William Edwards (1793)
& Hannah Davis

William "Grancey Billy" Edwards, son of David EDWARDS, Jr. & Elizabeth ANDREWS, was born June 22, 1793, in Orange or Wilkes (Ashe) Co., NC, and died 1881 in Alleghany Co., NC. He married Hannah Davis, abt. 1812. She was born abt. 1791 in North Carolina, and died July 9, 1852 in Ashe Co., NC.

Children of William Edwards & Hannah Davis:

  1. Archibald Edwards, b. Dec. 23, 1813, Ashe Co., NC; d. Dec. 30, 1901, Alleghany Co., NC; m. Sarah BRYAN, daughter of Morgan BRYAN & Susan HALE, Nov. 16, 1836 (b. abt. 1822; d. bef. 1880); bur. Felts Cemetery, Galax, Grayson Co., VA. Children: William Henry Harrison Edwards (1837), Morgan Edwards (1841), Abraham Edwards (c.1846), Rosamond (Rosa D.) Edwards (1848), Cynthia Edwards (c.1852), Joseph N. Edwards (1856).
  2. Elizabeth Cynthia Edwards, b. abt. 1816, Ashe Co., NC; d. aft. 1900, Butler Co., NE; m. Henry WOODRUFF, son of John Allen WOODRUFF & Jane MCBRIDE, abt. 1832 (b. Apr. 2, 1810; d. June 10, 1902). Note: a deed dated Sept. 28, 1888, from Henry WOODRUFF of Butler Co., NE, to T.C. DOUGLAS, conveys 1/2 acre on the Little River in Alleghany Co., NC, "that he got of his father in law William Edwards Sen." (Alleghany DB 9, p.540.)


Grancey Billy Edwards, as William Edwards (1793) was known, lived in northern Alleghany County near Moccasin Creek and the Little River.  He and his family were close neighbors of the Chesley Cheek family, based on many deeds involving William's son Archibald Edwards and grandson Morgan Edwards.  There were a lot of Edwards in this area, including "Grancey Billy's" uncle William Edwards who was born in 1776 and died 1869.  It is easy to get them confused, so care is needed when reviewing the records.

Grancey Billy was murdered in 1881 by Hemp Crouse.  According to Alleghany County Heritage, p.193, article no. 295, "Hemp Crouse … had seen him [Grancey Billy] delivering oxen in the vicinity of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Since Grancey Billy didn't receive money as payment for the oxen, Hemp only got fifty cents off the body.  On his death bed, Hemp told where to find Grancey Billy's bones.  His grandson, Morgan, found the bones and placed them in the cemetery above the Dillon Edwards home."

1820 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.6: WM EDWARDS
1 w/m under 10 1 w/f under 10
1 w/m 16-25 1 w/f 16-25

1830 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.38: WILLIAM EDWARDS, JR.
1 w/m 10-14 1 w/f 10-14
2 w/m 15-20 1 w/f 30-39
1 w/m 30-39  

1840 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.13: WM. EDWARDS
1 w/m 40-49 1 w/f 40-49

1850 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.250 (HH#183):
WILLIAM EDWARDS, age 56, farmer, $500, b. in NC
-- Hannah, 59, NC
-- Wm, 22, NC <<probably not their son (not listed on 1840 census)
1860 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Glade Creek Twp., p.422 (HH#564):
ARCH EDWARDS, 46, farmer, $6000, $5900, NC
-- Sallie, 39, NC
-- William, 23, constable, NC
-- Morgan, 18, NC
-- Abram, 14, NC
-- Rosamond, 11, NC
-- Cynthia, 8, NC
-- Joseph, 4, NC

1870 Census: He might be the William EDWARDS, age 77, domestic servant, who was living with the family of Sophina STONE. (Alleghany Co., NC, Glade Creek Twp., HH#69).

1880 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Glade Creek Twp., p.243 (HH#38):
MORGAN EDWARDS, 36, farmer, b. in VA, father b. in NC, mother b. in NC
-- Palee, 26, wife, keeping house, VA KY NC
-- Eldridge, 6, son, NC VA VA
-- Lena, 4, dau, NC VA VA
-- Charlie, 2, son, NC VA VA
EDWARDS, Arch, 66, father, farm laborer, NC NC NC
EDWARDS, William, 85, grandfather, at home, NC NC NC