Surely on more than one occasion you have asked yourself where does your last name come from? Our names and surnames help us identify ourselves and not confuse us with someone else. We currently consider that the surname is a legacy or inheritance that our parents leave us. However, there was a time when they did not exist and it was enough to have a name.
In the past, when populations were organized in small towns, villages or groups it was not necessary to offer more than a name to refer to someone. At the beginning of the Middle Ages when larger cities began to be formed, it was necessary to create a way to better identify people and it is at that moment that they begin to create surnames.
It is believed that last names were created or assigned mainly in 4 ways:
Surnames correspondían to the place of origin of the person:
The most common, even to this day, are surnames that respond to a geographical region, it can be a country, zone or even town. For example, Valenzuela was born in Villa Valenzuela, located in Andalusia, Spain.
Last name assigned by trade:
If a man was called Carlos and his job was the manufacture of shoes, having to adopt a surname, his occupation was used, becoming Carlos Zapatero.
Surname by Characterfeaturesídistinctive music:
In the same way, other surnames respond to a physical characteristic that distinguished the person who adopted him, such as Blanco, Delgado or Cabello, among many others.
Surname with reference to the name of the parents:
If a man's name was Juan, his son would be known by the rest as Juan's son. As an example we can take the surname Rodriguez, which means Rodrigo's son.
In the case of the nobles, these adopted the surname of their dynasty or they could keep the name of some conquered territory as a way to show domination.
With the passage of time the use of surnames became more common and different cultures were mixed so many last names were translated from one language to another or underwent minor modifications to make them seem to originate from another place and not suffer discrimination.