Show ContentsGadston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gadston family

The surname Gadston 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 Gadston family

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

Gadston Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Gadsden, Gaddesden, Gadson, Gadsdon, Gadsden, Gadesdon and many more.

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

Migration of the Gadston family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gadston or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  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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