This famous Spanish and Portugese surname is found in every part of the world where the early settlers landed. It is generally accepted as being in origin a nickname for a 'tall and slim' person, one who walked gracefully. In fact the derivation is from the Latin word 'delicatus' which could also translate as 'seducer', so it may be that a number of meanings can be ascribed to the origin. 'Delgardo and Delgarda' are also used as place names, and it seems surprising that some surnames at least did not derive from residence at these places, but apparently this is not so. The usual surname form is 'Delgardo' but 'Delgadillo' the diminutive spelling and meaning 'Little Delgardo' or perhaps 'Son of Delgardo', seems to be the first recording on the church registers. Early examples of the recordings include Frias Delgardo, son of Francisco Delgardo and his wife Maria, (formerly De Paz), christened at Valladolid, Spain, on November 24th 1585, and Anta Delgardo, who married Ana de Alarte at Alpera, on January 27th 1614. Another example is Joao Delgardo, son of Joao and Chaterina, christened at Canical, Funchal, on March 1st 1657. The coat of arms granted in Castille has the blazon of a quartered shield, one and four being Vair, silver and red, two and three, a blue field, charged with a gold tower. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rodriguez Delgadillo, which was dated January 3rd 1569, christened at Nuestra Senora de Antigua, Valladolid, during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain, 1558 - 1595. 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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