For details on how to join the Edgar DNA project contact Steve Edgar by using this email link
Edgar DNA group
Edgar family DNA newsletters
As with most people researching the Edgar family, I always believed in the theory of the one common ancestor that linked us all together, now in 2007 with the Edgar DNA research well underway this theory has now been well and truly disproved, there is no common ancestor, the Edgar family's roots are many and varied. This may come as a shock to some people, but we have found Edgar families living in the same area of Ireland that one would assume have common roots, but via the science of DNA it has been found that these people share only a name not an ancestor.
A number of distinct groups have been found in the Edgar DNA research, these are:
But why all these different origins? I have my own theory and this is it; If you have any thoughts on this theory please feel free to contact me.
Surnames only became common in England in Norman times (11th Century) At this time manor courts were established, these were created to help control the local people, part of the control they imposed was written records on the ownership of land and property, because of this it was important to be able to identify yourself as the person the records referred to, this resulted in people taking what we now know as surnames. This was important if you wanted to ensure that property and land was passed on from one generation to the next within your family; and so it was that the surname was also passed from father to son.
In England these names were at first simple references to the either the persons profession, e.g. Fletcher (the arrow maker), Cooper (the barrel maker), Taylor and Baker. Another version was the reference to the fathers name, William's ancestors would have surnames like Williamson, Williams, Wilkinson, Wilkins and Wilkes, all different ways of saying William's children.
In Scotland many family's adopted a different approach to this surname selection. Many Scots lived in clans, these were not necessarily a single family group, often they were a social community grouping of unrelated family's that survived by coming together to help and protect each other, very much a safety in numbers approach. When it came to surname selection many of these Scots took on the name of the clan leader or chief, it is my theory that this is what the Edgar family did, because of this we can have individuals who are descended from Celts, Norsemen, Saxons, Romans and Normans. The Edgar family does not have a common genetic ancestor, I believe it has a single common namesake ancestor, this individual was the head of the clan at the time of the introduction of surnames, his clan took on his name and it was Edgar.
It must be remember that the people of Britain are mix of many people who have come to these shores since the dawn of mankind, there is no pure British race, rather a social mix of elements of all the peoples who have settled in the British Isles over the years.
The map above shows the distribution of name Edgar in 1881
The map above shows the distribution of name Edgar in 1998