Show ContentsGadsby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Gadsby begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the parish of Gaddesby, in Leicestershire. In the Domesday Book, [1] the name appeared as Gadesbi from the Old Norse byname Gaddr which meant "Sting." [2]

Early Origins of the Gadsby family

The surname Gadsby was first found in Leicestershire at Gaddesby, a parish, in the union of Melton-Mowbray, hundred of East Goscote. [3] Gaddesby Hall was built on the site of an earlier house, was surrounded by a moat and dated back to 1390. The present hall was rebuilt in 1744 but suffered neglect through World War II. In the 1950s, it was again renovated to its present state.

While there is no doubt of the place of origin of the name, we must look to Essex for the first entry. There in the Feet of Fines of 1361, we found William de Gadesby. [4]

Early History of the Gadsby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gadsby research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1842, 1858, 1862, 1870, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1875 and 1876 are included under the topic Early Gadsby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gadsby Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Gadsby has undergone many spelling variations, including Gadsby, Godsby, Gadsbury, Gadaby, Gatesby, Gatsby and many more.

Early Notables of the Gadsby family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Henry Gabdsby, son of a musician, born at Hackney Dec. 15, 1842, entered St. Paul's choir in 49, at the same time with Dr. Stainer, and remained till 1858. The instruction in harmony which he and Stainer, as an exception due to their musical faculty, received from Mr. W. Bayley, the then master of...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gadsby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gadsby migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gadsby were among those contributors:

Gadsby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Gadsby, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Tho Gadsby, aged 19, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [5]
Gadsby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Gadsby, who settled in Maryland in 1774
  • Ralph Gadsby was recorded in Maryland in 1775
Gadsby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry, John, John William, and Thomas Gadsby all, who arrived in Philadelphia in the 1840's

Australia Gadsby migration to Australia +

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

Gadsby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gadsby, British convict who was convicted in Derby, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Gadsby, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Hannah Gadsby, aged 14, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Stamboul"

New Zealand Gadsby 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:

Gadsby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Gadsby, aged 27, a shepherd, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • Jane J. Gadsby, aged 25, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • Eliza Gadsby, aged 7 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Gadsby (post 1700) +

  • Gordon Gadsby, American Minister of Defence Research, Washington
  • William Gadsby (1773-1844), American hymn writer and Baptist pastor
  • Matt Gadsby, English professional footballer
  • William Alexander Gadsby (1927-2016), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey defenceman who played from 1946 to 1966
  • Jonathan Ernest "Jon" Gadsby QSM (1953-2015), New Zealand television comedian and writer

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022). on Facebook