Recorded in several spelling forms including Rega (Italy), Do Rego, Rego and Regi (Portugese and Spanish), Lerego (Portugese and possibly French), and Regos (French), and found throughout Southern Europe, in origin this is regarded as being primarily a Portugese, and to some extent, Iberian surname. It derives from the pre Roman word 'rego' meaning a channel or possibly in some cases, a port, and is topographical for a person who lived or worked at a 'rego', or more likely is a locational surname for one who had previously lived at one of the villages so called. Residential surnames of this type were amongst the first to be accorded hereditary status, usually from the 14th century onwards. This was because the easiest form of identification particulary of a 'stranger', was to call him, and occasionally her, by the name of the place with which they were associated. The recordings of surnames on the Iberian Peninsula is erratic and often non-existent until quite recently, however in this case we have good examples back to the mid 16th century. These include Vasco de Rego, of Funchal, christened in Madeira on July 13th 1552. According to the available records, this island seems to have been an epicentre of the surname in Portugal for at least three centuries. Other examples are those of Francisco Regi of Gerona, Spain, on June 4th 1684, and Gonzalez Rego of Lugo, San Vincente, on December 23rd 1820.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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