Rope & Twine Manufacturer
John Adams was born in Yeovil in 1824 (there were at least four boys named John Adams born in Yeovil around that time) the son of Henry Adams and his wife Sarah. By the time of the 1841 census his father had died and he was listed as living in Back Street (today's South Street) with his widowed mother Sarah aged 41, who was listed as a sewer, his older sister Charlotte also a sewer and his four younger siblings; Walter aged 16, James aged 13 and Sarah aged 11, all three listed as glovers, and finally his youngest brother Henry aged seven. John listed his occupation as a twine spinner. From its position in the census the family's dwelling was close to Bond Street.
In the summer of 1846 John married Susan, or Susannah, (some ten years his elder) at Yeovil and in the census of 1851 John and Sarah together with their one-year-old son Henry were listed living on the south side of Huish, about halfway between Waterloo Lane and Wellington Street. John listed his occupation as a rope maker while Susan listed hers as a gloveress. By coincidence lodging next door was 74 year old rope maker Samuel Trask. By the time of the 1861 census the family had moved to Back Kingston (today's Higher Kingston). As well as Henry, John and Susan now had two daughters; eight-year-old Ellen and five-year-old Jane. John again listed his occupation as rope & twine maker.
The next census, in 1871, saw the family move yet again this time to Middle Street. From the location in the census they appear to have been living on the south side of Middle Street, between Bond Street and the Triangle. At this time both 44-year-old John and his son, 21-year-old Henry, gave their occupations as rope maker. The 1875 edition of the post office directory listed John as a Rope & Twine Manufacturer of Middle Street. Although the family were living in Middle Street it is most unlikely that there rope and twine works was located there.
The 1881 census listed their home as 104 Middle Street and John was living there with Susan, now listed as Susannah, and their daughter Sarah. John listed his occupation as 'Rope Manufacturer, employing one man & 5 boys'. In 1882 Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser listed John (albeit calling him Joseph) as a Rope Maker at 104 Middle Street. In 1891 John was still listed as a Twine Manufacturer although by this time he was aged 67 and Susannah was aged 76. They were still at 104 Middle Street with their daughter Sarah who was listed as her father's assistant.
Susannah died in the winter of 1891 aged 77 and John Adams died in Yeovil during the winter of 1896, aged 73. Their son Henry moved into 104 Middle Street and took over the business. He was listed in Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser as a Twine Maker at the address from 1898 onwards.