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Joseph Smith Edgar
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Birth: 1818
Maury County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Jul. 9, 1837
Gay Hill
Washington County
Texas, USA

In 1790, a baby boy was born in South Carolina. His name was James Edgar. In 1794, a baby girl was born in North Carolina. Her name was Selah Witherington. Their families moved to middle Tennessee in the early 1800s and settled southwest of Nashville, near the Natchez Trace. On 06 Jan 1816 James and Selah were married in Williamson County, Tennessee. He was 26 years old, and she was 22. They settled in nearby Maury County, Tennessee near the headwaters of Leiper's Lick Creek. And, they began to raise a family.

It is unknown how many children in total were born to James and Selah. What is known, however, is that they had ten children who survived to become adults; 9 boys and 1 girl, and all moved to Texas. The children and their approximate years of birth were:

Joseph (1818)
John (1819)
Henry (1821)
William (1824)
James (1826)
Arthur (1828)
Joshua (1828)
Hyman (1830)
Paulina (1833)
Benjamin (1835)

In 1835, their 17-year old, firstborn son, Joseph, went to Texas to participate in the Texas Revolution to gain independence from Mexico. He enlisted 26 Feb 1836, and he very quickly saw combat in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto the afternoon of 21 April 1836. He served in Capt. Robert Calder's Infantry Company K in Col. Edward Burleson's 1st Regiment, Texas Volunteers.

Unfortunately, Joseph died before he ever saw any of the land he had earned. He died 09 Jul 1837 at the age of 19 at the home of Capt. James Gibson Swisher on the Swisher Farm near the Old Gay Hill community in Washington County, Texas. Capt. Swisher was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was from the same area in middle Tennessee as was the Edgar family, and is believed to have been a family friend. Capt. Swisher was a veteran (along with Joseph's father, James) of the War of 1812.

In early 1838, the Republic of Texas posthumously granted land to Joseph Edgar. For his presence in Texas prior to its Declaration of Independence he was granted one-third of a league or 1,476 acres. For his participation in the Battle of San Jacinto he was granted 640 acres. And, for his military service in general, he was granted 320 acres. Joseph died before seeing or claiming any of that land he had earned. In 1844, Joseph's younger brother, John, went to Texas to claim that land on behalf of Joseph's heirs (his parents and his siblings).

James and Selah and most of their other children, and their families, relocated from Maury County, TN to DeWitt County, TX in late 1853. They traveled on foot, on horseback, and in wagons. The dates of that difficult, 52-day trip are recorded in Joshua Edgar's old family Bible. The trip began on 04 Oct 1853 and ended on 25 Nov 1853. They settled on the 1,476 parcel of land near the headwaters of Cuero Creek.

Near their homestead, the Edgar family set aside land for a family cemetery, referenced in old obituaries and in that old family Bible as the "Edgar Yard." James and Selah and several of their children and grandchildren were buried there. That cemetery has recently (Apr 2013) been fully cleared for the first time in over 75 years, and it is in the process of being restored.
Family links: 
  James Edgar (1790 - 1869)
  Selah Witherington Edgar (1794 - 1873)
  Joseph Smith Edgar (1818 - 1837)
  John Edgar (1819 - 1906)*
  Henry Sorrells Edgar (1821 - 1908)*
  James D. Edgar (1826 - 1912)*
  Joshua N. Edgar (1828 - 1900)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: Photos and data originally posted at:
Old Independence Cemetery
Washington County
Texas, USA
Created by: Bob Webb
Record added: Nov 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100794699
Joseph Smith Edgar
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Larry & Connie Schultz Scarborough
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

We will never Forget your sacrifice.
- The San Jacinto Descendants
 Added: Jan. 17, 2013

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