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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English-Alt, English

Where did the English Oats family come from? What is the English Oats family crest and coat of arms? When did the Oats family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Oats family history?

The distinguished surname Oats emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Oats is derived from the Old French personal names Odes, Otes, Odon, and Otton. These are all derived from the Old German names Odo and Otto, which literally mean riches. Occasionally, the name Oats is a local surname derived from the settlement of Ott in Belgium.

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Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Oates, Oats, Otes, Otis, Oaten, Otten, Oadt, Otton, Oton and many more.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oats research. Another 313 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1160, 1177, 1213, 1275, 1275, 1649 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Oats History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oats Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Oats family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 43 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Oats:

Oats Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • George Oats, his wife Hannah and children, who settled in Barbados in 1679

Oats Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Samuel Oats, who landed in Virginia in 1721

Oats Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Oats, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Polly Oats, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • William Oats, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Mary Jane Oats, aged 34, who emigrated to America, in 1893
  • Brid. Oats, aged 40, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895


Oats Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Herbert C. C Oats, aged 35, who settled in America from Manchester, in 1904
  • Lillian Oats, aged 32, who settled in America from Cornwall, in 1906
  • Mary Elizabeth Oats, aged 31, who landed in America from Redmuth, in 1907
  • Augustus Oats, aged 27, who landed in America from Marazion, England, in 1908
  • Wilfred Oats, aged 25, who settled in America from St. Just, England, in 1909


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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Oats Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oats Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 March 2013 at 14:07.

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