William Adams, of Ipswich

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William Adams, of Ipswich

Also Known As: "William Of Ipswich"
Birthdate: (67)
Birthplace: Wem, Shropshire, England
Death: Died in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: WP Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Esper Adams, I and Margaret Erpe
Husband of Elizabeth Mary Adams, of Ipswich and Frances Adams
Father of William Adams, of Cambridge & Ipswich ; Samuel Adams; John Adams; Hannah Wickingham; Nathaniel Adams and 6 others
Brother of Mary Erpe Adams; John Erpe Adams; Sir Thomas Adams II, Lord Mayor of London; Roland Adams; NN Adams and 1 other

Occupation: Miller, Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Adams, of Ipswich

One of the original settlers of the Massachusettes Bay Colony

William is purported to have been married about 1619, but the name of his wife is unknown at this time. He came to America about 1628, with the first immigrants of the Massachusetts Colony, settled first at Cambridge, then at Newton, Mass. where he was made a freeman in 1639. Prior to 1642 he removed to Ipswich, where he took up a large tract of land on the Ipswich River, which is now the town of Hamilton, Maine. It was here that he died and is buried. The farm which he cultivated, was handed down through will or inheritance for over 250 years. On 28 Oct 1647, he was discharged from compulsory military service of the colony, because of his age. Records state that he was a juryman and that he served in that capacity, with little interruption until 1659. On 27 Feb 1644 he was granted twelve acres"beyond Mr Appleton's and near the land of the widow Stacey."

On 19 July 1654, William Payne, merchant of Ipswich, sold to William Adams, Miller, of the same place, six and three fourths of marsh for nine pounds.The deed was not recorded until 1707.William died in Ipswich, Mass 2 Jan 1659 William Adams' will was proven on 26 March 1662. His sons, Nathaniel and Samuel signed an agreement, 24 Apr 1668, dividing the property. There is reason to believe that he may have been married more than once, but the identity of his wife or wives is not known. A wife survived him and was still living in 1668.

William Adams, at Cambridge 1635, or earlier, Freeman 22 May 1639: rem. prob. bef. 1642, to Ipswich, but at Cambridge had William, Nathaniel, and Samuel; prob. b. in Eng. and he d. 1661.' The first certain knowledge we have of William Adams is as a commoner of Ipswich, where he is found 31 January, 1642; but he was very probably made Freeman of Mass. 22 May, 1639. He was a Selectman 1646, and died in 1661; his widow was living in 1681. He probably lived in or near what is now Hamilton.(p. 1)


  •   1. William Adams,   d. 18 Jan 1659, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. Married Elizabeth Stacy.
  •   2. John Adams,   b. Abt 1631,   d. 1703, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts
  •   3. Samuel Adams,   d. Yes, date unknown
  •   4. Hannah Adams,   d. Yes, date unknown
  •   5. Mary Adams. Married Thomas French.
  •   6. Nathaniel Adams,   b. 8 Dec 1647, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts ,   d. 11 Apr 1715, Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts

English origins

"William was allegedly the son of Thomas Adams and his wife, Margaret Erpe. Thomas Adams was the son of Randall Adams, of Norwood, a small village in the town of Wem, Shropshire, England. ...."

Seversmith says of William: "It is alleged that he was born at Wem , Shropshire, 3 February, 1593/4, and baptised in the parish church at that place, 10 February 1593/4. The proof of the identify is not found."

"William Adams was a descendant of one of the old Saxon families that settled in central England far back in the earl y history of that country. He was born in England Feb. 159 4 , the youngest son of Thomas and Margaret (Erpe) Adams o f Wem, Shropshire, England. He married in 1619, name unknown , and had four sons and probably more children. He came to America, with four sons, in the Spring of 1628 and firs t settled in Cambridge, MA where he resided until 1642, the n he took up land on the Ipswich river, in what is now Hami lton, MA He was recorded as a freeman in Cambridge in 1639 . Reference has been found to a son John and also a son Willliam, but no further information. In 1900 much of his land was still owned and occupied by Adams descendants. "

It wa s said this branch of the Adams family was tall and muscula r with large features, hazel eyes, and black hair

The Essex Antiquarian gives an alternate ancestry, saying that William Adams of Cambridge is supposed to have been thr son of Henry Adams of that place. It places William at cambridge in 1635, residing in the part of the town which was in 1898 Hamilton, on the Ipswich River, the farm being that of the late Silsbee Adams. The Browne/Foster genealogy says that farm remained in the family for 250 years. Th e frontispiece shows the old homestead as it then appeared . The date of its construction was unknown.

DNA test results as of Jan 2014: William Adams, b. 1594 and d. 1661 Origin: England "Group: Unrelated R1b" R1b1a2


  1. Some descendants of William Adams of Ipswich, Mass. by W.S. Appleton
  2. William Adams, 1594-1661, of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Some of His Descendants: A History of the Ancestral Adams Lineage of Madeline (Adams) Whitehead and Descendants of John Quincy Adams of Mound City, Kansas with Details of Related Families, Including : Dickinson, Knowlton, Leach, Locke, Burnap, Eliot, Wilson, Mapes, Cochran, Whitehead, and Eaton. Kenneth Lloyd Bosworth. Heritage Books, 1996 - Reference - 208 pages
  3. Great Migration Newsletter Vol 18, April-June 2009, No 2


Richard Adams could not have been born in Pennsylvania in 1590 as the first European settlement in Pennsylvania was not settled until 1643-1647 (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/wu01/vc/visitor_info/pa_history/pa_history.htm)

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William Adams, of Ipswich's Timeline

February 10, 1594
Wem, Shropshire, England
February 10, 1594
Wem, Shrop, England
February 10, 1594
March 3, 1594
Wem, Shropshire, England
Age 25
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Age 29
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 32
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 34
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Age 36