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About the study
I am in the beginning stages of a one-name study for Algeo (Algoe). I have long been curious as to how all the Algeo families fit together, in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, the United States and other countries. As a beginning, I am in the process of documenting Algeos in the United States Censuses. I have finished the 1940 Census and am currently working on the 1930 U.S. census, and will continue working backwards. It is unclear to me at this point whether I can go beyond the 1850 census, since that is the last one which lists each individual family member/household resident by name. I am using the program Custodian to enter data. Ultimately I hope to produce some preliminary family trees for the American Algeos (Algoe).
Most Algeos in the United States probably immigrated from northern Ireland, particularly Counties Donegal and Leitrim. The Algeos appear to have come to Ireland from Scotland, from the area around Paisley Abbey in Renfrewshire.
At present, I am only working with names for which there is clear evidence of the spelling "Algeo." I will expand to Algoe, and probably also to Auldjo (found in Scotland).
There are multiple origin stories of the Algeo name. My uncle used to tell me that the Algeos derived from Spanish sailors whose ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked off the coast of Ireland in 1588. Certainly, many if not most Algeos in the United States have an origin in northern Ireland, especially the counties of Donegal and Leitrim. But the other founding story, which is more commonly subscribed to, is that a young lay notary named Giacomo (Jacobo?) came from the Papal Court in 1448, in the entourage of Thomas de Tarves, Abbot-Designate of Paisley Abbey. No one has ever been able to substantiate Giacomo's connection to the Vatican. (If you have evidence to the contrary, please let me know!) It is certain that there have been Algeos in Renfrewshire for hundreds of years, and that Algeos went to Ireland from Scotland in the Ulster Planatation in 1610. They settled in the Strabane barony in County Tyrone.
There is an Algeo surname project at FamilyTreeDna. So far, it has 8 members. My brother's DNA suggests an origin for our family line that is Scandanavian. This fits with an origin from Scotland, but really does not suggest a direct genetic link to the Italian, Giacomo Algeo. In fact, my brother's closest genetic relatives appear to be Swedish or Finnish. In the end, it may be that the only way to really sort out the Algeo origins, and the relationships among the different family lines, may be that enough Algeos do some Y-DNA testing.