|from Connie Leaman
George Cunningham Edwards (Edward7, Timothy6, Jonathan5, Timothy4,
Richard3, William2, Richard1) is my great great grandfather, and a
grandson of Rev. Jonathan Edwards. He was the first Judge of Steuben
He is the son of Edward Edwards (1763-1845) and Mary Ballard (1764-1824).
He was a trustee of the Bath Presbyterian church, originally called
Church of Christ in Bath, Presbyterian Congregation.
In 1893, it was reported that the only monument still standing in the
cemetery on the grounds of the Presbyterian church was "one in honor
George C. Edwards, erected by the bar of the county, and bearing this
inscription, ‘A just man, an able lawyer, a good citizen, an honest
the other side of the monument, ‘The richest legacy to leave to posterity
a good name.' At the age of fifty he had wrought out a character that
commanded such recognition on the part of those who knew him best."
Charles H. McMaster, his grandson, wrote the following for the Bath,
"Hon. George C. Edwards was born in Stockbridge, Mass., September 28,
He came to Bath and engaged in the practice of law in 1818. In 1825,
appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which office he held
death in 1837. He published, in 1830, A Treatise on the Powers and
Justices of the Peace, which had a large circulation at that time.
Edwards was a familiar figure in early days in Bath, and was universally
He is mentioned in History of the Settlement of Steuben County, New
Guy H. McMaster: "Gen. Vincent Matthews resided for many years in Bath.
was said to be at the head of the bar for legal knowledge, but was
of an advocate. Judge Edwards, Schuyler Strong, Jonas Clark, Jonathan
Haight, John Cook, and Leland and McMaster, are all that I can remember
the old stock. Ah, yes! there's one more of my old friends--Cuthbert
Harrison, a Virginian, a young man of good sense, and whether drunk
sober, he was a good natured clever fellow."
Although William H. Edwards reports his death as in 1851, his grandson,
Charles H. McMaster, reports that he died in 1837, his will was written
day he died and was probated December 25 that same year. The newspaper
obituary tells us:
"DIED At Bath on the 18th inst. after a brief but painful illness
hours the Hon George C. Edwards first Judge of the county of Steuben,
formerly a resident of this village." He is buried at Nondaga
Bath. His will, apparently written on the day he died:
He is mentioned in:
Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) Edwards, George Cunningham
A Dictionary of North American Authors Deceased before 1950. Compiled
Stewart Wallace. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1951. Reprint. Detroit: Gale
Research, 1968. (DcNAA)
American Biographical Library, The Biographical Cyclopædia of
Women, Volume II, American Biographical Notes, The Chicago Historical
Society, page 127
The following is quoted from an old manuscript by general McClure, one
the first settlers in Bath: "General Vincent Mathews resided for many
in Bath. He was said to be at the head of the Bar for legal knowledge,
was not much of an advocate. Judge Edwards, Schuyler Strong, Jonas
Jonathan Haight, John Cook, and Leland and McMaster are all that I
of the old stock..."
He wrote at least one book:
Title : A treatise on the powers and duties of justices of the
town officers in the State of New York, under the revised statutes
practical forms / by George C. Edwards.
Author : Edwards, George C. (George Cunningham), 1787-1837.
Edition : 3d ed., rev. and improved.
Publisher : Ithaca : Mack, Andrus, and Woodruff, 1836.
Description : 408 p. ; 24 cm.
Subject Heading(s) : Justices of the peace--New York (State)
Local government--Law and legislation--New York (State)
Notes : Includes index.
LCCN : 76363245//r84
Original Number : RLINCCSL88-B3567
His children were:
1 George Cunningham Edwards, Sr. 1787 - 1837
+Hannah Carpenter 1791 - 1875
2 Mary Edwards 1814 - 1890
2 George Edwards 1815 - 1875
2 Clarissa Edwards 1817 - 1819
2 Jesse Edwards 1819 - 1866
2 Clarissa Roe Edwards 1820 - 1910
2 Alexander Edwards 1823 - 1900
2 Mason Edwards 1825 - 1844
2 John Edwards 1828 - 1903
+Rose Hill Murphy 1825 - 1881
3 George Cunningham Edwards, Jr.
1852 - 1930
3 Clara Dudley Edwards 1855 -
+Constance Lucretia Hunter 1853 - 1936
3 Mary Constance Edwards 1888
2 Sarah Edwards 1830 - 1842