Cortland County
Adams Article
from Cutters


The pedigree of this family traces the ancestor, according to one account, to Ap Adam, the father of John, or Lord Ap Adam, who was called to parlament by Edward I., as Baron of the Realm, from 1296-1301, and states that he came out the marches or borders of Wales into Devonshire. This statement has been discredited by genealogists, though proof or error seems as much wanting as proof of correctness. If correct, the lineage includes kings of England and France, and goes back to Charlemagne.

(I) Henry Adams, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and came from Braintree, England, to Braintree, Massachusetts, about 1632-33. He was allotted forty acres of land for the ten persons in his family, February 24, 1639-40. President John Adams, a decendant, believed that Henry Adams came from Devonshire, and erected a monument to him in the old burying-ground at Braintree, now Quincy, with this inscription, "In memory of Henry Adams, who took flight from the dragon of persecution in Devonshire, England, and alighted with eight sons near Mount Wallaston. One of the sons returned to England; and after taking time to explore the country, four removed to Medfield, and two to Chelmsford. One only, Joseph, who lies here at his left hand, remained here-an original proprietor in the township of Braintree." The monument commemorates "the piety, humility, simplicity, prudence, patience, temperance, fugality, industry and perserverance" of the Adams ancestors.

President John Quincy Adams, however, dissented from the conclusion of his father that Henry Adams was from Devonshire. Savage agrees with the younger Adams that the immigrant was from Braintree, County Essex, England and some of the sons were from Chelmsford, in that country. It is generally believed that he wife of Henry Adams returned to England with the daughter Ursula, and died there. Henry Adams died at Braintree, October 6, 1646 and was buried on the 8th. In his will, proved June 7, 1647, he mentions sons Peter, John, Joseph, Edward, Samuel & daughter Ursula. Children born in England: Lieutenant Henry, born 1604, mar- ried November 17, 1643, in Braintree, ELizabeth Paine, settled in Medfield; Lieutenant Thomas, 1616; Captain Samuel, 1617; Deacon Jonathan, 1619; Peter, 1622; John, about 1624; Joseph, 1626; Ensign Edward, mentioned below.

(II) Ensign Edward Adams, son of Henry Adams, was born in 1830, in England, and came with his parents to Braintree, Massachu- setts in 1632-33. He settled with three other brothers, in Medfield, Massachusetts. He was ensign and selectman and represented the town in the general court in 1689-92-1702. He died November 12, 1716 in Medfield, "The last of the original settlers." He married (1st) 1652, Lydia daughter of Richard and Agnes (Ricknell) Rockwood. She died March 3, 1767-7; he married (2nd) 1678, widow Abigail (Craft) Ruggles, of Roxbury, Massachusetts, who died in 1707; married (3rd) January 6, 1709-10, Sarah Taylor. Children born in Medfield: Lydia born July 12, 1653; Captain Jonathan, April 4, 1655; John, February 18,1657-8; Elias, February 18, 1658-9, married a great grandaughter of Miles Standish; Sarah, May 29, 1660 ; Lieutenant James, January 4, 1661-2; Henry, October 29, 1663, mentioned belowe; Mehitable, March 30, 1665; Elisha, August 25, 1666; Edward, June 28, 1668; Bethia, April 12, 1670, died 1672; Bethia, August 18, 1672 died young; Abigail, June 25, 1675 died young; Miriam, February 26, 1676-7, died young.

(III) Henry (2) son of Ensign Edward Adams, was born October 29, 1663, in Medfieldl. He married (1st), December 10, 1691, Patience daughter of Thomas and Mary (Wight) Ellis. She was born February 22, 1668-9 died 1695. He married (2nd) 1697-8, in Providence, Rhode Island, Ruth Ellis sister of Patience, born October 31, 1670. He married (3rd) Mrs. Hannah Adams, at Canterbury, Connecticut. He re- moved first to Providence, where he married his second wife, and had several children born. Thence he removed to Canterbury, about 1706, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died there June 22, 1749. His last wife Hannah, died March 20, 1748-9. His will was made September 10, 1748 and proved July 21, 1749. He bequeathed to his wife the goods she brought with her for her three daughters, came his three sons, David, Solomon and Ebenezer, giving to the first mentioned twenty pounds, and to the other two, ten pounds each. To his three daughters, Hannah Burnap, Ruth Kingsley and Patience, he gave four hundred pounds in bills of credit. A residue of his property was to go to Henry and Joseph, and his son David and son in law, Abraham Burnap, were named as executors. Children, born in Medfield, of his first wife: David, September 3, 1692; Hannah, February 21, 1693-4. Children of second wife, born in Providence: Solomon, April 23, 1699; Henry, October 14, 1700; Ruth, April 10, 1702; Ebenezer (Twin), February 11, 1704; Patience (Twin); Joseph, mentioned below.

(IV) Joseph, son of Henry (2nd) Adams, was born in Providence, July 28, 1706, died in New Marleborough, Massachusetts, October 1769. He settled in New Marleborough, and was one of the five persons who formed the first church in that town. He married 1738, Miriam, dau- ghter of Moses and Mary (Johnson) Cleveland, born January 30, 1718-9, died in New Marleborough, June 18, 1766. Her father, Moses Cleveland had a brother Aaron, who was the father of Grover Cleveland. Her mother was Mary (Johnson) Cleveland, daughter of Obadiah Johnson, of Canterbury, Connecticut. Children, born in Canterbury; Mary, September 23,1738; Aaron, April 14, 1741, died young; Huldah, June 26, 1743. Born in New Marleborough: Captain Simon, March 12, 1746, a soldier in the revolution; Corporal Moses, November 30, 1748, mentioned below ; Henry, September 30, 1750; Sergeant Zebediah, July 5, 1753, soldier in the revolution; Alice, December 8, 1755; Joseph, April 3, 1758, died August 18, 1858; Aaron, July 20, 1761, Soldier in Revolution.

(V) Moses, son of Joseph Adams, was born in New Marleborough, November 30, 1748. He was a soldier in the revolution, enlisted from Lenox, Massachusetts, corporal in Captain Soul's company, April 19, 1775, served seventeen days; enlisted May 8, 1775, Captain Noah Allen's company, Colonel Edward Wigglesworth's regiment, served one month, one day; reported dead, August, 1777, at Valley Forge. He married Ann Willard, a sister of Dr. William Willard. Children, born in Lenox: Norman, died young of yellow fever, at Philadelphia; Moses, born about 1772-3, Captain Lyman, April 12, 1775.

(VI) Moses (2) son of Moses (1) Adams, was born in Lenox, about 1772-3, died in Wayne county, New York, in 1842. He married Sylvia Johnson, who died December 3, 1852, aged seventy five. He removed from Lenox to Union (now Lisle), Broome county, New York. Children, born in Union (now Lisle): Norman, August 10, 1794; Charles, June 14, 1797; Louisa, March 7, 1798; Harriet, September 24, 1799; Moses, January 10, 1802, mentioned below; Edward, June 30, 1804; George, April 13, 1806; Walter, February 25, 1808; Valentine, February, 1810 died March 11, 1811.

(VII) Moses (3) son of Moses (2) Adams, was born in Union Village, town of Lisle, January 10, 1802; died in Marathon, New York, Jan- uary 21, 1890. He was bound out at the age of eight years, and lived with his guardian, with the exception of a few years, until the death of the latter. He was left, by will, the farm, the farming utensils, and one-half of the stock. He continued to live on this farm and to carry it on until 1861, when he removed to Marathon. In politics he was originally a whig, but upon the formation of the Republican party became a member of the latter party. He served as assessor and supervisor of his town for a number of years. He married, October 28, 1824, Ann daughter of Moses Lockweed, born in Pound Ridge, Westchester county, New York, April 6, 1803 died in Marathon, March 1893. Children: Lyman, born October 31, 1825, mentioned below; Mary Ann, July 24, 1828 married Charles Brink, deceased; Eveline, January 29, 1830 married Benjamin B. Woodworth, lived in Cortland; Charles C., May 30, 1832; Helen A., August 21, 1834, married Edward Dunham Robie, a retired United States Naval engineer, lives in Washington D.C.; John Q., April 7, 1837; Walter, February 6, 1840, of Marathon, New York.

(VIII) Lyman, son of Moses (3) Adams, was born in Marathon, October 31, 1825 and received a common school education in the town of Lisle. Here he remained until he was 22 years old. He then taught school for three months, and later went into a store in Broome county as a clerk, and also clerked in a store at East Virgil. At the end of a few months, in 1849, he returned to his native town of Marathon, and stayed there as a clerk for about five years. In October 1853, he went into a general mercantile business with R.P. Burhans as partner. At the end of a year they took into partnership Anson Peck, and after two years more Mr. Burhans went out of the business, which was then conducted under the firm name of Peck and Adams. In 1860, James H. Tripp was taken into the firm and the name became Peck, Adams and Tripp. After a short time they closed out the business and dissolved the partnership. Messrs, Adams and Tripp then removed to Canandaiga, New York, where they were employed in a bank. At the end of a year there, they returned to Marathon, leased their old storeroom, and carried on a mercantile business until 1883, when they again closed it out. Before this they had together conducted a private banking business, which had been highly successful, and in 1883, set about organising a bank, into which they merged their own banking interests. In 1884 the First National Bank of Marathon was started, with Mr. Tripp as president, and Mr. adams held the position of cashier until his death. Mr Adams distinguished himself in business as a shrewd, practical and conserative man, of good judgement and unquestioned integrity. He was a Republican in politics, but had given little time to political matters. He served, however, as supervisor of the town for two years.

He married (1st), September 15, 1853, Ruth, daughter of William and Lucy (Church) Squires, of Marathon, died January 6, 1863. He married (2nd) September 11, 1865, Louisa M., daughter of William L. Denton. Child of first wife, born in Marathon: Edgar L., April 27, 1857, mentioned below. Child of second wife, born in Marathon: Augusta D., August 15, 1873, died January 30, 1904, married Thaddeus R. Clark of Marathon.

(IX) Edgar L., son of Lyman Adams, was born at Marathon, New York, April 27, 1857. He began his education in the public schools of his native town, and like many successful men, is still educating himself. The Marathon Independent was established in July 1870, and in the following April he became an apprentice in the office of that newspaper. In the fall of 1872 he entered the employ of his fathers firm as clerk, but a mercantile life was not attractive and in 1874, he returned to the office of the Independent, and worked in various positions until April 1876, whe he accepted a position as local editor of the Cortland Democrat then owne by R.B. Jones. Two months later he was called back to Marathon to take charge of the Independent, on account of the failing health of its publisher, Wallace Kelley, and whe the business was sold in December following, he continued as editor of the paper, in the employ of the new owners, Brooks and Day. This firm was succeeded May 1, 1878, by Brooks and Adams, the interested of the junior partner having been acquired by Mr. Adams, and with the exception of a brief period, Mr. Adams has been editor and proprietor ever since. For a time he was on the staff of the Syracuse Sunday Times, having leased the Independent from 1880 to 1881. As a writer, especially of humorous paragraphed, Mr. Adams has won a national reputations. The paragraphs that brightened his newspaper week after week gave it a wide circulation and were copied extensively in other publications. In recent years the pressure of numerous business interests and public duties have restricted his output as a writer, but his wit is in evidence from time to time in the Independent and in after-dinner speeches. "Brick" Pomeroy, editor of Pomeroy's Democrat, and a wit of national reputation, said of Mr. Adams, in an article entitled "The Humorous Writers of America"; "The Cortland Democrat, N.Y., independent, is another paper, whose editor has sense, wit and ambition, Ed. L. Adams is its editor, and he is fast making his paper noted in causing people to inquire as to the size and whereabouts of Marathon. His paper is largely quoted, as its paragraphs are unusually pointed, witty and close- fitting. Almost any man can write a long article, but it takes a good man to let go, when he has said enough." Mr Adams connection with the New York State Press Association has made him widely acquainted among the newpaper men of the state and he enjoys the personal friendship of many prominent writers. A contemporary editor recently wrote a sketch of Mr. Adams, in which he said:" He is manifestly a character and a leader. Everybody loves Edgar, partly because he is full of wit, full of ideas, full of energy and life is an allround good fellow and partly because he is just lovable." How Marathon would survive without Edgar I. Adams is a problem. He has dipped into various branches of literary work--humorous, pathetic, political and just plain news items. He has, we believe, refrained from poetry. His readers can, therefore, look back over his career and forgive many of his sins. As a humorous writer he has in his time pleased such raucous critics as the once famous "Brick" Pomeroy, who praised his humorous work; and, away along in the twenty first century, we will say, when obituary writers or rather historians, set forth the annals of the truly great and good, it is not improbable that the name of Edgar I. Adams will shine forth in letters of burnished gold with such contemporary humorists as George Ade, Wu Ting Fang, Borge Jailey of the Houston Post, Chauncey Depew, E. Tracey Sweet of the Scranton Tribune-Republican, Irvin S. Cobb and others of the present day who are helping to brighten life with their wit and wisdom. At even a still more remote period, when some enterprising mahatma is pawing around among the spooks in search of a convival spirit to drive away the blues, we hope Edgar may be found in his little sanctum in Marathon, buried in his paper--The Independent--for somebody must read it, you know. In the meantime, he is publishing a newspaper worth, among other considerations any farmer's cordwood and turnips in payments of arrears on subscription."

It is hardly necessary to add that the Idependent exerts a large and wholesome influence in the community by virtue of its independent and public- spirited policy. He is vice-president of the New York State Press Association. He has been a member of the Democratic county committee and often represents his party as delegate to nominating conventions. He was president of the village of Marathon in 1894-5. For sixteen years he was a member and twelve years secretary of the board of education of Marathon. He was the nominee of his party for assembly man in this district. He declined a nomination for county treasurer in 1893. He was one of the prime movers in securing a municipal water works and served on the original water commission, and is now a member of that body.

He is stockholder of the First National Bank and was one of the founders and for three years was vice-president of the Climax Road Maching Company. He is a member of Marathon Lodge, No.438; Free and Accepted Masons, of Marathon; of Cortland Chapter, No.194; Royal Arch Masons; of Cortland Commander, No.50 Knights Templar; of Katurah Temple, Mystic Shrine of Binghamton. For three years he was president of the A.H. Barber Hose Company of the local fire department. He attends the presbyterian church.

He married, May 13, 1879, Ella V. Courtney, born July21, 1861, of Willet, Cortland county, daughter of Oscar and Carshena (Dyer) Courtney. They have no children.

          Entry done by JoEllen Langwell Jan 14, 1999

If you have any suggestions, please e-mail Tim Stowell

Created Feb 8, 1998

LAST UPDATED: Friday, 20-May-2011 22:19:27 MDT

Thanks for Stopping By!