About this Famous Person
Second President of the United States
Source : Tim DOWLING
John Adams, Jr., the eldest of three sons, was born in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts (then called the "north precinct" of Braintree, Massachusetts), to John Adams, Sr., and Susanna Boylston Adams. The location of Adams's birth is now part of Adams National Historical Park. His father, also named John (1691–1761), was a fifth-generation descendant of Henry Adams, who emigrated from Braintree, England to Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1638. He is descended from a Welsh male line called Ap Adam. His father was a farmer, a Congregationalist (that is, Puritan) deacon, a lieutenant in the militia and a selectman, or town councilman, who supervised schools and roads. His mother, Susanna Boylston Adams, was a descendant of the Boylstons of Brookline.
Adams was born to a modest family, but he felt acutely the responsibility of living up to his family heritage: the founding generation of Puritans, who came to the American wilderness in the 1630s and established colonial presence in America. The Puritans of the great migration "believed they lived in the Bible. England under the Stuarts was Egypt; they were Israel fleeing …to establish a refuge for godliness, a city upon a hill." By the time of John Adams's birth in 1735, Puritan tenets such as predestination were no longer as widely accepted, and many of their stricter practices had mellowed with time, but John Adams "considered them bearers of freedom, a cause that still had a holy urgency." It was a value system he believed in, and a heroic model he wished to live up to.