This surname WINGATE was a locational name 'one who came from Wingate' places in Devon, Durham and Northumberland. The name literally meant the dweller by the gate that stopped the wind. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. The name is also spelt WINGETT, WINGET, WYNNIATT and WYNYATES. Early records of the name mention Aldret de Windegate, 1145, County Northumberland. Henry de Wingate was documented in County Kent in the year 1204. David de Windyyates was recorded in Surrey in 1332. William Wyngates of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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. 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 British general Orde WINGATE (1903-44) was from an old Stirling family.
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