Persons of Interest
A group of inter-related families using the "Edmiston/Edmondson" surname settled on the Holston watershed, in what is now Washington County, VA. shortly after the area was opened to settlement. In 1773 seven members of this group signed the Ebbing Springs Call to the Reverend Charles Cummings. Their appearance as signatories on this document provides our most comprehensive single representation of their early presence in the area. The following table identifies these persons, along with links to corresponding articles about them, as well as giving key genealogical data. 
In 1844 Andrew Edmiston replied to a query from Governor David Campbell concerning the personal history of his father Person:William Edmiston (5). Campbell's interest was triggered by the fact that William Edmiston was second in command under Andrew Campbell, at the battle of King's Mountain. Andrews reply eventually made its way into the Draper Manuscript Collection where it became incorporated as one of Drapers sources for his "Kings Mountain and its Hero's". This letter represents one of those rare instances where we have direct evidence from a contemporary of the original families who settled in Southwest Virginia, regarding their migration history. According to Andrew, his father was born in Cecil County Maryland in 1734, and moved to Rockbridge County prior to the French and Indian War. Around 1765 he moved again, first to Grayson County settling on the New River, and finally to Southwest Virginia, settling near Glade Springs in modern Washington County. We can give approximate dates for his presence in each of these areas, though additional work is needed to confirm this accounting. Data is currently being collected on the Edmondson Family of Cecil County Maryland and the Edmondson Family of Rockbridge County Virginia.
Family Settlement SWVA
There are numerous mentions of the Edmondson family (See Surname Disambiguation below for variant spellings), involved in land transactions in southwest Virginia begining certainly by 1771, and perhaps by 1770. For example:
Suggests that Robert Edmondson may have settled here in 1770, though the assignment statement may indicate that this original settlement was made by Robert Huston, not Robert Edmondson. HOwever, the following entry:
makes no mention of assignments, and so it would seem that in 1783 Samuel Edmondson secured 400 acres on the Middle Fork of the Holston by virtue of a military warrant, with the notation that the actual settlement was made in 1771, and surveyed in the spring of 1774.
There is also the following "outlier":
This suggests a settlement date of as early as 1763. There were settlers in this area prior to the onset of the French and Indian War, so this is not impossible. Those settlers, however, are generally thought to have been killed or fled to less exposed areas. After the end of the F&I, new settlement in the area was precluded by a King's Proclamation until 1769. Also, the Edmondson's are believed to have remained in Rockbridge County area until after c1765, and then settled in Grayson County to the north. This makes a settlement by Robert Edmondson in this area in 1763 seem very improbable. The original record needs to be checked to see if there is a typo here (perhaps a 1773 settlement date was meant).
A summary of surveyor records for the area (Southwest Virginia Project, Early Settlers:Settlement Summary by Person) provides the following list of properties surveyed for various members of the Edmondson family:
Key:MFHR...Middle Fork Holston River; SFHR...South Fork Holston River
There are a number of spelling variants for the "Edmondson" surname in records of Southwest Virginia. These variants are briefly describe in Edmondson Disambiguation Pages
The following is a partial listing of persons using this surname, or variants, in Southwest Virginia through about 1786. Some of those listed may be the same individuals but listed under different surname spellings. This list is based on Southwest Virginia Project Register as of 22 January 2009. "Hot links" to articles about these individuals, as well as other individuals present in the area during this period, may be added as information develops.