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 William Harve Adams

Photo added by Michael Adams

William Harve Adams


The patriarch of the Brindle Ridge Adams Family, William Harve first appears in Rockcastle County as Harvey Adams, age 25 (actual 30 yr 8 mo), and is listed in the 1850 Rockcastle County Census under the household of William W. McCale as a laborer. This William McCale is actually believed to be William Burke "Buck" and Judith (Adams) McCall. Any family ties between William Harve and Judith are unclear and are being researched at this time.

It is somewhat apparent that William was a friend of the McClary Family or some way connected through the fact that his 5 year old son Albert Gene was the first member of his family to be buried in their cemetery, 7 April 1873. Why William, Mary Ann and Albert Gene are buried here and not in the Oak Hill Cemetery is still unclear.

By using the 1860 Census of Rockcastle County we can verify that within the past ten years William is now married with two sons William Frank and James Lyman. William Harve apparently put off marriage awhile because of an unknown and peculiar reason, because he was 37 years old when he married Mary Ann Smith the daughter of Levi (1796-1890) and Charity (Houk) Smith (1804-1890). We are fairly certain through family history their marriage took place on 4 Feb 1857 in Rockcastle County. William Harve and Mary Ann together had one daughter and six sons; William F. James L, Joseph F, Andrew J, Martha R, Albert G and John P.

After the birth of his third child Joseph Fry in 1861, William was mustered into the Union Army of the Civil War, as a Corporal in Company C, Rockcastle and Lincoln Counties Home Guard, on 7 May 1862. William appears again in the 1870 Rockcastle Census and we find him for the last time in the 28 June 1880 Census before he passes away that same year on December 9th.

William was laid to rest in the McClary Cemetery alongside his 5 year old son Albert Gene on 9 Dec 1880 then following some 27 years later his family buried their mother Mary Ann there as well, and presently these three are the only Adams’ buried here. The McClary Cemetery is situated in a peaceful hollow about 2500 feet NNW of the Oak Hill Cemetery where many of his descendants and in-laws have been laid to rest.

There have been a lot of speculation to who his parents actually were and that he possibly was of Native American “Cherokee” decent. The Rockcastle County Courthouse fires of 1873 have made it very difficult to clear up or verify these facts. However thus far we have uncovered a lot of information through research and newer technology, with hopes to reveal his true identity in the near future. If you have any additional information about William H. Adams and his family that you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to message or email me.

By: Michael Adams, 5th generation Rockcastle Adams descendant.

Last updated: Aug 24, 2016



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  • Maintained by: Michael Adams
  • Originally Created by: Floyd Chasteen
  • Added: 25 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5172608
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Harve Adams (9 Dec 1819–6 Oct 1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5172608, citing McClary Cemetery, Rockcastle County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Michael Adams (contributor 48511357) .