Gadd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gadd family

The surname Gadd was first found in Hertfordshire at either Great Gaddesden of Little Gaddesden, parishes, in the union of Berkhampstead, hundred of Dacorum. Both parishes take their name from the River Gad [1] and were known as Gatesden in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2]

Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Gaddesden, held by Edward of Salisbury, a Norman noble, who was recorded in the Domesday Book.

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, records of the family were widespread: Audufus de Gatesden, Bedfordshire; Agace de Gatesdon, Devon; Richard de Gatisdene, Buckinghamshire; and John de Gattsdene, Norfolk. [3] John de Gatesden was also listed in Norfolk a little later on. [4]

The variant Gadd also hails from Hertfordshire where the first record was of Adam Gad in the Pipe Rolls of 1188. Almost a century later, Lucy la Gadde was registered in Warwickshire in 1277 and later again, Robert Gad was registered in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327. [5]

Early History of the Gadd family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gadd research. Another 55 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1325, 1280, 1361, 1280, 1299, 1305 and 1307 are included under the topic Early Gadd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gadd Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Gadsden, Gaddesden, Gadson, Gadsdon, Gadsden, Gadesdon and many more.

Early Notables of the Gadd family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John of Gaddesden (1280?-1361), an early English physician, born about 1280, and wrote in the early part of the fourteenth century. "He took his name from Gaddesden on the borders of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, where an ancient house, opposite that gate of Ashridge Park which is nearest to the church of Little Gaddesden, is shown as his. He began to study medicine about...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gadd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gadd migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Gadd or a variant listed above:

Gadd Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Gadd, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [6]
  • Thomas Gadd, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [6]
Gadd Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nath Gadd, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [6]
Gadd Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Gadd, who landed in New York in 1827 [6]
  • Charles Gadd, aged 28, who landed in America from Manchester, in 1899
Gadd Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Cuthbert Gadd, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Manchester, in 1903
  • Cuthbert James Gadd, aged 29, who settled in America from England, in 1904
  • Dora Mary Gadd, aged 30, who settled in America from England, in 1904
  • Elijah Fred Gadd, aged 21, who immigrated to America from Bristol, in 1905
  • Dora Mary Gadd, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States from Manchester, in 1906
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gadd migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gadd Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • George Reginald Gadd, aged 28, who settled in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, in 1916

Australia Gadd migration to Australia +

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

Gadd Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Gadd, English convict who was convicted in Lewes, Sussex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [7]
  • Edward Gadd, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cromwell" in 1849 [8]
  • Walter Gadd, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Candahar" in 1851 [9]

New Zealand Gadd 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:

Gadd Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alfred Gadd, (b. 1826), aged 36, British gardener travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Mrs. Harriet Gadd, (b. 1829), aged 33, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Mr. Alfred Gadd, (b. 1851), aged 11, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Miss Harriet Gadd, (b. 1853), aged 9, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Miss Emma Gadd, (b. 1858), aged 4, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gadd (post 1700) +

  • Steve Gadd (b. 1945), American session and studio drummer
  • Trevor Gadd (b. 1952), English two-time silver medalist track athlete at the 1978 Commonwealth Games
  • Stephen Gadd (b. 1964), English operatic baritone
  • Roslyn Regina Gadd (b. 1957), birth name Kate (Katherine) Harvey-Wallis, Australian award winning mezzo classical vocalist, poet, writer and actress
  • Knut Gustaf Gadd (1916-1995), Swedish water polo player who competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics
  • Renee Gadd (1908-2003), Argentine-born, British film actress
  • Rochelle Gadd (b. 1980), British actress

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Lott Gadd, English Barber from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 14 [11]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bangalore
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CROMWELL 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Cromwell.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANDAHAR 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Candahar.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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