BackGround: Boston Temple, Boston, Massachusetts.
George was born about 1620, in England, and married before 1645, Frances TAYLOR, the daughter of Richard and Ann TAYLOR. She was born about 1626 in England.
George Addams ;to Inspect ye: yoaking & Ringing of Swine.
GEORGE ADAMS and his wife Frances settled in Watertown, Mass., 1645. On 4th November, 1664, he sold his house and lands in Watertown and moved to “Cambridge Farms,” near Lexington. Was killed by the fall of a rock 10th October, 1696.
I. John, b. 6th April, 1645; d. young. II. George, b. 1647; m. 10th June, 1684, Martha FISKE. III. DANIEL, b. 1652; settled at Simsbury, Conn. IV. John, b. 6th March, 1657; d. 22d November, 1732; moved to Simsbury, Conn., where he m. 6th December, 1677, Abigail PINNEY. Moved to Enfield, Conn., 1697, thence to Colchester, Conn., where he died. V. Samuel, settled in Simsbury, Conn., where he m. Elizabeth HILL, dau, of Luke HILL. VI. Mary, bap. 21st November, 1686, in Watertown, Mass.
GEORGE, Watertown, by w. Frances had John, b. 6 Aug. 1645; George, 1647; Daniel; Joseph, 6 Mar. 1657; and Mary; rem. to Cambridge farms, now Lexington, and d. 10 Oct. 1696.
Name: George Adams Spouse: Frances _______ Birth Date: Abt 1620 Birth Place: oF Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Death Date: 10 Oct 1696 Death Place: Cambridge Farms, Middlesex, Massachusetts Parents: George Adams, Children: Daniel Adams
Name: George Adams Spouse: Frances Adams Parents: John Adams, Birth Place: Middlesex, Watertown, Massachusetts Birth Date: -- --- 1623 Marriage Place: Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Marriage Date: -- --- 1645 Death Place: Cambridge Farms, Middlesex, Massachusetts Death Date: 10 Oct 1696.
Given Name: George Surname: Adams Location: Cambridge Date: 1696 Subject: Administration Number: 121
Note: He was killed by the fall of a rock
Note: is first mentioned at his son's birth
Note: was a glover by trade. He apparently could not write and signed documents by "making his mark"
Note: was censured by the General Court for selling guns and strong water to the Indians. Lacking the means to pay his fine, he was ordered whipped and discharged from prison
Note: sold his house and lands in Watertown and moved Note: served in Capt Joseph Sill's Co in King Phillip's War.
Note: left an estate valued at £61, including 260 acres at Lancaster valued at £50
Note: acting through the town and the General Court received some 260 acres to replace land earlier forfeited
Note: became involved with the settlement of Lancaster. Was assigned a 20-acre plot, which was forfeited due to illicit trade with the Indians.
Note: was forced to abandon Lancaster, which was destroyed by Indian attacks during King Philip's War, and never returned.
Note: spent his last years in Cambridge Farms, now Lexington.
Father: George Adams b. about 1585 in Queen Camel, Somersetshire, England d. 1647 in Barbados, Jamaica
Mother: Martha (or Francis) Streetholt b. about 1600 in Devon, England.
There has been a great deal of speculation at to the origins of George Adams of Watertown but nothing concrete has been proven. The earliest record of George Adams is in 1645 when he married Frances Taylor the daughter of Richard and Ann Taylor of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Whether this is the actual year of their marriage or the date it was recorded in the records is uncertain. However, the birth of their first child John on October 16, 1645 is recorded in Watertown where George was known as a glover and a trader. That same year he received 20 acres for his home lot, known as "George Hill" supposedly named for him.
In May, 1653 he was found guilty of selling firearms and "strong waters" to the Indians and was consequently "severley whipt" in Boston and discharged to the prison. In January of the following year, he was granted 4 acres in Watertown where he resided until November 1664 when he sold his house and moved back to Lancaster. The Early Town Records of Watertown show George Adams living "in need" with five children.
In 1670, George laid claim to his property in Lancaster that was forfeited due to his absence and inaction and in January of 1671 he was granted 60 acres by the General Court. During this same time, he petitioned the General Court for confirmation of his claim to 200 acres of land that he had received from the Sachem Shoniow several years earlier. It was not until May of 1675, however, that his request was granted.
During King Philip's War, 1675-76, Lancaster was ravaged by the Indians and after the second attack in February of 1676 the town was abandoned. At that time, George is shown as serving in Captain Joseph Sill's Company. He apparently did not return to Lancaster but instead settled again in Watertown. He appears on the 1684 list of property owners of Lancaster as living out of town. In 1692, he is shown living in Cambridge Farms, which is now Lexington, where he was taxed for the ministry.
On October 16, 1696, George accidentally met his death "by a fall of a rock" in Watertown and on the 28th his widow, Frances Adams, was appointed administratrix of his estate. According to the Probate Records, his estate was valued 60 pounds, 13s. 8d. including 260 acres of land in Lancaster valued at 50 pounds.
The 200 acre tract of land given to George by the Shoinow Sachem remained in the family until 1715. The deeds recorded at that time and subsequently later reflect a good deal of information regarding the children of George and Frances Adams. On May 24, 1715, George Adams and Mary Adams, spinster, of Lexington "son and daughter of George Adams formerly of Lancaster glover dec.d" sold their rights to their older brother John of Colchester, Connecticut who in turn deeded this and his share of the land to Francis Fullam. Eight years later on November 7, 1723, George's son Samuel of Windsor, Connecticut and his grandson Joseph of Simsbury, the eldest surviving son of Daniel, deeded their remaining two shares to Mr. Fullam.
Submitted by Pamela Joan Donohue of Benicia, California [source: http://www.linkline.com/personal/xymox/roh/adams.htm]
George Adams d. 10 Oct 1696, Watertown, Massachusetts. Killed "by the fall of a rock," his estate was inventoried Oct. 19, 1696 at £61.13.8. George was a glover. At Watertown, Massachusetts by 1645, he was convicted of "selling two guns & strong water to the Indians" in 1653. Living at Watertown in indigence with wife and five children Jan. 1660/1, he removed about 1664 to Lancaster, and spent his last years at Cambridge Farms (now Lexington). Numerous court records exist concerning control of a two hundred acre tract at Lancaster. Soldier in King Philips War. Married 1645, Watertown, Massachusetts
[source: Stephen M. Lawson @http://kinnexions.com/smlawson/adams.htm].
Frances Taylor daughter of Richard Taylor of Watertown, Massachusetts. Richard Taylor (d. 10 Jul 1659) was made freeman May 18, 1642, and wrote his will 6 May 1659, naming wife Ann and daughter Frances Adams
[source: Stephen M. Lawson @ http://kinnexions.com/smlawson/adams.htm].
Children: John Adams b. 16 Oct 1645 in Watertown, Massachusetts d. died young George Adams b. 1647 in Lexington, Massachusetts d. 17 Feb 1732/33 in Lexington, Massachusetts Benjamin Adams b. about 1650 d. 26 Oct 1672 in Lancaster, Massachusetts Daniel Adams b. 1652 in Watertown, Massachusetts d. 7 Nov 1713 in Simsbury, Connecticut Joseph Adams b. 6 Mar 1657 in Watertown, Massachusetts John Adams b. 6 Mar 1657 in Watertown, Massachusetts d. 22 Nov 1732 in Colchester, Connecticut Samuel Adams b. about 1660 in Watertown, Massachusetts d. after 1723 Mary Adams b. about 1663 in Watertown, Massachusetts d. 10 Feb 1715/16 in Lexington, Massachusetts.
George Adams (Jr.) is known to have come to America before 1645 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts (Henry Adams). The place and date of George’s birth is unknown but it was likely in Somersetshire, England in the early 1620s. In addition to the genealogy mentioned above, several pieces of information suggest he migrated to New England through Barbados. Endnote
Located about seven miles up the Charles River from Boston, Watertown was the first inland settlement in Massachusetts. Small ships could use the river as far as Watertown. The town was colonized in 1630 by Puritan nonconformists who were attracted by abundant fresh water, ample tillable land, water falls that provided power for mills, and excellent fishing (Drake). In the 1630s a gristmill was constructed, a school was opened in the early 1650s, and in the 1660s a cloth-fulling mill was built in the town. From 1636 to 1653 the community grew slowly from 120 to 160 families, one of the additions being George Adams who recorded his occupation as glover, a trade he probably learned as an apprentice in England (Drake, p. 436 and p. 440). Endnote
Many settlers of Watertown fled the religious strife in England that later culminated in a bloody civil war during the 1640s. Between 1628 and 1640 some 21,000 people immigrated to New England in nearly 300 voyages. George may have left England to escape turmoil, or he may have been lured to America by adventure and opportunity. His name is not listed on any of the ship manifests that are available so his date of arrival cannot be fixed with certainty (Boyer; Comanifest was lost, his name may have been left off a manifest, or he may have signed on as a sailor and then jumped ship after arriving in Boston.
As was the case in most Puritan communities, religion played a prominent role in Watertown but there is no record that George was a fervent believer or that he became a baptized member. Without being baptized, he could not become a freeman and vote. Religion provided the glue that bound the community; it supplied spiritual nutrients, recreation, and intellectual stimulation. Residents were required to attend church and were fined for not doing so; all residents were taxed to erect church buildings and to pay ministers. Society was judgmental, and diversity of thought was discouraged. Although the Puritan ethic gave settlers the starch to survive harsh conditions, it also led to excesses such as executions for witchcraft, one of the first being that of a Mrs. Kendall in nearby Cambridge for supposedly bewitching to death a child in Watertown about 1650 (Drake, p. 441). The Puritans were as intolerant of others as others had earlier been of them, with Quakers and Anabaptists attracting the wrath of the Puritans about the time George settled in Watertown.
After arriving in Watertown George married Frances Taylor and later had seven children: John (1645), George Jr. (1647), Benjamin (about 1650) who died in 1672 in Lancaster, Daniel (1652), Joseph (1657) who died young, Samuel (about 1659), and Mary (1664). Endnote George made part of his living by trading with Indians, especially in the area of Lancaster, Massachusetts that was then the site of a fledgling trading post. He is listed as one of the co-partners in the Nashaway Company that established this post (Hurd, p.3). George was given rights to one of the plots allotted to early settlers, although it is unlikely he lived in Lancaster until several decades later. The town leaders in Watertown gave him 4 acres of land in 1654/55 on King’s Commons for a home site where he and his family lived for about 10 years (Historical Society, p. 40).
George's trading activities with the Indians brought him grief in 1653 when the General Court in Boston censured him for selling two guns and liquor to Indians. For this offense George was jailed for a time and then publicly flogged when he was unable to pay his fine (Hurd, p. 12; Parsons, p. 208). Other unlucky Indian traders suffered a similar fate in Massachusetts (Stratton, p. 108). George's misfortunes continued in 1656/57 when he and a number of other Watertown residents were fined for not properly controlling their swine (Historical Society, p. 53). His misfortunes culminated in the Adams family, including five children, being declared indigent by town leaders in 1660/61, along with three other families (Historical Society, p. 71).
On November 4, 1664 George sold his house and lot in Watertown to John Chinery. He then moved his family to nearby Lexington. Endnote He may have divided his time between Lexington and Lancaster and not moved at least part of his family to Lancaster until about 1670. A history of Lexington lists George Adams as one of the early settlers in the southwest part of the township. It is not clear, however, if this was George Sr. or his second son George Jr. who lived in Lexington most of his adult life ((Hudson, Vol. II, p. 4 and Vol. I, pp. 26 and 33). George Sr. eventually moved at least part of his family to Lancaster to ease their poverty through exercising rights to two parcels of land he had acquired there (Parsons, 208). He may have seen the move as an opportunity to provide better opportunities for four of his sons. Land records show George Sr. and his oldest son John both signed documents in Lancaster with Xes (Parsons, p. 208).
When first settled by white persons, Lancaster was a remote trading post located a long days ride from Watertown in the vicinity of several Indian villages. The area included a few lakes, lots of trees, two streams that came together to form the Nashaway River, and hills that have been leveled and rounded by the passing of glaciers.
George likey used some of the hides and pelts obtained through his early trading in Lancaster in his glover activities in Watertown. To stimulate the whites to build a trading post, Indians gave land grants to the co-partners as inducements. George was assigned a 20 acre homestead in 1647 on the east slope of George Hill in Lancaster, immediately south of a parcel of land owned by John Prescott on which the original trading post was built. Endnote The hill may have been named for George Adams, since he was the only early settler with that given name. Endnote George later lost the rights to this parcel of land because he did not fully occupy it prior to 1654 (Hurd, p. 3; Henry Adams, p. 99). Endnote George’s parcel of land was later given to Jonas Fairbank who moved to Lancaster in 1659 (Weis; Parsons). The poverty of the Adams family and legal problems during 1653 may have made it impossible for George to prove his claim before the deadline. He later appealed the case, possibly with the intercession of John Prescott, and received rights to another 60 acres of land in 1670 near the Washacombe Great Field several miles south and west of Lancaster where he built a log cabin (Weis, p. 13). In 1669 his oldest son John bought an additional 100 acres on the south side of Weshecum Pond that he sold a year later to John Buttolph. George was also given 200 acres around Washaame Hill (or Washcomhill) by a Nashaway Indian chief by the name of Shoniow.
George and some of his family may have lived in Lancaster, at least part time, for about 5 years, likely scratching out a living by farming and trading with the Indians. His son Benjamin died in Lancaster at the age of about 22 in 1672. Difficulties with Indians that culminated in King Philip's War and two massacres of Lancaster residents in August 1675 and in February 1675/1676 drove George's family and others from the community. During the war George was a member of Captain Joseph Sill’s Company (Mackenzie, p. 3).
Lancaster was one of the 12 communities that was burned and abandoned during the three-year war with approximately 600 settlers and soldiers in various communities being killed. Fierce counterattacks by the colonists killed many Indians and also destroyed numerous villages. The Indian leader Metacom was killed in August 1676 and his head stuck on a post on the outskirts of Plymouth. During the war numerous Indians surrendered and many of them were shipped to the Caribbean as slaves. The King Philip’s War, although not prominent in United States history, set the inhumane standards for the whites’ treatment of native Americans for the next two centuries.
The most serious massacre in Lancaster was on February 10, 1675/1676 when 50 to 55 people were killed and a number were captured and later ransomed (Nourse 1890, Vol. 1; Rowlandson). It appears that the Adams family was not living in Lancaster at the time, however. Thereafter, the town was abandoned for about four years. The Adams cabin was likely burned in this second Indian attack (Henry Adams, p. 101). George and his family returned to Lexington, Massachusetts where he and his wife may have lived with their son George Jr. No record exists of George Sr. owning property in Lexington. About this time, or possibly earlier, his sons John, Daniel, and Samuel moved south to the community of Windsor on the Connecticut River in central Connecticut.
Misfortune dogged George Sr.’s life. Poverty nagged him in Watertown; he ran afoul of the law several times; he was involved in various legal battles to establish and maintain his property rights in Lancaster; his cabin was destroyed by Indians; and his family was divided after three sons moved south to greener pastures. Although still in good health, his misfortune continued when he was accidentally killed near Watertown by a falling rock on October 10, 1696 (Henry Adams, p. 8). Endnote The primary inheritances he left his family were lessons in how to deal with adversity and 260 acres of abandoned land in a frontier community. Although no physical description of George exists, he likely passed a tall gene to his sons since they were known in Connecticut as being the "three tall Englishmen" (Henry Adams, p. 24).
CHILDREN of George ADAMS and Frances TAYLOR:
1. JOHN b: 6 Apr 1645; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. d: Died Young ; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. 2. GEORGE b: 16 Oct 1647; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. md: 10 Jun 1684; , , Massachusetts. Martha FISKE d: 17 Feb 1732; Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts. 3. DANIEL b: 1652; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. md: ; , , . Mary PHELPS. d: 17 Nov 1713; Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut. 4. BENJAMIN b: Abt 1650; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. d: Abt 1672; , Middlesex, Massachusetts. 5. JOSEPH b: 6 Mar 1657; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. md: ; , , . Mary EAMES. d: 20 Jul 1701; Cambridge, Middlesex. Massachusetts. + 6. JOHN b: 6 Mar 1657; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. md: 6 Dec 1677; Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut. Abigail PINNEY d: 28 Nov 1732; Colchester, New London, Connecticut. + 7. SAMUEL b: Abt 1659; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. md: Abt 1685; Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut. Elizabeth HILL or HILLS md: 23 Apr 1694; Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut. Deborah BARTLETT 8. MARY bap: 21 Nov 1686; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachussetts. d: 10 Feb 1715; , , .Back to _______ ADAMS' Family Page
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