This interesting name has two possible origins. The first, and most likely, being a topographic name for a 'worker at the barn(s)', deriving from the Olde Norse 'hlada' meaning 'a barn'. The surname from this source is first recorded towards the end of the 13th century. An alternate spelling 'del Laythes' appears in 1332. The name may also derive from the Olde English 'laecc' meaning 'a stream', and was originally given to one residing near a stream, for example, Henry del Lache (1297) - The Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. One John James Lates (deceased 1777) was an organist at St. John's College, Oxford, and a composer of solos and duets for the violin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert del Lathes which was dated 1296 the Register of the Freemen of York during the reign of King Edward 1 the Hammer of the Scots 1272-1307 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.