Rensslear Edwards was the father of my grandfather, Andrew Enoch Edwards. The list below identifies his two marriages, and the children of those marriages.
Interestingly, the name Rensslear continued into successive generations, with different spellings as time passed. I remember an grand-uncle, I think, who was called Rant. When I’ve mentioned to friends some of the odd nicknames I know, I think Rant is the most striking or mysterious!
The other interesting fact is that Rensslear’s work is listed—perhaps by my mother—as ‘tobacco farmer, preacher, blacksmith, pioneer’. That’s pretty extensive!
He was buried in Rich Hill, Missouri. At some point, Mom and my cousin Janice Allison drove there to find his grave. I was told that the family had started out from the east coast by covered wagon, intending to reach Kansas. But they turned back when Rensslear died (and his wife was 5 mths pregnant), but trekked back west the next year.
When I was recently sorting through the Edwards family papers that Mom had gathered, I saw a couple that should provide more information about the trip to Kansas. I just have to locate them again.
Regarding large families, I once taught at Andale HS, in a German Catholic community. Large families were common, the most memorable being the family with 16 kids–whose surname was Mohr! My students told me they planned on having smaller families. For them, that meant 4-6 kids.