James, the Indian Trader and Author, or Dr. James Adair, or James Adair, Sr, or James Adair, Jr. There are a lot of James in our history. Anyone who has ever done any research on this colorful, enigmatic ancestor (or ancestors?) knows how intriguing, interesting and frustrating (and/or rewarding) research can be.
I plan to post every little bit of information that I have collected on James Adair, as well as other researcher’s contributions and queries. If anyone has something that they would like posted, just drop me a note.
Please try to support theories with sources and documentation. Any unsubstantiated information will still be posted, but noted as being conjecture or speculation.
It is my hope that by posting the information in one centralized location, together we can solve the mysteries that remain. Key missing information includes documentation to establish a relationship between the three Adair brothers: James, Joseph Sr., and William; and their unsubstantiated parents Thomas and Margaret. James traveled extensively–I would like to find him on some passenger lists.
Did he enter the country in Charleston? Perhaps Philadelphia? Anyone with connections to research in Ireland and/or Scotland; please contact me. Be sure to bookmark this page, and to check back here often, I am certain there is more than one contemporary James Adair, attributing the proper fact to the proper James is our goal. Good luck to all!
James Adair https://www.chickasaw.tv/profiles/james-adair-profile via @chickasawtv
Robeson County, North Carolina
(formerly part of Bladen) on Highway 710 near the Town of Rowland, there is a historical marker that notes James Adair, Indian Trader and Historian, is buried nearby. Rowland lies along the border of North and South Carolina.
James Adair, Indian Trader and Author
From: Who Was Who in Native American History by Carl Waldman, 1990:
ADAIR, JAMES (d. 1783). Trader, anthropologist; reformer.
James Adair was an Irish trader out of South Carolina who lived among the Chickasaws for nearly 40 years in the mid-1700s. He took several Indian wives by whom he had many children. He used the Chickasaws, Cherokees, Catawbas, Creeks, and other tribes of the Southeast as informants for his book The History of the American Indians, published in 1775 after his return to England. Although he provided much ethnographic information plus valuable suggestions for Indian policy, Adair also made the erroneous case for the Native Americans as descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
From: Who’s Who in American History, The Historical Volume (1607-1896)
ADAIR, JAMES: Indian trader; author. b. County Antrim, Ireland, circa 1709. Came to America 1735; traded with the Catawba and Cherokee Indians 1735-44, with Choctaw Indians 1744-51; moved to District 96, Laurens County SC 1751; commanded band of Chickasaws as Captain during Indian War 1760-61. Author: The History of the American Indians (maintaining Indians are descendants of ancient Jews), 1775. Died NC circ 1783.
University of Tennessee, Tennessee Authors
James Adair was a pioneer, Indian trader, and
author. He arrived in America by 1735, most likely through the port of
Charleston, S.C. He began trading with the Catawbas and Cherokees in
this same year until 1744, at which time he established himself among
the Chickasaws in Mississippi. At this time, he visited the Choctaws,
attempting to sway them away from the French and toward an alliance with
the English. James Adair was known, among the Indians as a diplomat and
a peace-maker. He had frequent conflicts with the French, and during the
Indian war of 1760-61, he was commissioned as a captain to a band of
Chickasaws. Around 1769 it is suggested that he travelled to London,
where, as reported in an article in the Georgia Gazzette, of
Savannah (October 11, 1769), he intended to print the ‘Essays’. Adair
was a respected and esteemed individual, noted for his ability to trade
with the Indians. He apparently died in North Carolina shortly after the
end of the Revolution.
From: The Dictionary of American Biography
ADAIR, James (c1709-1783), pioneer Indian trader, author, is said to have been born in County Antrim, Ireland. The dates given above are merely conjectural. The known facts of his life are few, gathered in the main from the personal incidents narrated in his book, The History of the American Indians (1775) and occasional references in South Carolina chronicles. A recent book, Adair History and Genealogy (1924), by J.B. Adair, gives many biographical details purporting to be based on family tradition, but few of them are verifiable by any available records. It is certain that Adair was highly educated. By 1735 he had come to America, probably entering at the port of Charleston, SC. In that year he engaged in trade with the Catawbas and Cherokees, continuing with them until 1744. He then established himself among the Chickasaws, whose villages were on the headwaters of the Yazoo, in Mississippi, where he remained for about six years. During the latter part of this period he frequently visited the Choctaws, in an effort to counteract the influence of the French and to win them to an alliance with the English. The effort was successful, but it involved him in difficulties with other traders and with James Glen, royal governor of South Carolina from 1743 to 1756, which resulted, he asserts, in his financial ruin. In 1751 he moved to District Ninety-six (the present Laurens County), SC, and resumed trade with the Cherokees, remaining there until about the end of 1759. His activities during these years covered a wide range. He was several times called in council by Gov. Glen, with whom he could never agree and whom he heartily detested. Among the Indians he was a diplomat and a peace maker, but he was also a fighter–“a valiant warrior,” says Logan; and when he could not compose their quarrels he not infrequently took sides in their wars. At various times he was engaged in conflicts with the French. In the Indian war of 1760-61 he commanded a band of Chickasaws, receiving his supplies by way of Mobile. In 1769 he visited New York City. Either then or a few years later he probably voyaged to London. Of his later life nothing authentic is recorded. He was, as the conclusion of his book amply shows, a vigorous defender of the rights of the colonies, but there appears to be no mention of him in Revolutionary annals. He is said to have been married and to have has several children and also to have died in North Carolina shortly after the close of the Revolution.
Adair is chiefly known through his history of the Indians. Primarily it is an argument that the Indians are the descendants of the ancient Jews. The theory was accepted by Elias Boudinot, on-time president of the Continental Congress, who gave it hearty support in his book, A Star in the West (1816) Adair’s work has outlived its thesis. Its’ account of the various tribes, their manners, customs, their manners, and vocabularies, its depiction of scenes and its narration of incidents in his own eventful career, give it a permanent value. It is a record of close and intelligent observation, and its’ fidelity of fact has been generally acknowledged. The book must have required many years of toil. In his preface he says that it was written “among our old friendly Chickasaws” (doubtless during his second period of residence with them) and that the labor was attended by the greatest difficulties. Though some passages may subsequently have been added, it was probably finished by the end of 1768. In the Georgia
Gazette, of Savannah, October 11, 1769, appeared an item dated February 27th of that year, apparently copied from a New York newspaper, announcing the arrival of Adair in New York and saying that “he intends to print the Essays”. The care with which the book is printed indicates that he gave it personal supervision through the press. From the dedication it is evident that he had the friendship of the noted Indian traders, Col. George Galphin and Col. George Croghan (with the former of whom he may for a time have been in partnership) and Sir William Johnson; and from various references it is certain that he was highly respected by those who knew him. Logan credits him with the quick penetration of the Indian audacity, cool self-possession, and great powers of endurance, and Volwiler says that he was one of the few men of ability who personally embarked in the Indian trade.
[J. H. Logan, A Hist. of the Upper Country of SC (1859); John Thos. Lee, letter in the Nation Aug 27, 1914; manuscript notes supplied by Robt. L. Meriwether; brief references in A.T. Volwriter, Geo. Croghan and the Westward Movement, 1741-1782 (1926) and Edward McCrady, Hist. of SC Under the Royal Government (1899).]
From: “Family Traces” by David and Kathy Grooms
…James Adair, an explorer and trader who lived among the Cherokees for over forty years, along with his two white sons, John and Edward, sons of an English woman. James Adair, one of the first traders among the Cherokees, was a member of the powerful Fitzgerald family, Adair or Adare being the name of the ancient family estate. He was a younger son, leaving home against his parents’ wishes, to explore for himself the excitement of the new-world. He arrived in Charleston in 1735 and by the year 1736, he entered North Carolina and settled in the most western recesses among the Cherokee people. He was forthright, honest and had a genuine respect for the Cherokee people. He took to wife a Cherokee bride and had several children by her. He spent the remainder of his life among his new people.
James was firmly convinced that the historic Indians known to him as the Cherokee, were relics of the “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel”, and devoted his life to proving by systematic comparisons of language and customs, that the Indians were close kin to the ancient Hebrews. One of the myths handed down through the generations, was one of crossing a dry sea-bed as the waters were held back by a “Great Spirit”. The name of this leader who led his people across the dry sea-bed, had been over the centuries, changed to the Cherokee form, but translated to English, meant “Moses”. At this time, the Cherokee had no written language. These myths were handed down by word of mouth. They also had no knowledge of the Holy Bible until the white men brought it to them in the late 1700’s. James Adair filled a large portion of his book “History of the American Indians” with his findings and theories…
KINFOLKS by William Curry Harllee – Plus Notes From Lisa and Ginger
Lisa notes: After a long time searching, I made a trip to the Bridgeport, Connecticut Public Library, where I had access to the book KINFOLKS; A Genealogical and Biographical Record Vol II by William Curry Harlee; 1935. The book was very old and brittle, and smelled like history itself! It was a magic moment. Following are some excepts of a well-documented biography and history of James Adair, Indian Trader. The twists and turns that this information takes answers many
questions–and asks many more. Any thoughts? Please drop me a note. The notes were transcribed by fellow researcher, cousin, and friend, Ginger. Thank you Ginger!
Fairfield(s) Plantation, NC
Ann Carter – Married in Fairfield, Connecticut June 1744. (Fairfield Co. records and will written in 1776; probated 1783; will shown in separate section of this page) Children attributed to this union: Andrew (April 1745), Mary (1747), Esther (1749), Ann (1750), Sarah (1752) Were Ann Carter and Ann McCarty the same person? Harllee said they were not. (Kinfolks p. 1292)
Ann McCarty – Married in Fairfield, Connecticut October 18, 1744. (Fairfield Co. records.) Ann McCarty had two children by a prior marriage, Elizabeth and John, who were also baptized in Fairfield Co. 1742. Elizabeth, has been confused by some with our ancestor, Elizabeth Hobson Adair. William Harllee, in his book, “Kinfolks,” (pp. 1291-1293) accepted Ann McCarty as the wife of James Adair and the mother of Sara Anne.
Harllee was influenced by the fact that James had named his manor in North Carolina, “Fairfield” (Note: Ginger has uncovered some information that points to a Fairfields Parish in the VA area where the
Plantation was thought to have been located. This is important information) and by concluding the middle
initial M. in Ann McTyre’s name was for McCarty, as her mother tended to use family names in naming her children.
Under the heading “Who Was Adair’s Wife?” Harlee begins “We have seen that Adair’s wife was buried at “‘Fairfields’ (p. 191) On p.193 he says, “The circumstances that the marriage of James Adair and Ann McCarty occurred in Fairfield, Conn., and that our James Adair (CA2) named his manor plantation in North Carolina ‘Fairfield’ or ‘Fairfields’ suggest (italics Ginger’s) that the wife of our James Adair was Ann McCarty.” (His other “circumstance” for reaching that conclusion is that his (Harllee’s) grandmother has a middle initial M. but, I point to the granddaughter in Adair’s will, Clark Adair, as even stronger evidence for Clark Hobson as James’ wife.)
The manor of James Adair and Hobson (Clark) Adair was named “Fairfield.” Wm. C. Harllee in his book, “Kinfolks,” believed that the name had some significance, and used it to support the marriage of James Adair and Ann McCarty in Fairfield, Connecticut. However, there is
also evidence of a James Adair married to Clark Hobson of Northumberland Co., Virginia, where there was at that time a parish named Fairfield.
Chickacoan Parish was one of two of the earliest parishes of Northumberland Co., Virginia. The boundaries, established in 1653, were changed in 1657 and again in 1658. A description of the revised boundaries of Chickacoan Parish, October 21, 1658, refers to a location called
Fairfield. ” … abutting upon the Northwest side of an Indian field known by the name of Fairfield …” On February 4, 1644 the following order was issued by the court of
Northumberland County: “Whereas a great part of this county is by the Assembly ordered shortly to be taken in and included in Westmoreland County and the parishes in this county formerly laid out and bounded cannot so stand unless one of them be in two counties which may be
inconvenient either to the counties or the parishes, it is therefore ordered that this county of Northumberland be divided into two parishes and thus named and bounded namely: The Parish of Chickacoan so formerly called is to be the Parish of Fairfield and the boundaries thereof from the north side of the Great Wiccocomoco River to the upmost bounds of the Country.” Parish lists of 1680, 1702 and 1714 include Fairfield Parish. In 1698 St. Stephen’s Parish was formed and included the former parish of Fairfield. “However, the parish continued to be known by the old name of ‘Fairfield’ until well into the eighteenth century.” (Source: “Parish Lines, Diocese of VA” by Cocke, pp. 162-164, pp.162-164)
That Harllee reached his conclusion based on the stated clues is understandable as the following YET UNPROVED THEORY used the same approach with different results. It’s my opinion the James Adair that married Ann McCarty IS NOT the same person as James Adair, Indian trader and that the mother of James daughters named in his will was Clerk Hobson of Virginia.
Most descendants of Elizabeth Hobson Adair have thought that Hobson was a family surname, and it is true that surnames were often used in naming children. Note that three of James’ grandchildren have a first or middle name of Adair. Harlee gave Elizabeth Hobson Adair an unknown mother with the Hobson surname, and encouraged future researchers to search the records in Virginia and Pennsylvania for an Adair-Hobson connection.
Taking Harlee’s advice, and using the same clues (i.e. the plantation name of “Fairfield” and a middle name (this time, Hobson), the following information was discovered:
LDS records show James Adair and Clark Hobson married July 29, 1740 in Northumberland County, VA and had Ann, born October 5, 1743 and Hobson, born June 23, 1745. I have written to Northumberalnd County for the records to support the Northumberland theories.
Clark Hobson – Married July 29, 1740, in Northumberland Co., Virginia. Their children were Ann, born October 5, 1743, and Hobson, born June 23, 1745. (LDS records)
There were Hobsons in Chester County, PA (based on posts from the Hobson GenForum; further documentation needed. Any contributions of documentation would be greatly appreciated!)
Based on this new found information, and pending further research, I lean havily towards Clark Hobson being the mother of James’ three daughters mentioned in his will, and as the wife buried at “Fairfields”. Discussion is welcome and encouraged!
Lisa note: I wholehartedly agree with Ginger on many of these points:
- James of Connecticut and James, Indian Trader, were two separate people.
- Clark Hoson as the mother of James’ daugheters, and buried in VA.
Ginger questions for discussion: (We want your input!)
Is it possible that Ann and Sara Ann are the same person, and that Hobson and Elizabeth Hobson are also the same person? Or, were they both born later? Clark had older sisters named Sara Ann and Elizabeth; it would have been common practice to name her children after her sisters.
Perhaps the names Sara Ann and Elizabeth were added later. It is my understanding that this practice was common when a family member died.
Agnes named one of her daughters Clark (mentioned in James’ Will).
If Ann, born in 1743, is also Sara Ann, she would have been sixteen years old at the time the gift of part of Fairfield was made to Ann and her husband, William McTyre. Sixteen would have been more likely an age for marriage than fourteen, if she was the daughter of Ann McCarty
There were Hobsons in Chester County, PA so it is possible that if James and his father Thomas and brothers Joseph and William were also there, that James could have met when
Clark was in PA visiting relatives. The Chester County, PA connection also strengthens
the case for Thomas Adair and his sons being in PA prior to 1740.
Ginger note: Most descendants of Elizabeth Hobson Adair have
thought Hobson was a family surname. And, it’s true that family names often used in naming children. Note that three of James’ grandchildren have a first or middle name of Adair. It’s also true that naming their home “Fairfield” had significant meaning. Fairfield was a parish in Northumberland Co., Virginia. Is it
possible that Ann and Sara Ann are the same person and that Hobson and Elizabeth Hobson are the same? Or, were they born
later? Clark had older sisters, Sara Ann and Elizabeth and naming her daughters for them would be natural. Perhaps the names Sara and Elizabeth were later added. It’s my understanding that sometimes occurred when a family member died. Agnes named
one of her a daughters Clark (mentioned in James’ will). If Ann, born 1743, is Sara Ann, it would make her 16 at the time the gift
of part of Fairfield was made to her and her husband William McTyre, a more likely age for marriage than 14 in Harllee’s conclusion. There were Hobsons in Chester Co., (Hobson Genforum) Pennsylvania so it’s possible, if James and his father and
brothers were also there, that they could have met when Clerk was there visiting relatives. The Chester Co. connection also strengthens the case for Thomas Adair and his sons being there prior to 1740.
Who Are James’ Descedants?
“His family consisted of three daughters, and with stubborn Scottish pride, he vowed they should not intermarry with their poor neighbors. As, in the primitive state of the country, it seemed impossible for them to form alliances suitable to their rank, they seemed devoted to lives of single-blessedness. But like the three princesses in the town, of whom Washington Irving tells in his stories of the Alhambra, they managed to defy his commands, elude his restraints, and all of the three eloped, leaving not a helpless one behind to bear the weight of the paternal anger, as in the story alluded to.” (Source: Letter written before 1877 by Louisa Jane (Harllee) Pearce, a great-great-granddaughter of Sara Anna Adair, reprinted
in “Kinfolks” by Wm. C. Harllee, pp. 1241-1242)
Ginger Note: Elizabeth’s mother-in-law was Mary Gibson and probably related in some way to her sister Agnes’ husband, John Gibson. In trying to determine the ancestry of Mary Gibson I made some inquiries about Gideon Gibson as a possible father or relative of Mary. I was told Gideon Gibson probably wasn’t white. Maybe Agnes’ husband, John Gibson, wasn’t either and her daddy, James, had a fit. The South Carolina Assembly denied Gideon a grant on the basis of his race; but the Governor decided that although he was a colored man, he was not “Negro” and since his wife was white he was allowed the grant. Some of his heirs think he may have been of Gypsy stock or Portuguese. I got sidetracked and never followed up on the information, but was told he is briefly discussed by Vernon Jordon in the book “White Over Black” and is listed in other book.
Well, if James called Gideon his trusted friend (Gideon was well respected) then maybe that wasn’t what got James so upset that day after all.
Re Gideon Gibson…I had done some work on Gideon as a possible ancestor because Elizabeth Hobson Adair’s mother-in-law was a Gibson. Then when I was pondering what got James’ britches in a bunch and caused him to transfer Fairfield and declare he was leaving the country I made a notation in my James file. (I set the work on Gideon aside when I got caught up with James, never thinking he’d surface here. Gideon also was called the trusted friend of one of my Calcote ancestors from Laurens Co.)
WILL OF JAMES ADAIR
In the name of God, “Amen.” I, James Adair in Bladen County in North Carolina, being weak but praises be to the Almighty
God, in perfect sense and memory, I do humbly make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following:
I do recommend my soul to God who gave it hoping through the merits of my Lord and Blessed Savior Jesus Christ to obtain pardon of all my sins. My body I commit to the grave to be buried.
My Temporal Estate my just debts being paid I do humbly appoint my loving daughter Saranna McTyre my whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament.
I give unto Robert Adair or his heirs near the town of Billymansborough and Nutrann a short mile of Gilgoram in the county of Antrim in Ireland ten pounds.
I give unto James Box or his heirs in the Island of Bennet the sum of nine pounds.
I give unto Alexander Johnston or his heirs in Ireland or his heirs in the county of Chester, Pennsylvania, the sum of
seventeen pounds all proclamation money.
I give unto my daughter Saraanna McTyre, all my lands or improvements in Wilkinsons Swamp together with all my negroes and
their increase to wit: Four negroes Pomp, Babby, Sam and Jack, two negro women named Hannah and Nelly, one negro girl named Lucy, my personal and real Estate both within and without doors, crop and stock together with all money, bonds, judgments,
notes of hand, book accounts and debts whatsoever and
whomsoever during her natural life and when my daughter Saraanna McTyre receives and collects in my money due on judgments, notes of hand and book debts, I desire it may be put out immediately on good security mortgages on improved lands and negroes
until there is a fair and open trade from Guinea to this country for negro slaves, then to call in all the money into her hands immediately lay the money out in purchasing and buying negro slaves, boys and girls, and when bought then I give a part of the negroes so purchased and bought as has cost my executrix four hundred pounds proclamation money with their increase unto
my daughter Elizabeth Hobson Cade during her life and at her death I give the said negroes with all their increase unto my three grandsons Stephen, James, and Washington Cade, and their heirs lawfully begotten forever, and the residue and remainder of the said purchase and bought negroes, after my daughter Cade has received her part and property as above mentioned then I give unto my daughter Susanna (sic) McTyer with all their increase during her life.
I give unto my grandson Adair McTyre the plantation whereon I now live one hundred acres more or less named Pached or Patcherly place on Wilkinson Swamp, together with all the improvements to him and his heirs lawfully begotten forever.
After my daughter Saranna McTyer’s life I give unto my Grandson one plow horse and one cow and calf two sow pigs and all the
working tools within and without doors, suitable for carrying on a crop and corn and provision both without and within doors, should anything happen after my daughter’s life. I give all my other lands more or less unto my grandson William McTyer and his heirs lawfully begotten forever when he comes of age.
I give unto my five grandchildren Adair, Elizabeth, Clark, Katrain, and William McTyer, all my negroes and their increase and my personal estate to be equally divided amongst them, to them and their heirs lawfully begotten forever after Saranna McTyre life.
I do give the free use of my means to my daughter Cades family as long as my daughter Saranna McTyre and Elizabeth Hobson Cade live convient one to another.
I give unto my daughter Agnes Gibson and to John Gibson one Shilling sterling.
I do desire my daughter Saranna McTyer take my daughter Agnes Gibson into her family should it so happen she is a widow and only one child and no good home, and maintain she and her child during widowhood and until her child comes of age, in meat drink lodging washing.
I do desire none of my estate may be sold by order of Court, when goods come as cheap as they have in the year 1774.
Then I do desire my Executrix will buy each of my daughters, Elizabeth Hobson Cade and Agnes Gibson a gown of Black Crepe and mourning ring.
In testimony of this my last Will and Testament I hereunto set my hand and seal, this twenty first day of September one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight.
James Adair (seal)
Signed sealed and Witnessed
(Source: Elizabethtown, Bladen Co., North Carolina, Record of Wills No. 1, p. 476, reprinted in “Kinfolks” by Wm. Harllee, pp.
1245-1247) Note: The will was destroyed in the courthouse fire in 1800. Some records, including James Adair’s will were copied from documents held by people who provided them for records.
Thank you to Ginger for this transcription!
A Lady in NC – (est. 1755-1763 ginger) Harllee referenced “Adair History and Genealogy” by Dr. James B. Adair, pp. 269-271, who said James married a woman about the time he went to London; a son James Jr., a Miss Kilgore. Harllee seems to refute the later North Carolina marriage. Harllee’s (“Kinfolks” by Wm. C. Harllee, pp.1275-1276)
Indian Wife – Est. Between 1755 – 1763. Emmett Starr in “History of the Cherokee Indians,” p. 403, said, “__ Adair (had sons) John Adair m. Jennie Kilgore (and) Edward Adair m. Elizabeth Martin.” Harllee said the name of the father, left blank above, could be “…supplied from a sketch of Joel Bryan Mayes, a Cherokee chief and chief justice of the court of last resort of the Cherokee Nation, in “Appleton’s Encyclopedia Biography”, IV, p. 275; Mayes was born in the Cherokee Reservation in Georgia, October 2, 1883. His mother was a mixed blood and descended on the paternal side from James Adair, an Indian agent under George, III.” (“Kinfolks” by Wm. C. Harllee, p.1277)
Ginger note: James seemed to have two personas; his manor/father persona and his trader/warrior persona. James seemed to be a devoted family man, in spite of his extended stays in Indian Country, and that held his wife’s memory in high regard as evidenced by his setting aside her final resting place when he
transferred Fairfield to Sara Ann and William McTyre. (Kinfolkks, by Wm C. Harrlee, p 1256) He probably wouldn’t have taken another wife (white or Indian) until he was free to do so. Therefore, it’s plausible that James’ wife, Clark Hobson, died not too long after 1755 and that he then took one or more Indian wives. I also believe that he did take a wife or wives among the Indians as I believe their oral tradition to be sound.
Lisa note: Again, I agree with Ginger. The evidence seems to support Indian wife or wives.
Lady Caroline Keppell – 1763, England. Harllee asks, “Was he (James) the Dr. Robin Adair, renowned in the song, “Robin Adair,”
attributed to Lady Caroline Keppell in England with whom “Robin” had a romantic adventure and married and had a son Robert Adair born 1764?” (“Kinfolks” by Wm. C. Harllee, p. 1256, 1294-1298)
Never Married – In the Introduction to the reprinted version of James Adair’s book Samuel Cole Williams, editor, said that Emmett Starr, the Cherokee historian and genealogist, stated in a letter to him that Adair never married. (“Kinfolks” by Wm. C. Harllee, p. 1276)
James Adair, Which One?
From: The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research
[p.213] PAYMENTS FOR COLONIAL SERVICES Continued from Vol. 4, page 167
To pay Captain James Adair, for leading the Chickesaws at New Savanna, during the time he shall be in actual service, 200 00 00
WINTER, 1980 Number 1
LAURENS COUNTY ESTATE BOOK A-1 (continued from Vol. VII,page 225)
Pp. 98-100: An account of the sale of the Estate of Joseph Greer decd., 15 of August 1794; purchasers: Andrew McCrary, Joseph Greer, Joseph Adair, John Hansel, Saml McComuthey, Thos McCrary, Joseph Greer, Wm Hunter, John Login, John Elmore, Minasa Willson, Benj. Adair, Newton Higgins, John Gray, Robert Scott, John Owens, James Rammage, Hugh Skelton, Saml Bishop, James Dillard, John Rammage, James Dillard, Robert Grier, Bazzel Prater (cooper tooles), James Adair Senr., John Watson, Simon Tedford, Jonas Greer, J. A. Elmore, George Ross, Ben Adair, JosephParks, Wm Price, Wm Gray., Robert Greer. Total £ 56 13 9.
The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research
WILLIAM ADEAR a plantation or tract of Land Containing two hundred and Sixty acres Situate as Supposed when run out to be in Tryon County in the Province of North Carolina on the waters of fishing Creek, Joining his own Land Gillispies Corner Joining Thomas Scott’s Land Also a plantation or tract of Land Containing 200 Acres Situate as Supposed above on the waters of the South fork of fishing Creek, Joining Robert Kerr’s land James Williamson’s Corner Craft’s Corner Joining McClean’s land both which tracts of Land were Originally granted by his Excellency William Tryon Esqr then Govr of N. Carolina the 4th day of May 1769, the 260 Acres to William Watson and the 200 Acres to William Bratton, which each Conveyed by Deed of Release bearing date the 22d of January 1771 to William Adear the Mem’st but by a late resurvey of the boundary line by order of his present Majesty the above two tracts of land fall within the Province of South Carolina in Craven County (sworn) the 10th day of April 1773, del’d Sepr 22d 1774 to James Adair (vol. 12, p. 154).
From: KENTUCKY: A History of the State
Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, Kniffin 1st ed., 1885
Reprinted 1972 by Kentucky Reprint Co., Murray, KY.
THE ADAIR FAMILY. The Adairs are among the oldest families of Graves County. They came originally from Ireland, and settled in one of the Atlantic States a number of years before the war of the Revolution. The family originally settled in South Carolina, where JAMES ADAIR, grandfather of Turner Adair, distinguished himself in the war of Independence as a
member of the celebrated Marion’s band. Late in life he settled in Alabama, where he died about the year 1839 or 1840. His son, John Adair, was left an orphan, when but three weeks old, by the death of his mother. He made his home with the families of his aunt and grandfather, and at an early age was apprenticed to the blacksmith trade, which he followed all his life…
James Adair of Fairfield, Connecticut
Thank you to the Fairfield Historical Society who kindly provided copies of these records to me. I am in
possession of Photostat copies of the following:
From: History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield
VOL II, Part 1;
Compiled and Edited by Donald Lines Jacobus, M.A.; Fairfield, CT; 1932;
He m. 3 June 1744, Ann Carter; or by church record, 18 Oct. 1744, Ann McCarty, which is more accurate.
Will 21 Oct. 1766, proved 4 Nov. 1782; wife Ann; four daus. Mary, Esther, Ann and Sarah; son Andrew.
Children, rec. Fairfield, bapt. Greenfield:
Andrew, b 23 Apr, 1745, bapt. 1745/46
Mary, b. 3 Jan. 1747, bapt. 12 Jan 1746/47; [m. Epaphras Merwin, of Easton].
Esther, b. 2 July 1749; m. 20 Dec. 1770, James goodsell.
Ann, b. 2 Feb. 1752.
Sarah, b. 1 Mar. 1755.
James, b. 26 Aug. 1757, d.y.
From: Fairfield Connecticut First Congregational Church
Records, 1694-1806; Hartford Connecticut State Library; 1929;
handwritten ledger in Old Script
James Adair and Ann McCarty were married Octo 18, 1744
Noah Hobart, V.D.M.
From: Greenfield Hill or Northwest Society and Church
Records, 1668-1878; Vol I, Parts I – V, Church Records 1668-1883;
handwritten ledger in Old Script
Mr James Adair Born Bapt
Ann wife to Mr Adair Born Bapt
Andrew Adair Born Bapt. 1745/46
Mary Adair Born Bapt. Jan 12 1746/7
Leads and Tips from Researcher Jett Hanna
Mildred Brownlee has done a lot of very good analysis of the Laurens County Records and some state records. She also located a petition in the Duke library that is signed by many of the Adairs during the Revolution, and there are three James Adairs signing. Her work is Brownlee, Early Adairs of Laurens County South Carolina (1990), and is in the Laurens County Library. She has put together a very plausible tree for the Laurens County Adairs. I have been working on a more formal article that includes some additional analysis and double checks her analysis, but do not to expect to have it ready very soon. I have worked up the lines that emerge from the Laurens County. After reviewing Brownlee’s work, it is clear how sloppy the Adair History and Genealogy is.
It is my opinion that the Cherokee Adair line is not connected to any of the Laurens County lines-but absolute proof is not in. There just seems to be no correlation in the two lines. The James Adair who seems to be Joseph’s brother pretty clearly left property in Laurens County, making it unlikely that he was the Cherokee Adair.
Researchers should also look for massive compilation of material in the Texas Archives Genealogy Library by Harry and Leo Z. Adair-about 20 volumes worth of stuff.
Webmaster’s Notes: I concur with Jett, there was definitely more than one contemporary James. I have also heard good things about Mildred Brownlee’s work–and will try to gain access to a copy. Jett’s caution about the Adair History & Genealogy book is 100% correct–do not take the information from that source as fact. I was able to access three volumes of the Leo Z. Adair scrapbooks at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, there is a wealth of information there pertaining to many Adair lines. If anyone has access to the volumes in Texas, please drop me a note.
Timelines and Research By Marj
There is some extensive data compiled here to be sorted out. I wanted to get it all posted any accessible. Marj has contributed a great deal of information.
Marj’s James Adair Research Information