MENDEZ Surname Meaning and Origin

The Mendez surname originated in Asturias, Spain.
Photo by Ramón M. Covelo / Getty Images

Mendez is a patronymic surname meaning "son or descendant of Mendel or Mendo," both given names that derived as a reduced form of the medieval name Menendo, itself derived from the Visigothic name Hermenegildo, meaning "complete sacrifice" from the Germanic elements ermen, meaning "whole, entire," and gild, meaning "value, sacrifice." Mendes is the Portuguese equivalent of the Mendez surname.

The beginnings of the Mendez surname have been traced back primarily to the village of Celanova, Spain, according to the Instituto Genealógico e Histórico Latino-Americano.

Mendez is the 39th most common Hispanic surname.

Surname Origin: Spanish


Famous People with the Surname MENDEZ

  • Fernando Lugo Méndez - a former Catholic Bishop and the current President of Paraguay
  • Eva Mendes - American actress and international spokeswoman for Revlon Cosmetics
  • Tony Mendez - CIA officer best known for efforts during the 1979 Iran hostage

Where is the MENDEZ Surname Most Commonly Found?

The Mendez surname is most prevalent in Mexico, according to surname distribution data from Forebears. It is most common, however, in Guatemala, where it ranks as the 16th most common surname in the country, followed by Venezuela (28th), the Dominican Republic (32nd), and Mexico and Nicaragua (35th).

Mendes is also the 50th most common last name in Spain where, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, it is found in greatest numbers in Asturias, where the surname is believed to have originated, followed by the Canary Islands and Galicia. The Mendes spelling, meanwhile, is found more commonly in France (especially in the area around Paris) and Switzerland (especially the Genfersee region).

Genealogy Resources for the Surname MENDEZ

50 Common Hispanic Surnames & Their Meanings
Garcia, Martinez, Rodriguez, Lopez, Hernandez... Are you one of the millions of people sporting one of these top 50 common Hispanic last names?

Mendez Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Mendez family crest or coat of arms for the Mendez 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.

Mendes DNA Surname Project
Males with the Mendes, Mendez and other surname variants are invited to join this DNA project to combine Y-DNA testing and traditional genealogical research to sort out various Mendes and Mendez family lines.

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

FamilySearch - MENDEZ Genealogy
Explore over 2 million historical records which mention individuals with the Mendez surname, as well as online Mendez family trees on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

MENDEZ Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Mendez surname. - MENDEZ Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Mendez.

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

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

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.

>> Back to Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "MENDEZ Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). MENDEZ Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "MENDEZ Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2023).