Hernandez Surname Meaning and Origin

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Hernández is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Hernando," or "son of Fernando," the Spanish form of the Old German name Ferdinand, meaning "bold voyager," from the elements farð, meaning "journey" and nanð/nanth, meaning "courage" or "daring."

Hernandez is the 15th most common surname in the U.S. and the 5th most common Hispanic surname.

Surname Origin: Spanish, Portuguese

Alternate Surname Spellings: Hernandes

Famous People With the Hernandez Surname

  • David Hernandez: American Idol contestant, season
  • Jay Hernandez: American actor
  • Aaron Hernandez: former NFL football player; convicted of first-degree murder
  • Orlando Hernández: MLB baseball player
  • Jose Hernandez: former NASA astronaut
  • Aileen Hernandez: feminist civil rights activist

Where Do People Named Hernandez Live?

The surname distribution data at Forebears ranks Hernandez as the 85th most common surname in the world, identifying it as most prevalent in Mexico and with the highest density in Nicaragua. Hernandez is the most common surname in Mexico, where one in every 47 people bears the name. It also ranks 1st in El Salvador; 4th in Venezuela, Guatemala, Cuba, and Honduras, and 5th in Nicaragua.

Within Europe, Hernandez is most frequently found in Spain, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, especially in the Canary Islands, followed by the regions of Murcia, Castile, and León, Extremadura, and Madrid.

Genealogy Resources

Garcia, Martinez, Rodriguez, Lopez, Hernandez...Are you one of the millions of people who had one of these top 100 common Hispanic last names?

Start 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. DNA is being used to help researchers from common or related Hernandez families work together to find their common heritage.

Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Hernandez family crest or coat of arms for the Hernandez 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. 

Search a genealogy forum for the Hernandez surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Hernandez query.

GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Hernandez surname, with a concentration on records and families from France, Spain, and other European countries.

Browse family trees and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the last name Hernandez using Genealogy Today.


  • Cottle, Basil. "The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames." Penguin Reference Books, Paperback, 2nd edition, Puffin, 7 August 1984.
  • Dorward, David. "Scottish Surnames." Paperback, 1st Edition Thus edition, Mercat Pr, 1 October 2003.
  • Fucilla, Joseph Guerin. "Our Italian Surnames." Genealogical Publishing Company, 1 January 1998.
  • Hanks, Patrick. "A Dictionary of Surnames." Flavia Hodges, Oxford University Press, 23 February 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. "Dictionary of American Family Names." 1st Edition, Oxford University Press, 8 May 2003.
  • "Hernandez." Genealogy.com, 2020, https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/hernandez/.
  • "Hernandez Surname Definition." Forebears, 2012, https://forebears.io/surnames/hernandez.
  • Reaney, Percy H. "A Dictionary of English Surnames." Oxford Paperback Reference S, 
  • Oxford University Press, USA, 1 January 2005.
  • "Search the family trees by name." Geneanet, 2020, https://en.geneanet.org/search/?name=hernandez&x=15&y=9.
  • Smith, Elsdon Coles. "American Surnames." Genealogical Publishing Company, 8 December 2009.
  • "The Hernandez Genealogy and Family Tree Page." Surname Finder, 2020, https://www.genealogytoday.com/surname/finder.mv?Surname=Hernandez
  • "World." Public Profiler, 2010, http://worldnames.publicprofiler.org.
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Powell, Kimberly. "Hernandez Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/hernandez-last-name-meaning-and-origin-1422526. Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 29). Hernandez Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hernandez-last-name-meaning-and-origin-1422526 Powell, Kimberly. "Hernandez Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hernandez-last-name-meaning-and-origin-1422526 (accessed March 22, 2023).