Gaits History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gaits was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gaits 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 Gaits family

The surname Gaits 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.[1]

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. [2] "Its medieval forms are Ate Gate and atte Gate, which have since the XV. cent. modified to Agate, Gater, and especially to Gates." [3]

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." [4]

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." [5] Black continues "Gate is common element in place names on both sides of the Border."

Important Dates for the Gaits family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaits research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1164, 1206, 1260 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Gaits History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaits Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Gaits have been found, including Gate, Gates and others.

Early Notables of the Gaits family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gaits Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaits migration to the United States

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gaits were among those contributors:

Gaits Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Gaits, who landed in Maryland in 1655 [6]
Gaits Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Baltzer Gaits, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1762 [6]
Gaits Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Gaits, who arrived in North America in 1853 [6]
Gaits Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Marianna Gaits, aged 55, who arrived in New York, NY in 1901 [6]

Citations

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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