This topographical name has several interesting features. It is medieval English being first recorded in usage as late as 1587 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the surname being recorded in the following Century. The name may also be job descriptive for one who lived at and was responsible for the operation of "the Gates", it being probable that "Gatehouse" is a developed form of "Gate". The name is also recorded as "Gatus" - in 1681 John Gatus was recorded at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster and Rachel Gattus at St.Leonards in 1791. The name is first recorded in Kent in 1763 when Jacob Gatehouse, the son of William and Rachel, was baptised at Week-Street Independent Church, Maidstone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Luke Gatehouse, which was dated 1668, Baptised at St. Dunstans, Stepney, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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