Welcome to the Edwards Family page at Surname Finder. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Edwards surname. As vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Edwards genealogy.
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I. The Edwards Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Edwards family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How do you find out if two people named Edwards are related? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Patronymics is the practice of naming children using the given name of the father, grandfather, or other male ancestor followed by a suffix. In the case of Edwards, it is possible that one of your Welsh ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Edward." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
II. Edwards Genealogy
Keep an open mind when searching through Edwards records. Years ago many people were unable to read and write, thus a given ancestor's name could be spelled in a variety of ways depending on who recorded it. If you want to know How can I find where my Edwards ancestor is buried?, then read this frequently asked question.
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Edwards records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Edwards family history resource today.
III. Origins of the Edwards Surname
While some countries have limited historical records for last name assignments, you are most likely to only find general guidance on the origin and meaning of the Edwards surname. Were you aware that Edwards is considered a very common surname, which offers its own set of challenges? The article "Researching Common Names" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
IV. Edwards DNA Projects
Don't believe the hype! When DNA testing was first made available for genealogical purposes, some companies boasted how it could solve all your Edwards family tree mysteries. DNA testing can be a useful tool, when applied properly to a given research issue. If you are seeking an answer to the question, How do I know which DNA test is right for Edwards research?, then this FAQ may help.
V. Edwards Family History
Every family has a different history, and every document you discover about your Edwards ancestors will help paint a picture that can be shared with your relatives. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Using Social History To Fill In The Gaps In Family Histories" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Edwards family history.
VI. Networking with Edwards Researchers
If you are doing genealogy research in a particular town or region distant from where you live, you may want to consider posting a message board query requesting a lookup; often local volunteers or residents are willing to lend a hand, but remember to be specific in your request and be respectful of others' time. The article "Are Your Queries Getting Results?" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Edwards queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Edwards ancestors.
VII. Edwards Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Edwards was the 49th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
VIII. Web Sites & Blogs with Edwards Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Edwards, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To have your web site/blog listed on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page will appear once its content has been reviewed by one of our editors.
IX. Upcoming Edwards Family Reunions
Whenever possible, consider holding the family reunion in place where you have a strong Edwards family history, which provides opportunities to share stories and visit cemeteries or old home sites; you may even want to consider as a one-day activity, having each family take on the task of gathering information from the local courthouse, school district, public library, etc. -- this, of course, requires advance planning and assignment, but could generate considerable interest and results. The article "Family Reunions Don't Always Turn Out as one has Pictured" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Edwards reunion.
Suggested use: Print a copy of this free research checklist, and keep track of the Edwards genealogy resources that you visit. If your web browser does not print the date on the bottom, remember to record it manually. Today is 19/May/2013.
If you host the Edwards blog or web page, please link to this surname-focused resource. Here's the HTML code for a basic link. Simply cut/paste this code on to your page.