Recorded in the spellings of Flores, Florez, Florio, Floris, Flori, and possibly others, this is an Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese surname, although with some Germanic associations. It derives from the original Roman (Latin) 'florus', meaning 'to flourish or bloom', the Romans being occupiers of Spain and Portugal for several centuries. They were driven out on the collapse of the Roman Empire in the year 410, by the tribes known as the Vizigoths and the Huns, who swept down from what is now Eastern Germany in the 5th century a.d. Driving all before them, they reached Spain, where they settled for three centuries. The Goths had a word in their language 'froila', which meant 'lord or master', and it seems that the two words became 'absorbed'with each other. It is probable as well that the modern surname has a locational origin, at least for some nameholders. There are a number of places called Flores and Floris, which must have provided surnames. Early examples of religious recordings taken from ancient registers include Gonzales Flores, at Bercero, Valladolid, Spain, on April 2nd 1674, Guiseppe Florio at Lipari, Messina, Italy, on July 8th 1710, Jose Miguel Flores at Mission San Buenaventura, Ventura, California on December 26th 1782, and Charlotte Florez, born in San Franciso, on November 11th 1920. The blazon of the coat of arms is that of a blue field charged with five gold fleur de lis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alonzo Florez, which was dated March 8th 1566, born at Santa Maria Magdalena, Valladolid, Spain, during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain, Emperor of Mexico, 1556 - 1598. 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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