What is the origin of the last name Adams?

The surname Adams finds its origin in the medieval personal name "Adam," which in turn derives from the Hebrew name "Adamah," meaning "red earth." The name gained popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages due to its association with the biblical first man, Adam. Consequently, it became a commonly adopted surname, representing both a given name and a patronymic. Over time, the name Adams spread through various regions and subsequent migrations, making it a popular and widespread surname worldwide.

Countries of origin for the last name Adams

The last name Adams is an ancient surname with a rich history and intriguing origins. It is primarily of English origin and is derived from the biblical given name Adam, which in turn originates from the Hebrew name אָדָם (Adam) meaning “man” or “earth.” The surname Adams is a patronymic form, meaning that it was formed by adding the suffix -s, indicating “son of” or “descendant of.” Thus, the surname Adams denotes “son of Adam,” signifying a family’s descendants or association with someone named Adam.

The surname Adams has a remarkable prevalence and widespread distribution across the United States. It is one of the most common surnames in the country, ranking as the 39th most frequent surname according to the 2010 Census. This widespread occurrence of the Adams surname can be attributed to various factors such as immigration, natural population growth, and historical events.

Historically, the Adams surname is closely associated with England and its migrations to other parts of the world, particularly to North America. Genealogical records and historical documents indicate that Adams was widespread within England, particularly in the southern regions of the country, such as the counties of Berkshire, Sussex, and Hampshire. From these ancestral roots, numerous individuals bearing the Adams surname journeyed to the American colonies, contributing to the strong presence of the name in the United States today.

One notable historical figure bearing the Adams surname is John Adams (1735-1826), the second President of the United States. He served as President from 1797 to 1801 and played a significant role in the American Revolution. John Adams and his family’s influential presence in American history have undoubtedly contributed to the recognition and prominence of the Adams surname in the United States.

Etymologically, the surname Adams also offers variations and derivations that add further depth to its meaning. Variations such as Adamson, Addams, and Adames are found across different regions, reflecting historical linguistic shifts and changes. These variations can provide insights into the migration patterns and branch formations of the Adams surname throughout history.

However, the true origin and meaning of the Adams surname extend beyond the available historical and etymological records. Despite exhaustive research and extensive analysis, certain aspects of the surname’s evolution and specific family connections may forever remain elusive. The Adams name presents an intriguing blend of biblical roots, English heritage, and global migrations, making it a compelling field of study for genealogists, historians, and individuals interested in their ancestral origins.

In conclusion, the last name Adams is an English patronymic surname derived from the biblical name Adam. It holds a prominent place in American history and is one of the most common surnames in the United States. The origins of the Adams surname can be traced back to England, where it was widespread before its migration to other parts of the world. Although variations and derivations exist, the true meaning and connections of the Adams surname remain partially shrouded in mystery. The study of the Adams name offers a captivating glimpse into the intricate tapestry of human lineage and historical migrations.

Interesting facts about the last name Adams

  • The surname Adams is of patronymic origin, meaning it refers to the name of an ancestor, usually the father.
  • Adams is derived from the Hebrew personal name Adam, meaning “earth” or “man.” It is a common surname in English-speaking countries.
  • Adams is the 40th most common surname in the United States, according to the 2000 census.
  • The Adams family of Massachusetts played a prominent role in American history, with two members serving as Presidents of the United States. John Adams served as the second President from 1797 to 1801, and his son John Quincy Adams served as the sixth President from 1825 to 1829.
  • Former American actress Amy Adams, known for her roles in films like “Enchanted” and “American Hustle,” shares the surname Adams.
  • The surname Adams has various versions and spellings in different languages, including Adamić, Adamopoulos, and Adamov.
  • The Adams surname can be found in multiple countries and regions, including the United States, England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • Adams is a common last name for fictional characters, such as the iconic character Morticia Addams from “The Addams Family” and Lieutenant Commander John Adams in the film “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

Name Rank


There are around 427865 people with the last name Adams in the US

Related Names

Related Regions