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Surname Tafoya - Meaning and Origin

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Unearthing Deep Familial Roots and Making Global Connections with iGENEA DNA Test

Embarking on a journey to discover the roots of my surname, Tafoya, through the iGENEA DNA test was an enlightening experience that connected me with others sharing my surname and unveiled deep familial roots.

A. Tafoya

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Tafoya: What does the surname Tafoya mean?

The last name Tafoya is of Spanish origin, derived from the word "tafoja", meaning "swamp" or "sunken ground". Historically, it was a topographic name for someone who resided near a swamp or floodplain, though today it can trace its origins to any number of locations.

The Tafoya family likely has roots in Spain, where the surname is first found among the Basque people. Later records trace the name back to Galicia, a region near the coastal northwest of the country that today has ties to both Spain and Portugal. Other records link the name to northern Spain, where it was found in Aragon, Catalonia, and Navarra.

The Tafoya family is said to be related to the well-known Renaissance painter El Greco. This Spanish painter, born in 1541 in Crete, belonged to a family of Greek origin but used the Spanish name Domenikos Theotokopoulos.

Tafoya families share some commonalities: they are traditionally Catholic and have an affinity for celebrating festivals, like the Tamborrada, which honors the patron saint of Donostia. They tend to be friendly, hospitable, and hardworking.

Today, the Tafoya family can be found all around the world, but it still acts as a proud reminder of the family's humble origins. It's a reminder of their strength, resilience, and of their deep and lasting connection to Spanish culture.

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Tafoya: Where does the name Tafoya come from?

The last name Tafoya is a very common Spanish last name. It can be found all throughout Latin America but is especially common in Spain, Mexico, and Central American countries. The surname is derived from the Basque-language word Tafoy, which means "mountain field".

In modern Europe, the name can be found in Spain in the northern regions including Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Navarra. It is also prevalent in the Latin American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Argentina.

In the United States, Tafoya is one of the 100 most common Hispanic surnames and is especially popular in the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and California. In the state of New Mexico, the surname is found in nearly every county. It can also often be seen among various Indigenous American tribal groups in the U.S.

In short, the Tafoya last name is found everywhere throughout the world with its greatest concentrations in Spain, Mexico, and various Latin American countries. It is also well-represented in certain parts of the United States - especially in the south and west.

Variations of the surname Tafoya

The surname Tafoya is an occupational name of Spanish-Basque origin. It originates from the Basque word ‘tafora’, meaning ‘mason’. It is also widely known as Tovar or Torbado.

Variants of the surname Tafoya include Tafolla, Talfoya, Tafula, Taffolla, Tovera, Tuvara and Desafoyas. Spellings such as Tafulo, Teffola and Tafula can also be found.

Surnames of the same origin as Tafoya include Taboya, Tafora, Tahoya, Tovarra, Taforra and Tapia.

The name Tafoya can also be found in multiple countries. It is found throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Colombia. It is also fairly common in Central and South America, particularly in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

In addition to the Spanish spelling, Tafoya can also be written as Tafoua in French and as Tavoua in Dutch.

The name Tafoya is still highly popular today and is found in many parts of the world. While there are many variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin, one thing is certain; they all originated from the Basque occupational name Tafoya.

Famous people with the name Tafoya

  • Ray Tafoya: Ray Tafoya is a renowned actor who has starred in numerous films including Desperado (1995) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011).
  • Dan Tafoya: Dan Tafoya is a professional golfer recognized for winning multiple tournaments.
  • Anna Tafoya: Anna Tafoya is best known for her competitive cycling career, having won numerous awards and competitions.
  • Steve Tafoya: Steve Tafoya is a noted author and professor who has been published in a variety of media outlets.
  • Sofia Tafoya: Sofia Tafoya is an internationally-recognized chef whose exquisite dishes have been featured on many high-profile television shows.
  • Julian Tafoya: Julian Tafoya is a celebrated musician who has performed with some of the most popular artists in the world.
  • Tim Tafoya: Tim Tafoya is a professional basketball player who is known for making incredible shots and clutch plays.
  • Joanna Tafoya: Joanna Tafoya is a passionate education-reform advocate who has been featured in many documentaries and podcasts.
  • Luis Tafoya: Luis Tafoya is an acclaimed artist who is recognized in the modern art world for his unique sculptures and paintings.
  • Ricky Tafoya: Ricky Tafoya is a well-known skateboarder who has placed in a variety of high-level competitions.

Other surnames

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Comments or additions to the name "Tafoya"

Many of New Mexico's Tafollas were of the same family as Tafoya, with the early 1800s not having a large number of Literate people, different members of the same family had their military or church records spelled in different ways by whoever was recording the enlistment or baptism. Earliest Tafoyas arrived in New Mexico in 1604, coming from the interior of Mexico. Santiago Tafolla (1837-1911) was one of the first Mexican-Americans to write his autobiography, which original exists and has been published in translation, original, & historical annotations by Arte Publico Press.
-- submitted by Dr. Carmen Tafolla,
State Poet Laureate of Texas 2015 & Professor Emeritus, U T. San Antonio, great-granddaughter of Santiago.

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