The Edwards surname is a patronymic surname, meaning son of Edward. A patronymic name is one that takes the father’s given name and uses it as a surname. The surname Edwards was most widespread in Wales, where such patronymics are common (Thomas, Williams, Stephens, etc). and it grew to be the twentieth most widespread name in England and Wales by 1853. The surname's occurrence continues to be relatively high in the British Isles, and in parts of the world where migration from the British Isles occurred.