Surname Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
Spain is an ancient country that has offered many common surnames to the world. This is not a surprise when it is considered that they used to be one of the greatest empires of the mankind. They conquered many territories, and nowadays many people talk their language, not for nothing, Spanish is the second most talked language on the planet. So, seeing Spanish last names is perfectly common in many nations, especially, in Center and South America, and Salazar is one of those surnames.
It actually comes from the Basque country in the region of Burgos in Spain and it has more than just one meaning. It is associated with a place but also and particularly to the aristocratic. Etymologically, Salazar is the union of two terms, the Spanish word “sala” which means hall, and the Basque word “zahar” which can be translated as old, that way it forms “old hall”. This is a very ancient last name, probably even before the 7th century. As it is said before, Salazar is linked to the aristocratic and this is because of it earlies recordings, it follows the preposition “de” which means “of” so is associated with a state of ownership. This idea is reinforced by the coat of arms of the family, which it will be explained later.
This surname appeared in the 10th century in a Spanish Valley, which was named the Salazar Valley, after the family that used to live there, and actually, it still keeps that same name today. From there, it spread to the Basque country, specifically in Biscay, where it was a common last name during the 15th century. It was around this time where López García de Salazar played a key role in the “Reconquista de la Cuenca” or the Retake of Cuenca, and for that, he received an important extension of land, which became an important settlement of the Salazar family. Some descendants of López García de Salazar were part in the Conquest of America, so they spread the surname in the new continent and others got married to members of important members of some noble Spanish families, so it also spread even more throughout all the territory of Spain.
monument of Lope García de Salazar in in Portugalete , Vizcaya. Born in 1399 AD, his great grandfather was Juan Lopez de Salazar, who was the first in the lineage established in Bizkaia
credit: Javier Mediavilla Ezquibela - Trabajo propio, SA2.5
tomb of Jean de Salazar (b. 1410) and his wife, famous mercenary of the Hundred Years War
credit: drawing drawn for gaignières, kept at the BNF and digitized by Gallica
Domingo de Salazar (1512-1594)
There some good records of Salazar, like the oldest one, which belongs to Domingo de Salazar (1512-1594), who became the Bishop of Manila on February 6, 1579, thanks to the Pope Gregory III and then installed in 1581.
Spelling variations are very common for surnames, especially is they as old as Salazar. This occurred because of many reasons. First, is the intention of some families of expressing their loyalty to a particular king or lord. In order to do it, they used to add or remove a letter from the surname, to make everybody know to whom they were loyal. Second, is the intention or some family groups of being easily distinguished or even separated from the main branch, so they appealed to perform changes on their family name, so it would be different and unique.
Finally, and maybe the most important motive for spelling variations occurred, was the mix of cultures thanks to the many wars that happened in ancient times. Spain is a perfect example of a territory that had to belong to different civilizations. First, it used to belong to the Gauls, then, was conquered by the Roman Empire, later it was taken by the Moors, to finally being conquered by Charlemagne. Each one of these societies had an impact on the regional culture, which was subject of several changes and influences. The same happened to the surnames, many of them suffered modifications, depending on the language used in the territory at some point. Thanks to all of this, Salazar had the following spelling variations: Salasar, de Salasar, de Salazar, Salas, Salaz and many others.
Antonio Sebastián Álvarez de Toledo y Salazar (c. 1608-1715), 2nd Marquess of Mancera & 25th Viceroy of New Spain
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
Salazar has a good popularity over the world, actually, it is the 340th most common surname on the planet. With a good count of approximately 1.432.114 bearers distributed in several countries. The country with the biggest group of bearers of Salazar is Mexico, followed by Colombia in the second place of this ranking, and Venezuela in third. This is perfectly reasonable because all of these 3 nations were territories occupied by the Spanish Empire, the place of origin of Salazar. The nation with the highest density of users of Salazar is Costa Rica.
Early Bearers of the Surname
Thanks to the widespread acceptance of Salazar through time, there are good records of old bearers such as Diego de Salazar a Spanish soldier and writer from the sixteenth century, Eugenio Salazar Alarcón who was also a writer from that same century who held the charge of Governor of the Canary Islands and judicial officer of Guatemala and Mexico. Ana de Salazar, christened in Santa María, Valladolid Spain on July 4th, 1604, during the reign of King Philip III of Spain, who ruled from 1598-1621. Others early records of Salazar, talk about Felipe Alberto Salazar who served as treasurer to King Philip II in 1618, Viveros Salazar who lived in the town of Concepción in Mexico on July 13th 1794 and Luis Salazar who got married to Maria Jacoba Felix on June 24th 1844 in Mission San Fernando, Los Angeles, California.
History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
Salazar is a popular surname. As it is said before it holds a good position in that ranking, unfortunately, this popularity doesn’t help in finding long records about its genealogy. The best records of genealogical trees of this surname are found in Chile, however, they are very short.
The first record we examine here starts with José Segundo Salazar Castro, a Chilean who was born in the VIII region (Chile is divided into regions and they have numbers assigned) at the end of the 19th century. He got married to Rosario Pérez González who was born in Osorno in the year 1883. She was the daughter of Antonio Pérez Barril and Martina González Corona. José and Rosario had 12 children, they are: Rosamel Salazar Pérez, who grew up to got married to Leonila Wezascker Alderete, Ida Salazar Pérez who got married to Tránsito Burgos Rodríguez, Leontina Salazar Pérez, who got married to Juan Prieto Delgado, Casiano Salazar Pérez, who got married to Velerna Calderón Sepúlveda.
This line continued with Dina Salazar Pérez, who got married to Hararldo Steffen Gunter, Leonidas Salazar Pérez, who got married to Lidia Bastidas Osses, Carlos Salazar Pérez who got married twice, the first one to Alba Santibáñez Schilling and the second time to Filomena del Carmen Bustos Bascur. Then, there were Noelia Salazar Pérez, who got married to Alberto Maragaño Carrasco, Gilberto Salazar Pérez, who died single and without children, Hector Salazar Perez, who got married to Susi Feltes Ratje. This last couple had three children: Ruth Susi del Carmen Salazar Feltes, Julieta de las Mercedes Salazar Feltes and Hector José María Salazar Feltes. The last two children of José Segundo Salazar Castro and Rosario Pérez González were: Elisa del Carmen Salazar Pérez, who got married to Pedro Tomás Segundo Burgos Rosas and Yolanda Salazar Pérez who got married to Francisco Moyano Arteaga.
Another record of Salazar family talks about the offspring of José Mercedes Salazar who got married to María Dolores Monroy. Together, they had only one child, Ciro Salazar Monroy, who was born in Sauzal on May 18th, 1884. Ciro grew to become a lawyer and then a judge, he occupied several charges in the judicial system of Chile since 1909. He got married to Ana Domeyko Alamos on January 19, 1929, in the city of Santiago de Chile, she was the daughter of Juan Casimiro Domeyko Sotomayor and Dominga Alamos Cuadra.
Ciro Salazar Monroy and Ana Domeyko Alamos had four children. The first one was Ana María Salazar Domeyko, who got married twice, first to Arturo Cruzat Hill and the second to Boris Stoicheff. Then, there was Jaime Salazar Domeyko, who became a priest, the third child was Ignacio Salazar Domeyko, who got married to María Oriana Vicuña Lyon, whit whom had three children. The offspring of this last couple were: Ignacio Salazar Vicuña, Ana María Salazar Vicuña, and Magdala Salazar Vicuña. Finally, the fourth child of Ciro and Ana was Alfonso Salazar Domeyko who was born in 1937, became an engineer and got married to María Amalia Barros Vial.
The third branch of Salazar that we can study is the one that begins with Juan Salazar who got married to Eudomilia del Carmen Cortés Mera, daughter of Domingo Cortés Becerra and Ema Mera. Juan and Eudomilia had three children, the first one was Tomás del Carmen Salazar Cortés, who was born in Temuco on December 20th, 1935. Tomás grew up and got married to María Aurora Gómez Carreño, with whom had four children: Miguel Angel Salazar Gómez who had a son named Marcelo Salazar Vergara, Jeanette Salazar Gómez, Sofía Salazar Gómez and María Soledad Salazar Gómez.
The next child of Juan Salazar and Eudomilia del Carmen Cortés Mera was Juan Humberto Salazar Cortés and then Oscar Gerardo Salazar Cortés. There are no records of marriage or children of these last two.
Another genealogical tree of the surname Salazar that can be mentioned is the one that started with Luis Ernesto Salazar Chávez, who was born on January 30th, 1924 and died on June 2nd, 2006. He got married to Tomasa Senett Gerbier Mora, who was born on January 3rd, 1927 and died on March 19th, 2013, she was the daughter of José Gerbier Munita and Donaciana “Chana” Mora Contreras. Together, Luis Ernesto and Tomasa Senett, had two children. The first one was Luis Alberto Salazar Gerbier, who was born on January 28, 1966, and got married to Betzi Emma Fernández Cedeño, in 2002. This last couple had three children of their own, they were Ester Senett Salazar Fernández, Darío Alberto Salazar Fernández, and Diana Grace Salazar Fernandez. The second child of Luis Ernesto Salazar Chávez and Tomasa Senett Gerbier was Paola Senett Salazar Gerbier who got married to Fuentes Perin. This couple had two children, however, the record doesn’t show their names or birthdays.
Early American and New World Settlers
After the first time Europeans arrived America, thousands of the inhabitants of the old continent decided to take the adventure of traveling to the new world. Their idea was beginning a new life, with new possibilities. They brought all of their cultures, and part of them were their surnames. This was how the last names of Europe came to America and started to be used in this new land. They traveled throughout many years, since the sixteenth century until even today.
Some of the bearers of Salazar in arriving to America in the sixteenth century were Gutierre Salazar, who left Europe in 1509, Vítores de Salazar, who did the same during 1513, Andrés de Salazar who traveled to America in 1514, Carlos de Salazar, who traveled to Peru in 1534 and Pedro de Salazar who did the same travel that same year.
There are no records that show the arrival of users of Salazar during the 17th and 18th centuries. The next records are from the 19th century, and they talk about Pedro de Salazar who traveled to America in 1809, Juan de Salazar who did his trip in 1813 and Rodrigo Salazar who traveled to the new continent in 1814. During the following century, the 20th century, Parfirio de Salazar arrived in Texas in 1911.
The Spanish coat of arms of Salazar was formed by a blazon of a red field charged with a tower proper, inside a semee of gold stars. This supports the idea that the first bearers of Salazar held several important properties and were in an excellent financial position.
Vicente Lucio Salazar (1832-1896), President of Ecuador
There have been several remarkable bearers of Salazar in different field throughout history such as, Gustavo Gaona Salazar (1896-1966) a lawyer from Mexico who played a key role among his community, Abel Salazar (1917-1995) also from Mexico he was an actor, producer, and director, Alberto Salazar (b. 1958) U.S. distance runner, Carlos Gabriel Salazar (b. 1964) a boxer from Argentina, Diego Salazar (b. 1980) a Colombian weightlifter, Emiliano Zapata Salazar (1879-1919) the important revolutionary figure from Mexico, Jose Salazar (b. 1957) Venezuelan triple jumper, Luciana Salazar (b. 1980) an Argentinian model and actress, Vicente Lucio Salazar (1832-1896) President of Ecuador in 1895 and Gabriel Salazar Vergara (b. 1936) a Chilean historian.