Elizabeth C. Edwards
of Brynmawr, Wales
and Scranton, Pennsylvania

by Jeffrey L. Thomas

Research has demonstrated that the majority of Welsh immigrants and their families who arrived in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the 19th century came from the industrial areas of south Wales. We also know that there were a significant number of these immigrant families that originated in Brynmawr, Breconshire and the surrounding communities. As such, we should not be surprised that many of the Welsh immigrants from Brynmawr were buried in the old Washburn Street cemetery in Hyde Park/Scranton. Although we know this to be the case, to date I have located only one grave marker that specifically mentions Brynmawr, that of Mrs. David E. Edwards.

The marker for Mrs. Edwards states that she was born in 1850 in Bryn Mawr, south Wales, and was the wife of David E. Edwards. The marker also tells us that she died on 11 Sept 1904, while her husband David died in 1910. By cross-referencing her date of death with obituaries from the local papers, and her death certificate, we discover that her name was Elizabeth C. Edwards and that she was born in January of 1850. Unfortunately these records do not reveal Elizabeth's maiden name, which would allow us to attempt to identify her in Brynmawr. Elizabeth's death and funeral were mentioned in the local papers, as follows:

Scranton Republican
13 Sept 1904
West Side Department
Notes and Personals

Mrs. David E. Edwards, aged fifty-four years, died at her home on Archbald street Sunday. She is survived by four sons and four daughters: George, John, Albert and Charles; Mary, Ruth, Margaret and Emily. The funeral will be held at the residence tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Scranton Times
13 Sept 1904
Funeral of Mrs. Edwards

The funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth C., wife of David E. Edwards of 84 Archbald street, who died yesterday morning, will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Rev. Dr. Benninger of the Embury church and Rev. Peter Gray Evans of the Bellevue Welsh C.M. church, will officiate. Interment will be made in Washburn street cemetery.

This information allowed me to identify the Edwards family in the 1900 census, where I found them living at No. 84 Archbald Street, as follows:

1900 Census, 6th Ward, Scranton, Lackawanna Co., Pa.

Name Relationship Date of Birth Age Marital Status Children born/living Occupation
Edward(s), David Head June 1847 52 M32 Wales - 1868 Miner
Edward(s) Elizabeth Wife Dec 1849 50 M32, 13/8 Wales - 1868  
Edward(s), John Son Oct 1873 26 S PA Blacksmith
Edward(s), Albert Son Nov 1877 22 S PA Printer
Edward(s), Mary Dau Feb 1880 20 S PA  
Edward(s), Ruth Dau Feb 1882 18 S PA Sales Lady, Dry Goods
Edward(s), Charles Son June 1883 17 S PA at school
Edward(s), Margaret Dau Oct 1885 14 S PA at school
Edward(s), Emily Dau May 1890 17 S PA at school

As always, the census provides several interesting details regarding the Edwards family. The return indicates that David and Elizabeth were married ca. 1877 and that Elizabeth had given birth to thirteen children, only eight of whom had survived until 1900. The census also tells us that David and Elizabeth emigrated to America in 1868. Unfortunately, I have yet to discover their immigration record or positively identify the family in either the 1880 or 1870 census. Hopefully additional research will reveal more about this Brynmawr-Scranton Connection.

Below: the grave marker of David and Elizabeth Edwards,
Washburn Street Cemetery, Scranton, Pa.

Return to the Brynmawr-Scranton connection page
Return to the Prominent Welshmen of Scranton page
Read more about the history of Hyde Park
Return to the Brynmawr, Wales History - Genealogy website

Web site copyright 2005 by Jeffrey L. Thomas, with all rights reserved
e-mail: jltbalt1@verizon.net