Recorded in a number of spellings including Vergo, Virgoe, Virgo, Virgin, and Verquin, this very interesting surname is medieval English, but was probably a Norman-Franch 'import' after the famous Invasion of 1066. It has three possible origins, all nicknames. The first being that it was a theatrical 'cast' name for a person who played the part of the Virgin Mary in the famous travelling theatres which produced the 'Miracle Plays' of the medieval period. All casting parts in the theatre, whether male or female, were, until the 17th century, played by men or boys. Not until the time of Shakespeare were women allowed on the stage, although it was only from the end of the Cromwellian period in 1659, when the theatre was banned altogether as being 'lustful', that womens parts were thereafter, always played by women. Secondly the surname could be a nickname for a shy, young man or even ironically, and given the robust humour of the Chaucerian period, for one not shy with his favours at all! However spelt and from whatever source the origination is from the Latin word "virginis", meaning a maiden. The following examples show the surname development and include Isabella Virgo in the charters known as the 'Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aides' in the year1428, whilst William Virgyn is recorded in London in 1581, and John Vergine, also of London in 1610. Other recordings include Thomas Virgo who married Ann Tabb on August 13th, 1627 at Harrow-on-the-Hill. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Simon Vig, which was dated 1275, in the 'Hundred Rolls' of Kent. This was during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, known by the nickname of 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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