Origin, Meaning, Family History and Mendez Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Mendez Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This popular last name is primarily a Galician (Galicia is currently an autonomous community in Spain) patronymic (or baptismal) surname meaning “the son of Mendo”, deriving from the medieval personal (first) name Mendo (or Mendes, Menendo, Mendel or Mem), a name that may possibly refer to wisdom or knowledge. One source asserts the medieval name Menendo itself derived from the Visigothic name Hermenegildo, meaning “complete sacrifice”, composed of the Germanic words ermen (whole or entire) and gild (meaning value or sacrifice). Although primarily Spanish and Portuguese, the name is Germanic in origins, dating back to a Germanic tribe known as the Visigoths (western branch of nomadic German tribes) who ruled Spain from 409 AD until 711 AD, when King Roderic (King Rodrigo) was killed while fighting a invasion from the Umayyad Caliphate. The Mendez was first found in Asturias, located in northwestern Spain. According to the Instituto Genealogico e Historico Latino-Americano, the surname Mendez has been traced back to the village of Celanova, Spain. Some spelling variants or surnames with similar etymologies include Melendez, Mendes, Menndez, and Menedes.
The website MikeMendez.org states the following in regard to the third (left to right) coat of arms shown above on this page: “This is the lineage of the Noble house of Celanova, in Galicia, whose progenitor was the Gothic King Egica. Count Hermenegildo Méndez married Ermesinda Arias, Lady of the village of Port Marín who was a descendant of the Suebic King of Galicia, Miro. Descended from these two, were many illustrious Noblemen, from Asturias to Cordoba (this illustrates that they were from the Northern most kingdom all the way to the Southern most kingdom), and later the Antilles (Western Hemisphere) including the Marquis of Montero, the Marquis of Cambria, and the Dukes of Rivas”.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Mendez ranks 242nd in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following five states: California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. Mendez ranks in the top 200 names in each of these states.
In Spain, the name ranks 50th. In Portugal, it ranks 2,452th. The surname Mendez frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the Latin and South America: Mexico (35th), Guatemala (16th), Colombia (84th), El Salvador (47th), Honduras (87th), Nicaragua (35th), Peru (184th), Cuba (59th), Costa Rica (48th), Panama (85th), Ecuador (147th), Argentina (44th), Dominican Republic (32nd), Chile (123), Paraguay (85th), Uruguay (21st) and Venezuela (28th).
Mendez Family Tree & Mendez Genealogy
The following is a medieval lineage where one can see the appearance of the Mendez/Mendes name:
Pelaio Guterres da Silva, also known as o Diácono (born c. 1000 AD)
Guterre Alderete da Silva (c. 1040 AD)
Paio Guterres da Silva (c. 1070 AD)
Pedro Pais da Silva, o Escracha, alcaide-mór de Coimbra (born c. 1115 AD in Portugal)
Sancho Pires da Silva (born between 1120-1166 AD)
Mem Sanches da Silva (born c. 1200 AD)
Estêvão Mendes da Silva (born between 1195-1255 AD)
Soeiro Mendes Petite, alcaide de Santarém (c. 1260 AD)
Constanza Méndez Pelita de Silva (Mendes da Silva)
Soeiro Mendes Coelho (born 1320 AD)
Some bearers of this surname during the time of the Middle Ages to the early modern period include:
1) Alonso Lozada Mendez, who was born in 1599 AD at Pachuca de Soto, Reino de Mexcio
2) Aldonza Méndez de Biedma who was born between 1286 and 1406 AD, the daughter of Menendo Rodríguez de Biedma, I señor de Santisteban del Puerto.
3) Elvira Mendez, who was born around 1645, the wife of Gonzalo Palaez
4) Estevaínha Mendes, who was born around 1065 AD, the wife of Garcia Alfonso de Leon
5) Geronima Guiral Méndez, who was born at Pachuca, Reino de Mexico, Reino de Nueva Espana in 1597 AD
6) José Méndez de Tovar, who was born between 1608-1668 AD
Early American and New World Settlers
One of the earliest known settlers in the New World bearing this surname was David Mendez, who arrived in Jamaica 1742. Several thousand members of the Mendez family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) Manuel Mendez from Cuba in 1874 aboard the John G Hall
2) Jose Mendez from Mexico in 1874 aboard the Scotia
3) Ramon Mendez from Spain in 1852 aboard the Empire City
4) Balena Mendez from Brazil in 1854 aboard the Elizabeth
5) Ignacio Mendez from Mexico in 1877 aboard the City of Havannah
6) Gabriel Mendez from Spain in 1889 aboard the Habana
7) Joaquim Jose Mendez from Portugal in 1858 aboard the Maria
8) David Doval Mendez from Holland in 1885 aboard the SS Phadra
We have 4 coats of arms for the Mendez surname depicted here. These 6 blazons are from Jean Baptiste Rietstap’s book Armorial General, which was published in 1861, as well as several other sources. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where
There are hundreds of notable people with the Mendez surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez (1942) a cosmonaut and Cuban military officer, and legislator, who was the first person of African descent who went to space, 2) Aparicio Mendez Manfredini (1904-1988) who was the de factor President of Uruguay from 1976-1981, as well as a former Minister of Health during the 1960s, 3) Casto Secundino Maria Mendez Nunez (1824-1869) who was a Spanish military naval officer from Galicia who was the commander of the Spanish fleet in the Pacific during the Chincha Islands War (between Spain, Chile, and Pero), 4) Colonel Louis Gonzaga Mendez Jr. (1915-2001) who was an officer in the 8nd Airborne and commander of the 3rd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry regiment during World War II, born in Denver, Colorado, 5) Juan Nepomuceno Mendez (1820-1894) who was a Mexican general and the 30th President of Mexico from 1876-1877, born in Tetela de Ocampo, Puebla, New Spain, 6) Gonzalo Mendez de Canco y Donlebun (1554-1622) who was a Spanish admiral and the 7th Governor of La Florida from 1596-1603, born in Tapia de Casariego, Asturias, Spain, 7) Marco Aurelio Robles Mendez (1905-1990) who was the President of Panama from 1964-1968), 8) Sylvia Mendez (1936) who was an American civil rights champion of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage, born in Santa Ana, California, 9) Norberto Doroteo Mendez (1923-1998), nicknamed Tucho, who was a professional soccer (football) player born in Buenos Aires, Argentina who played from 1941-1958, including 33 games as part of the national team, 10) Mario Mendez Olague (1979) who was a Mexican soccer player born in Guadalajara who played from 1998-2004, and 11) Ryan Mendez who was a former member of the American rock band Yellowcard.