EDWARDS Surname Meaning and Family History

The Edwards surname means son of Edward, a given name meaning "prosperous guard."
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Edwards is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Edward." It derives from the early medieval English given name, Edward, meaning "prosperous guardian," from the Old English "Eadward," composed of the elements ead, meaning "prosperity or fortune," and w(e)ard, meaning "guard."

Edwards is the 53rd most popular surname in the United States and the 17th most common surname in England.

Surname Origin: English

Alternate Surname Spellings: EDWARDES, EDWARDSON, EDWARD, EDWART

Famous People with the EDWARDS Surname

  • Jonathan Edwards - Protestant Theologian, Philosopher, Journalist, Educator, Scholar
  • Gareth Edwards - Welsh rugby player
  • Blake Edwards - American film director, producer and screenwriter
  • Teresa Edwards - American basketball player; Olympic medalist
  • Robert Alan "Bob" Edwards - American author, radio journalist and host 
  • Clement Edwards - Welsh lawyer, journalist, trade union activist and Liberal politician
  • Pierpont Edwards - American lawyer, judge and delegate to the American Continental Congress

Where is the EDWARDS Surname Most Commonly Found?

According to surname distribution data from Forebears, Edwards is the 800th most common surname in the world. It is especially prevalent in the United States, where it ranks 51st, as well as England (21st), Australia (26th), Wales (14th), Trinidad and Tobago (18th), Jamaica (14th) and New Zealand (23rd). Within England it is most common in Shropshire, where it is the 5th most frequent surname. It is also the 7th most common surname in both Flintshire and Denbighshire, Wales.

Ellis is found most frequently in Wales, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, followed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname EDWARDS

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

How to Research English Ancestry
Learn how to research your English family tree with this guide to genealogical records in England and Wales. Includes information on both online and offline records including birth, marriage, death, census, military and estate records.

Edwards Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as an Edwards family crest or coat of arms for the Edwards surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. 

Edwards Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Edwards surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Edwards query.

FamilySearch - EDWARDS Genealogy
Explore over 7.6 million historical records which mention individuals with the Edwards surname, as well as online Edwards family trees on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

GeneaNet - Edwards Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Edwards surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

EDWARDS Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Edwards surname.

DistantCousin.com - EDWARDS Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Edwards.

The Edwards Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse family trees and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the last name Edwards from the website of Genealogy Today.


References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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