A Cumberland County, Kentucky Adams Brick Wall

This isn’t my first time around the block with the Dulworth-Adams family and I have to admit they don’t get any less frustrating each time I return to these leaves on my husband’s family tree.

Abraham Dulworth, my husband’s 2X great grandfather, was born around July 1840, although his month and year of birth are uncertain as they vary in records. The Dulworths resided in Cumberland County, Kentucky. He and Mary Jane Adams, who went by Jane, were the parents of ten children, five of whom were born before they married in Clay County, Tennessee on 1 February 1883. She was born c1851/52 in Kentucky or Tennessee.

Geography is important here, as Cumberland County, Kentucky lies on the southern border of Tennessee and Clay County is along Tennessee’s northern border. As the crow flies, they are very close to each other. In addition, Overton and Fentress Counties, both i n Tennessee,  are just east of Clay County and Macon County, Tennessee sits on Clay County’s western border.

Clay County in red, with Cumberland County to the north
Source: Google Maps

One of my persistent brick walls has been Mary Jane Adams’ family, which I’ve about whom I’ve previously written.

Here is a quick summary of my earlier findings:

Cumberland County, KY 1870 Census
Source: Ancestry

In the home we find:

Adams, Jennie, F, 70, Keeping house, born SC
Adams, Francis, F, 45, no occupation, born Tenn
Adams, Elizabeth, F, 40, no occupation, born Tenn
Adams, Jane, F, 18, no occupation, born Tenn
Adams, Race, M, 14, Farm hand, born Tenn
Adams, Brilina, F, 10, At Home, born Tenn
Adams, Sarah, F, 4, At Home, born KY
Adams, Matilda, F, 1, At Home, born KY

I am quite sure this is the correct family for Matilda Jane Adams Dulworth, as there is a one year old girl with her name in the household and this family lived in the Kettle Creek area of Cumberland County, as did the Dulworth family.

However, I can’t say I’ve ever come across a family structure quite like this one. None of the females have any occupation, except for Jennie, who apparently takes care of the house. Race, aka Rashis Adams, aged 14, is the only one with a job and he is working as a farm hand.

Note, too, that Jennie doesn’t appear to own any land (and I do not find her listed on the tax records of Cumberland County) and that someone reported that she was born in South Carolina. Everyone else except for Matilda and Sarah were reportedly born in Tennessee.

While I know from later records that Jane, aged 18, is the mother of one year old Matilda, there is no indication of parents for Sarah, Brilina (maybe Perlina??), Race or even Jane herself since Jennie appears to be too old, IF her age is correct (and that is a BIG if because this family either didn’t know when they were born or they made it a point not to be honest about it.)

Jennie was gone by 1880, as were all the others in that home, except for Rashis, who was married and living in Clay County, Tennessee and his sister, Jane, who lived with his family.

Next, I jumped back to 1860, hoping to find Jennie with a more complete family:

James Adams, Cumberland County 1860 Census
Source: Ancestry

We now have:

Adams, James, 58, born SC
Adams, M.J., 47, born VA (born 1813)
Adams, Elizabeth, 14, born KY (born 1846)
Adams, M.J., 9, born KY (born 1851)
Haley, George F., 9, born TN
Adams, M.K., 8, born KY (born 1852)
Adams, Jas. Jr., 22, born TN

M.J. and M.K. are both females.

We find a female M.J. Adams, just the right age to be Mary Jane, and this family is living in Cumberland County, Kentucky. However, if the adult M.J. is the same Jennie who head the household in 1870, then her 1870 age seems to be way off. Similarly, if 14 year old Elizabeth is the same Elizabeth found in 1870, then she would only have been about 24, not 40.

On the plus side, James Adams was reportedly born in South Carolina, although M.J. was enumerated as being born in Virginia.

Was George Haley a grandchild? Was James Jr. the son of James, born in South Carolina? I’d say probably yes to that.

Cumberland County, Kentucky is a partially burned county. Marriage records don’t begin until 1882, so they are of no help to me as I try to find all these female Adams people and what happened to them.

Clay County, Tennessee wasn’t formed until June 1870 and marriage records are extant from 1871. There I found Rashis Adams (R.C. Adams) married Nancy Eunice Scott on 1 April 1877. I also found a marriage record for Sarah Adams to James Dulworth on 29 March 1876. This has to be a different Sarah than the one enumerated as a 4 year old in 1870, but because she, like Matilda, married a Dulworth, it seems likely there would be a familial connection.

At this point, I need to regroup and come up with a different strategy. More tomorrow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.