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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Pate family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from the baptismal name for Patrick. In the religious naming tradition the Pate surname was bestowed in honor of a religious figure. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the Middle English word "pate" which meant "head" or "skull". In this latter case, the name would have been a nickname.


The surname Pate was first found in Cambridgeshire, where one of the first records of the name was Walter Patte who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The Yorkshire Poll Tax records of 1379 list the following: Willelmus Payt, and Cecilia Payt (who we presume are related); and Johannes Patte.

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Pate include Pate, Pait, Pat, Patt and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pate research. Another 252 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1528 is included under the topic Early Pate History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Pate Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Pate family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Pate were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Pate Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Pate, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Richard Pate, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • William Pate settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John Pate settled in Virginia in 1651
  • Henry and Catherine Pate settled in Virginia in 1656

Pate Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jacob Salt Pate, aged 50, landed in Pennsylvania in 1736

Pate Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Pate, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • Mary Pate, aged 13, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway

Pate Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • C. Pate arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849


  • Joseph William Pate (1892-1948), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics 1926 to 1927
  • Robert Wayne "Bob" Pate (b. 1953), American Major League Baseball outfielder for the Montreal Expos from 1980 to 1981
  • Joshua Warren "Josh" Pate (b. 1970), American screenwriter, director and producer
  • Tom Pate (1953-1976), American CFL linebacker who died at the age of 23 after hitting his head on the stadium turf during a game, eponym of the Tom Pate Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service
  • John W. "Johnny" Pate (b. 1923), American jazz bassist from Chicago
  • David Pate (b. 1962), American former professional tennis player who attained the World No. 1 doubles ranking in January 1991
  • Danny Pate (b. 1979), American professional bicycle racer
  • Stephen Robert Pate (b. 1961), American professional PGA golfer
  • Jerome Kendrick "Jerry" Pate (b. 1953), American PGA golfer with 8 PGA wins
  • Augustus Pate, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Georgia, 1896



  • The Pate Pioneers.

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  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Pate Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pate Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 March 2016 at 19:48.

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