See glossary for symbol meaning.
See glossary for symbol meaning.
Gates Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is an English topographic surname denoting someone who lived by the gates of a medieval walled town, from the Middle English word gate and Old English word gatu or geat, both meaning gate. It may also be a habitational surname referring to a person who was from Eastergate (the eastern gate) in Sussex, England in the 1200s and 1300s AD. In some cases, it is an Americanized variant of the German last name Goetz or Gotz, or an Anglicized version of the French name Barriere, which was an occupational surname for a gatekeeper, watcher, or sentinel from the Old French barier or waite or gaile. It is believed that this surname made its way into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066 AD. An alternate theory is the surname Gates derives from the Flemish personal name Gets. Spelling variations or names with similar etymologies include: Gayte, Gate, Gait, and Gaits. One branch of the family established itself in the parish of Knedlington in East Riding, Yorkshire, England. In his book titled A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis states the following: “The old Hall [of Knedlington], a fine specimen of the Elizabethan style, was possessed by Sir John Gate, a distinguished knight in the reign of Henry VIII”.
Early Bearers of the Gates Surname
The first known bearers of this surname was Ailricus de la Gata who was documented in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire in 1169 AD. Ralph Gates was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1206 AD. Gilbert atte Gate was documented in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1275 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists one bearer of this surname: Hugh le Geyt (Oxfordshire). Cristina Gate was recorded in the Subsidy Roles of Worcestershire in 1275 AD. John atte Gate was recorded in the Close Roll in 1342 AD. Silvester atte Gates, the rector of Brinton, was recorded in Norfolk in 1354 AD. The Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists four bearers: Thomas de Gayte, Jonannes ate Gate, Robertus de Gate, and Custancia del Gates. In Scotland, Patrick Gaittis was minister of Polwarth from 1593 to 1604 AD. Patrick Gaittis and James Gaittis were ministers of Duns from 1582 to 1611 AD.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Gates ranks 607th popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Vermont (224th), Mississippi (281st), Oregon (328th), Arkansas (350th), and Michigan (379th).
The surname Gates frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (1,035th), Scotland (3,104th), Wales (1,107th), Ireland (5,545th) and Northern Ireland (1,157th). In England, it ranks highest in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Angus. In Wales, it ranks highest in Brigend.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (1,555th), New Zealand (1,219th), Australia (915th), and South Africa (5,474th).
Gates Family Tree & Gates Genealogy
Gate of St. Michael’s Manor
The lineage of genealogy of this family begins with Reverend W. Carpenter Gate and Mary Fothergill. They had a son named George Gate, Esquire, who married Frances Elizabeth Morgan, and had five issue with her as follows: 1) James John (see below), 2) George Thomas (married the widow of T. Young and had three sons and one daughter), 3) Frances Elizabeth (married J.F. Gottwalty, had issue), 4) Florence married J.F. Gottwalty, Esquire), and 5) Elizabeth Jane (married George T. Treherne, Esquire). James John Gate was an Esquire of St. Michael’s Manor in Hertsford, as well as a Justice of the Peace and a Major Commandant of the 1st Battalion of Herts Rifle Volunteers, born in 1826. In 1851, he married Henrietta Jemima, daughter of C.R. Nugent, and had the following issue with her: Thomas Walter Penrice (married Emily Louisa Le Poer Trench), George William Moreton, Henry Francis Bruce, Ernest James, Henrietta Emily, Clara Maria (married Reverend A.C. Gray), Florence Louisa, Frances Mary, and Octavia Evelyn.
Other Branches of the Gates Family Tree
Geoffrey Gates was born in High Estre, Essex, England in 1506. He married Deol Pascall and had a son with her named Geoffrey. Geoffrey was born around 1525. He married Joan Wentworth and had two sons with her: Peter and Peter. Peter Gates was born in High Easter, Essex, England in around 1550 AD. He married Mary, daughter of Edward Josselyn and Mary Lambee, in 1581. They had a son named Thomas. This son, Sir Thomas Gates, was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England in 1590. He came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1609. He had married Elizabeth Deol in 1617 while still in England. He had three sons: John, George, and Simon. Two of his sons had issue as discussed below.
1) John Gates was born in Henrico, Virginia Colony in 1621. He had two sons: James and Thomas. His son Thomas was born in Virginia in 1660. He married Rose Stake and had a son named Henry G. Gates who was born in 1699. Henry married Susey Samuels. They had a son named Charles who was born in Fredericksburgh, Virginia in 1738. He married Elizabeth and had sons named Hezekiah and Samuel.
2) Captain George Gates was born in Essex, England in 1634. In 1660, he married Sarah Olmstead and had the following issue with her: Joseph, Thomas, John, Sarah, Mary, George, Daniel, and Samuel. The son Joseph was born in Haddam, Connecticut in 1662. He married Elizabeth Hungerford and had issue with her named Joseph, Jonathan, and Patience.
Thomas Gates was born in Newinden, Kent, England in 1260 AD. He had a son named John. John Gates was born in Essex, England in 1278 AD. He had a son named John. This son, John Wesley Gates, was born in Gosfield, Essex in 1302 AD. He had a daughter named Agnis who was born in 1337 AD. She married John Crochrode and had a son with her named John.
1) Symon Gates married Bryget Graye in South Cave, York, England in November 1562
2) Richard Gates married Elizabeth Pupp in Eastbourne, Sussex, England in October 1569
3) Thomas Gates married Elizabeth Poet in Sidlesham, Sussex, England in 1569
4) John Gate married Cathrine Ross in Templemichael, Longford, Ireland in 1784
5) Alexander Gates married Margaret Heriot in Tranet, East Lothian, Scotland in January 1676
6) Peter Gates married Margaret Gaudie Tranet, East Lothian, Scotland in August 1674
7) John Gates married Rhoda Boles in Chesterfield, Virginia in April 1786
8) Timothy Gates married Susanna Master in Gorham, Maine in December 1777
9) Jonas Gates married Mary Carter in Leominster, Massachusetts in June 1786
10) Steven Gates married Mary Merrick in Methuen, Massachusetts in 1771
11) Betsey Gates married Elijah Ross in New Hampshire in 1787
12) Lucy Gates married William Winton in New Hampshire in 1775
Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this name include:
1) Thomas Gates came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 aboard the Swan
2) Elizabeth Gates, wife of Thomas, came to Virginia in 1620 aboard the Warwick
3) Daniel Gates came to Virginia in 1621
4) Thomas Gates came to Virginia 1623
5) Anne Gates came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1638
6) Elizabeth Gates came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1638
7) Martha Gates came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1638
8) Mary Gates came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1638
9) Stephen Gates came to Hingham Massachusetts around 1638
11) Mathew Gates came to Virginia in 1639
12) Peter Gates came to the Island of Providence in 1639
13) Thomas Gates came to Virginia in 1639
14) Jonathan Hates came to Virginia in 1643
15) George Gates came to Hartford, Connecticut in 1651
16) James Gates came to Maryland in 1655
17) Robert Gates came to Maryland in 1655
18) John Gates came to Virginia in 1667
19) Robert Gates came to Maryland in 1668
20) Lyddia Gates came to Virginia in 1670
21) Jeremey Gates came to Maryland in 1724
Several thousand members of the Gates family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) John, Mary, and Sarah Gates came from Ireland aboard the Europa in 1871
2) George Gates came from England aboard the Erin in 1869
3) Elizabeth Gates came from England aboard the City of Brussels in 1869
4) James Gates came from England aboard the Aurania in 1889
5) Joseph Gates came from England aboard the Maas in 1880
6) James Gates came from England aboard the Servia in 1891
7) Harry Gates came from England aboard the Elbe in 1887
8) Peter Gates came from England aboard the Algeria in 1879
9) Joseph Gates came from England aboard the Westernland in 1891
10) Selina Gates came from England aboard the Abyssinia in 1882
11) Henry C. Gates came from London aboard the Philadelphia in 1903
12) Sarah Jane Gates came from Cork, Ireland aboard the Cedric in 1906
Some of the earliest settlers in Canada bearing this name include:
1) Horatio Gates came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
2) Louis Gattes came to Quebec in 1769
3) Josh Gates came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1822
4) Daniel Gates came to Ontario in 1822
5) James Gates came to Ottawa in 1825
Some of the earliest settlers in Australia and New Zealand bearing this name include:
1) John Gates, a convict from Middlesex, England, came to New South Wales, Australia in 1791
2) John Gates, a convict from Middlesex, England, came to New South Wales, Australia in 1811
3) C. J. Gates came from London, England to Hobart, Australia aboard the Lantern in 1842
4) John Gates came from Sussex, England to Wellington, New Zealand aboard the Golden Sea in 1874
5) Samuel Gates came to Timaru, New Zealand aboard the Merope in 1875
6) Thomas A. Gates came to Lyttleton, New Zealand aboard the Indian Empire in 1864
There are hundreds of notable people with the Gates surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) William Henry Gates II (1955) is an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist from Seattle, Washington who is best known as the founder of Microsoft Corporation, one of the richest people in the world
2) Robert Michael Gates (1943) is an American statesman, university president, and scholar who served as the 22nd Secretary of Defense from 2006-2011 and the 15th Director of Central Intelligence from 1991-1993
3) Sir Thomas Gates (1585-1622) was the governor of Jamestown, Virginia, arriving there in 1609 aboard the Sea Venture, the flagship of the Sea Venture.
4) Thomas Sovereign Gates Jr. (1906-1983) was the 7th Secretary of Defense from 1959 to 1961 and the 54th Secretary of the Navy from 1957-1959, born in Germanstown Pennsylvania.
5) Ralph Fesler Gates (1893-1978) was the 37th Governor of Indiana from 1945-1949, born in Columbia City
6) Charles Winslow Gates (1856-1927) was the 55th Governor of Vermont from 1915-1917, having previously served in the Vermont Senate and Vermont House of Representatives
7) Horatio Lloyd Gates (1727-1806) was a retired British soldier (fought in the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War) and who served as an American General during the American Revolution, born in Maldon, Essex, England, known for the victor at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777
8) Rear Admiral Raydon William Gates (1952) is a retired senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy, born in Perth, Western Australia, later serving as a chief executive at Lockheed Martin
9) Brent Robert Gates (1970) was a professional player on Major League Baseball, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who played from 1993-1999 for the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Minnesota Twins
10) Seth Merrill Gates (1800-1877) was a merchant and attorney born in Winfield, New York who served in the US House of Representatives for New York from 1839-1843, previously having served in the New York State Assembly
Gates America Civil War Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Gates who served in the American Civil War, including the following:
1) Darius Gates of the 6th Regiment Ohio Infantry (Union)
2) Nathaniel Gates of the 1st Regiment Pennsylvania Light Artillery (Union)
3) William R. Gates of the 55th Pennsylvania Regiment Infantry (Union)
4) Emery Gates of the 38th Regiment Iowa Infantry (Union)
5) Erwin C. Gates of the Massachusetts 4th Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry (Union)
6) William H. Gates of the 20th Regiment New York Cavalry (Union)
7) Louis M. Gates of the 1st Regiment Louisiana Cavalry (Union)
8) Avon M. Gates of the 15th Regiment Michigan Infantry (Union)
9) James Gates of the 8th Battalion Georgia Infantry (Confederacy)
10) Lewis R. Gates of the 3rd Battery Maryland Artillery (Confederacy)
11) William M. Gates of the 37th Regiment North Carolina Infantry (Confederacy)
12) Wilson M. Gates of the 37th Regiment North Carolina Infantry (Confederacy)
13) William B. Gates of the Holcombe Legion South Carolina Infantry (Confederacy)
14) Frank Gates of the 2nd Regiment Arkansas Infantry (Confederacy)
15) Charles H. Gates of the 23rd Regiment Alabama Infantry (Confederacy)
Gates America Revolution Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Gates who served in the Revolutionary War, including the following:
1) Lieutenant David Gates of Vermont
2) Corporal Samuel Gates of Connecticut
3) Private Simon Gates of Massachusetts
4) Corporal William Gates of Maryland
5) Private Zelotes Gates of Massachusetts
6) Private Ezra Gates of New Hampshire
7) Private Freeman Gates of Connecticut
8) Corporal Gideon Gates of Connecticut
9) Major General Horatio Gates of Virginia
10) Private Jacob Gates of New Hampshire
11) Private Josiah Gates of Massachusetts
12) Private Leonard Gates of Maryland
13) Private Luther Gates of Connecticut
14) Corporal Nathaniel Gates of New York
15) Private Richard Gates of Virginia
1) (Colliton, co. Devon). Ermines three lions ramp. or.
2) (Gosberton, co. Lincoln). (co. Essex, and Semer, co. York). Per pale gu. and az. three lions ramp. guard. or. Crest—A demi lion ramp. guard. or.
3) or Gate - Sa. bezantee, on a chief erm. three mascles gu.
4) or Gate - Sa. three swords in bend or.