Treason, Decapitation, Exile, Slavery, and Hiding the Links to Israel (Gates)
I enjoy researching family histories. I’m always fascinated by how genes express themselves from generation to generation. We are the same creatures as our ancestors were. Even though we may have become healthier, more savvy, and live in a very different reality from our distant relatives, doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from their journey. In fact, the process of researching your own family tree will often leave you feeling as though you’ve been looking in a mirror. If you go back far enough, you may even come across yourself.
On this occasion I was motivated by the many people who were researching Bill Gates, also known as William H. Gates III. Preliminary investigations led me to the conclusion that no one had gone further back than 1806 but this wasn’t really the case. In reality, the family history was everywhere, but it was fractured and disconnected. It soon became apparent that many researchers had missed some big connections and that others seemed to be purposely leading people in the wrong direction. But the story of Bill Gates genetic journey is full of both necessary misdirection and peculiar happenstance. It is a tale of kings and knights, treason and slaughter, exodus and colonialism, slavery and war, and one massive family.
The Genetic History of Bill Gates
We begin the story of Bill Gates’ ancestry at the turn of the century in the year 1300 AD. Thomas Gates was born in Essex and he is as far back in the Gates family tree as I can trace. Thomas would also name his son Thomas, who was born in High Easter, Essex, in 1325, but he would barely get a chance to know his heir. Thomas Gates senior would die two years after the birth of his son in 1327. It was the same year in which the newly crowned King Edward III would lose against the Scottish in the Battle of Stanhope. There is little evidence of what did end the life of Thomas Gates but these were turbulent times in English history, so there are many ways in which a 27 year old could meet their doom. The 1300’s is not the most fruitful time for public records but we can gather that the young Thomas Gates would father the first recorded William Gates of the Gates family, William F. Gates, born around 1375.
As we enter the 1400’s, we discover that the Gates family is from fine stock. Around 1401, William F. Gates welcomed his son Geoffrey Gates into the world. Eventually, he would become Sir Geoffrey Gates and serve as a courtier in the second reign of Edward IV. Things were obviously getting better for the Gates dynasty, before it was about to get unimaginably worse. Sir Geoffrey Gates son, another William Gates, would only live until the age of 35, born about 1450 and dying on 16 October 1485, just a few years after the birth of his son, who would also eventually be titled Sir Geoffrey Gates.
Off With Their Heads!
Sir Geoffrey Gates I was born about 1481 and would marry Elizabeth Clopton in Kentwell in 1500. This era is very well documented in comparison to the previous two centuries. Sir Geoffrey Gates I would have 8 children, most notably Sir John Gates MP, Sir Henry Gates MP, and Sir Geoffrey Gates II. We’ll be following the line of Sir Geoffrey Gates II to meet up with the billionaire creator of Microsoft but, to understand why he and his brother were eventually executed, we should look at the more well documented story of his brother Sir John Gates.
As the funeral procession, carrying the body of Henry VIII, moved through his kingdom and to its final resting place, Sir John Gates proudly rode on horseback beside the corpse of his beloved king. This was a somber day for the loyal courtier of the recently deceased monarch, he had made his fortune thanks to some shrewd dealings, but mainly with the help of the chubby ruler. When King Henry ordered the dissolution of the monasteries, Sir John Gates managed to take control of many former church buildings all across Essex including the famous Beeleigh Abbey.
Now, in January 1547, would come the short 6 year reign of Henry VIII’s only son who would be crowned King Edward VI. When Edward VI came to the throne he was only 9 years old, so his courtiers were extremely influential. Sir John Gates and his brothers, Sir Henry Gates and Sir Geoffrey Gates II, had the young king’s ear; they were three of the most powerful men in the realm. But when the young king became sick at 15 years of age, then came the realisation to all these men that his Catholic sister Mary Tudor would be next in line to the throne. There was a plot devised by the king himself and his closest advisors to place his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne at his death. However, when he did die, the plot fell apart and Mary Tudor was made Queen of England.
Over two decades before the reign of Mary, Geoffrey Gates III had been born in 1530, and he is recorded as marrying Joan Wentworth, who was the granddaughter of Sir Henry Wentworth. Joan and Geoffrey would marry in 1550 and Peter Gates would be born shortly after. Then came the reign of Bloody Queen Mary and the Gates family would be some of the first to suffer the consequences.
Mary would become infamous for her savage executions and one of her first set of victims were those who had taken part in the plot to keep her from the throne. Sir John Gates, Sir Geoffrey Gates II and his wife Deol Gates (née Pascall) were executed on 22 August 1553 in front of a small crowd. Over the following centuries people would say that the headless ghost of Sir John Gates could be seen roaming Beeleigh Abbey on the anniversary of his death.
“Sir John,” sayeth the duke, “God have mercy upon us, for this day shall end both our lives. And I pray you forgive me whatsoever I have offended; and I forgive you with all my heart, although you and your counsel was a great occasion hereof.” “Well, my lord,” sayeth Sir John Gates, “I forgive you as I would be forgiven; and yet you and your authority was the only original cause of all together; but the Lord pardon you, and I pray you forgive me.” So, either making obeisance to [each] other, the duke proceeded [towards the scaffold].
Sir Geoffrey Gates II and his wife Deol had had at least 4 sons who were swiftly hidden and had been named John Gates, Geoffrey Gates III, Henry Gates, and Anthony Gates. As you can imagine, the Gates family members, who were located mainly across Essex, were shaken to the core by the gruesome public death of their most high ranking members. The records suggest that some members of the family went straight into hiding at this point and it’s here where things become a little sketchy.
Many researchers who have been following these ancestral trees seem to make a very simple error. They don’t view the evidence in context to the events of the time and this makes anomalies harder to recognise.
Mary I had been left vast estates in East Anglia by her father which were previously confiscated from the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard, by Henry VIII. She would spend the years leading up to her rule living close to Maldon on the Essex coast. Her location put her just a couple of miles away from Beeleigh Abbey, one of the many church properties gained by Sir John Gates from Henry VIII’s separation from Rome and the Catholic church. These wealthy knights of the realm were part of the court that had denounced Mary Tudor’s right of succession and almost destroyed Catholicism in England.
Peter Gates, who had been born around January 1548, was the penultimate generation of Gates to be born in High Easter in Essex, a place that had been home to many generations of the Gates family beforehand. Their new base would become Coney Weston in Suffolk about 40 miles north of their original homestead. And there is evidence to suggest that they changed their name for a short period after the massacre of 1553. One of Peter Gates’ sons, from the final generation of Gates family to reside in High Easter, was Eustace Gates who was born in about 1569. Eustace didn’t go by the name Gates for all of his life, he would also call himself Eustace Jaques and Eustace Jayuettes, the latter is even written on his gravestone, and Eustace also referred to his sons with the same surname in public documentation such as his last will and testament from 15 Mar 1626:
“Eustace Jaques of Cony Weston….laborer” named “Rose Jaques my wife…Rose Jaques , Ales Jaques, Marie Jaques the elder, and Marie Jaques the younger my fowre daughters……..William Jaques, Thomas Jaques, Stephen Jaques and Symond Jaques my fowre sonnes….my brother in lawe William Wright of Greate Ellingam in the countie of Norff yeoman.”
All of his children would soon return to using the Gates name but there were still obviously the troubling psychological scars of the recent political and religious persecution. Mary I was only on the throne from 1553 until 1558, when Elizabeth I would begin her reign, but by that time the protestant Gates family no longer felt safe in England. In fact they would move as far away as possible very soon.
Migration to America
One of Eustace’s sons, Stephen Gates I, who was born in Coney Weston sometime just before 26 December 1597, would take his family on an epic adventure to the New World. He was part of the “Great Puritan Migration” that began to colonise foreign land on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I. He would migrate on a ship called the Diligent in 1638 and arrive in Boston on 10 August of that same year. The Colony of Massachusetts had only been founded in 1628, so the early colonists were entering a rough and rugged way of life that was fraught with new dangers. But it was written that there were more than just a couple of problems back home in Britain.
The Gates blood was of a tropical nature; daughter Mary boldly contradicted the Minister in public; Stephen quarreled with neighbors, the Whitcombs, was deprived of Constable’ss Staff and left Lancaster; sons tried unsuccessfully to break his will.
The Gates family would at first settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Stephen Gates I would eventually die on 29 Sep 1662. Stephen and his wife Anne Neave, who was also from Coney Weston, had seven children together; two of them, Rebecca and Issac, had died in England before they had reached 6 years of age. The others were Mary Adele, Elizabeth, Stephen, Thomas, and Simon; we’re going to follow Thomas Gates, who was born sometime before 3 May 1646. Thomas was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and would eventually marry Elizabeth Susan Freeman in her home town of Sudbury, Massachusetts, on 6 July 1670.
Elizabeth and Thomas would keep to the Gates tradition of enormous family units. They would have eleven children between 1671 and 1693, seven girls and four boys. One of those boys was called Caleb Gates, and was born about 1693. Caleb Gates would marry Mary Forbes on 06 Jun 1716 and they would eventually move to another of the thirteen British colonies, Connecticut. They would also have a large family, ten children were registered to Caleb and Mary Gates in Preston City, New London. In this case, the ten children were: Thomas, Joshua, Jesse, Sarah, Jonathan, Eunice, Nathan, Mary, Caleb, and the youngest was Simon Gates.
The young Simon Gates, who was born 15 September 1724, would eventually become Ensign Simon Gates and marry two women during his lifetime. One of his wives was named Olive but her family name and fate are not clear. But Ensign Simon Gates’ marriage to Prudence Billings, who was born about 1731, would prove to be much more fruitful. Prudence and Simon would record having 6 children and all their names would hint at a strongly religious family unit. Their children would be called Mary, Asa, Caleb, Israel, Elijah, and Ephraim. The family would also move to West Greenwich, Kent County, in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Rhode Island had evolved into a colony which held on strongly to the belief in freedom to practice one’s religion, this became a popular destination for many different religious minorities. Ensign Simon Gates would die in 1774 aged around 50 years of age. He had answered the call to revolt against British rule, as did his brothers Caleb Gates and Asa Gates.
Hiding Links to Israel
As we approach the more modern Gates family history, we should ask the obvious questions. Why do the vast majority of the sources currently claim that Bill Gates ancestry is only traceable as far as Joseph Stanton Gates in 1806? Joseph Stanton Gates’ father is fully traceable, so why would professionals ignore Joseph’s links to Israel?
Israel Gates was supposedly born in 1764 in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He’ll have three children with his wife Ruth Eunice Gates and that is a relatively small family for the Gates genetics. Their first child they name Asa Gates, the second they name Thomas Jefferson Gates, and their final child is Joseph Stanton Gates.
The first piece of awkward information you can learn about this section of the family is that Ruth Eunice Gates doesn’t have a different maiden name. In fact, Ruth and Israel are related to each other and she already comes from the same family line as Israel. Her great grandfather was Stephen Gates II, son of the original Stephen Gates I who migrated to the first of the thirteen colonies over a century before. This sort of incest was completely normalised in those days, so officially there’s nothing to see here. But a little bit of light historical incest shouldn’t put a researcher off discovering the lineage of one of the richest and most powerful men on planet Earth. So what was Israel Gates doing in the 18th and 19th century that could cause people to whitewash him from history.
In Israel’s time, Newport was a major center of the slave trade in early America. Slave-produced sugar and molasses from the Caribbean were shipped to Rhode Island and were then distilled into rum, which was then sent back to West Africa to be exchanged for more captured African slaves. In 1764, when Israel Gates was born, Rhode Island had about 30 rum distilleries, 22 in Newport alone.
Around 60% of slave-trading voyages which were launched from North America were issued from Rhode Island, in some years more than 90%, and many from Newport. Almost half the men, women, and children were trafficked illegally, often breaking the 1787 state law prohibiting residents of the state from trading in slaves. Rhode Island was one of the main hubs of the global slave trade, and in Israel’s lifetime this would become an illegal activity.
Joseph Stanton Gates was also referred to as Joseph L Gates and was born in around 1806. He would marry Martha P. Satterlee on 5 January 1863 in Delmar, Tioga, Pennsylvania. Martha Satterlee, born 10 May 1823, would have been 40 years old when she married. But according to the birth certificate of their only child, William H. Gates, the couple had William on 22 January 1860, three years before they tied the knot. This is probably due to the country being on the cusp of the American Civil War which began in 1861.
Joseph Stanton Gates would not stay living near the east coast of America and would be the first Gates to move to Seattle in Washington state. He would go on to father Florence Martha Gates, William Henry Gates, Sr. and Pearl Ann Gates. William Henry Gates, Sr., who would also call his son William H Gates, is the grandfather of Bill Gates.
The Gates Family Went Viral
I’m not going to explain to you the life and times of Bill Gates immediate family, I will leave you to do your own research if you wish to know more. Instead, I wanted to discover what led us to this man who we call Bill Gates?
This is a man who talks about the dangers of overpopulation but it’s clear that the Gates genetics spread in a very similar manner to a virus. One generation of the Gates family would often have up to eleven children per household. When I have followed other branches of their family tree, I have discovered equally powerful and wealthy members of the extended family. It appears as though Bill Gates is related to George W Bush and George H W Bush on their mothers side and also to Harry Truman among many others. This very wealthy family is connected to all of the other wealthy families who surround them.
During my research I came across tonnes of errors, misinformation, and missing links. Many of the dates had to be rechecked and verified over and over before the true picture emerged. The execution of Sir John Gates on 22 August 1553 is well known, but the fact that Sir Geoffrey Gates and his wife Deol Gates were executed on the same day has never been alluded to. This was partly because people had made an error with Deol Gates’ year of death. If the most powerful people in your family are beheaded by a reigning monarch then it’s quite normal to expect that other members of the family would go into hiding. Researchers didn’t seem to realise that the anomalies in tracing that part of the Gates family history was because of the repercussions of the reign of Bloody Queen Mary.
During such tumultuous times, some protestant families would hold off on baptisms, weddings, and other protestant religious ceremonies. Many researchers seem to assume that the date of a baptism is the same as the date of birth, but this simplistic calculation can mean that dates become muddled and you may end up discounting, or simply overlooking, crucial information.
The Gates family had always aimed to be in a position of power. Their lineage contains so many “Knights of the Realm” that I had to eventually stopped counting. Their family history is one of affluence, privilege, and the grasping of great opportunities. When the East Anglian family fled England, so did almost 50% of their county and many other English families. This sudden migration caused reverberations throughout England which would crescendo into the English Civil War. The Gates family jumped out of the frying pan and, in heading to America, jumped into the fire. I wasn’t able to find out whether or not the Gates family were part of the slave trade when they moved to Newport, Rhode Island. But it is clear that they moved there during the peak of the American slave trade.
The wealthy and powerful families, of this relatively recently founded country that calls itself the USA, are all connected by their bloodlines, and their hunger for power persists over many generations. History tends to repeat itself, and if that’s true, then maybe Bill Gates could one day find his head resting on the chopping block.