Show ContentsAbrams History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the Abrams family name begins among the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Abrams name is derived from the name Abraham. The name means chief (or father) of a multitude and exalted father.

Early Origins of the Abrams family

The surname Abrams was first found in Balfeth, in Scotland, in 1163, where Adam Abraham, Bishop of Dunblain, held extensive lands. Further south in Lancashire, the township of Abram was home to another branch of the family. "This township was originally called Adburgham, and afterwards Abraham, and gave name to an ancient family of landowners, of whom Gilbert de Abram and John Abraham are mentioned in the reigns of Henry IV. and Henry V. There are some ancient seats, among which is Abram Hall, a moated brick mansion existing since the time of Henry VI." [1]

Early History of the Abrams family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Abrams research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1672, 1689, 1672 and are included under the topic Early Abrams History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abrams Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Abrams has appeared Abraham, Abram, Abrams, Abrahams and others.

Early Notables of the Abrams family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Abrams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Abrams Ranking

In the United States, the name Abrams is the 1,369th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Abrams family to Ireland

Some of the Abrams family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Abrams migration to the United States +

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Abrams:

Abrams Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jim Abrams, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [3]
  • John Abrams, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 [3]
Abrams Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Abrams, who settled in Maryland in 1733
  • Jacob Abrams, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1786 [3]
  • Robert Abrams, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [3]
Abrams Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Morris Abrams, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • A Abrams, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • S Abrams, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • John Charles Abrams, who landed in Mississippi in 1852 [3]
Abrams Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Myer Abrams, who landed in Mississippi in 1903 [3]

Australia Abrams migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Abrams Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Abrams, British Convict who was convicted in Norfolk, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • William Abrams, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Brankenmore" in 1846 [5]
  • Caroline Abrams, aged 32, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [6]

New Zealand Abrams migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Abrams Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Ann Abrams, (b. 1836), aged 24, British housemaid travelling from London aboard the ship "Gananoque" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 9th May 1860 [7]
  • George Abrams, aged 19, a farmer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "India" in 1875 [7]
  • Mr. Jonas Abrams, (b. 1847), aged 29, Cornish labourer departing on 26th February 1876 aboard the ship "Bebington" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 15th July 1876 [8]
  • Jonas Abrams, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1876

Contemporary Notables of the name Abrams (post 1700) +

  • General Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. (1914-1974), American Commander of forces in Vietnam and two-time winner of the Army Distinguished Service Cross, eponym of the M1 Abrams tank [9]
  • Leonard Abrams (1954-2023), American journalist and founder of the East Village Eye
  • Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017), born Richard Lewis Abrams, an American educator, administrator, composer, arranger, clarinetist, cellist, and jazz pianist
  • Colonel Abrams (1949-2016), American musician, singer, songwriter, dancer and actor
  • Dan Abrams (b. 1966), American television host, legal commentator, current co-anchor of Nightline
  • Talbert "Ted" Abrams (1895-1990), American aerial photographer and aviator, founder of The Abrams Air Craft Corporation in Lansing, Michigan in 1937
  • Adrian Glenn "A.J." Abrams Jr. (b. 1986), American professional basketball player
  • Lester Abrams (b. 1945), American singer, songwriter, musician and producer
  • Meyer "Mike" Howard Abrams (b. 1912), American literary critic
  • Aaron Abrams (b. 1978), Canadian Comedy Award winning actor
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Mark Edward Abrams (1966-1985), American Private 1st Class from Rhodell, West Virginia, USA who died in the Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash [10]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Robert G Abrams (b. 1917), English Cook serving for the Royal Navy from Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [11]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Thomas Abrams (1878-1912), aged 33, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [12]

Suggested Readings for the name Abrams +

  • The Abrams Family Genealogy, 1745-1979 by George Carter Abrams.
  • The Ancestors of Our Children (and Cousins, Too) by Maynard Abrams.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRANKENMORE 1846. Retrieved from
  6. South Australian Register Thursday 29th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Trafalgar 1854. Retrieved
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  9. Creighton Abrams. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Creighton Abrams. Retrieved from
  10. American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from
  11. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  12. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook