15    Aug 20114 comments

Spanish Naming Conventions Part 2: The Etymology of Spanish ‘ez’ Last Names

NB: This is a follow on to Spanish Naming Conventions Part 1: The Basics

Many of you will instantly recognize the most popular Spanish surnames as those ending in ‘ez.

Examples are Martinez, Rodriguez, Hernandez etc.

This is not something unique to Spain alone. The trend has continued into the Spanish speaking world of Central and South America.

The reason for the popularity of these surnames is because they are “patronymic”.

For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to surnames that are based on the first name of a male ancestor.

In this case, the names are formed by using the father’s name and appending ‘ez to the end to represent “Son of”

Working through the surname examples above Martinez relates to the son of Martin, Rodriguez, the son of Rodrigo and Hernandez, the son of Hernando.

Easy right?

Just to help out, here’s a fuller list of 'ez surname origins from our friends at Wikipedia:

•    Álvarez - the son of Álvar, Álvaro
•    Antúnez - the son of Antón, Antonio
•    Benéitez, Benítez - the son of Benito
•    Díaz, Díez - the son of Diego
•    Domínguez - the son of Domingo
•    Enríquez - the son of Enrique
•    Estévez, Estévanez - the son of Esteve, Estevo, Esteban
•    Fernández - the son of Fernando
•    Giménez, Jiménez, Ximénez - the son of Gimeno, Jimeno, Ximeno
•    Gómez - the son of Gome
•    González - the son of Gonzalo
•    Hernández - the son of Hernando
•    López - the son of Lope
•    Márquez - the son of Marco, Marcos
•    Méndez - the son of Mendo
•    Míguez, Miguélez - the son of Miguel
•    Martínez - the son of Martín
•    Núñez - the son of Nuño
•    Pérez - the son of Pere (Pedro)
•    Rodríguez - the son of Rodrigo
•    Ruiz - the son of Ruy (Roy)
•    Márquez - the son of Marco, Marcos
•    Méndez - the son of Mendo
•    Míguez, Miguélez - the son of Miguel
•    Martínez - the son of Martín
•    Núñez - the son of Nuño
•    Pérez - the son of Pere (Pedro)
•    Rodríguez - the son of Rodrigo
•    Ruiz - the son of Ruy (Roy)
•    Ramírez - the son of Ramiro
•    Sánchez - the son of Sancho
•    Suárez - the son of Suero
•    Velázquez - the son of Velasco
•    Vélez - the son of Vela

For examples of other patronymic surnames from around the world, including the common English “O’”, “Mac” and “Fitz”, check out this link.

Search for your ancestors:

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I find this to be quite interesting. What would the explanation be for someone with the last name of Sanchez?
  2. I know Martinez would be the son of Martin, so would Sanchez be the son of Sanch?? Kidding, but it would be interesting to know since I am from the Sanchez family.
  3. Sanchez is the son of Sancho
  4. Hey Alex / Ellen

    Sanchez refers to the son of 'Sancho'.

    Have updated the list in the post to include more 'ez last names including Sanchez

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