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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Adams

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1507-1511 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Henry Adams, of Braintree, Massachusetts, called thus because he was one of the first settlers in that part of Massachusetts designated "Mt. Wollaston," which was incorporated in 1640 as the town of Braintree. He arrived in Boston with his wife, eight sons and a daughter in 1632. The authorities at Boston allotted him forty acres of land "at the Mount" for the ten persons in his family, February 24, 1639-40. Henry Adams died in Braintree, October 6, 1646. His descendants have probably filled more high public offices in the United States and rendered greater public service than the descendants of any other man who ever landed on the coast of America. Every page of American history is enriched by the deeds of an Adams. They alone can point to a son succeeding his father as president of the United States, namely John Adams and John Quincy Adams, also Charles Francis Adams, who served as minister to England. In law, business, church or state, they have been leaders. Sons of Henry Adams, all born in England, were:

  1. Lieutenant Henry, killed by the Indians at his own doorway, February 21, 1676; his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Moses Paine, was accidentally shot the same day and died eight days later, February 29; Lieutenant Henry was the first town clerk of Braintree, Massachusetts, and representative of the town in the general court, 1659-65-74-75.
  2. Lieutenant Thomas, married Mary Blackmore; he was town clerk, selectman and representative of the town of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, to the general court; he died in Chelmsford, July 20, 1688, aged seventy-six years.
  3. Captain Samuel, married (first) Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Graves; married (second) Esther, daughter of Nathaniel Sparhawk; he had four hundred and fifty acres of land granted him, near where the city of Lowell now is, and exclusive right to erect and run a sawmill, provided he would sell boards at three shillings per one hundred; and another grant of one hundred acres and right to build and run a grist mill or corn mill, provided he would keep a sufficient mill and miller; he was commissioner to the court, 1667, from Chelmsford. He died January 24, 1668-69.
  4. Deacon Jonathan, married (first) Elizabeth, daughter of John Russell. He settled in Medfield, where his house was burned by Indians in 1676; he died 1690, aged seventy-one years.
  5. Peter, see forward.
  6. John; there is a grave doubt as to John being a son of Henry of Braintree. So much has been written pro and con that it cannot be here stated that he was. By many he is believed to have been the sixth son. Thayer says: "John was in Chelmsford 1654, after which we are not able to trace him." President John Quincy Adams (see his letter in Gen. Reg. vol. XXXIV, p. 67) says the ten persons in Henry Adams family for whom land grant was made in 1640, were himself, wife, daughter and seven sons. John Adams was of Cambridge, and the progenitor of a large posterity.
  7. Joseph, married Abigail, daughter of George and Margaret (Paddy) Bazter [Baxter?], of Boston; he was a "malster," and selectman in 1673; died in Braintree, 1694, aged sixty-eight years.
  8. Ensign Edward, married (first) Lydia, daughter of Richard and Agnes (Bicknell) Rockwood; married (second) Widow Abigail (Craft) Ruggles, of Roxbury, Massachusetts; he was of Medfield; selectman and representative for Medfield in the general court, 1689-92-1702; he died in Medfield, November 12, 1716 "the last of the original settlers."

(II) Peter, fifth son of Henry Adams, of Braintree, was born in England, 1622, died about 1690. He settled in Medfield, Massachusetts, in 1652, his wife and son John coming with him from Braintree. He married, and had six children:

  1. John, see forward.
  2. Rachel, married George, son of George and Mary (Adams) Fairbanks; she died 1678.
  3. Dr. Peter, married Experience Cook, a teacher; he called the first preaching service in Medfield, making use of an old drum used in the Indian wars; Savage says he was a physician of Medway; he died December 8, 1723.
  4. Hannah, married (first) John, son of Joshua Fisher; married (second) Joseph, son of John Metcalf; she died 1746.
  5. Mary.
  6. Jonathan (2).
  7. Ruth.
  8. Joseph, married Mary, daughter of Charles Davenport, of Dorchester, Massachusetts; his will was proved December 27, 1746.
  9. Dr. Samuel, married Sarah Savin; he was called a "cordwainer," and the records say he practiced medicine; he died 1731.
  10. Henry, died young.

(III) John, eldest child of Peter and Rachel Adams, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was a farmer and removed to Canterbury, Connecticut. He married (second), April 2, 1685, Michael Bloice, of Watertown, Massachusetts. She is there recorded as "Mychall," daughter of Richard and Mychall (Jenneson) Bloice, also "Boyce." She was born April 3, 1664, died February 26, 1724. Children:

  1. Samuel, died April 24, 1742; married (first) Mary Plimpton, (second) Margaret Adams.
  2. Mary.
  3. Patience.
  4. Ruth, married Abraham Paine; they removed to Dutchess county, New York.
  5. Josiah, died young.
  6. Captain John, died 1762, aged sixty-six years; he married Mrs. Abigail (Cleveland) Brown, daughter of Josiah and Abigail (Paine) Cleveland.
  7. Isaac, see forward.
  8. Richard, died April 17, 1733; married Mary Cleveland.
  9. John.
  10. Abigail.
  11. Bethia.
  12. Captain Michael, died August 26, 1776; married Sarah Shuttleworth; he was of Thompson, Connecticut.

(IV) Isaac, fourth child of John and Michael (Bloice) Adams, was born in Medfield, Massachusetts, January 30, 1697-98. He was of Canaan, Connecticut. June 28, 1751, he bought land and settled at Salisbury, Connecticut, which he later deeded to his son Jeremiah. In January, 1752, he deeded to his brother, Captain John, all his right and interest in his father's estate. He died in Salisbury, November 24, 1763. He married February 17, 1728, Zerviah Brown, of Canterbury, Connecticut, who died in Salisbury, July 20, 1787, aged seventy-five years. Children:

  1. Phineas, married Elizabeth Selleck; he was the executor of his father's will; he died January 7, 1779.
  2. Joshua, see forward.
  3. Jeremiah, removed to Poultney, Vermont; served in Captain Zebediah Dewey's company in March and October, 1780, and in 1781 in Captain Abraham Moseley's company; he died in Hampton, Washington county, New York, May 23, 1816, aged eighty-four years.

(V) Joshua, second son of Isaac and Zerviah (Brown) Adams, was born in Canterbury, Connecticut, June 2, 1731. He settled in Egremont, Massachusetts, where July 6, 1768, Joshua Adams, yeoman, is said to be "of Tanconnock Mountain, in the county of Berkshire, province of Mass. Bay." February 2, 1772, Joshua Adams was "of Egremont," and deeded land to one Van Gilder, of Nobletown, Albany county, New York. Children, all born in Egremont, Massachusetts:

  1. Joshua (2), born 1757; enlisted in Captain Carr's company, Eighth Massachusetts regiment, November, 1779. A Joshua Adams, supposed to be the same man, was a private from Egremont in Captain Ingersoll's company, Colonel David Brewster's Berkshire regiment, enlisted May 22, 1775, and served for two months. "Joshua Adams, of Alford, Mass.," was awarded a bounty of two hundred acres of land, or $20 cash, for services in the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment.
  2. Benjamin.
  3. Dr. Peter Charles, see forward.
  4. Peletiah, settled in Albany, New York; married Hannah Best, and died 1827, aged sixty-two years.
  5. Thomas.
  6. Charlotte.
  7. Olive.

(VI) Dr. Peter Charles Adams, son of Joshua Adams, was born in Egremont, Massachusetts, June 12, 1673 [probably 1763], died September 3, 1823. He was sheriff of Greene county, 1802-06, and represented the county in the state senate, 1806-09. He married, September, 1785, Christina Van Bergen, born February 26, 1767, died August 11, 1833. Children, all born in Coxsackie, New York:

  1. Dr. Henry, see forward.
  2. Rhoda, married Isaac A. Hollenbeck, no issue.
  3. Peter, died 1814, unmarried.
  4. William Van Bergen, died 1861, unmarried.
  5. Herman Cuyler, died March 8, 1876; married Adeline, daughter of Roswell Reed, of Coxsackie.
  6. Eleanor Eliza, died 1832, unmarried.
  7. Anna Maria, married Walter R. Jones; she died July 31, 1845.
  8. Charlotte Christina, married (first) Henry Tomlinson, (second) William Farmer.

(VII) Dr. Henry Adams, eldest son of Dr. Peter Charles and Christina (Van Bergen) Adams, was born in Coxsackie, New York, January 6, 1787, died at Cohoes, New York, July 6, 1857. He adopted the profession of medicine, and in 1849 removed to Cohoes, New York. He was a devout Christian, as well as a skillful physician, and was greatly esteemed in the city where he was known as the "beloved physician." During the war of 1812 he was brigade-surgeon at Sackett Harbor, New York. He is buried in the family plot at Coxsackie. He married, in 1823, Agnes, daughter of Anthony Egberts, an officer of the revolutionary army. Children all born in Coxsackie, New York;

  1. Hon. Charles Henry, see forward;
  2. Evalina M., born January 23, 1830, died January, 1854, she married Rev. Charles Newman Waldron, LL.D., of Cohoes, New York, died in Detroit, Michigan;
  3. Egbert E., born 1832, died 1848.

(VIII) Hon. Charles Henry Adams, eldest son of Dr. Henry and Agnes (Egberts) Adams, was born in Coxsackie, New York, April 10, 1824.

He was educated at the Albany Academy; after studying law he was admitted to the bar and practiced his profession in Albany until 1850, when he removed to Cohoes, and operated the Watervliet Mills in that city, which was his home for thirty years. He was not only a leading manufacturer of the city, and one of her most active, progressive business men, but was a most prominent and well-known citizen in public official life. He was elected the first mayor of Cohoes under the city charter, was president of the water board that gave to Cohoes its wonderful system of water power supply that turns the wheels of industry in so many mills in that city. He was president of the First National Bank of the city of Cohoes many years; president of the National Knit Goods Association, in fact while in Cohoes was interested in all that pertained to the welfare of the city. He invested heavily in real estate, built the Egberts Woolen Mills, presented the city with a much needed steam engine "as an expression of my personal interest in the welfare of the community." ("Adams steamer" is still in service, doing valiant service and successfully competes with newer rivals.) He built business blocks, fostered new enterprises, and was one of the purchasers of Grandview Park, and had it laid out as a park for the use of the city. He was greatly appreciated in the city, and when he returned from Europe, during his incumbency of the mayor's office, was accorded a most enthusiastic and cordial public reception. When the news of his death was made public, the flags on the City Hall were displayed at half mast and the general grief was most remarkable. Mr. Adams had a most distinguished political career. He was aide-de-camp with rank of colonel to Governor Hunt in 1851, member of the assembly in 1857; state senator, 1872-73; member of congress from the Albany district, 1876. He was presidential elector in 1873, and was appointed by President Grant United States commissioner to the World's Fair and Exposition in Vienna, 1873. About the year 1880 he removed to New York City, where he continued to be interested in business. There he was president of the Mercantile Corporation of the United States and South Africa; director of the Bank Clerk's Corporation Building and Loan Association, and trustee of the Metropolitan Savings Bank, retaining as well his large interests in Cohoes. He was truly a man of affairs, and had many interests in life outside business and politics. He had artistic and scientific tastes that he gratified, and held memberships in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Geographical Society. He was proud of his descent from a famous ancestry, and connected himself with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and the Sons of the American Revolution. His social interests were conserved by membership in the Metropolitan Club and St. Nicholas Club of New York. He was of a most charitable and benevolent disposition, but so modest and retiring that his benefactions were known only to the giver and the beneficiary.

He married, September 15, 1853, Elizabeth, daughter of William Barnes Platt, of Rhinebeck, New York. She died in 1866, leaving two children:

  1. Mary Egberts, born in Rhinebeck, New York, 1854, married Robert Johnston, of Cohoes, who died two years later, leaving a son Robert;
  2. William Platt Adams, see forward.

He married (second) Judith Crittenden, daughter of Chapman and Mary (Crittenden) Coleman, of Louisville, Kentucky. Children: Agnes Ethel; Judith Berlina (Mrs. E. C. Converse, Jr.).

(IX) William Platt, only son of Hon. Charles Henry and Elizabeth (Platt) Adams, was born in Rhinebeck, New York, February 18, 1859. He is a lineal descendant of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams. Through his great-grandmother, Christina (Van Bergen) Adams, he is descended from Captain Martin Van Bergen, who came from Holland in 1630, and also from Major Derrick Wessel Ten Broeck, mayor of Albany. His great-great-grandmother, Nellie Salisbury Van Bergen, was a great-granddaughter of the famous Admiral Salisbury; his grandmother, Agnes (Egberts) Adams, was a daughter of Anthony Egberts, who was an officer in the American army during the revolutionary war, and a sister of Egbert Egberts, the father of the knit goods industry in Cohoes, first president of the National Bank of Cohoes and the donor of Egberts Institute to the city.

William Platt Adams was educated at De Garmo Academy at Rhinebeck, from which he was graduated 1875. After finishing his preparatory course he matriculated at Union College, where he made an enviable record, graduating A.B., class of 1879. He won both the Clark and Allen prizes for excellence in literary work and was chosen class orator. He was prominent also in athletics, and on several occasions brought his college colors first over the winning line in running contests. In 1880 he formed a partnership with John L. Newman, of Albany, for the manufacture of knit underwear, locating their mills at Cohoes, which has since been his home. This connection with Mr. Newman existed ten years, when both retired and have not since been actively engaged in public business. He represented his father's interests in Cohoes, the latter having removed to New York. Since his father's death, in 1902, he has represented and managed the Adams estate, consisting of mills, business blocks and other improved and unimproved real estate. He directs and manages his own private estate and serves as director of the First National Bank of Cohoes, and the Commerce Insurance Company of Albany. He also has large real estate interests in Rhinebeck, New York. His taste for travel is abundantly gratified by frequent journeys at home and abroad, one tour of Europe and foreign lands extending over a period of three years, accompanied by his family. He is a Republican in politics, but the Adams love of public life and prominence is not one of his characteristics. In 1909 he was appointed by Governor Hughes one of the commissioners of the Hudson-Fulton celebration, October to November, 1909, and chairman of the committee to accompany the Governor on his up-river trip from New York City to Cohoes. At the latter city, which was the culmination point of the celebration, Governor and Mrs. Hughes were entertained during their stay by Mr. and Mrs. Adams at their beautiful home. In 1910 he is a trustee of Union College, and a member of the Graduate Council. He is a member and an elder of the Dutch Reformed church of Cohoes. He is a member of the college fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, and of the Alpha Delta Phi Club of New York City. He has been a member of the County and Castle Club, Isle of Wight, England; the St. Nicholas of New York City, and is a member of the Waterford Country Club; University Club of Albany, of Troy Chapter. Sons of the Revolution, Dutchess County Society of New York, and the American Club in Paris.

He married, January 23, 1884, at Red Hook, New York, Katherine Whiteman, born at Red Hook, daughter of Jacob W. Elseffer, born in Red Hook, September 6, 1831, died November 15, 1907, a prominent attorney of Dutchess county, New York, and descendant of a family founded in that county a century and a half ago. In 1580 Louis Elzvier, a printer, left Germany for Holland to escape religious agitations, and soon thereafter books bearing the imprint of "Elzvier" appeared. He had seven sons, five following the business of their father and becoming distinguished therein, and the other two returning to the highlands of Germany. From this noted family of printers, whose fame spread throughout the civilized world as the printers of the Elzvierian Bibles, a male descendant came to America in 1738 and settled in Rhinebeck. Since then the now Elseffer family have been prominent in Dutchess county, holding various high positions in financial and political life. Through the Whitemans the Elseffers are descended from Jacob Sharpe, who had conveyed to him and others by Governor Hunter in 1710 six thousand acres of land in Columbia county, in trust for themselves and the other Palatines. Jacob W. Elseffer married Delia Eliza Bonesteel, born at Claremont, Columbia county, New York. Children of William Platt and Katherine W. (Elseffer) Adams: Elizabeth Platt and Katherine Elseffer.

(The Platt Line)

The Platts were prominent in England in the time of Edward III. In the records of the Heraldry office in London it is called the ancient and honorable family of Platt.

(I) Richard Platt was of English birth, and came to America in 1638, landing at New Haven, Connecticut. He was one of the founders of the town of Milford, where he was a landowner and deacon of the first church in 1669. His estate inventoried six hundred pounds sterling. He died in 1684. Children: Mary, John, Isaac and Sarah, born in England; Epenetus, Hannah, Josiah and Josiah, baptized in Milford. Isaac and Epenetus settled at Huntington, Long Island.

(II) Epenetus, son of Richard and Mary Platt, was recorded as one of the land holders of Hutington, Long Island, in 1666. With his brother Isaac he was imprisoned by the tyrannical Governor Andros. He was known, as Captain Epenetus. In 1667 he married Phebe Wood, and died in 1693. His children were: Phebe, Mary, Epenetus, see forward, Hannah, Elizabeth, James, Jeremiah, Ruth and Sarah.

(III) Epenetus (2), son of Epenetus (1) and Phebe (Wood) Platt, was born April 4, 1674. He was known as Major Epenetus and was a member of the colonial assembly from 1723 to 1737. He died in 1744. Children: Epenetus (3), Zaphar, Uriah, Solomon, Elizabeth and Phoebe.

(IV) Epenetus (3), son of Major Epenetus (2) Platt, owned a large landed estate. He was captain of militia.

(V) Eliphalet, son of Epenetus (3) Platt, was born July 12, 1733, died 1795. He was of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess county, New York, where he was ruling elder of the Presbyterian church, and inspector of the Dutchess county presbytery. He married Mary Scudder. Children: Henry, John, Jemima and Betsey.

(VI) John, son of Eliphalet Platt, of Pleasant Valley, was of Clinton, Dutchess county, New York. He was a deacon of the Presbyterian church of Pleasant Valley, and inspector of the Dutchess county Presbytery. He served in the war of the revolution. He married Catherine Barnes. Children: Dr. Eliphalet, William Barnes and Isaac I.

(VII) William Barnes, second son of John and Catherine (Barnes) Platt, was born in Pleasant Valley, New York. He was a banker of Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, New York. He married Sara Catherine Stoutenberg, of Hyde Park, New York. Children: John H. and Elizabeth.

(VIII) Elizabeth, only daughter of William Barnes and Sara Catherine (Stoutenberg) Platt, married Hon. Charles Henry Adams (see Adams VIII).

(The Whiteman Line)

Hendrick Werdman, afterward written Whiteman, an early settler of the town of Red Hook, Dutchess county, New York, came from Zurich, Switzerland, settling in Ulster county, New York. He married Claphena Kock at Esopus. They had been members of the same church in Zurich, and were betrothed there. In 1748 he settled in Rhinebeck, acting as land agent, and the farm on which he located is still in possession of the family. He was a noted patriot of the revolutionary period, as was his son. On October ——, 1777, a band of Tories threatened their house, but the Whitemans barricaded the doors and windows so effectually that the Tories withdrew. Jacob Whiteman drew wheat to the continental army quartered at Newburg, under General Washington. He started before daybreak with sixty bushels of wheat and returned the same night, traveling seventy-six miles. He married Catherine Neher, daughter of Frederick Neher, a farmer. He died in 1838, leaving two children, Henry and Maria Whiteman. Henry Whiteman was noted for his liberal opinions and his hospitality. He was a staunch follower of Thomas Jefferson and strongly opposed. [sic] He married Rebecca, daughter of George Sharpe. Their only child, Catherine Whiteman, married John Elseffer, who maintained the reputation of Whiteman Place for open-handed hospitality. John Elseffer was a magistrate for twenty-four years, and it was said that no decision made by him was ever carried to a higher court. He was a member of the legislature in 1843. He left three children: Henry D., Jacob W., and William L. Elseffer, all of whom had distinguished careers. Jacob W. studied law and came to high station in his profession. He married Delia E. Bonesteel, daughter of Henry N. and Helen (Miller) Bonesteel. The Bonesteel family began in the county with Nicholas, who married Anna Margaretha Kuhns, and settled about 1714; a portion of the town of Red Hook is on his farm. Katherine Whiteman, daughter of Jacob W. Elseffer, married William Platt Adams (see Adams IX).

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