Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Edward Randolph Gay Married Two of My Cousins

Edward Randolph Gay was born in September 1898 to Edwin Francis Gay and Louise Randolph. In 1902, his father started teaching at Harvard, and in 1906 became Professor of Economic History. He was the first Dean of the Harvard Business School from 1908 to 1919 and was president of the New York Evening Post from 1920 to 1923. [1]

Edward graduated from Harvard University in 1919 and from the Business School in 1920. He served in World War I. [2]

By 1923, he was an assistant dean of Harvard College. Although Ancestry's Yearbook collection doesn't currently include Harvard University's 1919 yearbook, it does include 1923, with Edward's photo on the page with the other deans of the college.

Harvard Class Album 1923 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1923), p. 11; image, "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999," Ancestry ( : accessed 22 September 2019)

Edward married Rose Dunbar, on 20 July 1923, at Northeast Harbor, Maine. The Boston Globe description of the wedding is full of Harvard references. Edward's best man was Charles Franklin Dunbar, a Harvard junior, and Rose's brother. [see note 2]

Rose's paternal grandfather, Charles F. Dunbar, founded the department of political economy at Harvard, was dean of the college and, later, dean of the faculty. [see note 2]

Charles and Rose's mother was Katherine Copeland, younger sister of Lowell Copeland (my great-grandfather), and Charles Townsend Copeland, Harvard English professor. Katherine died just over a year later. Rose was my first cousin twice removed.

However, by May of 1925, Edward and Rose Dunbar were divorced, as he married Rose (Greeley) Pritchard, as her second husband, in Santa Ana, California. [3] She was my half first cousin twice removed.

Rose Greeley was the adopted daughter of Louis May Greeley and his wife Anna Lowell Dunbar.

With all the repeating names and multiple marriages, I had to draw a picture to see how Edward Randolph Gay's wives were related to my grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland.

Here is a chart to show how Rose Dunbar and Rose Greeley are related to each other and how they are related to my grandfather. Edward Randolph Gay is shaded in blue, and my grandfather and his father are shaded in green. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

Rose Dunbar and Rose Greeley were first cousins; their grandparents were Charles Franklin Dunbar and Julia Ruggles Copeland.

Grandfather and Rose Dunbar were first cousins; Henry Clay Copeland (and Sarah Lowell) were their grandparents.

Grandfather and Rose Greeley were half first cousins; Samuel Sewall Greeley was their grandfather.

Rose Dunbar married Seymour Piran Edgerton in 1932, and died in Boston in 1942. She had no known children.

Rose (Greeley) (Pritchard) later married Willard Stevens and after his death, she married Erik Burk and settled in Florida. She died in 1981. Her obituary lists five children, but I think she had two who predeceased her.

Edward Randolph Gay died in 1966 and his obituary notes that his widow was Elizabeth A. (Fraser) Gay, so he married at least one more time. I believe he fathered two children with Rose (Greeley) Pritchard.


[1] Wikipedia, ( : accessed 22 September 2019), "Edwin Francis Gay," rev. 03:03, 26 December 2018.

[2] "Table Gossip" [Wedding of Rose Dunbar and Edward Randolph Gay], The Boston Globe, 22 July 1923, p. 62, col. 2; image, ( : accessed 22 September 2019).

[3] California Department of Public Health, courtesy of, "California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980," record for Edward Randolph Gay and Rose Greeley Pritchard, 18 May 1925; image,
"California County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980," Ancestry ( : accessed 22 September 2019).

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