The Edmondson family originally settled in Virginia but relocated to Talbot County, Maryland, not long after its arrival in North America in the seventeenth century. John Edmondson was one of the early settlers of Dorchester County, Maryland, moving there from Talbot County around 1665. William V. M. Edmondson (b. ca. 1812), a descendant of John Edmondson, was a landowner and physician in East New Market, Maryland. Edmondson attended medical school at Washington University of Baltimore from 1845 to 1847, receiving his diploma in March 1847. After the death of his wife Elizabeth, about whom little is known, Edmondson married Eugenia S. Manning on December 24, 1855. Eugenia (b. June 27, 1834) was affectionately called "Grannis" by her only stepchild, Emma, and Emma's children. Sometime after William V. M. Edmondson's death in 1872, Eugenia S. M. Edmondson married James H. Thomas (b. ca. 1827), who was also a physician.
Emma V. Edmondson (ca. 1836-1908), the daughter of William and Elizabeth, married James Thomas Jacobs (ca. 1834-1896). James T. Jacobs was a physician in East New Market and Emma was listed as a schoolteacher in the 1880 census. Four of their children survived into adulthood: Linda (ca. 1857-1919); Eugenia [Jean] (ca. 1861-1924); William V. E. (ca. 1862-1934); and Emma E. (ca. 1871-1948).
Linda, also called "Bosie," was a music teacher. She married Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh (ca. 1853-1925), an educator to whom the Jacobs family sometimes referred to as "the professor" in their letters. The Murdaughs had at least one child, James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh (ca. 1886-1939). The correspondence documents the Murdaughs' residence in various places around the state of Maryland. In 1909, Edmund was the principal of the State Normal School in Frostburg, Maryland, now Frostburg State University. Their son, known as Dandridge, received his master's degree from George Washington University in 1922. At least one of his children survived infancy, James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh, Jr. Dandridge Murdaugh, Jr., graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania in 1940; his father may also have been connected with that school.
William V. E. Jacobs, the son of Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs and James T. Jacobs, rose to the rank of Commandant in the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, the precursor of the modern-day Coast Guard. His travels throughout the United States included visits to New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; San Francisco, California; Alaska; Washington, D. C.; and Hawaii on vessels including the U. S. R. S. vessels Forward, Seward, Bear, Corwin, Hamilton, and Manning, as well as the U. S. S. Windom. In 1911, William was the superintendent of the U. S. Revenue Cutter School of Instruction in New London, Connecticut. William was later awarded the Navy Cross for his distinguished service as commander of the U. S. S. Niagara during the First World War.
Emma and James Jacobs's daughters Jean and Emma E. Jacobs both had careers as schoolteachers. Jean remained near East New Market, while Emma spent part of her career at Church Creek, also located in Dorchester County. Emma graduated from Easton High School in 1889 and, by 1892, had secured her position in Church Creek. In 1899, when her brother William secured a promotion he offered to support his sister so that she could retire from teaching. However, Emma continued teaching until at least 1902. Later in her life, Emma lived with William on both coasts of the United States near where he was stationed in the Revenue Cutter Service.