Elizabeth Fussell

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Elizabeth Fussell

Also Known As: "Russell"
Birthplace: of, Somerset, England
Death: perhaps of, Medfield, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Fussell, of Weymouth & Medfield and Elizabeth? Fussell
Sister of Marie Fussell

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Fussell

Disputed identity

Elizabeth Fussell (or Russell) is seen in genealogies and local histories (Partridge Genealogy; History of Weymouth; Cutter's sketches) as the daughter of Jonathan Fussell of Weymouth & Medfield and wife of Jonathan Adams of Medfield, but there is no record found of birth, emigration, marriage or death supporting these events.

Jonathan Adams became the step son (not son in law) of John Fussell, of Weymouth & Medfield in 1651, when his mother re married John Fussell; this is around the same time Adams emigrated from England and joined his brothers and mother. Jonathan Adams 2nd married to a woman named Elizabeth by 1666; the marriage is not found in vital records, but was described as In Medfield in 1665 (History of Medway). Their children were recorded in Medfield vital records under Jonathan Adams and his wife Elizabeth (her maiden name not listed and her death not recorded). The Great Migration Project confirmed the identification made of Elizabeth Adams as Elizabeth Holman daughter of William W Holman, II and his wife Winifred (History of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles ...). As a reason for the confusion, in 1672, after the death of Edith (Squires) Fussell, her widower John joined the Jonathan Adams household and died in his home in 1676, even closer associating the Fussell and Adams families; but it seems likely there never was an "Elizabeth Fussell", and her name is a mixup with Elizabeth Holman.

Research notes

There is conflicting information on Elizabeth Fussell and her supposed marriage to Jonathan Adams. The preponderance of sources point to the following scenario for Jonathan Adams' wives and children:

Jonathan Adams (1614) was the only child of Henry and Edith to remain in England when his parents came to America in 1638. Jonathan came to America later, in 1651.

m1. Joane Close on Feb. 7, 1638/9. She may have died prior to Jonathan's emigration in 1651. Jonathan and Joane had at least 3 children, born in England.

[m2. Elizabeth Fussell c1665. No record of the marriage. Perhaps the mother of Elizabeth Adams who married John Partridge.]

m3. Elizabeth Holman in 1665 (see marriage record below). She was born May 19, 1644, in Cambridge MA, the daughter of William Holman and Winnifred ___?

U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Elizabeth Holman

  • Name: Elizabeth Holman
  • Birth Place: MA
  • Birth Year: 1644
  • Spouse Name: Jonathan Adams
  • Spouse Birth Place: En
  • Spouse Birth Year: 1614
  • Marriage Year: 1665
  • Marriage State: MA

Because the dates of the latter 2 marriages, as well as the birth of daughter Elizabeth, are so close (or the same year), it is unlikely that Jonathan married 2 Elizabeths.

This tree with citations suggests Elizabeth Holman 1st married John Fussell Jr, hence her name would have been Elizabeth Fussell when she married Jonathan Adams.
However, this is the only source found that shows this, and no evidence has been found that there was a John Fussell, Jr.

This record from Find-a-Grave indicates that Elizabeth "daughter" of John Fussell married Jonathan Adams:

John [Fussell] first married Elizabeth (last name unknown) in England, prior to 1633. She died in Weymouth, Mass. [??] before 1651 [when he married Edith Squire Adams].

They had three known children:

  1. Marie/Mary m/ Nathaniel Adams [dubious]
  2. Nicholas b 1633 m/ Mary ? [NO]
  3. Elizabeth b c1636 m/ Jonathan Adams (son of Henry Adams and Elizabeth Squire)

So it's a mixup / ambiguity because of several things.

- Edith Squire, widow Adams and mother of Jonathan, married John Fussell in 1651.

- Jonathan Adams, her son, probably a widower, probably with a child, came to America in 1651, the year his mother remarried. So where did he live? Probably in the Fussell House (with his mother and step-father),

- a "daughter" Elizabeth was supposedly living in the Fussell household 1663. [No Elizabeth is listed among documented children of Edith and Henry Adams, so she was not Edith's daughter.] This is the crux! Source - [https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/52375644]

- 1666 Elizabeth Holman married Jonathan Adams (in some sources).

- Edith Fussell died in 1672. Where did John Fussell go to live? With his step son Jonathan Adams, of course, where he died in 1676 in the raid on Medfield.


If there was no Elizabeth Fussell, how do you explain her name being so frequently used as Jonathan's wife? The fact is that once one person records something, others just pick it up and run with it. Since Jonathan Adams and John Fussell (his step-father) lived together for quite a while (probably when he first came to America in 1651 and then after his mother died in 1672 and until Fussell's death in 1676), and Jonathan's wife Elizabeth lived with them also, "historians" may have assumed in hindsight that Elizabeth was John's daughter. She also could have been called John's "daughter" at the time, being his step-daughter-in-law, as Jonathan might have been called his "son".

So this all makes sense. And findagrave's statement that daughter Elizabeth was living in the household in 1663 could be off by a year or two, if, in fact, Jonathan and Elizabeth were married in 1665.

So the bottom line is that there was no Elizabeth Fussell, but rather Elizabeth Holman was assumed to have been, and probably called, John Fussell's "daughter."

And here is a researcher decision in 2016:

link I am choosing Holman as the correct surname and following that unless documentation turns up to the contrary.


  • link to Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004. page 4. Jonathan Adams (?1614 - 1690) Married 1) Joane Close 7 Feb 1639 2) Elizabeth Holman by 1666
  • page 4 of Partridge Genealogy: Descendants of John Partridge of Medfield, Mass By George Homer Partridge. Lists the mother of Elizabeth (Adams) Partridge as Elizabeth Fussell.
  • Page 261 of The History of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Mass. and Their ... By John William Linzee. Lydia the dau. of Jonathan and Elizabeth Adams of Medfield, m. Joseph Daniels 27 Jan. 1696-7 Dedham*, Mass., both of Medfield, it was this Joseph Daniels of Needham, who acted as attorney of Mrs. Elizabeth Adams of Medfield widow and relict of Mr. Jonath. Adams late of sd Medfield dec'd. (See the will of Abraham Holman, Midd. P. XVI :507).
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Elizabeth Fussell's Timeline

Somerset, England
Medfield, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colonial America