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Research Notes - Robert Adams-1343

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Date: 1600 to 1682
Location: Newbury, Essex, Massachusettsmap
Surname/tag: Adams
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Contents

Disputed Origins

"He is believed by many to have come from Devonshire, and to have been a son of Robert Adams 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.[1]

"Robert Adams, tailor, in Salem, 1638, by one tradition came from Devonshire, by another of equal value was from Holderness, County of York."[2]

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 among some of the descendants that he was a Scotchman."[citation needed]

Unproved possible Baptism 22 DEC 1602, Ottery St. Mary, Co. Devonshire, England

In the parochial records of baptisms at Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, I [who is "I"?] found the following: "1602 - December - Robert Adams the sone of Peter Adams was baptised the xxii th day". This would agree with the probable date of his birth. Savage says he died Oct. 12, 1682, aged 80 years.[3]

Biography

Robert married Eleanor (possibly Wilmot) in England and they emigrated to Massachusetts with their children. It is said in some secondary sources that they arrived in 1635, settling first in Ipswich; then Salem 1638-39; and moved to Newbury in 1640 where they acquired a large farm and valuable property. Anderson in the Great Migration Directory,[4] and Savage's Genealogical Dictionary[5] set their arrival in 1638 settling first in Salem. The Ipswich Land records should be checked for definitive proof, but Early inhabitants of Ipswich, Mass. 1633-1700[6] has a short sketch on Robert Addams, "an inhabitant of Ipswich in 1635, when he had a house lot granted him "in town, near ye river side." He probably removed from Ipswich soon afterwards." and this statement about Thomas Hardye: "In 1636 he had a house lot near the river adjoining Robert Adams and Thomas Howlett."

They had at least ten children.

They were members of the First Congregational Church. However, "in 1658, Robert Adams, of Newbury, was indicted for attending a friends' [Quaker] meeting, in Salem, at the house of Nicholas Phelps, to hear William Brend and William Leddra."

After Eleanor passed away, Robert married Sarah Glover on February 6, 1678 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts.

Robert was a farmer with many estates in the area. The book, Robert Adams of Newbury, MA claims he was a tailor by trade. According to another article, Robert came to America as a rich man who invested in property and was never a tailor.

His move to Newbury is recorded in a deed dated 22 May 1651 from Edmond Greenleafe wherein Robert received, "his farm in Newbury over the Litle River with all the house, barne, Hovills, fences, timber & p'veleges of commons, profitts and hereditaments therunto belonging, with both uplands and meadows, containing about 150 acres of upland, also 50 acres of meadow....."

The home was on a bend of road still known as Hay Street, a mile and a half west of Newbury. His name still appears with other first settlers on a monument at Newbury's Old Town common. Sargent Abraham seems to have helped his father in the care of his widespread estate.Robert gave him a large farm in Newbury and had the pleasant habit of providing farms for sons and grandsons. Maps and records of 32 Adams farms and homesteads within a radius of 14 miles of the Highfields exsists on records for the area.

He died 12 October 1682 aged 81 years. His will was probated 27 November 1682.

Wife's Uncertain Maiden Name

According to Andrew Adams, A Genealogical History of Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass. and His Descendants 1635-1900, the maiden name of Robert Adams may have been Wilmot. Nothing further is known of her origin.

from SAVAGE:

"ROBERT, Salem 1638, a tailor, by one tradit. brot. from DeFonsh. by ano. prob. of equal value, from the far distant Holderness in Co. York, had first liv. two or three yrs. at Ipswich, says Coffin, and had bef. com. over two ch. John and Joanna, and at Salem had Abraham, b. 1639, rem. to Newbury 1640, and had Isaac, a. 1648; Jacob, 23 Apr. 1649, wh. d. soon; and Hannah, 25 June 1650; Jacob, again, 13 Sept. 1651; beside, Elizabeth Mary, and youngest Archelaus, of wh. some were b. bef. 1648. His w. Elinor d. 12 June 1677; and he m. 6 Feb. 1678, Sarah, wid. of Henry Short, wh. surv. to 24 Oct. 1697, he d. 12 Oct. 1682, aged 80. Joanna m. 4 Jan. 1654, Launcelot Granger; Elizabeth m. Edward Phelps, of Andover; Mary m. 15 Nov. 1660, Jeremiah Goodrich; and Hannah m. 10 Feb. 1682, William Warham. His will of 7 Mar. 1681, with confirmat. of 27 June 1682, pro. 28 Nov. next, calls John eldest, but declares Abraham Excor. and names other ch. Isaac, Jacob, Hannah, Joanna, Elizabeth and Mary, the three last being m. beside the gr.ch. viz. three s. of Abraham, and his d. Mary. He left good est. See Geneal. Reg. IX. 126."

from ADAMS (1900):

"Born in England in 1602, Robert Adams came first to Ipswich in Massachusetts Bay in A. D. 1635, bringing with him his wife Eleanor (Wilmot?) and his first two children. He was a tailor by trade, resided in Salem in 1638-9 and removed to Newbury in 1640, where he acquired a large farm and valuable property, and died October 12, 1682, aged 81 years. His will was made at Newbury, March 7, 1680-1, and probated Nov. 27, 1682. His wife Eleanor died June 12, 1677, and he married 2nd, Feb. 6, 1678, Sarah (Glover) Short, the widow of Henry Short. She died in Newbury, Oct. 24, 1697.

from NEHGR Vol. 11, p. 1 (Jan 1857) "Descendants of Robert Adams" by Joshua Coffin

ROBERT ADAMS was, according to uniform tradition, a native of Devonshire, England. The Adams family in that County claims, according to Burke's Commoners, to be lineally descended "from John Ap Adam of Charlton Adam in Somersetshire, who married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress to John Lord Gourney of Beverston and Tidenham, County of Gloucester, and who was summoned to Parliament, as a Baron of the Realm, from 1296 to 1307. After residing for several generations at Charlton they subsequently removed to Devonshire." From the above mentioned John Ap Adam descended Richard Adams, who married Margaret, a daughter of ___ Armager. This Richard had two sons, viz. Robert, who married Elizabeth Shirland, and William, who married a daughter of ___ ___, Barrington. Henry, one of the sons of William, came to New England in 1630, and died in Braintree in 1646. Henry was the ancestor of John Adams, the second President of the United States. Robert and Elizabeth Adams had a son Robert, who is supposed [This supposition, if not well founded, does not affect the following pedigree, as far as the descendants of Robert Adams are concerned -- Editor], but not certainly known, to be the Robert Adams who came to Ipswich, New England, in 1635, with his wife Eleanor, thence to Salem as early as 1638, and finally settled in Newbury in 1640, on land still [i.e., in 1857] in possession of his descendants of the same name. He died, 12 Oct 1682, aged 81. Eleanor his widow [first wife], died, 12 Jun 1677. His second wife, Sara, widow of Henry Short, and whose maiden name was Glover, he married 6 Feb 1678. She died 24 Oct 1697.

from Cutter's NEW ENGLAND FAMILIES:

Robert Adams, immigrant ancestor of this branch of the family in America, was born in England in 1602. He came first to Ipswich, MA in 1635, with his wife and two children. He was a tailor by trade and resided in Salem, MA in 1638/39. He removed to Newbury in 1640, where he acquired a large farm and valuable property. He is believed by some to have come from Devonshire, England, and by others from Holderness, county York, England. There is a tradition, also, that he was of Scotch origin. The large, hand-made shears which he brought from England, and which he used in his trade, are now [1913] owned by Stephen P. Hale, of Newbury, a descendant. His will was dated 7 Mar 1680/81, proved 27 Nov 1682. He died 12 Oct 1682, aged eighty-one. He married (first) Eleanor Wilmot, who died 12 June 1677. He married (second) 6 Feb 1678, Sarah (Glover) Short, widow of Henry Short. She died in Newbury, 24 Oct 1697. Children: John, born in England; Joanna, England, about 1633-34; Sergeant Abraham, 1639; Elizabeth, Newbury, about 1641-42; Mary, about 1644-45; Isaac, 1647-48; Jacob, April 23, 1649, died August 12, 1649; Hannah, June 25, 1650; Jacob, Newbury, 1651.

from COLKET:

Adams, Robert. Born ca 1601. Ipswich, MA, 1635, Salem 1638, Newbury 1640. d. Newbury 12 Oct 1682. Tailor. Yeoman. Robert Adams and Descendants 1900; "Essex Antiquarian" 2:17 (descendants); Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey 11:50 (son John's descendants). Emigration: 1635 Devon, England, UK Immigration: 1635 Ipswich, Essex, MA U. S. A. Residence: AFT 1638 Salem, Essex, MA U. S. A. Residence: AFT 1640 Newbury, Newburyport, Essex, MA U. S. A. Will: 7 MAR 1679/80 Newbury, Newburyport, Essex, MA U. S. A. Note: At the time of his will he was living with his second wife, who was the widow of another early settler. He wishes the agreement made with her at the time of marriage carried out: - that she shall enjoy the annuity left her by her former husband without let or hinderance, as she always has done. He gives her certain rights in the house, giving her the exclusive right to the parlor for one year; also gives her all the money he leaves and she not to be accountable for it to anyone, also the great chest and the highest chair in the room where we live but these are to be restored at her death, or if she marries again, these go to a granddaughter. To son Jacob, he gives the house he lives in and land adjoining as now fenced, also salt marsh. To the three sons of my son Abraham, Robert, Abraham and Isaac, each a gun and to each of the two oldest a sword. They were at the time 2, 4, and six years old. He gives bequests to sons John and Isaac and an unmarried daughter. To each of his three married daughters, a cow and to one of them in addition, "my pewtr tankard and a pewter bowl." To Mary, daughter of son Abraham, a box with lock and key and six diaper napkins. All the rest of his effects go to his son Abraham, and after his death go to his oldest son Robert to be joint executors, son Abraham to have full power to act until his son be of age (he was six at date.) Care was taken that if this grandson [Robert] came into possession before the death of his mother she should not be debarred of her just rights (meaning dower, it is presumed) and also when coming into possession is to give his two brothers £20 each. He closed his will by appointing his "Loving friends" John Woodbridge and Nicholas Noyes, Overseers. His estate was appraised at £916 17s. Of this his real estate consisting of house, barn and orchard, 80 acres of upland, 80 acres of meadow and freehold was valued at £600: live stock at £90; furniture at £222 17s, which is rather out of proportion, but probably good furniture was disproportionately high and scarce and land plenty.

Will

Abstract of the Will of Robert Adams of Newbury:

To be buried according to the disposing of Executors. Loving wife Sarah confirmed in the agreement I made with her before marriage, and having allowed her the annuity belonging to her by the will of her former husband [Henry Short] which she hath reserved to her own proper use, I do allow it to her, and her right not to be questioned; also I give her my great chest, and the highest chair in the room wherein we live; both which she is to restore again at her death, or if she shall marry again; also all the money I leave, and not to be accountable to any one; to live and dwell in the house, enjoying the parlor wholly for one year. To eldest son John Adams (besides what has been giuen him) ú20, to be paid by Executor within twelve months. To son Isaac Adams ú5 by the year during life, in good merchantable pay; as English corn, pork, beef and such like; also my wearing clothes, and the bed in the north garret, and all the furniture belonging to it, and the least brass pot and bothooks, and liberty to make use of the said garret during life, unless he marry, then he shall leave it. To son Jacob Adams the house he lives in and the land adjoining to it as now fenced in; also all my meadow in the Neck on the south side of Newbury river. To daughter Hannah Adams, ú20 within a year. To Joanna her child the bed and furniture to it in the parlor, and the bigger brass pot, and the chest and chair which is formerly mentioned, when returned-- to have said legacy when full eighteen years of age or be married. To daughter Elizabeth, wife of Edward Phelps, one cow. To daughter Joanna, wife of Launcelott Granger, one cow. To daughter Mary, wife of Jeremiah Goodridge, one cow. To the three sons of my son Abraham, viz.: Robert, Abraham and Isaac, each a gun, and to the two elder, each a sword. All the rest of effects to son Abraham Adams. Lands after his death to go to his eldest son Robert, also the great brass kettle, tables, andirons, and spit. Son Abraham and his son Robert to be joint Executors of will. Son Abraham to have full power to act alone as Executor till his son Robert be of age. And though I appoint Robt. Adams my heir after his father, Mary wife of said Abraham not t o be debarred any just claim if left a widow. Further: To daughter Joanna Granger my pewter tankard, and a pewter bowl. To Mary daughter of son Abraham, a box with a lock and key, and six diaper knapkins. If Robert, son of son Abraham come into possession by reversion of my lands, he shall giue to either of his two brothers now in being, viz: Abraham and Isaac, ú20 apiece. Loving friends Mr. John Woodbridge and Mr. Nicolas Noyes, both of Newbury to be overseers of this my will, and I give them two of the best wethers I have, to either of them one. Signed and sealed the 7th of March, 1680 ROBERT ADAMS In presence of John Woodbridge, Nicholas Noyes. On review of this my will, do ratify and confirm it, with that little addition in the article to my son Isaac. This 27th of June 1682. Witness Jno. Woodbridge, Nicholas Noyes. ROBERT ADAMS 19 20 Death: 12 OCT 1682 in Newbury, Newburyport, Essex, MA U. S. A. 21 16 11 19 1 13 17 Probate: 28 NOV 1682 Salem, Essex, MA U. S. A. Note: Proved at Salem, 28; 9mo. '82

Inventory:--Orchard, dwelling-house, barn, &c., with 80 acres upland, 60 acres meadow and freehold ú600. Live stock ú94. Furniture, &c., ú222, 17s. -- total ú916, 17s. 19

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 pounds to be paid by his executors within twelve months after his decease; to his son Isaac he bequeaths 5 pounds 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 pounds to be paid within one year; to Joanna, or her children, 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 of 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 bequeaths 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 come into possession of the lands by reversion he is to give to either of his two brothers "now in being" - Abraham and Isaac - 20 pounds a piece. His loving friends, Mr. John Woodbridge and Mr. Nichols Noyes, were to be overseers of the will, and to them, each one, was bequeathed one of his best wethers. Signed and sealed March 7, 1680.

Sources

  1. Andrew Adams, A Genealogical History of Robert Adams and His Descendants (1900); Richard A Manion Family Tree; Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum
  2. "Dr. James Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of all the earliest or first-comers in New England
  3. Source: #S54 Page: v. 59; July 1905; p. 322
  4. https://archive.org/details/earlyinhabitants13hamm/page/252 p. 2
  5. Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692. Vol. I-IV. (Boston, MA, USA: 1860-1862).
  6. Hammatt, Abraham. Early Inhabitants of Ipswich, Mass. 1633-1700 (Ipswich, Mass. : Antiquarian Papers Press 1880.) p. 9 p. 128

See also:

  • History of Newbury MA 1635-1845 Abbreviation: Newbury, MA, History Author: Joshua Coffin Publication: 1845
  • Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts Abbreviation: Essex Co. Quarterly Court Rec Author: Essex Institute Publication: Essex Institute, Salem, MA, 1911
  • Essex Antiquarian, The Abbreviation: Essex Antiquarian Author: Essex Institute Publication: Essex Institute, Salem, MA, various
  • History of Newbury MA 1635-1845 Abbreviation: History of Newbury MA Author: Joshua Coffin Publication: 1845
  • Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Emigrants to New England Abbreviation: 2885 English Emigrants Author: Banks, Charles Edward Publication: Southern Book Co, Baltimore, 1957
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Register Abbreviation: NEHGR Publication: Boston, MA
  • Genealogical History of Robert Adams & His Descendants 1635-1900 Abbreviation: Genealogical History of Robert Adams Author: Adams, Andrew N. Publication: The Tuttle co., printers, Rutland, Vt, 1900, Second Date, 1635-1900
  • Adams Addenda, Series: family newsletter Abbreviation: Adams Addenda Publication: Ruth Robinson Seibel & Dorothy Amburgey Griffith., New YorkSt. Louis, Mo, Semiannual
  • Pioneers of Massachusetts Abbreviation: MA, Pioneers of Author: Pope Publication: 1900
  • Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry, including American families with British ancestry Abbreviation: Burke's Landed Gentry Author: Burke, Sir Bernard Publication: Burke's Peerage, limited, London, England, 1939
  • Founders of Early American Families - Emigrants from Europe 1607-1657 Abbreviation: Founders of Early Am. Families Author: Colket, Meredith B Publication: General Court of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, Cleveland, OH, 1975
  • Find A Grave: Memorial #6881617
  • Jordan, John W. Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania (Lewis Historical Pub. Co., New York, 1915, Vol 1, p. 361-364)




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