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Absalom Adams of Virginia and Kentucky


John Adams

On the history of the surname Adams

Our family name ADAMS means "son of Adam", the latter being a personal name of Hebrew origin meaning "red". Once everyone was known by a single name but this led to confusion so an extra name was adopted. Our name is an ancient one with many thousands of generations which were not recorded until the 13th century when we find ADAM of Wales, and Great Britain. These Celt ancestors came from what is now Germany and Scandinavia about 1500 B.C. By the 14th century A.D., the name was changed to ADAMS.

Speculation on family ancestry

One possible ancestor is Robert Adams, born 1602 in Devonshire, England emigrated by sailing ship to Massachusetts Bay in 1635 with wife Eleanor. He worked as tailor in Salem and Newbury, Mass. and died in 1682. His cousin Henry Adams of Braintree, Mass. was related to Presidents John and John Quincy Adams. Our ancestor William "Devil Bill" Adams is said to have visited with his "cousin" John Quincy Adams (6th Pres.), in Washington DC, while JQ was serving in the House of Representatives, about 1840.

Absalom Adams family bio sketch

Absalom Adams, born about 1725, was a Baptist farmer in Fauquier County, Virginia where he also served in the American Revolutionary War of 1776, and later moved to Kentucky in search for inexpensive land. He was married to Elizabeth Fothergill and they raised nine children. Reference in an Oldham County history book refers to Absolom as the great preacher of Crab Orchard , a town in Lincoln County, Kentucky According to Kathryn Hutcherson Campbell's book, "Absalom Adams of Fauquier County, Virginia," his parents might have been William and Sarah Adams. I have spoken with Loren J. Adams who has done much work on the Adams line states that William is one of three possibilities. Hopefully, through further research his parentage will be ascertained. The book lists Absalom's occupation as farmer, and his religion as Baptist. Absalom married Elizabeth Fothergill in about 1752, probably in Fauquier County, Virginia. Absalom is enumerated as a Virginia tax payer in Culpeper County, Virginia, during the years, 1782-1787. KHC information concerning service rendered by Absalom Adams during the Revolutionary War includes a claim submitted on August 18, 1781, by Absalom Adams of Culpeper County, Virginia, for (1) one smooth bore gun, for militia. On June 16, 1783, payment was made to Absalom Adams - Certificate for one gun. The Culpeper County, Virginia tax list for 1790 included Absalom Adams, Sr., Absalom Adams, Jr., Gavin Adams and John Adams among the "delinquents" with the note "gone to Kentucky." In 1791, Absalom Adams was listed on the Lincoln County, Kentucky tax list, and Absalom Adams, Gavin Adams and John Adams were on the Fayette County, Kentucky tax list. It is believed that Absalom Adams, Sr. settled in Lincoln County, and his sons in Fayette County. Absalom Adams, Sr. last appears in the Lincoln County, Kentucky census in 1800. Neither Absalom nor Elizabeth are listed in the census for 1810, and it is presumed they died between the 1800-1810 census count. Evidence supporting Absolom as the father of Feathergill is their proximity and the frequency of use of names, both for he and his brothers.

Descendants of Absalom Adams Sr. and Elizabeth Fothergill

i. Abraham Adams

ii. Daniel Adams b. unknown d: Bef May 06, 1850 m. Amelia

iii. Absalom Adams Jr. b: Abt 1755 d: 1823

iv. Feathergill Adams b: February 04, 1755 d: September 09,

married Nancy Elizabeth Smith b: 1755 d: 1803-1805

v. .Luke Adams b: 1757-1759 d: September 25, 1840

vi. Thomas Adams b: February 10, 1760 d: October 01, 1828
married Rebecca Wood

viii. Gavin Adams ? b: 1780

ix John Adams ? b: 1780

x. Robert Adams ? b: 1785

William Smith

William Smith b. 1729 in Loudoun Co, Virginia, and died March 23, 1821 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. He married Margaret "Betty" Smith, who was born about 1740, and died Dec 28, 1821. The slaves in William's estate (Lincoln County, Kentucky) were distributed among his descendents. No wills for William and Margaret have been found, only his inventory dated 23 March 1821 His inventory included 9 slaves, horses, sheep, cattle, and crops, including tobacco, corn and flax. He owned household and farm equipment, one rifle gun, one shot gun, shoe and knee buckles, pewter ware, furniture, 2 books, 115 acres of land, and notes on Elias Smith. On June 20, 1821 in Lincoln County, Kentucky widow Peggy Smith is given 33 1/2 acres and 3 Negro women named Isabel, Winney, Rhoda. The remaining slaves are allotted to the heirs of Nancy Ball, Reuben Smith, and Feathergill Adams. On December 22, 1822, John Withers is paid $6.00 for digging graves for William Smith and his wife.

Feathergill Adams

Feathergill Adams, first child of Absalom and Elizabeth, born 4 Feb 1755 in Fauquier, Virginia, died 9 Nov 1807 in Garrard,Ky, married Elizabeth Smith in 1771. Feathergill Adams served in the American Revolution as a Waggoner, providing hauling and supply services to military forces in Virginia. He was also a farmer, Baptist preacher, miller, and brewer. On August 9, 1774, Feathergill leases land in Fauquier County, Virginia. On July l, Feathergill sold land in Montgomery County, Virginia. On April 22, 1789, Feathergill Adams appears of the Madison County, Kentucky tax roll. Feathergill and Elizabeth raised eleven children in Garrard, Ky. William "Devil Bill" Adams, the 3rd child got his nickname serving in the war of 1812. William is buried in a family cemetery near the Buckeye Road, on the property he owned, in Sugar Creek Garrard County, KY, and remains the property of his descendants. Others buried here include his wife and four daughters. Feathergill Adams was a Farmer and preacher who had a church in Garrard County, Kentucky, known as the Feathergill Adams Meeting House. He died of a stroke while preaching. The church is currently known as the Antioch Christian Church. Feathergill and his wife are buried at the Antioch Church on Buckeye Pike, in Garrard County, five miles from Lancaster.

Children of Feathergill Adams and Elizabeth Smith

i. Nancy Ann Adams b: BEF 1774 in Fauquier County, Virginia married
26 July 1791 in Madison Co Ky. to John Hutchinson

ii. Margaret "Peggy" Adams b: in Virginia

iii. William "Devil Bill" Adams b: JUN 16 1776 in Fauquier County,
Virginia Married April 3, 1797 in Lincoln Co KY, to Polly Long

iv. Elizabeth "Betsy" Adams < b: APR 04 1778 in Fauquier County,

v. Jane "Jenny" Adams b: AUG 20 1780 in Montgomery County, Virginia

vi. Judith "Judy" Adams b: JAN 16 1783 in Montgomery County, Virginia
married 14 Jan 1800 Garrard Co Ky. To Walter Adams

viii. Absolom Adams b: MAR 27 1785 in Russell County, Virginia married
Elizabeth Slayton 25 March 1807 Garrard Co. KY

ix. Mary "Polly" Adams b: APR 14 1787 in Russell County, Virginia
married Dr. Reuben Adams

x. Katherine "Katy" Adams b: AUG 23 1789 in Culpepper County, Virginia
married 5 July 1800 Garrard Co KY to Thomas Broun

xi. John B. "Jack" Adams b: APR 27 1791 in Sugar Creek, Madison County,
KY married Mary Catherine Sampson.

xii. Martha "Patsy" Adams b: JAN 16 1793 in Sugar Creek, Garrard County,
KY married 24 Aug 1808 Garrard Co. KY to John Radcliff

John B. Adams, 11th child of Feathergill and Elizabeth Adams, born 27 April 1791 in Sugar Creek, Madison Ky, died 1870 in Rockcastle, Ky, married Mary Catherine Sampson (born 1793 in VA, died 1862 in Lincoln Co KY), who was the daughter of William Sampson, on 5 May 1812. He was a farmer and called "Jack" Adams. He and his wife raised thirteen children.

i. William Sampson b. Mar 27, 1813 married Elizabeth Green

ii. Elizabeth Adams b. 1816 married Fleming Cummings

iii. Judith Adams b. 1817 married William McCall

iv. Agnes Catherine Adams b. 1819 married George Slaughter

v. Smith Adams b. 1823

vi. Frederick Feathergill Adams b. Nov 23, 1814 married. Miranda Young

vii. Walter Adams b. 1828

viii. Rebecca Adams b. 1830 married William Watson

ix. John Adams b. 1832

x. Mary Windred Adams b. 1834 married William Shindlebower

xi. Harriet Adams b. 1837 married James W. Dunn

xii. Steven Adams b. 1839

xiii. Martha Ann Adams b. 1840