Gates Family History

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Gates Name Meaning

English: topographic name for someone who lived by the gates of a medieval walled town. The Middle English singular gate is from the Old English plural, gatu, of geat ‘gate’ (see Yates). Since medieval gates were normally arranged in pairs, fastened in the center, the Old English plural came to function as a singular, and a new Middle English plural ending in -s was formed. In some cases the name may refer specifically to the Sussex place Eastergate (i.e. ‘eastern gate’), known also as Gates in the 13th and 14th centuries, when surnames were being acquired. Americanized spelling of German Götz (see Goetz). Translated form of French Barrière (see Barriere).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Goates, Yates, Cates, Sales, Gales, Cater, Gabel, Gatts, Game, Oates

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Gates Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Gates name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Gates. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Norway


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


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Gates Family Origin

Where is the Gates family from?

Gates Family Occupations

What did your Gates ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, the most common Gates occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. 4% of Gates's were Agricultural Labourers. A less common occupation for the Gates family was General Laborer. Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Gates.

View Census data for Gates | Data not to scale

  • Agricultural Labourer

  • Labourer

  • Farmer

  • General Laborer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Gates ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Gates Historical Records

What Gates family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 389,000 census records available for the last name Gates. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Gates census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Gates

Passenger List

There are 50,000 immigration records available for the last name Gates. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Card

There are 66,000 military records available for the last name Gates. For the veterans among your Gates ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Gates family history.

Gates Life Expectancy

What is the average Gates lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Gates life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1949, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Gates in 1941 was 38, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Gates

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Gates ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Gates Family Ancestors

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