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Full text of "The ancestry of Henry Adams of Braintree, New England"

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GENEALOGY COLLECTIC; 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY , 



3 1833 01179 2402 



The A N_C E S T R Y o f 

ENRY Adams 



o/ BRAINTREE ^' NEW ENGLAND 



(V 






MILWAUKEE /S'^ WISCONSIN 

19 1 



By REV. HIRAM FRANCIS FAIRBANKS 



1539282 

The Ancestry of Henry Adams 

of Braintree, New England. 



By Rev. Hiram Francis Fairbanks. 



Henry Adams, of whose ancestry we are about to writ^, 
came from Devonshire, England, in the year 1632, and settled 
at Mt. Wollaston, in the town of Braintree, not far from the 
present city of Boston. He died in 1646. 

He was the ancestor of John Adams, a signer of the Declara- 
tion of American Independence, a member of the first Conti- 
nental Congress, and the second President of the United States; 
consequently he was the ancestor of John Quiucy Adams, sixth 
President of the United States. He was likewise the ancestor 
of Samuel Adams, another signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and member of the first Continental Congress, and 
who became the second Governor of Massachusetts in the new 
commonwealth. 

Henry Adams brought with him to the shores of this West- 
ern World his wife, eight sons and one daughter. One of these 
sons remained with him in Braintree, four removed to Me<i- 
field, two to Chelmsford, all in the present State of Massachu- 
setts. As to the final place of residence of one son and daughter 
there remains considerable uncertainty. 

The author of these pages was descended from Henry Adams 
through his fom'th son, Jonathan Adams, for three generations 
in the male line and after that in the female line. 

The object of this pami>hlet is to formulate and enforce cer- 
tain facts brought out by previous investigators which prove 



■ j- 



that Henry Adams was a descendant of Lord ap Adam and his 
wife Elizabeth de Gournai, who lived in the latter part of the 
Thirteenth and early part of the Fourteenth Century ; and that 
through Elizabeth de Goumai he was descended from Matilda 
and ^Viiliani the Conqueror, and through Matilda from the 
Counts of Flanders, on the one side being derived from the 
Capetian Kings of France, and on the other from Charlemagne, 
the great Emperor of the West. 

Without much doubt many of the descendants of Henry 
Adams do not care to leave the shores of New England in search 
of a more remote antiquity in the history of the family line. To 
begin with him, the first of the family on American soil. Is 
enough for them ; for they are fully satisfied with the history of 
the family on this side of the ocean. I have to acknowledge 
that it is certainly a great honor and one which I thoroughly 
appreciate, to belong to a family which, if not the most distin- 
guished as many claim, is at least one of the most distinguished 
families that America has ever produced. To repeat : Two of 
the descendants of Henry Adams signed the Declaration of 
American Independence and were members of the first Conti- 
nental Congress. Ko other family has furnished a father and a 
son to the office of President of the liepublic, to say nothing of 
the other eminent men who with honor to the nation have occu- 
pied its high stations. 

The descendants of Henry Adams were among the chief 
founders of this mighty Kepublic of the Western Hemisphere, a 
nation which to-day counts a population of nearly 80,000,000. 
And since their time men of his lineage by hundreds have occu- 
pied positions of honor, trust, and patriotism in the annals of 
•their country. It is probable that more descendants of this 
man have been graduates of Harvard and Yale and other col- 
leges than of any other man who ever settled in America. It is 
no wonder then that many of his name or blood are well satis- 
fied to rest on their laurels on this side of the Atlantic. 

But there are many other members of the family — and I am 
one of them — who believe that we have the right not alone to 
our place among the great historic families of this country, but 
that we have an equal right to our genealogical heritage on the 

2 



other side of ihe ocean, to our noble and distinguished lineage 
in the British Islez and Europe back to Lord ap Adam and his 
still more noble wife, Elizabeth de Gournai, and through her 
and a long line of her ancestors to Charlemagne. We believe 
that the blood of Cliarlemagne ooiu'ses through our veins, and 
that we have a full right to claim it, and that our claims are 
jast and valid. 

In the year 1S51 William Downing Bruce, Esq., F. S. A., 
member of the Middle Temple, London, and corresponding mem- 
ber of the N. E. H. G. Society, \vT0te that he had discovered 
among the papers of Hon. Edward Hamlin Adams of Middleton 
Hall, Member of Parliament for Carmarthen, Wales, an ancient 
manuscript which he copied. He furnished a copy of it to be 
sent to New England v»-ith this explanation : "It is copied from 
an ancient parchment roll, with arms, of the time of Charles L, 
which I discovered among the papers of the late Edward Ham- 
lin Adams, Esq., of Middh^tou Hall, M. P., from the county of 
Carmarthen, and is now in the possession of his son, Edward 
Adams, Esq., of Middleton Hall in said county. Mr. Adams 
is a gentleman of gi'eat wealth and consequence in this county, 
and takes great interest in genealogy.'' The pedigree is as fol- 
lows: "Sir John ap Adam came out of the Marches of Wales, 
married Elizabeth." She was the daughter of John de Gour- 
nai, Lord of Beverston. Their children were: "Sir Thos. ap 
Adam, m., had issue; (2) Sir John ap Adam — Wm. ap Adam; 
in. had issue — Roger of Lancashire. Sir John ap Adam had a 
son, (3) William ap Adam, who had a son (4) Sir John ap 
Adam, who was the father of (5) Thos. ap Adam; m. Jane, 
daughter and heiress of Sir John Inge; (6) Sir John ap Adam, 
Kt, m. Millicent, daughter of Sir Matthew Bessylls; (7) Sir 
John ap Adam, alias Adams, m. Clara, daughter and co- 
heiress of ^Mr. Ivoger Powell; (8) Roger Adams m. Jane, 
daughter of Ellyott; (9) Thos. Adams m, :Marie, daughter of 
Mr. Upton; (10) John Adams m. Jane, daughter of Mr. Een- 
nelegh; (11) John Adams m. Catherine, daughter and heiress 
of IV[r. Stebbing."' Children of preceding: "Nicholas m. and 
had issue; (12) John m. ^Nlargerye, daughter and heiress of Mr. 
Squier — George m. and had issue." Child of John: "(13) 



Eichard m. Margaret, daughter of Mr. Armager (Sic. Cop.).*' 
Children of Richard were: "llobert m. Elizabeth Sharlaw; 
(14) William m. daughter of Boringoton.-' Children of Wil- 
liam were : "George — Henry, died in Braintree, New England, 
1646— Ambrose— John." 

We may add that George Adams was the ancestor of Mr. 
Bruce. He was a lieutenant in the service of Charles I., and 
died in Barbadoes in 1647. 

The question which we now intend to consider is whether 
this manuscript is in reality the ancient document which it is 
claimed to be. If it is an ancient and original document, found 
in the possession of an Adams family of high character and re- 
spectability, and as it coincides with the report of the Heralds' 
Visitation of Devonshire in 1564 so far as their record extends, 
then we have every reason to believe that it is a genuine and 
trustworthy pedigree of the family whose lineage it traces. As 
it is chiefly a question of competent witnesses for or against it, 
we shall group our witnesses who directly or indirectly testify 
in its favor. And to make our argument doubly sure we shall 
insist on the fact that the burden of proof under the circum- 
stances rests on the negative. We shall after that present any 
unfavorable opinions expressed against it, and answer the oIh 
jections which have been made. 

The first witness in its favor is Mr. William DouTiing Bruce, 
Esq., member of the Middle Temple, London, and Fellow of the 
Society of Antiquiu'ies. So strong is the testimony of Mr. Bruce 
in its favor that it seems to be admitted by all parties that if his 
statements are truthful the document is without much doubt 
correct. Mr. Bruce was a gentleman of learning and respecta- 
bility. His intelligence and ivnowlcdge of the subject were such 
that his one critic has not attempted to prove that he was de- 
ceived. For the culture and respectability required to become a 
member of the ^Middle Temple, London, I refer the reader to 
the article on ''The Inns of Court" in the American Encyclo- 
pedia. Mr. Bruce had also made a special study of genealogy 
and antiquaries. It was for this reason that he had 
been made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. 
His knowledge of this subject had enabled him to 



take a broad view of genealogy, and to know where to ex- 
pect to find original and valuable documents, and to judge 
of their genuineness when found. His whole training and cul- 
ture fitted him to investigate on broader lines and on a higher 
plane of criticism than could his critic, a retired Pennsylvania 
merchant, who having chosen London for his residence became 
a professional genealogist. Mr. Bruce, belonging to the Adams 
family, took more interest in his subject than would an outsider, 
and time and money would be expended more freely and per- 
sistently by him than by others who had not the same stroni^ 
motive. 

Another witness, although indirect, but none the less im- 
portant, was Edward Adams, Esq., J. P., of Middleton Hall, 
Carmarthen, Wales. In fact the high standing of this family, 
both father and son, gives great weight to any document found 
in their possession and which without doubt they believed to be 
genuine. Hon. Edward Hamlin Adams was a member of the 
British Parliament, and belonged to one of the old and aristo- 
cratic families of Wales. His son, Edward Adams, was a mag- 
istrate, and was the owner of valuable estates received from his 
father. He v/as living during the whole time of the discussion 
and by his part in the affair practically upheld Mr. Bruce. 
The landed gentry of Great Britain are not usually so anxious 
to claim family kinship to Americans as to take the part he did 
unless well convinced of its truthful character. He died in 
1875 without male issue. His heir was his eldest daughter, 
Miss Lucy Caroline Adams, who became the wife of Mr. Law- 
rence, Vicar of Tong, a minister of the established church. In 
"Walford's Country Gentry" she was described as "Lady of the 
Manors of Gwynionydd Ucherdin, Gwynionydd Iscerdin, and 
Caerwedros, County Cardigan, residence Middleton Hall, Llan- 
artheney, near Carmarthen." Her heir was her sister, Miss 
Adah Constance Adams, who had married John Williams 
Hughes, Captain of the Scots Guards. In Walford we also find 
that one branch of the ancient family of Lord ap Adam had 
settled in Charlton, County Somerset, and afterwards removed 
to Fenne in the County of Devonshire, and another branch had 
settled in Brompton, in the County Kent. In their coat-of-arms 



the Devonshire family had quartered the coat-of-arms of the 
Gnrnav or de Gournai family. To show how old families some- 
times disappeiir from the scene in less than fifty years, not one 
of these families is found in Burke's "Country Gentry" in the 
edition of 1897. 

Another witness in favor of the genuineness of this ancient 
parchment roll was Mr. Somerby, an excellent authority and the 
author of "Pedigrees.'' Although under the influence of Mr. 
Chester he changed his mind with reference to the brief note 
after the name of Ilenry, the document was so clearly and evi- 
dently correct that all the arguments of Mr. Chester could not 
change his opinion of the rest, and inasmuch as for a long time 
he upheld the genuineness of the entire manuscript he was in 
reality a strong witness in its favor. The more so is this the 
case because the arguments of Mr. Chester, being founded on 
false suppositious, utterly fall to the ground. The editor of 
the Genealogical Ilegister quotes Mr. Somerby as saying that he 
thought "the parchment roll had been dra^\Ti up or additions 
made to it years before Mr. Bruce copied it." Mr. Somerby 
states that he had seen the original parchment roll, had ex- 
amined it, and for some time he had considered it evidently 
correct; but afterwards the "researches made by Mr. Chester 
had convinced him" that the record after the name of Henry, 
"died in Braintree in New England, 1616," was an addition 
made by somebody. But Mr. Bruce says the same thing, al- 
though he holds to the genuineness of the entire docoment. He 
says that the words above quoted "were in a later hand, say 
1680." Mr. Bruce's knowledge as an antiquarian without doubt 
helped him to arrive at this conclusion. Nothing could be 
more reasonable than that on the receipt of definite and au- 
thentic news of Henry Adams' death it should have been re- 
corded on the parchment roll that contained his name. In the 
very nature of things in those early times it might have been 
many years after his death before such notification, accom- 
panied by satisfactory^ proofs, would have been received from 
a far distant country in the American wilderness. 

Mr. Chester is the only person who has pretended to any 
knowledge of the matter who attempted to criticise the author- 



ity of the document. Mr. Chester was, I am inclined to think, 
an estimable gentleman, who set too high a value on his ovm 
opinions. He was a retired American merchant who went to 
London and in time was employed bv certain Americans t^ 
make search for their English pedigree. He was probably a 
good collector of facts and figures where no great talent for 
original research was required. But his early training and 
habits had not prepared him for such work as the aforemen- 
tioned gentlemen were more capable of performing. 

His two chief arguments against the document appear to be 
these : He had never seen the document although he had sev- 
eral times asked to see it; and he found no records to confirm 
the last portion of it in the "Wills and Administrations'' of the 
various Adams families of the kingdom. ^Tiy he had never 
seen it is partly evident from the fact that there seems to have 
been "no love lost" between Mr. Bruce and himself. He him- 
self indicates this when he asserts his "inability to accept the 

word of Mr. unless verified by other evidence." We 

see that his reason here given against the existence of an orig- 
inal parchment roll falls to the ground in the face of the very 
ample evidence of the other witnesses who from actual examina- 
tion verified the statement of I^Ir. Bruce. He applies his other 
argument, the absence of "Wills and Administrations," back to 
the time of Nicholas, and thus brings himself in opposition to 
the unanimous conclusions of all the other witnesses. Let us 
consider this argument of the absence of other documents. It 
is a very narrow one. 

There are hundreds of thousands of manuscripts of all kinds 
pertaining to arms, pedigrees, lands, administrations, visita- 
tions, births, marriages, and deaths in the public and private 
libraries of Great Britain. Take one example. There are 40,500 
manuscripts, independent of charters and rolls, in the British 
Museum alone, many of them of the aforesaid chiiracter. Thou- 
sands are also contained in private libraries, many of them prac- 
tically inaccessible to the public. Thousands of others during 
the course of centuries have been lost or destroyed. An inves- 
tigator might employ a score of genejilogists for years and spend 
a hundred thousand dollars in his search, and yet pass over im- 

7 



portaut documents which he seeks, to say nothing of those no 
longer in existence. It must also be remembered that the time 
oi which we TVTite was in the neighborhood of 300 years ago. 
The absence of corroborative documents under the circum- 
stances is a very poor proof against a known positive document, 
it would require positive contradictory documents of greater 
authority to disprove it To understand better the great extent 
to which an investigation might be made and still be unsatis- 
factory it would be well to consult a book in my possession in- 
dicating some of the sources of such investigation. It is written 
by Richard Sims, Esq., of the British Museum, entitled "A 
Manual for the Genealogist." For any man after a few hours 
or even days of investigation to decide with such high-handed 
presumption on the genuineness and authority of a document 
which he had never seen is scarcely less than the reduction to 
an absurdity. It is the old example of bad logic in an exagger- 
ated form. Four men swear that they saw the man do the act. 
One man sweai's that he did not see him do it. What kind of an 
"intelligent" jury would it be that would still remain unde- 
cided? I have found in all my investigation that every one vrho 
holds an adverse opinion to our proposition refers back to Mr. 
Chester, who is their judge, witness and jury about a matter of 
which they themselves know nothing. 

tiei us now consider the addition to the name of Heury 
Adams in this ancient record; "died in Braintree in New Eng- 
land, 1(546." An addition or even explanatory note in a docu- 
ment may be as correct and trustworthy as the rest of the rec- 
ord, and may have all the authority of the document itself of 
which it is a part. It would be an extremely dangerous pro- 
ceeding to reject any part of a document unless reasons could be 
given for so doing which are altogether convincing. Most of 
the important annals of history are those that have been con- 
tinued either at different times in his life by the same author, 
oi* else by different authors in successive generations. This fact 
has in no way weakened their authority ; and in many cases the 
fact that the names of the ^v-l•iters are utterly unknown to us has 
hardly lessened their weight among scholars. It often happens 
that the note or explanation is clearer, more satisfactory, and of 



greater weight than the document itself without it. In this 
particular case there is not a particle of evidence to show that 
the brief completion of the record at a not far distant later date 
was not made by the same author and authority that had re- 
corded the earlier part of it, or else by some one equally trust- 
worthy in all particulars. There is every reason to believe that 
this addition was made by an authority who had a full knowl- 
edge of the facts recorded, and wished to complete the record in 
iiis time. I have been very much surprised at the weak reason- 
ing, defective logic, and vague and untenable positions of all 
those who have attempted to weaken the authority of this an- 
cient parchment roll. 

We must take into consideration the respectable condition of 
life of all those who had anything to do with this document, as 
well as the honorable character and antiquity of the family in 
whose possession it was found. All these facts go to show not 
alone the correctness of the pedigree as recorded, but equally 
the genuineness of the record that "Henry Adams died in Brain- 
tree in New England, 1646.-' 

Weak, superficial criticism is one of the easiest things on 
earth to make, and it is the delight of certain men of limited 
knowledge and learning to pose before the world as critics. All 
the affirmative witnesses for our document, and they include all 
who ever saw and examined it, agree that the addition to the 
name of Henry Adams was made at a time long before Mr. 
Bruce ever saw it. They all believed that it had been made in 
the neighborhood of one hundred and seventy years before that 
time, which was 1851. For a long time Mr. Somerby agreed 
with the others until he w^as imjwsed on by the claims of Mr. 
Chester; and even after that he continued to believe, so far as 
we are able to determine, that it had been added "years before 
Mr. Bruce saw it." 

The force of our argument, however, doea not depend on this. 
For if we show that Mr. Chester did not succeed in proving his 
objections, as we have shown, and will show, then his entire 
argument fails, and any opinions of others accepted on his in- 
valid conclusions also fail with it. It must also be borne in 
mind that the probability or certainty required to prove a genea- 



loj::jical pedigree iu remote past eeiitiiries is not the same 
that is required to prove our heirship to a property 
or estate. If it was, there ^Y0uld be but few genea- 
logicid trees left standing; for only a limited nund)er of historic 
fanulies could thus prove by legal proofs their earlier and re- 
mote lineage, liichard Sims. Esq., of the British ;^^useum, in 
his valuable "Manual'' already mentioned, says: "Although 
many of the public libraries of this country coniain undoubted 
national records, charters, and registers — even ]Magna Charta 
itself — they are not allowed as evidence iu our courts of justice; 
having been separated from their proper custody, they are re- 
jected and disowned, however valuable." The value of the an- 
cient parchment roll, of which we write, as a proof of pedigTee, 
may be inferred from his words following the above quotatitm 
on the same page : "However valuable, then, and however gen- 
uine a document may be, it will not be received as evidence" 
(he means legal evidence in courts of justice) "uness it be in 
the possession of some person connected with the estate or prop- 
erty to which it refers, or who can satisfactorily account for its 
possession." If this rule of evidence holds good in legal matters 
pertaining to estates, by inference it also holds good in genea- 
logical matters pertaining to pedigi-ees. The Adams record was 
in the i>ossession of an Adams family of high character to whom 
it referred, and we have to conclude that the entire document, 
including the record of the death of Henry Adams, is what it 
claims to be. 

Mr. Browning has therefore very properly, in his"Americanr* 
of Royal Descent," placed Henry Adams and those descended 
from him among the descendants of Charlemagne. In fact if 
Mr. Browning had rejected the pedigrees of all those whose 
claims do not rest on as well established a basis as those of 
lienry Adams his book would have shi'unk into much more in- 
signiftcant pro|X)rtions. 

Another weak objection urged against our position and prac- 
tically contained in one of the objections of Mr. Chester is that 
Henry Adams of Braintree was a man in somewhat humble 
circumstances iu life, boasting neither wealth nor titles. It Is 
not 300 years since Henry Adams came to these American 

10 



shores and his descendants to-daj number severid thousand. 
It was another three hundred years from tlie time of Lord ap 
Adam to Henry Adams. How many sons of younger sons had 
multiplied ; how many branches of the family had come into ex- 
istence. Barber in his ''British Family Names"' says: "In the 
majority of cases the later descendants of illustrious families 
have sunk into poverty and obscurity unconscious of their ori- 
gin, and this was more likely to be the case with younger 
branches." It is doubtful if one name in six of those who are 
recorded in Domesday Book is to-day found among those who 
own land in England, and the names of five out of six of the 
landholders of our day are not recorded there. 

Many branches of the Adams family had undoubtedly for 
some time or for several generations been in reduced circum- 
stances before the time when Henry Adams with his large fam- 
ily emigrated to America. Some of the older branches of the 
family had retained a portion of their property, but even they 
had become much reduced from the i>osition which the family 
held In earlier times. By consulting "Burke's Extinct Peer- 
age" and other similar works we shall find the following facts: 
"Sir Thomas ap Adam was living in 1330, having then alienated 
the gi'eater part of the estates he had received from the Gur- 
nays, and sold the Castle and Manor of Beverstone to Thomas 
de Berkley." Thomas here spoken of was the eldest son and 
heir of Lord ap Adam, while John from whom Henry Adams 
was descended was his second son. "The last fragment of the 
once great estates of Baron ap Adam was sold in 1580 by Dr. 
Symings of Lrondon to Wm. Lewis, Esq." But for a long time 
before this no part of the estate was owned by any one bearing 
the name of ap Adam or xVdams. 

If such a change had taken place in the fortunes of the old- 
est branch of the family what could we expect to have become 
the condition of those branches of the family which in numer- 
ous generations had descended from younger sons who in turn 
were also the descendants of younger sons? Yet this explains 
the exact facts which would dcHjide the condition in life of 
Henry Adams at the time he emigrated to America. Some 
branches of the family through marriage or favorable condi- 

11 



ticDS of their property had recovered a. portion of their earlier 
prosperity and something of their former position, while the 
larger number, oftentimes with a numerous offspring, had 
gradually been reduced to a condition of comparative poverty 
and obscurity. Therefore we find these brothers in about the 
exact condition in which we might expect to find them. The 
oldest brother gets a commission as a lieutenant in foreign 
service, and the others are left to shift for themselves. Henry 
Adams with his wife and nine children has enough to take him 
to the New World and start him well in life in his new home. 
Yet he was a man of intelligence and ability, having a fair edu- 
cation, and when he died he divided among his sons a library, 
something very rare in this new land two hundred and fifty 
years ago. 

We have here considered only the results which are ordi- 
narily produced under that natural law of change mentioned 
by Mr. Barber in times which are under normal conditions. 
But for a whole century before the emigration of Henry Adams 
from England such normal conditions had not existed. And 
during those times of civil and religious revolutions and perse- 
' cutions, the civil and religious principles which men held di- 
rected against them powerful influences and forces that changed 
entirely financial and social conditions in a few generations of 
family history. Large numbers of Catholics and Dissenters 
were helped along their way more quickly to "poverty and ob- 
scurity" by laws and oppressive measures enacted against 
them; so that the words are exactly true which John Adams, 
second President of the United States, had placed on the monu- 
ment of his ancestor : "In memory of Henry Adams, who took 
his flight from the Dragon of rersecution in Devonshire, Eng- 
land, and alighted with eight sons near Mt. Wollaston.'' 

Therefore the second argument of ^Ir. Chester and his copj^- 
ists is shown to be worthless, and falls to the ground with the 
other. For at least tliree generations there were probably no 
"wills and administrations" in this branch of the xVdams family 
for the very good reason that they were not needed. 

The final question which remains to be considered has al- 
ready been introduced by the inscription just quoted on the 

12 



monument of Henry Adams. This question is not, however, 
essential to our main propostion. It is incidental to it, but has 
at least some bearing on the force of our argument. Those who 
have tried to weaken the authority of Mr. Bruce's parchment 
roll, have made ineiiectual attempts to show that President 
John Adams was mistalN;en and that his ancestor did not come 
from Devonshire. The fact that this ancient parchment roll 
had not been discovered in the time of John Adams serves all 
the more to confirm his statement. I have read everything I 
could find on the other side of the question, and I find nothing 
against it but the most unfounded surmises. Some have started 
out with the supposition that he did not come from Devonshire, 
but from somewhere else in England, and finding no proof for 
their theory have naturally come to the conclusion that the 
original home of the family could not be located. Such seems 
to have been the opinion arrived at by one distinguished mem- 
ber of the family for some time resident in England. Others 
have suggested that he came from Braintree in Essex, although 
they have been unable to obtain a particle of proof for their 
assertion. One author goes so far as to state that Savage in 
his Genealogical Dictionary of New England concurs in this 
opinion. I happim to own a set of this valuable work and can 
certify that he does nothing of the kind. He gives both opin- 
ions equally as traditions. I think much of the trouble has 
arisen from two sources; one that "the wish is father to the 
thought," and the other a confusion coming from the name. 
They have thus falsely concluded that he was associated with 
the Hooker colony, the chief part of which came from Essex and 
settled in Braintree, but hy order of the court removed to New- 
town. Why did not Henry Adams or any of his sons go with 
them? For the plain reason that he had no connection with 
them. This is the clearer from the fact that four of his sons 
afterwards removed to Medfield and all but one to other pai'ts 
of the country, but not one of them ever associate himself with 
the Hooker colonists. 

An equally plausible opinion might be formed from another 
naiine in favor of my proposition. Henry Adams settled in that 
part of Braintree called Mt. Wollaston. The only Woolaston 



in England is ne^ir Tidenham, in Gloucestershire, in the im- 
mediate neighborhood of the estates of Lord ap Adam, probably 
on the estates which he once owned. It might naturally be 
supposed that Heniy Adams was attracted to Mt. Wollaston 
bee ause it was a reminder to him in a strange land of the home 
of his ancestors. The supposition would appear even more 
plausible if the origin of the name had been lost sight of, as it 
might have been if it had not been recorded that the height was 
named after Capt. Wollaston, who landed there in 1625. But 
neither supposition should have any weight, for in such matters 
we are often easily deceived by a coincidence which if not acci- 
dental has no relation to the subject 

Another statement which I have read is equally at variance 
with the facts. It is that John Adams had supposed that his 
ancestor had "formed part of the company of Winthrop, most 
of whom came from Devonshire," and in this way he was mis- 
led. The truth is quite the contrary. All the prominent men 
who came with Winthrop, as I find on examination, came from 
other parts of England, and not one from Devonshire; and the 
very name of Boston would have suggested to John Adams 
Lincolnshire instead of Devonshire. John Adams with his 
acute intellect made no mistake. He was nearer than any of 
the other authorities to the original source of information, and 
all of his family line had remained in Braintree, receiving in 
this way the unbroken traditions of the family more correctly 
than it was possible for those w^ho had dispersed to receive 
them. To understand how close was his connection with un- 
doubted family tradition it will be enough to remind the reader 
that Edward Adams was the youngest son of Henry Adams 
and came from England with his father. When he died the 
father of President John Adams was twenty-four or twenty- 
five years of age. It is believed that President Adams was 
confirmed in the truth of the family tradition by investigations 
made during his residence in England. 

The inscription carved by his order in imperishable stone 
to remain for all time, and the ancient parchment roll handed 
down in one of the most noble and ancient families of Wales, 
had no connection in time or place, but they perfectly unite to- 

14 



gether to prove a genuine and unbroken link which cannot be 
forced from the chain to which it belongs of unbroken lineage 
for twelve hundred years. 

We shall now summarize a few important parts of our argu- 
ment. An ancient parchment roll exists which has every proof 
of being genuine and trustworthy. All the witnesses who have 
ever examined it bear a substantially unanimous testimony in 
its favor, and the number of these witnesses is ample. Their 
intelligence was such and their study and investigations in that 
particular line had been so exact that they possessed the skill 
of experts united with the education and breadth of men in the 
learned professions in a country where the words ''learned pro- 
fessions" mean something. This ancient parchment roll was 
found in a family of high character and standing, in a family 
to whom the pedigree referred, and in whose possession it had 
been without doubt for more than two centuries. This parch- 
ment roll agrees with every other similar document known to 
exist so far as it relat<?s to the same subject, and there is no 
other of any kind so far as is known or even claimed to exist 
that in any particular militates against it. The various criti- 
cisms and objections which have been urged against it we be- 
lieve we have completely answered in the preceding pages. 

The conclusion necessarily follows, that in so far as a moral 
certainty can exist in the vast majority of well-authenticated 
pedigrees the lineage of Henry Adams of Braintree and his de- 
scendants is fully proved to be an unbroken one back to Charle- 
magne. 

We shall here insert the Adams pedigree chiefly as it is 
given on pages 66-68, in the attractive volume of Mr. Browning, 
entitled "Americans of Royal Descent." To this we have added 
other interesting facts obtained by our own investigation : 

1539282 



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>1 



PEDIGREE. 

1. Pepin of Landen^ bom before the year 600. 

2. Geimoald. 

3. Pepin of Heristal. 

4. Charles IVIartel^ King of Prance. 

5. Pepin the Short. 

6. CHAPtLEMAGNE, Emperor of the West. 

7. Louis the Pious. 

8. Charles II. (the Bald). 

9. JuDiTH;, married Count Baldwin (of the Iron Ann). 

10. Baldwin II., Count of Flanders. 

11. Aenolph the Great, Count of Flanders. 

12. Baldwin III., Count of Flanders. 

13. Arnolph II., Fifth Count of Flanders. 

14. Baldwin IV., Sixth Count of Flanders. 

15. Baldwin V., Seventh Count of Flanders, married Princess 

Adela, daughter of Robert the Pious, son of Hugh Capet, 
King of France. 

16. Matilda, married William the Conqueror, King of Eng- 

land. Queen Matilda was also descended from Alfred 
the Great, and the father of William was first cousin of 
St Edward the Confessor. 

17. Princess Gundred_, daughter of the preceding, married 

William de Warren, who was created Earl of Surrey. 

18. Edith de Warren, married Gerard, Baron de Gournai. 

He was the son of Hugh de Gournai and Basilia, daugh- 
ter of Gerard Flaital, and sister of William, bishop of 
Evreux. He with his father fought in the battles of 
Mortemer and Hastings. His father became a monk in 
the Benedictine Abbey of Bee. Gerard de Gournai died 
in Palestine in 1096. 

19. Hugh de Gournai, married Millicent de Maria, daughter 

of Thomas, Lord of Coucy. 

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20. Hugh de Gournai, married Lady Julia Dampmartin, sis- 

ter of Reginald, Count de Boulogne. He lost Ms Nor- 
man estates through political troubles and took refuge 
in England. He was buried in Langley Abbey, Nor- 
folk. 

Hugh de Gournai^ Lord of Beverston ; died without male 

issue. 

21. Anselm de Gournai^ Lord of Beverston; succeeded his 

brother. 

22. Robert de Gournai, Lord of Beverston; was a younger 

brother. 

23. Anselm de Gournai. Lord of Beverston. 

24. John de Gournai, Lord of Beverston; married Lady 

Oliva, daughter of Henry Lovel, Baron of Castle Cary. 

25. Elizabeth de Gournai^ married Sir John ap Adam of 

Beverston and Tideuham, Lord ap Adam by writ, 1296- 
1307. His estates were large not only in his own right 
but he received valuable estates from his wife. Their 
names are found in most works on extinct peerages. He 
was engaged in the Scottish wars. There remains to 
this day a beautiful stained glass window in his memory 
in the church in Tidenham, with his name, coat-of-arms, 
and the date 1310 in the upper part. His coat of arms 
is given as "argent, a cross grules, 5 mullets or, crest; that 
of a ducal coronet, a demi-lion." This means that on a 
silver ground was a red cross which extended from the 
top to the bottom and to each side, and on this cross 
were five golden stars. The crest as given in Fair- 
bairn's Crests was the head and principal part of the 
body of a lion, rampant gardant; that is erect and the 
right paw raised. 
2G. Sir John ap Adam, Kt., second son. He was brother of 
Sir Thomas ap Adam, heir to his father, but who was 
never summoned to Parliament. 

27. William ap Adam, married and had issue. 

28. Sir John ap Adam, Kt., married and had issue. 

29. TnoiMAS AP AdaM;, married Lady Jane, daughter of S^ir 

John Inge. 

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30. Sir John ap Adam^ Kt., married Millicent, daughter of 

Sir Matthew Bessylls. 

31. SiK John ap Adam^ alias Adams, married Clara, daughter 

of Mr. Roger Powell. 

32. Roger Adams, married Jane, daughter of Mr. Ellyott. 

33. Thomas Adams, married Marie, daughter of Mr. Upton. 

34. John Adams^ married Jane, daughter of Mr. Rennelegh. 

35. John Adams, married Catherine, daughter of Mr. Steb- 

bing. 

36. John Adams, married Margerye, daughter of Mr. Squier. 

37. Richard Adams, married Margaret, daughter of Mr. 

Armager. 

38. William Adams, married daughter of Mr. Boringoton. 

39. Henry Adams, of Braintree, married and had eight sons 

and one daughter. 



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