Adam McCulloch1

b. 1742, d. May 1812
Adam McCulloch|b. 1742\nd. May 1812|p8585.htm|Hugh MacCulloch||p8587.htm|Margaret MacKay||p8588.htm|||||||||||||

3rd great-grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
5th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
     Adam McCulloch was born in 1742 in Dornoch, Sutherlandshire, Scotland.2,3,4 He was the son of Hugh MacCulloch and Margaret MacKay. He married Louisa Brown, daughter of Andrew Brown and Elizabeth Harding, on 8 February 1768 in Kennebunk, York County, Maine, in a ceremony performed by the Rev. Daniel Little of Kennebunk.2,3,4,5 He died in May 1812 in Arundel, York County, Maine.6,3,4
     Note: Concerning the difference in spelling of the surname between father and son, "Mc" is always an abbreviation for "Mac" which means "son of." "Mac" is the usual form used in Scottish records. The name is pronounced as if the last letter was "k". Other than their seven known children, Adam and Louisa may have had a daughter, Hannah.3

     Adam McCulloch immigrated in 1766 to Cape Porpus, York County, Maine. In Scotland, his father was a farmer who rented land from the Duke of Sutherland. He was able to educate his sons, who were known as "prettymen," meaning strong and well-built. When the duke decided to turn the land used by the family into a vast shooting range, Adam and his brothers decided to sail to America. Alexander stayed in Montreal, Adam settled in Maine, and another one went farther south. Adam chose the area of Maine called Cape Porpoise (a group of 16 islands) because it so closely resembled their own harbor in Scotland. Cape Porpoise was discovered in 1602, but named by Capt. John Smith in 1614, who made a trading voyage to Maine. As he was surveying the coast he saw a shoal of porpoises in the vicinity of this cape and identified it as Cape Porkpiscis. The spelling was first changed in the county records beginning in 1672. This land encompassed what was to be known as Arundel, Wells, Kennebunkport and Kennebunk. The name Kennebunk in the local Indian language means the place "where he thanked him" and was spelled "Kenibonke" in early county records. Arundel was named after the Earl of Arundel, one of the original proprietors of New England. The town was named Kennebunkport in 1828. Adam went up the Kennebunk River about two miles and found a suitable location to build a small house. He taught school there and later added a larger addition facing the road, which created an "ell", similar to many of the other structures in the area. He was hired as a schoolteacher by the town for three years, beginning in 1767. He acquired enough to begin a trading business the following year. This business was carried out behind his residence at the bank of the river.

     These were trying times to raise a family and carry on a trading business, although Adam remained loyal to England despite the fact that it was the aristocracy in Scotland that first deprived him of his homeland. During the time leading up to the American Revolution, every man who did not come out openly in opposition to the English government was regarded with suspicion. This suspicion was so pervasive that Adam was compelled to issue the following statement:
     Whereas I, the subscriber, have, by some inadvertence, been so unhappy as to fall under the displease of the good people of this place, and many things have been laid to my charge of an inimical nature to the just rights and liberties of the good people of this country. Some of which I am not guilty of, I do now publicly declare that so far as I have been guilty in words or actions of offending the same in manners of a civil nature (more especially in regard to the unhappy contest now prvailing between Great Britain and these colonies) that I am heartily sorry, and do now humbly ask for the forgiveness of all the friends of America for the same, and do promise that I will not offend in like manner again, but will do all that lays in my power for the defense of the rights and privileges of this country, and shall ever esteem it my greatest happiness of a temporal nature to enjoy the favor and friendship with the people with whom I now dwell, and will, for the future, pay due obedience to the lawful authority and advise of Providence, and determine to stand or fall with the fate of the same, heartily wishing that every resolution and determination for the good of the public may have its desired effect.
Despite this measure of good faith, Adam continued to be labeled a Tory because he had allegedly kept British spies hidden in his home in what was to be called the "Spy Room." This hidden windowless room could not be detected from the outside. It was rediscovered when the older portion of the house (the "old school room") was remodeled. Later he was to grow in favor with his neighbors as a just, generous and witty person, ever retaining the marked accent befitting his northern Scotland upbringing.

     Naturally, Adam's riverbank trading was contingent upon the shipping and shipbuilding which was carried out along the Kennebunk River and he, himself, was beginning to put his profits into shipping. Officially ship building was introduced on the river in 1773, when Waldo Emerson commenced the first brig. A small vessel was built earlier in 1766 on the section of the river called the Landing. The Landing received it name from the lumber, cut from logs three to four feet in diameter, that was "landed" after it was floated or rafted down from the sawmills on the upper Kennebunk River. The Landing was actually one street, roughly paralleling the river. Its boundaries were marked by the Nathaniel Gilpatrick yard upriver and by Durrell's Bridge downriver. It consisted of a 1.1 mile stretch of winding river. From 1766 to 1867, more than 20 shipbuilding firms crowded the banks of the Landing. By the end of the Revolutionary War, Adam had become a shipbuilder and ship owner.

     The first vessels were all intended for the West India trade but many were either lost or seized. Beginning in 1775, American ships and sailors had to start protecting themselves. Sometimes for days at a time, privateers hung off Cape Porpoise harrying the coasters. Cut off from the outside foodstuffs by these trade interruptions, little communities, such as Kennebunk, were sometimes in danger of starvation. Some even sent boat expeditions up the river to capture or burn ships. In 1794, a brig of Adam's was burnt while lying at the wharf. Three years later, a brig of his named Betsy was unlawfully taken.

     Both Adam and Louisa died the night of 2 May 1812. One died before midnight and the other after. They were buried in the center of a small unmarked cemetery on Arundel Road. The grave is marked with a large vault capped by a marble top on which is inscribed the following:
This monument sacred to the name of McCulloch, Erected August 1805 by Adam McCulloch who was born in Dornoch in the shire of Sutherland Scotland Anno Domini 1742
     Although Louisa McCulloch died at the same time as Adam, he specified in his will, written two years before their deaths, that she should receive that land in Arundel, the store, the landing and wharf in Wells; along with the goods in the store and the pew in the meeting house he had rented. She was to support their grandson, Roderick Adams, who was orphaned at the death of their daughter Elizabeth McCulloch Adams in 1810. To his daughter Margaret Stone Bickford, he gave $600; to his grandson Roderick Adams, he left $2,000; and to his granddaughter, Arabella Merrill, he left $100. To his son Hugh, he left his residence.7,3,4

Additional Data

Adam and Louisa McCulloch renewed their baptismal covenant 7 July 1771 at Church of Christ, Arundel, York County, Maine.8

Adam McCulloch appeared on the 1790 U.S. Census in Arundel, York County, Maine. In his household were two males under 16; one male 16 and up; four females.9Click to view image

Adam McCulloch's mother-in-law and father-in-law, Elizabeth and Andrew Brown, deeded him in 1793,Cape Island, Neck Island and the family burying ground in Arundel, York County, Maine.10

Adam McCollick appeared on the 1800 U.S. Census in Arundel, York County, Maine. In his household were one male 10-16; one male 45 and up; one female 10-16; two females 16-26; one female 45 and up.11Click to view image

Adam McColloch appeared on the 1810 U.S. Census in Arundel, York County, Maine. In his household were one male under 10; one male 45 and up; one female 10-16; one female 16-26; one female 45 and up.12Click to view image

Children of Adam McCulloch and Louisa Brown


  1. [S834] Susan Guckenberg, "Hugh McCulloch: His Early Years in New England and Migration to Fort Wayne," Old Fort News, Vol. 50:2 (Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne Historical Society, Sept. 15, 1987).
  2. [S834] Guckenberg, "Hugh McCulloch: His Early Years", p. 9.
  3. [S835] Lynn Frye Sherrill, Hugh McCulloch, Forgotten Financier (Muncie, IN: a thesis submitted to the Graduate Dept. Ball State University, June 1966), p. 8.
  4. [S836] Charles Bradbury, History of Kennebunkport, from its First Discovery by Bartholomew Gosnold, 1602, to a.d. 1837 (Kennebunk, Maine: J. K. Remich, (1837) 1992), p. 262.
  5. [S903] Walter Goodwin Davis, "Brown [Michael], of Scarborough and Arundel," Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis (1885-1966): A Reprinting in Alphabetical Order by Surname, of the Sixteen Multi-Ancestor Compendia, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), Vol. 1, 236, originally published in The Ancestry of Sarah Miller (1939).
  6. [S834] Guckenberg, "Hugh McCulloch: His Early Years", p. 11.
  7. [S834] Guckenberg, "Hugh McCulloch: His Early Years", pp. 9-11.
  8. [S761] The New England Historical and Genealogical Register; (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001), (Orig. Pub. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 148 vols., 1847-1994) 107: 273.
  9. [S826] Adam McCulloch household, 1790 U.S. Census, Arundel, York County, Maine, page 280; National Archives micropublication M637, roll 2.
  10. [S903] Walter Goodwin Davis, "Brown [Michael], of Scarborough and Arundel," Massachusetts and Maine Families, Vol. 1, citing York Deeds, 57: 29, originally published in The Ancestry of Sarah Miller (1939).
  11. [S827] Adam McCollick household, 1800 U.S. Census, Arundale [sic], York County, Maine, page 685; National Archives micropublication M32, roll 8.
  12. [S828] Adam McColloch household, 1810 U.S. Census, Arundel, York County, Maine, page 883; National Archives micropublication M252, roll 12.
  13. [S834] Guckenberg, "Hugh McCulloch: His Early Years", p. 10.
  14. [S835] Lynn Frye Sherrill, Hugh McCulloch, Forgotten Financier, p. 9.