This interesting and curious surname has two possible origins. In former times, a family of the name Algie, Algoe, had considerable estates in Renfrewshire, and were of Italian origin, the first of them having come from Rome, in the suite of one of the Abbots of Paisley. Algeol or Algie is said to be a name peculiar to the parish of Inchinnan. The following quotation is taken from the "New Statistical Account, Renfrew": "The Algies of Inchinnan are spirited farmers, and the name, along with others in this place, frequently flourishes among the prize takers at ploughing matches". The first recorded namebearer (see below) was the grandson of the Italian immigrant, who received the lands of Easter Walkinshaw by marrying Marion Morton, heiress thereof, and he was the same Peter Algeo who was burgess of Paisley in 1550. Robert Algeo rendered to the Exchequer the account of the bailies of Renfrew in 1585. However, Algeo may also be an Irish derivative of the English Alger, Elgar, from the Middle English personal name "Alger", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "adal", noble or "ald", old, and "-gar, -ger", spear, found in Co. Leitrim and north-west Ulster. Early recordings include Nemmidleton Elgee (1757, Co. Louth), and Phoebe Algeo (1846, Co. Donegal). A Coat of Arms granted to Henry J. Algeo Esq., of Ballybrack, Co. Dublin, grandson of Robert Algeo, Esq., of Hollymount, Co. Leitrim, depicts in chief three red hearts in triangle and in base a black martlet, on a silver shield; the Motto is "Non deficit alter", (Another is not wanting). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Algoe, which was dated 1547, in the "Abstracts of protocols of the town clerks of Glasgow", during the reign of Queen Mary of Scotland, 1542 - 1567. 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.
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