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. 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." [2]

Early History of the Yates family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yates research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1575, 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.

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 [3]
  • Joe Yates, who settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Jo Yates, aged 48, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [3]
  • Jon Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • ... (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 [3]
  • Eliza Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • Bartholomew Yates, who arrived in Virginia in 1737 [3]
Yates Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Yates, who landed in Virginia in 1807 [3]
  • Samuel Yates, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1820
  • Andrew Q Yates, who landed in Texas in 1835 [3]
  • T H Yates, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1838 [3]
  • G E Yates, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • ... (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 [3]

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 [4]
  • 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 [4]
  • 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 19th Century
  • Agnes Yates, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • John Yates, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Thomas Yates, English convict from Cornwall, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Yates (b. 1799), aged 32, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 25th March 1830, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a pocket-book and money from Robert Clemow, transported aboard the ship "Argyle" on 5th March 1831 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [7]
  • Ellen Yates, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • ... (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 [9]
  • 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) +

  • 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
  • Elizabeth Yates (1905-2001), American author, best known for her 1951 Newbery Medal winning novel Amos Fortune, Free Man
  • ... (Another 89 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 [10]
  • 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 [10]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Susie  Yates (1888-1917), Canadian resident from Waverly, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [11]
  • Mr. George Roley  Yates (1895-1917), American Stoker aboard the HMCS Niobe from Kansas, USA who died in the explosion [11]
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 [12]
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 [13]
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 [14]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ 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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