This interesting surname has three distinct possible origins, the first and most likely source being the medieval male given name "Bate", itself a petform of "Bartholomew", from the Aramaic patronymic "bar-Talmay" meaning "abounding in furrows" or "rich in lands". One Bate le Tackman was recorded in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire. The name may also be occupational for a boatman, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bat" (Northern Middle English "bat"), a boat. A Herbert Bat was noted in the 1182 Pipe Rolls of Shropshire. Finally, the Old Norse "bati", profit or gain, used in the transferred sense of "lush pasture" may have given rise to the surname. Early examples from this topographical source are Thomas del Bate (Northumberland, 1270), and William of Ye Bate (Yorkshire, 1297). John Bate, theologian, was prior of the Carmelites at York in 1415, and James Bate, who embarked from London on the ship "Elizabeth" in April 1635, bound for New England, was an early settler in the New World Colonies. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is on a black shield a silver fesse engrailed between three gold dexter hands couped bendways, the Crest being a silver stag's head attired gold, erased red vulned through the neck with a gold arrow, feathered and headed silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Bate, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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