' CHAPTER I.
The origin and local distribution of the name of Mayo, with some General notes on persons and families that have borne it.
THE name of Mayo is found occurring in various parts of the world, and under widely different circumstances. It has been appropriated to an Irish town and county, to an island of the Cape de Verde group, to an anaesthetic compound of hemp in use among the Chinese, to a game at which Lord Strafford played "excellently well," to a dandy frequenting the bull-fights, and to the Grand Vizier of the King of Dahomey. Regarded, however, as an English family is most frequently met with in the south and weft of this island, and few parish registers in the counties of Hereford, Gloucester, Wilts, and Dorset, can be without presenting us with examples. It is spelt in many ways, varying from the extended form of Mayhowe to that of Mao, and often, as it will presently appear, down and reduced to May by the loss of its concluding syllable. One lesson, however, is taught by this variety and diversity, viz., the identity of Mayhew and Mayo, and from this from this consideration a ray of light is thrown upon the derivation name.
The common supposition that the name takes its origin from the Irish town must be laid aside. And, indeed, the name appears to be as rare in Ireland as it is in England, for, to take a single illustration, while thirty-four persons of the name of Mayo, and eight or more of Mayhew, graduated at Oxford, between 1659 and 1868, no person so called is to be found among the graduates of Dublin from 1591 to the present day...... '
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