Santiago Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a popular Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese habitational surname describing a person who was from any of the various towns/villages throughout the Iberian Peninsula with churches dedicated to St. James the Greater, or Sant Iago, Santiago, or Sao Tiago, who was the patron Saint of Spain in the Catholic religion. St. James was born in Judaea, Roman Empire around 3 AD and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. The name is believed to have first originated in Galicia, which was a medieval Christen Kingdom in Spain that existed from 402-1833 AD. Spelling variations include Santitiago, Santiagoo, Santiag, and Zantiago. Many shortened or reduced forms of the name also exist, including: Sant, Sancti, Sanct, Sanctis, Santi, Santo, and Sancto.
There is a medieval legend that states after the Crucifixion of Christ, St. James did not die under Herod Agrippa, but instead visited and evangelized the Iberian peninsula. According to Wikipedia “An even later tradition states that he miraculously appeared to fight for the Christian army during the legendary battle of Clavijo, and was henceforth called Santiago Matamoros (Saint James the Moor-slayer). ¡Santiago, y cierra, España! ("St. James and strike for Spain") was the traditional battle cry of medieval Spanish (Christian) armies. Cervantes has Don Quixote explaining that 'the great knight of the russet cross was given by God to Spain as patron and protector'”. According to this same tradition, he was known as “Saint James the Moor-slayer”. His purported burial site at Compostela has been a place of pilgrimage for several hundred years.
Sea of Galilee
One will notice the Santiago coat of arms or Santiago family crests contains the scallop shell and the Cross of Saint James (also called the Santiago cross of cruz espada. As to the later, it combines a cross fitchy and cross moline in heraldry. As to the former, it is believed that they were adopted as badges (pinned on clothes) of those going to the Holy Land on pilgrimage and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. It is said the pilgrim would be provided food and water by local churches and castles if the bore the escallop. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries”. This symbol is long journeys can also be a symbol of hospitality. It should also be noted the escallop is a symbol of Apostle St. James the Greater. According to The Road to Santiago: “Having been a fisherman in Galilea and having taken the road that helped him discover his spirit, the Scallop Shell is the emblem of St. James and its symbolism relates to two layers of the human condition; the physical and the spiritual. St. James was an ordinary pilgrim like the rest of us. He walked a long difficult road with Jesus; he was imprisoned by his raging emotions, and he went through metaphoric fires to free himself and discover the vastness of his spirit. He learned how to live an authentic, peaceful life and he shared his personal lessons with others”.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Santiago ranks 302nd in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following six states: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The surname Santiago ranks in the top 180 names in all of the aforementioned states.
In Spain, the name ranks 83rd. In Portugal, it ranks 303rd. The surname Santiago frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the Latin and South America: Mexico (125th), Brazil (147th), Puerto Rico (6th), Uruguay (683rd), El Salvador (1,106th), Bolivia (1,476th), Panama (454th), Ecuador (1,379th), Chile (953rd), Colombia (353rd), Peru (353rd), Cuba (248th), Venezuela (403rd), Guatemala (277th), Argentina (502nd), and the Dominican Republic (186th).
Santiago Family Tree & Santiago Genealogy
Some bearers of this surname during the time of the Middle Ages to the early modern period include:
1) Agustín de la Serna, Fundador de Santiago de Chile who was born in Spain in 1512 and went to Chile
2) Beatriz de Santiago who was born between 1390-1510 AD and married Alonso Monge
3) Felipe Santiago Romero, the son of Diego Antonio, who was born in 1709 and married Maria Castilda Mestas
4) Caballero de la Orden de Santiago Fernando Messía de la Cerda, son or Arias and Maria, was born between 1332 and 1382 AD, and married Leonor Rodriguez Barba
5) José Santiago de la Barrera who was born in 1674, the son of Francisco and Maria, and married Juana Maria Renteria and Juana Maria de la Barrera
6) Luis Santiago who was born between 1602 and 1662 and married Mara Santiago, having a son name Jose
7) Juan Santiago de Esquibel who was born in Ciudad de Mexico, Virreinato, de Nueva Espana in c. 1610, the son of Santiago and Ana, and he married Antonia Fernandez de Mancilla
Some marriages involving the Santiago last name include:
1) Manoel Felippe Santiago married Anna de Mello Azêdo in Inga, Paraiba, Brazil in May 1917
2) Joaquim Gomes Santiago who married Maria do Pilar in Massarelos, Portugal in September 1761
3) Izabel de Santiago, daughter of Ignacio, married João Alures in Porto, Portugal in May 1707
4) António da Silva Santiago who married Anna de Jesus in Porto, Portland in October 1760
5) Nicolas Santiago married Barthola De La Cruz, daughter of Juan, in Santa Cruz Dandayas, Mexico in April 1766
6) Miguel Santiago married Maria Geronima Santiago, daughter of Gaspar and Maria, in Atilantongo, Mexico in September 1756
7) Joao Santiago married Maria Pereira, daughter of Joao and Geneveva, at New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts in October 1897
8) Manuel Santiago married Juana Olevio in Monroe, Florida in January 1899
9) Toro Santiago married Fanny Shortis in Amador, California in May 1879
10) Luciano Hernandes Santiago married Vicenta Martines Bargas, daughter of Gayetano and Julia, at Laredo, Texas in April 1907
Jose Benito Santiago was born in Coamo, Puerto Rico around 1851. In 1867, he married Maria Balbina Colon y Esapada and had the following children with her: Temistocles, Julia, Antonio, Rufino, Carmen , Guadalupe (Flores) Flores, Basiliso, and Segundo. His son, Basilio, was born around 1886. He married Angela Rivera and had the following issue with her: Consrada, Alfredo, Basilisa, Julia (Cintron), Jose Manuel, and America (Martinez). His son, Jose Manuel Santiago, was born in Ceiba, Puerto Rico in 1905. Jose was a doctor who studied in Michigan. In 1943, he married Marcelina Caballero in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and was the father of five children: Luis, Eufemio, Nadya (Loweth), Jose Manuel, and Elsie (Barreto). His son, Jose Manuel Santiago, was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1934. He had several children including Vicki and Anthony prior to his 1998 death in Astoria, New York.
Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest known bearers of this name to come to the New World include Pedro de Santiago and his daughter Catalina who came in 1514, Garcia de Santiago who came in 1514, and Melchor Santiago who arrived in Rio de la Plata (modern day Argentina and Uruguay) in 1535.
Several thousand members of the Santiago family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) Fernandez Santiago came from Spain in 1869 aboard the Perrire
2) Senega Santiago came from Cuba in 1860 aboard the Pride Of The Sea
3) Cirilo Santiago came from Cuba in 1873 aboard the Cleopatra
4) Rafael Diaz Santiago came from Spain in 1876 aboard the City of Vera Cruz
5) Jose Santiago came from Spain in 1859 aboard the Quaker City
6) Mateo Santiago came from Italy in 1885 aboard the Caracas
7) Carlo Santiago came from Germany in 1882 aboard the Edam
8) Benito Santiago came from Holland in 1875 aboard the State of Nevada
9) Casas Santiago came from Havana, Cuba in 1881 aboard the Labrador
10) F.A. Santiago came from the Canary Islands in 1888 aboard the Trumfo
There are hundreds of notable people with the Santiago surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) Benito Santiago Rivera (1965) who was a professional baseball player from Ponce, Puerto Rico who played in the MLB from 1986-2005 for 10 different teams, such as the San Diego Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, and Florida Marlins, having been a 5x All-Star
2) Richard Santiago Rodríguez (1970) who was a former Puerto Rican boxer who won the bronze medal in the middleweight division of the 1991 Pan American Games
3) Joseph Alberto "Joey" Santiago (1965) who was an American guitarist and composer born in Manila, Philippines who is best known for his role as lead guitarist for the cult alternative rock band Pixies.
4) Sonia Santiago-Bruckner (1966) who was a ballerina in Germany who was born in Madrid, Spain
5) Irene Santiago, who graduated from Columbia University in 1963 and served as a peace negotiator between the Filipino government and Muslim extremist separatists, having been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005
6) Rafael Santiago Maria (1984) who was a professional football (soccer) player born in Curitba, Brazil who plated from 2002-2014 for teams such as Parana, Esporte Clube Pelotas, and A.F.C. Tubize
7) Nellie R. Santiago-Fernandez (1943) who served in the New York State Senate for the 17th District from 1993-2002
8) Charles Anthony R. Santiago (1960) who is a member of the Malaysian Parliament for Klang, Selangor, who assumed office in 2008, a member of the Democratic Action Party
9) Carlos Enrique Santiago who served as the 7th Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2004-2010, and was a former Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic College Fund
10) Juan Carlos Santiago (1946) who was a Spanish basketball player born in Madrid who plated in the 1968 Summer Olympics
Santiago America Civil War Veterans
There were at least 184 soldiers with the last name Santiago who served in the American Civil War:
1) Cais Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 2nd Regiment Texas Cavalry 2nd Mounted Rifles
2) Benegais Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Regiment Connecticut Cavalry
3) Apodaca Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Regiment New Mexico Infantry
4) Tossis Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Regiment New Mexico Infantry
5) Del Norte Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Regiment Texas Cavalry
6) Cordova Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Battalion California Native Cavalry
7) Jaramillo Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Regiment New Mexico Infantry
8) Goin Santiago fought for the Confederacy as part of the 8th Regiment Texas Infantry (Hobby’s)
9) Guetierrez Santiago fought for the Union as part of the 1st Battalion Arizona Infantry
10) Quellar Santiago fought for the Confederacy as part of the 33rd Regiment Texas Cavalry (Duff’s Partisan Rangers)