About the Adams' Family

Updated: 12 January 2010

Our family is descended from Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass. The following came from: Andrew Adams, A Genealogical History of Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass. and His Descendants 1635-1900 ):

Born in England in 1602, Robert Adams came first to Ipswich in Massachusetts Bay in 1635, bringing with him his wife Eleanor (Wilmot?) and his first two children. He was a tailor by trade, resided in Salem in 1638-1639 and removed to Newbury in 1640, where he acquired a large farm and valuable property, and died 12 October 1682, aged 81 years. His will was made at Newbury 7 March 1680-81, and probated 27 November 1682. His wife Eleanor died 12 June 1677, and he married second, 6 February 1678, Sarah (Glover) Short, the widow of Henry Short. She died in Newbury, 24 October 1697.

He is believed by many to have come from Devonshire, and to have been a son of Robert and Elizabeth Sharlon (or Sharland), connected with the Ap Adam pedigree, and through that connection to have been a cousin of Henry Adams of Braintree--(afterward Quincy, Mass), the ancestor of the presidents, John and John Quincy Adams. This famous Welsh pedigree, beginning with Ap Adam in the time of Edward the First, about the close of the 13th Century, and changing to the name of Adams in the eighth generation, runs through thirteen generations down to Nicholas who married and had no issue. To this pedigree has been appended by a later hand, according to competent judges, a brother of Nicholas, named John, who married Margaret Squier, and had Richard, who married and had Robert, the father of Robert of Newbury. There is no evidence whatever to sustain this pleasing belief. His origin is not positively known.

Dr. James Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary of all the earliest of first-comers in New England (1860), says: "Robert Adams, a tailor, in Salem, 1638, by one tradition came from Devonshire, by another of equal value was from Holderness, County of York." According to Joshua Coffin, the historian of Newbury (1845), Robert Adams "was two or three years in Ipswich, and had before coming over, two children, John and Joanna, and at Salem, Abraham, born 1639; he removed to Newbury 1640, and had Isaac, 1648, and youngest Archelaus." He is believed to have resided within a few rods of the spot where his descendants, Col. Daniel Adams and Robert Adams, afterward lived. Mr. Coffin was mistaken in naming Archelaus among his sons. The Archelaus who has been classed as such, was a son of Lieut. John Adams, who was a son of "William of Ipswich". That he was equally mistaken in assuming that Robert Adams came from Devonshire, there is fair ground for belief.

If coming from Holderness it is not impossible that he was of Scotch origin and blood. There is a tradition amon some of the descendants that he was a Scothchman.

The shears with which Robert Adams wrought and which he brought with him from England--a large pair, hand-made--are now in the possession of his descendant, Stephen p. Hale of Newbury.

The will of Robert Adams alludes to and confirms an agreement made with his loving wife, Sarah, before marriage,--gives her "my great chest and the highest chair in the room wherein we live," both of which she is to restore at her death, or if she shall marry again, "also all the money I have," she not to be accountable to any one, and "to enjoy the parlor wholly for one year." To his eldest son, John, he gives 20£ to be paid by his executors within twelve months after his cecease; to his son Isaac he bequeths 5£ yearly during life "in English corn, pork, beef, and such like, also my wearing apparel, and the bed in the north garret and all the furniture belonging to it, and the least, brass pot and pot hooks, etc." To Jacob he gives the house he lives in and the land adjoining to it as now fenced in, and the meadow on the neck or south side of Newbury River. To his daughter Hannah he gives 20£ to be paid within one year; to Joanna, or her childre, the bed and furniture belonging to it in the parlor, and the biggest brass pot, and the chest and chair previously mentioned when they are returned, to have them when 18 years or age or when she marries; to daughter Elizabeth, wife of Edward Phelps, he gives one cow; to daughter Joanna, wife of Launcelot Granger, one cow; to daughter Mary, wife of Jeremiah Goodrich, one cow. To the three sons of Abraham, then born--Robert, Abraham, Isaac--he gives each a gun, and to the two older each a sword. All the rest of his effects he gives to Abraham.

He provides that his lands shall go to Robert, the eldest son of Abraham, also the great brass kettle, table, and irons and spit; Abraham and his son Robert to be joint executors, but Abraham to have power to act alone till Robert should become of age. "And though I appoint Robert Adams my heir after his father, Mary, the wife of said Abraham, is not to be debarred of any just claim if left a widow." Further, to Joanna Granger he bequeths his pewter tankard and a pewter bowl, and to Mary, daughter of Abraham, a box with lock and key and six diaper knapkins."

If Robert came into possession of the lands by reversion he is to give to either of his two brothers "now in being"--Abraham and Isaac--20£ a piece. His loving friends, Mr. John Woodbridge and Mr. Nicholas Noyes, were to be overseers of the will, an to them, each one, was bequethed on of his best wethers.
Signed and sealed March 7, 1680.

The above record came from the following source:
A Genealogical History of Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass. and His Descendants 1635-1900 by Andrew N. Adams.

Newbury, Mass. was established in 1635 and was previously known as "Wessacucon". Newburyport, Mass. was established in 1764.

See Jeremiah Adams' genealogy which refutes the Presidential connection. This can be found in the Wisconsin Historical Society's Library in Madison, WI. (CS 71 A2 1974)

Robert Adams was born in 1601-1602 and emigrated to Ipswich, Mass. from Devonshire, England in 1635 as a tailor; he next moved to Salem, Mass. in 1638 and then to Newbury, Mass. in 1640 where he became a wealthy farmer.

The "Compendium of American Genealogy" lists Robert Adams as born on 10 October 1602 in Ottery, St. Mary, Devonshire, England, the son of Peter Adams.

The Pioneers of Mass. A Descriptive List, Drawn from Records of the Colonies, Towns, & Churches & Other Contemporaneous Documents by Charles Henry Pope (1900) names Robert Adams as Salem propr, 1638, yeoman, tailor. Employed to "ring" the swine 1646. Moved to Newbury 1649.

Henry came in the Mary & John 03 March 1635 and settled in Ipswich. Court Deputy in 1634-35. Frm 03 September 1634. Rem to Newbury before 1637. Propr., town officer. Wife Elizabeth d. 22 March 1647. He m. 09 October 1648 Sarah Glover. Ch. Sarah b. 18 December 1649. d. 12 March 1650.

Henry b. 11 March 1652, John b. & d. 1653, Sarah b. 28 January 1650. He d. 05 May 1673. Will dated 13 February 1672, prob. 19 June 1673, beq. to wife Sarah, son Henry & dau. Sarah; to cousin Samuel Holt, Robert Longs Children & Nathan Parker, Jr.

[?Was Sarah dau. of Rev. Jose or Josse Glover of London?]

Nicholas Ellen of Dorchester, in Court 4 (4) 1639 propr. 02 February 1646 [George Allen of Boston, son of Daniel & gr. son of Nicholas A. of Dorchester beq. in 1718 a small farm which had belonged to said grandfather Nicholas A. This shows a double spelling of the name] He deposed in 1656 Ae about 40 years [Arch 38 B] he . 1st Martha___, she d. 17 September 1660, m. 2nd 3 July 1663 Mary widow of Robert Pond, Jr. They sold the Pond estate 5 October 1665. Ch. Ann b. 3 (11) 1657. Will dated 16 November 1667 prob. 29 May 1668, wife Mary, eldest son Daniel, his other children; Martha & Mary Pond, his wife's daughters [reg XIX 36] Daniel Administrator on the estate of his brother Benjamin 11 January 1677.

This page is maintained by Jim Adams of Door County, WI (USA)