London, August 6 : The world's third richest man Bill Gates has Yorkshire roots, according to a genealogist. David Glover, who spent a year working on the Gates' family history, says that the Microsoft owner' great grandfather 11 times removed is believed to have been Jonas Halstead, born in 1611, the son of a yeoman clothier from nearby Northowram.
He says that the Halsteads were a Puritan family in the area, and became increasingly disturbed about the direction the parish church in Halifax was taking.
"The final straw seems to be the appointment of a very high church priest," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"Jonas joined a number of people from the area who sailed from Bristol in May 1635 for Boston, arriving 12 weeks later," he added.
Glover says that Halstead became a farmer and later a land speculator, before shifting to Long Island in New York State.
He says that he used local records and research published in the US before establishing a direct line between Jonas and Bill Gates.
According to him, the descendants of Jonas include the Maxwell banking family in Seattle, and the fact that Bill Gates' grandfather was James Willard Maxwell Junior suggests a link.