NOTES ON SURNAMES (HULL) 27
HIGO I believe that this surname is of Irish origin and was originally the Irish surname Igoe.
The census of 1881 has John Higo, coal dealer, born Mayo, Ireland, living at 6 Pleasant Place, Collier Street, with his wife Catherine (born Hull) and children, Mary, James, Thomas and Catherine.
Same census has Daniel Higo, labourer, born Ireland, living at 1 Providence Place, Collier Street, with wife Ann, born Ireland, and daughters Mary, Ann, Harriet, Bridget, Kate.
Collier Street was in the old West End, one of the areas of Irish settlement in Hull.
Daniel and family are recorded in the 1871 census with their surname spelt ‘Igoe’.
A family with the surname spelt Igo is in the census of 1861 in Mill Street in the old West End; Catherine, a widow, and her son and three daughters, all born Ireland.
Francis Finnegan, in her book, “Poverty and Prejudice” (1982)*, a study of the Irish in York in the mid-19th century, informs that Igoe, from Mayo, was one of the commonest names among York’s Irish community. York, like Hull, drew its Irish residents largely from North Connacht; Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon in particular.
There are differing opinions of the origin of the surname Igoe in Ireland. Patrick Woulfe in his “Irish Names and Surnames” mentions a belief that Igoes descend from survivors of the Spanish Armada who came ashore in Ireland. This can be ignored. Others associate the name with English (Cornish?) Jago, and some of this name are known to have acquired confiscated land in 17th century Ireland. Edward MacLysaght (The Surnames of Ireland) states that the Igoes are MacIagó and a branch of the O’Hanleys (Ó hAinle) of Roscommon, adding that MacIagó was also adopted as an Irish language version of Jago.
Personally I subscribe to the O’Hanley connection, based on a line of descent recorded in the O’Clery genealogies; viz., Iago (that is Aedh), son of Muircertach, son of Raghnall of Brian’s battle, son of Murchadh, son of Domhnall, son of Tadhg, son of Muircertach, son of Ainligh, ancestor of Ó hAinle.
According to this Iagó was really called Aedh (modern spelling Aodh), and he lived in the late 11th century. Brian’s Battle was Clontarf, 1014, against the Danes. Iagó may have been a nickname, meaning unknown.
Being a branch of the O’Hanleys appears to have granted them no favours. The Annals of Connacht record that one Diarmait MacIago was slain by the sons of Gilla na Naem O hAinlighe in 1465.
Then in 1641 Ferrall Mackigoe was dispossessed of his lands near the town of Roscommon by Dualta O’Hanley. (Calendar of State Papers, Ireland).
By the 19th century the MacIagó/Igoes had dispersed from Roscommon into neighbouring counties, particularly Mayo.
*The title of Dr. Finnegan’s study has been corrected as I had mistakenly named it “Poverty and Progress …”