Meredith and I share a common ancestor - George W. [probably "Wiley] Adams, Sr., born c. 1790 in Virginia (or on the NC/VA border) died in Robertson County TN 1861.His parents have not, as far as I know, been identified, and it would seem that the most likely line of attack would be through the Reuben Adams connection.The notion (which I believe to be correct) is that they were brothers or otherwise closely related.I have very little to offer other than the following, proving nothing but interesting nonetheless:
First, in a letter dated July 10, 1862, written by George Sr.'s son George to his wife from Camp Douglas in Chicago (he was a prisoner of war)the son refers to Reuben and Priscilla Adams as "Uncle Reuben and Aunt Priscilla."Although "uncle" and "aunt" may be honorifics, I think they indicate an actual kinship.(Young George is very formal in addressing older people.) George Jr. was also very close to Reuben's sons.Several enlisted with him in the same unit - Company E, 50th Tennessee Infanty - and the letters include many references to these sons.(The letters -copies only - are in the Tennessee State Archives in Nashville.)Based on an initial reading the marvellous information on the Adams family posted by Ray Walker, it has occured to me that Meredith's and my George Adams could be Reuben's half brother, being the son of John Simon Adams and his first wife - hence a brother of Phillip Pearson Adams and Ann Adams.Our George would have been a minor at the time of the (1806) deeds to Phillip and Ann.It is also apparent that George brought with him no inheritance when he moved to Tennessee between 1816 and 1820;he did not own land until 1829.
Second, in a letter from George Adams Jr. to his wife dated July 10, 1862, also from Camp Douglas, there is the following sentence: "Yes I want to know how Becky [his unmarried sister Rebecca] and Uncle Jim Powell comes on, and do you think they will make the trip?"(The "trip" reference is probably to the possibility that Jim and Rebecca would make the trip to Chicago to visit him.)I have made lttle progress in identifying Powell.It is clear that he is the James Powell shown in the 1860 Robertson County TN Census as a widower, age 50, born in North Carolina, living as head of household with ten children all born in Tennessee.He was also a purchaser at the sale of George Adams Sr.'s estate in 1862, where essentially only relatives appeared.But I have not been able to find him in Tennessee prior to 1860 census - still looking - nor have I found any marriage record in the usual Tennessee sources.The recurrence of the Powell name in Ray Turner's postings suggests that there may be a connection - James may be the younger brother of Fanny Powell, wife of Phillip Adams, which would make him a "sort of" uncle if George Sr. were related to either Reuben or Phillip.
Third, the notion of a "Massachusetts connection" was apparently as strong in my Adams family (up to and including my father) as it was with Reuben's family.There is not a shred of evidence for the notion and my late (and only) Adams aunt treated the idea with poorly disguised contempt.I mention this only as some evidence that George and Reuben shared some common view of their family history.
I am very grateful for all of the information on the early Adams lines. - John Adams, Birmingham AL.