- This interesting surname is one of the many forms of Adam, in this case from Italy although also recorded in Spain, Mexico and Portugal. It derives from the Hebrew personal name "Adama", which was borne, according to Genesis, by the first man. The name is of uncertain etymology, but almost certainly means red or earth, which may have been the same thing. The name from the 11th century onwards was very popular as a given name among non-Jews throughout Europe. This was because Crusaders returning from the Holy Land often gave it to their first born son in commemoration of the fathers 'visit' to Palestine. The personal name was first recorded in England in Lincolnshire in 1146, as 'Adam Warrensis'. This suggests that this 'Adam' was employed to look after the rabbit warrens used by the monasteries as a source of fresh meat. Recordings in the spelling of Adamo and Adame include Dominga Adame, at Asuncion, Mexico, on September 9th 1646, and Michele Adamo at Taranto, Italy, on April 1st 1756. The second president of the United States was John Adams (1735 - 1826), and his son John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848), became the sixth president. They were descended from Henry Adams, a yeoman farmer, who had emigrated from Barton St. David, Somerset, England, to Massachusetts in 1640. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alianor Adam, which was dated 1281, a witness recorded in the rolls of the county of Cheshire, England, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.