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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James B. Adams, a prominent retired farmer of South Lyon, Lyon township, Oakland County, and the owner of a fine farm of 160 acres in section 31, was born in 1831 at Ovid, New York. He is a son of Chester and Charlotte (Brown) Adams, and a grandson of Elijah and Elizabeth (Ovenshire) Adams.

The grandfather, of our subject was born in Scotland and his wife in England. They were married in Massachusetts and then removed to Ovid, New York, and there Chester Adams was born and married. With his wife and six weeks’ old son, Chester Adams removed to Michigan and settled in Lyon township, Oakland County, securing 80 acres of government land, the deed for which bears the signature of President Andrew Jackson. Chester Adams died in 1875 at the age of 68 years. His widow survived until 1880. They reared a family of three children, namely: James B., of this sketch, Elizabeth, deceased; and Elijah, deceased.

James B. Adams received his primary education in the district schools of Lyon township, subsequently spending three years at the Normal School at Ypsilanti. After finishing his education, Mr. Adams started to teach and was so successful that he continued for 15 terms through Lyon and Salem townships. He made many friends who have continued such through life. After the death of his father, he continued on the homestead farm, eventually adding 80 additional acres and continued also the excellent methods which had made his father one of the good farmers of the township. In 1885 he relinquished active farm work, and purchased a handsome home in the village of South Lyon, where he has lived ever since.

In 1865 Mr. Adams married Mary Gillette, who was born at Wayne, Steuben County, New York, and is a daughter of Watson and Amanda (Crandall) Gillette. After her birth, her father’s family removed to Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, and in 1853 removed to Michigan. Mr. Gillette located in Nankin township, Wayne County, and the mother of Mrs. Adams died on this farm, in 1856, aged 43 years. Mr. Gillette then moved to Ypsilanti, where he died in 1880, aged 70 years, leaving these children: Ira, of Presque Isle County, Michigan; Reed, of York, Michigan; Huldah, who died September 18, 1903, was the wife of Samuel Dains, of Locke township, Ingham County; Mary, the wife of our subject; John, who died in 1875: and Oliver, of LaPorte, Indiana.

Mr. and Mrs. Adams have two children; Lottie and Ella. Lottie, born November 1, 1872, married John Webb, who owns and operates an excelsior factory in South Lyon, — they have one child, Winnifred Irene, born May 26, 1901. Ella married Robert McPherson, who was born in Thamesville, Ontario, Canada, of parents who came from Scotland. Mr. McPherson owns two large farms, one in Canada and the other in Lyon township, Oakland County. He is a prominent and influential man, and a member of a number of fraternal organizations, among which are the Masons, the Knights of the Maccabees and the Royal Guards. Mr. and Mrs. McPherson have one child, Clare, born July 7, 1895.

Mr. Adams is identified with the Republican party. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

View additional Oakland County, Michigan family biographies here: Oakland County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Oakland County, Michigan here: Oakland County Michigan Map

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