Last name: Miranda

This is a locational name recorded in the spellings of Miranda, Mirando, and Amiranda. It can be from any of the various places called 'Miranda' in Spain, Catalonia, and Portugal. The placename and hence the surname, derives from the Roman (Latin) "mirandus" meaning "wondrous" or "lovely", but in the context of a village translates as "the admired place". It is also possible that in some instances the surname derives from the north eastern Spanish "miralla" meaning a watchtower or look out post. The surname in the spelling of 'Morando' is frequently recorded in the registers of St. Mary's church, Woolnoth, London, from the mid 16th Century onwards, an example being Clement Morando who was a witness there on May 17th 1565. Examples taken from the registers of Spain, Mexico and California include Juane Miranda, who married Phillip de Soto at San Miguel Arcangel, Mexico, on May 26th 1716, and Arizaga Miranda, who married Luiz Basque at Santa Catarina, on October 28th 1821. In California Minnie T Miranda, the daughter of Thomas Miranda, was christened at Alameda on April 15th 1883. The coat of arms granted in Spain has the blazon of a blue field charged with a white horse trippant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Diego de Miranda, which was dated December 20th 1526, christened at Badajos, Spain, during the reign of King Charles 1st of Spain, Emperor of Mexico, 1516 - 1556. 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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