Show ContentsGatton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gatton is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a watchman. The watchman was responsible for keeping guard over the gates of a castle or manor. However, another source claims the name was for "one who came from Gatton (enclosure where goats were kept), in Surrey." [1]

Early Origins of the Gatton family

The surname Gatton was first found in Kent where they were granted extensive estates in that shire. Some of the first on record for this name include: Hemfrid de Gatton (born: 1094, died: unknown), Hamo de Gatton (1125-1165), Robert de Gatton (1147-1190) and Hamo de Gatton (1170-1216). Hamon de Gatton was granted lands in Throwly in Kent about the 12th century.

Much of the family remained in the Kent area as the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Hamo de Gattane as holding lands there at that time. [2]

Not all remained in Kent as Thomas de Gatton was listed in Suffolk in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1219 and Mabilia de Gatton was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire in the same year. [3]

The Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum which was recorded temp. Henry III-Edward I, listed Robert de Gatton in Sussex and John de Gatton in Nottinghamshire. [4] The scattered migration continued as by 1379, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls listed Alicia de Gatton as a landholder. [2]

Gatton is a parish, formerly a borough, in the union, and Second division of the hundred of Reigate, E. division of Surrey. "This was once a considerable town, and had a castle. It sent two members to parliament from the 29th of Henry VI. to the second of William IV., when it was disfranchised; the right of election was vested in the freeholders and inhabitants paying scot and lot, and the constable for the manor was returning officer." [5] Other sources note that Robert de Gatton, took his name from the lordship of Gatton temp. Henry III.

Early History of the Gatton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gatton research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1501 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Gatton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gatton 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 Gatton have been found, including Gatton, Gatens, Gattan, Gattyn, Gattynd and others.

Early Notables of the Gatton family (pre 1700)

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

Gatton Ranking

In the United States, the name Gatton is the 13,785th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

United States Gatton 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 Gatton were among those contributors:

Gatton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Marian Gatton, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1897
Gatton Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Gatton, aged 28, who settled in America, in 1905
  • William R Gatton, aged 50, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Louis L. Gatton, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921
  • H.C. Gatton, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1921
  • H. C. Gatton, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States, in 1922
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gatton (post 1700) +

  • Danny Gatton (1945-1994), American guitarist, ranked 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time
  • Carol Martin "Bill" Gatton (1932-2022), American entrepreneur and philanthropist, benefactor of the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
  • Thomas L. Gatton, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Texas State House of Representatives 137th District, 1996 [7]
  • Robert R. Gatton, American politician, U.S. Consul in Mazatlan, 1851-55 [7]
  • Harry Gatton, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1956 [7]
  • Gail Gatton, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alaska, 1996 [7]
  • Thomas Gatton, American banking executive, North Carolina

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from on Facebook