This is an English locational surname, but one which contains an element of Danish-Viking origins. It derives from any or all the villages called Millgate or Milgate Park, in the counties of North Yorkshire near Masham, Lancashire near Rochdale, and Norfolk, near Aylsham, or Milgate Park, near Beasted in Kent. The meaning is not as may be thought 'a mill near a gate', as this meaning is usually illogical, but from the pre 7th century Scandanavian word 'geat' meaning a road, to give the meaning of a mill by the road. The word 'geat' as 'gate' appears in the street names of several English cities and towns, where it usually assumed to refer to a lost 'gate'. In fact most medieval towns did not have walls with 'gates' at all. The city of York is an exception. This place is full of streets which include the element 'gate', such as Micklegate, Walmgate, and Gillygate, whilst the actual ancient gates have always been known as 'bars', Monk Bar, Bootham Bar, and Micklegate Bar. To add to the confusion with this surname the prefix 'mill' may not always derive from the Olde English 'myllen', but can be a short form of the word 'middel' to mean either a stopping place between two larger places, or literally the 'middle road'. Early examples of the surname recording include: John Millgate at the church of St Gregory's by St Pauls, in the city of London, on January 15th 1625, and Elizabeth Milgate, the daughter of John Milgate, at St Olaves church, Hart Street, also city of London, on February 6th 1685.
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