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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 740-742 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The branch of the Edwards family to which the Albany family belong was founded in America by Alexander Edwards, a native of Wales, who settled in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1640. He removed to Northampton about 1655 and died there September 4, 1690. His wife, whom he married April 28, 1642, in Springfield, was Mrs. Sarah Baldwin Searle, widow of John Searle. They had children: Samuel, see forward, Hannah, Joseph, Mary, Benjamin, Sarah, Nathaniel and Elizabeth. All the sons married and reared families; the descendants are very numerous in the east, west and south.

(II) Samuel, son of Alexander and Sarah (Searle) Edwards, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, March 7, 1643, died at Northampton, Massachusetts. He married, May 15, 1675, Sarah, daughter of Jarvis Corlin, and had Samuel, Sarah, Abigail, Hannah, Nathaniel, see forward, and Ruth.

(III) Nathaniel, son of Samuel and Sarah (Corlin) Edwards, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts. October 21, 1685, died March 20, 1768. He married Margit ————; children: John, Josiah, a revolutionary soldier, Joseph, Mercy, Isaac, Nathaniel, see forward.

(IV) Captain Nathaniel (2), son of Nathaniel (1) and Margit Edwards, was probably born in Waterbury, Connecticut, 1738, died in South Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, March 2, 1825. He was a brave soldier, beginning his military career when a young man in 1757, when he joined the company of Captain Eldad Lewis, and marched to the relief of General Johnson at Fort William Henry, during the Indian war of that period. He was in constant service during the revolution until his capture by the British at Fort Washington, November 16, 1776. In 1774 he was ensign in the Tenth Connecticut Regiment. In 1775 he was ensign in the First Regiment, and second lieutenant in Fifth Company, First Connecticut Regiment, from May 1, to December 20, 1755. On June 20, 1776, he was promoted first lieutenant in Bradley's Connecticut state regiment, and served until his capture, November 16, 1776. How long he was held prisoner, nor whether he saw other service in the next four years, is not related. In 1781 he was captain of a company in the Connecticut Provisional Regiment, ordered by the general assembly to be raised and put in readiness "to march on the shortest notice in case his excellency General Washington shall call for men." They were sent to the front later, and there is no doubt Captain Edwards led his company (see Connecticut Men in the Revolution [Perhaps Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution — War of 1812 — Mexican War?]). After the war he removed to New York state. Captain Edwards married, March 11, 1762, Abiah, daughter of David Strickland; children: Lois, died in childhood; Isaac, see forward; Sarah, David, Lucy, Millea, Lois, John, see forward.

(V) Isaac, eldest son of Captain Nathaniel (2) and Abiah (Strickland) Edwards. was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, died at South Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, February 18, 1848. When sixteen years of age he enlisted in the continental army and served until the close of the war. About 1796 Isaac and his father, Captain Nathaniel Edwards, and family, came to Saratoga county, New York, and settled about one mile south of South Corinth village; Nathaniel built a small frame house, the first in the town, and Isaac built a log house. They cleared a farm from the forest, in the spring of 1797 planted their first crop, and also started an orchard from seeds brought from their old Connecticut home. Isaac Edwards married Esther Foote, who died July 23, 1824. They had six sons and a daughter; Hon. Edward Edwards, a member of the state legislature in 1845, and again in 1864-65, was the youngest son and last survivor.

(V) John, son of Captain Nathaniel (2) and Abiah (Strickland) Edwards, was born in Watertown, Connecticut. He came with his father and family to Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, about 1796, where he grew to manhood, and became one of the thrifty farmers of that county. He married Sarah Cooper, born July 8, 1792, who bore him four sons who grew to maturity, and a daughter. His ambition for his sons was for them to become farmers and succeed him in the ownership of his family acres. The second son, Isaac, however, became celebrated in the law and the editor of several standard legal works.

(VI) Isaac Edwards, LL.D., second son of John and Sarah (Cooper) Edwards, born in South Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, August 30, 1819, died March 26, 1879, in Albany. His early years were spent on the farm, and his education commenced in the public schools of his native town was continued at Waterford Academy, under the late Professor Taylor Lewis, of whom he always spoke in the highest terms. His law studies were pursued in Albany in the office of Edwards & Meads. After being admitted to the Albany bar, he formed a partnership with his uncle, James Edwards, which was of short duration, and he never afterward had a partner. After the dissolution he entered upon an independent practice and began his successful legal and literary career. He built up a successful business, having for his clients the best class of merchants, whose confidence and patronage he always retained. His duties and labors were of such a nature that he had time for the hearing of referred cases, and it is undoubtedly true that he heard and decided more cases than any lawyer in the county. His mind was eminently judicial, adapted to the hearing of long intricate cases, well-balanced, and in the weighing of evidence he was without a superior. Moreover, absolute justice was his sole aim and endeavor. In 1855 he published his first legal work Bailments, which was welcomed by the bench and bar as one of the best American works on that subject. The work has steadily grown in favor ever since, and in 1878 he revised it, citing decisions and adding new chapters. Many new and perplexing questions had come before the courts for discussion and adjudication, concerning collateral, transportation, telegraphic messages, etc. Upon these new subjects, the second edition demonstrated that he was thoroughly informed as to the decisions of the courts. In 1857 his next work appeared, Bills and Notes, an unsurpassed, complete treatise of great value to the lawyer and to the student. A second edition was published in 1863. In 1870 he published Factors and Brokers. He wrote and published several essays and biographical sketches of his associates of the bench and bar. He thoroughly understood the law and loved to elucidate its principles.

Isaac Edwards was a friend of the public school system and used his pen and influence to secure needed improvements. He lectured occasionally before the Albany Law School at the request of Professor Amos Dean. His clearness of diction, fullness of illustration and correctness of definition, proved his fitness to fill the position made vacant by Professor Dean's death, and he was unanimously chosen for the vacant chair. From that time until his death, he was the moving spirit and vital force of the Law School, delivering half the lectures and presiding at nearly all the courts of exemplification and instruction. The classes graduating under him were witness to the excellence both of the matter and manner of his instructions. Four years previous to his death, he was chosen a member of the board of public instruction and chairman of the law committee. He was not strongly partisan in politics; in his early manhood he was a Whig and later a Republican. He was useful to his party as a campaign orator, and as a speaker he was clear, logical and forcible, using nice distinctions and strong illustrations. Mr. Edwards was an earnest Christian, formerly a Presbyterian; he assisted in the organization of the Congregational church in Albany, and was one of the committees to prepare its articles of faith and mode of government. He is remembered not alone as a conscientious, capable lawyer, beloved instructor and successful author, but for his higher virtues as a man as well.

Isaac Edwards married Anna, daughter of Rev. William and Marcia (Ames) James. She died July 9, 1907. Children: Katharine James, Henry Ames, and Elizabeth.

(VII) Henry Ames is the only living son of Isaac and Anna (James) Edwards.

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