I am seeking information relating to a family mystery concerning my grandfather William Princeton Adams, who said he was born in Boston in the 1880s.
My grandfather said that his father was William Adams of Boston and his mother was Clara Robinson of Louisville, KY. Since he was born in the 1880s, they likely would have been born in the 1850s or 1860s.
At some point in his youth, probably in the early 1900s, some family tragedy seems to have occurred in Boston. He would never speak directly about it, but from various hints that he gave it appears that his father died, followed quickly by his mother Clara and his only sibling, a sister named Christine Mary or Mary Christine.
After this tragedy his Robinson relatives arrived to take him to Kentucky. Again according to hints that he gave, these (possibly wealthy) Robinsons made disparaging remarks about the tragedy, in particular how his ‘poor mother had married a Yankee.’ He took offense, ran away to Beverly Farms and never returned with them to Louisville.
Years later as a young adult he hinted that traveled to Louisville to look them up. He made it as far as their doorstep but became intimidated and never met them.
He eventually moved to Danbury CT, married my grandmother Rowena Raymond and had my mother Mary Christine, their only child. He died in Danbury in 1983.
He would never speak of his childhood but implied that some very painful tragedy had occurred.
My grandfather said that his birthday was June 7, 1886, in Boston, and that he lived at least part of his childhood on Sharon Street.
In attempting to research the nature of the events that occurred in his youth, we found the record of the birth of a male child born to William Porter Adams and Clara E Adams of Sharon Street, on June 7, 1886.
The incongruity is that the mother was Clara E RAND Adams, not Clara ROBINSON Adams, and she was born in New Hampshire, not Kentucky.
Still, the dates, names and residence were correct, so we assumed he was somehow confused about his mother.
However, a recent search of the death records in Boston revealed the surprising fact that this male Adams child was a premature baby who only lived one day and died on the same day he was born, June 7, 1886.
This seems very odd. The birth date is correct, the residence is correct, the first names of the parents are correct, but it cannot be my grandfather because the child died. Further research indicates that William Porter Adams died in 1891, and Clara died in Boston in 1930, listing herself as a widow with ‘one child who died.’
So we are now back to square one and are attempting to find any evidence of a Clara Robinson (or Clarisse, Clarissa, Claire, etc.) of Louisville who ‘married a Yankee’ in the 1880s and moved to Boston.
We are also back to square one in searching for my grandfather's father, probably named William Adams. My grandfather hinted that William was a wig-maker and onetime actor, descended from a brother of president John Adams, and that they spent summers in Nahant. His mother raised St Bernards. But of course all this may be incorrect.
Any help or information of any kind would be greatly appreciated.
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