This interesting name is of West Country origin and is a variant of the name Yates, itself a dialectal transposition of the Olde English 'geat'. Found in several spelling forms such as Yateman, Yetman, Yatman, etc, the name is usually topographical and describes one who was resident by the town gate, although it may be job descriptive for 'the keeper of the gate'. It may also be locational from the town of Yate, near Bristol, and as such would have described a former inhabitant who moved to another area.Early recordings of the surname include Elizabeth Yetman who married John Watts at Marnhull, Dorset, on October 12th 1585, and John Yateman, christened at St James Church, Clerkenwell, London, on March 1st 1603. An interesting recording is that of William Yeatman of the Parish of St. Peters, Barbados. In the first census of the colony dated 15th December 1679, he is shown as owning ten acres of land. The Coat of Arms granted to Yeatman of Stock House, Dorset, has the blazon - per pale silver and black, on a gold fess dovetailed, between two gates in chief and a goats head in base, three red boars heads. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elener Yeatman, which was dated July 26th 1579, of Bruton, Somerset, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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