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Surname Moates - Meaning and Origin

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Moates: What does the surname Moates mean?

The surname "Moates" has Celtic origins and is mostly found among populations in Ireland and Scotland. It is considered a variant of the surname "Motes" or "Mote." The name is topographical, typically given to those who lived near a motte, which is a man-made hill built by ancient Celic people for defensive purposes. Some larger mottes even had castles built on top for an added measure of protection. Hence, someone with the surname "Moates" could be assumed to have had ancestors who lived near or were associated with such structures. However, it should be noted that surnames can change for a variety of reasons over generations. Therefore, this derivation may not apply to every single person named Moates today.

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Moates: Where does the name Moates come from?

The last name Moates is found all around the world today, though it is most common in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. According to data from the US Census Bureau, Moates is the 14,155th most common last name in the United States with over 1,700 people bearing the name in 2019. The UK Census of 2011 records 1,045 people in England and Wales with Moates as a surname, placing it in the 5,366th most common spot. In Canada, Moates was the 5,399th most common last name, with nearly 1,000 people bearing the name in July of 2019.

Outside of these countries, Moates is far rarer, but there are still people bearing the name in other parts of the world as well. The last name can be found in Australia, France, Scotland, Northern Ireland, as well as various European countries. Additionally, the name may have been brought over to the Americas by some families of Irish and British descent.

Overall, the Moates last name is relatively uncommon, but there are still sizable populations of people with the last name in the US, UK, Canada and other parts of the world.

Variations of the surname Moates

The variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for the surname Moates are Moate, Moat, Moitt, Moatte, Moitts, Mote, Mott, Motts, Motte, Motees and Mowat. The variants Moate, Moat, and Moitt are the oldest variants of the surname, and were used by families in the Middle Ages. Mote and Mott are variants that originated in the 15th century, and Motts is a variant of Mott. The variant Moatte is a French version of the name, likely derived from the surname Moate. Moitts is a variant that has been used by families in North America, particularly families of British descent. Motees and Mowat are Scottish variants of the name, which originated in the 16th century.

The surname Moates originated in the Middle Ages in England. It is a locational surname derived from the Old English words “moat,” meaning a wide ditch or trench, and “ate,” meaning a settlement or homestead. It likely refers to the family having lived near or by a moat or other water source such as a river or lake. The earliest record of the surname that can be found is Ralph de Moates, who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of County Lincolnshire in 1160. Over time, the spelling of the surname has changed, resulting in various alternate spellings.

Famous people with the name Moates

  • Tyler Moates: Professional golfer from the United States who has won several Professional Golfers Association tournaments.
  • Jimmy Moates: British actor best known for his roles in television series such as Detectorists and Doctor Who.
  • Tim Moates: Author of travel and outdoor adventure books.
  • David Moates: Voiceover artist for film, television and video games.
  • Patrick Moates: Professional pilot and aviation expert.
  • William J. Moates: Former Major General of the United States Marine Corps and recipient of the Navy Cross decoration.
  • Brianna Moates: Professional photographer known for her high-fashion and fine art portraits.
  • Noah Moates: Professional snowboarder and competitive athlete with several podium finishes in the U.S. Snowboarding Series.
  • Ed Moates: Former member of the Australian Parliament and recipient of the Order of Australia Medal.
  • Gordon Moates: Australian Surfing Legend and 1961 Australian Champion.

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