Humanities › History & Culture The Surname Alvarez: Its Meaning and Origin This Familiar Spanish Last Name May Date Back to the Goths Share Flipboard Email Print japatino / Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated June 11, 2019 Alvarez is a patronymic (derived from the name of the father) surname meaning "son of Alvaro" and is thought to have originated with the Visigoths. The Visigoths were 5th-century German warriors who participated in the eventual fragmentation and collapse of the Western Roman Empire, and one of two main branches of the East Germanic tribe known as "Goths." According to the Instituto Genealógico e Histórico Latino-Americano, the surname Alvarez originated in Spain, primarily from the regions of Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Galicia, León, and Navarra. Alvarez Surname: Fast Facts Alvarez is the 26th most common Hispanic surname.Surname Origin: SpanishAlternate Surname Spellings: Albarez, Alvaroz, Alviriz, Alvares, Albaroiz Famous People with the Surname Alvarez Carlos Alvarez—Spanish opera singerLuis Walter Alvarez—American experimental physicist, Nobel Prize winner in PhysicsLuis Fernández Álvarez—Spanish American doctor and researcher; grandfather of Luis Walter AlvarezPedro Alvarez—Dominican American MLB baseball playerJosé Álvarez Cubero—Spanish sculptorJorge Montt Álvarez—Chilean Admiral and former President of ChileGregorio 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. Is There an Alvarez Coat of Arms? Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as an Alvarez family crest or coat of arms. 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. Resources for Exploring the Alvarez Surname 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. Genealogy and Resources for Spanish Surnames Have you ever wondered about your Spanish last name and how it came to be? The 100 Most Common Spanish Surnames have unique naming patterns and origins. When researching your Hispanic heritage, it's best to start with the basics such as family tree research and country-specific organizations, genealogical records, and resources for Spain, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean and other Spanish speaking countries. Sources 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.