Abigail Adams Family

Abigail Adams was born at the North Parish Congregational Church in Weymouth, Massachusetts, to William Smith (1707–1783) and Elizabeth (née Quincy) Smith. On her mother's side, she was descended from the Quincy family, a well-known political family in the Massachusetts colony. Through her mother she was a cousin of Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock. Adams was also the great-granddaughter of John Norton, founding pastor of Old Ship Church in Hingham, Massachusetts, the only remaining 17th-century Puritan meetinghouse in Massachusetts. Smith married Elizabeth Quincy in 1742, and together they had four children, including three daughters: one born in 1743, Abigail born in 1744 and another born in 1745. Their only son, born in 1746, died of alcoholism in 1787. As with several of her ancestors, Adams's father was a liberal Congregational minister: a leader in a Yankee society that held its clergy in high esteem. Smith did not focus his preaching on predestination or original sin; instead he emphasized the importance of reason and morality. In July 1775 his wife Elizabeth, with whom he had been married for 33 years, died of smallpox. In 1784, at age 77, Smith died.

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