An interesting Eaddy family story was related to me by Murray John Eaddy of New Zealand whose ancestors migrated from England to NZ in the mid 1800s. We have been able to establish that a Robert Eaddy was born in Great Britain about 1696. He married Jane Hayward in 1719 and Honour Hayward in 1722, who were also British subjects. Robert Eaddy, (Sr.) and Honour Hayward had a son also named Robert Eaddy, (Jr.) who married Elizabeth Luxon about 1752. To them was born Mary Eaddy in 1756 who in turn married Isaac Ford in 1788.
A son was born to Isaac Ford and Mary Eaddy in 1789 who was named John Ford who married Mary Pearse on June 17, 1815 in England. John Ford was being conscripted to join the Royal British Navy in Nelson's time. This would be approximately the time of the War of 1812. He deserted and fled to St. Germain, Cornwall, Great Britain. To protect his identity, he took for his surname the maiden name of his mother who was named Mary Eaddy, and changed his name to John Eaddy. The descendants of John Ford have thereafter borne the name of Eaddy.
A curious association of these two names exists at Prospect, SC with the Eaddy-Ford Cemetery. Eaddy-Ford Cemetery overlooks "Eaddy Big Bay", a Lynches River Creek. This cemetery is located on the site of some of the original property owned by this family and it was the burial place for the Eaddy family for three or more generations. We know of no Ford families living in that area at the time the cemetery was established, the location was not known as Ford, and no Eaddy married a Ford for at least five generations. It is possible that a horse ford or crossing was located in that area; but in that case the name would probably have been Eaddy Ford Cemetery. There is available no reasonable explanation of why or how the cemetery was named. Is it somehow related to the change made in the family name from Eddy to Eaddy by James Eaddy, II and used consistently by his descendants thereafter, with a few exceptions? As noted in the Variant Spellings of the Family Name feature story, the Eaddy Family Bible indicates he and his brother Samuel were born with the name of Eddy. Both of them and some of their living descendants changed their names to Eaddy at about the same time (between 1819 and 1848). We have no explanation why they chose this unique way of spelling, nor what prompted them to do so at this particular time in history. Did a significant event occur in history at this period of time to suggest a motive? Could it be that they knew this relationship existed and were doing so to honor their Eaddy ancestry which was English and could have also been associated with the name of Ford?
1. This article has been posted to stimulate inquiry, is posed only as a theory, and does not imply documentation of fact regarding the historic identity of the Eaddy family name nor ethnic origin.
2. The extensive presentation of dates in this article demonstrates that the John Ford/Eaddy incident occurred much later than the arrival in South Carolina of James Eddy, I., who could have been English; but not a descendent of John Eaddy/Ford.