The Edgar Family- Hamilton, Margaret & Minnie

My Great Grandmother was Margaret Edgar and as an addition to searching for the Kings I have, with help, tried to trace her family. Oh what an elusive family! even more so that my immediate family.

After a bit of research I now find the Edgar name is common in Co Down which does not help matters much. At the moment I know the family at some stage lived in Bessbrook, Co Armagh but is close to the border with Co Down. recent family info have indicated that Margaret and her sister Minnie were born in the area. After a visit yesterday (24/11/2017) to PRONI in Belfast and armed with certain scribbled details I found nothing for the two ladies in question. However, their father, Hamilton Edgar, does seem to have remarried in 1886, in Newry, Co Down to Ann Jane Malloy (both widowed). So The searching goes on as we know he married again Joan Donaldson (again both widowed) and moved to Dundee, Scotland where he died.

After a visit to PRONI (Public Records Office Northern Ireland) on 30/11/2017 searching through church records it became obvious that there are indeed a lot of Edgars in and around Co Down. As stated on a previous post Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother were married in Bessbrook Prebyterian Church. Now, using the traditional way of thinking The marriage would have taken place in the bride’s church and it is understandable to believe that this was the family church Whilst they worked at the local mill At the time Bessbrook. Research is now showing that the family possibly lived in Rathfriland (Co Down),not far from Bessbrook. What is interesting is the appearance of family names like Rowan (first wife’s maiden name) and Malloy.  That’s an avenue to research someday after I’ve sorted this lot out!!

Here we are in 2019 and the research has started again.

Minnie Edgar is Margaret’s sister and she was born circa 1873 and contacts advise me she was born in Ireland and most likely Bessbrook. She it seems married Alexander Campbell Donaldson (the son of Joan, named above).

They married in Dundee on 31/12/1894 and in 1916 emigrated to Regina, Sask, Canada.  Their children were:- Robina ( 1900-1952), Georgina (1904-1980), Sarah or Cissie (1906-1968), Alexander or Alex or Sandy or Echie (1901-1981), David (1908-1979), Hanna Mary (died as a new born), Nellie (no dates), Joan (1895-1900), Minnie (1897-1897 2 days) and Minnie (1899-1900). 5 of these were born in Scotland.

The joys of family research

The problem with family research is, unless  you’re a professional and can spend time and money, it can be very frustrating and lead to you wondering why on earth you started doing the whole thing in the first place. it is therefore likely you’ll close the files for a while with the intentions of restarting sometime in the near future. Then, out of the blue, a message arrives informing you that such and such a person is looking for an ancestor connected to your family and bang the whole thing starts up again. Exchanging e-mails get you excited with new info and the searching starts again. You will post on forums, search for documents, and will get a whole host of info to add to your files but, along with the satisfaction comes the frustration as the research throws up more questions than answers. However, whilst you may be hitting brick walls you will be learning a lot of social history as your on-line research takes you down paths you would never have thought of before.


King / Edgar

In 1886 my great grandfather Michael Alfred King married Margaret Edgar in Bessbrook,Ireland (now Northern Ireland). During the past months several pieces have been received that now throws some more light on the Edgar family. On the wedding certificate she said her father was Hamilton Edgar and the folk who witnessed the marriage were Minnie Edgar and James Edgar.

Who were they and what was their relationship to Margaret?  James is still a mystery  but some light has been shone on Minnie.

Minnie Edgar – Born: circa 1873. Location (not yet confirmed but likely to be Ireland) Died: 1947 in Canada

Married Alexander Campbell Donaldson on 31/12/1894 and resided in Hilltown,Dundee.

Emigrated to Canada in 1916

Children – Robina (Ruby) , Georgina, Sarah (Cissie), Alexander ( Alec, Sandy, Echie), David, Hanna Mary, Nellie

Hamilton Edgar is proving to be difficult to pin down but now this info has arrived.

Born: circa 1840. Died 1899 in Dundee.

Married twice ( although a possible 3rd wife could be lurking about) Ann Jane Geddes  (mother to Margaret and Minnie)

Joan Donaldson (nee Campbell) on 20/07/1895 in Dundee.

His parents were Hugh Edgar and Margaret (nee Craig)

Cabinet makers

The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660 – 1840 (The Furniture Society)


Here follows an extract from the above publication:


“King,William, Whitehaven,Cumb, cm and looking-glass maker (1793-1834).”

The following information has also been found;

King,cm of Whitehaven, was a subscriber to Sheraton’s Drawing Book,1793. It was probably either William or Michael King who

were in partnership at King Street (1805-08) as cm and looking-glass manufacturers. William King was trading on his own behalf

from an address in Lowther Street in 1811 and by 1829 had moved to 13 Tangier Street.In 1834  William Alkin King was trading from

this address as a cm,gilder and looking-glass manufacturer.

Label found inside a piece of furniture.

1865 Auction (Carlisle Journal)

Here is a transcript of an advertisement that appeared in the local paper after the death of  W A King.

Important to parties Furnishing,Cabinet-makers,upholsterers and others.

To be sold by auction on Wednesday and Thursday,October the 11th and 12th, 1865 by order of the executors of the late

W.A.King,79 Lowther Street, Whitehaven,the whole of the valuable Stock-in trade,comprising magnificent British oak

Aldorbrand Cabinet,elaborately carved and inlaid,made especially for the Exibition of 1851; British oak loo table,with shaped and

inlaid top on massive pillar and trusses; whole plate photographic camera and lens, by Horne and Thornthwaite of London; large oil

painting of   ” The feast of Belshazzar”; 5 feet oak cabinets,with shaped and carved fronts,plate glass backs and marble tops; walnut

drawing-room furniture in chairs,upholstered in hair and rep; easy chairs,cabriele couches,whatnots,etc, en suite; mahogany

dining-room furniture,in sideboards,tables,easy chairs,etc; mahogany oak and birch bedroom furniture comprising four-post,Tudor

and French bed steads, wardrobes,dressing chests,wash stands and dressing tables,toilet glasses,towel rails,bidets,pedestals,etc;

3000feet of mahogany in plank and board; 5000 feet of well seasoned yellow pine boards; quantity of American walnut,oak and

birch planks; yew tree and brown oak planks; rosewood,walnut,satinwood and bird-eye maple veneers;20 benches,2 turning lathes,

with large fly-wheel; patent morticing machine,by Powis,James and Co; Cabinet makers’ tools; a quantity of cabinet ironmongery and


Sale to commence at 10 o’clock on the 11th of October with the furniture. Exhibition Cabinet,Loo table and camera to be sold at 3

o’clock,if not previously disposed of; the timber,etc at 10 o’clock on Thursday morning.

Porter Kitchin. Auctioneers

Not just Kings

One thing that really comes to light when doing family research  is just how many other family names are indeed linked to ones own name. Families which up until now would have meant nothing to the researcher with the exception of those within recent generations – mother/father, grandparents and possibly great grandparents.

I’ve listed below all the,known, family names connected to the King family over the years starting in the 1700s in England.

1700s.    Alkin, Fisher, Hudson,Dixon.

1800s.    Hodgson, Bill,Waller,Kent,Williams,Edgar, Donaldson.

1900s.    Muir,McQuillan,Trowbridge, Craig, Lutton, Macafee, McBride.

USA.        Parsons,Lewis,Peterson,Aiken,Snicker,Satterly,Smith,Snappe,Lloyd,Edwards,Sizer,Malloy,Rant.

Canada.  Earl,Maccrimmon,Holman.

……..and so the list grows as those children born in the 1900s marry and a new family is added.

family meeting

last Saturday (31st January) I met up with my two step sisters and their mother  who I haven’t seen for nigh on 40 years. They were the children of my father and his second wife. It was good to catch-up and we discussed the family ( from a family research point of view).

We aim to see each other again very soon.