This name is of English locational origin from a place in Cumbria near Buttermore called Gatesgarth. The name derives from the Olde Norse "geit", meaning a goat, plus "garth(r)", a piece of enclosed ground used as a yard or paddock. The surname is particularly well recorded in Cumbrian church registers from the mid 16th Century, (see below). On January 4th 1573 Elizabeth, daughter of John and Janet Gaskarth, was christened in Crosthwaite. The name appears as Gatescarthe and Gaskirth in "Lancashire Wills Records at Richmond" in 1609 and 1616 respectively. On November 24th 1832 Thomas Gaskarth and Ann Bank were married in Loweswater, Cumbria. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margareta Gaskerthe married Johnes Grave, which was dated August 29th 1563 in Crosthwaite, Cumbria, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.