Mainly U.S.: transferred use of the English surname, in origin a Norman baronial name borne by a family that held lands at Cuinchy in Pas-de-Calais, Normandy. The place name is derived from the Gallo-Roman personal name Quintus. This was the surname of a prominent New England family in the colonial era. Josiah Quincy (1744–75) was a lawyer and Revolutionary patriot, a close friend of John Adams (1735–1826) who became second president of the United States (1797–1801). The latter's son, John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), also served as president (1825–9). His middle name may have been chosen in honour of Josiah Quincy, or it may have been taken from the township of Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born and where the Adams family had their seat.