m. abt 1576
m. 19 Oct 1609
Facts and Events
Henry Adams was born in 1583 in the Parish of Barton St. David, Somersetshire, England. He was the son of John & Agnes (Stone) Adams, grandson of Henry Adams & great grandson of John Adams, all of the same Barton St. David. A 1693 bible that likely belonged to a child of his daughter Ursula lists his birth as 21 Jan 1583. The data in the bible, except for easily explainable typo errors, comports where possible with available vital records. The data also compares with the common estimate of 1583, based on Henry’s service as executor of his father’s will in 1604.
Henry shows up as co-executor of his brother John's will in 1609, the same year he signed his marriage bond in 1609. He married at Charlton-Mackrell, Co. Somerset, Oct. 19, 1609, Edith Squire, baptized there May 29, 1587, daughter of Henry Squire. (He did not, as is sometimes said, marry “Charlotte Mackrell”.) Two of her sisters also married emigrants to New England, Ann Squire who married Aquila Purchase and Margaret Squire who married John Shepherd. Henry was probably influenced by Edith’s sister Ann Purchase to come to New England, since the local ministers were not Puritans.
Henry and Edith's son Thomas was baptized in Barton St. David in 1612. Then between 1614 and 1622 but before 1622 he had removed to the neighboring Parish of Kingweston where the baptisms of his seventh child John was recorded, as now preserved in the Bishop of Wells transcripts of Parish register.
In 1638, Henry Adams and all his family, except his son Jonathan who remained in England 12 years longer, emigrated to New England. The exact date of coming is not known, but in a deposition in 1656, his son John stated that he had known a certain field in Cambridge (MA) since 1638. The earliest record of Henry is Feb. 24, 1639/40 when he obtained a grant of land from the town of Boston to forty acres at Mt. Wollaston for ten heads (himself, wife Edith, sons; Henry, Thomas, Samuel, Peter, John, Joseph and Edward, and dau Ursula). The land became his homestead and remained partially in the male line of descendants until about 1845, when the last occupant had removed to Bridgewater.The location of the grant was long unknown to modern descendants, but it is now known that the house stood on present Elm street, Quincy, near South street & close to the town brook.
Henry Adams did not live long in New England, as he was buried at Braintree (now Quincy) Oct. 8,1646, aged about 63 years. His will dated 1646, mentions his wife and children who are to share his property, but omits the three eldest sons who evidently had previously received something from him. The inventory totalled ¦75/13/0, an average one for these days.
A gravestone in his memory was erected by descendant Pres. John Adams in Hancock Cemetery in Braintree. The inscription reads, "In memory of Henry Adams, who took his flight from the Dragon persecution, in Devonshire, England, and alighted with eight sons near Mount Wollaston." Henry is likely buried there, as it was the old burying ground for Briantree, but had no stone originally. His son Joseph, grandson Joseph, Joseph’s grandson Pres. John, and Pres. John Q. are also buried in the family plot.
His widow Edith (Squire) Adams married about 1651, John Fussell of Weymouth, and removed about 1654 to Medfield where several of the Adams children resided. She died Jan. 21,1672/3 and he died there Feb. 21,1675/6 when his house was burned by Indians.
Henry Adams was a husbandman, a farmer and maltster, an occupation continued by several of his descendants. He was made constable at Braintree and took his oath Dec. 5, 1643 (Records of Court assistants, Vol. 1).
Will of Henry Adams of Braintree 1646:
Sons Peter & John & daughter Ursula shall have the ground in the neck, both upland & meadow, during the term I was to enjoy it, until it return to the town's hands again from whom I had it. Also the acre in the mill fields. Books to be divided among all my children, wife to have other goods as long as unmarried and if she marry Joseph, Edward & Ursula to enjoy all the ground in the field that lieth in the way to Weymouth ferry and my house lot with all houses and fruit trees and moveables at death or marriage of my wife, provided they and their mother pay my son Samuel what is due for ground I bought of him. But in case God should soe deal with my wife that shee be constrayned to make use of something by way of sale shee may. For moveables Peter & John shall have an equal share with my sons Joseph & Edward and daughter Ursula.
Witnesses: Benjamin Allbe, Richard Brackett.
2-32 8:4:1647 Inventory £75/13/ Deposed in court 8 (4) 1647 House & barn & ground about them £26. Does'nt say who took it. Somme ground within the fence leading to Weymouth ferry £10.