The surname of BATES was derived from the Old English word Bat. It was an occupational name meaning a boatman or a fisherman. It was also occasionally used as a personal name 'the son of Batholomew'. As a given name in Christian Europe, this name derives its popularity from the apostle St. Bartholomew, the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers, about whom virtually nothing is known. Early records of the name mention Bate de Butwick, recorded in County Lincolnshire in 1273. Bate (without surname) was documented in 1275 in County Yorkshire. William Bate was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Thomas Bateson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name mention Christopher Bateson of Caton, County Lancashire who was listed in the Wills at Richmond in 1587. Humphrey Bates and Joanne Empson, were married in London in the year 1615. William Bate and Anne Hill, were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1621. This English surname was taken to Ireland in the 17th century, and is numerous in Dublin and North Ulster. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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