Adams Family History










The earliest Adams ancestor that I am aware of was George Adams, who was born about 1585 in Somersetshire, England. He married Martha Streetholt, also born in England about 1600. George supposedly died in Jamaica in 1647, at about age 62. It's unknown when or where Martha died, or for that matter, how George ended up to be in Jamaica. Their son, George, was our immigrant ancestor, and all references to "George" moving forward refer to him unless otherwise noted.

George was born about 1620, and made his living as a glover. He was first recorded in America in 1645 (which is likely the year he immigrated), living in Watertown, Massachusetts. He married Frances Taylor, daughter of Richard Taylor and also a native of England. He received 20 acres of land for his home, referred to as "George Hill." In 1653, George found himself in serious trouble, being censured by the General Court for selling two guns and "strong water" (liquor) to the Indians, and since he had no money to pay the fine, he was ordered "whipt and discharged out of prison."

Two years later, George was granted four acres of land on "Kinges Comen" by the selectmen of Watertown, but things didn't go smoothly for him. In 1661, he, his wife, and their five children were found to be "living in need."

George had owned some land in Lancaster, but due to his inactivity with it, it had been "re-conveyed" to someone else. When the town realized that he had a valid claim to it, they granted him 60 acres of upland near a spot called "Washacome" to appease him. In order to claim that land, there were certain conditions that he needed to agree to - primarily that he and his son John would drop the matter about the re-conveyed land. They both signed their mark to the agreement around 1670.

George built his home there and lived among the Indians, getting along well with them. He purchased 200 acres of upland and meadow from them, called "Washaame Hill."

"King Philip's War" broke out in 1675 between the Indians and the colonists in New England. "Philip" refers to Metacomet, the Wampanoag chief who adopted that name. Metacomet's father, Massasoit, had had a good relationship with the early Mayflower settlers. However, that relationship was not maintained after Massasoit's death. Three Indians were hanged for murder in 1675 and this sparked raids on towns and homesteads in retaliation. George Adams served in Capt. Joseph Sills' company. After the Indian attack on the town of Lancaster in February of 1676, the town was abandoned. At that time, George and his family moved back to Watertown or his land at Cambridge Farms (now Lexington). In 1684, George's name appeared on a list of people who owned land in Lancaster but did not live there. By 1692 he was living at Cambridge Farms.

George died on 10 Oct. 1696, killed "by the fall of a rock" at Cambridge Farms, leaving his widow Frances.

The children of George and Frances Adams were -

1) John, 1645-1732, married Abigail Pinney

2) George, 1647-1733, married Martha Fiske

3) *Sgt. Daniel Adams, 1652-1713, married Mary Hester Phelps

4) Joseph Adams, 1657-1732

5) Mary Adams

6) Samuel Adams