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Surname Barrera - Meaning and Origin

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Unearthed Origins: A Journey into my Family Name, Barrera, with iGENEA's DNA Analysis

Having plunged into the exploration of my roots, iGENEA's DNA analysis provided an enlightening journey into my family history, tracing back my surname, Barrera. The revelation of a Spanish origin, a possible connection to gatekeepers, an intricate understanding of migration patterns, and a surprise link to the Jewish Sephardics entirely transformed my comprehension of my lineage.

I. Barrera

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Barrera: What does the surname Barrera mean?

The last name Barrera is a habitational surname of Spanish origin; which means somebody from a 'barrier' or a 'fence'. It likely comes from settlements or cities that had fortified borders and main defensive walls or fences surrounding them. The surname could also refer to somebody who lived near such a barricade.

Barrera is the 19th most common surname in the country of Mexico, and 44th in Spain. Notable people with the surname Barrera includes Miguel Barrera Martinez, a Mexican professional cyclist, as well as Mexican Televisa, and Telemundo telenovela actor José Carlos Barrera. Other famous people with the surname Barrera include professional boxer Marco Antonio Barrera, and Salvadorian footballer and manager, Alexander Barrera.

The origin of the surname Barrera can be traced back to multiple Spanish provinces, such as Galicia, La Rioja, Castilla La Mancha, Andalucia, and Castilla-Leon. It is also present in Mexico, where it's recognized as the 19th most common surname. The variation of the surname goes back to Latin, which is the language that was originally used by residents of the Iberian Peninsula. The Barrera surname was derived from the Latin 'barraria', which means 'fenced reserve'. The origin of the word likely dates back to centuries ago, during the Middle Ages, when high defensive walls were built to protect cities.

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Barrera: Where does the name Barrera come from?

The last name Barrera is most commonly tied to Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain and many Latin American countries such as Mexico, Colombia, and Costa Rica. This surname is a patronymic surname, derived from the Spanish word for "barrier," which suggests that its original holder was either an individual associated with a toll booth or a military officer.

In the United States, the last name Barrera is most prevalent in the state of California, where over 156,000 individuals with this last name reside. The next most common states are Texas, Florida, and New York, in that order. Outside of the US, in the countries it is most common in, Barrera is most concentrated in and around Mexico City and Madrid, the capital cities of Mexico and Spain, respectively.

More broadly, Barrera is an ancestral surname with many family branches. Around the world, it is estimated that there are currently approximately 533,000 individuals with Barrera as their last name. This is mainly distributed through Central and South America, as well as Europe. It is a widely-distributed name across the globe, with people of this last name living in nearly every country in the world.

Variations of the surname Barrera

The surname Barrera is of Spanish origins and its variants include Barreiro, Barreras, Barreiro, Barrero, Barresi and Barrera. It is a patronymic name meaning “barrier”.

It first appeared as a family name in the mountains of Galicia and Leon as early as the 12th century. It is believed to have derived from the Latin word “barary” meaning a barrier, or the Spanish “barro” meaning a dam or a wall. It was associated with the militaristic role that its first owners played in defending their native land.

In modern times, the surname has been used in other languages. This includes Barra (Catalan), Varianti (Italian) and Barre (French). Its variations have also been listed in other countries, such as in Portugal with Barreto, the German spelling as Barre, in Poland as Bar and in Russia as Bar.

Its variants are mostly spellings of the original surname. The variations may have been caused by geographic changes such as the combined effects of migration, wars and colonization. However, due to cultural and religious influences, some variants or surnames of the same origin may have been adopted. For example, the surname Barazna may be an adopted Hussite variant of the original Czech-Slovak Barron.

The Barrera surname continues to be found all over the world, with many people bearing variations of its original form. In spite of migration and geographical changes, these variants share the same meaning and family origin.

Famous people with the name Barrera

  • Jorge Barrera, Venezuelan musician
  • Mario Barrera, American political scientist
  • Crisanto Barrera, Peru-born Spanish soccer player
  • John Barrera, Moroccan-born French actor
  • Manolo Barrera, Spanish actor
  • Lucrecia Martel Barrera, Mexican-born Spanish photographer
  • Fernando Barrera, Mexican professional racquetball player
  • Nicolás Barrera, Venezuelan professional footballer
  • Alvin Barrera, Dominican-American professional cyclist
  • Raúl Márquez Barrera, Mexican professional soccer player
  • Ludovico Barrera, Venezuelan professional cyclist
  • Rubén Barreras, Spanish volleyball player
  • Dario Barrera, Spanish musician
  • Juan Barrera, Nicaraguan politician
  • Gustavo Barrera, Venezuelan choreographer
  • Víctor Barrera, Argentine footballer
  • Sally Leticia Barrera, Mexican beauty pageant titleholder
  • Sergio Barrera, Mexican professional soccer player
  • Roberto Barrera, Venezuelan professional tennis player
  • Horacio Barbosa Barrera, Mexican actor

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