John Adams of Plymouth Colony

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John Adams, Sr.

Also Known As: "Arrived Plymouth Colony", "Fortune", "1622"
Birthplace: England
Death: circa November 11, 1633
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts (Died of infection fever )
Place of Burial: Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of John Adams of the Plymouth Colony and unknown mother of John Adams of the Plymouth Colony
Husband of Ellen Winslow
Father of Capt. John Adams; James Adams, of Scituate and Susanna Adams

Occupation: Carpenter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Adams of Plymouth Colony

MTDNA Haplogroup H (as per Karen)

Great Migration Begins Vol. I;

Died between Jul 1 and Oct 24,1633;

Plymouth Colony, Its History & People, 1620-1691, by Eugene Aubrey Stratton:

Arriving in 1621 on the Fortune, John Adams later married Ellen Newtow, who arrived on the Anne in 1623. They and their first child, James Adams, received shares in the 1627 livestock division. Robert S. Wakefield, "Men of the Fortune, John Adams," TAG 55:212, gives additional information on the family, including children John Adams, who married (1) Jane James, and (2) Elizabeth ______; and Susan Adams, who disappears from records. Son John Adams probably moved to Flushing, Long Island. Son James Adams married Frances Vassall, had issue, and was known to have had interest in Barbadoes. On 15 May 1672 Frances Adams, the wife of James Adams, and daughter to the late William Vassall, petitioned the Massachusetts Court for, and was granted, 150 acres of land, and on 7 May 1673 the court noted that a farm of 150 acres belonging to her, wife of James Adams of Concord, was returned to the court (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England (1854; reprint, New York, 1968), 4:2:524). John Adams, the father, died 1633, probably in the epidemic of that year, and his widow took inventory of his property on 24 October 1633 (MD 1:157). He was on the 1633 tax list, and his widow, Ellen Adams, was on the 1634 tax list. Widow Ellen Adams married (2) Kenelm Winslow. Later Adams families in Plymouth are likely not of this family, but of the family of Francis Adams, who arrived in Plymouth much later (see George Adams, Genealogy of the Adams Family of Kingston, Mass. [Boston, 1861], for information on the Francis Adams family).


Birth: Assuming John Adams came to New England as an adult, he was born by 1600.

Death: He died in Plymouth between July 1 and October 24, 1633.

Ship: Fortune, 1621 Life in England: The English origin of John Adams has not been identified.

Life in New England: John Adams came to Plymouth Colony aboard the Fortune in November 1621. Ellen Newton (also called Helen and Elinor) arrived in the summer of 1623, either aboard the Anne or Little James. The division of cattle of May 1627 listed “John Adams” “Eliner Adams” and “James Adams;” it has therefore long been assumed that John married Ellen Newton as she was the only woman of that name in the colony. The family stayed in Plymouth where John became a freeman.

Family: John Adams married Ellen Newton about 1625 in Plymouth. They had three children before his death in 1633. Elinor married (2) Kenelm Winslow in June 1634 and had four children. She was buried December 5, 1681, in Marshfield, “being 83 years old.”

John Adams Family of Pymouth

In October of 1879, In volume 33, and on pages 410—413, of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, there was a very interesting and informative Article published about the Family of John Adams of Plymouth, Massachuessetts. He is one of the Ancestors of Nelson Stoyle Hollingshead, the Utah Pioneer.

Since vol. 33 is not readily available, the Article is given below.


JOHN¹ ADAMS arrived at Plymouth in the Fortune, Nov. 9, 1621. He died in 1633. His Widow Ellen, presented "an inventory of the goods and chattels of her late husband, John Adams, deceased, upon oath, Nov. 11, 1633, and whereas the said John died without a will, it was ordered that if in the case the said Ellen shall have an inclination to marry, she before her said marriage, estate the threee children of her former husband deceased, James, John and Susan, in £5 sterling apiece to be paid when they come to years of discretion according to the Statutes of England." [Plymouth Colonial Court Records, quoted by J. H. Hatch, Esq.] She is sometimes called Eleanor and Helen. She is supposed to have been Ellen Newton, to whom land was granted in 1623, among those who came in the Ann. [Savage's Genealogical Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 10; Baylie's New Plymouth, Pt. I, p. 260] In June 1634, she married Kenelm Winslow, of Marshfield, and died in that town. She was buried Dec. 5, 1681, "being 83 years old." [ Dr. Holton's Winslow Memorial, vol 1, p. 73, quoting record.]

Children of John Adams and Ellen Newton:

2. i. James Adams, married Frances, daughter of Mr. William Vassel, in Scituate, June 16, 1646.

3. ii. John Adams, married 1st, Jane James, 1654; married 2nd, Elizabeth — about 1663

iii. Susan Adams.

—2. JAMES² ADAMS (John¹), "resided on a farm on the Marshfield side of North River, nearly opposite Mr. Vassall's, the father of Mrs Adams. They worshipped with the second church in Scituate, and their children were carried there for baptism." [Memorials of Marshfield, by Marcia A. Thomas, pp. 36-37. Miss Thomas adds this quotation: "James Adams died at sea, on board the good ship James, 16 Jan. 1651; " but the year must be an error, perhaps, typographical, as he had a child born in March 1651. Savage(1, 10) gives the date "19 Jan 1653 "Qu. 1653-4?]

The Plymough ColonyRecords, under date of June 10, 1651, record that James Adams came before the goveror and acknowledged that he had received from Kenelm Winslow the £5 which was to be paid to him when he became of age, and "on the 26th of December 1651, it was ordered to bee entered upon the publicke record as payed and received." [Plymouth Colony Records (Boston, 1855), vol. ii. p.176]

James Adam's widow, Frances, had 150 acres of land laid out to her by the Massachusetts General Court, May 7, 1673, "About eight miles northward from Lancaster." [Massachusetts Colony Records (Boston, 1854), vol v. pp 524 and 539]

Children of James Adams and Frances Vassall:

i. William, born May 16, 1647; bapt. by Mr. Witherell, May 23, 1647.

ii. Anna, born April 18, 1649; bapt. May 20, 1649

iii. Richard, born April 19, 1651; bapt. April 27, 1651.

iv. Mary, born Jan 27, 1653; bapt. Feb 5, 1653.

v. Margaret, (no record of birth), bapt. March 18, 1654 [Letter of Charles E. Bailey, Esq. of South Scituate.]

—3. JOHN² ADAMS (John¹) settled first in Marshfield. "He dwelt near Mount Skirgo, an elevation of the Marshfield bounds of the forest which lies between this town and Pembroke."

[Miss Thomas's Memorials of Marshfield, p. 37] John was admitted a freeman of Plymouth Colony, June 1, 1658. He was a witness in a case of manslaughter, Jan 1654-5; a grand-juryman June, 1658; a member of a coroner's jury, July, 1658; and was appointed a constable of Marshfield, June 8, 1660. He subsequently removed to Flushing, Long Island, as is shown by a deed on record at Plymouth, Bk. iii. p. 127. The following is an abstact of an attested copy by William S. Danforth, register of deeds.

"Captain John Adams, of the towne of Flushinge, in Long Island in New England, America," sells Dec. 10, 1666, to "Nathaniel Warren of the Towne of Plymouth in the jurisdiction of Plymouth in New England, in America, " &c. "all that my share lot and portion of land att or neare a place commonly called and knowne by the name of Nama Nakett in the jurisdiction of Plymouth, aforesaid, which was granted unto mee the said JohnAdams as being one of the children of the old comers of the said Jurisdictin according to grant of the court for the jurisdiction of Plymouth aforesaid bearing date the third day of June An° Dom: one thousand six hundred and sixty and two [See list of grantees in Plymouth Colony Records (Boston, 1855), vol iv. p. 19.] being the twenty eighth part of the tract of land purchased by Captaine Thomas Southworth of the Indain Sachem named Josias Wampatuck in the behalf of said court." and also share of lands "purchased by Major winslow lying and being att Namassakeesett ponds." signed by John Adams and the mark of Elizabeth Adams, his wife.

After learning that John and Elizabeth Adams had removed to Flushing, I wrote to Henry Onderdonk Jr., Esq. , of Jamaica, L. I. , for any records he maght have of John Adams, of Flushing, and received in February ,1878, the following valuable memoranda, from his manuscript collections relative to Long Island history, which he has kindly permitted me to print: [recall that the Quakers did not use the pagan names of the months of the year, but used the number of the month, March being the first month. The order of dates is day, month, and year]

Children of John Adams and his first wife Joane:

Mary, born 3, 5, 1656.

Martha, born 4, 1, 1658.

Rebecca, born 13, 12 1661; married Henry Clifford, of Flushing, 29, 3, 1686.

Children of John Adams and his second wife Elizabeth:

John, born 17, 6 , 1664; died 4, 8, 1665.

Elizabeth, born 9, 1, 1665. [married 23, 1, 1692, William Hollingshead]

Sarah, born 28, 2, 1668.

James, born 4, 8, 1671.

Susanna, born 6, 9,1674.

Hannah, born 15, 12, 1675.

Deborah, born 7, 3, 1678.

John, born 10, 7, 1680; died 30, 10, 1688.

Abigail, born 2, 11, 1682.

Thomas, born 12, 11, 1684.

Marsey, born 13, 10, 1686.

Phebe, born 9, 12, 1690.

John and Elizabeth Adams were Friends or Quakers; and were both living in 1690; do not know where they died. In 1678 John gave a long narrative of his being a persecutor of Friends in New England when he was a constable; He was a sober young man, but full of vanity. He was a member of the Independent Congregational Church for many years; he had a wife and children there, but by God"s Providence he was brought to Flushing; having first taken from him his dear wife Joane. He went to sea at her decease for two years.

John Adams was converted to Quakerism by the preaching of John Burnyeat and John Stubbs, preachers in New England [which then included Long Island east of Oyster Bay.] John had meetings at his house. In 1667 he was a leading member of the Meeting at Flushing. In 1684 the meeting lent him some money to pay for a negro he had bought as a loborer on his farm. His name appears in Meeting records in 1667—1673. In 1691 he sold his farm at Bayside, Flushing, to John Rodman, of Block Island." [end of Onderdonk information]

In a subsequent letter Mr. Onderdonk says, in reply to the suggestion that Joane and Jane were identical names:

"Joane and Jane I think to be the same name. John and Elzabeth Adams exchanged their farm of 130 acres in Flushing, for house, 500 Acres of land and £190 cash, in West New Jersey, June 4, 1691. John's confession, in which he gives an account of his life, was made to the Meeting. He was charged with going over to the Ranters, a noisy faction of Friends. He retracts his error, and therein gives a long account of his opinions, and how God controlled his actions, &c. &c. It was a case of discipline, and of course not printed. I copied all of it that was not torn off years ago, because I thought it so interesting; and so with the births; and you are the first that has applied to me for that knowledge."

John² Adam's last child, Rebecca, by his first wife, Joane, was born Feb 13, 1661, probably 1661-62, and his first child, John, by his second wife, Elizabeth, was born Aug. 17, 1664. His wife Jane, or Joane, probably died soon after the birth of Rebecca, as he states in the document quoted by Mr. Onderdonk, that he went to sea for two years after the death of his first wife, before settling at Flushing.

NOTE —In compiling this article use has been made of extracts from records and other information furnished by Messrs. J. H. Haatch, of North Marsfield, and Charles E. Bailey, of South Scituate, whose manuscripts have been deposited by me in the library of the New England historic, Genalogical Society. The compiler also acknowledges her indebtedness to Mr. Onderdonk and to Miss Macia A. Thomas.

Cambridge, Mass. C. B. E. compiler.

This ends the Article from the New England Historical and Genalogical Register, 33: 410-413

ID: I295846 Name: John Adams Sex: M Note: Ref; AFN: FZQ6-47 Ref; Signers of the Mayflower Compact, Adams, John & Bassett, Willaim, Page 103. Arrived November 9, 1621, on the ship "Fortune"

Marriage 1 Eleanor Newton Children

James Adams b: 17 DEC 1630 in Plymouth, Plymouth Co.

DNA haplogroup: R1b1b2a1a2d3

  • GEDmatch Kit M215032 / M243018 FTDNA Kit# B11822 for Karen Moody

John arrived in New England on the Fortune on 9 Nov 1621. The First Thanksgiving notes found on board the Fortune 1621, year after the Mayflower. Carpenter. A lot of history in colony town of Sicuate Mass. Buried in unmarked grave in Plymouth Colony. Died of infection fever. Mentioned in the book "Let Freedom Ring"

Plymouth Colony, Plymouth County, MA, Colony of England

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John Adams of Plymouth Colony's Timeline

Barton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
August 7, 1595
Scotland, Devonshire, England, United Kingdom
May 22, 1627
Age 27
Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts
May 22, 1627
Age 27
Marshfield, Plymouth, Massachusetts
May 27, 1627
Age 27
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
November 11, 1633
Age 33
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Age 33
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States