My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Aileen S. Knight, and her mother was Aileen Adams Speir, and her mother’s maiden name was Lilla Adams. I have found it difficult to research the Adams branches of my family tree because Adams is such a common surname. It was only after a lot of work, and with great difficulty that I determined Lilla’s parents to be Alfred Lee Adams and Martha Susan Henderson (maiden name) of Henry County, Ga. I will add the interesting story of how I finally found them at a later time, but I will just say for now that my late, great-aunt Josephine Knight Ledbetter, who was Lilla Adams’ granddaughter, provided the key.
Alfred Lee Adams’ parents were John Adams and Mary Perry. They were both from Abbeville County, South Carolina and they moved to Georgia, where Alfred Lee was born on February 17, 1834. I believe that John Adams, parents were James S. Adams and Elizabeth Ann Smith of Abbeville, SC, but I am not yet sure. James S. Adams was born about 1779 and his wife Elizabeth was born about 1776. John Adams was born in 1800. I have photos and the locations of Alfred Lee and Martha Adams’ gravestones, as well as John and Mary’s.
This is my great, great, great grandfather’s gravestone, and I want to go stand it back upright!
SHERMAN’S MARCH TO THE SEA
The most interesting thing I have learned about this family is that they lived in western Henry County, in an area that became part of Clayton County, between McDonough and Lovejoy Station. This area is now part of the greater Atlanta area. They lived there in 1864 when William Tecumseh Sherman marched through on his way to Savanah, destroying everything in his wake. Locals fought Sherman’s men at Lovejoy Station, and at the Nash Farm, which is now a National Battlefield. From what I can tell, it appears that the Adamses lived near the Nash farm. Not only that, but an article on the Battlefield website said that the Nashes came to Georgia from Abbevile, SC, like our Adamses did, and that a young girl with the surname Adams was living in the Nash household and was probably a relative.
JOHN QUINCY WHO?
Throughout my life I have heard the family legend that we were related to John Quincy Adams. Never John Adams, always John Quincy Adams. Of course, we could not be related to John Q without also being related to his father. I have done quite a lot of research into this possibility, and so far, I have found only facts that make it nearly impossible. But I have not given up my search for the source of the legend.
OTHER SURNAMES IN THIS FAMILY BRANCH
THE “OTHER” ADAMS BRANCH
The reason I said, “the Adams branches of my family tree,” (plural) is because I have more than one. I have also heard throughout my life that my maternal grandfather, Jack Haberman, was related to John Quincy Adams as well, through a branch of the Adams family who were british loyalists. My grandfather’s mother was named Alice Adams Rogers (maiden name.) I have verified that Alice Adams Rogers’ paternal grandmother was named Hannah Adams. She was born in 1801 in New Brunswick, Canada, and she died there in 1887. I have not been able to determine who her parents were yet. Stand by.