Recorded in the spelling of Westgate and the dialectal Wesgate, this is an English surname of two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a topographical name for a person who lived by the west gate of a city, derived from the words "west", meaning west and "gate", which can mean either a gate or a road. Secondly the name can be locational from actual places called Westgate; as in County Durham, recorded as "Westyatshele" in 1457; or in Northumberland, recorded as "Westgate", in 1216, whilst Westgate-on-Sea in Kent, is recorded as "Westgata" in 1168 in the Pipe Rolls of that county. In this case, the placename describes a gate leading to the sea. William de Westgat was recorded in the Curia Rolls of Surrey in 1199, whilst on February 4th 1543, John Wesgate married Katherine Baswell at St. Martin Orgar in London, whilst Joane Westgate married William Trotter at St. Peter's, Cornhill, also London, on April 16th 1548. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Westgate of Canterbury, which was dated 1198, in the "Pipe Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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