Ray - Thank you for the very helpful information on the NC/Va Adams connections.Here are answers to your questions, actually a bit more than you asked:
1.George W. Adams ("George Sr.) first married Frances ("Fanny") Chambers, the daughter of John P. Chambers, in Person County, North Carolina in 1814.Harrison Stanfield and Richard Carnal were bondsmen. Fanny's mother is presumed to have been Rebecca Graham, whom Chambers had married June 13, 1774, in Rowan County NC.
2.It is thought that the families of George Sr. and his then father-in-law John Chambers came to Tennessee as a group, with George Sr. settling in Dickson County and Chambers settling in adjoining Humphreys County.George Sr. (and presumably John Chambers) would have arrived in Tennessee between 1816 (the year of birth of George Sr.’s presumed first child, Emily Albinia,born in Virginia) and 1819 (the year of birth of his second child, William G., born in Tennessee.)The 1820 Census for Dickson County shows a George Adams as head of household, with the household consisting of one male under 1 (appropriate for William G.,) one male under 45 but older than 25 (appropriate to George Sr.) two females under 10 (appropriate to Emily Albinia but to no other known child) and one female under 26 (appropriate to his wife Frances.)Although this census entry cannot with certainty be identified with George Sr., it is certain, based on an 1820 Robertson County deed to John Chambers reciting that Chambers was a resident of Humphreys County, that an 1820 census entry for that county applies to him.The 1820 Census for Humphreys County shows a John P. Chambers as head of household, with the household consisting of wife and children that conforms to what is known from later records.
3. John Chambers and George Sr. moved to Robertson County in 1820 or early 1821.The earliest record of the presence of either in Robertson County is a deed to Chambers (according to the deed a resident of Humphreys County) dated December 20, 1820.
4.George Sr. appears Robertson County in each of the census reports for 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1860.You are correct in identifying his family in the 1850 census.
5.George Sr.'s first wife Frances Chambers Adams died some time between December 15, 1835 (the date of birth of her last child, George Jr., my great-grandfather) and (based on the date of birth of the first child of the second marriage in 1838) in 1837.In any event she is known to have died prior to March 24, 1842, the date of the execution of the will of her father John Chambers, which refers to her as being deceased. George Sr. then married Elizabeth Conley of Robertson County (born circa 1804 in Tennessee) but no record of the marriage has been found.A George Conley (age 78) assumed to be Elizabeth’s father is shown by the 1850 Robertson County Census as living in George Sr.’s and Elizabeth’s household.
6.Although it was easy to identify the mother (Frances)of the oldest children and the mother (Elizabeth) of the youngest children, the "middle" children (including my great-grandfather George Jr.) presented a problem because the dates of death of the first wife and the marriage to the second wife are not known.Thankfully, the problem was solved by a consideration of the estate of John Chambers, whose will had (in effect and among other dispositions) left property to the children of his deceased daughter Frances.George Sr. was appointed guardian for these children to receive the Chambers inheritance, and hence the (then) minor children of the first marriage are known.(There is a small problem with the guardianship because one of the beneficiaries is named Harriet McNeill, who also appears as a beneficiary of George Sr.'s estate.I have spent an immense amount of time on this, including the reading of estate proceedings related to the local McNeill family, and have concluded to my own satisfaction that this Harriet was the daughter of an unknown daugter of George Sr. and Frances.Meredith has demurred to this, but the two estates - Chambers and Adams - make it certain as a legal matter.The 1820 Dickson County census also supports this conclusion.)
7.Based on the forgoing and other data, these are the children of the two wives of George Sr.:
Children of Frances Chambers Adams
Emily Albinia, born ca.1816 (married name Heflin)
William G., born ca.1819
Martha born ca. 1824 (married name Watson)
Rebecca, born ca.1825 in TN (never married)
Nancy born ca. 1829 (married name Newton)
Amanda,born ca. 1834 (married name Leggett)
George W. Jr., born December 15, 1835
Children of Elizabeth Conley Adams
Sarah Catherine, born ca. 1840(married name Farmer)
Mary, born ca. 1840 (married name Huskey)
John, born ca. 1844
Henry, born ca. 1845
As noted above, it appears certain that there was another daugter of George Sr. and Frances whose name is unknown (married name McNeill) and who probably would have been born during the period 1815-1820.
8.As you can see, the William Adams (Meredith's ancestor)you asked about was George Sr.'s oldest son.He owned no land but farmed his father's land. He died intestate in 1855 and the estate proceedings tell an immense about about life in extreme western Robertson County in the 1850's.
9.George Sr. died in Robertson County in August 1861.A petition to sell his real property to pay debts of the estate (filed after the fall of Fort Donelson and the occupation of Robertson County by Federal troops)is a virtual roadmap to this Adams family.
10.The letters from George Jr. referred to in my earlier posting are of course inately interesting - they are the only personal records of this family that I have until much later - but they also totally solved two problems.First, I had been able to reach a pretty firm conclusion about George's service in the Confederate Army from the service records, but those records are badly conflated with the records of George Washington Adams, Reuben's son, who was in my George's company and died from wounds received at Missionary Ridge.The letters absolutely locate my George from his enlistment to his going on furlough in August 1963.Second, the letters absolutely solve the hardest and most significant problem I had in looking for my family - the identification of the George Adams and family in the 1860 Robertson County Census(whom I knew to be my great-grandfather) with the "George Jr." listed in the 1850 in the household of George Sr.The letters include notes to Rebecca and Emily Albinia referred to as "sister."
11.In the 1850 and 1860 Robertson County Census George Sr. is shown as having been born in Virginia.The 1880 Cheatham County TN Census states that George Jr.’s father was born in Virginia and his mother was born in North Carolina.The 1901 Death Certificate of George Jr. states that both his father and his mother were born in Virginia.AS you probably know, Reuben’s son Ford Norfleet Adams states in his Civil War Questionnaire that his father was born near Danville Virginia, in Caswell County, North Carolina.
This is a lot more than you asked for, but I do want to share with you anything I have that may be of use or interest.Presently I am trying to locate precisely the land on which the family lived from 1820 to 1862, and it is a very tough job.My study has so many files of deeds that it beginning to look like the Office of the Register of Deeds.So far I have narrowed the area down to about 2-1/2 square miles, with the very small possibility that a house belonging to George Sr. is still standing. My overall hope is to write a history that is something more than a family tree but includes (for the sake of my children) a description of how they lived - essentially a description of small farmers prior to the Civil War. As with many families, the Civil War was a disaster for them, not because they were rich and lost much, but because they were poor and barely withstood the economic and social disintergration that followed the war. As for the earlier history reaching back to Virginia and North Carolina, I am a rank amatuer and will hope to ride the coattails of others. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated . Thank you for the detailed history of the state of your research.John