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Eliza (Bell) Adams


Mrs. Eliza Bell Adams was born on June 15th, 1845. She was the daughter of Robert and Fanny (Lee) Bell, a free Black couple. Mr. Robert Bell had been free as early as 1830 and living near Manchester in Carroll County Maryland. In 1850, Ms. Adams is living with her parents, a 70-year-old man who might be her grandfather, and a 91-year-old woman named Mary Bell, who might be her great-grandmother.

On July 13th in 1866, she married Private William Adams who had only recently returned from the Civil War. They had seven children, of which only three (one son and two daughters) lived to adulthood. She kept house while he worked at various jobs in and around Westminster.

Following her husband’s death in 1914, she lived with her daughter, Grace, and her family. Towards the end of her life, she went completely blind. She received her husband’s pension, amounting to $40 each month.

Mrs. Eliza Adams died in the winter of 1930, of heart disease. She was buried in an unmarked grave, presumably near her husband, in Ellsworth Cemetery, outside of Westminster, Maryland.

Maryland State Archives

Carroll County Times, 19 Dec 1930