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Adams Family History

James Adams was born about 1787 in South Carolina. According to Flora Adams' family history, which cites wills of James' father and grandfather, James' parents were George Adams, a Revolutionary soldier, and Sarah Proctor, who had been born in Northern Ireland. The family lived in Newberry County. About 1810, James, who was about 23, married Elizabeth Harris, who was about 16. Their first child, Middleton was born about 1812, followed by Sarah about 1815, and James Madison about 1817. William Calhoun Adams was born September 4, 1819, Samuel C. Adams on January 24, 1821, Stanmore about 1823, and Larkin, about 1826. Based on tax and census records, it appears the family moved to Jones County, Georgia about 1827. On February 21, 1829, the Adams' oldest daughter, Sarah, married James Richey. On the verge of becoming grandparents, James and Elizabeth again became parents, with Robert Franklin "Frank", born January 1, 1830, and Mary, born about 1831.

On January 1, 1834, Middleton, the eldest son, married Mary W. Dame. Three years later in 1837, at about 50 years of age, James Adams died. His will names Elizabeth as executrix, and distributes money among all the children. Elizabeth was left with seven children still at home, three of them under ten. Tax records indicate that Middleton and James helped their mother manage financial affairs.

Jones County marriage records show that James Madison married Elizabeth Jones on February 9, 1845. Samuel married Sarah Pierce in Talbot County, Georgia on Christmas Eve, 1846, and Stanmore married Nancy Richey in Jones County on January 11, 1849. It is not known whether Nancy was related to Sarah's husband, James Richey. A girl named Elizabeth Richey, thought to be Sarah's daughter, was living in Elizabeth's household when the 1850 U.S. Census was taken. The census lists Elizabeth as the owner of 14 slaves, giving the age and sex of each, but not their names. Half of these were children under the age of ten.

Elizabeth stayed in Jones County until about 1853, when she followed several of her sons to Marion County, Georgia. Shortly after the family's arrival in Marion County, Frank married Emeline Dillard and Larkin married Mary Ann Daniel.Deed books in Marion County list numerous land deals and two court cases involving Elizabeth Adams and her sons, and also three deeds of "personal property", or slaves, which provide the names and descriptions of some of the family's slaves. In 1856 Elizabeth gave her son James Madison Adams a Negro girl named Frances, about 12 years old, and a Negro boy named Hal, about six years old. In 1857 Elizabeth used two slaves, a black man named John, and a mulatto man named Silas, as collateral on a debt. In 1861 she gave her son Frank a Negro woman named Mary, about 20 Years old, and Mary's two children: John, about three years old, and Lucy, about nine months old, and stated that they were currently in Frank's possession.

Elizabeth lived with her son Stanmore and his family in Marion County when the 1860 U.S. Census was taken. Tax records showed her as guardian for Franklin's children while he was away fighting in the Civil War. Frank served four years in the Confederate Army, 12th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Company K, also known as the "Marion Guards." His military records show that he was taken prisoner by the Union at Spottsylvania, and held at Elmira Prison, dubbed "Hellmira" by its inmates due to its deplorable conditions, until July, 1865.

After the war ended, Elizabeth, Stanmore and Frank moved with their families to Thomas County, Georgia. A family story has been passed down that one of the freed slaves, a young boy, not wanting to be separated from Frank, hid in the wagon when Franklin moved away. It is possible that this story, if true, relates to the child John, who would have been about eight or nine years old then.

By 1880, Frank had returned to Marion County, but Elizabeth and Stanmore are believed to have died between 1870 and 1880 in Thomas County, where Stanmore's wife Nancy appears as a widow with children in the 1880 census. Some of the other Adams brothers had moved out of state, William to Coffee County, Alabama, and Samuel to Henderson County, Texas.

Frank's eldest daughter Mary Ann married William Jacob Johnson in Marion County on June 27, 1880. Frank's wife Emeline died sometime between 1880 and 1886, and Frank remarried in 1886 to Lucy J. Stevens. They lived in Marion County and nearby in Schley County until Frank's death January 15, 1911 at the age of 81. He is buried in New Hope Cemetery at Doyle, Georgia. Several members of his first wife's family, the Dillards, are buried there as well.

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This page was last updated on 2 May 2012

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