- Excerpts from Tate Families of the Southern States, Volume II, by Laura Mentzel and Ethel Updike, 1984
There were several families of the name Tate in southwestern Virginia before the Revolution and some were not related. There was an early Robert Tate, in Washington County, VA, who was probably the ancestor of the Col. John Tate, Robert Tate, Jr. and William Tate who settled in Washington County, VA, in 1772. This Robert Tate estate was taxed in 1794, indicating that he had passed on prior to that date.
Augusta County, VA was formed in 1738 and comprised a great part of Virginia. Botetourt County was formed in 1769 and Fincastle County was formed in 1772. Washington County was formed in 1776 and Russell County was formed in 1785, where they eventually found themselves living. Robert Tate Sr. died prior to 1794, however his son, Robert Tate, Jr., continued to be called "Jr." In November 1804, in Russell County, VA, a power of attorney was granted by Sarah Hanley to her friend Robert Tate, Jr. to "receive rent due me" on land in Orange County, NC; witnessed by Richard Davis, Robert Tate, Jr., and Aaron Tate. Robert Tate and Aaron were brothers, thus it seems there were several generations of Robert Tates in the area. This early Robert Tate was probably the father of Col. John, Robert Jr. and William Tate.