Recorded as MacAdam and the short form of McAdam, this is a Scottish surname. It originates from the Gaelic MacAdaim, meaning 'the son of Adam', a personal name which was introudoced into both England and Scotland by 'crusaders', returning from the various (unsuccessful) expeditions to 'free' the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 12th century. It became the fashion for these warriors to call their future children by biblical names, and these in turn were created into surnames from the 13th century onwards. The clan and particulary the MacAdams of Waterhead in Ayrshire, amongst whose members was the famous road builder John MacAdam, have long claimed association with the Clan MacGregor, who certainly needed friends, although there seems little, if any evidence, to support this assumption. What is clear is that whilst the MacGregors were nothing better than bandits for much of their early history, the MacAdams have a proud record. They were originally landowners in Calady, and are so recorded in 1460, when Fynlay McKadem was the incumbent, whilst in 1615 Peter M'Caddamme in an other unusual spelling, held the lands of Craiglure on grant from the earl of Carrick.
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