Pearl Gurkin Riggan Adamson, daughter of Dr. Wilson Butler Riggan and Louise Gurkin Riggan, is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. Mrs. Adamson was educated at the Graham School in Norfolk, and graduated cum laude from Sweet Briar College. She has been a member of Phi Beta Kappa since 1966.
Mrs. Adamson is married to Mr. Vincent Cassel Adamson, Jr. The Adamsons have four children (Louise Gurkin Adamson Moore; Vincent Cassel Adamson, III; John Gurkin Adamson; and Kirkpatrick Perrow Adamson). She enjoyed a teaching career and now devotes her time to volunteer civic and charitable activities. The Adamsons reside in Richmond, Virginia.
Mrs. Adamson has been a moving force in the Index of Documented Descendants' Lineage (IDDL) for computerizing genealogical records of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America members and their ancestors to simplify the admission process for new members. The system provides efficient functional online access to genealogical information in members' papers while controlling access for security and privacy. When a prospective member claims descent from an approved qualifying ancestor utilized by other members, the proof of generational links between the common ancestor and other members can be downloaded from a national database.
Mrs. Adamson has a lifelong interest in historic preservation, lives in an historic home in Richmond, presently being considered for National and Virginia Landmark status, has recently restored Oak Grove, a National and Virginia Landmark farm on the Staunton River in Campbell County, and is in the final stages of restoring another National and Virginia Landmark home in Campbell County. Both Campbell County homes are closely associated with Patrick Henry and his children. She and her husband also own a National and Virginia Landmark in downtown Richmond, the Crozet House, used for office purposes.
Mrs. Adamson formerly served on the Executive Committee and Board of Regents of Gunston Hall Plantation. She has been a member of Phi Beta Kappa since 1966. She has served as past President of the Children's Hospital Junior Board, and is a Founding Member and past President of the Richmond Lawyers' Auxiliary. Mrs. Adamson is a Sustaining Member and Board Member, of the Junior League of Richmond; a member of the Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; former Council Member of the Historic Richmond Foundation; and former Director of the Woman's Club. She also holds membership in the Garden Club of Virginia, as well as the Boxwood Garden Club.