Show ContentsYett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Yett arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 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 Yett family

The surname Yett 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 Yett family

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

Yett Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Yates, Yate, Yeats and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Yett family to Ireland

Some of the Yett 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 Yett migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Yett or a variant listed above:

Yett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Walter Yett, aged 36, who settled in America from London, in 1905

Contemporary Notables of the name Yett (post 1700) +

  • Richard Martin Yett (b. 1962), American Major League Baseball long relief pitcher from 1985 to 1990
  • W. D. Yett, American politician, Mayor of Austin, Texas, 1919-26 [9]
  • W. D. Yett, American politician, Member of Texas State Senate 20th District, 1899-1902 [9]

Fraterville mine
  • Mr. Joseph Yett (d. 1902), African Welsh coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [10]

  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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from
  10. News paper article Fraterville Mine Disaster retrieved on 6th August 2021. (Retrieved from on Facebook