On the name Edward

Last week, after reading the article about Edward Rainbow, silk merchant, Geoff Rainbow commented:

Wonder if this has anything to do with Granny Annie’s claim that ‘there’s always been an Edward in the family’ & her disappointment that I wasn’t named Edward, but perhaps she was talking about her own family. Don’t know of an Edward among Elijah’s sons – only heard of William C. & ‘Bob’, father of ‘Bob’s lot’.

I took a look, and here’s what I have learned… Granny Annie might have been referring to either side.
There is a strong tradition of Edwards on the Rainbow side, and a few Edwards on the Wallis side.

A string of Rainbows named Edward:
Edward Rainbow (dates unknown) -> Edward Rainbow (1745-1827) ->Edward Rainbow (1772- ?1838).
This last Edward Rainbow had three children:
Elisha, Eliza Fanny and Ephraim.

Elisha named two children Edward, including his first born – but both died by the time they were 5. Elisha’s brother Ephraim also named his first son Edward (1829). Eliza did not name any of her children Edward.

Elisha’s son William Charles Rainbow (1847-1894) named his first son Edward Rainbow (1870-1940). This would be KR’s half-brother. By the way… I have a note that he later changed his last name to Beresford – if anyone has the details of that story, let me know.

Annie Wallis’ father was Edward Wallis(1830-1891), and she also had a brother Edward Wallis(1855-?). Her grandfather was David Wallis(1793-?). I haven’t been able to get further back than that yet. Wallis turns out to be a very common surname, and the most of the first names are pretty common as well (Ann, Edward, David, Arthur).



Filed under Memoirs