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"lingo" family name, ancestry, and history


The Scottish surname Lingo is derived from the lands of Lingoch in the parish of Carnbee, County Fife, Scotland. The earliest known recorded use of the surname in Scotland is by Ulf de Lingoch, who witnessed a charter granted in the early 13th century. The Lingo estate lands, located on Ling Burn near the town of Carnbee in the East Neuk of Fife, northwest of Pittenweem, belonged to the Monastery of Pittenweem prior to 1534, and were partly in possession of the Borthwicks of Lingo from 1534 until 1671, after which date they were held by the Hamiltons of Kilbrackmont until 1739, when they were purchased by Thomas Dalyell, a descendant of the Dalyells of Binns; they were held in 1895 by Ralph Dalyell, Esquire. Lingo House, the seat of the ancient estate, is located about halfway between St. Andrews and Pittenweem, situated about a mile to the north of B940, approximately 2 miles east of its junction with A915 (St. Andrews to Largo). The name Lingo most likely stemmed from the name of the neighboring stream, Ling Burn, combined with the Scottish word "auch" or "och" for field or enclosure to form "lingoch," which evolved into its present abbreviated form. Lingo and names like it, including Balerno, Catto, Mallo, Patillo (Pittilloch), Rollo (Rolloch), Romanno, and Stobo (in Peebleshire) are not always clearly recognized as Gaelic because they do not fit the "normal" Gaelic form for names. The surname Casto is Scottish as well. There are many place names in Fife that end in -o, including Balcormo, Baldutho, Ballo Reservoir, Balmerino, Balmullo, Buddo Ness, Cambo Ness, Clatto Hill, Dunino, and Kippo, and in surrounding areas a cursory search turned up Aberlemno, Balerno, Balmanno Hill, Chatto, Kintillo, and Ratho Station (Edinburgh). Down through the centuries, the ancient pronunciation and spelling of Lingoch was shortened to Lingo, and that form has been in use since at least the 17th century, with some variations. The surname is occasionally found spelled Lingoe and Lingow, and has at times been confused with Ling, Linge, and Lingon. The Lingo surname is included in a list of septs of Clan Graham provided by the 7th Duke of Montrose, late Chief of all the Grahams. Enquiry of the Chief was made, but to date no explanation has been forthcoming for how the surname came to be on the list. Perhaps the Grahams at some time held the Lingoch estate, and thus the family residing on the estate came under the influence of the Clan Graham and was deemed a sept. A Graham clan history states that Lingo is a cadet of the Grahams of Knockdolian in Carrick descended from Walter, youngest son of Sir William de Graham and the Princess Mary, daughter of Robert III, but does not provide other details. Other origins have been conjectured for this surname, including Italian by way of Ireland, French, Norwegian, and Welsh, but no other origin has been satisfactorily documented, and the presence of Lingoes in America long before the American Revolution, their close alliance with settlers of predominantly British stock, and the frequent bestowal of such archetypal Scottish names as James Stewart Lingo, strongly suggest that some, at least, of the American Lingo families were of British origin. The earliest certain record of the Lingo surname in the New World that has been documented is that of Elizabeth Lingoe marrying Edwards Dunstan on 12 May 1661 in Hungar's Parish in Northampton County, Virginia, on the southern part of the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia ("DelMarVa") peninsula. A number of Lingo families lived on the Delmarva Peninsula in the early colonial period, and Lingoes were in that county at least through 1733. In the early 19th century, several Lingo families migrated westward into Ohio and southward into the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri, and eventually further out, and descendants are now found across the nation.

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