Who Was V.L. MacAdam

Identifying V.L. MacAdam – donor of the MacAdam Cup (Trophy

Women’s Trophies in British Columbia

When speaking about women’s trophies in BC The MacAdam Trophy (1915) ranks as the 2nd oldest women’s trophy awarded in a provincial or regional championship. The AC Flummerfelt Cup (1905), the BC Women’s Amateur trophy, is the oldest. The Women’s amateur actually commenced in 1895 but a perpetual trophy was not presented until 1905.

Because the MacAdam trophy is celebrating the 100th anniversary for the competition the BC Golf Museum undertook the research project to identify the donor V.L. MacAdam. Starting with the information on the trophy we have developed the history for the trophy plus a family tree for the MacAdam family from 1772 – present.

The following information is inscribed on the trophy.


                                    (Medal Play)

                                   Presented to the

                           Vancouver Lady Golfers

                            By V. L. MacAdam

                                    Won by

                        Vancouver Golf & Country Club


We conducted this research project using standard genealogy principles. In fact the research represents a classic family research investigation with many of the standard components for a beginning genealogical project. From the inscription we know V.L. MacAdam resided in Vancouver in 1915. When researching a name such as “MacAdam” all possible spellings must be considered. This project used McAdam, Macadam, McAdam, Macadam, McAdams, MacAdams.

STEP 1. Searching the BC Golf Museum Archives

Utilizing the Vancouver Golf Club history MacAdam appears as the 1917 President for the club. From the BC Golf Museum newspaper-clipping file several facts immediately appeared. The Vancouver Daily World newspaper provided the best sports coverage prior to 1920.

  • MacAdam played on the Vancouver G&CC Punch Bowl team from 1915 – 1917
  • MacAdam participated in the Vancouver & District Men’s Championship from 1914 – 1917
  • “ MacAdam donated prizes for the club competition”. This phrase appeared in many clippings from 1913 – 1917
  • “ Local golfers of the fair sex will compete next Tuesday for the handsome trophy presented by Mrs. V.L. MacAdam for a nine hole eclectic score over the Vancouver G&CC. Eight cards of nine holes may be handed in, and same to be played for on any week day before October 21. One-sixth handicap to be counted. “
  • May 11, 1915 MACADAM CUP MATCH “ The first match for the MacAdam Cup match between the ladies team will be played next Saturday on the Shaughnessy Heights course between the ladies team from the Vancouver club and the Shaughnessy club. Ten players on each team.”
  • November 10, 1915 MACADAM CUP MATCH The Vancouver G&CC wins the MacAdam Cup final match with Shaughnessy Heights. Ten players on each team with gross scores. One point awarded for each match. One half point given for tie gross scores.

STEP 2 Vancouver City Directories

A search of the Vancouver City Directories from 1910 -= 1920 revealed the following facts

  • 1912 MacAdam & Co contractor located at # 418 739 West Hastings St.; JV & VL MacAdams owners
  • John V. resided in the Vancouver Hotel
  • VL resided at 2456 W 3rd Ave.,
  • 1913 VL moved to 1026 W 14th; JV resided in Hotel Morris
  • 1915 – 1917 JV & VL resided at 2075 Nelson St. company office located in the Birks Building #710.

STEP 4 City of Vancouver Buildings Permits prior to 1920

Utilizing the Vancouver Historical Foundation of Vancouver database for building permits the search reveals V.L. MacAdam owned the property at 2456 W. 3rd Ave., Vancouver. On March 3, 1912 MacAdam had a house constructed on the site by contractor/architect F.J. Kelly. Cost $300.00. From the City Directories it appears he sold the house in 1913.

STEP 5. BC Vital Indexes

This search revealed a crucial fact for developing the MacAdam family tree.

  • John Vincent MacAdam
  • Death September 29 1918
  • Age 74
  • Born Prince Edward Island December 15, 1844
  • Father Vincent Macadam mother Margaret Macdonald

STEP 6. Prince Edward Island Public Archives & Records Office

Prince Edward Island PARO provides the births, deaths, and marriages on line dating back to 1770’s. A search of their records revealed Vincent MacAdam and Margaret Macdonald had 8 children.

  • Children: Mary Rose (born 1842), John Vincent (December 15, 1844), Anthony (January 10, 1846) twins Neal & Alexander (October 29, 1847), Catherine (January 10, 1850), Elizabeth (September 12, 1852), and Adella (March 25, 1855).
  • Family resided in St Mary’s Parish, Brae, Lot 9.
  • Children baptised in Roman Catholic St Brigids Church

1841 PEI Census

  • This census was taken sometime between 1840 – 1845 and only recorded the names of the head of the household
  • Vincent MacAdam family resided on 100 acres 50 acres best farmland, 25 second best 25 third best. Harvested 100 bushels of potatoes
  • Roman Catholic
  • All members of the family born on PEI
  • 7 sheep 1 hog

1846 Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces 1785- 1935

  • Vincent Macadam, farmer/planter builds a schooner named “Catherine”
  • Crew: 2

1861 PEI Census

  • Canadian Census listed Margaret MacAdam as a widow with 6 six children.
  • Children and mother occupy over 200 acres in PEI
  • Further research is required to see if Vincent MacAdam died in a fishing accident between 1855 – 1861.

STEP 7. Where did Vincent L. MacAdam go in 1917/1918?

Where did Vincent Leo MacAdam go after 1917? Did he enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force? A search of the Canadian War Records revealed no war record in Canada. Did Vincent cross the border into the US? Yes he did on two occasions. He filed a Declaration of for US Citizenship in 1911 and 1917. These documents revealed more important facts about the MacAdam family.

Application For Registration of American Citizen January 31, 1911

  • Vincent Leo MacAdam born in Chicago February 29th, 1880 Cook County Illinois
  • Arrived in Vancouver January 1911
  • Operated at contracting business MacAdam & Co Seattle Business office located in the Finch Building
  • Wife Georgia B. Galbraith born in Albion Nebraska on October 16, 1887
  • Children Vincent Leo Jr born Seattle September 21, 1909
  • Rose Mary born April 1912

Application For Registration – Native Citizen November 15 1917

  • Father John V MacAdam born in PEI age 67 years
  • Father arrived in the US to Chicago in 1865
  • Father moved family to Seattle in 1905
  • Vincent and family reside at 361 Chilco St, Vancouver BC
  • Worked for MacAdam & Co office in Birks building #723
  • John Joseph, son, born in Vancouver BC on October 30,1914
  • Married in Seattle to Georgia Beatrice Galbraith on October 21, 1908 in St James Cathedral Seattle WA.

US World War 1 Draft Registration Card September 12, 1918

  • Address for Vincent Leo MacAdam 1709 17th Ave., Seattle King County WA
  • Contractor MacAdam & Co.

STEP 8. US Census Returns for 1870, 1880, 1900 (The 1890 US Census were destroyed in a fire)

Next the research shifted to the US Census returns from 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910. This research indicated Margaret MacAdam brought 6 children to the US in 1865.

1870 US Census

Margaret MacAdam, a widow, born in PEI in 1811, resided in Chicago Ward 8 Cook Illinois with 7 children. Vincent MacAdam, age 46, is listed as the head of the household. Perhaps he was Margaret’s nephew who had arrived prior to 1865.  Further research is required to track him.   Anthony did not move to Chicago with the family. John is listed as a carpenter.

1880 US Census

The 1880 census provided an excellent illustration for a beginning genealogist – always search the original document.

  • Family name is McAdams
  • John’s family is wife Kelly McAdams (b1848)
  • Children: Charles V. (1874), Mary Rose (1878), Anne Josephine (1878), Vincent L. (3 Months).
  • A search of the original census documents shows 3 other individuals resided in the same household. Ellen Williamson domestic, Peter McAdam (b 1859) bookkeeper, Mary Slatter (1861) domestic.

1900 US Census

  • John V is listed as single
  • Children living with the father include: Charles V., Mary Rose, Anne J., Vincent L., Della (b 1882).
  • No information is provided for Margaret MacAdam. She is probably John’s mother.
  • Occupation paving contractor

STEP 9. Chicago City Directories

Several Chicago City Directories can be found on line. A search of these Directories from 1880 – 1910 reveals John MacAdam formed a paving contracting business with Peter MacAdam in 1879. This company existed until 1905 when John and Vincent moved to Seattle. Peter became the road inspector for Chicago.

STEP 10. FamilySearch.org

  • Mary Rose married Arthur Lamkey November, 11, 1902
  • Anne Josephine married Franklin Shelton Grimsley 1913


STEP 11. US Census returns

1920 Census

  • Vincent L. a paving contractor
  • Children Vincent L. Jr (b 1910), Rose Mary (b 1912), John J (b 1916), Ruth H (b 1919.
  • Servant Amy Moe

1930 Census

  • Vincent L. Paving Contractor
  • All children from 1920 still live at home
  • Additional child Georgia (b 1922).

STEP 12. Seattle Times Newspaper Search

  • Vincent MacAdam played golf during the 1920’s at the University Golf Course located at the University of Washington

STEP 13. Seattle City Directories

A search of the City Directories on line shows the following facts

  • VL MacAdam & Co. located at 1247 21st Ave. N Seattle WA
  • VL & Co Lumber Broker Pier 2.
  • Family resides at 1631 16th Ave Seattle WA.

STEP 14. Washington State Archives – Digital Archives

The death certificate for Vincent Leo MacAdam reveals the following facts.

  • Death January 14, 1951
  • Father John V. MacAdam
  • Mother Ellen Williamson (from the 1880 US Census Ellen was the housekeeper for the family).

STEP 15. Vincent L. MacAdam’s Seattle P-I obituary Notice January 16, 1951

  • “ Surviving are his wife, Georgia; three daughters: Mrs. Josephine Pike, Mrs. Hubert Grimm and Rose Mary MacAdam, two sons Vincent Jr. and John J. Sisters Mrs. Franklin Grimsley, and Mrs. Arthur Lamkey. “
  • He was a prominent member of the social community in Seattle


In 1922  a group of Scottish descendents celebrated the 150 anniversary of the arrival of a group of Roman Catholic Scottish immigrants from the Highland of Scotland. These immigrants were part of the “Clearances” of the Highlands for religious and economic grounds. The landowners transformed the Highlands from mixed farming to grazing lands for sheep. These resident farmers, mostly Roman Catholics, moved to Ireland, United States, and Canada. Probably about 200 families settled in P.E.I. Because the name MacAdam appears on the monument Vincent Leo MacAdam is likely a descendant of these immigrants. This project traced Vincent’s roots to Vincent MacAdam and Mary Macdonald, both born in PEI between 1800 – 1810. Their parents likely were born in Scotland and immigrated to PEI about 1772.  Further research is required to trace the MacAdam family to the exact location in the Highlands.

In 1910 – 1915 Vancouver experienced one of the largest building booms the city has ever experienced. Obviously Vancouver required new roads. As one of the largest road building companies in Seattle John V. MacAdam opened an office in the Birks Building to expand his business. Many Seattle architects and builders also opened branch offices in Vancouver during this boom. Vincent probably oversaw the operation. The CPR undertook the largest housing development project in the City during this time. Perhaps MacAdam built the roads for the new CPR Shaughnessy Heights development.

Being a golfer he joined the Vancouver G&CC like other similar new businessmen. The Vancouver Daily World news clippings show Vincent obviously played considerable golf. His handicap dropped from 20 to 6 within a year. Like other members of Jericho, Shaughnessy, and Vancouver golf clubs the members donated trophies for various competitions. The standard custom for the women’s trophies was for the wife to donate the trophy with her husband listed as the donor. Another good example is the McIlreevy Cup donated by Mr. J.E.McIlreevy for the Ladies City Golf Championship.

The news clippings from the Vancouver Daily World added an interesting twist to the MacAdam Trophy (Cup). On October 3rd, 1914 Mrs V.L. MacAdam donated a beautiful trophy for competition. The following spring the newspaper reports the first MacAdam Cup team match would occur. The trophy played for today may have been the trophy originally donated by Mrs V.L.MacAdam in 1914 for an eclectic women’s competition.  The competition changed to the present team concept.

In 1915 the three women’s club played a home and home team competition over the spring and summer. Ten players from each club played a gross score 18 hole competition The player with the low score earned one point for their team. If a tie occurred each player contributed one half point to the total team score. The team with the most points won the team competition for the day. The team with the most wins after the round robin competition had their name engraved on the MacAdam Cup (Trophy).

The death of John Vincent MacAdam in Vancouver provided us with another clue to Vincent’s roots. His father was born in PEI. The PEI records office showed John Vincent was the oldest son of eight children born to Vincent MacAdam and Margaret Macdonald.

In 1865 after Vincent’s death between 1855 and 1861 Margaret moved the family to Chicago. Because the 1870 census shows she is living with a relative likely this is why she chose Chicago for their new permanent residence.

In 1879 John Vincent opened a paving business in Chicago. Ironically the new road construction method was called the “Macadam Road System”. Further research is required to determine if a relationship exists. The McAdam Co existed in Chicago until 1905. Vincent Leo MacAdam was born in 1880 in Chicago – the fourth child of five children – 2 sons and 3 daughters.

Like Vancouver from 1900 – 1915 Seattle experienced one of the largest building booms in its history. The 1909 Alaskan Exposition fuelled the growth. Clearly Seattle needed roads constructed as the initial step in the housing boom. As an experienced road builder the MacAdam Co. provided the expertise for the necessary road construction.

From 1920 – 1930 Vincent MacAdam appeared in many articles concerning the University Golf Course located at the University of Washington. Many of his grandchildren still reside in the Seattle, California and Colorado areas.

From a genealogical perspective this project illustrated many of the sources used in a typical investigation to produce a family tree. We would like to thank Peter Grimm for making it possible for the BC Golf Museum to obtain  images of Vincent Leo MacAdam for this article.


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