Yeates History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Yeates reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Yeates family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Yeates 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 Yeates family

The surname Yeates 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 Yeates family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Yeates 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 Yeates History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Yeates Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Yates, Yate, Yeats and others.

Early Notables of the Yeates 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 Yeates Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Yeates Ranking

In the United States, the name Yeates is the 12,112nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9]

Ireland Migration of the Yeates family to Ireland

Some of the Yeates 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 Yeates migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Yeates or a variant listed above:

Yeates Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Yeates, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [10]
Yeates Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hannah Yeates, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [10]
  • Robert Yeates, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [10]
  • George Yeates, who settled in New England in 1765
  • John Yeates, aged 24, who arrived in Virginia in 1773 [10]
Yeates Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edman, Yeates, aged 29, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1812 [10]
  • Edmund Yeates, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [10]
  • William Yeates, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1812 [10]
  • Mathcw Yeates, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1833 [10]

Australia Yeates migration to Australia +

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

Yeates Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Anthony Yeates (b. 1771), aged 47, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 3rd August 1818, sentenced for life for robbing the house of Miss Tinney at Stratton, transported aboard the ship "John Barry" in April 1819 to Australia [11]
  • Mr. John Yeates, (Yates), (b. 1804), aged 15, Scottish convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 22nd September 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1844 [12]
  • Mr. Edward Yeates, British Convict who was convicted in Buckinghamshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 11th August 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. William Yeates, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 21 years, transported aboard the "Charles Kerr" on 6th June 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Richard Yeates, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Calabar" [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Yeates 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:

Yeates Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George W. Yeates, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Walter Yeates, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883
  • Henry Yeates, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883
  • Herbert A. Yeates, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Yeates (post 1700) +

  • R. Owen Yeates, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1952 [16]
  • O. Cordell Yeates, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Logan, Utah, 1989 [16]
  • Jesse Johnson Yeates (1829-1892), American Democratic Party politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons, 1860-62; Delegate to North Carolina State Constitutional Convention, 1871 [16]
  • Thomas Yeates (1768-1839), English Orientalist, the son of John Yeates, a turner, of Snow Hill, London
  • Victor Maslin Yeates (1897-1934), British fighter pilot in World War I
  • John Stuart Yeates MBE (1900-1986), New Zealand academic and botanist

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Jack Yeates, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [17]


  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. ^ 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)
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th February 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eliza
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  14. ^ Convict Records of Australia ( retrieved 1st February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/charles-kerr)
  15. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 2nd August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Calabar 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/williamstuart1853.shtml.
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  17. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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