This very interesting surname is of English origins, but is also prominent in Ireland. Mainly associated with the English West Country, the origination is generally topographical and describes one who lived by a 'geat'. This was a Scandanavian word which described not a 'gate', but a road. However the name can also be job descriptive or locational for one who came from a place called Yate. The surname as Gate, Gayte or Gates is also relatively popular, and has the same meaning and origin as Yate, Yates, Yeats, Yeates, and Yetts.The name is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Charters of 779 a.d. as 'aet Gete', however this is purely descriptive and in no way hereditary. Hereditary surnames were much later, and usually date from the 11th century. The earliest true recordings as a surname include those of Philip del Yate in the pipe rolls of Cheshire for the year 1260, and Robert atte Yates in the Assize Rolls of Norfolk in 1344. Rather later examples are those of Edwarde Yates who married Jane Atkinson at Thirsk, Yorkshire, on September 13th 1583, Lawrence Yate of Nether Darwen, Cheshire in 1606, and John Yeats, who married Ann Davis at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, London, in 1753. 'Mr Yates' is recorded in the records of 'Elizabeth Cittie, Virginea' in February 1624, making him one of the earliest settlers to the American Colonies, whilst the poet William Yeats and his brother Jack, were both born in Dublin in Victorian times. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hereward de Jette, which was dated 1198, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.
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