Gatts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Gatts reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Gatts family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gatts 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 Gatts family
The surname Gatts 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 Gatts family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gatts 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 Gatts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gatts Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Gate, Gates and others.
Early Notables of the Gatts 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 Gatts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gatts family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gatts name or one of its variants: Sir Thomas Gates who served as Governor of Virginia from 1611-1614; nine years before the "Mayflower"; Stephen Gates sailed in the "Diligent".
- 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