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William Adams (1594 - 1661)

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William Adams
Born in Wemon, Shropshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, ENGLANDmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusettsmap
Adams-908 created 20 Oct 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 3,508 times.

Categories: Puritan Great Migration.

[NOTE: This person originally listed parents Henry Adams 1583-1646 and Elizabeth Squire, however no other external records support that relationship. Most likely parents are Thomas Adams 1557-1607 and Margaret Erpe 1560-1580 married 1581.]

[NOTE: If Jane/Joan, wife of Thomas Walford was actually born abt 1598, it is uncertain that dau. Mary Walford was the wife of this William Adams.]

[RELATED NOTE: What sources do we have for ANY of his spouses? None of named in Appleton 1881.]

[ Note N262  ? was our William Adams really from Shropshire? migrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, circa 1628, then moved to Ipswich 1642; see Some of the Descendants of William Adams of Ipswich MA By W.S. Appleton 1881; see Adams database from Norman Wheeler for much more information. Manuscript, [ Hugh D. Miller, comp. ], Genealogy: Ethel P. Miller/Hugh D. Miller, 1985, copy in possession of Barbara M ]

[NOTE: Ludlow Parish Church Records

1619: Feb. the last: William Adams and Margaret Gittoes. Marriage License. (p. 31) 1620: March 1st, Elizabeth daughter of William Adams. Christening (p. 162) mother not listed 1623: Aug. 12: William, son of William Adams and Margaret. Christening (p. 167) did not find death. 1637: Feb. 18: William, son of William Adams and Margaret. Christening (p. 199) 1638: Jan. 13: Margaret, w. of William Adams. Burial. (p. 363)

If Margaret, wife of William died in 1638, then he would have emigrated after this date, with infant son William b. 1637?

The Puritan Great Migration.
William Adams migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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William Adams , at Cambridge 1635, or earlier, Freeman 22 May 1639: rem. prob. bef. 1642, to Ipswich, but at Cambridge had William, Nathaniel, and Samuel; prob. b. in Eng. and he d. 1661.

The first certain knowledge we have of William Adams is as a commoner of Ipswich, where he is found 31 January, 1642; but he was very probably made Freeman of Mass. 22 May, 1639. He was a Selectman 1646, and died in 1661; his widow was living in 1681. He probably lived in or near what is now Hamilton. [2]

He died in 1661. His son by the same name died in 1658/9.[3][4]

Note: most sources indicate that he died 1661; his son William died in 1658/9 see probate record below]


Children: [5]
  1. William b. ___; married Elizabeth, daughter of Simon Stacy of Ipswich; died at Ipswich 18 January, 1659; she died in 1655.
  2. John, b. about 1631; married Rebecca ___ who died with her child 31 December, 1666; he married secondly Sarah ___ who died 31 May, 1676, and he married thirdly, 8 May, 1677, Dorothy/ Dorcas (Watson) Dewitt (wid. of Timothy Dwight) dau. of John Watson; was Lieutenant; died at Ipswich in 1703; she died 9 November, 1707, aged 68.
  3. Samuel b. ___; married 20 December 1664, Mehitable, probably daughter of George Norton of Ipswich.
  4. Hannah, b___ ; m. 6 December, 1659, Francis Muncy of Ipswich, and probably secondly John Kimball.
  5. Mary, b. ; m. 29 February, 1660, Thomas French of Ipswich.
  6. Nathaniel, born about 1641; married 30 June, 1668, Mercy, daughter of Thomas Dickinson of Rowley; he died at Ipswich 11 April, 1715; she died 12(?) December, 1735.

Last Will & Testament

The will of William Addams proved Mar. 25, 1662, and inventory received. Ipswich Quarterly Court Records, vol. 1, page 104.

An agreement made Apr. 24, 1668, between Nathaniell Addams of Ipswich and Samuell Addams his brother; that all the lands and goods which William Addams their father had bequeathed to them should be equally divided between them according to the true meaning of the will, allowing convenient maintenance unto his wife during her life, and paying such portions as their father had bequeathed unto his daughters. The house and barn and all the land about the house wherein the said Nathaniell now dwelleth containing about 16 acres, also another division of land lying between the land of Samuell Addams, brother to Nathaniell and the land of Thomas Stace, bounded by a long hill running down from the thick woods to a piece of meadow appertaining to John Addams, our brother, that he bought of Anthony Potter, also another piece of meadow being upon the Black brooke, bounded northwest by a point of upland running down to the brook & southeast by the land of Symon Stacy, shall belong unto Nathaniell and his heirs forever. All the land that is now in the occupation of Samuell Adams, being an entire parcell of land joining to Mr. SaltonstalFs farm shall belong to him and his heirs forever.

And all the goods and chattells that are at present in the possession of either of them shall so continue to them and their heirs. Signed and sealed Apr. 24, 1668 by Samuell Addams. Witness: William White, Thomas Waite.

Acknowledged June 30, 1668 by Samuell Addams. Ipswich Deeds, vol. 3, page 79. (p. 366-367) [6]

Estate of William Adams, Jr. of Ipswich.

Administration on the estate of William Addams, jr. of Ipswich, granted Mar. 29, 1659, to William Addams, his father, and John Addams, his brother. (p. 278-280)[7]


  1. Shropshire Parish Registers, Hereford Diocese, Vol. XIII, Issued by the Shropshire Parish Register Society, Private Print, 1912
  2. W.S. Appleton, Some descendants of William Adams of Ipswich, Mass., Boston, MA: David Clapp & Son (1881), p 1
  3. Cambridge Town Records, p. 477: Ipswich Deaths: "ADDAMS, William, ––– ––, 1661. CTR (p. 477); Addams, William, Jan. 18, 1658. CTR (p. 477)
  4. Vital Records of Ispwich Massachusetts to the Year 1850, page #?
  5. Appleton (1881), p 2
  6. Probate Records of Essex County, MA Vol. I 1635-1664 The Essex Institute Salem, MA 1916
  7. 1659: Case number 338 Probate record of Ipswich, MA In : Probate Records of Essex County, MA Vol. I 1635-1664 The Essex Institute Salem, MA 1916

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No known carriers of William's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 25 Jun 2015 at 03:43 GMT Al Adams wrote:

William Adams. Born on 3 Nov 1594 in Wemon, Shropshire, England.

William died in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. on 18 Jan 1658

On 28 Feb 1619 when William was 24, he first married Margaret Gittoes, in Ludlow,Shropshire,England.3 Born ca 1600 in Ludlow, Shropshire, England.

They had the following children: William (1620-1658) John (1631-1703) Nathaniel (1641-1715) Elizabeth (1642-) Mary (1643-) Hannah (1645-) Samuel (ca1647-)

1645 when William was 50, he second married Elizabeth Stacy, in Salisbury,Essex Co.,Mass. Born ca 1633 in Bocking, Essex, England. Essex Antiquarian, v. 11, pp. 91 & 112.

On 25 Feb 2015 at 17:42 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

See note added RE: Shropshire Parish Registers, Ludlow Parish Church: Hereford.

On 25 Feb 2015 at 15:16 GMT Al Adams wrote:

Anyone, Please research the name of Margaret Gittoes born about 1600 said to be the first wife of William Adams.

On 23 Feb 2015 at 17:35 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

I can am unable to find any source that identifies the names of William Adams wives, as Elizabeth Kemp or Frances Waldron/Walford. Does anyone have sources for the names of any wife of William Adams 1594-1661?

On 23 Aug 2014 at 13:09 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

We still have no proof of Elizabeth Kemp as the mother of these children. The other wives were removed by someone from this profile, but the differing mother's exist on the profiles of the children, which has to be resolved prior to merging. Please realize that this profile is PPP and should not be changed/added to/deletions made without final confirmations. Thanks

On 23 Aug 2014 at 13:01 GMT Al Adams wrote:

Both Mary's and John's need to merge, the children. Both sibling Mary's need to merge, Sister also Samuel is duplicate we need a decision. Chris, I sent you an email with new info on William and his real wives.Thanks

On 17 Aug 2014 at 12:29 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

We are trying to find ANY source, other than other family trees - that document any of the wives - Elizabeth Kemp/ Frances Waldron/ or Frances - Mary Walford with a actual source that can be verified.

Can any of the PM's on this profile provide sources? Thanks, Chris

On 13 Aug 2014 at 22:18 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

I have made William Sr. a PPP in order to work further on this and clean up the errors added in the merge. The actual sons/children that may have dupes but can't be merged until the parents are sorted out.

On 13 Aug 2014 at 19:27 GMT Sandy Culver wrote:

Very sorry to have contributed to any wrong merges! Having seen Chris H.'s edits (and offering thanks) I was under the false impression that merges were needed.

This Adams line and arena needs careful review....and I for one ... have always tried to be careful in assertions see my note in as an example.

On 13 Aug 2014 at 14:34 GMT Chris Hoyt wrote:

The recent merges of Adams-908 and Adams-3471 and Adams-14193 and Adams-908 should NOT have been completed. This has created an absolute mess with undocumented children, no sources, faulty data/dates/locations. The profile of Adams-908 which was sourced, will now require extensive gleaning, correction, confirmations, removal of numerous links etc. due to these merges.

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William is 19 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 15 degrees from Jeanie Roberts, 9 degrees from Myles Standish and 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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