This is a variant form of the Southern French regional surname Perigo or Perigaux, which derives from the Province of Perigord or the City of Perigueux, and describes a former resident of those places. Both names are a development of the ancient Greek "peri" meaning settlement or village, plus "gorto", a fish weir. The name has many variant forms and may possibly have been introduced into Britain shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066. However, the surname recordings and spellings in England from the mid 16th Century certainly suggest a probable Huguenot association. The early name forms include: Perrygo, one Gilbert Perrygo being recorded in Somerset in 1560; Perigo; Perigaux; and Pericau, the latter being the "link" form with the modern spelling. Maria Pericau, a French protestant and probably a Huguenot refugee being the first recording in that spelling, when she married Hector Beau at St. James' Church, Duke's Place, London, on October 20th 1695. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Pieto Perego, which was dated circa 1507, in the "Land Rolls of the City of Milan", Italy, during the reign of Pope Julius 11, 1503 - 1513. 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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