Eliashib Adams, worked 1659 - died 1698




Bristol, Rhode Island


Eliashib Adams, was born in Medfield, Massachusetts, on February 18, 1659, the son of Eliashib and Lydia Adams.(1) He died in Bristol, Massachusetts (later Rhode Island), a carpenter, in 1698. He moved to Bristol as early as 1689 for in that year he married there Mehitable Cary (1670–d. after 1700), daughter of John and Elizabeth Cary of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, on December 18.(2) The couple had four children: Lydia (b. 1690/1), William (b. 1693), Mehitable (b. 1695), and Eliashib (b. 1697).(3) In the Church of Christ in Bristol, the Rev. John Sparhawk baptized the couple’s first three children on December 22, 1695 and Eliashib, Jr., on September 19, 1697.(4)

On March 2, 1697/8, a deed in the Bristol Land Evidence gives Adams’s profession as "Carpenter." The deed pertains to a ten-acre lot in Bristol Adams sold to yeoman John Allen for the sum of 30 current money of New England. Two members of his family witnessed the deed: James Adams, likely his brother, and his brother-in-law John Cary, also the town clerk.(5)

Adams’s Last Will and Testament, dated May 12, 1698, also records his profession as carpenter and names his wife and four children, to whom he bequeathed his personal property and land in Bristol.(6) His probate inventory, taken by Belamy Bosworth, David Cary, and James Adams, on July 27, 1698, lists "his carpenters Tooles Bettle & wedges" at 2, his household furnishings and wearing apparel, "his Dwel[l]ing house 4 ten acre lotts & two Commonages" in Bristol valued at 106, and a horse and various cattle valued at 23.12.0. The value of his total estate was appraised at 164.14.0.(7)

Dennis A. Carr

"Boston Records," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 13 (July 1859): 218. This source gives the father’s name as Edward. See also Joseph W. Porter, "Notes and Queries: Adams, Cary, Standish," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 49 (July 1895): 342.

James N. Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636–1850: Bristol, vol. 6, part 1 (Providence: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1894), 5.

Arnold, 61.

George T. Paine, "Bristol Records: List of Baptisms from the Records of the Church of Christ at Bristol, R. I. (Formerly Bristol, Mass.), Organized May 3, 1687," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 34 (April 1880): 133–34.

Deed, Eliashib Adams, Bristol, carpenter, to John Allen, Bristol, yeoman, March 2, 1697/8, rec. April 25, 1698, Bristol County Deeds vol. 2, pp. 201–02, Bristol County Courthouse, Taunton, Mass. For another deed involving Adams, see p. 237–38.

Will of Eliashib Adams, Bristol, carpenter, May 12, 1698, rec. November 16, 1699, Bristol County Probate, vol. 2, p. 1, Bristol County Courthouse, Taunton, Mass. Adams’s will bequeathed to his wife Mehitable, whom he named executrix, "my whole Estate both Reall and Personall" and the right to dispose of his landholdings during the course of her widowhood for the support of herself and their children. Mehitable married second Miles Standish in Bristol on December 5, 1700 and it is written in the town records "they moved to Preston, Conn.," see Porter, 342.

Probate Inventory of Eliashib Adams, July 27, 1698, rec. November 16, 1699, Bristol County Probate, vol. 2, p. 2, Bristol County Courthouse, Taunton, Mass..