This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in London Church Registers under the variant spellings Lythgoe, Lithgow, Ligoe, Lygoe, Lithcow and Lethcoe, is a condensed form of the Scottish locational name Linlithgow from the royal burgh so called situated between Edinburgh and Falkirk. The component elements of the placename are British words related to the Welsh "llyn", lake, pool, with "llaoith", damp, and "cau", hollow. "British", in this case, refers to the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons. In the 13th and 14th Centuries the name appears both with and without the first syllable. One, John de Lithcu was noted in the "Exchequer Rolls of Scotland", dated 1312, and James Lithgo in Dundee was charged with "aiding the English" in 1552. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced variations in the spelling of the name. On February 27th 1676 the marriage of Francis Lygo to Ann King took place at St. Martin Outwich and on January 22nd 1787 Charles Lygo, an infant, was christened at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, Westminster, London. The family Coat of Arms is a silver shield with a black demi otter issuing out of a loch in base proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Magister Symon de Lynlithcu, which was dated 1225, in the "Chartulary of St. Andrew's Priory", Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. 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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