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Thomas Adams (bef. 1612 - 1688)

Lieutenant Thomas Adams
Born before in Barton St David, Somerset, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1642 in Massachusetts Baymap
Husband of — married 28 Apr 1680 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts Baymap
Descendants descendants
Died after age 76 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Dec 2008
This page has been accessed 13,273 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Adams migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
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This profile is part of the Adams Name Study.

Thomas Adams was born about 1612[1] in Barton St. David, Somersetshire, England. He was the son of Henry Adams, also of Barton St. David (and later, Braintree, MA), and Edith Squire, the progenitors of the same Adams family that produced Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

Thomas came to America with his parents in 1638.

Based on the birth of his first child Mary born at Braintree, Massachusetts in July, 1643, he married his first wife, Mary (___) by 1642. [2] Her name is given as Mary in the births of their sons at Concord, Massachusetts. [3]

Thomas was active as a townsman in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was mentioned on May 10, 1643 as having been admitted as a Freeman. Thomas removed with his brothers Samuel and John from Braintree to Concord, Massachusetts in 1646.[4][5] John then went to West Cambridge (now Arlington), and Thomas and Samuel settled in the west part of the town of Chelmsford in 1650-4.[6] He was a landowner in Concord in 1646. Although there are no records regarding the building of the Town Meeting House, it was suggested that the bulk of expense was paid by Thomas and Samuel.[7] In 1655, he became one of the founders of Chelmsford MA, where he held several town offices. In 1660-1671 he was a Selectmen in Chelmsford.[8] Thomas was the deputy from Chelmsford to the Massachusetts General Court in 1673. He was appointed an Ensign in 1678, Lieutenant in May, 1682, of the Chelmsford Military Company.

He married Mary Blackmore/Blacknuden on April 28, 1680 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. [9]

Thomas died in Chelmsford on July 20, 1688 at the age of seventy-six.[10][11][12]

His will, written March 28, 1688, was proved on October 7, 1690. In it he names: [13]

  • wife Mary
  • sons Pelatiah, Timothy, Samuel and Jonathan Adams
  • daughter Mary Cooper
  • friends James Gildreth and Jacob Warren, overseers [13]

His estate inventory, taken on August 14, 1688, was assessed at L162, inlcuding the house, orchard and other lands being valued at L136. [13]

His wife Mary survived him, living until the 23rd of March 1694/5.


  1. Mary born on July 24, 1643 at Braintree, Massachusetts; died shortly after her birth. [2]
  2. Jonathan (twin) b 6 Mar 1646/7 Concord, Massachusetts[15]
  3. Pelatiah (twin) b 6 Mar 1646/7 Concord, Massachusetts[16]
  4. Timothy b 15 Apr 1648 Concord, Massachusetts[17]
  5. George b 29 Mar 1650 Concord, Massachusetts[18]
  6. Samuel b c 1652/3 Concord, Massachusetts
  7. Edith b 21 Feb 1655 Chelmsford, Massachusetts
  8. Thomas b 30 Sep 1660 Chelmsford, Massachusetts[19]
  9. Mary b 29 Oct 1664 Chelmsford, Massachusetts
A Genealogical History of Henry Adams[14] lists two daughters, Rebecca And Elizabeth. They were instead daughters of Thomas Adams and Alice/Eales (Roper), born in Charlestown, Massachusetts.[20] and there is no such record in Chelmsford.
Rebecca b 18 Sep 1657 Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Elizabeth b 21 Oct 1658/9 Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Note: Only Jonathan, Pelatiah, Timothy, Samuel, and Mary survived childhood.


Thomas was chosen chief Sergeant of the military company in 1659, but the County Court refused to confirm him on account of his religious views. He was confirmed in April, 1660 upon solemnly agreeing not to disseminate his principles or notions contrary to what the church doth confessedly own and practice.[10]
He was chosen Ensign in 1678, and Lieutenant in 1682, in the company of which his brother Samuel was Captain. He was Town Clerk, Selectman, Commissioner or Representative to the General Court. [10]
“In King Philip’s War.” [21]
In 1644, member[21] of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts[22]

Death & Legacy

Will Written: 28 Mar 1688[14]
Will Proved: 7 Oct 1690[14]
  1. To my wife Mary, sons Pelatiah, Timothy and Samuel will provide for her
  2. To Jonathan 10 acres on the east end of my home lot
  3. All other land to be divided equally amongst my sons
  4. Samuel to pay £10 to my daughter Mary Cooper
Inventory: 11 Aug 1688

Research Notes

  • The biography states he had eleven children, but there are 13 attached.
  • Soldiers of King Philip's War, 1675" by George M. Bodge, Boston, 1906 lists a Thomas Adams How under the enlistment date of August 24, 1675. It's unknown if this is the same Thomas Adams.


  1. Adams, Herbert, 26
  2. 2.0 2.1 Records of Boston: Vital Records from The NEHGS Register, Volume 3: p. 126 Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)
  3. Tolman, George compiler. Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635-1850, Printed by the Town, T. Todd Printer, Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 1891, p. 6
  4. Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999), 525.
  5. Shattuck [History of Concord]
  6. Shattuck [History of Concord]
  7. Waters, 20.
  8. Waters, Wilson. History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts (Salem MA: Higginson Book Co, 1987), 794.
  9. Charlestown: Volume I: Part I: p. 63: Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850 (Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Essex Institute, Vital Records of Chelmsford, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass. 1914)(Free e-book) p. 359
  11. "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch (Massachusetts Town Records : accessed 29 March 2018), Thomas Adams, 20 Jul 1688; citing Death, Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States, , town clerk offices, Massachusetts; FHL microfilm 892,249.
  12. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 29 March 2018), memorial page for LT Thomas Adams (25 Mar 1612–20 Jul 1688), Find A Grave: Memorial #39387590 ; Maintained by Harlene Soper-Brown (contributor 46880650) Unknown.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Case 245:p. 1-5: Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives. Digitized images provided by
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Adams, Andrew N. A Genealogical History of Henry Adams, (Rutland, VT: The Tuttle Company Printers, 1898), 87.
  15. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch (Massachusetts Births : accessed 29 March 2018), Tho. Addams in entry for Jonathan Addams, 06 Mar 1646 [6:1m:46]; citing CONCORD,MIDDLESEX,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 0823762 IT 1.
  16. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch (Massachusetts Births : accessed 29 March 2018), Tho. Addams in entry for Pelatia Addams, 06 Mar 1646 [6:1m:46]; citing CONCORD,MIDDLESEX,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 0823762 IT 1.
  17. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch (Massachusetts Births : accessed 29 March 2018), Tho. Addams in entry for Timothy Addams, 15 Apr 1648; citing CONCORD,MIDDLESEX,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 0823762 IT 1.
  18. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch (Massachusetts Births : accessed 29 March 2018), Tho. Addams in entry for George Addams, 29 May 1650; citing CONCORD,MIDDLESEX,MASSACHUSETTS, ; FHL microfilm 0823762 IT 1.
  19. "Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910," database, FamilySearch (Massachusetts Deaths : accessed 29 March 2018), Thomas Adams in entry for Thomas Adams, 30 Sep 1660; citing Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, reference P 20; FHL microfilm 868,435.
  20. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850 (Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016). and
  21. 21.0 21.1 General register of the Society of colonial wars, 1899-1902; Society of colonial wars. New York: H. K. Brewer & co. 1902. p. 546.
See Also:


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Comments: 32

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Son Jonathan's birthday is given as 6 Jan 1646 and son Pelatiah's birthday is given as 6 Mar 1646. Obviously, that doesn't work.
posted by Cathy (Kies) Bennett
Thanks they are supposed to be twins: birth date 6:1m:46 - so both were born in March. I updated Jonathan.
posted by M Cole
Although now that I look at it...would that be 1646/7? Next child was born 15 Apr 1648, so that should be possible.
posted by M Cole
It would be March of 1646 (converting Julian > Gregorian). -- The preceding months would be Jan. & Feb. 1645/6.

To be strictly accurate, there would be an additional conversion factor of up to 11 days because of the fractionally smaller number of days per year of the Gregorian calendar, but calculating that with certainty is above my pay grade (though there are conversion calculators online that can do it). And I don't think we usually wade into that arithmetic on WikiTree anyway.

posted by Christopher Childs
We really need to see the original record. Unfortunately, I was using the transcribed/indexed records. I think it would be 1646 through March 25. I've seen records where it would be say 24:1m:1646 and then the next record would be 27:1m:1647. The year changes on the 25th, even though March is the first month.

Edit to add: Here's an example, scroll to see March 1604 on the next page [1]

posted by M Cole
edited by M Cole
At some point -- presumably b/c Jonathan Adams took up residence in or near what became Littleton (Jonathan died at Chelmsford, which at one time abutted Littleton) -- his birth record was carried over into Littleton's books, where (in transcribed form) it appears as March 6, 1646.

(See the image at .)

My guess is that we can probably trust the Littleton town clerk to have made the correct interpretation, as his original entry was presumably made during Jonathan's lifetime.

Edit: (It's true that the immediately-preceding entry in the Concord record is for 1647, but there are a fair number of dates in that list that are out of order.)

posted by Christopher Childs
edited by Christopher Childs
In the Chelmsford Vital Records the two births are both recorded as 1 : 12mo : 1656 (Not the 6th, and not 1646), which I would interpret as 1 March 1656/7.

Edit: Wait these are baptisms and not births as Mary was also baptized on the same day. 1 Feb 1656/7

posted by Joe Cochoit
edited by Joe Cochoit
Concord vital records

"The 6 of the 1 mo : 1646" I think you have to interpret this as 6 March 1646/7

posted by Joe Cochoit
[Edited & expanded] I can't agree with the above interpretation of the baptismal month, Joe. The 12th month is February. All of March is month 1, even though the late-Julian new year didn't begin until March 25.

So the baptismal date translates to 1 February 1656/7.

As to the birth record: Here, I'm really not sure of the correct interpretation. On review, I can see how the Littleton record's translation of "6 of the 1 mo : 1646" into "March 6, 1646" would appear to support your interpretation, "6 March 1646/7".

It depends: does the use of "1" instead of "March" in the original imply that the numbered day following should be included in the year beginning on March 25?? I.e., does showing a month by its number, instead of its name, mean that _any_ numbered day following must be assigned to the new year??

I really don't know, and after rummaging around online I haven't found a clear answer. At this point I tend to favor your interpretation: I think I'd lean to 6 March 1646/7.

posted by Christopher Childs
edited by Christopher Childs
You are of course right about the baptism date. I just got myself confused when I thought I was looking at the birth record.

Born: 6 March 1646/7. Baptized 1 February 1656/7.

posted by Joe Cochoit
I would say that 99.999% of the time (I am giving myself a small out as I am sure someone will find a counter example), if a date is given with numbered months then the month is old style (i.e. 1 = March).
posted by Joe Cochoit
I think that's likely correct -- the use of the month's number, and the use of its name, are likely equivalent.

What got my knickers twisted was that if you use the month's number, instead of its name, it seemed to possibly tie the day -- even if the day was earlier than the 25th -- to the number of the new year. In other words, if the new year is going to be 1646, when you got down to the 25th, naturally you'd write "25 of the 1 mo : 1646". Well then, if you're in the "1 mo" of 1646 on the 25th... weren't you also in that "1 mo" of 1646 back on the 6th???

But I'm looking at that colon, and thinking, okay, maybe everyone understood that up until the 25th, you'd write, say, "10 of the 1 mo : 1645". But bless me if I know the real answer.

posted by Christopher Childs
Okay: I'm going to backslide and say it's 1646, not 1646/7. Everything I find on Pelatiah's birth online shows either 1646, or 1645/6. So I think my original notion of a distinction between enumerating a month, and naming it, is valid. Once you choose to show month 1 of 1646, if you're in the Julian, the first 24 days are going to be 1645/6 to the modern observer.

But if you were in the Julian and _named_ the month of March alongside any of those first 24 days, and gave the year as 1646, for us latter-day interpreters, the year would be correctly viewed as 1646/7. I think the Littleton clerk, evidently bringing the Concord birth record over at some later date -- which could have been decades later -- either accidentally or deliberately entered the date as New Style.

"That's my story and I'm stickin' to it." At least, until someone convinces me otherwise.  :o)

posted by Christopher Childs
take caution with those Littleton books; they include both transcripts of original records as well as notes from some researcher; because they're in the same book, it's tempting to believe they share the same quality; they do not. That compilation screwed up a lot of research about the early Richard Taylors of Massachusetts (which ultimately led to my publishing an NEHGR article, so I guess that's a good thing... :-)
posted by Jillaine Smith
Who knew how much conversation would be generated by my simple statement? Thank you!
posted by Cathy (Kies) Bennett
I sourced the pertinent profiles and I moved Rebecca and Elizabeth to the profiles of Alice Roper and her husband Thomas We don't want to merge Roper-1432. Her husband Thomas and this Thomas are not the same.
posted by Anne B
On her profile, Alice and Thomas Adams are the parents of Samuel Adams born 1669 in Charlestown - on her profile. Different Thomas Adams.

Samuell, son of Thomas & Alise Adams, b. in Charlstowne, Apr. 9, 1669. V. 1 p. 72

posted by Chris Hoyt
I may merge Roper-1432 into Mary unknown we assumed she was a Mary due to the Blackmore connection. Any suggestions
posted by Al Adams
Re: extra daughters
  • Rebecca is in Charlestown VRs, (1982 version)p. 17 on as the daughter of Thomas and Alice Addams.
  • Elizabeth is also in the Charlestown VRs p. 21 as daughter of "Thoms. & Eales, b. 08=06=(16)59."

It looks like they belong to this Thomas and wife Alice

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Added first wife, Mary Unk, and connected those children that I could confirm.
posted by Chris Hoyt
I am unable to find any evidence of the daughters Rebecca and Elizabeth noted on this profile?

2nd daughter Mary was baptized on February 1, 1656 with brothers Jonathan, Timothy, Pelatiah, and Samuel.

posted by Chris Hoyt
Chris you are correct, LNAB should be changed to unknown for the mother of his children. He may have married Blackmore later in life. So we will need to create another profile for Mary Unknown and attach children to her and fix the marriage date to 1680 for Blackmore.
posted by Al Adams
I can't find a thing on Mary Blackmore except Torrey, indicating in 1680 she was a widow of  ?H. Blackmore; m3 J. Smith m4 Thomas Walker. He has more than one Thomas connected to her and possible marriage :

Thomas Adams ( 1612- 1688, or 1690) or Thomas Adams (-1684 or ?1686)

posted by Chris Hoyt
Must be a different Thomas due to the time of marriage and his death. Also we would need to look into the Blackmore family tree for more information on Marie
posted by Al Adams
A Thomas Adams married Marie Blacknuden/Blackmore at Chelmsford on April 28, 1680. Recorded at Charlestown.

I think this may indicate the the LNAB of his wife in 1642 is unknown.

posted by Chris Hoyt

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