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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Borderlands, English, Irish

Where did the Irish Adams family come from? What is the Irish Adams family crest and coat of arms? When did the Adams family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Adams family history?

The old Irish name Adams and its variants are tied to the Anglo-Saxon "Adam," a given name which is itself derived from the Latin name "Adamus," meaning "earth."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Adam, Adams, McAdam, MacAdam, MacCaw, MacCoddan and many more.

First found in many counties, and in all different corners of Ireland. Although most of the early records of Irish names have been lost, placenames such as Ballymacadam near Tralee, Castemacadam, Cadamstwon in County Kildare, and Adamstown in six different counties, are a testament to how widespread this name was in early times. The earliest recorded instance of the name seems to be of James, son of Thomas McAdam, who was among those a list that Lord Fermoy submitted to the Earl of Essex on promise of pardon as provision to his entering into rebellion, dated 21 August 1599.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Adams research. Another 355 words(25 lines of text) covering the years 1641, 1801, 1808, 1861, and 1895 are included under the topic Early Adams History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 30 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Adams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Adams Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Captain Adams, who landed in Virginia in 1609
  • Mr. Adams, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Dorothe Adams, aged 24, landed in New England in 1635
  • Dorothie Adams, aged 24, arrived in America in 1635
  • Dorothy A Adams, who arrived in New England in 1635


Adams Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Adams, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Ebenezer Adams, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Benjamin Adams, who arrived in Georgia in 1738
  • Anthony Adams, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745
  • Samuel Adams, who landed in Long Island in 1750


Adams Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Adams, who landed in America in 1802
  • Archebald Adams, aged 12, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • John Adams, aged 15, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Mary Adams, aged 10, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Charles L Adams, aged 22, landed in North Carolina in 1812


Adams Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • John Adams was a planter of St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1703
  • Mr. Andrew Adams U.E., United Empire Loyalist who settled in Edwardsburgh [Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal], Ontario c. 1783 he served as part of the King's Rangers Regiment
  • Lt. Gideon Adams U.E., United Empire Loyalist who settled in Canada c. 1783 he served as Part of the Loyal Rangers, Jessup's Corps


Adams Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Cpt. Samuel Adams U.E. (b. 1730) born in Stratford, Connecticut, USA, United Empire Loyalist from Arlington, Vermont, USA who settled in Eastern District, Montreal, then Lot 7, Concession II, Oxford Township, near Johnstown in 1805 , he served under General Burgoyne, he died in 1810 and is buried in North Channel Cemetery, Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal, Leeds and Grenville, Ontario
  • Daniel Adams, who landed in Canada in 1830
  • George Adams, aged 19, a gentleman, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
  • Maria Adams, aged 25, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast
  • Robert Adams, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Silestria" from Belfast


Adams Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Adams, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • James Adams, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Adams, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Thomas Adams, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Adams, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Adams Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Adams landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Alex Percy Adams landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • H H Adams landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
  • Henry Adams, aged 21, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • S A Adams landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1844


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  • Charles Francis Adams Jr. (1835-1915), American lawyer, railroad expert and historian, President of Union Pacific 1884-90
  • Ansel Easton Adams (1902-1984), American photographer and environmentalist, best known for his black-and-white photographs of the American West and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Charles Kendall Adams (1835-1902), American educator, president of Cornell University (1885-1892)
  • President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), American politician, 6th US President
  • Herbert Baxter Adams (1850-1901), American historian and educator
  • Walter Sydney Adams (1876-1956), American astronomer
  • Rex Adams (b. 1941), American Rhodes Scholar and former professor and dean at Duke University
  • Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams (1922-2003), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Don Adams (1923-2005), triple Emmy Award-winning American actor, comedian, and director best known as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) in the TV situation comedy Get Smart
  • Edie Adams (1927-2008), American singer, stage, television, and film actress and comedienne

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  • Adams Family Records: A Genealogical and Biographical History of All Branches of the Adams Family by J. T. Adams.
  • Adams, an American Dynasty by Francis Russell.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In cruce salus
Motto Translation: In the cross is salvation.

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  11. ...

The Adams Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Adams Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 March 2015 at 09:55.

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