Gaitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Gaitt is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gaitt 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 Gaitt family
The surname Gaitt 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."
Important Dates for the Gaitt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaitt research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1164, 1206, 1260 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Gaitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaitt Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Gaitt are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Gaitt include Gate, Gates and others.
Early Notables of the Gaitt family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gaitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaitt migration to New Zealand
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Gaitt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- James Gaitt, aged 47, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
- Sarah Gaitt, aged 48, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
- Frederick Gaitt, aged 18, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
- William Gaitt, aged 12, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
- Eliza Gaitt, aged 10, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lowe, 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)