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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

Yates is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a gatekeeper. The name was originally derived from the Old English word geat, meaning gate. It was also sometimes applied to people who lived near a prominent gate.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Yates, Yate, Yeats and others.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from early times, after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yates research. Another 234 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1250 and 1575 are included under the topic Early Yates History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Yates Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Yates family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Yates name or one of its variants:

Yates Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Yates, who settled in Virginia in 1619
  • Edward Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1619
  • Joe Yates settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Joe Yates, who settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Jo Yates, aged 48, landed in Bermuda in 1635

Yates Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliz Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Eliza Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Bartholomew Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1737

Yates Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1807
  • Samuel Yates settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1820
  • Andrew Q Yates, who landed in Texas in 1835
  • T H Yates, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1838
  • G E Yates, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Yates Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Robert Morrell Yates, who arrived in Alabama in 1911


  • Joseph Christopher Yates (1768-1837), American politician, Governor of New York 1823-24
  • Sidney Richard Yates (1909-2000), American Democratic politician, representative from Illinois, longest-serving member of the House of Representatives
  • Richard Yates (1926-1992), American author
  • Elizabeth Yates (1905-2001), American author, best known for her 1951 Newbery Medal winning novel Amos Fortune, Free Man
  • J. Michael Yates (b. 1938), American-born, Canadian poet and dramatist
  • Herbert John Yates (1880-1966), American founder and president of Republic Pictures in 1935
  • Cassie Yates (b. 1951), American actress
  • Tyler Kali Yates (b. 1977), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Frederick Yates (1884-1932), English chess master
  • Dornford Yates (1885-1960), English novelist




  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Yates Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Yates 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 6 October 2014 at 16:52.

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