I trace my direct Cates ancestor to Robert Ezra Cate (b. August 21, 1667 in Colyton, Devon, England) and have been attempting to move the line further back. We have learned he and his twin, Richard Nehemiah Cate, emigrated on the Bengal Merchant of Bristol in 1689 to Henrico County, Virginia where Richard probably died soon after entry and Robert was endentured for four years (he had a skill - shoemaker) to Peter Wyke who paid for his passage.
Parish records in Colyton show that Robert and Richard were baptized in St. Anthony's in Colyton and were the sons of William Abraham Cate and Margaret Agnes Ingles Cate. Informtion on the parents has been harder to come by because of the loss of records in Devon that may include the time of their marriage and birth. I am assuming, given the "family reconstitution" research of the village of Colyton by E.A. Wrigley in 1966 that if they were an averge couple they would not have married or had children until Margaret was 25 and William almost 30. So, I am looking at a timeframe of 1635 to 1642 for their birth and 1665 for marriage. I know of no siblings and Wrigley points out that family size in Colyton during this period that most families did not have many children.
In searching all the Cate family members in Devon (and parts of Somerset) I find that most lived within a 20 mile radius of Axminster. Thus I have found accounts of Cate family members in Axminster, Chardstock, Colyton, Plymtree, Yarcombe, Combpyne, Tavistock, Wyke, Exeter, Durston, Elscombe and Colyford.
I have also found records of Cate family in Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Lancaster and other parts of East Anglia, but I discount these for now given the geographic separation from this Devon/Somerset group.
Any records gleaned from English sources is much appreciated. My records are sporadic and I am just now piecing together connections (and have few documents, just internet search results). But the records I have found have the potential to push this family line back to the 1500's and even the 1400s. Taking into account spelling variances, there is even some hope of pushing it further still.
Anyone wanting to explore the Cate beyond the US please send me what you can and I will reply in kind.
New Mexico, USA