Recorded in the several spellings of Cabrera, Cabera, Caberas, Cabrara, Cabrer, and possibly other forms, this is a Spanish surname of habitational origins. It derives from several villages in Spain called 'Cabrera', and the meaning is 'the place of the wild animals'. The derivation is from the Roman (Latin) 'capriaria', a word which dates back to the very beginning of time. The Romans held Spain for over three centuries from the year 100 a.d. until the collapse of the Empire in the year 410 a.d. During this time they introduced many Latin words to the language, and in some cases these have passed down the centuries until from about the 15th century they became hereditary surnames. This particularly applied to habitational surnames, it being an easy form of identification to call a person after their (usually) former homestead or village. Examples of the surname recordings taken from civil or religious registers include Ana Cabrera, christened at Asuncion, Mexico, on November 7th 1617, and Anna De Cabrera, christened at San Miguel, Mexico, on June 2nd 1716. The coat of arms granted in Spain has the blazon of quarterly, in the first a gold crown on blue, in the second a red lion on silver, in the third a gold tower on red, and in the fourth a mound surmounted by a ram, on a gold field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Miguel Hortiz Cabrera, which was dated April 24th 1606, christened at Carinena, Zaragoza, Spain, during the reign of King Phillip 111 of Spain, Emperor of Mexico, 1598 - 1619. 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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