More on the Adamses in Cumberland County, KY and a Look into Tennessee

Yesterday, I more or less reviewed past research into the ancestral family of Mary Jane Adams, who married Abraham Dulworth in 1883 in Clay County, Tennessee, although the family had many ties to Cumberland County, Kentucky as well.

Although I didn’t specifically identify all of the resources I’ve checked looking for more information about this Adams group, I pretty well exhausted Cumberland County and Clay County, which are both limited in their offerings.

Since yesterday, I did look a bit more into Sarah Adams who married James Dulworth in 1876. She is identified (with no documentation) as the daughter of Noah Adams. More on Noah in a bit, as I have come across that name before.

First, I decided I needed a new strategy to have any chance of cracking through this brick wall, or even getting it to crumble a bit.

This was a long shot, but I decided to look for any Adams people living in Tennessee, but born in South Carolina who showed up in the 1850 census. That is because IF James Adams in Cumberland County, Kentucky is related to Mary Jane Adams (father, grandfather or ???), the James Adams Jr. in his 1860 household was born in Tennessee, if the info is correct.

One loose end to tie up, though, is that James Adams appears in Cumberland County in the 1850 census, too, but is not there in 1840. Take a look and see if you agree that nothing is clarified!

James Adams, 1850 Census of Cumberland County, KY
Source: Ancestry

Adams, James, 52 (born c1798), South Carolina
Adams, R. 42 (female born c1808), Tennessee
Adams, Polly, 18 (born c1832), Tennessee
Adams, James, 13 (born c1837), Tennessee
Adams, John, 8 (born c1842), Tennessee
Adams, E. 7, (born c1843), Tennessee
Huff, Jesse, 22 (born c1828), Tennessee
Huff, E. (male born c1834), Tennessee

Next, I searched for any Adams living in Tennessee in 1850 who was born in South Carolina. There were only a handful of possibilities, but one caught my eye:

Daniel Adams, 1850 Macon County, Tennessee Census
Source: Ancestry

Daniel Adams is living with Polly Adams, likely his wife, but she is nine years younger, born in Virginia, and could possibly be a second wife.

Remember the map from yesterday:

Kentucky-Tennessee Border
Source: Google Maps

That area to the west of Clay County, Tennessee is Macon County! Not only that, but look again at the 1850 census above for James Adams. Jesse and E. Huff, both born in Tennessee are living in the home.

Remember, too, James Adams’ 1860 household:

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

There is nine year old George Haley, born about 1851, also in Tennessee.

I’ve never done any work in Macon County, which was formed in 1842 from parts of Smith and Sumner Counties, Tennessee, so I checked the FamilySearch wiki to see what treasures might be accessible AND MY HEART SANK!

Source: FamilySearch

Macon County lost most of its records in courthouse fires. No land, no probate, no tax, no marriage records. There are some Chancery Court records from 1844 onward, but they are not indexed. UGH!

On the positive side, there are both Haleys and Huffs living in Macon County (Haley) in 1850 and in Smith County (Huff) in 1830 near the times when George Haley and Jesse Huff would have been born.

I also checked into Smith and Sumner Counties, looking for Daniel Adams in 1830. He apparently lived in the portion of Smith County that was given over to form Macon, as he is in both the 1830 and 1840 censuses in Smith:

1830 Census of Smith County
Source: Ancestry

Daniel Adams was also in Smith County in 1820:

1820 Census of Smith County
Source: Ancestry

The 1800 and 1810 censuses for Smith County are lost. However, there is a Daniel Adams in Pendleton District, South Carolina in 1800 that might be my man.

Next, I checked the FamilySearch wiki once again looking for treasures in Smith County:

FamilySearch Wiki

Unfortunately, the marriage records before 1838 are lost, but there are court, land and probate records available.

There was also an extant tax list for Smith County in 1837:

Daniel Adams, 1837 Tax List in Smith County, TN
Source: FamilySearch

Notice there is a Mathew Adams just above Daniel. Also, remember I mentioned Noah Adams earlier? Well, while looking at Cumberland County, Kentucky tax lists, James Adams was listed in 1860, but then gone. In 1861, Noah Adams was the only Adams found there.

Last question for now is where was James Adams living in 1840? Well, I’m not sure. He wasn’t in Cumberland County, Kentucky or any other nearby Kentucky counties. There is one James Adams living in Robertson County, Tennessee, which borders Sumner which borders Smith County. If he isn’t “my” James Adams, then I have no idea where James was in 1840.

Right now, this is all a house of cards that might fall down at any moment. Please leave a comment – do you think I might be on the right track?

Even if I am, I am afraid with all the burned records, particularly marriages, this might be an indestructible brick wall.

What is even more annoying is that Mary Jane Adams, mother of Matilda Jane Adams, aka Matilda Jane Dulworth, is my husband’s mtDNA line through his mother. So far, there are no matches in the test results that come close to any of these Adams people. I keep hoping that more of Mary Jane Adams’ descendants will take an mtDNA test and will know more about this family than I do.



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