Genealogy of the Adams Family of Durham New Hampshire

A genealogy of the Adams family of Durham New Hampshire as extracted from the History of Durham New Hampshire and other sources.


John Adams. On the 20th day of November, 1684, Timothy Prout, Edward Willey and Edward Willis became surety to the town of Boston for Richard Wilkins, William Stewarte, John Adams, John Langdon, Samuel Gray, John Simons, Thomas Atkinson, and Archibald Eraskin [Erskine] and their families. [See report of the Record Commissioners of Boston, Vol. X, p. 76,] [1]Either Staackpole and Meserve erred in the History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire, or they were using a different version of the report of the Record Commissioners of Boston. I found the … Continue reading

It is known that Stewarte and Erskine were Scotchmen, and it is probable that all of this company were from Scotland. They had recently arrived and somebody had to be surety for them, lest they might come upon the town for support.

The above John Adams had wife. Avis, and the next event recorded concerning his family is the birth of their daughter, Jane, in 1686. He bought a house of Nathaniel Williams, 20 Dec. 1688, and is called “cordwainer” in the deed. He sold “tenement and shop” to Abraham Blish, 19 Jan. 1690. The deed is witnessed by Peter Barber. June 20, 1693, Mary, widow of Henry Phillips, sold to John Adams, Sr., of Boston, cordwainer, a house occupied by Samuel Gray, doubtless the same person as the one named among those who arrived with John Adams in 1684. It was on the highway leading to Roxbury, bounded east by Bishop’s Lane, which is now Hawley Street. William Gibbons was one of the witnesses. June 21, 1693, John Adams, Sr., cordwainer, and Avis, his wife, mortgaged to John Richards the house last mentioned, “tenement occupied by Samuel Gray.” The mortgage was discharged 23 Feb. 1693/4. The marriage bond of Peter Barbour, tailor and Sarah Willey, spinster, of Boston, was signed by John Adams, shoemaker, of Boston, 16 Nov. 1687. [See Court Files, Boston.] Peter Barbour was another Scotchman.

On 10 Feb. 1693, John Adams, Sr., cordwainer, and wife. Avis, deeded to Mathew Gary a tenement late in the possession of Mary Phillips and now in the tenure of John Adams. The deed was subscribed 9 March 1693/4. This same house was sold by Mathew Gary to Samuel Lynde, 15 Dec. 1694, “occupied by John Adams, Sr.,” and 5 Jan. 1696/7 Mathew Gary sold to Andrew Belcher the same house, “now or late in the tenure & occupancy of John Adams, cordwainer.”

The Superior Court of Judicature, Nov. 1699, had a case of Edward Gouge, plaintiff, and Anthony Checkley, defendant, “Whereas Edward Gouge recovered a judgment against John Adams of Boston, cordwainer, for £12 and costs of suit, and execution was returned to court with non est Inventus” etc. Anthony Checkley was surety for John Adams and pleaded that he never set hand to the bond, but the verdict was against Checkley and he paid the bill, which was receipted 20 Sept. 1704. It must have been John Adams, Sr., of whom it was said in 1699, non est Inventus, for John Adams junior was in Boston, 1699-1705. John Adams, Sr., had died. Rev. Hugh Adams writes that in 1701 “four of my young brethren and sisters were orphans left to my brotherly care,” and “my own godly mother the widow Avis Adams died” in 1699 as the result of a pestilential disease contracted in nursing the Rev, John Cotton at Charleston, S. C.

John and Avis Adams had children as follows :

  1. 2. John Adams m. Hannah Checkley, 19 Oct. 1693.
  2. 3. Hugh Adams b. 7 May .1676; m. Susanna Winborn.
  3. 4. Matthew Adams m. (1) Katherine Brigdon, (2) Meriel Cotton.
  4. Jane Adams b. 21 Feb. 1686; m. 20 July 1713, Joseph Harding, at Chatham, Mass.
  5. Ann Adams b. 20 Feb. 1688; m. (1) 13 Feb. 1706, William Flay, (2) 23 Sept. 1714, William Ings of Boston.
  6. William Adams bapt. 8 March 1690; d. young.
  7. William Adams bapt. 12 Feb. 1692.
  8. Ebenezer Adams bapt. 23 Dec. 1694.

Second Generation


Family of John Adams and Hannah Checkley

John Adams (John1) married, 19 Oct. 1693, Hannah, daughter of Anthony and Hannah (Wheelwright) Checkley. Her father was attorney general. John Adams, Jr., was cordwainer, shopkeeper, captain and lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia. Jan. 8, 1700, the heirs of Henry Stevens convey to John Adams of Boston, shopkeeper, a house at the south end on highway leading to Roxbury, bounded east by Bishop’s Lane, the same house that his father had once bought, lived in and sold. The next year John Adams sold this house and moved into a brick house adjourning, where he was a tenant of John Wainwright. Oct. 4, 1712, Thomas Newton wrote a letter to Capt. John Adams of Annapolis Royal saying that “Mr. Wainwright is now sueing out his mortgage of the house your aunt and I live in and the house your family lives in, and creditors have a deed of the Overplus[2]a surplus or excess thereof when that and your mortgage are satisfied, and I am desired by the creditors to know what is due to you or yours, which I desire you will let me know by the next conveniency.” [See Suffolk Court Files.]

John Adams was still at Annapolis Royal in 1718. In 1741 he was in Boston and was blind. He then sold to John Gibbons, at the end of a law suit, the brick house above mentioned, for £500. The deed is witnessed by his brother, Matthew Adams, and by Hannah Newton, who was daughter of this John Adams [3]Several persons named John Adams have been confused by some genealogists. John, son of Alexander Adams, seems to have died before 1684. See Suffolk Deeds, XIII, 222. John Adams, malster, son of … Continue reading and had married Hibbert, son of Thomas Newton above mentioned.

By a further study of the records it appears that Ann, wife of William Gibbons was aunt of Capt. John Adams of Annapolis Royal, son of John and Avis Adams. She was, therefore, sister to John Adams, Sr., or to his wife. Avis, or possibly William Gibbons was brother to Avis Adams. Capt. John Adams had children :

  1. Avis Adams.
  2. Hannah Adams m. Hibbert Newton.
  3. Anne Adams.
  4. Rev. John Adams bapt. 26 March 1704/5; d. Jan. 1740, aged 36. [See N. E. Reg. Vol. XXXII, p. 132.] [4]Again, Stackpole erred in a citation, as I found the record referenced in volume XXXII, p. 132, while he referenced vol. XXXIII, p. 132. Information shown is the correct volume.


Family of Rev. Hugh Adams and Susannah Winborn

Rev. Hugh Adams (John1), born 7 May 1676, graduated at Harvard in 1697. The next year he went to South Carolina, where he was pastor of several churches, and remained there till 1706. In a letter he states that “our precious godly mother Avis Adams departed this life October 6th last” (1699), This was at Charleston. [See Mass. Hist. Coll. Vol. VI., 5th series, p. 12.]

He married, 1701, as he himself writes, Susanna Winborn, undoubtedly daughter of the Rev. John and Elizabeth (Hart) Winborn, and granddaughter of William Winborn. [5]William Winborn signed the Exeter Combination of 1639 and was Clerk of the Writs in Exeter in 1643. He and wife, Elizabeth, lived in Boston, 1644-62. He was chosen town clerk of Manchester, Mass., in … Continue reading

Under date of 1 May 1726, he records the admission to church of “Lydia Winborn, the maiden daughter of my wife’s brother.” April 6, 1718, he records the admission to church of “Susanna Adams, my wife. She was a member of the church in Carolina.”

The Rev. Hugh Adams died in Oct. 1748, aged 72. His widow, Susanna, was living in 1766.

  1. Son, b. and d. at Ashley River, S. C. in 1702.
  2. 5. Samuel Adams b. June 1705; m. (1) Phebe Chesley, (2) Rebecca Hall.
  3. Elizabeth Adams b. 5 May 1713, in Chatham, Mass.; m. Joseph Drew.
  4. Winborn Adams b. 19 April 1715 in Boston; schoolmaster in Durham; “deceased in office,” 1736. [6]There is in the library of the Mass. Historical Society a manuscript letter of Rev. Hugh Adams dated 22 April 1736, to Mr. Nathan Prince, Fellow of Harvard College in Cambridge, requesting the speedy … Continue reading
  5. John Adams b. 13 Jan. 1718 in Oyster River; m. in Boston 23 Dec. 1741, Anna Parker.
  6. Avis Adams b. 11 April 1723; m. William Odiorne. Joseph b. 22 April 1725; prob. d. young.

Note: The NEGHS Register published the vital records Hugh Adams recorded during his tenure in Oyster River, New Hampshire. They start at vol. 23, page 178, and continue through various volumes.


Family of Matthew Adams

Matthew Adams (John1) was a merchant in Boston, “an ingenious and amiable man, who had a pretty collection of books” and loaned the same to Benjamin Franklin, as the latter writes. He died in March 1747/8. He married (1) Katherine Brigdon, 17 Nov. 1715, and (2) Meriel Cotton, 10 June 1734.

  1. Matthew.
  2. Katherine.
  3. 6. John b. 19 June 1725; m. Sarah Wheeler, (2) Hannah Chesley.
  4. Nathaniel b. 1726; d. 1766; m. (1) 1752, Deborah, dau. of Capt. John Knight, (2) 1755, Elizabeth Parker, dau. of Hon. William Parker of Portsmouth. She d. Nov. 1814, aged 80. He had son Nathaniel b. 1756, who wrote the Annals of Portsmouth and m. (1) Eunice Woodman and had 3 ch., (2) Martha Church and had 5 ch.; Mary b. 1758; Deborah. 1759; John b. 1761; Anneh. 1763; and William b. 1765.
  5. Elizabeth b. 1732; m. 17 April 1749, Dea. Jeremiah Burnham; d. 2 June 1753.

Child by second marriage.

  1. Meriel m. (1) Winthrop Burnham, (2) Dea. Nathaniel Norton.

Third Generation


Family of Dr. Samuel Adams of Durham NH

Dr. Samuel Adams (Hugh2, John1) born June 1705 at South Edisto River, S. C, spent his life as a physician in Durham. His father records, under date of 11 March 1721/2, “Then was received my son, Samuel Adams, to own his baptismal covenant and to be under the discipline of our church after his standing propounded 3 Sabbaths.” There were admitted to the church in Durham, 7 April 1728, “Samuel Adams, my son, and Phebe Adams his wife.” Circumstantial evidences are convincing that she was daughter of Lieut. Philip and Hannah (Sawyer) Chesley. [See Genealogy of the Chesley Family of Durham New Hampshire] The tombstone of “Phebe Adams the wife of Doct’ Samuel Adams” may be seen on the hilltop back of the house in which she lived, in the Sullivan burial ground, showing simply that she died in 1743. Doubtless Dr. Samuel Adams and his father and mother were buried here, though no tombstones mark their graves. Samuel Adams m. (2) before 1747, Rebecca, daughter of Joseph Hall, Jr., and Mary his wife, of Exeter. His will, 22 June-28 July 1762, names wife, Rebecca, and children, Winborn, Phebe Drew, Sarah Swett, Mary Adams, and Josiah Adams. The inventory of his estate shows 5861-11-6.

  1. Samuel b. 19 Aug. 1728; d. 26 Aug. 1728.
  2. Phebe bapt. 31 Aug. 1728; m. Francis Drew.
  3. 7. Winborn b.; m. Sarah Bartlett.
  4. Sarah m. 8 Aug. 1756, Dr. Stephen Swett; d. 3 May 1808, in Otisfield, Me.

Children by second marriage;

  1. Mary m. 1769, Dr. John Marsters of Exeter. He m. (2) Elizabeth Shute.
  2. 8. Josiah b. 10 July 1748; m. Nancy Hill.
  3. John bapt. 24 Oct. 1749; d. young.
  4. Rebecca bapt. 26 Sept. 1756; d. young.


Family of Rev. John Adams and Hannah Chesley of Durham NH

Rev. John Adams (Matthew2, John1) was born in Boston, 19 June 1725. He graduated at Harvard in 1745 and settled as minister at Durham in 1748. He married (1) 13 Oct. 1752, Sarah Wheeler, doubtless daughter of Dea. Joseph and Mary (Drew) Wheeler, who died 17 April 1753, (2) 19 Sept. 1754, Hannah Chesley, daughter of Thomas and Deborah, who died 26 March 1814. He removed to Newfield, Me., and died there 4 June 1792. [See Biography of Rev. John Adams.]

  1. Sarah b. 14 July 1756; d. 7 Oct. 1757.
  2. Catherine b. 26 Oct. 1758; m. John Morrill, or Merrill, and lived in Parsonsfield, Maine.
  3. Deborah b. 26 July 1762; m. Jeremiah Allen of Limerick, Maine; d. Sept. 1846.
  4. John b. 30 April 1765; m. Betsey Gilpatrick; d. 27 Feb. 1851; lived in Shirley, Massachusetts.
  5. Dr. Nathaniel b. 27 Aug. 1767; d. Sept. 1830.
  6. Thomas b. 11 Sept. 1769; m. March 1803, Sally Wilson; d. 21 Feb. 1856, in Newfield, Maine.
  7. Hannah b. 1 Feb. 1771.
  8. William b. 22 Feb. 1772; Harvard, 1799; lived in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
  9. Abigail b. 12 April 1774; m. Parsons of Newfield, Maine; d. 18 March 1842.
  10. Ebenezer b. April -1777.
  11. Samuel b. 19 Sept. 1778; d. 18 Nov. 1814; m. Elizabeth L. Prentice, dau. of Hon. John Prentice of Londonderry, N. H. He lived in Durham and Newburyport. He was killed in the War of 1812, in which he was an officer.
  12. Eliza b. 1 April 1780; d. 19 April 1784.
  13. Amos Chase b. 8 June 1783.

Fourth Generation


Lieut-Col. Winborn Adams and Sarah Bartlett

Lieut-Col. Winborn Adams (Samuel3, Hugh2, John1) was killed in the battle of Stillwater, called also battle of Bemis Heights, 19 Sept. 1777. He married Sarah, daughter of Capt. Israel and Love (Hall) Bartlett of Newbury, Mass., who was born in Nottingham 25 Nov. 1741. She is said to have married (2) Col. Hubbard. There was only one son.

  1. 9. Samuel bapt. 28 June 1726; m. Elizabeth Parker.

Lieut.-Col. Winborn Adams was born in Durham, son of Dr. Samuel Adams, grandson of the Rev. Hugh Adams. He was, doubtless, named for his uncle, Winborn Adams, a schoolmaster, who died in 1736, thus perpetuating the maiden name of his grandmother, Susanna Winborn. He is often mentioned in the records of Durham as surveyor of lumber and innholder. The house he built and used for an inn stands on the south side of the road, opposite the Sullivan monument. He was at the capture of the military stores at Fort William and Mary, December 1774, and was commissioned captain of the first company raised in Durham for the Revolutionary Army. He was promoted to be major in 1776 and lieutenant-colonel 2 April 1777. He commanded the Second New Hampshire Regiment at the battle of Stillwater, called also the battle of Bemis Heights, and fell mortally wounded, 19 September 1777. His name was long preserved in several branches of allied families. He seems to have been a brave and popular man. He was a member of the lodge of St. John (Portsmouth) of Free and Accepted Masons, and so also were Gen. Sullivan and Gen. Scammell. In a deed dated 1756 he is called “Chirurgeon.”

He married Sarah Bartlett and she continued to keep the inn for some time after her husband’s death, and town meetings were held at her house. The following petition may be of interest :

To the Honble the Council and House of Representatives of the State of New Hampshire. Gentlemen, Your Petitioner humbly sheweth that her Husband late Lt. Col° Adams of the 2nd New Hampshire Regt fell in battle on the memorable 19th of Sept 1777, and left her a helpless widow destitute of the means of procuring a Livelihood as her sole dependence was on her Husbands pay, her only son having been ever since in the service of this state. — That it has been with extreme difficulty she has since procured a scanty subsistence with her own industry & the Charities of her friends. — That she has delay’d petitioning hitherto in hopes that the Honble Legislature of the State would have made a general provision for the mourning widows & helpless orphans of those who fell in defence of the Liberty &: Property of their Friends & Country. —

But that she is compelled to the disagreeable Necessity of imploring the assistance of that Country in defence of which her late husband fell, and humbly requesting that the Hontble Legislature would grant her the half pay of her late husband or such other allowance as they in their superior Wisdom shall think proper, so as to raise her above the pinching hand of poverty and enable her to support a Life rendered melancholly and unhappy. And your Petitioner as in Duty Bound will ever pray &c.

Sarah Adams.

New Hampshire Town Papers, XI, 596.


Family of Josiah Adams and Nancy Hill of Newmarket, NH

Josiah Adams (Samuel3, Hugh2, John1) born 10 July 1748, married, 21 Feb. 1772, Nancy Hill of Kittery, Maine, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Neal) Hill, born 12 Nov. 1750. He was for several years town clerk of Newmarket, where he lived in a house known as the Elm House, on the east side of Main Street. He died 15 Sept. 1809. Besides seven children who died young he had the following. The family were buried in the cemetery near Rockingham Junction.

  1. Nancy b. 2 July 1774; m. Thomas Folsom of Exeter; d. Sept. 1820.
  2. Mary Neal b. 1 Feb. 1777; d. 5 Feb. 1858. Unmarried.
  3. Sally b. 25 Oct. 1780; m. Ephraim Coleman; d. 25 March 1863.
  4. Sophia b. 1790; m. Rev. Alfred Metcalf ; d. 14 Sept. 1812.

Fifth Generation


Family of Col. Samuel Adams

Col. Samuel Adams (Winborn4, Samuel3, Hugh2, John1) married Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. William Parker. Intentions published in Exeter 1 May 1784. He died of yellow fever at Portsmouth, 2 Aug. 1802. She died in Boston, 23 March 1845. Samuel served as lieutenant under Gen. John Sullivan in the campaign against the Indians and was after the war lieutenant-colonel in the militia.

Children recorded in Exeter:

  1. William Parker Adams born in Exeter 10 Oct. 1784; died 18 Feb. 1827.
  2. Sarah Adams born in Durham 21 March 1785; died 22 Sept. 1842.
  3. Samuel Winborn Adams born in Durham 31 Oct. 1787; died 1 Jan. 1831.
  4. Eliza Adams born in Durham 7 July 1788; died at Portsmouth 4 Aug, 1802.
  5. Jeremiah Parker Adams born in Durham 16 May 1791 ; died at Exeter 30 June 1822.
  6. Mary Sewall Adams born in Durham 21 Dec. 1793; died at Exeter 1 June 1817.
  7. Anna Matilda Adams born in Durham 30 June 1796; married Ralph Smith of Boston.
  8. Catherine P. Adams born in Durham 31 Aug. 1798; died at Exeter 14 March 1804.
  9. John Adams born at Portsmouth 21 Nov. 1800; died 17 May 1802.
  10. Nathaniel Sheafe Adams born in Exeter 28 Nov. 1802; died 14 Sept. 1849.

The Adams family below has no known relationship to the Adams family above


Family of Rev. John Adams of Durham

Rev. John Adams (John6, Dr. Joseph5, Rev. Joseph4, Joseph3, Joseph2, Henry1), whose great-grandfather, the Rev. Joseph Adams of Newington, was cousin to President John Adams, was born in Newington, 14 Feb. 1791. He married Sarah, daughter of Stephen and Mary (Dudley) Sanderson of Waterford, Me. Mary Dudley was descended from Gov. Thomas Dudley and Gov. John Winthrop of Massachusetts. He was known as “Reformation John Adams” and was a noted evangelist, serving many pastorates in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He died at Newmarket 30 Sept. 1850.

His son, Joseph Martin Ruter Adams, was born in Durham, 10 May 1838, and has long lived at Adams Point, the old Mathes Neck, at the entrance to Great Bay, where he now has a summer resort, delightfully situated. He married 1 Jan. 1860, Olive Esther Libby and has children as follows:

  1. Edward Hamlin b. 22 Oct. 1860; m. 9 Jan. 1885, Martha Frances, dau. of Matthew James Harvey of Epping.
  2. Albert Howard b. 18 Aug. 1865; m. 15 Dec. 1887, Maud Agnes, dau. of John L. Trefethen of Newington.
  3. Mary Esther b. 28 March 1870; m. i Jan. 1892, Charles Samuel Langley of Durham.

See also: Genealogy of Charles Adams of Oyster River New Hampshire


Stackpole, E. S., Thompson, L. and Meserve, W. S. (1913) History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : Oyster River Plantation with genealogical notes. [Durham? N.H. Pub. by vote of the town] [Web]


1Either Staackpole and Meserve erred in the History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire, or they were using a different version of the report of the Record Commissioners of Boston. I found the specific reference on page 76, not page 75 as claimed.
2a surplus or excess
3Several persons named John Adams have been confused by some genealogists. John, son of Alexander Adams, seems to have died before 1684. See Suffolk Deeds, XIII, 222. John Adams, malster, son of Joseph Adams, malster, married Hannah Webb and died 2 Nov. 1702. His widow married 12 Dec. 1705, Samuel Winkley, and died in 1707. This John Adams had children, (1) Samuel born 6 May 1689, who married 21 April 1713, Mary Fifield, and had son, Samuel Adams, the patriot, born 16 Sept. 1733; (3) Hannah who married 22 Sept. 1710, Samuel Holbrook of Weymouth; (3) Abigail born 6 Oct. 1691, died 4 July 1712; (4) John born 4 Nov. 1693, bound out in 1707. He chose uncle Peter Adams for guardian; (5) Joseph born 20 Dec. 1695, bound out; (6) Mary born 20 Dec. 1695; (7) Bethiah born 20 Aug. 1697, died 8 Dec. 1702; (8) Thomas born 2 March 1700; (9) Abijah born 11 May 1702, who married 1725, Deborah Cutler, and later had second and third wife. He died 9 Feb. 1768, aged 66. I am indebted to Miss Virginia Hall, genealogist, of Boston, for much information about these often confused persons, named John Adams, of Boston.
4Again, Stackpole erred in a citation, as I found the record referenced in volume XXXII, p. 132, while he referenced vol. XXXIII, p. 132. Information shown is the correct volume.
5William Winborn signed the Exeter Combination of 1639 and was Clerk of the Writs in Exeter in 1643. He and wife, Elizabeth, lived in Boston, 1644-62. He was chosen town clerk of Manchester, Mass., in 1686, where his son, John, was preaching. William Winborn of Malden, Mass., and his son, John, with wife, Elizabeth, sold land in Maiden in 1687. [See Middlesex Deeds, VIII, 219.]

John, his son, was born in Boston 21 of 7th month, 1638, and married, 11 Sept. 1667, in Malden, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Hart of Watertown, Lynn and Reading. She was born 11 Dec. 1651. Her father’s will names daughter, Elizabeth Wenborne. Rev. John Winborn was minister of the church at Manchester, Mass., 1667-86. The town records show that he left Manchester between 1690 and 1693. He is said to have died in 1707. [See History of Essex County, II, 1283.] No record of his family has been found. He may have gone to South Carolina, and in that state only the name Winborn is found in the census of 1790.

Susanna Winborn had a brother, Ebenezer, of Boston, who married, 11 May 1706, Lydia Prince, born 1685, daughter of Joseph Prince of Hull, Mass., who married, 7 Dec. 1670, Joanna, daughter of Secretary Nathaniel Morton of Plymouth, Mass. Ebenezer Winborn was a watchman in the south end of Boston from 1723 till 1758. He may have married (2) Elizabeth Gwinn, 24 Oct. 1744. He had children. Prince, who married 30 Nov. 1743 Mary Rogers and probably (2), 17 June 1765, Esther Johnson in Middletown, Conn.; Elizabeth who married 29 Oct. 1739. Bozoun Allen; Susanna who married 12 July 1734. Andrew Coffin; Joanna who married 29 Dec. 1736, Nicholas Foster, and Lydia born 13 Feb. 1706/7, who was living in 1739. This last is the maiden baptized in Durham by the Rev. Hugh Adams.

6There is in the library of the Mass. Historical Society a manuscript letter of Rev. Hugh Adams dated 22 April 1736, to Mr. Nathan Prince, Fellow of Harvard College in Cambridge, requesting the speedy return of his son, Winborn Adams, who had been sick. He says that in the space of seven months eighty-six person had died in Durham by a “pestilential fever and Quincey.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top