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Sunday, 19 January 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 Henry Adams (1846-1907)

Henry Adams was born as Henry Hooper on 8th August 1846. His mother was Louisa Hooper and no father was named on his birth certificate. 

According to the baptism records of Isle Brewers, Somerset, Henry was baptised twice. The first time was on 26th August 1846 under the name Henry Hooper and there was a note at the side that he was possibly illegitimate.  The second time he was baptised was 16th December 1849 as Henry Adams. In the years between these baptisms Louisa, Henry’s mother, had married Frederick Adams and the new family had welcomed a daughter Caroline who was also baptised on 16th December 1849.

In the 1851 Census Henry appears aged 4  with Louisa and Frederick  and his younger siblings Caroline and John in the household of George and Sophia Adams. George was Frederick Adams’ father and Henry is described as George’s grandson.
"1851 England Census",[database on-line], ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014) Isle Brewers, Somerset; citing Class: HO107; Piece: 1926; Folio: 639; Page: 5 Registration District: Langport Sub-registration District: Somerton Enumeration District: 8

In the 1861 census Henry is still with George and Sophia in Isle Brewers but the rest of the family are living in another house. By 1861, Louisa and Frederick had had another 4 children. Henry is 14 at this time and described as a lodger and agricultural labourer.

By 1871 Henry had left Isle Brewers altogether and is found in the census in the Infantry Barracks of the 8th Regiment of Foot on Regent Road in Salford as a Private. Henry had enlisted on 29th December 1868 at Taunton after spending some time with the Somerset Militia. When he enlisted he gave his age as 19 which doesn’t match with his age but could be something to do with the timing of Louisa and Frederick's marriage.

He transferred to the Royal Artillery on 31st March 1872. Henry then went off to Mauritius, via the Cape of Good Hope, and spent four years abroad. He returned to England in 1876.

On 11th November 1880 Henry married Mary Sait in Woolwich, Kent. The newly married couple can be found in the 1881 census living in Woolwich Arsenal along with their new daughter Annie.

By 1891 the family had moved up to Merseyside and could be found in Litherland. The 
family had also grown with the addition of a son Frederick in 1882 and a daughter Louisa in 1886. 
Henry left the army on 4th July 1891 and the family settled in Hampshire. They can be found on the 1901 census in Wickham. 

"1901 England Census",[database on-line], ( : accessed 18 Jan 2014) Wickham, Hampshire; citing PRO RG13, Piece 1016, Folio 179, Page 17. Fareham registration district
Sadly, Henry is now a widower, as Mary passed away in 1900, with a household of 6 children. Daisy and Nellie were twins born in 1894 and Albert arrived in 1896.

Henry died on 25th October 1907 in Wickham at the age of 59.

While there is no way of proving if Frederick was Henry’s biological father it would appear that Frederick treated Henry as a son and Henry treated Frederick as his father. 
For example, Frederick is given as Henry’s father on his marriage certificate. For research purposes I’m going to use Fredrick Adams as the link back to the previous generation.

I’m hoping to find out more about Henry’s time in the army – especially more about his time in Mauritius. I was lucky enough to spend my honeymoon in Mauritius so I was very surprised to find out that my children’s 3xGreat Grandfather had spent time there 140 years ago!

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