The Origin of Spanish Surnames and Genealogy
we provide you with a deep professional research into your family name: origin, meaning, geographical distribution, well-known persons, noble lineages, titles of nobility, and family coats of arms. With pictures and maps. We also offer to you genealogical, transcription and translation services. In our page in Facebook you can read (in Spanish) our diary of research travels since 2011 in several Spanish archives
The need for naming people is so ancient as the very man. When two or more people have the same name and it is possible to confuse them, they are distinguished by means of a last name or a nickname. For example, if there were two Martín in a medieval Castilian village, and one of them was son of García (a first ancient Spanish name) and the other son of Lope (Wolf), the first one might be named Martín García, and the second one Martín López (Wolfson). And if their fathers' name was the same and one of the Martín was left-handed, this one might be named Izquierdo (cf. Kay surname in Lancashire and Cheshire, England). About the formation of Spanish last names between 9th and 15th centuries, we refer you to our study "Surnames and Internal Migrations in the Reconquest Christian Spain" (342 kb, in Spanish; last update, 9/4/2004). It is an enlargement of our communication to the I Meeting on Hispanic Genealogy, prepared by Hispagen (Madrid, Spain, 20-21 June 2003).
ORIGIN. That is to say the geographical and cultural origin – especially the Spanish one, without excluding the Italian, Portuguese, French or Indian origin. When we study it, we do not limit ourselves to look up (as the others companies do) a few books on surnames and nobility from which usually comes most of the information that Internet is offering to us, but facing the mistakes from our point of view, we will also use census, place-names works, telephone directories, databases or document collections. A family name may have different origins; for example, it is true that Pedro (Peters) is a patronymic surname which comes from the Christian anthroponym Pedro (Peter, from Latin Petrus, adaptation of Greek Pétros, that translates the Aramaic Kephas, stone), but we have discovered that there are Pedro or De Pedro ([son] of Peter) which are called so because the first of their lineage came from the homonymous village (Pedro) of Montejo de Tiermes municipality (province of Soria, Castile). If you provide to us your family place of origin, or the one of the family in which you are interested, we will personalize the research all that we can. You can see an example of how we deal with the subject in the first three paragraphs on Montañés surname (in Spanish) .
MEANING and Etymology. Surnames, or family names, may be of several types that in view of the nickname origin of a lot of surnames sometimes interlace: patronymics, that are last names derived from the father's first name, such as Rodríguez (son of Rodrigo, Roderick); surnames of geographical origin, coming from the name of the region or town of origin or manor, such as Navarro (Navarrese, the name of the inhabitants of Navarre, Spain) and Oyarzun (a toponymic surname that refers to a municipality of Guipúzcoa, Basque Country); occupational surnames, such as Ferreiro (Smith in Galician and Portuguese); nickname surnames in the strict sense, originating in by-names such as Gros (big in Catalan, a Spanish language), etc. There are also multipart surnames, for example composed of patronymic and toponymic, such as Ruiz de Castilla (Roderiks of Castile, an Aragonese name), or of patronymic and job, such as the Catalan name Gruartmoner (the union of two lineages, Gruart, a Germanic name, and Moner, miller).
Moreover, in Spain and America it is necessary to take into account their different languages and their evolution, now and in the past: pre-Indo-Europeans (including the Basque), Celtics, Romances, Gothic, Arabic, Guanche (from Canary Islands), Amerindians... For example, Alconchel de Ariza (town from the southwest of the province of Saragossa) has originated families called Alconchel. This is an Arabic place-name in which beginning it is recognized the article al (the). But in this case the Moslems arabized a place-name (Conchel) created in the Mozarabic dialect that spoke generally the Christians from the Islamic Spain. And this dialect is in its turn an evolution of the Vulgar Latin brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Romans. It seems that Conchel comes from the Latin concilium, which means meeting, assembly or council. Its meaning is probably "town council" (concejo in Castilian), a term that derives from the same etymon.
Besides the example about Montañés surname aforementioned in the former section (in Spanish), you can see how we explain the subject in the first two paragraphs on De la Ossa surname (in Spanish).
We will analyze the current distribution of the surname and the ancient one too as far as possible. There are last names that no longer are in existence in their area of origin or they are more abundant in others, because of migrations. For example, Preguezuelo (diminutive of Priego, a town of the province of Cuenca), which comes from an ancient castle of this province, it is not in Cuenca (La Mancha) any more: in the Iberian Peninsula we must look for it especially in Seville (Andalusia). And in Argentina, for instance, it exists its variant Pleguezuelos (literally, little folds). We also illustrate the study with a map of the provincial distribution of the surname in Spain according to the 2000 telephone directory (see below an enlargeable example of De Haro surname). Another possibility, for example, is to draw a map of its presence or distribution in other parts of the world. You can see an example of distribution study in Spain in the paragraphs 2, 3-7 about Montañés surname (in Spanish) .
WELL-KNOWN PERSONS. It is always curious to know what people with our name stood up in the various fields: politics, art, soldiering, science, religion, literature, etc. On the other hand, its study provides often significant clues to discover the origin of one name. For example, Falero is a relatively recurrent name in Canary Isles, Badajoz, Seville, etc. Its provenance is enlightened when we know that the navigators Ruy (Rod) and Francisco (Francis) Falero (Faleiro in Portuguese) arrived from Lisbon to Seville in 1517. You can see an example of this aspect in the Known Persons section ("Personajes conocidos") of Montañés surname, and secondarily in the Nobility and Heraldry section ("Nobleza y Heráldica") of the same last name (in Spanish) .
NOBILITY and Titles. Most Spanish lineages and people, except in some areas (especially of the north of Spain), did not have the status of nobility, even if a lot of web sites improperly attribute a legally noble origin to a whole surname (such as a lot of heraldic plates). One must not mistake the name for the lineage. In the senses in which we are interested, the first is a last name (González, Torres, etc.) that may coincide in families without a direct relationship each other, while the lineage is one people's offspring (or ancestry), generally the people who is thought the descendants' origin because of his significance or being the first known one, and it is usually called by the principal surname of its main line (Mendoza, De la Cerda), but it involves in fact all the names were used by the ancestors and descendents of its different branchs.
Nevertheless, in any case it is interesting to know what «families» with our surname were noble in a different degree (hidalgos [similar to esquires], caballeros [knights], ciutadans honrats [honorary citizens in Catalonia], etc.) and which showed titles of nobility (counts, marquis, dukes, etc.). To find out it, we will also use dictionaries, encyclopaedias and papers about the subject. You can see an example in the Nobility and Heraldry section ("Nobleza y Heráldica") of Montañés surname (in Spanish) .
HERALDRY. In accordance with the aforementioned, despite what is usually said, except for some cases in Spain and America there are not coats of arms for surnames, but for lineages or people that use a surname. If you want to know the possible coats for lineages (family lines) of your name, starting principally from armorials and specialized journals we will depict to you the arms that are known and we try to correlate them and to specify which lineages they belong to (you can see an example in the Nobility and Heraldry section ("Nobleza y Heráldica") of Montañés surname [in Spanish]). In such a case, we will also draw to you a coat of arms in color (except if the colors are not known, strange thing, in which case we would draw it in the gray scale) to adorn the work. Besides the example that we provide below these lines, you can press this button to see six other samples (175 kb) .
Illustrations. We will adorn the work with one photograph, map or image of quality per page, in color, which may concern your name or that of your beloved people, as the case may be: a photo of the town of origin, a situation map, a coat of arms of one lineage, an image of the saint or the object from which name may come the surname, a distribution map of this one, etc. This is another difference between our business and others.
Paper and fonts. On the other hand, in the case of the deliveries by post, we will print the study in quality (heavy weight) paper, with the title in painted letters, such as shaded italic Parchment, Illuminati or Diploma.
Binding. If the work is delivered by post, it will be bind with a green folder with a transparent cover (it is possible to choose other colors). In the next section (Examples) you can see one each of the covers, whit the first page, of Miquel (Michaels) and Amírola surnames. If you want a luxury binding, consult us.
Languages. Besides English, we can write in French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.
EXAMPLES. If you want to verify the quality of our studies, you can see below an image of the cover of Miquel* surname (Michaels in Catalan). You can also see another one of a greater size, of Amírola Basque name, by clicking this button (177 kb). Moreover we offer to you a complete example of the research, in a web page, of Montañés (highlander) surname (cf. Mountain and Hill[s] names) (in Spanish).
By pressing respective buttons, you can also see one each example of the distribution map (De Haro name, 84 kb) and the coat of arms (six samples, 175 kb) that illustrate our works. Above these lines you can also see right another "family crest".
* You can enlarge this example by pressing the button (172 kb).
DELIVERY. By electronic mail (e-mail with a MS Word file), registered post (perfectly packed) or both of them. If you are interested in receiving a CD-ROM version, consult us.
PRICE. The costs we detail belows correspond to a study of seven pages at least and eight hours of research and work (origin, meaning, distribution and, provided that there are, well-known people, noble lineages, titles and coats of arms). If you wish a still more complex research, consult us.
– Electronic post: delivery by e-mail with an attached MS Word file, ready to print* (it is paid in advance):
· Spain: 155.6 € (VAT included).
· Rest of the world: 138.75 € (euro). If you want to calculate the price in dollars or another currency, click here .
– Registered post:
· Spain: 163.5 €, VAT included (cash on delivery).
· Europe: 146.3 € (cash on delivery to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican).
· America: 153.2 €. Advance payment. If you want to calculate the price in dollars or another currency, click the button .
– Electronic post and Registered post (simultaneous delivery):
· Spain: 186.6 €, VAT included (cash on delivery*).
· Europe: 163.5 € (cash on delivery* to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican).
* In this case, the e-mail with the file of the study will be sent as soon as we receive the amount.
· America: 173.2 €. Advance payment. If you want to calculate the price in another currency, press here .
WAY OF pAYMENT: Bank transfer, Western Union (cash sending), PayPal (secure internet payment), Cash on delivery (in Spain and a part of Europe), Money order, or Payment into account (from Spain).
– Bank transfer. To the order of Fernando González del Campo, bank account CAHMESMMXXX 2038.8921.32.4500052859 (Spanish savings bank Caja Madrid). If you make the transfer from Spain the SWIFT code CAHMESMMXXX is not necessary.
– Western Union (cash sending). The sending of ready money from outside Spain (for example, Puerto Rico and Peru) by this company usually costs less than a bank transfer and is much faster than this one. If you choose Western Union, send the value to the order of Fernando González del Campo, Madrid, Spain.
– PayPal (secure Internet payment). This company provides safe payments by bank-card through Internet. Send the amount to Tus Apellidos, e-mail email@example.com. This is a fast system.
– Cash on delivery. The sending to cash on delivery (it is to say, to be paid by the addressee) is possible, as we have said, in the case of deliveries by post to Spain and a part of Europe (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Vatican).
– Money order. When it is available, this system usually is relatively cheap, but slower. Form America it is only possible to send a money order to Spain from Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Dominican Republic. If you opt for this way, send the amount to Fernando González del Campo, to this address:
C./ Encomienda de Palacios, 250, 1.º A
– Payment into account (from Spain). To the order of Fernando González del Campo, bank account No. 2038.8921.32.4500052859 (Spanish savings bank Caja Madrid). The payment into account excels the bank transfer in speed and because no commission is paid to the bank, but it is only possible from Spain.
ORDERS and estimates. Ask for your study or research to firstname.lastname@example.org or the address of the former section.
Person in charge: Fernando González del Campo Román, Bachelor of History and a member of Hispagen (Association of Hispanic Genealogy).
GENEALOGY. This historical discipline researchs into people ancestors and descendants, and it establishs their identity and issue. So then genealogy reconstructs the lineages and it often studies the family history too. It is an intimate discipline that interweaves our life with our ancestors' life, and this one with the life of the countries where they inhabited. The evolution of these nations get a special interest when we discover a close often unsuspected relation with our ancestors' life. We can advise and help you with your genealogical research, specially in Spain and in near countries such as France.
– Quotes. We advise you that you send to us the most complete data than you can send* about the people or family that you want research. We will analyze them and make an estimate or quote to reach the goals that you wish. We can obtain church and civil records, wills, census sheets, carry out genealogical projects, make family trees... We make our estimates in euros, but you can calculate the price in dollars or another currency clicking here You can ask us for an estimate to the e-mail email@example.com or the business address of the section Way of payment (Money order).
* For example, first name and last name/s of your ancestors and their parents (people use in Spain two surnames, the
father's one and immediately after the mother's maiden name); home address;
birth, christening, marriage and decease dates and places; wills and other
documents; schooling and centers where they studied; jobs and posts, etc.
(We suppose that usually you will not know all this).
POSSIBILITIES. We can combine
a surname study with a strictly genealogical one in a single work, and even with
biographies and town histories. We also make photographic reports.
Furthermore we can translate documents from
several languages, mainly from Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Catalan and
to our site in Internet: see
"Sites for profit" in the Anillo de Genealogía Hispana
(Hispanic Genealogy Ring), "Additional Links" in Spanish
Genealogy, "Recursos españoles" (Spanish Ressources)
Profesionales" (Professional Genealogists) in Genealógica.Net.
Also, among others, the "Links" of Genealogía
y Heráldica Soriana (Genealogy and Heraldry of Soria, Spain),
the "Links" about professionals of Xenealoxia.org
and "Estudios de apellidos"
(Surnames studies –
Bascuencia name) of Apellidos
Italianos (Italian Surnames). Welcome! You are
the visitor The frist English version of Tus Apellidos was finished
19/5/2004. Last update: 4/2/2012
music of this page, whose words in Spanish you can see at the end, is a "villancico"
Juan del Encina
or de Fermoselle
Soy contento y vos
servida (I am happy and you are served) Vote for this
site in "Las 100 en Español" (in Spanish Genealogy):
page is designed for a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
© 2002-2005 Tus Apellidos - Spanish Surnames. All rights reserved
«Soy contento y vos servida
ser penado de tal suerte
que por vos quiero la muerte más que no sin vos la vida. Quiero más por vos tristura siendo vuestro sin mudança que plazer sin esperança d'enamorada ventura. No tengais la fe perdida, pues la tengo yo tan fuerte que por vos quiero la muerte más que no sin vos la
OTHER POSSIBILITIES. We can combine a surname study with a strictly genealogical one in a single work, and even with biographies and town histories. We also make photographic reports.
Furthermore we can translate documents from several languages, mainly from Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Catalan and Portuguese.
REFFERENCES to our site in Internet: see "Sites for profit" in the Anillo de Genealogía Hispana (Hispanic Genealogy Ring), "Additional Links" in Spanish Genealogy, "Recursos españoles" (Spanish Ressources) in EspañaGenWeb, and "Genealogistas Profesionales" (Professional Genealogists) in Genealógica.Net. Also, among others, the "Links" of Genealogía y Heráldica Soriana (Genealogy and Heraldry of Soria, Spain), the "Links" about professionals of Xenealoxia.org and "Estudios de apellidos" (Surnames studies – Bascuencia name) of Apellidos Italianos (Italian Surnames).
Welcome! You are the visitor The frist English version of Tus Apellidos was finished 19/5/2004. Last update: 4/2/2012
The music of this page, whose words in Spanish you can see at the end, is a "villancico" by Juan del Encina or de Fermoselle (Encinas, Salamanca, 1469-León, 1529): Soy contento y vos servida (I am happy and you are served)
Vote for this site in "Las 100 en Español" (in Spanish Genealogy):
This page is designed for a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
© 2002-2005 Tus Apellidos - Spanish Surnames. All rights reserved
«Soy contento y vos servida
ser penado de tal suerte
que por vos quiero la muerte
más que no sin vos la vida.
Quiero más por vos tristura
siendo vuestro sin mudança
que plazer sin esperança
No tengais la fe perdida,
pues la tengo yo tan fuerte
que por vos quiero la muerte
más que no sin vos la vida»