union there were born Thomas S., George, William and Waller Edwards, all of whom are now dead.  Thomas S. married Susan Strother Hawkins, daughter of William Strother Hawkins and Katherine Keith, and they died without issue.  George Edwards married Elizabeth Jett in 1843 and had these children:  Thomas W., Mary, Anna, G. Hiram, Jennie and Jettie.  Mary and Jennie are residents of Versailles.  William Edwards married Mary Ferguson, daughter of Henry.  They lived many years upon a farm that borders upon the town of Versailles and the cemetery.  Their children were:  Henry W., Margaret, Van H., James H., Nannie and Jo.  All of them are residents of Woodford and Jessamine counties.

Thomas S. Edwards and his wife lived the greater part of their lives upon the farm that his grandfather bought from the heirs of Cyrus McCracken on the Glenns Creek or McCracken’s Mill Road.  His father built the brick house that stands there today, the frame of the McCracken’s home standing in one corner of the yard and used as a servants’ house.  Thomas Henton’s family have owned it and lived there for more than thirty years.  Wiley Edwards built a distillery just below the house on the creek which he operated until his death, after which it was operated by Thomas S. until about 1870, when it was abandoned and after dismantled and razed.

Waller Edwards was in the Confederate army during the Civil War and died either during that service or soon afterward.

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