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

Origins Available: Borderlands, English, Irish

Where did the English Adams family come from? What is the English 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 earliest origins of the name Adams date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name is derived from the given name Adam, which is itself derived from the Latin name Adamus which means earth.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Adams include Adam, Adams, MacAdam, MacAdams, MacCaw and others.

First found in Annandale where they held a family seat at Kynemund.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Adams research. Another 371 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1329, 1460, 1281, 1327, 1891, 1585, 1661, 1656, 1586, 1667, 1654, 1655, 1656, 1658, 1626, 1698, 1651, 1719, 1685, 1719, 1695, 1697, 1689, 1748, 1662, 1720, 1712, 1720 and are included under the topic Early Adams History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 191 words(14 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 Adams family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Adams or a variant listed above:

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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  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  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 17 April 2015 at 09:39.

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