Genealogy of Florence May McIlquham –“Edwards Estate Scam”

Genealogy of Florence May McIlquham –“Edwards Estate Scam”



This is from the book that belonged to Susan Willoughby from Carleton Place at least a 100 years ago. It was donated by Amanda Thompson — and after I document it going to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. The Willoughbys lived in Carleton Place and Almonte.
Genealogy of Florence May McIlquham


Jason Porteous— Many genealogies of the Edwards family from Beckwith/Montague/Osgoode were generated around the time frame that this one likely was due to the “Edwards Estate Scam” that was perpetrated by scammers on this Very Very large and extended family. Because it was so big, there were many targets/victims. The scam was that a Capt Robert Edwards owned land in Manhattan back in the mid 1700s that still belonged to his estate (he had no kids) and was worth a gazillion $$$. Every Tom, Dick and Henry (trust me there are many of each in the family!!!) put together a genealogy of their family to tie them back to the heirless Capt Robert. I’ve seen some genealogies similar but more formal and neat that have even been legally notarized. The only good thing that came from all our poor ancestors throwing away their money were many many paper copies of genealogies of the family!!!

Shane Wm Edwards — One of the Edwards family members who came from Franktown and became a doctor in Cleveland, Ohio was involved in the International Edwards Heirs Association in the 1920s and it was never clear if he was a dupe or one of the con men. There was an article in Esquire magazine (I think) in the early 1960s that was called the Six Billion Dollar Bamboozle which outlined the scam and mentioned how some of the genealogies became corrupted. So always double check your information in family histories. Also in talking to people it seems this kind of “wealthy relative” scam appear in many other families’ histories as well.

Jason Porteous — 100% agree. Lots of junk trees floating around out there that makes it difficult to figure out the actual relationships. I’ve tried to cut off my ancestral lines at the point where I don’t have anything to support the information I’ve previously pulled from the internet or through old fashion mailed trees from way back. For the family in the original post above, I am fairly comfortable with the info being accurate. Sarah (Henry Saunders), Jane (George Lewis) and another sister Ester (John Saunders) are all ancestors of mine.



Clipped from The Akron Beacon Journal, 08 Nov 1924, Sat,  Page 1



Clipped from The Leader-Post, 08 Mar 1894, Thu,  2



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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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