Finding Alpheus Adams’ Mother : Part I

When we started researching the Porter line of our family tree a little over four years ago, we encountered our first really big brickwall—the parents of Alpheus Adams, 3rd great-grandfather of MKS.

Alpheus Adams tablet, Hannah, North Dakota.

Back then, few researchers included parents for Alpheus in their on-line trees, those that did disagreed on his paternal line, and no one was willing to guess his maternal line. There were, and still are, few trees with sources attempting to prove his paternal line. Most trees we found clearly copied Alpheus’ paternal line from the same unsourced trees. [We did as well four years ago.]

There wasn’t even agreement as to his birth name—Alpheus Adams, James Adams, Alpheus James Adams, James Alpheus Adams.

In May 2017, we identified Reverend Ezra Adams as the apparent (meaning presumptive) grandfather of Alpheus based on members of this Adams family being in Grey County, Ontario, Canada, before Alpheus married Ellen Jane Hannah there in 1867, and the mention of two members of this family as Alpheus’ half-brothers in his obituary.

It was not until we began using genetic genealogy (DNA testing) that we were able to make any real progress. In Apr 2018, we confirmed that Alpheus is a member of the Rev. Ezra Adams line based on several DNA matches of Adams descendants with members of our Porter line.

Just to be clear, the parents of Alpheus Adams are not William McIntosh Adams and Hannah King, as shown in many on-line trees.

Today, of the approximately 100 family trees on containing Alpheus, we can only confirm about 10 have his correct paternal line. And his maternal line remains a mystery.

Four years, that is a long time. Admittedly, our genealogy skills were poor when we started. Only recently have we removed the training wheels. Only this year have we begun to source our research and adopt a standard for expressing our level of confidence in the facts and events we add to our family tree and family history.

Please accept our apology Alpheus.

Over the next several posts, we will update our research and reveal our latest discoveries.

And maybe, just maybe, we will find Alpheus’ mother.

Alpheus Adams (1845-1910) is 3rd great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.