Adair last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Adair is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Adair.

Meaning of Adair

A Scottish surname derived from a place name meaning "oak tree ford" in Gaelic.

Adair, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Adair surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Adair in America

Adair is the 1927th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Adair surname appeared 18,708 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 6 people would have the surname Adair.

We can also compare 2010 data for Adair to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 1927 1834 4.95%
Count 18,708 17,969 4.03%
Proportion per 100k 6.34 6.66 -4.92%

The history of the last name Adair

The surname Adair is of Scottish origin, derived from the Scottish Gaelic name Adhaimh, meaning "man of fire" or "Adam." The name is believed to have originated in the area of Galloway in southwestern Scotland during the medieval period.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name can be found in the Ragman Rolls of 1296, which lists several individuals with the surname Adair or similar spellings, such as Adeir or Adeyr, who swore allegiance to King Edward I of England. This suggests that the name was well-established in Scotland by the late 13th century.

The Adair surname is also associated with the Adair family, a prominent Scottish clan that held lands in County Antrim, Ireland, from the 16th century onwards. Sir Robert Adair (c. 1580-1640) was a notable member of this clan and served as the High Sheriff of County Antrim.

In the 17th century, the name Adair appeared in the Muster Rolls of New England, indicating that individuals bearing this surname had migrated to the American colonies. One such individual was Robert Adair, who was born in Scotland in 1613 and settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Other notable individuals with the surname Adair throughout history include:

  1. James Adair (1709-1783), a British trader and historian who lived among Native American tribes and wrote extensively about their customs and traditions.

  2. John Adair (1757-1840), an American pioneer and politician who served as the eighth Governor of Kentucky from 1820 to 1824.

  3. Cornelia Adair (1837-1921), an American educator and philanthropist who founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.

  4. Sir Frederick Adair (1886-1962), a British diplomat who served as the Governor of Bombay Presidency in British India from 1932 to 1937.

  5. Gilbert Adair (1944-2011), an English novelist and filmmaker known for his works such as "The Holy Innocents" and "The Dreamers."

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Adair

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Adair.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Adair was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 82.69% 15,470
Non-Hispanic Black Only 9.35% 1,749
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.53% 99
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 2.15% 402
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.82% 528
Hispanic Origin 2.46% 460

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Adair has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 82.69% 85.50% -3.34%
Black 9.35% 8.58% 8.59%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.53% 0.50% 5.83%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 2.15% 1.96% 9.25%
Two or More Races 2.82% 1.78% 45.22%
Hispanic 2.46% 1.69% 37.11%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Adair was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Adair, please contact us.

Reference this page

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Adair last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

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