Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > MARIA

Origin and popularity of the name MARIA


Maria : 1: Spanish (María); Italian and Portuguese; Hungarian (Mária): from the female personal name Latin Maria. This was the name of the mother of Jesus Christ in the New Testament as well as several other New Testament figures. The Latin form of the name on which all common variants from European languages are based (including English Mary) derived as a back-formation from the early Christian female name Mariam. This was mistaken for an accusative case with the usual Latin feminine accusative ending -am but in fact it is an Aramaic form (originally Maryam) of the Hebrew name Miryam. The Hebrew name is of uncertain etymology perhaps from a word meaning ‘wished-for child’ from an Egyptian root mrj with the addition of the Hebrew feminine diminutive suffix -am. Saint Jerome understood it as a compound of mar ‘drop’ + yam ‘sea’ which he rendered as Latin stilla maris later altered to stella maris ‘star of the sea’ whence the medieval Christian liturgical phrase.2: French: Latinized form of Marie a cognate of 1 above. It is also found in England as a surname of Huguenot origin.3: West Indian (Dutch Caribbean): from the female personal name Maria (see 1 above). Maria is among the ten most frequent surnames on Curaçao where it reflects the partially mother-oriented name culture of the formerly enslaved people in the West Indies (compare Martina).


Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, ©2021, University of the West of England
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 176,706 individuals with the name MARIA on Geneanet.


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