What are the policies around Hispanic naming customs (paternal surname followed by maternal surname)?

+3 votes
Most of my direct ancestors are South American and a few generations back are from Spain so all their last names follow the custom of the father's surname followed by the mother's maiden name (as you can see with mine, for example). I feel like WikiTreers should be on the same page about this to avoid new last name groups being created (e.g., all the Rodriguez's together as opposed to Rodriguez Rios and then Rodriguez Gomes as a separate surname). If there is a South American project group or something, can they make a formal decision about this? Right now, all my family members have the two surnames but I will change them to only the paternal surname if we all agree on that.
in Policy and Style by Nadia Stanichevsky Bordas G2G3 (3.1k points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

This is the help and policy for Spanish and Latin American names: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Spanish_Naming_conventions

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (402k points)
selected by Cindy Cooper
Wow what a lot of detail and possible variation in Spanish names!  Makes the French names look simple. Thank you to those who wrote the help page as that took quite a bit of work.
It is also important to look at how names are written in contemporary documents. For people in the lower classes double surnames we’re uncommon in the older records, and we’re much more common in the upper classes, but by far from universal. Modern records are different, where double surnames are very common, but still not universal.

In the older Mexican records it is sometimes difficult to tell if people identified as Indian in the record had a surname of not. Names simply like Juan Diego or Maria Teresa are common, and likely were  without a surname. Later names for Indians like Juan de la Cruz, or Maria de la Trinidad, were quite common, where de la Cruz, or Cruz, eventually became the surname.

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