This surname of TATE was brought to Scotland by the Scandinavians, spelt as Teit, an 11th Century personal name. The word means 'glad, cheerful'. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Early records of the name mention Uluric Tates, who was documented in 1095 in County Lancashire, and appears to be the first of the name recorded. Nicholas Tate was documented in 1273 in County Cambridge. Thomas dictus Tayt in 1329, who owed a debt to the king. Alexander Tayt was burgess of Edinburgh in 1381 and Adam Tayte was granted a safe conduct to travel in England in the year 1424. Sir Robert Tate was the Lord Mayor of London in the year 1448. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. Later instances of the name include Andrew Tait who was Master of the Flesher Craft of Edinburgh, in 1490 and Robert Tait was tenant of the land of Wydsyd in 1531. William Tate married Joanne Lewis at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1635. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Arms registered to John Tate of Coventry,
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