Recorded in the spellings of Navarro, Navaro, Navarijo, Najara, Najera, and de Najera, this is a locational surname. It is esentially Spanish but may also be French, and is also occasionally British in the surname as Nabarro. However spelt it describes a former resident of the ancient kingdom of Navarre, now divided between France and Spain. The name means 'the treeless country' or perhaps 'the country above the trees', the precise meaning being subject to controversy. Locational surnames of this type were given as easy identification when the person concerned moved to another country, and still apply in the 20th century. Early examples of the surname recording include Juan de Najera, at Villapalacio, San Sebastian, Spain, on January 27th 1573, Lesaca Najurieta, at Murillo, Navarra, Spain, on Fbruary 26th 1690, Maria Josepha Navarijo at San Gabriel Arcangel, Mexico, on May 12th 1774, and Jose Marcos Navarra, a witness at San Sebastian on September 19th 1796. Peres Narariso was christened at Santa Cruz Solebad, Mexico, on October 11th 1797, but even earlier in California, then part of the Spanish Empire, Soto Navarro was christened at Santa Clara, on October 23rd 1791. The coat of arms 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 Francisco Navarro, which was dated January 1st 1510, christened at Madrid Cathedral, Madrid, Spain, during the reign of King Ferdinand V of Spain, Emperor of Mexico, 1510 - 1516. 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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