Last name: Afonso
This is possibly the most royal of all Spanish surnames, although it is of Germanic origins. Since the 5th century a.d. numerous Spanish kings have carried this famous name, which subsequently became one of the earliest of all surnames. It derives from a time in early history when a tribe known as the Vizigoths from Northern Germany swept down through Europe, conquering all before them. They settled in Spain where today the reminder of their occupation, lies in the very large number of popular Spanish surnames of which Alfonso, Alonso, Gonzalez and Ramirez, are a few examples. In this case the origination lies in the personal name 'Adafuns', a name so ancient that it probably pre-dates known history. This name comprised of the elements 'adal' meaning noble, and 'funs' - active or ready. The surname is medieval 14th century, and early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic church and civil registers include Castanza Alfonso de Sqavedra, of Santiago, Spain, on June 16th 1582, and Anton Alonso, of Esquevilla, Valladolid, Spain, on November 26th 1605. Anaya y Alfonsa was christened at San Pablo Apostal, Mexico, on February 26th 1782, Bernandez Alfonsin, at Purissima Concepcion, Districto Federal, Mexico, on April 3rd 1793, and Bernabe Alonzo, at Mendavia, Navarra, Spain, on July 18th 1870. The coat of arms has the blazon of a blue field, charged with two lions combatant, holding in their paws a fleur de lis, all gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Fernan Caballero Alfonso, which was dated 1351, born at the city of Segovia, Spain, during the reign of Queen Joanna 11 of Spain and Navarra, 1328 - 1349. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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