This interesting surname with variant spellings Patt, Payt, Patte, etc., derives from the given name Pat(t), Pate, a short form of the personal name Patrick from the Latin Patricius meaning "son of a noble father, member of the patrician class, the Roman hereditary aristocracy". This was the name of a 5th Century Roman-Briton who became the apostle of Ireland, and it was largely as a result of his fame that the given name was so popular in the Middle Ages. Secondly, it is a nickname for a man with a bald head, deriving from the Middle English "pate" meaning "head, skull".The surname dates back to the early 12th Century (see below). Further recordings include Osbert Pate (1196), the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire, and Walter Patte (1273), the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Church records include Agnis Pate who was christened on April 5th 1563 at St. John's Church, Hackney, London, and George Pate married Elizabeth Subdeane on May 7th 1570 at St. Mary le Bow, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to a Pate family in Brin, Leicestershire depicting three black Roman text R's on a silver shield. The Crest being a silver stag's head between the attires a black raven wings expanded. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluric Pate which was dated circa 1100 - 1130, "Old English Bynames, Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 1st, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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