This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and was originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to a keeper of the floodgate, or a topographical name to one resident by such a gate. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "flod(e)", flood, channel, with "gaet", gate, or specifically, a natural opening in a sea wall. This latter sense is understood in Margate and Westgate on Sea, Kent. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and consequently gave rise to several surnames. Early examples of the surname include: William Fludgate (London, 1406). A quotation from historical notes on Norfolk, dated 1405, reads, "Margaret, daughter of John Durham in Norfolk, released to Ralph Somerton all her rights in Begviles manor, and in a marsh called Floodgates". In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Fladgate, Fludgate, and Floodgate. On January 27th 1610, Justinian Fludgate and Alce Moore were married at All Saints, Wadsworth, London, and on October 16th 1681, Henry, son of Henry and Elizabeth Floodgate, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter atte Flodgate, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • floodgate — flood·gate n: something serving to restrain an outburst (as of litigation) usu. used in pl. a decision that will open the floodgates for other claims Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • floodgate — early 13c. in the figurative sense (especially with reference to tears or rain); literal sense is mid 15c.; from FLOOD (Cf. flood) + GATE (Cf. gate) …   Etymology dictionary

  • floodgate — ► NOUN 1) a gate that can be opened or closed to admit or exclude water, especially the lower gate of a lock. 2) (the floodgates) last restraints holding back a powerful outpouring …   English terms dictionary

  • floodgate — [flud′gāt΄] n. 1. a gate in a stream or canal, to control the height and flow of the water; sluice 2. anything like this in controlling a flow or an outburst …   English World dictionary

  • Floodgate — Tokyo floodgates created to protect from typhoon surges Floodgates are adjustable gates used to control water flow in flood barriers, reservoir, river, stream, or levee systems. They may be designed to set spillway crest heights in dams, to… …   Wikipedia

  • floodgate — UK [ˈflʌdˌɡeɪt] / US noun [countable] Word forms floodgate : singular floodgate plural floodgates a gate that controls a flow of water in a river or lake • open the floodgates …   English dictionary

  • floodgate — noun Etymology: Middle English flodgate Date: 13th century 1. a gate for shutting out, admitting, or releasing a body of water ; sluice 2. something serving to restrain an outburst < opened the floodgates of criticism > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • floodgate — /flud gayt /, n. 1. Civ. Engin. a gate designed to regulate the flow of water. 2. anything serving to control the indiscriminate flow or passage of something. [1175 1225; ME; see FLOOD, GATE] * * * ▪ engineering  gate for shutting out or… …   Universalium

  • floodgate — noun a) An adjustable gate or valve used to control the flow of water through a sluice. b) Anything that controls or limits an outpouring of people, emotion etc …   Wiktionary

  • floodgate — Synonyms and related words: aboideau, air lock, avenue, blowhole, channel, chute, debouch, dock gate, door, egress, emunctory, escape, estuary, exhaust, exit, flood hatch, flume, gate, head gate, lock, lock gate, loophole, opening, out, outcome,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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