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Surname Adams - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'A'

An Exciting Journey through Time and DNA: Unveiling the Origins and History of the Adams Family

Delving into my ancestral roots through iGENEA's DNA analysis transformed my understanding of the history and origin of my surname, Adams. The journey across time and geography was a thrilling uncovering of complex lineages, challenging my assumptions about my ancestry and highlighting the expanses of my familial history.

L. Adams

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Adams: What does the surname Adams mean?

The surname Adams is of English origin and its underlying meaning can be traced back to the biblical figure Adam, who was the first man created by God according to the Christian Bible. Thus, the last name Adams literally translates to "Son of Adam". In Hebrew terms, the name "Adam" means “man” or "to be red” referring to the ruddy color of human skin. It could also be symbolic of the Earth, as the Bible narrates that Adam was made from the "dust of the ground". Over the centuries, Adams has been a prominent surname across England, Scotland, and Ireland. In the modern era, it's recognized worldwide due to notable figures like the U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as renowned photographer Ansel Adams.

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Adams: Where does the name Adams come from?

The surname Adams is of English origin and it evolved from the Hebrew personal name Adam, which was often given in honor of the biblical figure. In respect of this connotation, the name is derived from the Hebrew word 'Adam', meaning 'man'. It was first used in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The patronymic form (meaning "son of Adam") became popular, leading to many variations, including Adams.

Adams is a common surname in English-speaking countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. As per U.S census data, Adams is ranked as the 39th most common surname in the U.S. It is also fairly common in the African-American community. It is common in England, particularly in the south where it is the 52nd most common surname according to a 2014 study by University College London. Adams is the 9th most common surname in Scotland and also ranks in the top 100 most common last names in Australia and Canada. Famous bearers of this surname include the second US president John Adams and his son, the sixth president John Quincy Adams.

Variations of the surname Adams

The surname Adams has a few variations in spelling, although it is relatively simple and does not have as many as some other surnames. Variants include Addams, Adam, Adames, Adamson, McAdam, and MacAdam. The surname can be found in many different cultures with slightly different forms, such as Adame in Spanish-speaking cultures, and Adamov in Slavic cultures. German cultures may adopt versions such as Adamsson or Adamik.

The Scottish and Irish variants McMahon and MacAdam, other than McAdams, imply "son of Adam", and to some extent, the patronymic Adamson does as well. In Cornish culture, there exists a similar surname Eadams which insinuates the roots go back to the once widely-used personal name Eada.

Despite the seeming connections suggested by the spelling and pronunciation, the surnames Adami (Italian), Adamo (Italian), Adem (Turkish), and Adan (Spanish) are not believed to be related to Adams. The surname Addams may also refer to a different lineage, although it is often grouped together with Adams. The surname Adams is derived from Adam, which is of Old Testament origin.

Famous people with the name Adams

  • John Adams: Second President of the United States
  • John Quincy Adams: Sixth President of the United States and son of John Adams
  • Abigail Adams: Wife of John Adams, noted for her letters on women's rights
  • Samuel Adams: One of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a leader of the American Revolution
  • Bryan Adams: Canadian singer, songwriter, and photographer
  • Ansel Adams: American photographer and environmentalist, famous for his black-and-white landscape photographs
  • Amy Adams: American actress known for roles in films like "Arrival" and "American Hustle"
  • Joey Lauren Adams: American actress and director known for "Big Daddy" and "Chasing Amy"
  • Patch Adams: American physician, comedian, social activist, and author
  • Douglas Adams: British author, scriptwriter, and essayist, best known for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
  • Yolanda Adams: American gospel singer, actress, and radio host
  • Ryan Adams: American singer-songwriter, musician, and poet
  • Don Adams: American actor, comedian, and director, best known for his role in the TV show "Get Smart"
  • Scott Adams: Creator of the Dilbert comic strip.
  • Tony Adams: Former English footballer who played for Arsenal and England.

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