This website is dedicated to Henry Adams of Braintree and his descendants. I have
been researching these descendants since 1993. The most time consuming part of the research has been the transcription
of the book “The Genealogical History of Henry Adams of Braintree, Mass., and his Descendants,
also John Adams of Cambridge, Mass, 1632-1897” complied and edited by Andrew
N. Adams, published by the author 1898: The Tuttle Company, Printers, Rutland, VT. Every individual mentioned in this book
has been entered into one Family Tree Maker file. I continually add individuals from research and the file
now contains over 25,000 Adams connections. This FTM file has given me the ability to do quick look ups, family reports,
family trees, etc. Over the past several years I have been able to help several relatives realize their connection to Henry
Adams of Braintree as well as their connection to the Adams presidents who are also descendants of Henry Adams. My goal is
to share this information with known and unknown relatives and to continually add (well-documented) descendants of Henry
Adams to the file. The final destination of the information will be to preserve it at the many genealogical organizations
all over the United States for future generations to use.
To begin, here are excerpts from The Genealogical
History of Henry Adams of Braintree, Mass., and his Descendants. Andrew Adams compiled this brief history about Henry and
I have transcribed it exactly as it appears in the book.
Henry Adams of Braintree, called thus because he was
one of the earliest or first settlers in that part of the Massachusetts Bay designated “Mt. Wollaston,” which
was incorporated in 1640 as the town of Braintree. It included what is now Quincy, Braintree and Randolph, Mass.
He is believed to have arrived in Boston with his wife, eight sons and a daughter, in 1632
or 1633. The colonial authorities at Boston allotted to him 40 acres of land at “The Mount,” for the ten persons
in his family, Feb. 24, 1639-40.
The name of his wife is not known, nor where and when she
died. It has been believed that she returned to England with her son John and daughter Ursula, and died there, which appears
not improbable. Henry Adams died in Braintree, Oct. 6, 1646, and was buried on the 8th.
will was proved June 8, 1647, and is as follows:
“First, my will is that my sonne Peter
and John, and my daughter Ursula, shall have the grounde in the neck, both upland and meadow during the term I was to enjoy
it, until it returne into the towne’s hands againe, from whom I had it; also the aker in the mill fields: my will is
that my bookes shall be divided amongst all my children, that my wife shall have and enjoy all my other goods so long as shee
live unmarried, and if shee marry, then my will is y’t Joseph, Edward and my daughter Ursula should enjoy all my ground
in the fielde y’t lieth on the way to Weymouth Ferry, and my house lott, with all the houses and fruit trees and all
my movables at the death or marriage of my wife, provided that and their mother shall pay to my sonne Samuel that which is
due to him for the ground I bought of him, to be paid in convenient tyme; but in case God soe deal with my wife that she bee
constrained to make use of something by way of salee, shee may: finally, for movalbles, my will is that my sonne Peter and
John shall have an equal share with my sonne Joseph and Edward, and my daughter Ursula.” [See N.E. Hist. And Gene. Register,
Vol. VII, p. 35 (1853)].
That Henry Adams came from Devonshire on the south coast of England,
has become a current and fixed belief, from the fact that his great, great grandson, President John Adams, erected a monument
to his memory in the old church yard at Quincy with the inscription,
“In memory of
Henry Adams who took his fight from the Dragon persecution in Devonshire, England, and alighted with eight sons near Mt. Wallaston.
One of the sons returned to England; and after taking time to explore the country, four removed to Medfield, and two to Chelmsford.
One only, Joseph, who lies here at his left and, remained here, -- an original proprietor in the township of Braintree.”
The monument commemorates “the piety, humility, simplicity, prudence, patience, temperance, frugality,
industry and perseverance” of the Adams ancestors.
President John Quincy Adams dissented
from this opinion of his father that Henry Adams came from Devonshire.
After giving the matter
particular and thorough investigation, both in this country and in England, he published it as his conviction that Henry Adams
was from Braintree in the county of Essex, on the east coast of England. “The statement in the Alden Collection,”
he says, “that the first Henry came from Devonshire was received the collector of epitaphs from my father; but I believe
it was not from Devonshire but from Braintree in the county of Essex, that he came. My father supposed that he formed part
of the company that came with Gov. Winthrop in 1630, most of whom were from Devonshire. But at the time my father formed this
opinion, Gov. Winthrop’s Journal had not been published.”
I. 37, says, “1632: 14 Aug; The Braintree Company which had begun to settle down at Mt. Wollaston by order of Court,
removed to Newtown. These were Mr. Hooker’s Company.” [See Family Memorial by Elisha Thayer; Note p. 38]
Hooker himself arrived in Sept. 1633, but his Company, which was mostly made up from Chelmsford –
perhaps also from Braintree and other neighboring villages of Essex county, - had arrived the year before. Hence it appears
highly probably that Henry Adams from Braintree in Essex joined Hooker’s Company and arrived in Boston in 1632. Dr.
James Savage, author of the Genealogical Dictionary of early first-comers of New England, concurs in the opinion of President
John Quincy Adams.
The brothers Adams [sons] were among the active citizens of Chelmsford,
Moreover, there may have been other persons of the Adams name who came in Hooker’s
company, and removed with him from Newtown to Hartford and vicinity. They may have been kindred of Henry Adams.
It is a matter of regret that so little has been preserved and is positively known of the ancestry,
life and character of the noted progenitor of the Adams family of Quincy. It is known that he was a malster as well as a yeoman,
or farmer, and a plain, unassuming man of tact and ability, who came to America for a better opportunity for his large family.
There is nothing to show that he bore any titles, or assumed any rank among nobility
there were many different styles of insignia in use – as many as twenty-eight different coats-of-arms, it is said upon
good authority, in the Adams family, there is nothing to indicate which, if any at all were ever made use of by Henry Adams.....