Javascript is either disabled or not supported by this browser. This page may not appear properly.
The Huguenot (French Protestant) Theory
This theory has our ancestors fleeing the Catholic armies of King Louis XIV
when he revoked the
Edict of Nantes in 1685 or perhaps earlier as intolerance among their countrymen grew. This theory has several logical elements going for it. First, the timeline matches the timeline when we first see Mandigos in the New World. Second, the logical destination for Huguenots would be New France, now Quebec and its nearby areas. Third, as non-British arrivals, it would be very reasonable to expect that many would have their given names and surnames "anglicized." One candidate as ancestor is Pierre Antoine Menigault. Read Terry Mandigo's treatment of this possibility by clicking on Pierre's name.
The Basque Theory
This theory is similar to the above theories except that it has the family starting point in the Basque Country. With possibilities of having traveled out either through Spain or France and possibly arriving through the French islands of St. Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland which historically has had a significant Basque presence. The theory is problematic for two reasons. First, Basques are largely Catholic and Mandigos have not been. The change in faith would need to be explained. Second, Basques have traditionally been very proud of their heritage and would likely have passed it on. If we are from Basque roots, why did our ancestors not tell the tale? It is interesting to note that in the listing of local names of Basque origin of St. Pierre & Miquelon are the names Mendizabal and Miniague.
The Spanish Sailor Theory
This theory tells of a sailor who is taken prisoner by the English during the
War of the Spanish Armada
. The sailor is said to have been released and to have stayed in England. Although unsubstantiated, this theory has elements that could in fact be part of the origin of the surname. Spain was a major naval power until England rose to power in the 16th century. Spanish sailors and other wanderers could very easily have been relocated to other parts of Europe and then later they or their families could have been candidates to travel on to the new world. It should be noted that Spain at one time or another controlled Sicily, Southern Italy, parts of Switzerland and France and also ruled the important ocean ports of the Netherlands and other Low Countries. The opportunity for cross-influence of a Spanish flavor was great.
The Spanish Inquisition Theory
In this theory the Mandigo family left Spain during the Inquisition and then emigrated to Italy. Certain versions of this story then have the family travelling to England or some other part of Great Britain and/or France before finally arriving in Canada during the early 1700's. The theory that the Mandigo family was expelled from Spain for not being Catholic is appealing as the family has historically been largely Protestant. The similarity of the surname to the Spanish word mendigo (historically, a pauper or peasant, in modern use, a beggar) has been expressed by some as support for this theory although it would counter the notion that the Spanish ancestors were land owners or barons prior to being expelled.
Origin Stories
The Spanish Inquisition Theory
In this theory the Mandigo family left Spain during the Inquisition and then emigrated to Italy. Certain versions of this story then have the family travelling to England or some other part of Great Britain and/or France before finally arriving in Canada during the early 1700's. The theory that the Mandigo family was expelled from Spain for not being Catholic is appealing as the family has historically been largely Protestant. The similarity of the surname to the Spanish word mendigo (historically, a pauper or peasant, in modern use, a beggar) has been expressed by some as support for this theory although it would counter the notion that the Spanish ancestors were land owners or barons prior to being expelled.
To date, no one has proven where the surname Mandigo came from. We only know that it has been present in North America since the early 1700's and possibly longer. Here are a few theories below.
The Spanish Sailor Theory
This theory tells of a sailor who is taken prisoner by the English during the
War of the Spanish Armada
. The sailor is said to have been released and to have stayed in England. Although unsubstantiated, this theory has elements that could in fact be part of the origin of the surname. Spain was a major naval power until England rose to power in the 16th century. Spanish sailors and other wanderers could very easily have been relocated to other parts of Europe and then later they or their families could have been candidates to travel on to the new world. It should be noted that Spain at one time or another controlled Sicily, Southern Italy, parts of Switzerland and France and also ruled the important ocean ports of the Netherlands and other Low Countries. The opportunity for cross-influence of a Spanish flavor was great.
The Basque Theory
This theory is similar to the above theories except that it has the family starting point in the Basque Country. With possibilities of having traveled out either through Spain or France and possibly arriving through the French islands of St. Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland which historically has had a significant Basque presence. The theory is problematic for two reasons. First, Basques are largely Catholic and Mandigos have not been. The change in faith would need to be explained. Second, Basques have traditionally been very proud of their heritage and would likely have passed it on. If we are from Basque roots, why did our ancestors not tell the tale? It is interesting to note that in the listing of local names of Basque origin of St. Pierre & Miquelon are the names Mendizabal and Miniague.
The Huguenot (French Protestant) Theory
This theory has our ancestors fleeing the Catholic armies of King Louis XIV
when he revoked the
Edict of Nantes in 1685 or perhaps earlier as intolerance among their countrymen grew. This theory has several logical elements going for it. First, the timeline matches the timeline when we first see Mandigos in the New World. Second, the logical destination for Huguenots would be New France, now Quebec and its nearby areas. Third, as non-British arrivals, it would be very reasonable to expect that many would have their given names and surnames "anglicized." One candidate as ancestor is Pierre Antoine Menigault. Read Terry Mandigo's treatment of this possibility by clicking on Pierre's name.
Return to www.mandigo.org
Add a theory, debunk a theory, prove a theory!
Return to the top of this page