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Surname Morales - Meaning and Origin

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Rediscovering Personal Identity and Heritage: A Journey Beyond the Surname Morales with iGENEA DNA Test

Before I took the iGENEA DNA test, my surname Morales was merely a label, an identifier. However, the results of the test have sparked a profound shift in my understanding of my heritage and personal identity. It led me on an exploration of my ancestral lineage, delving beyond the surface of my surname Morales and expanding the limits of what it means to me.

O. Morales

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Morales: What does the surname Morales mean?

The surname Morales is of Spanish origin and is derived from the word "moral," which means mulberry tree in Spanish. Hence, it originally referred to a person who lived near a mulberry tree or a place abundant with these trees. It is a common surname in various Spanish-speaking countries like Mexico, Spain, and Colombia. The name is widely shared among those of Sephardic Jewish descent as well. It became more popular and spread to more regions mainly during the medieval period. It should be noted that the meaning of surnames often varies across different regions and cultures, and this meaning may not hold the same significance or background everywhere. Additionally, keep in mind that surnames materialized hundreds of years ago when individuals were first starting to adopt them, and their definitions or origins can be slightly altered or vague.

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Morales: Where does the name Morales come from?

The last name Morales is a very common last name throughout Latin America and is widespread in the United States where Hispanic populations are numerous. It is one of the most common Latino surnames and is most commonly seen in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as in Spain and other areas with significant Spanish cultural influence.

In Mexico, the top five states with the most Morales families are Mexico City, Michoacán, Veracruz, Jalisco, and Puebla. In Central America, it is most common in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. It is also a common surname for Hispanic populations in the United States, especially in states with large Latino populations such as California, Texas, and New York.

The Morales family name can trace its origin to ancient Spain, as the surname was a patronymic surname, meaning it was created and passed down from one generation to the next, derived from the father's given name. It is believed that it began as the first name Mauricio or Maurilio, and that over time, it became Morales.

While the Morales surname is most commonly seen throughout Latin America and the US, Morales families can be found in other parts of the world, such as Canada, where it is also quite common in the Hispanic population, as well as in other English-speaking countries with Spanish influence, like the United Kingdom.

Variations of the surname Morales

The surname Morales is commonly found in Latin American countries such as Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Argentina. It is derived from the given name Mauricio which is itself derived from the Roman Mauritus which means "dark-skinned, Moorish". Variations of the surname Morales are as follows:

- Morale: alternative Spanish spelling of the name Morales

- Moral: phoenetic versions of the name common in parts of Latin America

- Moralles: Catalan version of the name Morales

- Moralez: common variation in Hispanic cultures

- Morallez: variant spelling of Morales

- Moran: derived from the Moorish Mauritus and variant spelling of Morales

- Morante: derived from the Latin Mauritius and variant spelling of Morales

- Moratilla: variant found in some parts of Latin America

- Morato: derived from the Latin Mauritius and common variation of Morales

- Moratti: variant spelling of Moratilla

- Mouré: derived from the Latin Mauritius and common variation of Morales

- O'Morales: derived from the Irish ‘O’ prefix meaning ‘grandson of’ and variant of Morales

- Ortega y Mora: common double barreled surname in Latin America

- Morel: derived from the French surname Morél and variant spelling of Morales

These are all the spelling variants and surnames of the same origin as Morales. It is important to note that the surnames 'Morale', 'Moratilla' and 'Moratti' are particularly common in countries like Peru and Costa Rica.

Famous people with the name Morales

  • Lupita Nyong'o: Academy Award-winning Mexican-Kenyan actress
  • Gilbert Melendez: American professional mixed martial arts fighter
  • Julianne Morales: American actress and producer
  • Willie Morales: Cuban professional baseball player
  • Vanessa Morales: Mexican singer and actress
  • Katia Morales: former member of the pop group Sentidos Opuestos
  • Jaime Moreno: Venezuelan former professional footballer
  • Manuel Moraga Morales: Chilean actor
  • Jay Morales: Philippine actor
  • Cruz Morales: former mayor of Yauco, Puerto Rico
  • Joaquin Morales Solá: Argentine journalist, author, and political commentator
  • Mario Ernesto Morales: Guatemalan Army major general and former presidential candidate
  • Christian Morales: Chilean professional football player
  • Ben Morris: American television producer
  • Sandy Morales: Venezuelan beauty queen and professional model
  • Roberto Morales: Puerto Rican professional basketball player
  • Carlos Morales: Cuban former professional long-distance runner
  • Daniel Morales: Cuban singer
  • Ovidio Morales: Colombian film and television actor
  • Philip Morales: American retired Navy admiral

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