Show ContentsAdrian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Adrian surname lived in the region of Adria. "This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Adrian.' The form Adrain is an old one." [1]

Early Origins of the Adrian family

The surname Adrian was first found in Middlesex, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Pope Adrian IV (d. 1159), was "the only Englishman who ever sat in the chair of St. Peter. His early history is obscure. His name is said to have been Nicholas Breakspear." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John Adrien as holding lands in Suffolk at that time and the Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London list John Adrian as Sheriff of London in 1258. [1]

Early History of the Adrian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Adrian research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1232, 1258, 1277, 1295, 1565, 1889, 1250 and 1775 are included under the topic Early Adrian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Adrian 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 Adrian 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. The variations of the name Adrian include: Adrian, Adrien, Adrain, Awdryan, Adriance and others.

Early Notables of the Adrian family (pre 1700)

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

Adrian Ranking

In the United States, the name Adrian is the 5,972nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3] However, in France, the name Adrian is ranked the 6,561st most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Adrian family to Ireland

Some of the Adrian family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 79 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 Adrian 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 Adrian or a variant listed above:

Adrian Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christian Adrian, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1752 [5]
  • Sybriant Adrian went to New York in 1759
Adrian Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • P. Adrian went to Baltimore in 1820
  • Eliese Adrian, aged 25, who arrived in New York, NY in 1852 [5]
  • Heinr Adrian, aged 23, who landed in New York, NY in 1852 [5]
  • Christ Adrian, aged 21, who arrived in New York, NY in 1852 [5]
  • Bernhard Adrian, who landed in Texas in 1854 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Adrian Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Wilhelm Adrian, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1910 [5]

Australia Adrian migration to Australia +

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

Adrian Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Adrian, aged 20, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "British Empire" [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Adrian (post 1700) +

  • Nathan Ghar-jun Adrian (b. 1988), American competitive swimmer, five-time Olympic gold medalist
  • Jack Adrian, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1964 [7]
  • Richard Hume Adrian FRS (1927-1995), 2nd Baron Adrian, a British academic and peer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1985-1987), Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge (1981-1992)
  • Edgar Douglas Adrian (1889-1977), 1st Baron Adrian, British physiologist, who shared a 1932 Nobel Prize, Chancellor of Cambridge University
  • Henry Adrian Garrett Jr. (1943-2021), nicknamed "Pat" and "Smokey", an American Major League Baseball player and coach
  • Paul Adrian Devine (1951-2020), American baseball pitcher who played seven seasons in Major League Baseball
  • Anthony Adrian Falconer (b. 1804), 8th Lord Falconer of Halkerton, 7th Earl of Kintore in 1778
  • Dr. David Adrian Sanders M.B.E., T.D., British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to charity and to the community in Hampshire and Sussex [8]
  • Mark Adrian Collett (b. 1980), British political activist, former chairman of the Young BNP
  • Harold Adrian Linstone (1924-2016), German-American mathematician

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRITISH EMPIRE 1850. Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, on Facebook