Center Joshua Edwards
& Mary Jane Choate

Center (Senter) Joshua Edwards, son of Berry EDWARDS, Sr., & Ruth DAVIS, was born June 2, 1826, in Ashe Co., NC, and died Aug. 19, 1901, in Alleghany Co., NC. He married Mary Jane Choate, daughter of Richard "Dickie" CHOATE & Sarah EDWARDS, Sept. 10, 1852, Ashe Co., NC. She was his 2nd cousin. She was born July 3, 1836, and died Mar. 15, 1899, in Alleghany Co., NC. Center and Mary are buried at the Center Edwards Cemetery, located off Hwy. 21 near Sparta, Alleghany Co., NC.

Children of Center Joshua Edwards & Mary Jane Choate:

  1. +John C. Edwards, b. July 21, 1853, Ashe Co., NC; d. Feb. 20, 1890, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Mary Ellen CHEEK, daughter of Henderson CHEEK & Lucy BRYAN, Nov. 19, 1876, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Oct. 13, 1857; d. Jan. 26, 1941); bur. Center Edwards Cemetery, near Sparta, Alleghany Co., NC.
  2. David Reid Edwards, b. June 3, 1855, Ashe Co., NC; d. Mar. 4, 1919, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Nancy LONG, daughter of John R. LONG & Mary ABSHER, Nov. 4, 1877, Alleghany Co., NC (b. abt. 1858; d. aft. 1910); bur. Cranberry Primitive Baptist Church, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: William Emerson Edwards (1878), Mollie J. Edwards (1880), Dr. Bert O. Edwards (1883)
  3. Sowell Thomas Edwards, b. June 3, 1857, Ashe Co., NC; d. Apr. 13, 1898, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Sarah WHITEHEAD, daughter of Daniel WHITEHEAD & Sarah CROUSE, Dec. 8, 1878, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Oct. 20, 1858; d. Nov. 23, 1941); bur. Union Primitive Baptist Church, Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: William Letcher Edwards (1881), Rosa Jane "Jennie" Edwards (1883).
  4. Sarah Cornelia Edwards, b. abt. 1859, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Dec. 4, 1911, Harford Co., MD; m. William Dekalb MAXWELL, son of James MAXWELL & Mary "Polly" LONG, May 25, 1887, Alleghany Co., NC (b. May 26, 1855; d. Mar. 15, 1912). Sarah is buried at the Emory Church Cemetery in Harford Co., MD. William is buried at the River View Cemetery in Waynesboro, VA.
  5. Andrew J. Edwards, b. June 20, 1861, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Jan. 8, 1942, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Elizabeth "Bettie" REEVES, daughter of Hardin REEVES & Frances TOLIVER, Feb. 14, 1886, Alleghany Co., NC (b. July 7, 1866; d. July 28, 1947); bur. Sparta Memorial Park, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: Nora Edwards (1886), Frances Edwards (1889), Cora Edwards (1893), Hattie Edwards (1895), Flora Gussie Edwards (1898), John Edwards (1900), Solomon Ross Edwards (1901), Oscar Edwards (c.1904).
  6. Rosa Edwards, b. abt. 1863, Alleghany Co., NC.
  7. William S. Edwards, b. Apr. 1866, Alleghany Co., NC; d. aft. 1910; m. Mary Elizabeth HALSEY, daughter of Ira HALSEY & Zilphia DIXON, Oct. 10, 1894, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Feb. 1875; d. aft. 1910). Children: Verna Clyde Edwards (f.) (1900), Ila Edwards (c.1903).
  8. Charity Alice Edwards, b. Feb. 16, 1868, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Oct. 16, 1944, Alleghany Co., NC; m. James Moses WAGONER, son of Adam James WAGONER & Nancy CAUDILL, Jan. 18, 1888, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Sept. 7, 1867; d. July 3, 1947); bur. Sparta Memorial Park, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: Burton A. Wagoner (1888), William G. Wagoner (1890), Clara M. Wagoner (1892), Laura Wagoner (1893), Lura Jean Wagoner (1895), Oscar C. Wagoner (1897), Elmer A. Wagoner (1900), Adam J. Bryan Wagoner (1901), Anna Blanche Wagoner (1902), Robert Earl Wagoner (1905), Bessie Zella Wagoner (1907).
  9. Richard Jefferson Edwards, b. Feb. 1871, Alleghany Co., NC; d. aft. 1910; m. Ollie Virginia CAUDILL, daughter of John Allen CAUDILL & Mahala RICHARDSON, Dec. 24, 1890, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Sept. 1872; d. aft. 1910). Children: Etta Mae Edwards (1891), Mahala Edwards (1893), Robert Lee Edwards (1894), Vertie Edwards (1896), Jeff Elgin Edwards (1903).
  10. Center Joshua Edwards, Jr., b. Oct. 17, 1873, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Aug. 9, 1951, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Florence Algina CAUDILL, daughter of Tyrrell Robert CAUDILL & Nancy Caroline FENDER, Oct. 17, 1900, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Jan. 7, 1882; d. Mar. 10, 1959); bur. Union Primitive Baptist Church, Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: Clay Washington Edwards (1901), Hessie Amma Edwards (1904).
  11. Laura Edwards, b. abt. 1877, Alleghany Co., NC.


Ccenter Joshua ("C.J.") Edwards was the fourth son of Berry Edwards, Sr., and Ruth Davis of Alleghany County, NC. According Dr. A.B. Cox, Footprints in the Sands of Time" (1900), "Esquire Senter Edwards, a brother of David Edwards, married Miss Jane Choat, a charming good lady, wife and mother, a good neighbor and christian friend. Their son, Reed, is the present sheriff of Alleghany County. Esquire Senter Edwards is one of the county's best citizens and peace officers."

Center and Mary Jane are buried in a family cemetery located off Highway 21 about 1 ½ miles northwest of Sparta, NC. (See Alleghany County Cemeteries Through 1986 pub. by the Alleghany Co. Hist.-Gen. Society.)


Sept. 10, 1852. Senter EDWARDS & Jane CHOATE posted a marriage bond in Ashe Co., NC; Thomas CARR, bondsman.

1860 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Glade Creek Twp., p.437 (HH#683):
CENTER EDWARDS, 32, farmer, $1,200, $6,000, NC
-- Jane, 25, NC
-- John, 7, NC
-- David, 5, NC
-- Sowel, 3, NC
-- Sarah, 1, NC
TIDLINE, Nancy, 14, NC

1860 Census, Slave Schedule, Alleghany Co., NC, p.3: CENTER EDWARDS (6 slaves)

1860 Census, Agricultural Schedule, Alleghany Co., NC: CENTER EDWARDS, 125 acres improved land, 275 acres unimproved land, value of farm $1,200, value of farm implements $100, 6 horses, no asses/mules, 6 milch cows, 2 working oxen, 9 other cattle, 30 sheep, 20 swine, value of livestock $800. (Source: New River Notes)

Civil War: Senter EDWARDS served as 1st Lieutenant in the Gap Civil Dist., 96th NC Militia. Commissioned on Feb. 14, 1862. (Source: "Ashe and Alleghany County in the Civil War" by Jeff Weaver.)

1870 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil Twp (HH#59):
SENTER EDWARDS, 45, farmer, NC
-- Mary, 34, NC
-- John, 17, NC
-- David, 15, NC
-- Thomas, 13, NC
-- Sarah, 11, NC
-- Andrew, 9, NC
-- Rausey, 7, NC
-- William, 4, NC
-- Chasty, 1, NC
1880 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil Twp. (HH#139): CENTER EDWARDS, 52, farmer, NC NC NC
-- Jane, 44, wife, NC NC NC
-- Sarah, 20, dau, " " "
-- Andrew, 18, son, " " "
-- Rausey, 16, dau, " " "
-- Willie, 14, son, " " "
-- Charity, 12, dau, " " "
-- Jefferson, 10, son, " " "
-- Joshua, 7, son, " " "
-- Laura, 3, dau, " " "

1900 Census. Center Edwards is not listed in Alleghany Co., NC, although his gravestone indicates he did not die until 1901. Center Edwards' estate was probated in 1904 in Alleghany County. (NC Archives Box No. CR.004.508.8.) 

Deed Abstracts

Sept. 9, 1854. B. EDWARDS to Senter EDWARDS, 100 acres on Bledsoes creek adj. the wagon road, east side of Dick mountain orchard, top of the ridge, MOXLEY, & line of said EDWARDS' 300 acre tract, for $1. "B. EDWARDS is to have the privilege of the mill his lifetime to grind." Signed: B. EDWARDS (ack'd). Wit: Starlin EDWARDS. (Alleghany DB 1:149).

Sept. 9, 1854. Starlin EDWARDS to Senter EDWARDS, 100 acres on Bledsoes Creek beg. near the mill race, adj. B. EDWARDS, Zachariah MOXLEY, BOWERS, for $1. Signed: Starlin EDWARDS. Wit: B. EDWARDS. (Alleghany DB 1:150).

Oct. 24, 1859. Center EDWARDS & wife Jane & Solomon FENDER & wife Charity, all of Alleghany Co., NC, to David EDWARDS of Wilkes Co., NC, for $300, all their undivided shares & interest in the lands formerly belonging to Joseph CHOAT, dec'd, on Big & Little Bugabo Creeks in Wilkes Co., NC. Signed: Center EDWARDS, Mary J. EDWARDS, Solomon FENDER, Charity L. FENDER. Wits: Wm. T. CHOATE. Proved Oct. 26, 1859 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 1:45).

Feb. 4, 1868. B. EDWARDS, Sr., to Senter EDWARDS, 2 tracts, for $100. 1st tract: 200 acres on Bledsoes Creek adj. the line of a 300 acre tract, BOWER, SCOT [SCOTT], an agreed line btw. B. EDWARDS & Senter EDWARDS, top of a ridge, & the fork of a branch. 2nd tract: 50 acres beg. south side of the meadow, adj. James PARKS, MOXLEY, & a line btw. B. EDWARDS & Senter EDWARDS. Signed: B. EDWARDS, Sr. Wit: B. EDWARDS, Jr. Proved July 21, 1869 (ack'd). Reg. Nov. 8, 1885. Alleghany Co., NC. (Alleghany DB 5:562).

Jan. 4, 1872. State of NC to W.E. HARDIN, H.S. EDWARDS, & C.J. EDWARDS, 135 acres on Rock Creek adj. D.C. EDWARDS, J.L. SMITH, J.H. PARKS, James BOYER, B. EDWARDS. Entered Dec. 27, 1871. (Alleghany Land Grant No. 47) (Alleghany DB 6:18).

May 8, 1878. C.J. EDWARDS, Adm'r of Richard CHOAT, dec'd, to Hugh M. BROOKS, a tract of land on Little River [no acreage stated] adj. MILLER line, HUDSON, the branch, the road, for $135. Signed: C.J. EDWARDS. Wits: W.C. FIELDS, H.R. WAGGONER. Proved Apr. 14, 1880 (ack'd). (Alleghany DB 4:385).

May 8, 1878. C.J. EDWARDS, Adm'r of Richard CHOAT, dec'd, to Wm. A. BROOKS, tract of land on Little River [no acreage stated] beg. on a branch H.M. BROOKS' line, adj. MILLER, & a CHOAT corner known as the "Allen mary" [Alimony?] corner, & through the CHOAT field to the 1st branch, for $140. Signed: C.J. EDWARDS. Wits: Thos. EDWARDS, Berry EDWARDS. Proved Apr. Nov. 28, 1885, by Berry EDWARDS. Filed Nov. 28, 1885. (Alleghany DB 6:492).

May 15, 1886. W.B. CHEEK & wife Jane, Berry EDWARDS & wife Manda, C.J. EDWARDS & wife Jane, and Starlin EDWARDS, to Wm. L. HOPPERS, 1 acres on east bank of Little River, adj. upper side of the road, & a rock near JOINES's house, for $150. Signed: Berry EDWARDS, Manda (X) EDWARDS, [cut off], M.J. (X) EDWARDS, W.B. CHEEK, Jane CHEEK, Starlin EDWARDS. [No wits.] Proved Jan. 4, 1887 (ack'd). Reg. Feb. 5, 1891. (Alleghany DB 8:374.)

Jan. 4, 1888. Alleghany Co., NC. C.J. EDWARDS & wife Jane, Berry EDWARDS & wife Amanda, W.B. CHEEK & wife Jane, to J.B. SMITH, for $250, two town lots in Sparta on south side of Main Street, where EDWARDS, CHEEK & Co. formerly did business, being No. 4 and 5 west of the old Court House, adj. the GENTRY store house lot, the town boundary, W.K. HOLBROOK's lot, including the improvements & buildings. Signed: W.B. CHEEK, Jane CHEEK, Starling EDWARDS, C.J. EDWARDS, M.J. (X) EDWARDS, B. EDWARDS, Amanda (X) EDWARDS. Wits: Charity(?) EDWARDS, Allice WEAVER. Proved Jan. 14, 1888 (ack'd). Reg. Oct. 18, 1890. (Alleghany DB 8:287.)

May 9, 1888. Starling EDWARDS, C.J. EDWARDS & wife Jane, Berry EDWARDS & wife Amanda, and W.B. CHEEK & wife Jane, to Haywood EDWARDS, for $200, a tract of land in Gap Civil Twp. adj. being Town Lot No. 3 as originally sold and now No. 1 on north side of Main Street east of the new Court House, adj. E.L. VAUGHAN's office, the town boundary, & R.A. DOUGHTON, known as the J.T. HAWTHORNE town lot at the intersection of the Independence or Wagoner Gap Road and Main Street. Signed: Starlin EDWARDS, B. EDWARDS, Amanda (X) EDWARDS, W.B. CHEEK, Jane CHEEK, C.J. EDWARDS, Jane EDWARDS. [No wits.] Proved May 10, 1888, & July 28, 1888 (ack'd). Reg. Apr. 15, 1895. (Alleghany DB 10:167.)