Bill Gates Family History

Overview

William Henry Gates III, better known as Bill Gates, was born on October 28th, 1955 to William Henry Gates Jr. and his wife Mary in Seattle, Washington.  Bill took an early interest in computer programming.  Although he enrolled at Harvard University in 1973, he dropped out two years later because he wanted to start his own company.

Microsoft was born in 1976.  The big breakthrough came in 1981 when IBM adopted the Microsoft operating system for its new personal computer.  Four years later Microsoft released its Windows operating system, which became the industry standard, and the rest is history.

In 2008 Bill Gates relinquished his management position at Microsoft to focus on his philanthropic endeavors through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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On the East Coast

Stephen Gates was the immigrant ancestor of the Microsoft founder Bill Gates.  He had arrived in New England with his wife Anna and three of their children on the Diligent in 1638.  They came from Hingham in Norfolk, England and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts.

The line from the youngest son of the youngest son of Stephen led to Ensign Simon Gates who was born in New London, Connecticut and moved to Rhode Island.  His grandson Joseph left Rhode Island for Pennsylvania in the 1850’s.  He worked as a day laborer and house painter there, but not very successfully and he ended up in an almshouse where he died.

Gates on the East Coast therefore started off well and ended badly.  The trajectory was the reverse on the West Coast where Joseph’s son William came shortly after Joseph’s death.

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Seattle

William Henry Gates made the move West in 1888.  Soon after his arrival in Seattle he married Rebecca Eppinhauser from a German immigrant family.   He spent some time in Alaska during the Dawson gold rush, but should not be confused with the Bill Gates there – known at Swiftwater – who was a completely different character.  Back in the Seattle area, he ran a furniture store at Bremerton in the 1920’s and became a city council member there.

His son William Henry Gates Jr. was a US Army veteran of World War Two and co-founded a legal firm in Seattle in 1964.  He practiced there until 1998 when he retired.  By that time his son Bill Gates’ Microsoft company had succeeded beyond all expectations.  He then set about establishing a charitable organization for his son.  This became known as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and he ran it for several years.

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Bill Gates’ Family Tree
  • Stephen Gates (1597-1662) from Norfolk m. Anne Neave (1603-1683) in 1628 in England
  • – Elizabeth Gates (1629-1674) m. John Lazell
  • – Mary Gates (1636-1678) m. John Maynard
  • – Stephen Gates (1638-1707) m. Sarah Woodward
  • – Thomas Gates (1646-1726)
  • Thomas Gates from Massachusetts m. Elizabeth Freeman (1648-1723)
  • – Elizabeth Gates (1671-1726) m. John Holmes
  • – Sarah Gates (1673-1754)
  • – Mary Gates (1675-1737) m. Thomas Rose
  • – John Gates (1678-1747) m. Mary Bowker
  • – Josiah Gates (1681-1763) m. Grace Rathbone
  • – Caleb Gates (1693-1774)
  • Caleb Gates from Massachusetts m. Mary Forbes (1694-1774)
  • – Eunice Gates (b. 1716) m. George Hall
  • – Mary Gates (b. 1718) m. Jonathan Pierce
  • – Thomas Gates (1720-1797) m. Elizabeth Mitchell
  • – Sarah Gates (1722-1786) m. Isaac Hall
  • – Simon Gates (1724-1774)
  • – Joshua Gates (1728-1798) m. Anna Branch
  • Ensign Simon Gates from Connecticut m. Priscilla Billings (b. 1731)
  • – Mary Gates (1754-1832) m. Job Wilcox
  • – Asa Gates (1755-1841) m. Sarah
  • – Caleb Gates (1760-1851) m. Mercy Phillips
  • – Israel Gates (1764-1812)
  • Israel Gates from Rhode Island m. Ruth Chapman (b. 1768)
  • – Asa Gates (1800-1876) m. Rebekah Wilcox
  • – Thomas Gates (b. 1804)
  • – Joseph Gates (1806-1883)
  • Joseph Gates from Rhode Island m. Martha Sutterlee (1820-1905) in Pennsylvania in 1853
  • – Julia Gates (b. 1853)
  • – Jefferson Gates (b. 1855)
  • – William Henry Gates (1860-1926)
  • – Frank Gates (b. 1861) m. Idelia Burlingame
  • William Henry Gates from Pennsylvania m. Rebecca Eppinhauser from Germany (1869-1920) in Seattle in 1888
  • – Florence Gates (1889-1987) m. Harry Schumaker
  • – William Henry Gates (1891-1969)
  • – Pearl Gates (b. 1895) m. John Carlyle
  • William Henry Gates Sr. from Seattle m. Lillian Rice (1891-1966) in 1913
  • – Merridy Belle Gates (1919-1995) m. Heustin Williams
  • – William Henry Gates Jr (1925-2000)
  • William Henry Gates Jr. from Seattle m. Mary Maxwell (1929-1994) in 1950
  • – Kristianne Gates
  • – Bill Gates (b. 1955) m. Melinda French in 1994 (now divorced)
  • – Libby Gates

 

 

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