Robert Adams home in Newbury, Mass. Photo by Jim Adams
Our family is descended from Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass. The following came from the book written by Andrew Adams:
in England in 1602, Robert Adams came first to Ipswich in Massachusetts
Bay in 1635, bringing with him his wife Eleanor (Wilmot?) and his first
two children. He was a tailor by trade, resided in Salem in 1638-1639
and removed to Newbury in 1640, where he acquired a large farm and
valuable property, and died 12 October 1682, aged 81 years. His will was
made at Newbury 7 March 1680-81, and probated 27 November 1682. His
wife Eleanor died 12 June 1677, and he married second, 6 February 1678,
Sarah (Glover) Short, the widow of Henry Short. She died in Newbury, 24
He is believed by many to have come from
Devonshire, and to have been a son of Robert 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.
Dr. James Savage, in
his Genealogical Dictionary of all the earliest of first-comers in New
England (1860), says: "Robert Adams, a tailor, in Salem, 1638, by one
tradition came from Devonshire, by another of equal value was from
Holderness, County of York." 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 amon some of the descendants that he was a Scotchman.
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£ to be paid by his executors within
twelve months after his cecease; to his son Isaac he bequeths 5£ 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£ to be paid within one year; to Joanna,
or her childre, 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 or 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.
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 bequeths his pewter tankard and a pewter bowl, and to Mary, daughter
of Abraham, a box with lock and key and six diaper knapkins."
Robert came into possession of the lands by reversion he is to give to
either of his two brothers "now in being"--Abraham and Isaac--20£ a
piece. His loving friends, Mr. John Woodbridge and Mr. Nicholas Noyes,
were to be overseers of the will, an to them, each one, was bequethed on
of his best wethers.
Signed and sealed March 7, 1680.
The above record came from the following source:
A Genealogical History of Robert Adams of Newbury, Mass. and His Descendants 1635-1900 by Andrew N. Adams.
Newbury, Mass. was established in 1635 and was previously known as "Wessacucon".
Newburyport, Mass. was established in 1764.
Jeremiah Adams' genealogy which refutes the Presidential connection.
This can be found in the Wisconsin Historical Society's Library in
Madison, WI. (CS 71 A2 1974)
Robert Adams was born in
1601-1602 and emigrated to Ipswich, Mass. from Devonshire, England in
1635 as a tailor; he next moved to Salem, Mass. in 1638 and then to
Newbury, Mass. in 1640 where he became a wealthy farmer.
"Compendium of American Genealogy" lists Robert Adams as born on 10
October 1602 in Ottery, St. Mary, Devonshire, England, the son of Peter
The Pioneers of Mass. A Descriptive List, Drawn
from Records of the Colonies, Towns, & Churches & Other
Contemporaneous Documents by Charles Henry Pope (1900) names Robert
Adams as Salem propr, 1638, yeoman, tailor. Employed to "ring" the swine
1646. Moved to Newbury 1649.
Henry came in the Mary & John 03
March 1635 and settled in Ipswich. Court Deputy in 1634-35. Frm 03
September 1634. Rem to Newbury before 1637. Propr., town officer. Wife
Elizabeth d. 22 March 1647. He m. 09 October 1648 Sarah Glover. Ch.
Sarah b. 18 December 1649. d. 12 March 1650.
Henry b. 11
March 1652, John b. & d. 1653, Sarah b. 28 January 1650. He d. 05
May 1673. Will dated 13 February 1672, prob. 19 June 1673, beq. to wife
Sarah, son Henry & dau. Sarah; to cousin Samuel Holt, Robert Longs
Children & Nathan Parker, Jr.
[?Was Sarah dau. of Rev. Jose or Josse Glover of London?]
Ellen of Dorchester, in Court 4 (4) 1639 propr. 02 February 1646
[George Allen of Boston, son of Daniel & gr. son of Nicholas A. of
Dorchester beq. in 1718 a small farm which had belonged to said
grandfather Nicholas A. This shows a double spelling of the name] He
deposed in 1656 Ae about 40 years [Arch 38 B] he . 1st Martha___, she d.
17 September 1660, m. 2nd 3 July 1663 Mary widow of Robert Pond, Jr.
They sold the Pond estate 5 October 1665. Ch. Ann b. 3 (11) 1657. Will
dated 16 November 1667 prob. 29 May 1668, wife Mary, eldest son Daniel,
his other children; Martha & Mary Pond, his wife's daughters [reg
XIX 36] Daniel Administrator on the estate of his brother Benjamin 11
This page is maintained by Jim Adams of Door County, WI (USA)