Last name: Gonzalez

This famous surname recorded in the spellings of Gonzales, Gonzalez, Gonzalvo, Gozalo, Gonzalvez, Gosalvez, Goncaves, and Gonzalo, is usually accepted as being of Spanish or Portuguese origin. However in truth like so many Iberian surnames, its origins are Germanic. In the 5th century the Visigoths from Eastern Germany conquered the whole region, sweeping down from the Baltic and across the Pyrenean mountains into the Spanish Peninsula. Their legacy today is often found in the surnames, and these surnames themselves have crossed the ocean to the American continent. In this case the development is from the early German baptismal name 'Gundisalvus', which loosely translates as 'the battle field or battle place', a typical example of a warlike name so popular in the period. Examples of the surname recordings taken from early church registers include Maria Gonzales who married Alonzo Moreno at Villapalcio, San Sebastian, Spain, on October 3rd 1568, and Catharina Martin Gonzalo, christened at Agusal, Valladolid, Spain, on May 7th 1618. An early recording in Mexico was Francisco Goncalo, at Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla, on June 12th 1590. The coat of arms most associated with the name is probably that granted to Gonzales de Castille, which has the blazon of a triple towered castle on a red field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marcos Gonzales de Junguito, which was dated July 1st 1556, christened at Segovia, Spain, during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain, 1554 - 1590. 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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Buck
Guys, etymology aint genetics. Just because you´ve got a Visigothic last name doesnt mean you ARE of Visigothic genetic heritage. Maybe you are, maybe not. How many here would consider changing their hispanicised Goth last name back to the original? Ie : Gonzales back to Gundisalv?

Jamstar

Indeed, many Latin Americans with Spanish last names have the name from a missionary who baptized their African or Native American ancestor with a "Christian" name.

olga
I'm Mexican and I took a DNA test. I sent my results to Dr. Mcdonald, a geneticist, He has my european as NORTHEAST. There's nothing but spanish surnames in my family yet I have Rocasea a condition that affects northern europeans. There's nothing that explains this but -->VISIGOTHS

Gonzalez
very limited info, and somewhat incorect. must be some english guy who just wants to clump all spanish people names they can to make money fast with as little work as they can do. who ever made this does not know very much about Spanish / hispanic history. start with Fernán González. Oh yeah, and it might be importent there has been a few people with the title President Gonzalez here in the new world! the Englsh Companys who recycle this limited and outdated piece of trash have been around for decades!

Josh
im proud to be a Gonzalez. maybe some of you are my cousins

Vince
dude sweet I'm german haha i feel so proud of my heritage.

Andrew Gonzales
So.... Speedy Gonzales says, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?"

nadia alaaiyah gonzalez
amazing im a gonzalez and was told we originated from domincan republic, its fasinating to know we originated from germany,

Deniala
Yes of course.

Michael Gonzales
I find it interesting that the "etymologies' provided in this section for Spanish surnames never mention Arabic or Hebrew origins of any names. The Muslims and Jews lived in relative peace in our ancestral land for many centuries. The Visigoths were there for a much shorter time before assimilation. Is is likely that all traces of Arabic and Hebrew names would vanish? A visit to Spain readily reveals that long presence.

Jamstar

Your correct, however, the names in Spain in Portugal reflect a Germanic influence. Part of this is the simple fact that surnames were Western European, Germanic inventions; most of the Jewish and Muslim peoples of Spain never had surnames, just patronymics.

Michael Gonzales
By the way... in the bible there are places named "perez" indicating a breach or a gap in an obstruction. Did those names originate from some paleolithic Visigoth invasion of Israel?

HECTOR L GONZALEZ
Wow that's why gonzalez are so proud, hard worckes and so alive,but i had no idea where my last name came from until now.We come along way.

natalia
lol

Chuck Pineda
To Amethyst: From the University of California at Davis there is a small book in the ancient history section that states Pineda is a Visigothic (Western Germanic Tribes) surname which means the pine forest people such as in the Black Forest. Spanish surnames that end in ez such as Gonzalez are also Visigothic. So, your Grandfather might have changed his name, but it remained Visigothic. If he had to change his name to Pineda it might have been during the inquisition or maybe during the attack on the Visigoths by the Franks, however, that was in the late 3rd century. The Visigoths sacked Rome in 314 AD then went to Barcelona (Plaza Pineda); then to Toulousse, France or Gaul, at that time, and established their first capitol. Later, when attacked by the Franks moved to Toleda their second and last Capitol. Que vivan los Pineda's!

eryk
EZ at the end of the Spanish surname means so of. just like the English Mc.

David
We originated in Germany I did not know until now That explains why my uncle is obsessed with Germany I knew we have ancestors who lived in Spain as well or Portuguese, Wow so interesting Gonzalez people we are no lazy people! My Abuelito came from Mexico in Trains and on foot and my parents followed afterwards I was born a proud Californian!

jazmin
i knew it was spanish but i had no idea it was also portugese and that its originally german

maria
wowowowowow i did not know my last name was a spanish and porteguese but its origin was germanic allaw at me if your last name is gonzalez to.

Alejandro

My last name is Gonzalez. Most of my family is from Mexico and is fare skinned and light eyed I knew we had some Euro in us! halla back!