Gadsden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gadsden family

The surname Gadsden 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 Gadsden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gadsden 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 Gadsden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gadsden Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gadsden, Gaddesden, Gadson, Gadsdon, Gadsden, Gadesdon and many more.

Early Notables of the Gadsden 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 Gadsden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gadsden migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Gadsden or a variant listed above were:

Gadsden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Percy Gadsden, aged 18, who landed in America from London, in 1892
  • Phoebe Gadsden, aged 61, who immigrated to America, in 1895
Gadsden Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • George Gadsden, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1903
  • Maud Margaret Gadsden, aged 26, who settled in America from London, in 1903
  • Muriel Gladys Gadsden, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Heniel Hempstead, in 1904
  • Wm. Douglas Gadsden, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Heniel Hempstead, in 1904
  • Arthur Gadsden, aged 35, who landed in America from Leamington, England, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gadsden (post 1700) +

  • Oronde Benjamin Gadsden (b. 1971), former professional American football player
  • James Gadsden (1788-1858), American diplomat, soldier and businessman, eponym of the Gadsden Purchase
  • Sir Peter Drury Haggerston Gadsden GBE, AC, JP (1929-2006), Canadian-born, British chartered engineer and politician, 652nd Lord Mayor of London in 1979 and 1980
  • Janice Gadsden Pendarvis, American singer, songwriter, and voiceover artist


  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)


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