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About the study
My One-Name Study has been a tremendous adventure of discovery. When I started, very little was known about the surnames, and although people suspected that various family trees were related, no one knew. Most assumed that all Meates were related, since it is a very rare surname, and wondered how the surname ended up in Ireland, Wales, and London. Many people also suspected that those with the surname Meats were related, but could never find any proof.
As with many other One-Name Studies, mine evolved from research on my family tree, when I started collecting for Ireland all occurrences of the surname, in the hope to determine who was related. Years later, having a large database of events for multiple countries, and many different family trees, DNA was added as a research tool.
If any of the surnames in my research or in the DNA Project are in your family tree, be sure to contact me. Most likely, I have information that can help with your research.
For my One-Name Study, the following variants are included:
Mate, Mates, Mayott, Meat, Meats
For my DNA Project, the above variants are included, as well as:
Matt, Matts, Mayot, Miot, Myatt, Myott
And any possible variant, such as Matis as a variant for Mates of Romania.
The origin of the surname has to be looked at in terms of the surname, the research, and the results from DNA testing.
The DNA Project is an integral component of the One-Name Study. Using DNA testing, it can be determined which family trees are related and evolved from the same origin. DNA testing also validates the research.
Where all family trees have been tested for a surname, conclusions can be drawn. In some cases, there are still family trees to test, so a conclusion can not yet be reached for all family trees of a surname, until each tree has tested. This is indicated where applicable.
A large group with several surnames are all related, and descend from the surname Mayott, which originated in north Staffordshire,. The earliest recorded entry is 1281. It appears that the surname originated at the Manor of Rushton James. All the following are related and descend from this origin:
- All Meates whose family tree goes back to Ireland
- All Mates whose family tree goes back to Ireland, except the Mates tree of County Kildare
- All Meats family trees
- Several Mate and Mates family trees who are traced to England and Wales
- All Myatt family trees, except one tree whose progenitor is found in Longton, Staffordshire in 1820.
Family trees are constructed from research, going back with documents a generation at a time. Eventually, there is insufficient or no documentation, and the tree ends. There is typically still a long period of time between the adoption of surnames, and the start of the documented family trees. DNA testing is used to bridge this time period, by determining which family trees are related.
For example, all the family trees with the surname Meates have been tested. Five(5) of these trees go to Ireland, and the lack records for Ireland cause these trees to end early, in the late 1700's and early 1800's. Even though the trees can't be taken further back in time, DNA testing was used to bridge the gap. All these Meates are related, and descend from the Mayott surname. In addition, they all share a mutation, saying that their common ancestor lived after the progenitor of the surname. These Meates are a branch off the ancestral tree.
There are two other Meates trees in the world. The Meates whose tree goes to Worcestershire in the early 1700's and the Meates whose tree goes to Wales in the early 1800's are not related to the Ireland Meates or to each other, or to anyone yet tested in the DNA Project. It is suspected that the Meates form of their surname evolved from a different prior surname.
The Mayott surname was stable in the 1300's and 1400's as Mayot, Mayott, and Mayote. In the 1500's and 1600's, many variant forms arose, such as Meot, Miot, Miat, Mayte, Mete, Meote, Meyott, etc. Most of these variants did not survive to present day. The form Meate arose in the 1500's. It is suspected that the evolution of the surname was impacted by the Great Vowel Shift change in pronunciation.
Several surnames in the One-Name Study, such as Mate and Mates, have multiple points of origin in various countries. The DNA Project will eventually, when all family trees are tested for the surnames, identify the number of points of origin. In addition, some family trees of Mate and Mates evolved from the Mayott surname.
Historical occurrences of the name
The most famous person for any of the surnames studied is Thomas Meates, who became a King's Messenger.
Thomas Meates was born December 9, 1768, and baptised at Claines, Worcester as Thomas Mates. His parents married by license as John Mietts of St Helen's Worcester, carpenter, aged 23 on January 5, 1768 to Hannah Gabb, daughter of John Gabb of Holt, Innkeeper and Ferryman. The parents of John are suspected to be Thomas Mietts of Holt, whose wife was Mary.
The DNA result for this family tree does not match anyone else.
Thomas Meates was a Servant and Valet de Chambre to the Marquess of Titchfield, and later a servant to Lieutenant General George Harris, and then House Steward to Lord Castlereagh. He became an Extra Messenger to the India Board, and in 1807 a King's Messenger, until his death in 1836.
The surnames in my one-name study are quite rare. For example, only 28 Meates are shown in the 1881 UK Census.
Historically, the largest population of Meates has occurred in Ireland, with 150 births since the start of Civil Registration to 1997, and a total of 346 events during this time period.
As surnames evolved over time, the form Meates arose in Ireland in the early 1700's, and in Wales in the 1800's, and in Worcestershire in the 1700's. Thought the same rare surname came into being in 3 different locations, none of these family trees are related, based on DNA testing.
The surnames Mate and Mates originated in multiple countries, and in addition evolved from different prior surname forms in the UK.
Distribution of the name
Through migration, the surnames in my one-name study are found in many countries today, ranging from the Republic of South Africa to Fiji. For the Meates of Worcestershire, they are only found in Australia and Fiji today. For the Meates of Wales, they are found in Wales and England. The Meates and Mates of Ireland have spread out to multiple countries, with all the Meates of New Zealand from one family tree.
In the USA, there are only a few Meates, and a higher amount of Mate and Mates, who come from many countries.
Migration today as well as in the past have spread the surname to multiple countries. The participants in the DNA Project are located in the following 15 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Wales, and the USA.
The DNA Project was started on December 10, 2001, and has been the most fascinating component of my research. Discovering who is related to whom has been of tremendous value, as well as identified previously unknown variants, and identified which family trees descend from a surname origin. DNA testing, combined with research, has shown that many, though not all, family trees of the surnames Mate, Mates, Meates, Meats and Myatt are all related, and evolved from the original surname of Mayott, which was also recorded as Mayot and Mayote in early records. Discovering the variant Myatt was totally unexpected. DNA testing has also shown that the distant origin for this group is Nordic.
The DNA Project has provided information about the evolution of the surname, and much of this information was a surprise. Since the surnames involved in the One-Name Study are rare, you don't find them listed in the surname dictionaries