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Surname Mayo - Meaning and Origin

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An Odyssey into my Roots: Revealing Mayo's Celtic Origins through iGENEA DNA Test

Unraveling my roots by using the iGENEA DNA Test, I embarked on an intriguing journey into the historical and cultural origins of my surname, Mayo. This quest led me back to the ancient Celtic tribes, behind the vast seas and the lush Irish landscapes. This peep into my lineage has provided an enriching sense of identity, acknowledging my connection with a resilient and adventurous ancestral lineage.

P. Mayo

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Mayo: What does the surname Mayo mean?

The last name Mayo is of Irish origin, derived from the Irish noble family O'Mayo, which means descendant of Maoliodhar. Maoliodhar is an Irish personal name that means 'servant of God.' The family was a part of the larger group Ui Fiachrach, who ruled the western parts of Ireland in the early Middle Ages. The family seat was established in County Mayo, which was named after them. This region is in the Connacht province, situated in the western part of Ireland. The surname 'Mayo' was often Anglicized from 'Maoidheo' during the 17th century, after English rule forced many Irish families to adopt English sounding names. Today, Mayo is a common surname in places where the Irish diaspora exists, including the United States, England, Australia, and Canada.

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Mayo: Where does the name Mayo come from?

The surname Mayo is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic name "O'Maoileoin" which means "descendant of the devotee of (Saint) John." It is linked to the province of Connacht, particularly the county of Mayo, from where the family originated before spreading throughout Ireland. The surname was first documented in the 16th century. During the Irish diaspora, many bearers of the name emigrated to various parts of the world, spreading the surname Mayo internationally.

Today, it is common in multiple countries, including Ireland, England, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The highest concentration of people with the Mayo surname is still found in Ireland, but it is highly prevalent in English-speaking countries due to the historical immigration patterns. However, like many surnames, the distribution is not exclusive to these countries, and it can be found less commonly in various nations worldwide. Overall, the surname Mayo serves as a significant testament to the widespread influence of Irish culture across the globe.

Variations of the surname Mayo

The surname Mayo has its origins in several cultures, with different variants and spellings associated with each.

In Irish culture, Mayo originated from the area of the same name in the western part of the country. Variations include Maigh Eo, the Gaelic spelling, along with Mhaigh Eo and Ó Máille (O'Malley).

Mayo is also a Spanish surname, spelled the same way, but with a different pronunciation. In Spain, it can be seen as De Mayo, Mayos, Mayoos, or Mayol.

In English, Mayo could be a shortened version of Mayott, Mayotte, or Mayonnaise. Variations and similar surnames include May, Mayes, and Mays.

Variations of Mayo also appear in French, typically pronounced as Mayot or Mayaux. Similarly, in Italy, the surnames Maiolo and Maione are believed to be variants of Mayo.

What unifies these different versions is that they all originally referred to someone from a place called Mayo, whether in Ireland, Spain, or elsewhere.

Keep in mind, changes in spelling of last names occurred with immigration and over time due to phonetic translations and shifts in linguistic patterns. Individual historical records and family context are essential for accurate identification.

Famous people with the name Mayo

  • Janine Mayo, journalist
  • Betsy Mayo, American actress
  • Rhys Mayo, Australian triathlete
  • Chris Mayo, British footballer
  • Tammy Mayo, American singer
  • Marvyn Mayo, American actor
  • Yetta Mayne, American singer and actor
  • Eunice Maynor, American songwriter
  • Eddie Maynard, American actor
  • Noah Maynard, American singer and songwriter
  • Samuel Mayo, American actor
  • Thomas Mayo, American poet
  • Jessica Mayo, British author
  • Solange Mayoral, Cuban singer
  • Brianna Mayes, Canadian actor
  • Lanai Maynard, Australian artist
  • Gill Maynard, British actor and director
  • Ambyr Maynard, Canadian jewelry designer
  • Phylicia Maynard, American actress
  • Tony Mayo, American NBA basketball player.

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