This unusual and interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is either a topographical name from residence by the old gates of a walled city, or a locational name from the hamlet of Aldgate in the former county of Rutland. The derivation is from the Middle English "old", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "eald", old, with the Olde English "gaet", gate. Topographical names were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational names were chiefly given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere.The surname is now variously spelt: Aldgate and Algate, and the following interesting entry appears in the Baptismal Register of St. Botolph Without Aldgate, London:- Buttolpe Aldgate, an infant, christened on October 25th 1583. On November 11th 1664, Stephen Algate and Elizabeth Stevens were married at Oakham, Rutland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Algate, which was dated November 7th 1538, marriage to Agnes Palmer, at Sandy, Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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