Gaite History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Gaite is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gaite family lived in various counties of England and later in Scotland. The name, however, refers to the family's residence near an important thoroughfare or main road. It derives from the Old English root gate, which means road or thoroughfare.
Early Origins of the Gaite family
The surname Gaite was first found in various counties of England and Scotland. The earliest record of the family was Ailricius de la Gata who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1169.
A few years later, Ralph de Gates was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1206 and later, Gilbert atte Gate was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1275. The Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275 list Cristina Gate.
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Hugh le Geyt in Oxfordshire and the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 has numerous entries for the family: Johannes Gayte; Thomas de Gayte; Jonannes atte Gate; Robertus de Gate; and Custancia del Gates. Silvester atte Gates was rector of Brinton, Norfolk in 1354.  "Its medieval forms are Ate Gate and atte Gate, which have since the XV. cent. modified to Agate, Gater, and especially to Gates." 
Later a branch of the family was found in the parish of Knedlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "The old Hall [of Knedlington], a fine specimen of the Elizabethan style, was possessed by Sir John Gate, a distinguished knight in the reign of Henry VIII." 
And further to the north in Scotland, all of the entries and later typically showing a migration from England to Scotland. Patrick Gaittis was minister of Polwarth from 1593 to 1604. A seal dated 1605 reads "Master Patrik Gaittie, minister, vndoutit persone of the perochin and paroche kirk of dunce." In modern English, it translates as " S' Patricii Gait. Patrick Gaittis and James Gaittis were ministers of Duns from 1582 to 1611 and John Gaittis was minister of Bunkle from 1614 to 1640."  Black continues "Gate is common element in place names on both sides of the Border."
Early History of the Gaite family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaite research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1164, 1206, 1260, 1379, 1685, 1773, 1718, 1702, 1504, 1553, 1504, 1526, 1535, 1536, 1596, 1621, 1596, 1608, 1609 and 1609 are included under the topic Early Gaite History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaite Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Gate, Gates and others.
Early Notables of the Gaite family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Bernard Gates (1685?-1773), English musician, the second son of Bernard Gates, gentleman, of St. Margaret's, Westminster, whose will was proved on 21 May 1718. His name appears in the list of children of the Chapel Royal in 1702. 
Sir John Gates (1504?-1553), was an English statesman, born about 1504, was the eldest son of Sir Geoffrey Gates (d. 1526) by Elizabeth, daughter of William Clopton (Morant, Essex, ii. 146, 457). Henry VIII made him a gentleman of the privy chamber. In January 1535 he was placed on the committee for Essex and Colchester...
Another 223 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaite Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gaite family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Gaite or a variant listed above: Sir Thomas Gates who served as Governor of Virginia from 1611-1614; nine years before the "Mayflower"; Stephen Gates sailed in the "Diligent".
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print