Gage Surname Genealogy

Gage surname has Norman French origins and is thought to have two
possible meanings:

  • the
    old French word gage or gauge meaning
    a gauge and being the occupational name for an
    assayer, one who is responsible for checking weights and measures  
  • or
    an alternative meaning of gage as a pledge or security
    and thus an
    occupational name for a money-lender.

Gage Resources on

Gage Ancestry

The Gage name has
cropped up in both the west of England and in southeast England.

One early family that straddled both sides
was the Gage family from

in Gloucestershire, recorded there
since the early 1400’s.  John Gage
married Eleanor St. Clere in 1443 and through that marriage acquired
estates in Surrey and Sussex.  Later
Gages were found at Burstow manor near Reigate in Surrey and then, and
for a
much much longer period and continuing, at Firle Place in Sussex.

The family’s association with Firle began in 1472 when
William Gage married Agnes Bolney and their son John built a Tudor
there.  These Gages remained resolutely
Catholic for the next 250 years.  Sir
Edward Gage was even involved in the burning of the Lewes Protestant
during the bloody reign of Queen Mary.

later Gages were: 

  • Sir
    William Gage

    who, among other achievements, introduced a fruit
    into England which was named the greengage after him.  
  • and Sir Thomas Gage who commanded the British
    forces in North America at the onset of the American Revolutionary War.  He incurred a famous defeat at the Battle of
    Bunker Hill in 1775.

A Gadge or Gage family
held Shenfield manor in Essex in Elizabethan times.
The Gages of Hengrave Hall in Suffolk were descended
from the Firle Gages.  There were Gages
in the village of Chelsworth in Suffolk starting around 1700 and they
still to be found there 200 years later

.  Gages from Northamptonshire,
with possible
links to the Firle Gages, secured estates from the British Government
in Derry
in 1635.  The Rev. John Gage of this
family was chaplain to both Queen Anne and the Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland.  His son, also Rev. John Gage,
Rathlin island
off the coast of county Antrim in 1746.
These Gages remained
resident there until 1975.

America.  John
Gage, thought to have come from Suffolk with Winthrop in 1630, may have
the forebear of the Gages in New England.
There were three later Gage lines – Daniel Gage in Ipswich, Thomas Gage in
, and
Gage in Freetown.

Daniel moved to
Bradford, Massachusetts where his son established Gage’s ferry on the banks of the Merrimack
river.  Later Gages were to be found at the
Gage Hill Farm in Pelham, New Hampshire.
David Gage started an ice company there in 1854 and was known as
the “ice
king of Lowell.”

Some other Gage lines
went as follows:

  • via Thomas Gage in
    Bradford to James L. Gage, an Ohio lawyer, whose wife Frances became a
    campaigning abolitionist and leading feminist of her time.   
  • via Thomas Gage in Yarmouth to Henry Hill
    Gage in upstate New York, whose wife Matilda was even more of a
    abolitionist and feminist.  
  • and another
    line via Thomas Gage in Yarmouth to Dewitt Gage in upstate New York,
    who headed
    west to Saginaw, Michigan after the Civil War.  His
    son Henry became Governor of California in 1899.

Gage families in Texas and Arkansas can trace
themselves back to Nicholas Gage in London in the early 1700’s.  His son David departed for New York in the
1730’s and later settled in Rutherford county, North Carolina.  Reuben Gage migrated first to Kentucky and
later to Missouri and Texas.

was granted a league of land in the Milam grant on May 25, 1835.  This made him an original Anglo-American Texan.
In his grant application he gave his age
as sixty five and his place of birth as New York.”  

Canada.  James
Gage had crossed over to Canada from upstate New York after the
War.  His farmhouse near Hamilton lay on
the road between Niagara and York (later Toronto) and became a
stopping point for travelers.  The house
saw action in the War of 1812 as the Battle of Stony Creek occurred
with the wounded being taken there and treated in the house.
Now known as Battlefield House, it is a museum.

Robert R. Gage, related, was a well-known
lawyer in Hamilton and Gage Park there was named after him.

Gage Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Gage Names

Thomas Gage was a general who
commanded the British forces rather unsuccessfully during the early
days of the
American Revolutionary War.
Matilda Gage
was a noted 19th century
American suffragist, abolitionist, freethinker and writer.

Select Gages Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 5,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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