Show ContentsAdolf History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Adolf is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It is derived from the Old German personal name Adalwuf, which is composed of the elements "adal," meaning "noble," and "wulf," meaning "wolf."

Early Origins of the Adolf family

The surname Adolf was first found in Kent, where the Adolf family was anciently seated as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. However, many Saxon surnames survived, and the family name Adolf was first referenced in the 13th century when the family held estates in that shire.

Early History of the Adolf family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Adolf research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Adolf History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Adolf Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Adolf are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Adolf include: Edolphe, Edolph, Edolp, Adolphe, Adolph, Adolf, Edolf, Edulf, Adulf and many more.

Early Notables of the Adolf family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Adolf Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Adolf migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Adolf or a variant listed above:

Adolf Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Fred Adolf, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1802
  • M Adolf, aged 29, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [1]
  • Daniel Adolf, aged 45, who landed in South Dakota in 1889 [1]
  • Eva Adolf, aged 62, who arrived in South Dakota in 1889 [1]
  • Friedrich Adolf, aged 20, who landed in South Dakota in 1889 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Adolf (post 1700) +

  • Richard Adolf Bloch (1926-2004), American entrepreneur, and philanthropist, co-founder with his brother Henry of H&R Block
  • Walter Adolf Sonnenberg (b. 1921), American academic, Dean of New College, Florida, the business manager of the American Physiology Society, lieutenant commander in the army, and was decorated with a Bronze Star
  • Gustav Adolf Hinke (1844-1893), German classical oboist, born in Dresden
  • Gustaf Adolf Boltenstern Sr. (1861-1935), Swedish dressage rider and silver medal in dressage at the 1912 Summer Olympics, father of two-time Olympic champion Gustaf Adolf Boltenstern Jr
  • Gustaf Adolf Boltenstern Jr. (1904-1995), Swedish dressage rider, four-time Olympic medalist winning two gold medals in 1952 and 1956
  • Alvin Adolf Holmes (1939-2020), American politician, Member of the Alabama House of Representatives (1974-2018)
  • Peter Adolf Serkin (1947-2020), American Grammy Award winning classical pianist
  • Sir Claus Adolf Moser (1922-2015), Baron Moser, German professor of Social Statistics, the director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, head of the Government Statistical Service, Chancellor of the University of Keele, and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was awarded the Ordre national du Merite in 1976, the Commander's Cross in 1986, and the Order of Merit from West Germany in the same year
  • Gustaf Adolf Olson (1883-1966), Swedish Olympic gold medalist for fencing at the 1908 games
  • Gustaf Adolf Jonsson (1879-1949), Swedish winner of a gold, sliver, and bronze Olympic medals for shooting at 1908, 1912, and 1920 games

  1. 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) on Facebook