The earliest record found to date is a (2)1840 Census Record for Hampshire County Virginia. Both this and the (3)1850 Census are examples of the extremes in misspelling and wrong recording of names that you will find in records.
Most records will list John Adam's name as "Adam".
The (2)1840 Census lists John Adam's name as "Adam Appie". It also only lists the head of the household and very little else. It does list five males: one between age 10 and 15 (Augustus) , two between 15 and 20 (John and Frederick), one between 20 and 30 (Nicholas) and one between age 50 and 60 (John Adam). Also listed is one female between 40 and 50 (Annie Catherine). The census is for the Western District of Hampshire County, VA.
The (3)1850 Census for District #24 of Hampshire County, Virginia lists his name as "Adam Hoppy". This census is dated October 17, 1850. This census for some unknown reason shows Adam and his son Nicholas in separate households. All other census records list one household. Nicholas is now married with his own family. We will look at Nicholas and other family members in later postings. Here Adam is listed with his wife and youngest son August. For some unknown reason his wife is listed as "Martha" instead of Annie Catherine. Also Adam's age is inaccurately recorded as 78 years instead of 68. The "value of real estate owned" ($1000) is listed by Nicholas' name so I believe we can assume that operation of the farm was now his responsibility. In the 19th century Adam's age (68 years) would have been considered elderly so I am sure he was greatly scaling back farm responsibility although he was still shares ownership of the farm with Nicholas. In this census he is listed as a laborer.
The (4)1860 Census is the last one that records John Adam. Page #288 of the Western District of Hampshire County, VA is dated November 2, 1860. Here John Adam is listed as a farmer, born in Germany. There is another discrepancy with the name of his wife, Annie Catherine. Here she is listed as "Elizabeth" and also born in Germany.
John Adam's cemetery headstone at the (1)Long Cemetery, Short Gap, Mineral County, WV lists his death as August 14, 1886 at the age of 83 years, 11 months and 22 days.
(8)When John Adam purchased the farm on the Old Furnace Road he immediately deeded the property jointly and undivided with his oldest son Nicholas. This would be also played out in a similar manner for later generations. This was done to help insure the property stayed together and be a sufficient crop producer to support the family. Adam's last will and testament gave his half interest in the property to the youngest son "Gustus". (8)Gustus decided he didn't want to share the property with his brother and sold his half to Nicholas. "Gustus" then purchased another farm nearby for himself. After Nicholas passed, his deed transferred the farm to his two sons Frederick and Jacob. Nicholas deeded the property differently. He divided the property and set the center dividing line to run straight through the center of the barn, half to each son. One distant cousin told me she remembered, as a child, going to the barn in the early morning and finding Jacob and Frederick milking their cows, one on each side of the barn.
John Adam signed his last will and testament on (7)October 12, 1864, a little less then two years before his death. Apparently he never learned to write because he signed the will with an "X" in the presence of three witnesses listed therein. (7)Three months after his death the will was processed in probate court and his son August became the executor of the will. The following is a transcription of the will. Spelling and punctuation are kept as in the original will.
(7)John A. "Adam" Abe Will (transcribed)
In the name of God, Amen. I, Adam Abe of Hampshire County of
West Virginia being old and weak of body, but of sound disposing
mind, memory and understanding; considering the certainty of death but
the uncertainty of the time thereof; being desirous to settle my
worldly affairs, thus be the better prepared to leave this world
when it shall please God to call me hence; do therefore make and
publish this my last will and testament.
First and principally, I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty
God, and my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion
of my executors herein after named. After my debts and funeral
charges are paid, I desire and bequeath as follows.
To my Grandson Tieber Abe I bequeath the sum of five dollars. My
son John dec. (his father) having during his lifetime received from
me more than a fair proportion of my worldly estate.
To my beloved son, Nicholas I bequeath the sum of five dollars
(having at the time of the purchase of the property on which he and I
now live) given to him (the said Nicholas) by a joint deed one
undivided half of said land.
After payment of my debts bequests, do I bequeath to my beloved
son Gustus Abe all my property both personal and real charging my
said son Gustus with the care and maintenance of my beloved wife
Catherine (should she survive me) during her life.
Should my son Gustus not outlive me then to my grandson Tieber
Abe I give and bequeath the sum of fifty dollars and to my grandson
Philip Abe, I give and bequeath all the balance of my property both
personal and real.
And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint I. W. H. Pollock
Allegany County Maryland and Gustus Abe of Hampshire Co. West Virginia
to be the executors of this my last will and testament revoking and
annulling all former wills by me heretofore made, ratifying and
confirming this and none other to be my last will and testament, in
testimony whereof I herewith subscribe my name and affix my seal this
12th day of October
In the Year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Four.
Adam X Abe ( seal )
Note: Adam Abe used an “X” as his signature. “Adam Abe” and “his mark” was
written around his “X” by the person writing the will for him.
Signed, sealed, published and declared by Adam Abe the above named
testator as, and for his last will and testament in the presence of
us who at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of
each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
Hiram W. Shell
Jacob P. Daniels
New Creek November 12, 1866
State of West Virginia
Mineral County to Wit
Before Geo. E. Leps Recorder Sitting as a probate Court
Know all men by these present that whereas the Last
Will and Testament of Adam Abe dec’d late of this County dated on the
12 day of October 1864 was this day presented in Open Court and being
So proven by Solomon Alkire and Hiram W. Shell two of the subscribing
witnesses thereto to be his Last Will and Testament the Same is
hereby admitted to Record & Probate And on the Motion of Gustus Abe
who is named as Executor in Said will is hereby permitted to qualify
as Such Executor on his giving Bond in the penal Sum of $1000.--
Conditioned as the Law Directs.
Now know ye that the Said Gustus Abe has filed the Bond Required
and qualified as Executor as aforesaid.
Given under my hand at my
office at New Creek the day and
year above written
Geo. E. Leps