Last name: Rigney

Recorded in many spelling forms including Raggeny, Ragne, and Rigney, this is an English surname. It is clearly locational and therefore from some place, however no such place or anything like it, has been found in any of the known gazetters, even those going back several centuries. This suggests that the surname either originates from a now "lost" medieval village of which the surname in its various forms is the only surviving public reminder, or the place name spelling or the surname spelling, has been "transposed" to the point where it is no longer recognizeable. Either are possible as it is known that over three thousand surnames of the British Isles originate from "lost" places. Furthermore locational surnames are by their nature "from" names. That is to say names given to people as easy identification after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. Spelling being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, soon lead to the development of "sounds like" forms. In this case early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Thomas Raggeny, the son of Ezechiel Raggeny, who was christened at St Botolphs Bishopgate, on June 17th 1599, Susanna Ragne, who married Stephen Renew at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on September 29th 1717, and Thomas and Mary Rigney, whose son also called Thomas, was christened at Holborn Lying in Hospital, on April 18th 1776.

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