Below are some examples of the Old Parish Records, the main method of recording life events in the Scotland of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Depending on the person writing the entries the information ranges from full disclosure, ie: Event, date, name, name of both parents and location, to simply registering a date and name on a page headed something like “Baptisms at Dumfries 1726”. This renders the accurate tracing of ancestors almost impossible.
Add into the mix a number of Edgar families, all living in or around Moffat, with a large number of children, all with a similar selection of family first names and you begin to understand the problems.
Below is a section of this web site http://selectsurname.com/edgar.html giving a brief description of the early Edgars of Scotland.
Scotland. The Edgars held land at Wedderlie (near Westruther) in Berwickshire and on Nithsdale in Dumfriesshire on the Scottish borders. They owned their ascent for their backing of Robert the Bruce in his rise to power. Richard Edgar, a witness to Robert the Bruce’s second marriage, became the first lord of Wedderlie in 1327. Legend has it that the Twin Cairns of Wedderlie were constructed in honor of two Edgar brothers.
“The Edgar brothers were the sons of an ancient Scottish chief. One was kidnapped at an early age and raised by a Saxon general. Years later the two met in battle and the ‘kidnapped’ son was felled by his unknowing brother at this location.”
By the 18th century the family had fallen on hard times and John Edgar was forced to sell Wedderlie in 1736. Today there are no Edgars at Westruther.
But Edgars remain in substantial numbers in Dumfriesshire. Moffat Edgars from Troloss date from the early 1700’s; while Caerlaverock is an area on the coast where Edgars were to be found from the 16th century. William Edgar and Janet Dickson were married there in 1773. John Edgar died there in 1801 at the advanced age of one hundred. His grandson John, born in the same year, made his living as an engineer and bought the Midlocharwoods estate.
Another Edgar branch, the Edgars of Keithock, were to be found in Angus in NE Scotland in 1620. A 19th century guidebook described Keithock as follows:
“The mansion house of Keithock is a comfortable edifice, pleasantly situated, with a good garden, fine lawn, and thriving shrubbery. It stands a little to the west of the highway from Brechin and Edzell. In the old days Keithock was a barony and had its gallows hill.”