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Moray in the past: Lossie fisherman could inherit large New York fortune

By Alistair Whitfield

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Taken from the files of the Northern Scot on October 11, 1922:

A large fortune awaits a local man should he be able to prove his relationship to a man who emigrated from Lossiemouth to America in the beginning of the last century.

Mr Alexander Edwards, a line fisherman from Victoria Street, believes that he is the oldest living relative of Robert Edwards, who was an uncle of his great-grandfather.

It seems all previous endeavours to trace the next-of-kin have been of no avail, but it has since been contended that this gentleman was a native of Lossiemouth.

Hence the present effort to look for relatives there.

It seems that Robert Edwards had a brother, William, who was drowned in the Stotfield disaster in about the year 1806.

The current Mr Edwards is believed to be the eldest descendant of that drowned man.

A letter has now been received from a Long Island City form of attorneys.

It states that his ancestor was supposed to have been born in Stotfield in 1779, near Seapark.

The firm is endeavouring to procure some information in regard to the matter and it desires any old papers or records.

Interviewed by a Northern Scot reporter, Mr Edwards spoke about his forebear.

He said: "As far as I'm aware not long after the Stotfield disaster he went to New York where he bought 40 acres of land where Wall Street now stands."


NB: Ten men with the surname Edward, rather than Edwards, were among the 21 who perished after a storm suddenly got up on the Moray Firth during Christmas Day in 1806.

Lossiemouth lost its entire fleet of three fishing boats in one afternoon.

More importantly, it also lost nearly all of its able-bodied men and youths.

None of the bodies were ever found.

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