John Adams – Yes, The JA


In my family, we are related to John Adams, the second president. If you have deep roots in the northeastern seaboard, or even inland a couple of hours, the likelihood of finding direct ancestry to the Adams family increases. Only a few men braved the seas to start this country, making it easy for us right coasters to make such claims without embarrassment.

Previously, I followed the family tree of my 4th great grandmother, Harriet Marvin, all the way to President Adams. Today, as I examined the facts, something just didn’t look right. While I double and triple check the trail, Mr. Adams’ in our tree will remain a story for another day.

I did, however, find the beginnings of a solution to the Daniel S. Barber enigma.  Harriet Marvin married Daniel Joseph, his son, and right above him on my screen sat Daniel S. himself tempting to distract me. After a few hours of veering off the Marvin-Adams branch, I found Nathan Barber, who may be the father of Daniel S.

This Mr. Barber attained little fame in his lifetime, unlike John Adams, but garnered notoriety for two of his three marriages.  The second wife, Jane, was the mother of two siblings, who previously married Nathan’s daughter and son. Jane disappears from Nathan’s census in 1870, possibly via divorce. Divorce was enough during the Victorian era to raise eyebrows in the community.  Nathan’s third wife, Mary, is a woman 44 years his junior, whom he marries in his 70s, a feat repeated by his grandson Daniel Joseph, the son of Harriet Marvin Barber, forty years later.

The Barber men lived very long lives and always kept wives.