The brothers Joseph and Sam Adama emigrated to Caprica as children, orphaned in the Tauron Civil War. Joseph assumed the name Adams, so as to fit in better with Caprican society. He married Shannon, who was also of Tauron descent. Their children Tamara and William were born on Caprica.
Shannon and Tamara Adama were both killed in the MAGLEV bombing, leaving the father Joseph to take care of his son William.