Recorded in the spellings of Zamora, Zamorrann, and Zamorrano, this famous Spanish surname is locational. It derives from the ancient city of Zamora in North West Spain, a place apparently founded by the invading Moors in the 12th century. The name means 'wild olives', and the surname dates back to at least the 16th century and the time of Spains conquest of the southern American continent. The name is also one of the earliest recorded in California, Maria Rita Zamora, being married to Andres Bermudez at the Presidio de Santa Cruz, Somona, California, in 1766, when the state was still part of the Spanish Empire. In Spain itself the surname seems to have been recorded in the early days with the preposition 'de' implying that the nameholders were not only 'from Zamora', but may well have been the owners of the estate upon which the city stood. This is confirmed by the grant of arms of which the principle blazon is that of Gules, a triple towered castle in silver, within a border azure, charged with a semee of eight knights spurs pierced. Early examples of the surname include the recordings of Alonzo Monte de Zamora at Nuestra Snora La Antgua, Valladolid, Spain, on February 21st 1580, and Francisco de Zamora, who married Ysable Perez Blanco, at Villapalacio, San Sebastian, Spain, on December 5th 1661. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mateo de Zamora, which was dated January 31st 1563, at Nuestra Senora la Antigua, Valladolid, during the reign of King Phillip 11 of Spain, who reigned from 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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