Yates History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Yates is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name 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 Yates family

The surname Yates 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 Yates family

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

Yates 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 Yates, Yate, Yeats and others.

Early Notables of the Yates family (pre 1700)

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...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Yates Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Yates World Ranking

In the United States, the name Yates is the 388th most popular surname with an estimated 72,123 people with that name. [9] However, in Australia, the name Yates is ranked the 374th most popular surname with an estimated 9,842 people with that name. [10] And in New Zealand, the name Yates is the 349th popular surname with an estimated 1,818 people with that name. [11] The United Kingdom ranks Yates as 212nd with 27,042 people. [12]

Ireland Migration of the Yates family to Ireland

Some of the Yates 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 Yates migration to the United States +

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 Yates name or one of its variants:

Yates Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Yates, who settled in Virginia in 1619
  • Edward Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1619 [13]
  • Joe Yates, who settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Jo Yates, aged 48, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [13]
  • Jon Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Yates Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [13]
  • Eliza Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [13]
  • Bartholomew Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1737 [13]
Yates Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1807 [13]
  • Samuel Yates, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1820
  • Andrew Q Yates, who landed in Texas in 1835 [13]
  • T H Yates, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1838 [13]
  • G E Yates, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Yates Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Robert Morrell Yates, who arrived in Alabama in 1911 [13]

Canada Yates migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Yates Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Yates who settled in Scilly Cove, Newfoundland, in 1708 [14]
  • Charles Yates, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
Yates Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Yates was a Carpenter at Twillingate, Newfoundland, in 1817 [14]
  • Isaac Yates, who landed in Canada in 1830

Australia Yates migration to Australia +

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

Yates Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Miss Ann Yates, (b. 1763), aged 35, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Britannia III" on 18th July 1798, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1810 in Peru [15]
Yates Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sarah Yates, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Edward John Yates, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl Spencer" in May 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Mr. John Yates, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [18]
  • Mr. Thomas Yates, (Price), British Convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [19]
  • Agnes Yates, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [20]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Yates migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Yates Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Francis T Yates, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Yates, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Antilla
  • Mr. Yates, British settler travelling from Cape of Good Hope, South Africa aboard the ship "Antilla" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 8th December 1841 [21]
  • John Yates, aged 33, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Jane Yates, aged 31, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Yates (post 1700) +

  • Earl Preston "Buddy" Yates (1923-2021), American rear admiral in the United States Navy, the first commanding officer of the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), known then as CVA-67
  • Tony Yates (1937-2020), American college basketball player and head coach for the Cincinnati Bearcats
  • John Phillip Yates (1921-2017), American Republican politician, Member of the Georgia House of Representatives (1993-2017)
  • Robert Yates (1943-2017), American NASCAR engine builder and former owner of the Sprint Cup Series team Yates Racing
  • Brock Yates (1933-2016), American journalist, author and executive editor of Car and Driver
  • Sally Quillian Yates (b. 1960), American lawyer, United States Deputy Attorney General (2015-2017), United States Attorney General (2017)
  • Cassie Yates (b. 1951), American actress, known for her roles in Convoy (1978), The Osterman Weekend (1983) and F.I.S.T. (1978)
  • Tyler Kali Yates (b. 1977), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Herbert John Yates (1880-1966), American founder and president of Republic Pictures in 1935
  • J. Michael Yates (b. 1938), American-born, Canadian poet and dramatist
  • ... (Another 91 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Harry Yates (1893-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [22]
  • Mrs. Mary A Yates (1893-1914), née Taylor Canadian Second Class Passenger from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [22]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Susie  Yates (1888-1917), Canadian resident from Waverly, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [23]
  • Mr. George Roley  Yates (1895-1917), American Stoker aboard the HMCS Niobe from Kansas, USA who died in the explosion [23]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Robert G Yates (b. 1907), English Boatswain serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [24]
HMS Royal Oak
  • John Albert Yates (1922-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [25]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Elmer Elias Yates, American Ship's Cook Third Class from Nebraska, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  11. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  12. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  13. ^ 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)
  14. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-spencer
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dunvegan-castle
  20. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1830 with 135 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1830
  21. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  22. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  23. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  24. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  25. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  26. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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