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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name Rego is O Riagain. In County Waterford, the Gaelic form O Reagain is used.

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The surname Rego was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Rego that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are Reagan, Regan, O'Regan, O'Reagan and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rego research. Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Rego History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Rego Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name Rego, or one of its variants:

Rego Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • G Rego, aged 39, landed in Alabama in 1858

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  • Kelly Rego, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 11th District, 1996
  • Vicente do Rego Monteiro (1899-1970), Brazilian painter
  • Dame Paula Rego DBE (b. 1935), Portuguese visual artist
  • Luís do Rego Barreto (1777-1840), Viscount Geraz Lima, known as General Luis Rego, Portuguese military officer and colonial administrator who distinguished himself in the fight against the French invasion
  • José Lins do Rego Cavalcanti (b. 1901), Brazilian novelist
  • Emanuel Fernando Sheffer Rego (b. 1973), Brazilian six-time gold medalist beach volleyball player


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Rego Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rego Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 March 2016 at 08:35.

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