Research Jago Name

The following Chapman and other codes are used:

BDF  . .  Bedfordshire
BI   British Isles
BKM    Buckinghamshire
BRK   Berkshire
CAM   Cambridgeshire
CHI   Channel Islands
CON   Cornwall
DBY   Derbyshire
DEV   Devon
DOR   Dorset
DUR   Durham
ESS   Essex
GLS  . .  Gloucestershire
HAM   Hampshire
HRT   Hertfordshire
IOM   Isle of Man
IR   the whole of Ireland (IRL and NIR)
KEN   Kent
LAN   Lancashire
LIN   Lincolnshire
LND   London
NFK   Norfolk
NTT   Nottinghamshire
SCT  . .  Scotland
SFK   Suffolk
SHR   Shropshire
SOM   Somerset
SRY   Surrey
SSX   Sussex
STS   Staffordshire
WAR   Warwickshire
WLS   Wales
WOR   Worcestershire
YKS   Yorkshire



  BI WLS IR SCT LND CON DEV ESS CAM SFK NFK YKS Other counties Rest of Europe
Iago 100 71 5 1 9 5 3           LAN 3, WAR 2, SHR 1  

There are no entries for Iago in Spain.

Iago is predominantly Welsh.  It is not found in East Anglia.

Jago etc.

  BI WLS IR SCT LND CON DEV ESS CAM SFK NFK YKS Other counties Rest of Europe
Jago 2370 4 32 38 175  7% 1304  55% 612  26% 10 0 2   0 HAM 73,  WAR 34 41 (30 in Germany,  1 in Spain)
Jagoe 895 0 175  20% 8 7 554  62% 135  15% 0 0 0 1 0   0
Jagow 18         18               147, in Germany
Jagowe 4         4               0
Gago(e) 10       1 3 5           WAR 1  
Jaga 5       1 4               1
Jagoo 4         1 3             0
Jagos 5         5               0
Jague 7         2 2           DBY 2, STS 1 4
Jajo 4       2 2               0
Jeagoe 10   4       6             0
Jogo(e) 10         5 5             2
Jugo 12 1     0 7 1           HAM 1, WAR 1 5, in Spain
Jugoe 14       1   13              
Yago 3       1 1 1             7, in Spain
Total 3371 5 211  6% 46 194  6% 1910  57% 783  23% 10 0 2 1 0    

The six Bedfordshire entries for Jago are known to be children of Charles and Sarah Jeggo.  The ten in Essex comprise 5 in Greater London and 5 in Braintree, which latter may turn out to be Jeggoes.

Thus Jago and variants are found overwhelmingly in Cornwall and Devon.



Now it is time to return to the question of where the name Jeggo might come from.

Reaney’s assertion that it is a variant of Jago gets no support from the geographical distributions above.  Nearly all occurrences of Jago and variants are in Cornwall and Devon, and it is virtually absent from East Anglia.  There are some occurrences of Jagoe in Ireland;  Iago is predominantly Welsh.  On the other hand, occurrences of Jeggo are predominantly in Essex, and elsewhere in East Anglia, but the name is absent in Cornwall and Devon, Ireland and Wales.

However, one cannot conclude that Reaney is wrong.  It is possible that a Jago moved to Essex and that the pronunciation and spelling changed as a result, to something closer to an Essex name, such as Jeg(g)on.  The traditional Jeggo story could still be true.  The best that can be done is to regard it as a hypothesis, for which further evidence is required.  Much the same can be said about Jégo.

The idea that Jeggo is a variant of Jagger is not a serious contender.  It was included because there is uncertainty over the name of one family in Bocking.  It seems likely that this family was originally called Jeggo, but for some reason presently unknown to me decided to change its name to Jagger, in fairly recent times, circa 1850 – 1860.  Further evidence for this is being sought.  Jagger is a distinctive Yorkshire name.  It means a man in charge of packhorses, a carrier or carter, a hawker or pedlar (see Hey, Reaney, or McKinley). There is virtually no overlap between its geographical distribution and that of Jeggo.

That leaves Jegon and variants and the many similar names which have been collected together in one table above because their geographical distributions are so similar.  Reaney states that Jeggons, Jiggen(s) and Jiggins are variants of Judkins, probably from Jukin.  “Jek-un, Juk-in, Jok-in are diminutives of Jok or Juk, a short form of Breton Judicael, with its variants Juk-, Jok-, Jek-, Gik-.”  Reaney also derives Jekyll and many variants including Jickles and Jiggle from the same name – Old Breton Iudicael.  Hanks and Hodges also connect Jeggons, Jiggen, Jiggins, Jiggle and Juggins to Jekyll and thence to Old Breton Iudicael.

On the other hand, Bardsley has the entry:  “Jiggens, Jeggins, Jeggs, Jegen.  –  Baptismal ‘the son of Jegg’, whence the diminutive Jeggon.  Jiggens or Jeggins is the genitive, as in Jennings, Jones, Williams, etc..  There can be little doubt that the original name was Jackson (i.e., little Jack), which became Jaggin or Jeggin.  Jack is found as Jagg in early rolls, and is so styled by the author of Piers Plowman.  The surname Jeggins seems to have arisen in county Essex, where Jeggins, Jeggs, and Jaggs are still to be met with.”

You pays your money and you takes your choice!

The geographical distribution of the name Jeggo matches that of Jeg(g)on(s) and variants.  There is also the intriguing from John Jegon of Sible Hedingham to his son William Jego, which needs further investigation.  There seems to be a good case for Jeggo being a variant of Jegon/Jeggon.  Nevertheless, further evidence is required.

The possibility of Huguenot origins spans the above considerations.  The Huguenot records contain references to

Gegu, Jegu, Jigou, Jego, Gego, Jegut, Gigu, Gigot, Gegot possible variants of Jeggo, Jiggo, Giggo etc
Jago, Jagot, Jagau possible variants of Jago etc
Gigon, Gygon possible variants of Jeg(g)on etc

The Huguenot hypothesis can neither be ruled out nor accepted.  Once again, further evidence is required.

The main conclusion at this stage, therefore, is that the history of the surname is inextricably intertwined with the history of its bearers.  The origin of the name can only be found by genealogy, by seeking the origins of the family.


1.  David Hey, ‘Family Names and Family History’ (Hambledon and London, 2000)  2.  P. H. Reaney and R. M. Wilson, ‘A Dictionary of English Surnames’ (3rd ed., Routledge, London, 1991, or revised 3rd ed., OUP, 1997)  3.  P. H. Reaney, ‘A Dictionary of British Surnames’ (2nd ed., Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976)  4.  P. Hanks and F. Hodges, ‘A Dictionary of Surnames’ (OUP, 1978)  5.  C. W. Bardsley, ‘A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames with Special American Instances’ (OUP, 1901)  6.  Marie-Thérèse Morlet, ‘Dictionnaire Étymologique des Noms de Famille’ (Perrin, Paris, 1991)  7.  R. A. McKinley, ‘A History of British Surnames’ (Longman 1990)

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