The surname of MOATE was a locational name 'the dweller at the moat' from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Motte (without surname) County Buckinghamshire, 1273. Elena Mott of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Pain and Mary Mott were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1786. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The settlement which became the city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac (1658-1730) governor of Louisiana. He was born into minor nobility in Gascony, where his father owned the seigneury of Cadillac. Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) was of this family, the French aristocrat who played a leading part in both the French and the American Revolutions, came of a family who had owned the estate of Layfayette in the Auvergne since the 13th century. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
The name has many variant spellings which include Motte, Mote and Moth.
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