Thanks to Sandra for the photo of Robert's Family Stone at Byfield Cemetery - it is a family monolith, and serves only as a cenotaph to Robert's memory as Byfield Cemetery was not established until AFTER Robert's death.
Robert Adams is believed to be a son of Elizabeth Sharlon [Sharlow] and Robert Adams. He came to Ipswich, Massachusetts Bay about 1635, along with his wife, Eleanor Wilmot, and first two children. He was a tailor and farmer who, by 1638, had moved to Salem where he took up a parcel of ten acres of farmland in the western part of Salem Township, Massachusetts.
Some genealogists believe he was a Scotsman, or may have come from Holderness in the County of York - tracing his ancestry is not the focus here - to date, it has not been proven. The best "proof" is contained in the inscription of the epitaph engraved on the family monolith erected at Byfield describing his immigration from "Devonshire, England".... "about the year 1629". Said cenotaph inscription states he died 16 October, but his individual stone at Burying Ground of the First Settlers is inscribed that he died 12 October.
The following information on his residence comes from town records which locate it at which is now town lot #90 Washington Street, across from Salem City hall.
His move to Newbury is recorded in a deed dated 22 May 1651 from Edmond Greenleafe wherein Robert received, "his farm in Newbury over the Litle River with all the house, barne, Hovills, fences, timber & p'veleges of commons, profitts and hereditaments therunto belonging, with both uplands and meadows, containing about 150 acres of upland, also 50 acres of meadow....."
The home was on a bend of road still known as Hay Street, a mile and a half west of Newbury. His name still appears with other first settlers on a monument at Newbury's Old Town common.
In 1677 Robert's first wife died and he married Sarah Glover Short, the widow of Henry Short on 6 February 1678.
My direct line of descent:
Robert's son, Jacob married Anna Allen; their tenth and last child was John, who married Abigail Rowe. Joel Adams was their fourth and youngest son. He married Elizabeth Fowler and they gave birth to two girls and then twin boys. Of those twins, Bildad and Job, Job married Sabra Whitmore and was father to my third great grandfather, Elias Adams, born 18 February 1792.
Summary of his will is given to establish names of heirs.
Archelaus Adams, 1655 was NOT his son, but instead was a son of Lieutenant John Adams, who was a son of “ William of Ipswich.”
Provisions contained in Robert Adams Will, signed and sealed 7 March 1680:
◦At the time of his will he was living with his second wife, Sara Glover Short, who was the widow of Henry Short, another early settler. Robert wishes the agreement made with her at the time of marriage carried out - that she shall enjoy the annuity left her by her former husband without let or hindrance, as she always has done. He grants her certain rights in the house, giving her the exclusive right to the parlor for one year; also gives her all the money he leaves and she not to be accountable for it to anyone, also the great chest and the highest chair in the room where they live; but these are to be restored at her death, or if she marries again - these go to a granddaughter.
To son Jacob, he gives the house he lives in and land adjoining as now fenced, also "Salt Marsh".
To the three sons of his son Abraham: namely Robert, Abraham and Isaac, each a gun and to each of the two oldest, a sword. They were at the time 2, 4, and 6 years old.
He gives multiple and certain bequests to sons John and Isaac and to an unmarried daughter, Hannah, and her child, [named for her sister, Joanna.]
To each of his three married daughters [Elizabeth, Joanna, and Mary] a cow, and to one of them in addition, "my pewtr tankard and a pewtr bowl." To Mary, daughter of son Abraham, a box with lock and key and six diaper napkins.
All the rest of his effects go to his son Abraham, and after his death go to Abraham's oldest son, Robert, to be joint executors, son Abraham to have full power to act until the grandson be of age (he was six at date.) Care was taken that if this grandson [Robert] came into possession before the death of his mother she should not be debarred of her just rights (meaning dower, it is presumed) and also when coming into possession, is to give his two brothers Â£20 each.
He closed his will by appointing his "Loving friends" John Woodbridge and Nicholas Noyes, Overseers. His estate was appraised at Â£916 17s. Of this his real estate consisting of house, barn and orchard, 80 acres of upland, 80 acres of meadow and freehold was valued at Â£600: live stock at Â£90; furniture at Â£222 17s, which is rather out of proportion, but probably good furniture was disproportionately high and scarce while land was plentiful.