What is the origin of the last name Cates?

The last name CATES has its roots in England, particularly the counties of Devon and Somerset. Derived from the medieval personal name "Cate," which was a diminutive of the popular Katherine, the surname CATES became established during the Middle Ages and remained relatively localized. The name’s etymology can be traced back to the Greek name Aikaterinē, meaning "pure," from which comes the Latin Catherina and the Old French form Caterine. Over time, variations of the name emerged, including Catesby and Catesby-Williams, with minor differences depending on regional influences and migration patterns.

Countries of origin for the last name Cates

The last name Cates is of English origin and has several possible meanings. One possible origin is as a variant of the surname Gates, which itself has Old English and Norse origins. The name Gates is derived from the Old English “gāt,” meaning “gate” or “way,” and is likely a topographical or occupational name for someone who lived by a gate or a person who had the responsibility for the upkeep of a gate. Another possible origin for Cates is as a patronymic surname derived from the medieval given name Cat, a short form of Katherine.

The surname Cates is relatively uncommon and is not among the most prevalent surnames in the United States. In terms of frequency, it is ranked at approximately 24,000th in the country. However, despite its lower frequency, the Cates surname can still be found throughout the United States, with concentrations in various states such as Texas, California, and North Carolina, among others.

Historical records suggest that individuals with the last name Cates have been present in the United States since at least the 18th century. These early settlers likely brought the surname with them from England, contributing to its presence in the country. Over time, the surname has become established among different communities and families across the nation.

While the specific meaning and origins of the Cates surname may not be definitively determined, it is clear that it has English roots and is associated with gateways or the medieval given name Cat. The surname has persisted through generations and has a presence in the United States, albeit less frequently than some other surnames. Exploring the genealogy and the specific historical context of individuals with the Cates surname can provide further insight into its meaning and significance for those who bear it today.

Interesting facts about the last name Cates

  • The surname Cates is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the medieval given name “Cat,” which was a diminutive form of the name Catherine or Katherine.
  • The surname Cates is primarily found in the United States, particularly in the southern states.
  • According to the 2010 United States Census, Cates ranked as the 2,033rd most common surname in the country.
  • There are multiple possible variations of the surname, including Cate, Gates, and Caton.
  • The surname Cates has no known historical or noble connections.
  • Cates is a relatively uncommon surname, with less than 10,000 individuals bearing the name in the United States.
  • The name Cates is often associated with individuals who have a strong sense of independence and determination.

Name Rank


There are around 18190 people with the last name Cates in the US

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