A Little History - Adams, Harding, Lee, Lockhart and Lumsden

From Great Britain comes the notion that the name Adams is from ancient and royal pedigree. The name has come down through the millennia to modern times. In relatively recent centuries it has included princes, knights, Scottish royalty (Sir Adam) and American Presidents (John Adams, and his son John Quincy Adams), among many others. Supposedly, the first "Adams" to appear on the scene in Great Britain was Sir Adam du Gordon of Scotland. The first Adam recorded in Scotland was Sir Adam, a knight with a castle who pre-dated England's King Arthur (who lived cir 1137). Perhaps this was the same as “du Gordon.” From this lineage came Sir Adam de Ireys, the "earliest known ancestor" of the Irish, and from whom the name of Ireland was derived. He was a knight, born cir 1070, son of Joan Stutville and Hugh d'Iryshe. He went on the first Crusade in 1099. Another "ancestor" we can acknowledge of this name was Sir Adam of Glendonwyn, a baron in Scotland who was ambassador to England in 1376. He was the son of Margaret Wauchope and Adam fitz Hugh. The Scots first came to north Ireland as colonists at the behest of the English government. They lived mainly in Ulster, or Northern Ireland.

Shows how the modern “Adams family” descended from the “Early Milesian (Celtic) Kings of Ireland.” In trying to trace his own branch of the Adams tree from Ulster to Alabama, he states that the Ulster Scots (or Scots-Irish) descended from the ancient Celts, down through the Vikings, who invaded Scotland and Ireland. However, it is to be noted that the Scotsmen who subsequently were planted as colonists in Ulster by the English in the 17th Century , known as “The Plantation,” were the more immediate progenitors of those who migrated to American colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries. L. H. Adams takes his more ancient lineage from the book, Baronage of Scotland by Douglas, and includes Sir Adam du Gordon.

there were two main lines of early Adams migrations into America in the Eighteenth Century--one was English, with most of them settling in Massachusetts; and the other was “Scotch-Irish,” mainly settling in Pennsylvania and Virginia, later branching out to Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and beyond. The “Scotch-Irish,” as they were often called in America, had a colorful and troubled background, and they took a troubled and colorful part in the settlement of the American frontier.

One of the first of the line seems to have been a William I. Adams, born in Antrim County, Ireland circa 1717-1723. He came to America, landing at Norfolk, Virginia, in 1742. He married Mary Walker in 1744. She, too, had been born in Ireland. They later settled on the Catawba River in Bedford County, Virginia. After that they moved to Augusta County, which was divided in 1770, and the part they lived on was part of Botetourt County, and that is where all their children were born. William died in Mercer County in 1795. Mary is presumed to have died prior to 1789.

Their son, Samuel Clark Adams, born March 27, 1752, was an adventurer and explorer by the time he was eighteen. He was part of a group of ten men known as the McAfee Company that surveyed Kentucky in 1773.

This same Samuel Clark Adams fought beside Virginia militiamen at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, at which the Shawnee Indians were defeated. He married Anne Curry circa 1776, and moved with other Adamses, McAfees and Nevins to what is now Vigo and Parke Counties, Indiana, between 1811 and 1814.

Another early Adams settler was also named Samuel Adams. He was born in Ireland circa 1745. He settled and married, also in Botetourt County, Virginia. Later, however, he moved to Mercer County, Kentucky, circa 1779.

All of these early movements were made, as we moderns would say, “with difficulty.” They had to travel through dense forests in rain, shine, and fog; cross roaring rivers with the help of no bridge or barge, and most of the time not knowing where the best crossing or fjord could be found; and negotiate with Indians, who may or may not be friendly, and who did not know their language. There were mountains, gorges, ravines in their path. While they were doing these things they were also hunting and fishing for food, each day in a new location; driving oxen, and riding horses, which also needed to be fed, watered, and cared for; pulling or pushing one or more heavy wagons, through mud and bog and sand; mending the wagon, as well as shoes, clothing, harnesses, and weapons; and caring for one another, especially their children, who might get injured or become ill.
Ball Family Line (Adams' included)

Harding is an Anglo-Scandinavian name, and is still used - as Harding or Hårding (pronounced as "Hawding") - in Scandinavia to represent a "Tough Guy". A cross-country skier would for example be a Harding.

There seems to be two sources into the British Isles, one from Norway, possibly the Hardanger Fjord, where people are still called "Hardings" (Viking times: "Hardingar"), and coming in from the Scottish Isles and into the Danelaw or down the Irish sea, the other as Danish/Saxon hordes originating from East Denmark and Germany where they were recorded in the Anglo Saxon Rune Poem as the warrior tribe "Heardingas": in Icelandic literature they are the "Haddings" and their legendary leader Hadding is protected by both Thor and Odin. Both groups may have originated from the same source – the Charudes of the Jutland peninsula, who under pressure of expanding groups around them moved to Horderland/Hardanger area where they became the Horders or Hardings.

In German mythology Hadding appears as Hartung. Ancient forms: Harding, Hardinge, Hartung, Hearding, Hadding, Herdan, Herden, Herdene.

Harding is old Nordic/Teutonic term for "tough guy" and is still used as such in Sweden and Norway. In Viking times people from Hardanger were also called Hardings, or "Hardingar" (plural for Harding), and before Harald Harfagre had united Norway at the end of the 9th century, Hardanger was a separate kingdom ruled by King Harding. He apparently lived in the village of Kinsarvik, which now has the excellent Harding Motel of Hyttentun, but in Viking times it had a boat house which held King Harding's ships (the walls of this boat house still exist today). The Norwegian Hardings have their own saga about him (recalled here by Tor Instanes).
Picture of the Harding Family Line from 1600 - 1892.

   Col. Richard Henry Lee I, Esq., “the Immigrant” (1613-1664), was a planter, trader, Attorney General of the Colony of Virginia, colonial Secretary of State, and member of the King's Council. 

In the year 1640 Richard Henry Lee married at Jamestown Anne Constable (c. 1621-1666) , daughter of Francis Constable and a ward of Sir John Thoroughgood, a personal attendant of Charles I, King of England (1600-1649). She had accompanied the family of Virginia Governor Sir Francis Wyatt (1575-1644), and at the time of her marriage to Richard, she was residing at the Wyatt household in Jamestown. This affiliation soon helped Richard move socially upward within the Colony. In 1643 the new Governor, Sir William Berkeley (1606-1677) appointed Richard Attorney General of the Colony. In addition he served as High Sheriff and was Colonel in the Militia. 

Richard was in the fur trading business with the Indians. Because of this, Richard took his bride away from the capital city, and went to live among the Indians beyond the frontier of settlement. His first patent was for land on the north side of the York River at the head of Poropotank Creek, in what was then York, later Gloucester County. He had received the title to this 1,000 acre (4 km²) tract on August 10, 1642 through the headrights of thirty-eight immigrants unable to pay their own passage, who were brought over by Col. Lee in his own ship on his return from Breda in 1650. However, Lee did not take title to this land until 1646, when there is record of his purchasing 100 acres (0.4 km²) at this location. Richard’s first home was on leased land on the same side of the river, at the head of Tindall’s Creek near the Indian community of Capahosic Wicomico. However, on April 18, 1644, hordes of Powhatan Indians massacred the newcomers to the area, led by Chief Opchanacanough. They killed 300, but were driven back by a successful counterattack. As a result the English abandoned the north side of the river.

Richard and his family escaped and settled at New Poquoson on the lower peninsula between the York River and the James River, where it was safer from attack. He was said to have been the first white man to have settled in the northern neck of Virginia. They resided upon this land for the next nine years, which consisted of 90 acres and was a comfortable ride from Jamestown.

On August 20, 1646 he took out a patent for 1,250 acres (5 km²) on the Pamunkey River in York, later New Kent County, at the spot “where the foot Company met with the Boats when they went Pamunkey March under ye command of Capt. William Claiborne” during the counteroffensive against the Indians after the massacre of 1644. He did not develop these lands, but exchanged them in 1648 for a tract of the same land along the north side of the York near the present Capahosic, retaining the 400 acres (1.6 km²) he called “War Captain’s Neck” and selling the other 850 acres (3.4 km²).

Land holdings

Richard began to acquire many land grants on the peninsula between the York and the Rappahannock River. After peace with the Indians had been concluded and the lands north of the York reopened for settlement in 1649, Richard was issued a patent of 500 acres (2 km²) on May 24, 1651, on land adjacent to “War Captain’s Neck”. That same year he also acquired an additional 500 acres (2 km²) on Poropotank Creek. He sold 150 acres (0.6 km²) of his original grant, the tract on Poropotank Creek. This left 850 acres (3.4 km²) at the original site, to which he later gave the name “Paradise”, and resided from 1653-1656 in the newly created Gloucester County. He became a part owner of a trading ship, whose cargoes brought indentured servants with headrights that Richard used to enlarge his Virginia property. He spent nearly as much of his time from 1652 to his death in 1664, in London, as he did in Virginia. In about 1656 Richard moved the family to Virginia’s Northern Neck, the peninsula formed by the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. Leaving the “Paradise” tract to overseers, they resettled on a spot acquired from the Wicomico Indians, which consisted of 1,900 acres (8 km²). This new land was termed “Dividing Creek”, near what is today the town of Kilmarnock. This tract in later generations became known as that of “Cobbs Hall”.

He later purchased another 2,600 acres (11 km²) in Northumberland County at Machodoc Creek, which empties into the Potomac River. This tract was patented on October 18, 1657, and repatented the following year on June 5, 1658 as 2,000 acres (8 km²). Upon this tract became what was known in later generations as the estates “Mount Pleasant” and “Lee Hall”. He then acquired 4,000 acres (16 km²) farther up the Potomac, near where the city of Washington, D.C., would rise, in what was then Westmoreland, now Fairfax County. One of these would eventually become the site of Mount Vernon.

Disposing of several lesser properties he had obtained, Lee was able to consolidate and develop four major plantations. He had two in Gloucester County: “War Captain’s Neck” and “Paradise”, and two in Northumberland County: “Dividing Creek” and “Machodoc”. He also acquired a plantation called “Lee’s Purchase”, located across the Potomac in Maryland.

In 1658 Richard acquired a residence at Stratford Langthorne, in the County of Essex, then a pleasant suburb of London, and in 1661 he moved his family there. Essex borders London on the east, and the village of Stratford Langthorne was a resort for persons of means who found London unhealthy. It is located about a mile from Stratford-at-Bow on the north side of the Thames in West Ham Parish, until recently the site of great wharves, docks, and the congestion of east London. He did that so that his younger children would have a proper education, seeing as his oldest two sons, John and Richard II, were already students at Oxford. Nevertheless, he eventually wanted his children to reside in Virginia. Though now a resident of England, he continued in his role as a Virginia planter and merchant. On March 1, 1664, Richard died at "Dividing Creek", Northumberland Co., Virginia, while overseeing his interest in the Colony. As a result, and in accordance to his wishes in his will, his family returned to Virginia.

Richard Lee’s will directed that his property at Stratford in England be sold, and that all but the two oldest sons, who were still finishing school, were to return to America. Richard I left property to each of his eight children. Anne married again before September 24, 1666, Edmund Lister. The date of her death is unknown, although legend has it that she was buried beside Richard near the house at Dividing Creek.

Richard Henry Lee died 24 April 1664 at Cobbs Hall, in Northumberland County, Virginia.
Lee Family of Shropshire England
Lee Family - Ditchley Line
Lee Family - Stratford Line

  In early times this name was spelt 'Locard' or 'Lokart'. Like so many Scottish families, the Locards came from England where they were among those dispossessed of their lands by William the Conqueror. There were Lockards near Penrith in the twelfth century and later in Annandale, where the town of Lockerbie is said to be named after them. The family finally settled in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, where they have held lands for over seven hundred years. The earliest paper in the family archives is a charter of 1323 whereby Sir Symon Locard bound himself and his heirs to pay out the lands of Lee. Symon, the second of Lee, fought alongside Robert the Bruce in the struggle to free Scotland from English domination. Later knighted, Sir Symon was among the knights, led by Sir James Douglas, who took Bruce's heart on Crusade in 1329. The heart was carried in a casket, of which Sir Symon carried a key. To commemorate the honour done to the family, their name was changed from Locard to Lockheart, later becoming Lockhart. As well as a new name, the family gained a precious heirloom on the Crusade: the mysterious charm known as the Lee Penny. Sir Walter Scott used the story of its acquisition by the family as a basis for his novel, 'The Talisman'. Sir Syman captured a Moorish amir in the battle in Spain, and received an amulet or stone with healing powers as part of his ransom. The amulet was later set in a silver coin which has been identified as a fourpenny piece of the reign of Edward IV. The coin is kept in a gold snuffbox which was a gift from Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria. Such was the belief in the amulet's powers that a descendant of Sir Symon, Sir James Lockhart of Lee, was charged with sorcery, an offence which could carry the death penalty. The case was later dismissed. Although the family seat, Lee Castle, has been sold, the estates are still owned and managed by the present head of the family, Angus Lockhart of Lee.

   Gillem and Cren de Lummisden were the first holders of the lands of Lumsdene on historical records.
One Gilbert de Lumisden is recorded in the charters from the years 1249 to 1262 showing that the Lumisdens must have been well established in Scotland at that time. Adam de Lumisden of that Ilk and his son, Roger placed their names on the Ragman Roll of 1296 which affirmed their loyalty to Edward I. Adam was the first to be assigned as chief of the name Lumsden and his line produced Gilbert Lumsden who married the heiress of Blanerne in 1329.  The Lumsdens have a complicated system of branches that became established as they grew and spread to new territories. Gilbert's son, another Gilbert, was the progenitor of the Lumsdens of Blanerne, Airdrie, Innergellie, Stravithie, Lathallan and Rennyhill. Gilbert's brother, Thomas, was the progenitor of the Lumsdens of Cushnie Lumsden, Tillycairn, Clova as well as Auchindoir.  The Lumsdens have been noted in Scottish society in various capacities, their influence spreading beyond their native land.  Sir James Lumsden chose to fight for the King of Sweden during the Thirty Year's War. His brother, William came out on the royalist side during the civil war after 1644. Sir Andrew Lumsden, was primate of Scotland in 1713, serving in the Episcopal Church.  The Lumsdens were also noted for their work abroad. Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden of Belhelvie was a Knight of the Order of the Star of India although he is probably better remembered for being the first to adopt khaki coloured uniforms in the north west of India, a colour later to be widely used in the army.   The village called Lumsden in Aberdeenshire was named so by Harry Leith of Lumsden of Achindoir in 1825.  The House of Lumsden Association was started in 1972 which helped to unify the various branches of the Lumsden and acknowledge a chief and thus they are represented on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.

Picture of John Wesley and Ruth Haslup Adams.

Picture of John Wesley Adams' (dad's grandfather) family. ~ Same picture with names.

Presidential Relatives