Surname Moats - Meaning and Origin
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Moats: What does the surname Moats mean?
The surname Moats is of English origin, derived from the Middle English word "mote", which means moat, a deep wide defensive ditch usually filled with water, surrounding a fortified place like a castle. The name was originally given to someone who lived near a moat or as a topographic name for someone who lived by a moat, which was a significant feature in the landscape during the Middle Ages in England. Thus, this surname is classified as a habitation name, derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. It could also possibly be an occupational name, given to a person responsible for maintaining a moat. Like other surnames, over the years, it has gone through various spellings including Mote, Moat, Moatt, and others.Order DNA origin analysis
Moats: Where does the name Moats come from?
The surname Moats is common today in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the surnames Moats and Motes are thought to have derived from Scottish, Welsh, English, and Irish origin. It also appears to have migrated to the United States from Europe during the 19th century. The surname is most likely an occupational name derived from the occupation of metalworking, blacksmithing, or farriery. In the United States, the highest concentrations of the Moats surname are located in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In the United Kingdom, Moats is most commonly found in Scotland, although the surname has its roots in England as well. Data from the Great Britain Electoral Rolls of 2002 shows that Moats is a common surname in Scotland, with the highest concentrations found in Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, and Lanarkshire.
Overall, it appears that the Moats surname is still quite common today and can be found in various locations throughout the world, from the United States to the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
Variations of the surname Moats
The surnames Moats, Moat, Motte, and Mott are all variants of the same origin. Originally, this surname derived from an Old French word, "mot," which means "mound" or “motte”. Its first usage as a surname originated in medieval times when citizens would refer to a residence near a lake or pond as "the mote," meaning the household with access to the water.
The spelling of the surname has evolved through the centuries, becoming the modern day Moats, Moat, Motte, and Mott. It is found commonly in England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.
The surname Moats is also spelled Motte or Mott. In Scotland, the variation of Motte is most common. This spelling of the surname is derived from “mooth,” an Old English word meaning “a lake or marsh which typically have a multi-welled island within the center.”
In America, Mott is the most popular variation of the surname Moats. These variants emerged in the New World due to phonetic spelling, in which immigrants would spell the name however it sounded to them. Variants of Mott like Motts and Motes are also found throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.
The surname Moats has also been found as an Americanized spelling for its European ancestor form, such as Motts for its German original Motz or Mots for its Irish Gaelic Moat. All of these surname variants are ultimately derived from the same original source of "mot," meaning “mound or motte.”
Famous people with the name Moats
- Ryan Moats: a former NFL running back.
- Heidi Moats: a former Miss Indiana Teen USA.
- Rob Moats: a professional bass angler.
- Lilith Moats: a professional American pole vaulter.
- Nick Moats: a professional Arena Football League defensive back.
- Riley Moats: a former college football player.
- David Moats: a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
- David Moats: a former NFL cornerback.
- Raymond Moats: an American actor, director and producer.
- William Moats: a former Olympic judoka.
- Brandon Moats: an American race car driver.
- Harvey Moats: an actor, writer and filmmaker.
- Marlee Moats: an American actress and model.
- Laura Moats: a former American pair skater.
- Jeff Moats: a former NFL fullback.
- Don Moats: a former Major League Baseball pitcher.
- Madeline Moats: a former Montana State Champion hurdler and sprinter.
- Roger Moats: a former NFL defensive lineman.
- Tom Moats: a former college basketball player.
- Dorothy Moats: a former Harvard professor of English literature.