History of your Surname
Get access to Gates family records.Start a free trial

Gates Family History

Gates Name Meaning

English: variant of Gate with plural or excrescent -s. The English surname Gate has three possible origins: (i) a topographic name from Middle English gate ‘gate’ (Old English geat dative plural gatum) denoting someone who lived by a gate or set of gates (possibly sometimes an occupational name for a gate keeper; compre Yates); (ii) in northern England the East Midlands and East Anglia a topographic name from Middle English gate ‘street road path’ (Old Norse gata) for someone who lived by a road (compare Street ); (iii) a nickname meaning ‘goat’ from northern Middle English gate gait (Old English gāt Old Norse geitr). Americanized form of German Götz (see Goetz ). Americanized form (translation into English) of French Barrière (see Barriere ).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022


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

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Gates family from?

You can see how Gates families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Gates family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Gates families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 1,176 Gates families living in London. This was about 19% of all the recorded Gates's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Gates families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Gates surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Gates ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Gates. 10% of Gates men worked as a General Labourer and 69% of Gates women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Gates were Retired and Incapacitated. .

View Census Data for Gates | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
    10%
  • Builders Labourer
    4%
  • Gardener
    4%
  • Retired
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
    69%
  • Unpaid Domestic
    3%
  • Housewife
    3%
  • Incapacitated
    3%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Gates family records will you find?

Census Records

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 Australian census records for Gates

Passenger Lists

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

View all Gates immigration records

Draft Cards

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.

View all Gates military records

You've only scratched the surface of Gates family history

Discover More

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

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Gates family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Gates last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial