After my article about the infamous Edwards inheritance, I spoke with my cousin, Barbara Miller Lane, who read the post and had a little more insight to offer. She said that she didn’t think that Richard Barnes (of the 1901 Denver Post article) received any of the inheritance mentioned. After re-reading the Post’s item I have to agree with her. There was no mention that Barnes had actually received any share of the estate. It only reported that the Trinity Church corporation was considering settling the issue outside of the court system. According to Barbara, Richard Barnes died a mere six weeks after his cousin, Vardeman Hawkins, visited him in Colorado, at which time both men planned to meet with an attorney to discuss their inheritance.
Edwards Inheritance Called Into Question
Taking this into consideration with all of the other articles regarding descendants who made claims on the Edwards inheritance, I now believe that no one has ever received any percentage of the estate. Ever. In fact, it’s possible that all of these people were misinformed as to the reality of the family fortune and may not have any real legal claim at all. However, I could be wrong, and the claim could be very real and legitimate, while being methodically ignored and laughed at by the entities who would be obligated to pay the heirs– throughout history as well as in our contemporary era. If I’m wrong and that’s the case, it’s tragic to think of all of those people around the world who pinned their hopes and dreams on receiving their fair share of the family inheritance– and never did. Either way, the legend is intriguing and worth further exploration just for the sake of the story, if not for uncovering the truth of the situation.
And Barbara and I aren’t the only ones who find the Edwards inheritance interesting. Even Welsh film director, Sara Sugarman, was planning to make a movie about it called Promised Land. I’m not sure if her film is still in the works, but I hope it is. The notion appeals to me not only because it involves my family, but as a screenwriter myself, I’d love to work on the project with her (anyone know how to contact Sara Sugarman??!). I wonder if Ms. Sugarman is also an heir since the information on her IMDB page reports that she’s from Denbighshire, Wales, original home of the Edwards clan.
Incidentally, Barbara and I are double cousins. We share not only Uriah Edwards and his wife, Mildred Head, as very distant common ancestors, but also William Hawkins and Elizabeth Wall. I’m descended from the Edwards’ daughter, Rebecca, and the Hawkins’ son, Reuben, and Barbara is descended from Rebecca Edwards’ sister, Elizabeth, and Reuben Hawkins’ brother, Elisha.
Edwards clan unite!