Patrick Henry Gates is the son of John Adams Gates from New Jersey, and the ex-husband of Emily Appleton. They divorced when their only child Benjamin Franklin Gates was young. He had been estranged from Ben for years till 2004. The estrangement was because Ben believed that the family legend about a treasure beyond treasures cost Patrick the family fortune and his marriage until he stopped looking for it. It's Patrick who suggests that Ben and his friends use heat to make the letters on the back of the Declaration appear. In the course of the film, he is kidnapped by Ian Howe as insurance so that Ben does not double cross him. Patrick is taken into Trinity Church where he and Ben convince Ian that the treasure is actually in Boston and then father and son find the treasure together.
In 2007, he will come face to face with his ex-wife, whom he has not talked to in 32 years in trying to clear the gates family name in the Assassination of President Lincoln. Patrick and Emily's occasional tiffs throughout the second film create a comedic parallel to those that occur between Ben and Abigail, and by the end of the film, it's clear that Patrick and Emily are on their way to a reconciliation.