Hiram A. McAdams

Jennie Robbins - Alice Rebecca Williamson

Newsletter - December 1996

Christmas 96: first newsletter!
And a Merry Christmas to all!!! This first issue of the new H.A. McAdams Family Newsletter probably caught a lot of Hiram’s descendants by surprise. It is an experiment. Hopefully it will be a success.

Four cousins, two of Hiram’s grandchildren and two of his great-grandchildren, got together after the last reunion and decided to do whatever we could to improve family ties and to make an attempt to bring us all together as a family.

We are Thomas McAdams, Charles Hughes, Richard Roberts, and Charles Cole. We sincerely believe that we have a very special and unique family that is rich in heritage and tradition. We would like to see those family treasures preserved. This newsletter can head us in that direction. It can keep us informed, educated, and, hopefully, motivated.
What follows is our basic philosophy — the newsletter is not ours. It is yours. True newsletters are not written for people; they are written by people. After this first issue, what the "four cousins" would like to see is your writing your newsletter. Don’t panic! We will format it, print it, and mail it. All you have to do is provide the input.

We plan on making your job easy. We will send out forms and surveys for you to return to us. But the meat of the publication will be your stories - family stories about things you have done, places you have visited, family members you have known, family traditions, family skeletons, etc., etc.

Help us make this newsletter a success. We need your help!

We are a special family!
First, because it is easier, what are we? We are all the descendants of Hiram Augustus McAdams. We are a large family. Hiram, at last count, had 471 descendants, including in-laws, in 156 different family groups.

Hiram was born on 8 Sept. 1845. He married twice. The first marriage was to Jennie Robbins on 18 Feb. 1874. He and Jennie produced six children. Hiram’s second marriage, after the death of Jennie, was to Alice Rebecca Williamson on 22 Jan. 1892. This marriage produced another six children. H.A. McAdams died in Bedias on 28 Dec. 1935 at the age of 90.

In future editions of the Newsletter, we will highlight the families of Hiram’s 11 children who survived.

Now, who are we? We are a large, unique, and very special family. We have established vital traditions. We have been attending the H.A. McAdams Family Reunion regularly for over 60 years. We own our own reunion grounds, cemetery, and chapel. We have earned a place in Texas, Confederate, and U.S. history. We have spread literally all over the planet.

We must, at all cost, preserve our rich family tradition and heritage. We have too much going for us to ignore our very special place in the world.

The danger to our family unity that we must anticipate and guard against is the probability of splinter groups and reunion offshoots forming simply because of the sheer size of the larger main family. The focus for all of us must remain on our traditions in the Hiram McAdams family.

There is certainly nothing wrong with smaller individual family reunions, but the last Sunday in April should always remain one of the most important dates of the year. Calendars should be marked now for the next reunion. Children should be taught that the last Sunday in April is, in the big scheme of things, just as important as your birthday, since you owe part of your existence to Hiram. Set that day aside now for your great family! Make your new year’s resolution now to do at least one thing to strengthen your family ties during 1997.

The trip of the four cousins
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away... four cousins got together and took a trip. At the time we didn’t know each other very well. We probably cooked up this trip just to please our parents and attempt to get them off our backs because we were "drifting away from the family." Three of us lived in Huntsville, and one lived in Bryan. We departed central/east Texas one morning, and our destination was Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. We piled into a two-door Renault with camping gear for four (army cots) and enough food for an army (sound familiar?). Our travel arrangements gave new meaning to the term "packed like a can of sardines." Now for those of you who don’t remember the Renault, it was a tiny vehicle about the size of a VW Beetle! Guess what? We had a great time. We got to know each other. We didn’t mind the cold or the lack of proper equipment. (remember, we were fresh out of high school and were bullet-proof) We didn’t have much room on the trip, so we lightened the load considerably by eating our way to Colorado. We saw the mountains together, camped together, took baths in 35 degree mountain water together, and became fairly good friends. That trip was important! It gave us common ground, and we never get together now (over 35 years later) that we don’t talk about it. In the big scheme of things, that trip to Colorado was very important to a lot of people. It was important to our parents then, and it is heritage for us now. Too often we minimize the potential impact in later years of a simple trip together. The four of us are better people and more dedicated family members for having shared that experience.

Plans for the future
When we analyzed our purpose in publishing this newsletter, it was clear that our only purpose was to promote family unity and togetherness. It also became readily apparent that effective communication would be the cornerstone of this effort.

The four cousins have some basic concepts in mind, but we need your ideas in order for our joint effort to work. We plan to, first of all, get this newsletter up and running. Initially, we will publish it twice each year, probably in December and April. If there is enough interest in the publication, we will go to a quarterly cycle.

We are also considering opening either a computer bulletin board or a world wide web home page for family information.

We maintain a fairly complete McAdams genealogical file that goes back many generations and includes multiple family branches. This file also includes most of Hiram’s descendants. It is very difficult to keep this file up to date, because so many family members are having babies - very quickly. We need your help in maintaining this valuable database. The genealogical database is yours for the asking. We can provide it in several different formats:

Let us know what you need and want. Included in this issue of the newsletter is a survey form. Please take the time to complete and return the survey. We can only provide services to you if you will be kind enough to:

Remember — this is your newsletter.

The annual Hiram A. McAdams family reunion is coming up in four months. Mark your calendars now for the last Sunday in April! Plan to attend on April 27, 1997.!

Carl Luther McAdams honored
On Saturday, October 19, 1996, the Senior Men's Sunday School Class of the First Baptist Church, Madisonville, hosted a presentation honoring Carl Luther McAdams, Jr. The Men's Class presented a program of testimonials and song honoring Carl Luther for his 35 years of service to the Texas Prison System and application of Christian principles in supervising employees and inmates. A plaque and accompanying articles, "The Chain of Hope" and "A Warden of Faith", recognizing his faithful service was presented on behalf of Carl Luther to the Prison Museum in Huntsville.

A quote from the Chain of Hope publication: "Warden McAdams was the Lord’s agent in ‘The Chain of Hope’ with the Holy Spirit empowering ‘the end which God has chosen’ — LIFE IN CHRIST." Carl Luther has been retired for 21 years, and at 86 years of age, continues in his Baptist faith as ‘his brother’s keeper.’ He has assisted many young people gain employment, been available to advise younger wardens, and has been a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Madisonville. We owe a great deal of gratitude to this man of integrity and wisdom.

Over one hundred friends and family attended this program and reception honoring Carl Luther.

Family history study questions

Answers in the next newsletter.

Brain teaser
Your assignment is to analyze the following information and arrive at a plausible explanation.

John McAdams Sr. And Martha Rogers were married in South Carolina in 1802/1803. They had eleven children: James McAdams, born in 1804 in South Carolina, Elizabeth McAdams, born in 1806 in South Carolina, Mary (Polly) McAdams, born in 1808 in South Carolina, Joseph McAdams, born in 1811 in South Carolina, Nancy McAdams, born in 1814 in Tennessee, John McAdams, Jr., born in 1815 in Tennessee, Martha McAdams, born in 1817 in Kentucky, William McAdams, born in 1819 in South Carolina, Jane Evaline McAdams, born in 1821 in Alabama, George McAdams, born in 1824 in Alabama, Drucilla McAdams, born in 1825 in Alabama.

Remember, in these times (1804 - 1825), in this area of the country, this was still not a completely settled frontier. South Carolina to Tennessee to Kentucky to South Carolina to Alabama and on to Texas in the early 1830’s. Travel at this time was by horseback and / or wagon or walking. This is considerable movement in this period of time when hardships were abundant and daily existence was never guaranteed. Contrast this movement with the continual settlement in the area around the present reunion grounds for over 70 years.

Question: What was the cause of this movement between states from 1813 to 1835 when travel must have been very difficult for a large family?

Extra credit: Look at a map of the United States and estimate the distances traveled by the family during this period. How long do you think it took them on each of these journeys?