"The "Ap Adams" story is one of the most embarrassing nineteenth-century forgeries. It first appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 7 (Jan. 1853), claiming descent from a landed Adams family at Stoke-Gabriel, co. Devon. Because it claims grand ancestry people have happily quoted it and copied it as gospel ("hey, it's in print, it has to be right"). The Ap Adams fiction was DISPROVED in print as long ago as 1927 when Josiah Gardner Bartlett published the known, documented English origins of Henry Adams, a yeoman farmer from Barton [St.] David (just south of Wells) and next-door Kingweston, Somerset, who married on 19 Oct. 1609 married Edith Squire, from neighboring Charlton Mackrell, Somerset. See Bartlett's book ("Henry Adams of Somersetshire, England and Braintree, Mass.: His English Ancestry and Some of His Descendants" [New York, 1927]), also "Ancestors and Descendants of Jeremiah Adams, 1794-1883, of Salisbury, Connecticut, Sullivan County, New York, Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania and Vermilion, Ohio" by Enid Eleanor Adams (1974), p. 652, from which I quote:
"In 1853...an Adams pedigree purporting to show that Henry Adams, English emigrant to New England, was a descendant of one Sir John ap Adams and his wife Elizabeth de Gurnay, heiress to estates in Somersetshire, Dorsetshire and Gloucestershire, was published and has been reprinted and quoted from frequently ever since. J. Gardner Bartlett, in his 1927 history of Henry Adams, stated unequivocally that the alleged connection of Henry Adams with the Ap Adam family of Beverstone and Tidenham rested on forged evidences. In proof [the Ap Adam chart from The Complete Peerage, vol. 1 (1910), pp. 179-81] was given in the Bartlett book. It shows conclusively that the Adams line issuing from Elizabeth de Gurnay ended by an heiress in 1424, 159 YEARS PRIOR TO Henry Adams's birth! [The last male Ap Adams died in 1424, with his nephew John Huntley appar. sole heir.] Moreover, although Sir John Ap Adams acquired vast estates in Gloucestershire and Somersetshire, he never had the manor of Cherleton-Adam."
Mr. Bartlett's book (1927) has numerous photographs of the Saxon church at Barton [St.] David, bonds and other documents signed by, or associated with, the real Henry Adams, his wife, and their ancestors. Miss Adams's treatment (1974) of Henry and his English background is also excellent.
Maybe if we all write the folks at genealogylibrary.com and tell them to take out the two books that list this forgery, it would possibly go away.