Mont Vernon New Hampshire "Father of Baseball": "Doc" Daniel Lucius Adams (1814-1899)

The history of baseball is a lie from beginning to end

from its creation myth to its rosy models of commerce, community, and fair play.  So says John Thorn at “The Baseball Biography Project.”

I asked several people today who invented baseball.  They all struck out with the answer.

I agree with John Thorn that “every good idea has a multitude of fathers (or mothers), and a bad idea none.” Everyone wants to claim baseball, our country’s best beloved sport, as their brainchild.

Abner Doubleday, Alexander Cartwright, and Louis F. Wadsworth each took their turns being baseball’s proud papa…Harry Wright, Albert Spalding and William Hulbert took their bows for contributing to the game.  Now all these will have to move aside for a son of New Hampshire–Dr. Daniel Lucius Adams.

Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, son of Dr. Daniel & Nancy (Mulliken) Adams was born at Mont Vernon New Hampshire on November 1, 1814. He graduated at Yale College, class of 1835. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1838. He practiced medicine in New York City. He married Cornelia A. Cook of New York City on March 7, 1861, and had five children.  He died at New Haven, Connecticut on January 3, 1899.

He was distantly related to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams (see Adams genealogy below).

The Knickerbocker Club called him the “Nestor of Ball Players.” A Sporting News article of February 29, 1896, headed, “Dr. D. L. ADAMS; Memoirs of the Father of Base Ball.”

***** I have to give Mr. Thorn full credit for his incredible research and writing skills.  I will not pretend to be able to better him in either sense, and so I highly suggest you read both his “Baseball Biography Project” AND his blog, “Thorn Pricks” which explains in great detail why he deems Dr. Adams to be the genuine proud papa of baseball.*****


P.S.: If you are interesting in seeing an old baseball movie and some early 20th century baseball photographs, you have several to choose from.

1898 movie (brief) baseball game in progress, one team is Newark New Jersey, taken by Thomas A. Edison Inc. (American Memory)

Second Game, World Series, Shibe Park, Philadelphia c1910 (panoramic-American Memory)

Photographs of early promoters of Baseball

The Genealogue:
How Genealogy Saved Baseball.”
Hall of Famer Descended from Man Who Didn’t Invent Baseball
Ballplayers’ Roots are Showing

Added 2016: [THIS (my) original story written 2006]
Daniel Lucius Adams: Long Overlooked Baseball Pioneer [written 2012]
Doc Adams Baseball: A Founding Father of Baseball [written 2013]

Henry Adams, b. abt 21 Jan 1583 in England, christened 21 Jan 1583 Barton, St. David, Somerset, England; d. 8 Oct 1646 in Braintree, MA; m. 19 Oct 1609 in Charlton, Mackrel, Somersetshire England to Elizabeth Edith Squire.  She b. 29 May 1587 in England, dau of Henry & Charlotte (Mackrell) Squire. She d. 21 Jan 1672 in Medfield MA. “Henry, Braintree, came early to our country, and tradition says from Braintree, in Co . Essex in 1632, but widely diverse is the origin by another tradition had gr. in Feb. 1641, of 40 acres by vote of Boston, of wh. Braintree was part, i. e. the portion for ten heads. Perhaps he was the first clk. of the town, after separat. from Boston, tho. more likely is it tha t his s. of the same name had the honor; and he d. or was bur. 8 Oct. 1646, leav. by tradit . eight s. yet only five are nam. in his will, 1646, pro. 8 June 1647, where appear Peter, John, Joseph, Edward, Samuel, and d. Ursula. Of this d. as tradit. took no notice, it may be that the number eight applied to s. means in truth ch. seven s. and one d. but names eno. for the s. may be seen, and certainly one s good, if not two beyond the deviees in the will, a s Henry, Thomas, Jonathan, in some reports call. William. The inscript. on the monu. erect . by his descend, John Adams, sec. Presid. of the U. S. exhibits the popular story with characterist. strength: In mem. of Henry Adams wh. took his flight from the Dragon persecution, in Devonsh. Eng. and alighted with eight s, near Mt. Wollaston. One of the s. ret. to Eng. and, after tak. some time to explore the country, four rem. to Medfield, and the neighb. towns, two to Chelmsford. O e only, Joseph, wh. lies here at his left hand, remain, here; wh. was an orig, prop. in the townsh. of Braintree. incorpo. 1639.“[source: Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England who arrived before 1692, by Savage; pub. Boston: 1860-1862] Note: Samuel Adams, and John Adams are members of this Adams line. They all descend from Henry Adams and Edith Squire. They are buried in Braintree Massachusetts.
Children of Henry & Edith (Squire) Adams:
1. Henry Adams Jr., b abt 1604 in Barton, Somserset England
2. Thomas Adams, b. 1612 England
3. Jonathan Adams; b 1614 Barton, St. David, Somerset, England
4. Samuel Adams, b. 1616/1617 in Barton, St. David, Somerset, England
5. Ursula Adams, b. 19 July 1619
6. Peter Adams (twin), b. 4 Dec 1622 in Kings Weston, Somerset,England
7. +John Adams (twin) b. 4 Dec 1622 in Kings Weston, Somerset, England
8. *Joseph Adams, b. 9 Feb 1625/26 in Kings Weston, Somerset, England; m. Abigail Baxter. Ancestor of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams
9. Edward Adams, b. 1629 in England

John Adams, son of Henry & Elizabeth Edith (Squire) Adams, born in 4 Dec 1622 in Kings Weston, Somerset, ENgland, and settled in Cambridge MA about the year 1650, when he was a mill-wright. He married 1st) Margaret Eames. He m2nd Anne Howe. She b 1626 in England. He and his second wife Anne were members of the church there in 1666, in which year he was made freeman. He died June 1706 in Cambridge MA.
Children of John & Anne (Howe) Adams:
1. Rebecca Adams, b. in England; m. 24 Nov 1699 Nathaniel Patten. She d. 18 Dec 1667
2. Mary Adams, b. 25 Oct 1652
3. John Adams, b. 1 May 1655; m. Hannah Bent. For descendants see Barry’s History of Framingham [MA].
4. Daniel Adams, b. 12 Aug 1662, d. 14 May 1685
5. +Joseph Adams, b. 1664; m. 21 Feb 1687-8 Margaret Eames

Joseph Adams, son of John & Anne (Howe) Adams, b. 1664; m. 21 Feb 1687-8 Margaret Eames, dau of Thomas. She b. 8 July 1666.   He d. 20 July 1701.  His widow married Lieut. Daniel Dean(e) of COncord MA. He b abt 1630, and resided at Mystic and Concord. His first wife was May Gobble, dau of Thomas.  She d. May 1734 in her 68th year. When he died 29 Nov 1725, age 95, Daniel Dean left no posterity; his large estate was inherited principally by his step-son Capt. Daniel Adams [History of Concord, p. 369]
Children of Joseph & Margaret (Eames) Adams:
1. Joseph Adams, b. 1688; m1) 18 Jan 1710-11 Rebecca Cutter, dau of William Cutter. She b. 18 Jan 1693-4 and d. 10 Jan 1717-18. He m2nd) 26 June 1718 Rachel Allen, dau of Joseph Allen. She b. 1693, d. 1 Aug 1775.  He d. 18 Oct 1774.
2. Abigail Adams, b. in Menotomy (later W. Cambridge, now Arlington) MA; m. 4 Apr 1705 to John Robbins
3. +Capt. Daniel Adams, b. 3 January 1694 in Menotomy MA, d. 9 Feb 1780, age 90; m. Elizabeth Minot.
4. Cherry Adams, bapt. 31 Jan 1697; m. — Stone
5. John Adams, b 1697 lived near the centre of Lincoln MA where he d. 25 Oct 1725, age 28. He is buried in “Hurd Burying Ground” in Concord MA. He m. 13 Dec 1722 to Love Minot, sister of his brother’s wife. They had two children: John, b. 11 Nov 1723 (m. Lucy Hubbard) and Lucy, b. 23 Jan 1725 (m. Rev. Lawrence Lincoln). His widow m. Edward Flint. [For John’s descendants see NEHGS Register vol 1:177]

Capt. Daniel Adams, son of Joseph & Margaret (Eames) Adams, b. 3 January 1694 in Menotomy MA (later West Cambridge, now Arlington); lived in the south part of Lincoln MA, then within the limits of Concord MA, on the road from Waltham to Stow, where he d. Feb. 9, 1780, a. 90. He was the son of Joseph, and grandson of John Adams, one of the eight sons of Henry of Quincy. He m. 23 Apr 1715 to Elizabeth Minot, dau of James Minot [36-6]. She b. 29 Jan 1697 and d. Nov. 12, 1764, a 67. [see NEHGS Register 1:176-177]. Daniel Adams and one Ephraim Jones of Concord MA cut a road from Townsend to the Ashuelot River in 1737, and asked the General Court to pay for their work (but they never received anything).
Children of Capt. Daniel & Elizabeth (Minot) Adams:
1. +Daniel Adams, b. 15 Oct 1720; m. Keziah Brooks and two others.
2. Elisabeth Adams, b. 1 Oct 1722; m. Humphrey Barrett 9 Dec 1742
3. Joseph Adams, b. 5 Oct 1724; m. Mary Eveleth of Stow in 1746
4. Rebecca Adams, b. 2 Sep 1727; m. 10 March 1747 to Nathan Brown
5. James Adams, b. 19 March 1732; m1) Keziah Conant; m2) Delia Adams
6. Lydia Adams, b. 1 Sep 1735; m. 26 Feb 1756 to Abel Miles
7. Martha Adams, b. 13 Apr 1738; m. 1 Apr 1760 to Joseph Wellington
8. Mary Adams, b. 18 May 1730; m1) Peter Hubbard; m2) Capt. Timothy Wheeler

Capt. Daniel Adams, b. 15 Oct 1720 Lincoln MA; removed from Lincoln MA, the place of his birth to Townsend MA abt 1742; he d. 10 Oct 1795 in Townsend MA, in his 75th year. He represented the town in General Court, and held many important civil and military offices. He was thrice married, m1) 1 March 1744 to Kesia/Keziah Brooks, dau of Benjamin Brooks of Townsend MA, previously of Concord MA. She d. in childbirth, 21 Aug 1754, having had 6 children, 5 of whom survived her. He m2) 1756 to Mehitable Crosby of Townsend MA by whom he had 10 children. She d. 4 Apr 1783, ae 49. He m3) 30 Jan 1784 to widow Sarah Phelps of Lancaster MA, who survived him. There are 28 lines of poetry on the large slate gravestone, erected at the east side of the old burying-ground, to perpetuate his memory.
Children of Capt. Daniel & Kesia/Keziah (Brooks) Adams:
1. Elizabeth Adams, b. 31 July 1745, d. 1745
2. +Daniel Adams, b. 29 July 1746; m. Lucy Taylor
3. Abner Adams, b. 22 Oct 1748; m1) Mary Sawtell; m2) Sarah Sawtell
4. Rebecca Adams, b. 6 July 1750; m. 1769 James Campbell; resided Brookline NH
5. Benjamin Adams b 15 Oct 1752; m. Mary Stone. He d. Cavendish VT; had 7 ch
6. Ephraim Adams, b 14 Aug 1754; m. Lydia Knowlton; resided Jaffrey NH
Children of Capt. Daniel & Mehitable (Crosby) Adams:
7. Robert Adams, b. 8 Jan 1757, d. 1757
8. Phebe Adams, b. 11 Nov 1757, d. 1757
9. Kesia/Keziah Adams, died a few days after her marriage to John Sherwin
10. Mehetabel/Mehitabel Adams, b. 23 Feb 1761 m. John Smith; resided Brookline NH; had 4 sons, 2 daus
11. Elizabeth Adams, b. 7 June 1763, One source states she d. unm 1782 age 19; a seonc that she m. Joshua Smith of Raby NH, and had issue whose descendants resided in Brookline and Townsend.
12. Mary Adams, b. 23 July 1765; m. 1789, Deacon John Giles. Had 5 children (also 5 ch by a previous wife).
13. James Adams, b. 27 May 1769, d. 1769
14. Phebe Adams, b. 18 Dec 1770/71; m. Solomon Jewett; resided Towsend MA; had issue.
15. James Adams, b. 15 Apr 1773; m. Sybel Gasset; resided Townsend MA; had 3 daughters
16. Joseph Adams, m. Polly Brooks

Daniel Adams, b. 29 July 1746; m. 21 May 1772 to Lydia/Lucy Taylor, dau of Capt Daniel & Sarah Taylor. He d. 10 June 1827 at Keene NH, age 80. She b. abt 28 Oct 1751 and d. 12 Sep. 1836. “He was father to Dr. Daniel Adams of Mont Vernon, author of several valuable school books.”[NEHGS Register 1:260].They lived on the east side of Hathorn’s meadow in Townsend MA. Daniel (the father) was a deacon of the church and justice of the peace.
Children of Daniel & Lydia/Lucy (Taylor) Adams:
1. +Daniel Adams, M.D., b. 9/29 Sep 1773 Towsend MA; m. Nancy Mulliken
2. Joel Adams, b. 19 Jan 1778/79 in Townsend MA; m. 1803 Polly Stone; deacon of the church in Towsend MA.
3. Lydia Adams, b. 15 Oct 1784 in Townsend MA; m. 1808 Asa Kendall of Lunenburg.
4. Jonathan Stow Adams, b. 5 June 1786 in Townsend MA; deacon of the church in Groton MA. He d. 1867, age 81.  His wife Betsey W. Adams d. 1866, age 79.

Dr. Daniel Adams, son of Daniel & Lydia/Lucy (Taylor) Adams, was b. in Townsend, Mass., September 9/29, 1773, graduated at Darmouth College in 1797, and  He studied medicine with Prof. Nathan Smith at its medical school in 1799.  After residing several years at Leominster MA he removed to Boston MA about 1804.  For a period was engaged in publishing an agricultural journal in Boston; came to reside in Mont Vernon New Hampshire in 1813, and was employed in preparing his various publications and in his profession here until his removal to Keene NH, in 1846.  His “Scholar’s Arithmetic,” Adams’ “New” and “Revised” all were in very extensive use for many years.  He wrote and published several pamphlets, along with the “Telecscope” at Mont Vernon and the “Medical and Agricultural Register.” Dr. Adams was very highly esteemed in Mont Vernon, and during his thirty-three years residence here, he wielded a controlling influence in behalf of temperance, education and morality.  In 1839 and 1840 he was a member of the New Hampshire Senate from District 7.  He m. August 17, 1800, Nancy, dau of Dr. Mulliken of Townsend, Mass.  She d. at Keene in 1851.  He d. at Keene, June 8, 1854, aged 90 years, 9 months.
Children of Dr. Daniel & Nancy (Mulliken) Adams:
1. +Rev. Darwin Adams, b. Leominster, Mass., October 10, 1801
2. Arabella Adams, b. Leominster MA, September 9, 1803, d. in infancy
3. Nancy Adams, b. Leominster MA July 7, 1810, d. June 1, 1820
4. +Dr. Daniel Lucius, b. Mont Vernon NH, November 1, 1814
5. +Nancy Ann Adams, b. Mont Vernon NH, December 3, 1821

Rev. Darwin Adams, eldest son of Dr. Daniel & Nancy (Mulliken) Adams, b. Leominster MA, October 10, 1801, graduated at Dartmouth College in Hanover NH in 1824, at Andover [MA] Theological Seminary 1827, m. October 9, 1828, Catherine H. Smith of Hollis N.H., who d. at Wellesley Hills, Mass., July 1897, aged 95 years.  He d. in Groton, Mass., August 16, 1889.
Children of Rev. Darwin & Catherine (Smith) Adams:
1. George Darwin Adams, b. Camden, ME., April 18, 1830, m. Eliza Ann Brown of Ohio, resides at Tanesfield, Ohio
2. +Rev. Daniel Emerson Adams, b. Camden, ME, June 22, 1832.
3. Mary Emelia Adams, b. Alstead, NH April 1, 1835, d. Dunstable,
Mass., July 5, 1855
4. Catharine Lucretia Adams, b. Alstead NH, November 12, 1836, d. Alstead, December 31, 1845.
5. John Smith Adams, b. Alstead NH, October 7, 1839, enlisted in Company F, Sixth N.H. Regiment in 1862 as 2nd Lieutenant, was with Gen. Burnside at Hatteras Inlet, and Roanoke Island, was wounded in the second Bull Run battle, and reported as killed, laid on the field from Thursday until Monday afternoon, and lived to return to his father’s home in Alstead.  He was afterwards Commisary of Stores in Hospitals in Brattleboro, Montpelier, and Bennington, Vt.
Was promoted to Captain.  He was at the time of his death, March 11,
1869, engaged in the wholesale linen business in New York City.
He was in his youth a student at Appleton Academy (McCollom

**Dr. Daniel Lucius Adams**, second son of Dr. & Catherine (Smith) Adams, was b. at Mont Vernon NH, November 1, 1814, graduated at Yale College, 1835; grad Harvard Medical School 1838; practiced medicine New York City; m. Cornelia A. Cook of New York City, March 7, 1861.  He d. at New Haven, Connecticut on  January 3, 1899.  Retiring from medicine in 1865 he moved to Ridgefield CT. There he was a member of the House of Representatives in 1870, president of the Ridgefield Savings Bank, and treasurer of the Ridgefield Library. In 188? they moved to New Haven CT where his sons attended Sheffield Scientific School.
Children of Dr. Daniel L. & Cornelia A. (Cook) Adams:
1. Charles C. Adams, b. Ridgefield, Conn., Aug. 24, 1864, d. September 21, 1864.
2. Catharine Adams, b. Ridgefield, Conn, May 3, 1866, m. April 23, 1896, Dr. William L. Elkin, Professor in Yale University; no children.
3. Mary W. Adams, b. Ridgefield, Conn, October 15, 1869, resided New Haven, Conn; did not marry.
4. Francis “Frank” M. Adams, b. Ridgefield Conn., June 7, 1871, Professor in Yale University; story has it he “drifted away from the family, and nothing was known of him.” Possibly he is the Frank Adams found living in Ridgefield CT in 1930 with wife Helen (age 50) and dau Ann C. (age 18).
5. +Roger Cook Adams, b. Ridgefield, Conn., May 1, 1874, electrician in Buffalo, N.Y. Sep. 23 1918 filled out WWI Draft form, living in Buffalo NY, manager, aluminum castings Co., next of kin wife Jeanette (Keating) Adams.

Nancy Ann Adams, youngest dau of Dr. & Catherine (Smith) Adams, b. Mont Vernon NH December 3, 1821, m. May 18, 1841, William S. Briggs of Keene. She d. February 14, 1868.
Children of William S. & Nancy A. (Adams) BRIGGS:
1. Daniel A. Briggs, d. in infancy
2. William A. Briggs, b. July 31, 1848, m. November 27, 1872,
Emelia F. Whiting of Montpelier, Vt.

Rev. Daniel Emerson Adams, second son of Dr. Darwin Adams, b. Camden, Me., June 22, 1832, graduated Bangor Theological Seminary, was settled over a parish in Wilton, N.H. where he was the beloved pastor of the Congregational Church many years.  He was then called to the pastorate of a church at Wellesley Hills, Mass. He is now (1902) preaching in Mason, N.H.  He was at one time Supt. of Public Schools for Hillsboro’ County, m(1) September 16,
1854, Ellen F. Kingsbury of Keene, who d. at Ashburnham May 21, 1882.  He m(2) Marion E. Center of Wilton, February 28, 1884.
Children of Rev. Daniel E. & Ellen F. (Kingsbury) Adams:
1. Charles Darwin Adams, b. Keene NH, October 21, 1856, m. August 24, 1881, Julia A. Stevens of Wilton, graduated Dartmouth College 1877; was Professor of Greek in Dartmouth College, had  three children.
2. Mary Catherine Adams, b. Wilton NH, April 7, 1863, m. December 4, 1899, Rev. Martin F. Nevis, Pastor Pilgrim Congregational Church, Southboro’ Mass.  1 child.
3. George Wilton Adams, b. Wilton NH, April 27, 1873, m. June 8, 1899, Grace A. Turner of Natick, Mass., had ch., residence Mattapan, Mass.

Roger Cook Adams, son of Dr. Daniel Lucius & Cornelia (Cook) Adams, b. Ridgefield, Conn., May 1, 1874; he married Jeanette Keating; he was an electrician in Buffalo, N.Y.  On Sep. 23 1918 he filled out his WWI Draft form–living in Buffalo NY, manager, aluminum castings Co., next of kin wife Jeanette (Keating) Adams. He wrote a memoir of his father that was not published. It was printed in the New York Times on April 13, 1980 along with a letter to the editor by R.C. Adam’s great grandson Nathan Adams Downey.
1920 United States Federal Census > New York > Erie > Buffalo Ward 25 > 243
Adams, Rodger C Head M W 44 married CT CT NY Electric engineer, casting Co
Adams, Jeanette P.K. wife F W 41 married NY Ire NY
Adams, Anne dau F W 18 single NY CT NY
Adams, Rodger K. son M W 14 single NY
Adams, Daniel P. son M W 11 single NY
1930 United States Federal Census > New York > Erie > Buffalo (Districts 251-352) > District 293
Adams, Roger C. Head $13000 M W 56 married CT NH NY; broker, bonds/stock
Adams, Jeannett K wife F W 52 married NY Ire NY
Adams, Roger K. son M/F W 24 married NY CT NY
Elliott Raymond lodger M W 24 married ? Can-Engl Can-Engl Can-Engl general maid-private family
Elliott, Myrtle lodger F W 22 Can-Eng Can-Eng Can-Eng roller, copper
Children of Roger C. & Jeanette (Keating) Adams:
1. Anne Adams, b. 20 July 1902 at Buffalo NY; m. 15 Jan 1921 at Buffalo NY to Kirby Atterbury, son of George S. Atterbury; They divorced 28 Jan 1929 at Reno, Nevada. He m2) 18 Oct 1929 at New York City to Ruth (King) Dunn, dau of George G. and Jane (Demands) King. He d. 13 Nov 1953 in Enfield CT. She married ?2nd, Maj. Gen. John Max Lentz who d. March 1989 age 93. His obituary lists Kirby Atterbury of Bethel Island California as a step-child. Anne and Kirby Atterbury had one child, Kirby Atterbury, b. 20 Nov 1921 at Holyoke MA and d. 15 Dec 2004 at Bethel Island, Contra Costa, California. He and his wife Renee were owners of Caprice, a restaurant at Tiburon overlooking San Francisco Bay.
2. Roger Keating Adams, b. 19 July 1905 NY; d. 18 Oct 1991 NY; resided 46 Berkley Place, Buffalo, Erie Co NY; m. Martha Roberts Sidway, dau of Frank St. John & Amelia Minerva (Roberts) Sidway. She b. 1 Oct 1905. Had at least one child, a daughter.
3. Daniel P. Adams, b. 6 May 1908 Bethlehem NY; d. 11 March 1989 Wilton, Fairfield Co CT; m. Adelaide B. “Adela” –.  She was born 28 July 1907, and died April 1986 in CT. He was VP of Marine Midland Bank. Resided Reservoir Road, Wilton CT in 1952. In 1963 living at 39 Old Huckleberry Hill Road. Had ch [may be more]: Nancy J.[student in 1963]

Information from a web site “History & Genealogy of Mont Vernon, New Hampshire” located at

1) HISTORY of the TOWN of MONT VERNON, New Hampshire;Blanchard Printing Co., Boston, Mass. 1907

2) Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: Town History to 1878. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2001. Original data: Ithamar B. Sawtelle, comp. History of the Town of Townsend, Middlesex County, MA, from the Grant of Hathorn’s Farm, 1676-1878.Fitchburg, MA: Press of Blanchard & Brown, 1878.

3) NEGHS Register [see references]


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