This name, with variant spellings Floodgate and Fladgate, derives from the Olde English pre 7th century 'flod(e)', flood, plus 'geat', a gate or natural opening in a sea wall, and was originally given as a metonymic occupational name to a keeper of the floodgate, or as a topographic name to someone who lived near one. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, (see below). It is particularly prevalent in London church registers from the early 17th Century. On January 27th 1610 Justinian Fludgate and Alce Moore were married in All Saints, Wadsworth and on October 16th 1681 Henry, son of Henry and Elizabeth Floodgate, was christened in St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The variant spelling Fladgate appears on these records in 1757. On February 13th of that year John Fladgate and Anne Cox were married in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter atte Flodgate, which was dated 1327, The Subsidy Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111, '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.