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Possible Origin of Name MANDIGO

In seeking the earliest ancestor in the Hudson Valley region of New York Colony, various researchers over the past 60 years have considered the probability that the name was not originally spelled "Mandigo," but was corrupted to that from another, similar pronunciation. All of these that I have seen were of Huguenot (French Protestant) origin, even when a more southern European connection was being sought. Thousands of Huguenot families fled the Catholic armies of King Louis XIV after he revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Some left before that when other, less drastic, measures were enacted against them. Areas of refuge included Germany, Holland, and England and its colonies. Of the names proposed as possible ancestors, I have found that Montagne, Montanye, Montayne and Montague have kept the original spelling throughout the 18th century.

The only name that appears to have changed significantly in spelling belonged to an obscure farmer whose original name appears to have been Pierre Antoine Menigault. As seen on the enclosed early records, he was recorded under numerous variations. This can be ascribed to the recorder translating the pronunciation as he heard it into German, Dutch, or English, as the case might be, and being unfamiliar with the name. It is also likely that, especially in his early years in New York colony, that Pierre was not that fluent in English. It has been quite common in the English possessions on this continent to "Anglicize" a French name so it has an "O" ending.

Since Pierre [Pieter/Peter] and Eibje [Eva] were likely married by 1726, it is probable that he was born at least by 1700. It was usual at that time for men to marry no sooner than their mid20's, and he could have been older than that. Their first two children were born at Quassic Creek, now a part of the city of Newburgh, New York in Orange County, but at that time a settlement of German refugees from the Rhine Palatinate in Germany. Lutheran baptismal records are from New York City because there was no resident minister of that faith and one had to "ride the circuit" to take care of their religious concerns. Pierre Menigault  under any spelling was not a landowner in Quassic Creek, yet lived there enough years that he had to be working for someone. These were small farms; none over 300 acres, and landowners throughout the 18th century Hudson valley would only employ relatives or neighbors if help was needed. This was especially true for the small group of Palatine Germans whose neighbors were increasingly encroaching English and Scottish people. It is likely that Pierre Menigault was living at the Quassic Creek settlement because his wife was a relative of one of the landowners. Since their second child, Anthony, was baptized at Birgert Mijnders [also Burger Meynders in another source], it is even possible that Eva was his daughter. If that was the case, she and her husband might have come down river to Quassic Creek from Kingston, N.Y., where Burger Meynders was resident for a number of years. He was not one of the original setters of the small community but one who bought a holding of 100 acres from one of the original grantees who left for Pennsylvania where the land was better suited for farming.

Further evidence of Eva being of German background is that their second two children were also baptized in the Lutheran faith, even after the family had moved across the Hudson River to Dutchess County. It was thus not a "church of convenience" for them. Other denominations, including Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed, were close and had resident clergy. The Lutheran faith at that time was very close to the Huguenot in form, substance and belief, and Pierre Menigault would likely have found it to be acceptable, especially if his wife did.

John [Jan Baptista] Mandigo is known to be the father of Jeremiah Mandigo (b. 1755) and Eleanor Mandigo (b. 1759) [Presbyterian Church Records  Rumbout Precinct, Dutchess Co., N.Y.], and is likely the father of Peter, Rumbout, Judah and Jonathan as well. This Peter is known to have been born in Beekrnan, Dutchess Co., and Rumbout's name certainly places his origin in that county, also. John [Jan Baptista] Mandigo is the only one of the earlier generation known to be living in the areas of his likely descendants at that time. From the birth dates of his earliest known child, it is likely that he was married by 1754. By the time he appears on the Town of Beekman tax records the name is spelled "Mandigo." According to his son, Jeremiah, the family moved to Spencertown, Columbia Co. NY in 1767. John Mandigo appears on tax lists there in 1779 and 1781.


"The Mountain of Names"  Alex Shouxnatoff (Simon & Schuter, New York: 1985)
"Family Names: How Our Surnames Came To America (Macmillan, New York: 1982)
"History of the Huguenot Emigration To America" - Charles W. Baird (Dodd, Mead & Co., New                     York: 1885)
"Hudson River Landings" - Paul Wilstach (Ira J. Friedman, Inc., Port Washington, N.Y.: 1969)
"The History of Dutchess County, N.Y. - Frank Hasbrouck, editor (S.A. Matthieu, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. :1909)
"The History of Orange County, N.Y.  E.M. Ruttenber & L.H. Clark, compilers (Philadelphia, Penn.: 1881)
"The Settlers of the Beekman, Dutchess Co., N.Y.  Frank J. Doherty Vol. IV (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.: 1997)
Hartford Times newspaper geneological column (1936-1950)

Terry A. Mandigo October 1998

New York City Lutheran Church
Record of Baptisms
          1728          -          30 June: at Quassaick (Newburgh, N.Y.)
                                 JAN BAPTISTA ('John), aged 8 months (i.e. born Oct 1727)
                                 son of Pieter Antony Menniko and Eipje
          1735          -          6 July: at Birgert Mijnders' (Quassaick) ('Newburgh, N.Y.)
                                 ANTHONIJ ['Anthony], aged 1½ years (i.e. born Dec 1734)
                                 son of Pieter Mennikkow and Ebje
          1740          -          8 June: at Pieter Lassing's (Beekman, Dutchess Co., N.Y.)
                                 MICHAEL, 7 weeks old the coming Tuesday (i.e. born Apr 1740)
                                 son of Pieter Mennike and Eva
          1742          -          27 June: at Pieter Lassing's (Beekman, Dutchess Co., N.Y.)
                                 MAGD.ALENA, born March 24, 1742
                                 daughter of Pierre Anthon Menigon and Eva
                     Tax Lists of Dutchess Co., N.Y.
1737-38   -          Pieter Mellegoo          (South Precinct) (included Rombout Precinct)
1741          -          Peter Mannago          (Rombout Precinct)
1760          -          John Mandigo          (Town of Beekman)
1763          -          John Mandigo          (Town of Beekman)

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