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PBS Special: Faces of America

January 6, 2010

Here’s a video that will probably remind every Adams of a typical day in Garry’s office:

The series premieres nationally Wednesdays, Feb 10 – Mar 3, 2010 from 8-9pm ET on PBS.

What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series Faces of America wherein Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. again turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/facesofamerica/

I’ll be watching, if only to learn more about the genetic applications to genealogy. Just yesterday, I came across the Adams Surname DNA project, and my first thought flew to the wish we could have participated.

But the more I read, the more I wondered. There are families in that project who had old, rich Oral histories – that were completely destroyed by the results of DNA testing.

In the pool of genealogy, I’m swimming with water wings right now. As I work through Garry’s book and perform my own research, I begin to make a horrifying realization:

The potential exists for fundamental error and fundamental change.

In a field typified by the unreliable nature of sources, stories and individual memory, the opportunity for mistakes is compounded by the growing amount of information available on the internet – a medium just as prone (if not moreso) to inaccuracy and falsehoods.

I must be very, very careful.

Descendants of John Ap Adams

January 6, 2010

Generation #1

1. JOHN AP1 ADAM he married ELIZABETH DE GOURNAI, daughter of JOHN DE GOURNAI and OLIVIA LOVEL.

Children of JOHN AP ADAM and ELIZABETH DE GOURNAI are:

  2.   i. JOHN AP2 ADAM
ii. THOMAS AP ADAM
iii. WILLIAM AP ADAM
iv. ROGER AP ADAM

Generation #2

2. JOHN AP2 ADAM (JOHN AP1)

Child of JOHN AP ADAM is:

  3.   i. WILLIAM AP3 ADAM

Generation #3

3. WILLIAM AP3 ADAM (JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1)

Child of WILLIAM AP ADAM is:

  4.   i. JOHN AP4 ADAM

Generation #4

4. JOHN AP4 ADAM (WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1)

Child of JOHN AP ADAM is:

  5.   i. THOMAS AP5 ADAM

Generation #5

5. THOMAS AP5 ADAM (JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1). He married JANE INGE.

Notes for THOMAS AP ADAM:

  • He was a Knight

Notes for JANE INGE:

  • She was the daughter and heiress of Sir John Inge

Child of THOMAS AP ADAM and JANE INGE is:

  6.   i. JOHN AP6 ADAM

Generation #6

6. JOHN AP6 ADAM (THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1). He married MILLICENT BESSYLLS.

Notes for MILLICENT BESSYLLS:

  • She was the daughter of Sir Mathew Bessylls, Knight.

Child of JOHN AP ADAM and MILLICENT BESSYLLS is:

  7.   i. JOHN AP7 ADAMS

Generation #7

7. JOHN AP7 ADAMS (JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1). He married CLARA POWELL.

Notes for JOHN AP ADAMS :

  • This is the man who had the name changed from “Ap Adam” to Adams

Child of JOHN ADAMS and CLARA POWELL is:

  8.   i. ROGER8 ADAMS

Generation #8

8. ROGER8 ADAMS (JOHN AP7, JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1). He married JANE ELLIOT.

Child of ROGER ADAMS and JANE ELLIOT is:

  9.   i. THOMAS9 ADAMS

Generation #9

9. THOMAS9 ADAMS (ROGER8, JOHN AP7, JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1). He married MARIA UPTON.

Child of THOMAS ADAMS and MARIA UPTON is:

  10.   i. JOHN10 ADAMS

Generation #10

10. JOHN10 ADAMS (THOMAS9, ROGER8, JOHN AP7, JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1). He married JANE (RENNEIGH) BENNELIEGH.

Children of JOHN ADAMS and JANE BENNELIEGH is:

  11.   i. JOHN11 ADAMS, d. 1557

Generation #11

11. JOHN11 ADAMS (JOHN10, THOMAS9, ROGER8, JOHN AP7, JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1) died 1557. He married CATHARINE STEBBING.

Children of JOHN ADAMS and CATHARINE STEBBING are:

  12.   i. JOHN12 ADAMS, b. England
ii. NICHOLAS ADAMS
iii. GEORGE ADAMS

Generation #12

12. JOHN12 ADAMS (JOHN11, JOHN10, THOMAS9, ROGER8, JOHN AP7, JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1) was born in England. He married MARGARET SQUIER.

Notes for MARGARET SQUIER:

  • She was the daughter and heiress of Mr. Squier

Child of JOHN ADAMS and MARGARET SQUIER is:

  13.   i. RICHARD13 ADAMS, b. Abt. 1530, England

Generation #13

13. RICHARD13 ADAMS (JOHN12, JOHN11, JOHN10, THOMAS9, ROGER8, JOHN AP7, JOHN AP6, THOMAS AP5, JOHN AP4, WILLIAM AP3, JOHN AP2, JOHN AP1) was born about 1530 in England. He married MARGARET ARMAGER in England. She was born in England.

Children of RICHARD ADAMS and MARGARET ARMAGER are:

  14.   i. ROBERT14 ADAMS, b. England; m. ELIZABETH SHARLON, England; b. England
ii. WILLIAM ADAMS, m. BARRINGTON, England

Lineage of John Amos Adams

January 5, 2010
1. ROBERT ADAMS - Elizabeth Sharlon
  b -   b -
  d -   d -
2. ROBERT ADAMS - Eleanor Wilmot
  b – 10 Oct 1602   b – abt 1610
  d – 12 Oct 1682   d – 12 June 1677
3. SGT. ABRAHAM ADAMS - Mary Pettingell
  b – 1639   b – 06 July 1652
  m – 10 Nov 1670    
  d – 14 Aug 1714   d – 19 Sept 1705
4. SARAH ADAMS - Unknown
  b – 15 Apr 1681   b -
  d – 22 Mar 1734/35   d -
5. ISRAEL ADAMS - Tabitha Farnum
  b – 24 Feb 1707/08   b – abt 1707
  m – 20 Mar 1732/3    
  d – 16 Oct 1789   d – 18 Feb 1804
6. JOHN ADAMS - Hannah Osgood*[JM1]
  b – 03 July 1735   b – 04 Jan 1734/35
  m – 23 Nov 1758    
  d – 27 Jun 1813   d – 22 Jan 1774
7. JOHN ADAMS - Dorcas Faulkner
  b – 26 Feb 1766   b – 24 Sept 1766
  m – 08 Dec 1789    
  d – 28 Sept 1839   d -23 Sept 1837
8. JOSEPH HENRY ADAMS - Sarah Brown White
  b – 21 Mar 1790   b – 29 Sept 1793
  m – 12 Nov 1816    
  d – 01 July 1861   d – 26 Apr 1859
9. JOHN ADAMS - Mary Bond Hill
  b – 05 Sept 1825   b -04 Nov 1828
  m –Apr 1852    
  d – 11 Sept 1869   d -
10. JOHN FREDERICK ADAMS - Amie Batcheller Kelly
  b – 08 Jan 1853   b – 23 Oct 1855
  m – 06 Jun 1876    
  d – 02 Feb 1926   d -26 Feb 1948
11. JOHN AMOS ADAMS - Helen Belle Shields
  b – 10 Jan 1883   b – 31 May 1891
  m – 16 July 1914    
  d – 27 July 1968   d – 7 Jan 1980

[JM1]Dates have been updated from p. 9 of G. Adams book to reflect those on p. 33. Listed sources on p.33 : “Vital Records of Andover MA, p. 373” & dates from Hannah’s gravestone. Further confirmation is being conducted.

Newbury First Settlers Monument

December 12, 2009

pic-pc-monument

Side 1

p-monument2

Side 2

p-monument4

Crown

Pictures discovered on the Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury, Massachusetts website

New Find: Israel Adams Headstone

December 8, 2009

israel adams 1714

Inscription reads: "HERE LYES YE BODY OF MR ISRAEL ADAMS OF NEWBURY DIED DECEMBER 12TH 1714 IN YE 26TH YEAR OF HIS AGE."

  • Newbury births: ADAMS, Israeli, s. Abraham and Mary, Dec. 25, 1688.
  • Newbury marriages: ADAMS, Israel, and Rebecca Atkinson, Oct. 15, 1714. *
  • Waltham deaths: ADAMS, Israel of Newbury, Dec. 12 [dup. Dec. 19], 1714, in 26th y. G.R

Rebecca and Israel had a son, who was baptized in Newbury Apr. 26, 1716.
His wife, Rebecca, married, 2nd, Joseph Hilton, of Exeter, Oct. 10, 1716, in Newbury.

Photo found at: http://gravematter.smugmug.com/Massachusetts/Waltham/Grove-Hill-Cemetery/7483088_ESJA6/1/482891170_DbBQa/Medium

Grove Hill Cemetery (aka Old Burial Ground) was established in 1703 and is located on Main Street. All photos donated by and copyright © of Bill Boyington.

The Adams Family of Newbury, Massachusetts, Part IV

December 6, 2009

The following is a continued account  by an as yet unidentified historian associated with both the Adams family and the Byfield Parish church. This account was acquired by Gareldine Adams, although it is unknown whether she copied this herself, or if it was sent to her by a contact at the church.

Further investigation as to the identity of the author is being conducted by Jules Maas.

Part I discussed the name of Adams, the emigration of Robert Adams, and a few historical details about the family’s Coat of Arms.

Part II gave an account of a trial between Robert Adams’ and a thief, his arrival in Newbury, establishment of his estate and investment activities.

Part III touched on the occupational preferences of Robert’s descendants, discussed the genealogical work, “Robert Adams of Newbury” by Andrew N. Adams (who erroneously documented Robert as a tailor), and included some history of Byfield Parish.

Dedicated to Mrs. Anne C. Moody

The story of the Farms District has to do with the tract of land lying between the Highfield Road and Cart Creek. This was originally contained in four large grants; the first and largest was given to Dr. John Clark. It ran one mile west from the river and two hundred rods easterly from Cart Creek. Edmund Greenleaf was given 100 acres, John Cutting two hundred acres and the rest to Mr. Thomas Colman.

None of these names are now found in this section and it is not probable that any of these grants were ever occupied by the original owners. The Clark grant was given the Doctor with the understanding that he practice his profession in the Town, but was held by him for only a short time. In 1651 he traded for a house in Boston with one Mathew Chaffrey who on the same day sold the whole lot to Richard Thorlay. We believe that this remains to this day the largest single transfer of land ever to have taken place in the Town.

Richard Thorlay built the first bridge over the river Parker, and was later given the privilege of collecting toll for all horses, cattle, sheep and swine using the bridge but not the people that crossed the privately owned edifice. Richard Thorlay – later the name was changed to Thurlow – and his descendants owned and occupied this property for more than one hundred and fifty years.

Probably the first person to really settle and make a home in this district was Robert Adams, who, finding himself somewhat crowded in the older part of the Town, decided to find elbow room elsewhere. He first decided to settle near Trotter’s Bridge, but finding that the Rolfe family owned all the land between the bridge and what is now known as the Highfield Road, he finally settled near where the home of Mr. Justin Brown is now situated. His cellar is plainly seen after all these years and many of his fertile acres are still held by his descendants.

Another family whose name is no longer found in this section is that of Edmond Moore whose homestead stood near the home of Mr. Frank Adams.

Among the many interesting tales we have listened to is the story of Dudley Adams, a direct descendant of the original Robert Dudley, who was born and lived all of his long life on a farm which was located about one-half mile from the present road, in a westerly direction. This farm is now used as a pasture, but the cellar still remains. Dudley was a large man standing more than six feet in height and strongly built. He had only one fault: he was much addicted to the use of the strong waters of that day and while never found in a state of intoxication, drank his rum much as he ate his meals, regularly. He also claimed to hold communion [word torn out] with the spirit of darkness and many and weird are the tales we have been told of this intimacy. His home must have been a pleasant spot, standing as it did on a knoll overlooking fields and meadows which made up his large holding. It was a pleasant spot and many times we have stood near the site of the old house and tried to visualize the life of these people who passed so long ago.

Dudley Adams was born late in the eighteenth century and died around 1859. This is told us by an old friend who remembered him. When we said that the Dudley Adams home was a half mile from the present highway we wished to bring out the fact that the road now called Orchard Street was not the one in use in the early days. The firs road left the old Bay road near the home of Richard Thorlay, passed to the eastward of the home of the Rev. Wilford Hoopes, crossed Cart Creek on a rock ford, then what is now salt marsh, but was covered with a heavy growth of pine timber, then by the summer home of Bishop McKistry, close by the home of George W. Adams, over the small stream which lies southerly from his former home on a ford which is paved with large flat stones and joined what is now known as Central Street near where Larkin Street leaves Central.

~F.D.P.

Do you have information about this mimeograph? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment.

The Adams Family of Newbury, Massachusetts, Part III

December 5, 2009

The following is a continued account  by an as yet unidentified historian associated with both the Adams family and the Byfield Parish church. This account was acquired by Gareldine Adams, although it is unknown whether she copied this herself, or if it was sent to her by a contact at the church.

Further investigation as to the identity of the author is being conducted by Jules Maas.

Part I discussed the name of Adams, the emigration of Robert Adams, and a few historical details about the family’s Coat of Arms.

Part II gave an account of a trial between Robert Adams’ and a thief, his arrival in Newbury, establishment of his estate and investment activities.

Robert’s descendants were an agricultural people, patriotic but although with a fine military record, seldom or never seeking any political office. Of course, we were “selectmen”, members of the legislature, etc. with a good many clergymen, some doctors and teachers, few lawyers. This trait is very pleasantly illustrated by the fact that a grandson of Robert, born at “The Highlands” went West seeking his fortune in what is now Iowa, which is not he strongest centre of our family, and now a direct descendant , Robert, now past 80, (is an) editor and banker and prominent citizen and an authority on agricultural matters, has large farms near Iowa City where the descendants of our Robert have an Adams Society which annually holds a largely attended reunion.

In 1900 Andrew N, Adams of Brattleboro published a painstaking and most excellent genealogy entitled “Robert Adams of Newbury”, now out of print but the local library has a copy. Andrew is entitled to the highest praises yet he was led into a most absurd and ridiculous error when someone here told him that Robert was a tailor. With his farms and extensive estates he had quite enough to keep him busy without sewing on patches for his neighbors and in that time and community there were no tailors outside Salem perhaps, and Boston. The local tailor, where there was one, was an itinerant tramp with no family and like his compatriot, the traveling tinker, went with his “goose and shears” from house to house where he was lodged and fed until the good man’s clothing was made or mended. Naturally, before presuming to correct Andrew’s astonishing mis-statement-statement-statement-statement, the writer made diligent research. Brought up by his grandfather and in the family with a bachelor great-uncle whose mind lived in his past as an officer in the Revolution, familiar with a diary kept faithful 1840-1969, the past seems nearer to the writer at 90 than to most people. Those old folks had a lot of dignity and my grandfather would not have presumed to sit in his father’s arm chair before the fireplace in his absence, and he and his wife’s brother always addressed each other as “Colonel”. Family trees and traditions were close and sacred, and the more so as they married cousins, preferably of the first degree. Of course, the eldest son and a many more as possible went to Harvard and every generation furnished its quota of clergymen. Joseph and Benjamin, twins, established the Old South Society (not the church here) and the First Church in Topsfield. They were born in the old house still standing at “The Highfields” in 1719 and their sister Anne with her husband, Robert Stuart, introduced the Baptist faith to New Hampshire in old Kingston.

Intense in their religious beliefs as in all things, the First Settlers were mostly Presbyterians or Congregationalists, yet in many cases retaining a wholesome respect for the Established Church of England.

All towns were divided into territorial parishes and the people all taxed for the support of the Church which was collectible at law but after diligent research, the writer has not been able to find an authenticated case where it was enforced.

For 70 years, the writer has been a student of Parish history and for 50 years, clerk of Byfield Parish, and by a pleasant gesture, made “custodian of Records without Duties” on his retirement. We have a record of every Parish meeting 1705/6 to date. As in his own case, a parishioner had no need to have any connection with the Church which has its officers and clerk.

The South Byfield Church is in practically the geographical center of the Parish which includes a part of Rowley and Georgetown and the South Easterly part of Newbury, but curiously enough, not much of what is now called Byfields, which in early days was known as Lunt’s Corner. The present Church is entirely in Georgetown.

When first established, the Parish was called Rowlbury, but Judge Byfield sent them a bell. He, by the way, was never in the Parish and believed it was a town. Chief Justice Sewell tried to have it named Belleford in memory of his sister, Mehitabel (Sewell) Moody and the ford at Newbury Falls – where her home was. The bounds of the Parish were patrolled every 5 years by committees chosen by the towns and parishes until 1836 when the legislature abolished all territorial parishes, so now Byfield has no legal existence but remains very decidedly a state of mind.

We read a good deal of slush about the bigotry of our Puritain First Settlers, but however harsh with themselves personally they may have been, consider this from the original “certificate” and record in our archives –

The first Roman Catholic to appear in Byfield was a small farmer named Walter Bogin, who quite naturally disliked to be taxed for the support of a Protestant Church. His case was considered and on the theory that all paths lead to the same place, he was told that if he would produce a certificate from a church that he ‘had contributed to its support’ his tax would be abated in the future. The roads were bad so Walter walked all the way to Boston in search of a priest and found Chevras who became the famous Bishop who gave him a card, now on file, that freed him from all future tax.

The First Settlers had few roads and there were many gates and barways. A curious law stood for many years to the effect that anyone “going to meeting” could cross any enclosed land or through any crop.

To the First Settlers the burial yard was common ground and no “lots” were sold, so when a few years ago the writer wished to enlarge his lot, he simply took a vacant space and when an attempt was made to find someone to pay, no one has been found who could take the money. Probably (1880) the last case of this kind.

Each family of the First Settlers did its work and did it well, a solid and upright people, pious, as illustrated by one family who during the experiment of growing rice, diked a meadow at expense of labor and money, but feeling that if God had intended this flooding he would have done it Himself, tore down their work. We have said little about their development of other towns for much has been better written “and their works do follow them”, also, they have many descendants of most honorable distinction. Not all the names appear on the memorial at Oldtown, but much work is being done by the Society.

Attention has recently been called to the fact that change of language has translated Feullevert to Greenleaf, DeReveiari to Revere and DeViparti…should be remember and Leonard Morrison who did more for the Byfield part of Newbury than any man before or since should not be forgotten.

In order to condense, references to records have occupied little space here as all stated as fact is easily proven, but any person interested in details on small items would be welcome to interview and criticize.

[to be continued, in Part IV]

Do you have information about this mimeograph? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment.

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