- This unusual and interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is either from a regional surname from the province of Perigord in south-west France, or from a locational surname from Perigueux, the capital town of Perigord. Both placenames are derived from the Greek "peri", meaning around, near, or about, and in this case meaning settlement, and the French "gord", meaning fish weir, from the Gaulish "gorto"; hence "settlement by the fish weir". The surname may have been introduced into Britain by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The surname development since 1554 (see below) includes: Gilbert Perrygo (1560, Sussex); Pietro Perego (1577, Milano, Italy); Angela Perego (1606, Milano, Italy); and Mary Parago (1667, London). The modern surname is found recorded variously as Perigo, Perigeaux, Per(r)ygo, Perigoe, Perago and Perego, in France, Italy and Britain, and is particularly well recorded in Sussex; Nicholas, son of Symon Perigo, was christened on September 30th 1582 at Crowhurst, and Stephen Perigo married Margery Sparrow on July 26th 1685 at St. Clement's, Hastings. The marriage was recorded in France of Jeanne Perigo and Charle Jeangoult on January 11th 1707 at Meurthe-Et-Moselle, Gugney-Sous-Vaudemont. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wyllm Perago, which was dated December 8th 1554, christened at Horsham, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.