MORALES - Last Name Meaning and Origin

What Does the Last Name Morales Mean?

The Morales surname most commonly derives from the Spanish word mora, meaning mulberry tree or blackberry bush.
Getty / Lyndel Rowe / EyeEm

The popular Hispanic Morales surname has several possible derivations:

  1. A topographical surname given to someone who lived near a mulberry or blackberry bush, from mora, meaning "mulberry" or "blackberry." The "es" ending indicates a patronymic surname, so more specifically the name Morales means "son of Moral," or son of someone who lived near a mulberry or blackberry tree.
  2. A name used to indicate someone "from Morales," the name of several Spanish towns.

    Morales is the 94th most popular surname in the United States and the 16th most common Hispanic surname.

    Surname Origin:  Spanish, Portuguese

    Alternate Surname Spellings:  MORALEZ, MORAL, MOREIRA, MORA, MORAIS

    Where Do People with the MORALES Surname Live?

    According to WorldNames publicprofiler, individuals with the Morales surname are most commonly found living in Spain and Argentina. In Spain the surname is most prevalent in the Canary Islands. In Argentina the surname is most common in the Cuyo region.

    Famous People with the Surname MORALES

    • Erik Morales - professional American boxer
    • Esai Morales - American TV and film star
    • Leo Morales - holds the world record for deep-diving with a disability
    • Evo Morales - Bolivia's first Indian president

    Genealogy Resources for the Surname MORALES

    100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
    Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

    Morales Family DNA Project
    The Morales Family Project currently has 38+ members working together to find common heritage through sharing of genealogical information and DNA testing. Anyone with a variant spelling of the Morales surname is also welcome to join.

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

    FamilySearch - MORALES Genealogy
    Explore over 3.4 million historical records and lineage-linked family trees for individuals with the Morales surname and its variations, including census records, vital records, military records, church records, and more.

    MORALES Surname & Family Mailing Lists
    RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Morales surname. Search the archives, or post a question about your own Morales family research. - MORALES Genealogy & Family History
    Explore a variety of free databases and genealogy links for the last name Morales.

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    References: Surname Meanings & Origins

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

    Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

    Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

    Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges.

    A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

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

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

    >> Back to Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins