This interesting name is locational from the village of Woodyates in Dorset or from residence by a gate to a wood. The origin is Olde English pre 8th Century. The original spelling being 'Wode - Geat'. The development of the name has included Wudugat (1200 Century), Wodiate (1210), Wodegat (1296), Wodeyat (1332 - Warwickshire). In the modern idiom there are at least seven spellings, including Woodgate, Woodyatt, Woodget, Woodjetts etc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Wudegat which was dated 1199, The Pipe Rolls of Dorset. during the reign of King John, Nicknamed - The Lackland 1199 - 1216. 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.