Non-British Surnames – Ecuadorian Surnames

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Following the arrival of the Spanish, the culture of Ecuador consolidated and moved towards Roman Catholic conversion.

Somewhere between 40-50% of the population is identified at MESTIZC, which is a blend of Indigenous and Spanish genes.

The official language is Spanish and there are two significant indigenous languages:

  1. QUECHUA – The language of the Inca’s which was prevalent in Ecuador prior to the Spanish settling.
  2. SHUAR – The language of the Indigenous people of Peru and Ecuador, members of the JIVAROAN who are an Amazonian tribe.

Surnames in Ecuador have a mix of origins – Spanish, Basque, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Italian and even Gaelic. In the rest of this post I will share some examples:

Name Surname Type Information,  Details or Meaning Origin
Alvarez Patronymic Son of Alvaro Spanish
Aguilor Occupational Hunter of eagles Basque
Castro Topographical Castle Latin
Cruz Topographical Cross Latin
Figueroa Occupational Seller and creator of statuettes Spanish
Hernadez Patronymic Son of Hernan Spanish
Herrera Topographical Iron mine Spanish
Lema Characteristic Eye Arabic
Molina Topographical Mill Latin
Molina Occupational Mill Latin
Mora Characteristic Dark skin Latin
Moran More Gaelic
Palma Topographical Someone from Palma Italian
Perez Patronymic Son of Pero Spanish
Ruiz Patronymic Son of Roderick Spanish
Sarmiento Occupational Grapevine Spanish
Sarmiento Topographical Grapevine (or someone from the town of the same name in Argentina Spanish
Vega Topographical Lives on the plain Spanish
Vaca Occupational Means cow Spanish

The range of surname types is consistent with other countries, likely the most common is Patronymic, indicating the son of…. In the case of illegitimate children, the child often takes the Patronymic format of his maternal grandfather.

Some surnames are in surname groups where it is easy to establish the type, if we look at the examples above there are some obvious Topographical ones, such as, Palma, Vega and Molina. Yet, some surnames are perhaps a reference to a location and another surname type. In this instance, Molina could also be an Occupational name, in this case, Mill is actually a reference to a Miller.

Traditionally in Ecuador, a father’s last name is taken as an individuals first last name and then uses their mother’s last name as the second last name, thus connecting the child to both parents and their cultural heritage. – used with permission

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. It is also part of my Surname Series 2022 and for those want to focus on Non-British Surnames click HERE. You can also find more surname posts HERE.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge 2022 - Non-British Surnames, Non-British Surnames, One-Name Studies, Spain. Bookmark the permalink.

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