ALVAREZ Surname Meaning and Origin

What Does the Last Name Alvarez Mean?

The fishing village of Cudillero is in Asturias, Spain, one of the regions where the Alvarez surname originated.
japatino / Getty Images

Alvarez is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Alvaro." The given name Alvaro is thought to originate with the Visigoths, 5th-century German warriors who participated in the eventual fragmentation and collapse of the Western Roman empire. The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the East Germanic tribe known as "Goths."

According to the Instituto Genealógico e Histórico Latino-Americano, the Alvarez surname originated from Spain, primarily from the regions of Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Galicia, León, and Navarra.

Alvarez is the 26th most common Hispanic surname.

Surname Origin: Spanish

Alternate Surname Spellings: ALBAREZ, ALVAROZ, ALVARIZ, ALVARES, ALBAROIZ

Famous People with the Surname ALVAREZ

  • Carlos Alvarez - Spanish opera singer
  • Luis Walter Alvarez - American experimental physicist, Nobel Prize winner in Physics
  • Luis Fernández Álvarez - Spanish American doctor and researcher; grandfather of Luis Walter Alvarez
  • Pedro Alvarez - Dominican American MLB baseball player
  • José Álvarez Cubero - Spanish sculptor
  • - Chilean Admiral and former President of Chile
  • Gregorio Álvarez - Argentine historian, physician and writer; the Alvarezsaurus dinosaur was named for him.
     

Where Do People With the ALVAREZ Surname Live?

The surname distribution data at Forebears ranks Alvarez as the 212th most common surname in the world, identifying it as most prevalent in Mexico and with the highest density in Cuba. The Alvarez surname is the 10th most common surname in Cuba, 11th in Argentina, and 16th in Spain.

Within Spain, Alvarez is found most commonly in the northwestern regions of Asturias, followed by Galicia and Castille Y León, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler
 

Genealogy Resources for the Surname ALVAREZ

100 Most Common Spanish Surnames
Have you ever wondered about your Spanish last name  and how it came to be?

This article describes common Spanish naming patterns, and explores the meaning and origins of 100 common Spanish surnames.

How to Research Hispanic Heritage
Learn how to get started researching your Hispanic ancestors, including the basics of family tree research and country specific organizations, genealogical records, and resources for Spain, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean and other Spanish speaking countries.

Alvarez Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as an Alvarez family crest or coat of arms for the Alvarez surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. 

ALVAREZ Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Alvarez surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Alvarez query.

FamilySearch - ALVAREZ Genealogy
Access over 2.7 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Alvarez surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

ALVAREZ Surname & Family Mailing Lists
This free mailing list for researchers of the Alvarez surname and its variations includes subscription details and a searchable archives of past messages.

DistantCousin.com - ALVAREZ Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Alvarez.

The Alvarez Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse family trees and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the last name Alvarez from the website of Genealogy Today.
 

Explore Additional Surname Meanings:
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References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David.

 Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


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