Gately History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gately is a name whose ancestors lived among the Picts, a tribe in ancient Scotland. The Gately family lived in some place which is now obscure. The surname Gately belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. [1]

Other sources claim the name is "a nickname for messenger, runner, [2] or "a messenger or runner [who] was fleet of foot." [3]

Early Origins of the Gately family

The surname Gately was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Gately family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gately research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1296, 1745, 1762, 1784 and 1789 are included under the topic Early Gately History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gately Spelling Variations

The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Gately has been spelled Galletly, Gallightly, Gellatly, Gellately, Gillatly, Golightly and many more.

Early Notables of the Gately family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Anne Catleyborn, born in 1745 in an alley near "Tower Hill, London of very humble parents, her father being a hackney coachman, and her mother a washerwoman. Endowed with great personal beauty, a charming voice, and a natural talent for singing, she gained her living at the early age of 10 years by singing in the public houses in the neighbourhood, and also for the diversion of the officers quartered in the Tower. When about 15 years of age she was...
Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gately Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gately Ranking

In the United States, the name Gately is the 13,786th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]


United States Gately migration to the United States +

The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Gately:

Gately Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Gately, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [5]
Gately Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Malachi Gately, aged 33, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 [5]
  • Annie Gately, aged 22, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Edward Gately, who landed in America, in 1892
Gately Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles Gately, aged 44, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Charles Gately, aged 35, who landed in America from Roscommon, Ireland, in 1910
  • C. S. Gately, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921
  • Benjamin Gately, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1922
  • Charles Gately, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1924
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gately migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gately Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ms. Margaret Gately, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Sobraon" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [6]

Australia Gately migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gately Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Gately, (b. 1794), aged 26, Irish labourer who was convicted in Roscommon, Ireland for 7 years for sedition, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Gately, (Geatly, Geatley, Gatley), (b. 1798), aged 22, Irish labourer who was convicted in Roscommon, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1871 [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Gately, Irish convict who was convicted in Ireland, transported aboard the "Cambridge" on 2nd June 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1827 aboard the ship [8]
  • Mr. John Gately, Irish convict who was convicted in Ireland, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 9th April 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Dennis Gately, English Convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gately (post 1700) +

  • George Gately (1928-2001), American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the popular comic character Heathcliff
  • Paul Gately (b. 1963), American professional baseball player
  • Leo Francis Gately (1937-2021), Australian politician, Member for Currumbin (1986–1989)
  • John Gately (b. 1972), Australian professional football player
  • Stephen Patrick David Gately (1976-2009), Irish pop singer–songwriter, actor, dancer, musician and author
  • John Gately Downey (1827-1894), American politician, 7th Governor of California (1860-1862)
  • John Gately Downey (1827-1894), American Democratic Party politician, Member of California State Assembly 1st District, 1856-57; Lieutenant Governor of California, 1860; Governor of California, 1860-62 [11]

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John Gately, American 3rd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [12]


The Gately Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Hactenus invictus
Motto Translation: Hitherto unconquered.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 30)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dorothy
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cambridge
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


Houseofnames.com on Facebook