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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : topographic name for someone who lived ‘at the gate’, i.e. one of the gates of a medieval city. However, in northern counties, Middle English gate (from Old Norse gata) also meant ‘street’, and in some instances the surname may derive from this sense.
  • Southern Italian : from the Greek personal name Agathē meaning ‘virtuous’, ‘honest’.
  • Indian (Maharashtra); pronounced as ag-tay : Hindu (Brahman) name, from Marathi ag̣te ‘live coal’ (from Sanskrit agni ‘fire’).
  • Thomas Agate, a native of Shipley in Yorkshire, settled in Sparta, NY, in the 1790s.

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