More research into the Jago Variants and the Irish and World connection.
While searching the web I came accross this history on the Jago family of Ireland.
The surname Igoe was first recorded in Ireland as long ago as 1311, when the Justiciary Rolls refer to a Waterford juror called Grifin Yago. Then in 1313 the same source mentions that the Prior of the island of Roscrea was Yego.
Today the surname is found as Iago or Igo in County Roscommon, and according to local tradition the name was introduced there by a Spanish family, although the only evidence for this is is that Iago is a Spanish Christian name.
It is more likely that the name was brought to Ireland by either Cornish or Welsh settlers following the Anglo-Norman invasion of the 12th century, because in the defunct Cornish tongue Jago is the word for James, whilst in Welsh it is Iago (as in Iago ap Idwall, Prince of Powys and the ancestor of the poets of the same name), (as mentioned in before click here for research) and the Griffin Yago cited above was obviously of Welsh extraction.
The personal name in turn is of Hebrew origin and literally signifies a “supplanter”, and was, in fact, first recorded in mainland Britain in 1185, when one Jago filius (son of) Ytel was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Herefordshire.
Whatever the ultimate source, bearers of the name in Ireland became, as did many other settler families of the period, completely Hibernicised, and it is interesting to note that in a number of the Fiants (Chancery papers of the 16th century) relating to Roscommon, the name appears variously as MacKigoe, McKigog and MagEgo. Another instance of the name’s deep roots in Ireland is the frequent reference in documents of the fourteenth century onwards to Yagoestown, a place near Naas in County Kildare.
Today there are numerous bearers of the name Igo(e) to be found in County Dublin, and in small numbers elsewhere in the country.
Blazon of Arms: Gules three lions passant argent.
Crest: Issuing from clouds two dexter hands both seizing the stump of an old tree sprouting all proper.
When Jack asked Brian when the “current” spelling of Igoe surfaced, he responded with the following interesting view:
Spelling – I think we pay far too much heed to the spelling of even common names as clues to their origins, never mind esoteric ones like Igoe. My father used to say that HIS father as often as not called himself MacKigog being an Irish speaker to whom English was his second language, and Irish spelling isn’t really capable of being converted to English.
We lived in Waterford, on the bottom right hand side of Ireland and maybe 100 miles from Dublin, until we came to Zimbabwe in 1974, and we had a labourer on the farm who could neither read nor write and had never been to Dublin, or indeed anywhere beyond about 30 miles from home. So spelling is a quite recent phenomenon, and even mine with my expensive education benefits from a spell checker (which this Eudora package I’m using dosen’t have!).
Pronounciation is probably more important, and even that changes dramatically from one language to the next. The Irish pronounciation is something like “Maceeegoegh” with the “oe” pronounced as in “own”, and the final g a gutteral throat clearing noise! While in France where I travel frequently I have long since given up calling myself Igoe with the “I” as in “I”, and instead call myself “EEgoe” with the terminal e pronounced with an acute accent as in “eh”. In Ireland among English speakers the pronounciation of Igoe is universally I (as in “I”)goe (as in go).
In January, 1998, Cadet Lieutenant Michael Igoe, USMA, sent an email message to all the Igoes whose email address he could find on the Web. This brought a flurry of responses from electronic Igoes all over the world, including this one from Tom Igoe of New York City:
Anyway, there’s a family story from our youth about the family coat of arms, describing it as “A silver greyhound standing under a green oak, with one foreleg raised.” The certificate that we used to have describing this coat of arms traces the famliy name to a Spanish town named Igoa, and suggests that the Igoes were descended from sailors of the Spanish Armada who either jumped ship or were shipwrecked on the west coast of Ireland after being routed by Francis Drake. The truth of this is questionable, since we’ve never found any town in Spain called Igoa.
There is however, a town called Iago, and Santiago, ‘Iago’ coming from old Spanish for ‘James’ (Santiago de Compstela is named for St. James). And of course, there’s Shakespeare’s Iago (how many of you got stuck reading that part in high school English too?); didn’t Iago originally accompany Othello from Spain to Venice? Been years since I read it.
Other stories we have: at Ellis Island, there was a genealogical source which attributed the Igoe name to Jewish roots, again in the south of Spain. This is consistent; southern Spain has had a large Jewish population back to Roman times. In addition, Igo is a common surname in northern Africa.
So there seems to be evidence that we offer the O’Neill clan no threat for the claim of oldest Irish family.
In September, 1998, Jack received a copy of “The New World Book of Igoes” published by Halbert’s Family Heritage. Although mostly boilerplate, it does add some credence to the From-Spain-via-Ireland origin theory.
“The surname Igoe appears to be locational in origin. Our research indicates that it can be associated with the Spanish, meaning ‘one who came from the village of Igoa near Pamplona in Spain.'”
The book also agrees with Tom Igoe’s story about the coat of arms: “Gold; a green tree and a silver greyhound with a silver collar walking at the trunk of the tree.” This is supposedly documented: “The Igoe coat of arms hereby illustrated is officially documented in Atienza’s Diccionario Nobillario.”
There is a statictical projection of the Igoe world population, totaling about 3,000 individuals concentrated in the U.S., Great Britain, Ireland, and Australia.
According to the book, the first U.S. immigrant “Dennis arrived in America in 1766.” This is reportedly a reference from page 21 of Bonded Paggengers to America by Peter Wilson Coldham, published in 1983 by Geneological Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD.
In April, 1999, Andy Igoe in the UK sent this to add to the collection:
The Igoe family according to my family line allegedly originated in Venice, Italy, where the family ran a trading empire and naturally (being Venice) owned a number of boats, we understand a fair number of these where large merchantman vessels obviously of Mediterranean design.
The family was approached by – my history slips here – I think Prince Philip or at least some other person of Royal descent in Spain who requested a number of boats from the family to help form a massive fleet, “Armada” to invade England, allowing us to keep any booty we found.
We sent three boats which – along with the rest of the Armada – took a pasting in the weather, we lost one at sea – another crashed off the Norwegian coast and my family got the bum rap – we hit the rocky Irish coast.
My (Great? ) Great Grandfather then came to England and settled in Tottenham and the family moved on from there. Although we have been aware of the Nigerian branch of the family we have not yet established a connection.
In Italy we are now called Barigoe which means Son of Igoe. In Norway and France we are more commonly called Igoa (unsure of pronunciation). Incidentally, Patrick Igoa (French) was a famous endurance motor bike racer and 250cc sprint racer.
I had no idea any Igoe’s had made the journey to America, but then considering the Irish influence in America and the spread of Igoe “variants” across the world it comes as no suprise to hear.
Hope this helps fuel debate……
if you would like more information on this please visit http://www.igoe.com/
Coat of Arms
Two versions of a coat of arms have been located: the color one was sent by Niall Igoe, Zimbabwe, and the other is from the Halbert book mentioned in the text to the left.
More research into the Jago Variants and the Irish and World connection.