James Adams, #1 on the “Scots at Lynn 1653. Iron Works Inventory”

Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published: 02 Dec 2014
Updated: 14 Nov 2016

Find his descendants and researchers here.

Scots’ Charitable Society:
1657 – Founding Member, James Adams.

“James is believed to be a Scottish prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar at Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland on 3 Sep 1650, arriving at Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ketch, Unity, in late December 1650.” ~ Teresa

AKA “Goodman Adams” of Carlisle, Mass.

First Generation in the New World

1. JAMES ADAMS, was born possibly at Carlisle, Cumberland, England (on the border of Scotland) about 1635 and died at Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 2 Dec 1707. He married at Concord on 7 May 1662, PRISCILLA RAMSDELL/RAMSDEN, daughter of JOHN RAMSDELL and PRISCILLA CHASE [TNEM & MVR]. She was born at Concord about 1640.

Biographical Notes:

Children of James and Priscilla (Ramsden) Adams, all born in Concord:
2.   i. PRISCILLA² ADAMS b. 9 Feb 1662/63
2.  ii. ELIZABETH² ADAMS b. Feb 1664/65 m., JOSEPH LAMSON.
2. iii. JAMES² ADAMS b. 29 Mar 1668 m., PRISCILLAH SHORE.
2.  iv. HANNAH² ADAMS b. 25 Jul 1670 d. 20 Sep 1727 m., WILLIAM RUSSELL.
2.   v. JOHN² ADAMS b. 30 Aug 1672 m., ESTHER FORD.
2.  vi. NATHANIEL² ADAMS b. Feb 1673/74
2. vii. DORCAS² ADAMS b. 1 Feb 1676/77 m., BENJAMIN BAYBROOK.

Second Generation

2. i. PRISCILLA² ADAMS, (James¹), was born at Concord, on 9 Feb 1662/63. She married, WILLIAM HARDY.

Children of William and Priscilla (Adams) Hardy:
3. i. ISABEL³ HARDY, (Priscilla², James¹), born in Massachusetts. She married, EDWARD AUSTIN.

2. iv. HANNAH² ADAMS, (James¹), was born at Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts in 1670 and died in 1726. She married, WILLIAM RUSSELL.

Children of William and Hannah² (Adams) Russell:
3. i. HANNAH³ RUSSELL, (Hannah², James¹), born in Massachusetts. She married, JONATHAN WHEELER.

1653: Iron-worker at Lynn, Mass. “ox team manager” “farming”
1657: Made a donation to the Scots Charitable Society [Boston] on 6 Jan 1657.
1662: Married Priscilla Ramsdell

Torrey's New England Marriages to 1700 (18)

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (13)

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016).

From David Gibson, Feb 23, 2016 and March 2, 2016:
“Hello Teresa, I am certain that I am from a James Adams and Priscilla Ramsdell.  I cant confirm that this is the same James Adams, but if this James Adams is the same one that married Prescilla Ramsdell then it is the same James Adams.  Do you have documentation to prove this is the James Adams that married Priscilla?  Does anyone know how this James earned his freedom?  Was he an indentured servent of the Ramsdell familiy or a neighboring family perhaps and that is how the met?
You may add my information to the site.
Thank you.”
David Gibson

I am decendent from the daughter Prisilla
Pricilla married Wiliam Hardy
Isabel Hardy married Edward Austin
Jedediah Austin married ?
Jonathan Austin married Mary Mercy
Nathan Austin married Lydia Fletcher
Cynthia Austin married Reuben Tyler
Julia Tyler married George W Woodock
Lillian Woodcock married Harry L Gibson
Harry T. Gibson Married Jennie M Groves

“About 17 Scots were subcontracted to the colliers (charcoal makers) and other plant workers. Accounting records show that a few of the Scots received wages from the Company for skilled work. For example, James Adams was paid for managing ox teams” also, “…Scots James Adams, George Darling, Malcolm Maccallum, John Mackshane, and John Pardee ran the ironworks farming operation.” From: Regan, Janet and White, Curtis. Hammersmith Through the Historical Texts

“In 1662, Scottish ironworker James Adams married Priscilla Ramsdell, the daughter of John Ramsdell, a part-time employee of Saugus and a man later connected to the Rowley Village ironworks.” From: Hamilton, Marsha L.. Social and Economic Networks in Early Massachusetts: Atlantic Connections, 49.

From: John Bordsen, dated Dec 2, 2014:
One line of descent from James Adams and Priscilla Ramsdell is as follows:
Hannah Adams (1670-1726) married William Russell
Hannah Russell (b. 1690) married Jonathan Wheeler
Tabitha Wheeler (b. ca 1726) married Samuel Woods
James Woods (1767-1843) married Susannah McCullough
James William Woods (1799-1886) married Eliza Jane Harper
James Wilson Woods (1847-1924) married Harriet Stewart
Hattie Amber Woods (1880-1976) married Lorin Hazelton
Bess C. Hazelton (1915-2004) married Francis Bordsen

I’m a direct descendant of James Adams, captured at Dunbar, via his daughter Hannah Adams-Russell. The last-named are my parents. Their migration: This line largely lived in eastern Massachusetts. Samuel Woods moved to Keene, N.H.; his son, the first James Woods, relocated from there to Chatauqua County, N.Y. James Wilson Woods was born in western New York, died in Minnesota.

Oldest item of this line: Copy of a tintype (circa 1840) of James William Woods and Eliza Jane Harper-Woods.
~John F. Bordsen, Charlotte, N.C.

Marshall, Tod Howard. My Adams Ancestors.,(http://todmar.net/ancestry/adams_main.htm: 19 Dec 2014; accessed 5 Jan 2015)

Russell, Jacquiline Sleeper. The Ancestry of Sally Sleeper Russell of Worcester, Mass. (1919-1983), James Adams genealogy at RootsWeb on Ancestry. com. (http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jacquelinesr&id=I11108: updated 2011; accessed 5 Jan 2015)

Russell, Jacquiline Sleeper. JAMES ADAMS, b. Scotland, d. 1707 Concord, m. PRESCILLA RAMSDELL-RAMSDEN., MAMIDDLE-L Archives at Rootsweb on Ancestry.com (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/MAMIDDLE/2006-06/1149878127: 2006; accessed 5 Jan 2015)

11 Responses to James Adams, #1 on the “Scots at Lynn 1653. Iron Works Inventory”

  1. Dale Leathead says:

    I am a direct descent of SPOW James Adams in the 9th generation, he being my 6th Great Grandfather:
    Descendants of James Adams & Priscillah Ramsden Ramsdell
    1 James Adams b: Abt. 1635 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England m: 7 May 1662 in Concord Middlesex MA d: 3 Dec 1707 in
    2 James Adams b: 29 Mar 1668 in Concord MA d: 2 Dec 1707 in Charlestown RI
    3 Nathaniel Adams b: 25 Mar 1708 in Westerly RI d: Aft. 4 Jan 1783 in Prob Groton CT
    4 James Adams b: 6 Feb 1732 in Groton CT d: 1 Apr 1807 in Stephentown, Rensselaer NY
    5 Nathan Adams b: 21 May 1778 in Groton, New London Co., CT d: 12 Apr 1847 in Freedom Twp, Washtenaw Co., MI
    6 Elisha Hutchinson Adams b: 28 May 1820 in Oneida County, NY in the town of Westmoreland (Rome?)
    7 Jessie May Adams (Brown) b: 5 Sep 1872 in Hillsdale (?) MI d: 29 Dec 1963 in Ottawa County MI
    8 Florence Edna Brown (Leathead) b: 29 Apr 1900 in Jackson MI d: 14 Sep in Holland MI
    9 Dale Eugene Leathead b: 13 Jun 1927 in Grand Rapids, MI Living in New Holland PA

    • Linda Simons Bailey says:

      Dale, I have traced my family tree and I am descended from Elijah C. Adams who was Elisha’s twin brother. I am having some difficulty with James Adams Jr. 1668-1741. we have James Jr. married to Honor Hall in 1697 but he is listed as married to Priscilla Shore in 1690. Do you know if this is a second marriage or different James Adams? Grateful for any help that you can give.
      Thank you,

  2. David Gibson says:

    I am decendent from the duaghter Prisilla
    Pricilla married Wiliam Hardy
    Isabel Hardy married Edward Austin
    Jedediah Austin married ?
    Jonathan Austin married Mary Mercy
    Nathan Austin married Lydia Fletcher
    Cynthia Austin married Reuben Tyler
    Julia Tyler married George W Woodock
    Lillian Woodcock married Harry L Gibson
    Harry T. Gibson Married Jennie M Groves
    David M. Gibson married Anna L. Fadden
    me David I Gibson

  3. Dale Leathead says:

    Apparently James Adams b. 1668 had three marriages as follows:
    Priscilla Shore m.—?—-
    Katherine Ford m. 5 Jan 1696
    Honor Hall m. 14 August 1697
    I have the dates for James Adams b. 29 Mar 1668 d. 2 Dec 1707

    I am in the 9th generation from SPOW James Adams through the twin Elisha H
    Adams. I have a 14-page printout of 14 generations of my ancestors and descendants from SPOW James Adams. I would be glad share that with you should you be interested in seeing it. I could send it as an email attachment. My email address is:

    • Linda Simons Bailey says:

      Dale, I would like to see your genealogy and I thank you for your help. Could you send source info for the other spouses? Do you think that Pricilla Shore could have married James Adams Sr.? So many James Adams’!

  4. Dale Leathead says:

    Source re Priscilla Shore:

    I will send you my genealogy as an email attachment so will need your email address to be able to do so.

  5. Dale Leathead says:

    Regarding Priscilla Shore, I forgot to say in the previous post that I did a little further research this evening and find that at another site she is linked with another James Adams b. 1639 who does not appear to be in our family line at all. So it leaves a bit of a question mark as to which James Adams she was really a spouse.

  6. Judy Fedor says:

    I have a Francinah Adams in my family tree, married to Tunis Peters. I believe her father was a James Adams born Circ 1733- 1783. Some places he is born in Virginia Some Scotland, but he was married to Abigail and she is also put in Scotland and New Jersey. She was born October 15, 1738. Can you help me? Francinah was born August 18, 1758 in Romney, Hampton Virginia, and James maybe Scotland or Virginia, same as Francinah. Thanks for checking for me.

  7. Bryon S. Niemann says:

    In March 1993 I had an article published in the CT Nutmegger (the quarterly of the CT Society of Genealogists) regarding the parentage of James Adams of Westerly, RI. Part of the focus of the article was to separate the confusion of the two James Adams of Concord. The 1st James Adams (1630-1707)”The Scottish Prisoner” married first 7May1662 at Concord, MA to Priscilla Ramsden and had children Priscilla, Elizabeth, James Jr., Hannah, John, Nathaniel, Dorcas & Abigail. He married 2d 17Feb1690/1 to Priscilla (Hathorne) Shore, b. 22Jul1649 Salem, MA, d/o John Hathorne & widow of Jonathan Shore.
    The second James Adams was the son of William & Elizabeth of Sudbury & Concord. William was the s/o James & Frances (Vassall) Adams and grandson of John & Ellinor (Newton) Adams of Plymouth, MA. William & Elizabeth had the following children: James b. 1674 m. Catherine Ford; John b. 1676 m. Esther Ford; Richard b. 1678 m. Mercy Leonard; Elizabeth; Mary; Frances; Margaret b. 1689 m. Jonathan Rude and Annah b. 1694.
    I am descended from James Adams the “Scottish Prisoner” through both his son James Jr. who m. Honor Hall of Westerly, RI and his daughter Hannah who married 1st William Russell & 2d John Lorton. My two lines eventually converged in Killingly, CT. James > James > Jonathan > Abel > John > Joseph W. > Judson M.L. > Earl M.T. > Helen > Bryon. The wife of Joseph W. was descended from Hannah (Adams) Russell.

  8. Bryon S. Niemann says:

    From Middlesex County Court Records, folio 76 (LDS film # 8131116, image 578) James Adams of Concord age 47 gave a deposition on 17Jun1677 in the case of Edmund Wigley vs. Benjamin Graves. This would place James’ birth abt. 1630.

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