I’ve been posting articles about the role that my father’s family played in Mansfield’s history. But what you might not know is that my mother’s side of the family has played an important role in the US history as well. Though distantly related, I can count John Adams and John Quincy Adams as my ancestors. That’s right, my great-great grandmother counted them as her ancestral cousins.
Once more, the Adams family lineage can be traced all the way back to England in 1200AD. Several of the early Adams family men were knighted, Sir John Adam being the first.
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the second President of the United States (1797–1801). He was also an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. He was a champion of independence in 1776. A Federalist, he was highly influential and one of the key Founding Fathers of the United States. Hailing from New England, Adams, a prominent lawyer and public figure in Boston, was highly educated and represented Enlightenment values promoting republicanism.
His father, also named John (1691–1761), was a fifth-generation descendant of Henry Adams, who emigrated from Braintree, Essex, in England to Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1638. His father was a farmer, a Congregationalist (that is, Puritan) deacon, a lieutenant in the militia and a selectman, or town councilman, who supervised schools and roads. His mother, Susanna Boylston Adams,was a descendant of the Boylstons of Brookline. John Adams was the eldest of three sons, in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts (then called the “north precinct” of Braintree, Massachusetts), to John Adams, Sr., and Susanna Boylston Adams. The location of Adams’s birth is now part of Adams National Historical Park.
John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was the sixth President of the United States (1825–1829). Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams. He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating many international treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.
As Secretary of State, he negotiated with the United Kingdom over America’s northern border with Canada, negotiated with Spain the annexation of Florida, and developed the Monroe Doctrine. Historians agree he was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history. He was the first president to serve in Congress after his term of office, and one of only two former presidents to do so (Andrew Johnson later served in the Senate). He was elected to eight terms, serving as a Representative for 17 years, from 1831 until his death.
So how are the former US presidents connected to my family? They are connected through Bessie Luella Adams who was born in 1879. She was the daughter of Mary Sabrina Rader and Erastus Sheldon Adams. Erastus Sheldon Adams was the son of Martha Jane Andrews and Eli Adams. Eli Adams was the son of Ephraim Adams and Martha Mason. Ephraim Adams was the son of John Adams and Lucy Hubbard. John Adams was the son of Joseph Adams and Margaret Eames. Joseph’s brother was John Adams, the American President. Shew that is a lot to follow isn’t it? I have charts somewhere that show this all in diagram form. Some of the charts can be found online, but I don’t think they go beyond Bessie. My charts are more current, but they are not on the computer. Someday soon I will scan them in. I promise.
Anyway, Bessie Luella Adams married William Cooper Miller who settled at 322 Clark Street in Willard, Ohio, around the turn of the century. William Cooper Miller was born in Ottawa County, Ohio, in 1897 to a German Immigrant by the name of Fred Henry Miller. The name Mueller had been changed to Miller somewhere along the way. They had six children, Harvey Leonard Miller, E Beryl Miller, Mable Miller, Dorothy Grace Miller, William Miller the WWII pilot and my great-grandmother Faith Luella Miller.
Faith Luella Miller Hoak was born in 1911 in Willard, Ohio. She loved to read and write poetry, though none of her favorite authors are known and none of her poetry has survived. She married Thornton Hobart Hoak in 1930. They had four children: Jack Thornton, Donald Melvin, Betty Morjanna and Beverly Luella. Faith had to work most of her life to support her family. She worked at a bar and grill on Main Street in Shelby, Miller Products at Wilkins Air Force Depot and at AMF. She retired in 1968 when her husband passed away. After a long battle with lung cancer, Faith passed away in 1985.
Janalee Lykins married John Gilkison in 1975. I, Cari Lynn Gilkison, was born on June 27, 1976. I married Jason Paul Vaughn on November 15, 2000–thus becoming Cari Lynn Vaughn. We have two kids together: Anastasia and Sebastian. So now there you have it in a nutshell. Any questions?