MENDOZA Surname Meaning and Origin

The Mendoza surname means cold mountain.

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The Mendoza surname was given to one who came from Mendoza (cold or high mountains); from the Basque root mendi suggesting "son of the mountain dweller" and otz, meaning "cold." It may also have been used as a topographical surname for someone who lived on or came from a "cold mountain." Mendoza is an ancient surname in Vizcaya, Navarre, Aragón, and Castile, Spain.

Mendoza is the 32nd most common Hispanic surname.

Surname Origin: Spanish

Alternate Surname Spellings: MENDOSA 

Famous People With the Surname MENDOZA

  • Antonio de Mendoza - first viceroy of New Spain, 1535-1550 and third viceroy of Peru, 1551-1552
  • Cristóbal Mendoza - first president of Venezuela, 1811-1812
  • Pedro de Mendoza - famous explorer and founder of Buenos Aires

Where Do People With the MENDOZA Surname Live?

Mendoza is the 279th most common surname in the world, according to surname distribution data from Forebears, found in greatest numbers in Mexico, where it is the 21st most common surname, and with the highest density in Nicaragua where it ranks as the 13th most common surname. The Mendoza surname is also very common in Peru (16th), Venezuela (17th) and Bolivia (19th).

Within Europe, Mendoza is most frequently found in Spain, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, especially in the Canary Islands. The surname is also very common throughout Argentina, and in the U.S. states of Texas, New Mexico and California. 

Genealogy Resources for the Surname MENDOZA

100 Common Hispanic Surnames & Their Meanings
Garcia, Martinez, Rodriguez, Lopez, Hernandez... Are you one of the millions of people sporting one of these top 100 common Hispanic last names?

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.

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

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

FamilySearch - MENDOZA Genealogy
Access over 2.5 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Mendoza surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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

MENDOZA Surname & Family Mailing List
This free mailing list for researchers of the Mendoza surname and its variations includes subscription details and a searchable archive of past messages. - MENDOZA Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Mendoza.

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


  • 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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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "MENDOZA Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Sep. 18, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, September 18). MENDOZA Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "MENDOZA Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).