Show ContentsYate History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Yate reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Yate is for a gatekeeper. The name was originally derived from the Old English word geat, meaning gate. It was also sometimes applied to people who lived near a prominent gate. [1]

Early Origins of the Yate family

The surname Yate was first found in Gloucestershire where the first entry was an early French form of the name, Hereward de Jette, who was found in the Pipe Rolls of 1198. Years later, Philip del Yate was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1260 and Roger atte Yat was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1268. Again, in Somerset, John atte Yete was listed in the Subsidy Rolls there in 1327. In Norwich, Robert atte Yates was listed in 1344. [2]

Recorded in Somerset, one Edward III (during the first year of King Edward II's reign) we found William atte Yete; Batin atte Yete; and Richard atte Yate. [3]

Yate is a parish in the union of Chipping-Sodbury, Upper division of the hundred of Henbury in the West division of Gloucestershire. [4] This ancient Saxon village was known as Geate in 779 and by the Domesday Book of 1086, it was listed as Giete. [5] As one would expect, it literally means "(place at) the gate or gap," having been derived from the Old English word "geat." [6]

Old Hutton in Westmorland was another family seat. "Hood-Ridding, an ancient mansion, has belonged for more than two centuries to the family of Yates." [4]

Up north in Scotland, "a final s is not uncommon in surnames derived from topographical features, and may be either the plural formation or genitive case ending, but it is not possible to say which from inspection." [7]

"Adam del Yate was juror on an inquisition held at Lochmaben in 1347 and John Yet held a land in Arbroath in 1425." [7]

"The famous family of Yeats, which had formerly been in Dublin, settled in Co. Sligo at the end of the seventeenth century. There are a number of families of Yates and Yeates elsewhere unconnected with them." [8]

The famous Irish poet, William Butler (W.B.) Yeats (1865-1939), was born in the seaside suburb of Sandymount in County Dublin, Ireland. His father, John Butler Yeats (1839-1922), was a descendant of Jervis Yeats, a Williamite soldier, linen merchant, and well-known painter, who passed away in 1712.

Early History of the Yate family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yate research. Another 186 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1379, 1479, 1575, 1582, 1607, 1630, 1681, 1722, 1865, 1890 and 1939 are included under the topic Early Yate History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Yate 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 Yate 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 Yate include Yates, Yate, Yeats and others.

Early Notables of the Yate family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • James Yates (fl. 1582), English poet who described himself in the dedication of his only known volume as a 'serving man.' He is presumed to have originated in Suffolk...

Ireland Migration of the Yate family to Ireland

Some of the Yate family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Yate migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Yate, or a variant listed above:

Yate Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Yate, who arrived in America in 1654-1679 [9]
  • John Yate, who settled in Virginia in 1656
  • George Yate, who landed in Maryland in 1670 [9]

Canada Yate migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Yate Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Yate, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1774

Australia Yate migration to Australia +

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

Yate Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • B.H. Yate a doctor, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Thomas Harrison" in 1839 [10]
  • Edwin Yate, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Yate (post 1700) +

  • Helen Marie Yate (1921-2020), English swimmer who competed in the women's 100 metre backstroke at the 1948 Summer Olympics

  1. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  7. 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)
  8. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  9. 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)
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THOMAS HARRISON 1839. Retrieved from
  11. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "MADAWASKA" 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook