About Sir Robert Thomas Edwards, of Rird-y-Gorf
Robert Thomas (Haello) Edwards was born 1662 in Wales and died 1739.
Parents: only known child of Thomas Edwards, born 1639 in Edward's Hall, Glamorganshire, Wales and died 1671; and Elizabeth Hael (Hall), born in 1639 and died in 1699.
- on 25 December 1685 in Glamorgan, Wales or New Amsterdam, New York to Margaret Cuelin. She was born in 1666 in Denbigh, Wales and died 1738.
- on 13 JUN 1698 in Rird-y-Gorf, Wales to Judith Maaston.
The 6 known children of Robert Edwards and Margaret Cuelin include:
- Thomas Nathaniel Edwards
- Henry Edwards
- John Edwards b. 1683
- Robert Edwards b. 1685
- Haydon Edwards b. 1687
- Richard Edwards b. 1694
The child of Robert Edwards and Judith Maaston:
- Peter David Edwards b: 1701
Cautionary Note: Capt. Robert Edwards, From:
The descendants of Capt. Robert Edwards are allegedly the rightful owners of 77 acres of prime real estate lying under downtown Manhattan. There has been sporadic litigation over this claim since the 19th century, none of it succesful. A New York court rejected the most recent lawsuit over "the Edwards Fortune" in 1999. The group that organized the litigation was later sued by its investors for fraud and misappropriation of funds. Although the legend of the Edwards Fortune is a fascinating one, involving a famous sea captain, a shipwreck, and a mysterious lease discovered in a trunk, the myth of the Edwards fortune was debunked in an article in Ancestry Magazine, Nov./Dec. 1995, Vol. 13, No.6.
Searching the New York Times website for phrases like "Edwards heirs" or "Edwards estate" will link to numerous newspaper articles about the Edwards fortune dating back to the 1870's. The century-long saga is described in "Family Tale Of a Legacy: 2 Centuries Of Setbacks," New York Times, Sun. Jan. 1, 1994, Sec. 1, p.6.
The Edwards legend may be true or false, but what's happened over the years is this: numerous con artists, unethical attorneys and other unsavory characters have periodically contacted random people named Edwards and asked them to contribute funds to the litigation to recover their "inheritance." These solicitations were often supported by pamphlets containing fraudulent family trees. The pamphlets still circulate and are cited by descendants as evidence of their ancestry. Just one example of the problem was reported by the New York Times on Mar. 2, 1890.
A Fraudulent Land Claim: How Alleged Heirs to New York Property Have Been Swindled.
LONDON, Ontario, March 1. -- There was a stormy meeting last night of claimants to alleged lands lying in that part of New York City near Broadway and the Battery. Some time ago the heirs of one Edwards were informed that they were the rightful owners of lands in New York valued at $85,000,000. The claim was based on the alleged fact that Edwards had a patent for the lands, and had leased them for ninety-nine years, and that as the lease had expired the heirs were the owners of the property.
About seventy heirs responded to a call for subscriptions to prosecute the claim. Nothing having been heard from the claim lately, the heirs met here last night and demanded of their agent, Henry Edwards, an explanation. Edwards stated that he had delegated one Benjamin Franklin of New York to act for him, and that a settlement had been made for $500,000 for the Canadian heirs. Franklin cannot, however, be found, and Edwards claims to know nothing further about the matter.
The heirs came to a conclusion that the claim was a fraud and was set up for the purpose of obtaining their subscriptions. It is likely that the originators of the scheme will be prosecuted.
(New York Times, Weds. Mar. 2, 1890, p.8.)
Sadly, the truth is that "Edwards" is one of the most common surnames in both England and Wales. There were hundreds if not thousands of people named Edwards in America during colonial times, and it is hardly likely that we would all be descended from the same individual. For example, the indentured servant register on the "Virtual Jamestown" website includes 29 men with the surname Edwards or Edward who came to Virginia between 1654 and 1686—and these are just the men whose contracts were recorded in the city of Bristol, England. The Library of Virginia's index of land patents and grants has 91 records for "William Edwards" and 109 records for "John Edwards."
The internet has given the legend of the Edwards Fortune new life. People share family trees without even knowing about the legend, totally unaware that their alleged connection to Capt. Robert Edwards is a complete fake.
Rootsweb reports that Robert Edwards died in an Atlantic ocean shipwreck in 1738. Robert was born 1662 in Wales and died 1739. He married Margaret Cuelin on 12/25/1685 in Glamorgan, Wales. She was born in 1666 in Denbigh, Wales and died 1738. The 6 known child of Robert Edwards and Margaret Cuelinis as follows:
Thomas Nathaniel Edwards b. 1690
John Edwards b. 1683
Robert Edwards b. 1685
Haydon Edwards b. 1687
Sir Robert Thomas Edwards, of Rird-y-Gorf's Timeline
May 10, 1662
October 14, 1690
Wales, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
October 14, 1690