The Family of Robert Adams of Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts

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ROBERT ADAMS (abt 1596 - 1682) of Newbury m. Eleanor Unknown
ELIZABETH ADAMS m. Edward Phelps

Generation 1

ROBERT ADAMS (abt 1596 - 1682) of Newbury

Parents: Unknown

Robert Adams was born about 1601. He died on 12 Oct 1682, age 86, in Newbury. [Ref][Ref] He married first Eleanor Unknown. [Ref] She died on 12 Jun 1677 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref] He married second Sarah (Glover) Short, the widow of Henry Short, on 6 Feb 1678 in Newbury. [Ref says 1677][Ref] She died on 24 Oct 1697 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref]

Robert was a tailor and a yeoman. []

Robert came to Ipswich in 1635. [Ref] He was in Salem as early as 1638. [Ref] He settled in Newbury in 1640. [Ref] He sold his house and land in Salem to William Gerrish on 18 Apr 1649. [Ref]

Robert was apparently hot tempered and he was frequently in trouble with the authorities. On 29 (7) 1640, the court at Salem sentenced "Robert Adams to be set by the heels in the stocks for being uncharitable to a poor man in distress, taking his canoe, for charging court with injustice, etc." [Ref] At the same Court, Robert sued John Skudder for trespass, apparently using his canoe. [Ref] At the 29 (4) 1641 court, Robert sued George Harris, again apparently for some matter involving a canoe. [Ref] At the 30 (10) 1645 court, John Kitchen sued Robert Adams for defamation. Robert was fined five shillings for saying that the case should be thrown out. Elinore Downing testified that Robert Adams called John Kitchen a false fellow. [Ref] At the 26 (10) 1648 court in Salem, Robert answered to Mary Oliver for taking away a ladder. [Ref] Richard Kent sued Robert for denying him passage on a usual highway, but the 30 (7) 1651 court at Ipswich found for Robert. [Ref] In 1658, Robert was fined for attending a Quaker meeting at the home of Nicholas Phelps. [Ref] It does not appear that Robert was a Quaker himself; perhaps Nicholas was a relative of Robert's then or later son-in-law Edward Phelps. The court ordered him to pay costs for this. [Ref 2;107]

Robert was on the trial jury at the 29 (7) 1657, 25 Sep 1660, 31 Mar 1663 and 28 Sep 1669 courts at Ipswich. [Ref] Robert Adams of Newbury was a freeman on 27 Mar 1660. [Ref] He took the Oath of Allegiance in Newbury in 1678. [Ref]

In his will, dated 7 Mar 1680, Robert of Newbury mentions his wife Sarah (who was married before); his oldest son John; his sons Isaac and Jacob; his daughter Hannah Adams; son Abraham and his wife Mary; his daughter Elizabeth the wife of Edward Phelps; his daughter Joanna the wife of Launcelot Granger; his daughter Mary the wife of Jeremiah Goodridge. Robert was reasonably affluent: inventory on his estate amounted to £916.17. His "loving friends" Mr Nicholas Noyes and Mr John Woodbridge were overseers of his will and he gave each of them one of his best "whethers". [Ref]

Children of Robert Adams and Eleanor Unknown. The birth dates are from Coffin [Ref].

  1. Elizabeth Adams was born about 1627. She died on 4 May 1718 in Andover, at about age 91. She married Edward Phelps.
  2. John Adams married Unknown Woodman. [Ref]
  3. Joanna Adams was born in 1634. She deposed that she was 17 on 25 (1) 1651. [Ref 1;212-3] She married Launcelot Granger on 4 Jan 1653 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref says 1654]
  4. Sgt. Abraham Adams was born in 1639. He died on 14 Jun 1714 in Newbury, age 75. [Ref][Ref] He married Mary Pettingale on 10 Nov 1670 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref] She died on 19 Sep 1705 in Newbury. [Ref]
    some descendants of Abraham Adams
  5. Mary Adams married Jeremiah Goodridge on 15 Nov 1660 in Newbury. [Ref][] He died on 20 Jan 1707 in Newbury. [Ref]
  6. Isaac Adams was born in 1648. He died unmarried. [Ref]
  7. Jacob Adams was born on 23 Apr 1649 in Newbury. [Ref] He died young. [Ref] He is probably the child of Robert who died on 13 Aug 1649 in Newbury. [Ref]
  8. Hannah Adams was born on 25 Jun 1650 in Newbury. [Ref] She married William Wareham on 10 Feb 1682. [Ref]
  9. Jacob Adams was born on 13 or 14 Apr 1654 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref says Sept 1651] He died in 1717 in Boston while serving as a representative to the General Court from Suffield, Hartfield, Connecticut. [Ref] He married Anna Ellen on 7 Apr 1677 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref]
    Jacob lived in Suffield. [Ref, 2;9]
    some descendants of Jacob Adams
  10. Archelaus Adams married first the widow Sarah (Healy) March on 18 Mar 1697/8 in Newbury. [Ref][Ref says he married Sarah Unknown in 1698] Sarah Healy died on 5 Sep 1740 in Newbury. [Ref] She married previously Hugh March, Sr. on 3 Dec. 1685 in Newbury. [Ref] He died on 12 Dec 1693 in Newbury. [Ref] Archelaus married second the widow Dorothy Clement on 26 Aug 1741 in Newbury. [Ref] She was born about 1678 and died on 7 Oct 1741, age 63, in Newbury. [Ref] Archelaus married third the widow Mary Pearson on 20 Apr 1742 in Newbury. [Ref]

Generation 2


Parents: Robert Adams and Eleanor Unknown

Elizabeth Adams was born about 1627. She died on 4 May 1718 in Andover, at about age 91. [Ref] She married Edward Phelps. In his will of 7 Mar 1680, her father left her a cow and calls her the wife of Edward Phelps. [Ref]


Adams, Andrew N., A Genealogical History of Robert Adams, of Newbury, Mass. and his descendants, 1635-1900, unknown, Adams, 1900.

Browns, A. W., "Materials for the Study of Newbury," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 7,1853, p. 349.

Coffin, Joshua, "Descendants of Robert Adams," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 11, 1857, p. 53.

Coffin, Joshua, "Early Settlers of Essex and Old Norfolk," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 6, 1852, 205-208.

Dow, George, Francis, Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Essex Institute, 1911.

Editors, "Adams Genealogy," Essex Antiquarian 2, 1898, 17 -.

Editors, "Will of Robert Adams of Newbury," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 9, 1855, 126.

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850. Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2007.

Perley, Sidney, "Persecution of Quakers in Essex County," Essex Antiquarian, 1, 1897, 135 -.