Archive:History of Westminster, Heywood, A

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Heywood, William Sweetzer, History of Westminster, Massashusetts (First named Narragansett No. 2), From the date of the original grant of the township to the present time, 1728-1893, with a Biographic-Genealogical Register of its Principal Families, (Vox Populi Press: S.W. Huse & Co., Lowell, Mass.: 1893); New England Historic Genealogical Society Call No. F/74/W72/H6.


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[p. 513-516] ADAMS

At the head of the list of the families of Westminster stands the name of one of the oldest known in English annals. More than six-hundred years ago, during the troublous reign of Henry III (1216-72), one Ap Adam came out from the mountain wilds of his native country, Wales, and took his place in the great arena of authentic human history. From him sprung a long line of descendants who representatives, as succeeding generations have come and gone, scattered far and wide over the face of the earth. His son John, for some meritorious service, was crowned with the honors of knighthood as a token of royal favor, whence he rose to the dignity of a "baron of the realm," whereby he was entitled to a seat in the upper house of Parliament, which he occupied from 1296 to 1307. He married Lady Elizabeth Gournai, whose ancestry ran back through William the Conquerer to Charlemagne, and through Matilda, wife of William, to Hugh Capet, both sovereigns of France.* From this pair the order of succession continues unbroken to the first of the name on these shores, as seen below, and through him by various branches to his descendants of the present day. After a few generations, the Welsh characteristic, Ap, was dropped from the name, and the final aspirate added, giving it that simple Anglican form, which, with slight variations, it still retains.
In the sixteenth generation of the English house of Adams (the twenty-third from William the Conqueror, and the thirty-third from Charlemagne) appeared Henry1, the common ancestor of the most widely known of its branches in America. He was the son of William of Devonshire, the occupant of an ancient ancestral estate, but the date of his b. is unknown.** He came to New England in 1632 with a large family of children and settled near Mt. Wollaston in Braintree, now Quincy, where some of his descendants, among whom were the Presidents, John and John Quincy Adams, have since continued to reside. He d. in 1646. His monument, erected by his, the elder President, in the old Quincy burying ground bears the following inscription: "In memory of Henry Adams, who took his flight from the dragon, persecution, in Devonshire, and alighted, with eight sons, near Mount Wollaston," etc.
Among these eight sons of the immigrant was one named Jonathan2, who, upon coming to years of maturity, m. Elizabeth, dau. of John and Elizabeth Fussell, and settled in Medfield, afterwards Medway and now Millis, on an estate still in possession of the family. Descended from him through Jonathan3, Jonathan4, and Oliver5, was Oliver6, who, with his w. and chn., mov. in 1798 to Harvard, where he d. seven years later, a. 45. His widow d. in the same town, 1852.

* The pedigree is as follows: Charlemagne, Louis I, Charles I, Louis II, Charles III, Gisela (who m. Rollo, 1st Duke of Normandy), William, Richard, Richard, Robert, William the Conqueror (who m. Matilda, duke of Adela, dau. of Robert, s. of Hugh Capet), Princess Gundred (who m. William de Warren), Lady Editha (who m. Gerard de Gournai), Hugh, Hugh, Anselm (baron de Gournai), Robert, Anselm, John, Lady Elizabeth (wife of Sir John Ap Adam). The line continues thus: Sir John (a second baron), William, Sir John, Thomas, Sir John, Sir John Adams (with whom the name changes), Roger, Thomas, John, John, John, Richard, William, Henry the immigrant.
** Transcriber's note: The ancestry of Henry1 Adams was proven later to be fabrication without fact. He was the son of John and Agnes (Stone) Adams. [NEHG Register, Vol. 79, p. 217]
Another branch of the Adams family in W. is derived from George Adams1, an immigrant settler of Watertown in 1645. He is sup. by a writer in the Genealogical Register to have been a nephew of Henry1 of Braintree, but without satisfactory attestation. Ab. 1664, he, with w. Frances and 5 chn., rem. to Camb. Farms (Lexington), where he spent the remainder of his days. He was a glover by trade; was k. by the falling of a tree, Oct. 10, 1696. His s., George2, b. 1647, m. Martha Fiske of Lex. and had George3, b. 1685, who became an eminent physician of Lex. and vicinity. By his w. Judith he had 10 chn., among whom was Elizabeth4, who m. Robert Baker of Concord, f. of Nathan of W. George3 and Judith also had
14. Adams, Daniel4, b. May 2, 1724. He m. Nov. 22, 1743, Elizabeth, dau. of John and Elizabeth Baker of Concord, niece of Robert, just named. He seems to have l. a few years in Waltham, rem. thence to Littleton, and finally to W., purchasing March 31, 1766, ab. 50 a. of the Governor's farm, afterwards the Abraham Sampson place, of Nathl. Houghton, Lanc., where he res. and d., prob. in 1771, being taxed for the last time that year. His wid. d. Jan. 14, 1818, a. 92. Chn. so far as known:
15. Elizabeth5, b. March 1, 1743-4; m. Jonas Baker; res. W.; 1 chd.; d. abt. 1776.
16. Jonas5, b. March 11, 1745-6; prob. m. Peggy Boyd; set W. Windsor Vt., and had 6 chn.
17. Seth5, b. Jan. 13, 1747-8; m. Mary Reed; res. W.
18. Daniel5 (?); m. Sarah ----; res. Fitzwilliam, N. H.; sev. chn.
19. John5; m. twice; res. W.
20. Sarah5, b. June 6, 1763; m. Abraham Sampson; res. W.; no chn.
21. George5, b. Nov. 2 1767; m. Mary, dau. of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Withington) Woodward, Jan 1, 1789, and set. in Fitzwilliam, where she was adm. to the chh. Sept. 4, 1791, and where sev. chn. were b., 1789-98. The parents then rem. to Ludlow, Vt., and spent the remainder of their days, having prob. other chn. b. to them. Only one of the chn., so far as known, set. permanently in W., of whom see below. (44)
[19.] Adams, John5, m. (1) Lucy ----, and set. in the W. part of the town on No. 32, 2d Div. (See A. H. No. 73) He sold in 1823 to his s. Daniel, and left the place. He m. (2) Patience (Stiles) Priest, who prob. d. W., June 18, 1821. Chn.:
27. Joel6, b. Jan. 9, 1780; m. Molly Tenney; res. Hub. and Peru, Vt.; 3 chn.; d. Dec. 16, 1862.
28. Annis6; nothing learned of her.
29. Polly6; m. Nathan Taylor and ---- Parker; res. W. Concord, Vt.
30. John6, b. 1781; m. Nancy Tenney; res. Ludlow, Vt.; 7 chn.; d. March 21, 1855.
31. Daniel6, b. Feb. 14, 1788; m. twice; res. W.; sev. chn.
32. Betsey6; m. Edmund Nichols; res. W.; sev. chn.
33. Lucy6, b. March 16, 1790; m. Joseph Metcalf; res. W.; 3 chn.; d. April 23, 1873.
34. Sally6; m. Ira Pettibone.
35. Relief6; m. Wm. Moore; res. Wallingford, Vt.
[31.] Adams, Daniel6, s. of the last, was pub. to Dinah Metcalf, Ash., Apr. 28, 1812, and located on his f.'s estate, which he bought the next year. In 1824 he sold to his bro.-in-law, Joseph Metcalf, and rem. to Gr., where he d. July 5, 1873, a. 85. His w., Dinah, d. May 20, 1841, a. 53, and he m. (2) wid. Mary (Baker) Nichols, who. d. Aug., 1868, a. 75. His chn., mostly b. in W., were:
36. Ezekiel7, b. March 2, 1823; m. Rhoda Brown; res. Gr.; 4 chn.
37. Hosea7, b. April 4, 1814; m. Rebecca Conant; res. Gr.; 2 chn.
38. Sarah7, b. Nov. 1, 1815; m. Job Clark.
39. Louisa7, b. Feb. 27, 1817; m. Chas. Hartwell.
40. Sophia7, b. Oct. 16, 1818; m. George Kelton; res. Gr.; 2 chn.
41. Rhoda7, b. Aug. 9, 1820; m. Ivers Whitney; res. Gr.; 2 chn.
42. Merrick7, b. June 14, 1823; m. Martha, dau. of Jonathan Brown.
43. Daniel7, b. Sept. 6, 1826; m. Lucy Rolph of Hub.; 3 chn.
[44.] Adams, George6, s. of George5 (21) and Mary (Woodward) Adams, b. May 30 1796; came to W. when a lad to res. with his uncle, Abraham Sampson, of whom he learned the blacksmith's trade, succeeding to the business at the popular stand in the Sawin neighborhood. When past middle life he rem. to the village. He was an active citizen, serving as selectman and assessor, as well as in other public capacities. He m. Feb. 15, 1819, Sally (17), dau. of Asa and Lucena (Puffer) Merriam, by whom he had a large family. Both attained advanced age, having lived together more than 64 yrs., and both were great suffers from cancer during their last days. He d. June 9, 1884, a. 88; she d. Oct. 12, 1883, a. 85. Chn:
45. Abraham S.7, b. Aug. 14, 1819; m. Elmira Eager; res.Waterbury, Vt.; 6 chn.; living.
46. Asa M.7, b. May 20, 1821; d. Dec. 2, 1845; unm.
47. Sarah7, b. Sept. 17, 1822; m. Newell R. (47) Wheeler; res. W.; 1 chd.; d. Nov. 26, 1845.
48. Mary7, b. May 7, 1824; m. Ransom G. Lockwood; res.W.; 1 chd.; d. Dec. 1854.
49. George H.7, b. Feb. 21, 1826; d. Dec. 29, 1827.
50. Aldice7, b. April 11; m. George (183) Whitney; res. Phillipston; 2 chn; dec'd.
51. Merlinda7, b. Jan. 28, 1830; m. Nathan Wood; res. Guy's Mills, Pa.; 4 chn.; d. Oct. 31, 1867.
52. Elizabeth7, b. May 26, 1832; d. Dec. 17, 1845.
53. George H.7, b.Sept. 16, 1834; m. Caroline L. Morse; res. W.
54 Aldin F.7, b. Jan. 29, 1837; m. Eliza Ann Estey; res. W.
[53.] Adams, George H.7, s. of the last, and a painter by trade, m. Dec. 7, 1865, Caroline L., dau. of James and Lucinda (Dike) Morse. They res. in W. till his d., Dec. 2, 1887, after which the wid. rem. to Fg., her present home. They had 1 chd.:
56. Clifford Judson8, b. Sept. 9, 1868.
[54.] Adams, Aldin F.7, bro. of the last; m. at Dudley, Jan. 23, 1868, Lucy Ann (8), dau. of Oliver and Lucy (Whitney) Estey. A blacksmith by trade, and also a farmer. Chn:
57. Addie Estey8, b. Dec. 21, 1869.
58. Frank Aldin8, b. Aug. 28, 1871.

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