Robert Edmiston, of the Borden Tract
b.BET 1695 AND 1705
Facts and Events
Robert Edmiston was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
According to Allison, 1960 three brothers, Robert, John, and William Edmiston, came to what is now Rockbridge County VA, from Cecil County, MD, about 1740. They took up lands on Borden's grant where they farmed and raised their families for the next 25 years or so. After the end of the French and Indian War they, or their children, relocated southward, first to Grayson County circa 1765, and then to Washington County, by circa 1770. <td>
Robert died about 1750, leaving an estate to a wife, legatee "Jean" (whom Chalkley suggests may be his wife) and children Dorthy, William, and John. We have relatively few records for Robert on Borden's Grant, mostly centered around his estate. His will identifies William Edmiston as Executor, and John Edmiston as witness. While William could be his son, it seems likely that William the executor is his brother, as would be John the witness. John was also appointed by the court to appraise Robert's estate.
Other than this, our source materials for Robert are very limited: Chalkley provides a number of relevant entiries. (See also Edmondson Family of Rockbridge County Virginia, Chalkley.
Spouse. Robert's wife may have been the "Jean Edmistion" mentioned as a legatee in the will. Chalkely suggests that she may be the wife, but does not consider this a proven case. Jeane or Jane Edmiston appears in no other records shown by Chalkley or Morton for the area, and we know nothing further concerning the wife of Robert Edmiston.
Dorthy Edmiston. Identified in Robert's will as a daughter. Since she is the first child listed, she may have been eldest. However, she was presumably unmarried in 1749 since Robert does not list her under a married name. Chalkley and Morton show no data for a "Dorthy Edmiston", and we have no further knowledge of her.
William Edmiston. Person:William Edmiston (5) is believed to have relocated to southwest Virginia, settling on the Middle Fork of the Holston River, about 1770, along with the the family of his cousin Person:William Edmiston (3). William appears as an adult on the Ebbing Springs Call in 1773.
James Edmiston. James was listed last in Robert's will, which may indicate that he was the youngest. There are numerous records for a James Edmiston (or variants) in Augusta County throughout the period following Robert's death, until after the Revolution. (See: Notebook:James Edmiston). It is sometimes difficult to distinguish which records apply to which James. Some of these records clearly refer to James son of Robert, but others certainly refer to one of the sons of David "the Immigrant" Edmiston, (settled on Elk Creek on Beverly's Manor and some refer to a James Edmiston who settled at Red Banks well to the north of either Beverlys' Manor or Borden's Grant. It is most likely that James son of Robert, is the Person:James Edmiston (1) who married Sarah, widow of George Hays, and settled south Timber Ridge MH, well south of Robert's homeplace on Moffett/Hays Creek. This James remained on Borden's Grant until at least 1774, well after his kin had moved down to Washington County. I A "James Edmiston" does not appear on the 1773 Ebbing Springs Call, so either he was not yet an adult in 1773, or, if an adult, did not relocate with his brother William. The James who married Sarah Hays is sometimes identified with a James Edmondson who died in Wilkes County, NC about 1792. As it happens this James leaves part of his estate to wife Sarah. He also leaves land in Virignia to his son Robert. Both of these bequests are consistent with James of Wilkes County being the James who married widow Sarah Hays on Borden's Grant. His 1792 DOD is also consistent with this interpretatiion. Additional supporting evidence is needed for this to be considered proven.
Questions surrounding Robert Edmiston's Will and possible daughter named "Jean"
At the beginning of Robert Edmiston's will, he refers to "Wife; Legatee, Jean Edmiston". In Lyman Chalkley's transcrtion, he felt that Robert had named his WIFE as "Jean" (some say Jean THOMPSON, although it is perhaps "family tradition" and apparently not proven that she was really a Thompson). Some researchers have thought that Robert Edmiston's will MAY have been naming a DAUGHTER Jean, who some have speculated may have married John McGill (Magill), Jr., who lived nearby in Beverley Manor, but it has been conclusively proven (see below) that the Jean Edmiston that married John McGill, Jr. was the daughter of Matthew Edmiston, who lived on Jenning's Creek in Augusta County. Since there is no other "Jean Edmiston" that appears in Augusta County records, and Robert Edminston's will does not specifically name a daughter named Jean, it appears a remote possibility that he had a daughter Jean.
Proof of Jean Edmiston's parentage (that married John McGill):
1. Matthew Edmiston's Will specifically names his daughter "Jean MaGill":