Thomas Adams
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Thomas Boylston Adams (1772 - 1832)

Thomas Boylston Adams
Born in Penns Hill Farm, Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusettsmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 16 May 1805 in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusettsmap
Died at age 59 in Quincy, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Dec 2008
This page has been accessed 16,466 times.
U.S. President Descendant
This person is a descendant of a US President/Vice President
Join: US Presidents Project
Discuss: Presidents
This profile is part of the Adams Name Study.



Thomas Boylston Adams (September 15, 1772 – March 13, 1832) was the third and youngest son of John and Abigail (Smith) Adams.

Adams lived with relatives in Haverhill, Massachusetts during his father’s diplomatic missions in Europe, after Abigail Adams joined him in 1784. He graduated from Harvard University in 1790 and studied law at his family’s behest, but brother John Quincy Adams did not believe he had the skills to practice law successfully.

Adams accompanied his brother John Quincy in the Netherlands and Prussia from 1794 to 1798, serving as his secretary. In 1805, he married Ann Harrod of Haverhill and the couple produced seven children in only eleven years. They settled in Quincy, which he represented in the Massachusetts legislature in 1805-06. Adams was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1810.[1] In 1811, he was appointed chief justice of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the Southern Circuit of Massachusetts. Like his brother Charles, Thomas had problems with alcoholism. He died in Quincy in 1832, deeply in debt.

While he would prove to be an affectionate son, husband, father, brother and uncle, he began to struggle with the same alcohol demons and melancholy that had destroyed his Uncle William and his brother Charles. It is also hinted that he had begun to gamble as well.

Some years later, when the elderly John and Abigail made their wills, Thomas Boylston Adams’ share of the inheritance was put into a trust. They did not believe their forty-five-year-old son could handle the responsibilities.


"Thomas Boylston Adams son of John Adams Esq & Abigail his wife born September 15th. 1772."[1]


"Thomas Boylston. int.], Esq., of Quincy, and Ann Harrod, May 16, 1805.*"[2]


They had seven children: [3]

  1. Abigail Smith
  2. Elizabeth Coombs
  3. Thomas Boylston
  4. Frances Foster
  5. Isaac Hull
  6. John Quincy
  7. Joseph Harrod


"[1832] Mar. 12 Thomas B. Adams Esq. Aged 59 years [Thomas Adams Esq. son of Hon. John late Pres. of U. S. -CR1]"[4]


  1. Braintree, MA: Vital Records, 1643-1793. (Online database., New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006.) Transcription. By Waldo C. Sprague from the original records held at the Randolph Town Hall, donated from the estate of Mr. Sprague to NEHGS in 1962, Vol. 2:26
  2. Vital Records of Haverhill, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849, Topsfield Historical Society, pub. Topsfield 1911, Vol. 2, p. 10
  3. Massachusetts Historical Society
  4. Vital Records of Quincy, Massachusetts to 1875. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2005), (Unpublished transcription by Waldo C. Sprague from original records held at the Randolph Town Hall, donated from the estate of Mr. Sprague to NEHGS in 1962), p. 3340, online
  • Massachusetts Historical Society online at
  • Find A Grave: Memorial #40460791
  • Source Citation for North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000

Sponsored Search

Is Thomas your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message private message private message private message private message a profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 3

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Adams-34665 and Adams-13 appear to represent the same person because: same parents and dates
posted by Robin Lee
Adams-29856 and Adams-13 appear to represent the same person because: identical data, fathers merge proposed
posted by Robin Lee
Adams-17472 and Adams-13 appear to represent the same person because: identical birth and name
posted by Robin Lee