McEgo History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The birthplace of the surname McEgo is Cornwall, a rugged peninsula in southwestern England that is noted for its strong Gaelic traditions. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The process by which hereditary surnames came to be used is intriguing. As the number of inhabitants of Europe swelled, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify them. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Although nickname surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name McEgo is a nickname type of surname for a the personal name James, which itself is a version of the ancient name Jacob, which means supplanter.

Early Origins of the McEgo family

The surname McEgo was first found in Cornwall, where there is some debate of the name's origins. One reference lists that the name was "from the Spanish Iago, which must have crossed over into Cornwall at some early period." [1] While another states "whether it derives from the Celtic-British Iago, and signifies James or from gago or jago, a spear and pledges for battle; however, the name was of ancient use in Britain; for Galfridus Monmuthensis tells us of a king named Jago, before Julius Caesar landed in Britain, that reigned twenty-five years, and is buried at York." [2]

The parish of St. Erme in Cornwall was an early home for the family. "The barton of Innis or Ennis, was at an early period possessed by the Opies, who held it so late as the days of James I. during which period it was sold by them to an ancestor of Samuel Jago, Esq." [3] It is generally thought that the name Jago is Cornish for the name James and in Welsh records as Iago. [4]

Early rolls point to a variety of spellings and entries of both as a forename and surname: Jago filius Ytel listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire in 1185; and William Jeago in the Assize Rolls for Shropshire in 1221. [4]

Early History of the McEgo family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McEgo research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1684, 1724, 1723 and 1807 are included under the topic Early McEgo History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McEgo Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Jago, Jagoe, Jagow, Jeago, Jego, Mac Ego and many more.

Early Notables of the McEgo family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McEgo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McEgo family to Ireland

Some of the McEgo family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McEgo family

Study of Passenger and Immigration lists has revealed that among early immigrants bearing the McEgo surname were: Richard Jego, who sailed to Virginia in 1628; Walter Jago to Barbados in 1634; John, Patrick and Hester Jago to Boston in 1849; and Catherine Jago to Boston in 1850..



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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