From an Old English personal name derived from ēad ‘prosperity, riches’ + gār ‘spear’. This was the name of an English king and saint, Edgar the Peaceful (d. 975), and of Edgar Atheling (?1060–?1125), the young prince who was chosen by the English to succeed Harold as king in 1066, but who was supplanted by the Normans. Although used only infrequently in Britain, it is still fairly popular in the United States.
English and Welsh: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Jon(e) (see John). The surname is especially common in Wales and southern central England. In North America this name has absorbed various cognate and like-sounding surnames from other languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988).