Deacon John Adams, Sr. was born January 1691 in New York City, Norfolk County, New York, United States to Joseph Adams (1654-1726) and Hannah Bass (1667-1705) and died 25 May 1761 in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Susanna Boylston (1708-1797) 31 October 1734 in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Ancestors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of England.

Early New England Settler residing in Braintree, MA. Father of President John Adams Grandfather of President John Quincey Adams

Vital Stats


John was born on 8 Feb 1691 in Braintree, Norfolk, MA, United States. He was christened on 15 Mar 1691 in Braintree, Norfolk, MA, United States. He died on 25 May 1761. He was buried in Braintree, Norfolk, MA, United States.

John married Susannah Boylston on 31 Oct 1734 in Braintree, Norfolk, MA, United States. Susannah was born on 16 Mar 1709 in Boston, Suffolk, MA, United States. She died on 17 Apr 1797. She was buried in Quincy, Norfolk, MA, United States.

He was, in turn, a fifth-generation descendant of Henry Adams, who emigrated from Braintree, Essex, in England to Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1638. He was also descended from John and Priscilla Alden. John Adams, Sr. worked as a farmer and cobbler (also called a cord-wainer or shoemaker) for most of his life.

Adams' descendants include many prominent persons in American history, and his home is a National Park. Not only was he the father and grandfather of presidents; he also was a first cousin of patriot Samuel Adams.

In 1720, Adams purchased a farm in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts (then called the "north precinct" of Braintree, Massachusetts). Adams was primarily a farmer during the growing season, and also worked as a shoemaker, for which he earned "hard money" as a trade during the winters. He was a freeholder, who owned rather than rented, his land.

Adams was also a deacon in his church, a lieutenant in the Massachusetts colonial militia, a tax collector, and a selectman of the Town of Braintree (now Quincy). He was a Congregationalist (that is, Puritan) deacon. The younger John Adams wrote of the religion his father was so passionate for, "[they are] bearers of freedom, a cause that still had holy urgency." The future president was first known by reputation as the "dutiful son of Deacon John".

The John Adams, Sr., family famously "lived plainly." Together they raised a family of three sons, of which John Adams was the oldest; their other sons were Peter and Elihu. Peter Boylston Adams was a farmer and militia captain of Braintree, Massachusetts. Elihu Adams was a company commander in the militia during the American Revolution, who died from a dysentery early in the war in 1775.

Adams died in 1761, at the age of 70 and his widow Susanna later married a John Hall.

Family of John Adams and Susannah Boylston

All Children born in Braintree, Norfolk, MA:

  1. John Adams (1735-1826) - 2nd President of the United States of America
  2. Peter Boylston Adams (1738-1823) - farmer, militia captain of Braintree, Massachusetts
  3. Elihu Adams (1741-1776) - minuteman solder at Concord Green, Captain of Braintree militia, served at Siege of Boston. Died of dysentary.


Offspring of Deacon John Adams, Sr. and Susanna Boylston (1708-1797)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Adams (1735-1826) 30 October 1735 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States 4 July 1826 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States Abigail Smith (1744-1818)

Peter Boylston Adams (1738-1823) 16 October 1738 Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts 2 June 1823 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts Mary Crosby (1749-1823)

Elihu Adams (1741-1776) 29 May 1741 Holbrook, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States 10 August 1775 Holbrook, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States Thankful White (1747-1822)

Thomas Boylston Adams (1743-)

Famous Ancestors


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.