The Meaning and Origin of the Surname Rodriguez

Rodriguez is a patronymic surname meaning powerful or famous ruler.
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Rodriguez is a patronymic name meaning "son of Rodrigo." The "ez or es" added to the root signifies "descendant of." The given name Rodrigo is the Spanish form of Roderick, meaning "famous power" or "powerful ruler," from the Germanic elements hrod, meaning "fame" and ric, meaning "power." Rodrigues is the Portuguese equivalent of this surname.

Surname Origin: Spanish


Fun Facts About the Rodriguez Surname

In the 2000 census, Rodriguez was the ninth most common surname in the United States, making it probably the first time in U.S. history that a non-Anglo name ranked among the 10 most common surnames (the Hispanic surname Garcia also cracked the top 10 at #8).

Where Do People With the Rodriguez Surname Live?

The Rodriguez surname is extremely popular in Spain according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, beginning in the region of Islas Canarias, followed by Galicia, Asturias, Castilla y León, and Extremadura. It is also popular in Argentina, fairly evenly distributed throughout the country. Forebears, which includes greater surname distribution coverage from the Spanish-speaking countries, ranks the Rodriguez surname as #1 in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia and Uraguay. It also ranks 2nd in Argentina, Puerto Rico and Panama, and third in Spain, Peru and Honduras. Overall it is the 60th most common surname in the world.

Famous People with the Surname Rodriguez

  • Luis Rodriguez - contemporary poet
  • Michelle Rodriguez - American actress
  • Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees third baseman

Genealogy Resources for the Surname Rodriguez

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?

Common Hispanic Surnames & Their Meanings
Learn about the origins of Hispanic last names, and the meanings of many of the most common Spanish surnames.

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

The Rodriguez DNA Project
This Y-DNA project is open to all males with the Rodriguez surname or its variations who are interested in working together to use DNA testing and traditional family history research to identify common Rodriguez ancestors.

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

FamilySearch - RODRIGUEZ Genealogy
Access over 12 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Rodriguez surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Rodriquez Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Rodriguez surname. You can also search or browse the list archives to view Rodriquez surname queries and posts going back for over a decade. - Rodriquez Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Rodriguez.

The Rodriguez Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Rodriguez surname from the website of Genealogy Today.


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  • Menk, Lars. "A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2005.
  • Beider, Alexander. "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. "A Dictionary of Surnames." New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. "Dictionary of American Family Names." New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Hoffman, William F. "Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings." Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1993.
  • Rymut, Kazimierz. "Nazwiska Polakow." Wroclaw: Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolinskich - Wydawnictwo, 1991.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. "American Surnames." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.