Dos Apellidos: When Families Have Two Surnames


Very good explanation. I always wondered how the two names connected to each other. Thank you for the clear and precise definition. John MacLean

Thanks Nicolás for this article. I am a chilean person doing my big family tree since about 10 years ago, and my dream is to find a genealogy software that can handle both surnames.

I check from time to time all genealogy software to see if my prayers are answered, but so far it has been quite deceiving, no one looks to handle this. This should be as universal as it gets, and it could be a configuration option for every person in the tree.

If by miracle you stumble on such a piece of software, please please let me know.
Thanks and best regards, rpetitpas at gmail dot com.

Even more confusing is when they have two first names, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda with parents from Puerto Rico.

It is important to note that with surnames of Portuguese origin it works the other way around. So if a Brazilian, Portuguese or Mozambican for example is asked by their names, the first surname comes from his/her mother and the last from the father.
For example: José Cavalcante Albuquerque: Cavalcante would be his mother's surname, and Albuquerque his father's. Some surnames are so traditional that cannot be separated: Sara Lopes Vidal de Negreiros: Lopes is her mother's and Vidal de Negreiros comes from her father, due to it being a surname that came from an aristocatic family from the past. Other examples include: Castello Branco, Villas Bôas, Espírito Santo. Another thing are the prepositions: they matter in Portuguese, just like Van der for the dutch, "de" or "e" are a particle of the surnames. José Rodrigues de Oliveira, has as last name "de Oliveira". Hope this can help someone looking for Portuguese surnames...

My inheritance states I’ll have to have the surnames of the original families so dose Mean my great great grandfather married into the Ashworth’s family am I still here

What is trying to say is Emma a link to the Ashworth family in Heritage

I like someone with an s in their name

I took a few Spanish courses at Overland Learning Centre in north Toronto, and our teacher was a Guatemalan immigrant named Ivan Roma Guzman. According to Spanish naming customs, Roma is his "apellido paterno" and Guzman is his "apellido materno".

In Brazil what does the letter r mean, when between the surnames of two individuals, e.g., Kram r Kirschbaum? And perhaps you can help me ...I have a relative whose great grandparents are my grandparents. Are we second cousins, first cousins once removed, or what? Thank you so much. My email is

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