He was born on the 5th of October 1703 at East (now South) Windsor, Connecticut, United States. His earliest known ancestor was Richard Edwards, Welsh by birth, a London clergyman in Elizabeth's reign. His father Timothy Edwards was the son of a prosperous merchant of Hartford, had graduated at Harvard, was minister at East Windsor, and eked out his salary by tutoring boys for college. His mother, Esther Stoddard was the daughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, of Northampton, Massachussets, seems to have been a woman of unusual mental gifts and independence of character. Jonathan, the only son, was the fifth of eleven children.