We certainly welcome you to the list. We have always had this mystery of who, where, and when these Gatens came to the states and how they are connected. One thing is extremely important. From the various families replying to the list, the story of where they originated is interesting.
First, these immigrants, who I might add, always claimed to be Irish via Scotland. Secondly, the story of three, possibly four (who knows maybe more?) brothers emigrating to the States. I have tracked three, James Edward Gatens, Patrick Gatens, and the youngest William Gatens. The latter two became coal miners in Virginia (now West Virginia). James moved to Cincinnati then to Cedar Falls, Iowa.
All their descendants have heard the story of brothers emigrating from County Donegal, Ireland - to Scotland - and then to the States. I have seen the names appear as Gatiens, Gatens, and Gaten (our family dropping the "S"). The older members have always stated that the name was McGettigan, McGeighan, or a variation of the name.
Two Gatens aged 89 (William) and 92 (Maurice) are still living, being the grandsons of William the immigrant. This family served in the armed services faithfully and nobly. Of the eight brothers on our side, William (aged 89 above) lost a leg in WWII in Italy as a tech sergeant, earning a purple heart. His brothers Maurice, Cornelius, Arthur, and Bernard served either in the Navy or Army, and Leo Patrick Gaten, who was killed in action, February 29, 1945, in Patendorf, Germany during the Battle of the Bulge, and buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. We, the descendants would like nothing better than to find our lineage in Scotland/Ireland. I welcome any information you may have or get.