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Hispanic Surname Origins & Genealogy Resources


Surnames in Spain came into use in about the 12th century. Those doing Hispanic genealogy are especially lucky because children are commonly given two surnames - one from each parent. A child's first surname is the father's name and the child's second surname is the mother's maiden name. Sometimes, but not always, surnames joined by an "y".

Origins of Hispanic last names fall into one of the following categories:
  • Patronymic Surnames
    • The suffix means "son of"
    • -es, -as, -is, or -os (Portuguese)
    • -ez, -az, -is, or -oz (Spanish)
    • Example: Diaz - son of Diego
  • Occupational Surnames
    • Derived from a person’s job or status
    • Example: Molinero - Miller
  • Descriptive Surnames
  • Derived from a physical feature of the individual.
  • Example Garza - heron, probably a nickname for someone with long legs
  • Geographical Surnames
  • Derived from nearby locations.
  • Example: Aguilar - haunt of eagles.
    Castro - castle.


Some Common Hispanic Surnames in the U. S.:

Alvarez
Castillo
Castro
Chavez
Cruz
Delgado
Diaz
Espinoza
Fernandez
Flores
Garcia
Garza
Gomez
Gonzales
Gutierrez
Guzman
Hernandez
Herrera
Jimenez
Lopez
Martinez
Medina
Mendez
Mendoza
Morales
Moreno
Munoz
Nunez
Ortega
Ortiz
Pena
Perez
Ramirez
Ramos
Reyes
Rios
Rivera
Rodriguez
Romero
Ruiz
Salazar
Sanchez
Santiago
Soto
Torres
Valdez
Vargas
Vazquez

Hispanic country vital and genealogy records are unmatched anywhere in their quality, quantity, and availability. In most cultures, church records are an important part of genealogy research, but this is especially true of the Hispanic culture, for the parish records of Spain, Mexico, and Peru are the oldest and most complete in the world.

To find additional surnames, choose the first letter of surname:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z