This curious surname is of northern medieval English origin,, and is a locational name from the village of Cargo, north west of Carlisle in Cumberland. The component elements of the placename are believed to be either the British (pre Roman) "ker", fort, reflected in the Celtic "caer", fort, with the Old Norse "goe", bay, inlet; hence, "fort near an inlet", or the Olde English pre 7th Century "carr", rock, with "goe" (as above). There is also a hamlet called Cargo Fleet near Middlesbrough in the North Riding of Yorkshire which may have given rise to some instances of the surname.Locational names, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On September 15th 1727, James Cargow, an infant, was christened in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, and on September 9th 1733, Elizabeth Cargo was christened at Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland. The surname is particularly well recorded in Church Registers of Lancashire, and in the Irish province of Ulster from the mid 18th Century, namebearers in the latter place most likely being of Scottish Planter stock. On March 11th 1749, one John Cargo was a christening witness at Benns Garden Church, Liverpool, Lancashire, and on November 6th 1802, the marriage of Ann Cargo to Samuel Waters took place at Carnmoney, County Antrim. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Cargue, which was dated September 5th 1691, marriage to Agnas Wilsone, at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, during the reign of William and Mary, 1689 - 1694. 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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