Romero Surname Meaning and Origin

Travelers to the Holy Land

Godong/Getty Images

The Romero surname originated as a nickname applied to travelers from the western (Roman) empire who had to pass through the eastern (Byzantine) empire on their way to the holy land, from the word romero, meaning "a pilgrim, or one who visits a shrine." According to the Instituto Genealógico e Histórico Latino-Americano, the Romero surname originated principally in the Spanish areas of Galicia, Aragón, Valencia, Catalonia, Andalusia, and Castile.

Romero is the 28th most common Hispanic surname. Romarin is a French version of this surname, while Romer is the German variation.

Surname origin: Spanish, Italian

Alternate surname spellings: Romerro, Romarin, Romer

Famous People With the Surname Romero

  • George A. Romero: American film director, best known for Night of the Living Dead
  • Oscar Romero: Former Archbishop of San Salvador
  • César Romero: Cuban-American actor and dancer

Where Do People With the Surname Live?

The surname distribution data at Forebears ranks Romero as the 227th most common surname in the world, identifying it as most prevalent in Mexico and with the highest density in Honduras. The Romero surname is the 12th most common surname in Argentina, 13th in Venezuela, 15th in Ecuador, and 18th in Spain and Honduras.

Within Europe, Vargas is most frequently found in Spain, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, especially in the southern provinces of the Andalucia region. The surname is also common throughout the southwestern United States, especially in the state of New Mexico.

Genealogy Resources

  • 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.
  • Romero Family Crest - It's Not What You Think: Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Romero family crest or coat of arms for the Romero 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. 
  • Romero Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Romero surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Romero query.
  • FamilySearch - Romero Genealogy: Access over 2.6 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Romero surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • GeneaNet - Romero Records: GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Romero surname, with a concentration on records and families from France, Spain, and other European countries.


  • 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.
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Romero Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Powell, Kimberly. (2021, February 16). Romero Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Romero Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).