Last name Astorga: history, origin, meaning and related last names

The last name Astorga has its roots in the Spanish city of Astorga; it is therefore a toponymic or geographical last name. It was taken by emigrants from the city and neighboring regions. The surname Astorgano is another variant that has the same origin and meaning. Both identified the families of Astorga and even of its Diocese that emigrated to distant lands.

Astorga is a city founded more than two thousand years ago by the Romans. Its original name was Asturica Augusta, Augusta in honor of its founder, Emperor Augustus, and Asturica for being the most important city of the land occupied by the Astures, a pre-Roman people established in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The Astorga people carry in their last name the name of a pre-Roman people.

The current Astorga is a peaceful city of about 10,000 inhabitants, well known in Spain for its history, its gastronomy and its monuments, among which the Episcopal Palace designed by Gaudí deserves special attention.

In the image below you can see that the surname Astorga is common in the province of León, where Astorga is located, and in neighboring provinces, but also in provinces in the south of the Peninsula such as Cádiz and Málaga.

Distribution of the last name Astorga in Spain
Distribution of the surname Astorga in Spain by provinces (source: INE).

The first documented surnames in Spain date back to the 9th century, although at that time they were reserved for a handful of noble families. Their use became more widespread in the following centuries. The humblest people, tied to a piece of land that was not even theirs, lacked surnames, and when they were forced to emigrate, losing contact forever with their land and their families, they adopted the surname of their places of origin in a broad sense (even the diocese at times) as their surname, in order to recognize each other. This was relatively common during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period in which there was an important migratory movement from Spain to the American colonies.

The Jews, who were forced at different times to abandon their faith and their historical surnames, sometimes took as their surname the name of their place of residence. The existence of a Jewish quarter in Astorga for several centuries is documented, so in some cases the surname Astorga will have this origin.

Countries where the last name Astorga is more common

Astorga is a frequent last name today in countries such as Chile, Mexico or Argentina, and it is also found in other Latin American countries. The Astorga surname can be found in other areas of the world, particularly in countries such as the Philippines, France or in Spain itself.

These are the countries with the highest number of people with the surname Astorga:

  1. Chile
  2. Mexico
  3. Argentina
  4. Philippines
  5. United States
  6. Spain
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Peru
  9. Nicaragua
  10. Paraguay
  11. Bolivia
  12. Venezuela
  13. Brazil
  14. Colombia
  15. France
  16. Ecuador
  17. Guatemala
  18. Cuba
  19. Canada
  20. Portugal

The Astorga last name is also registered in Australia, El Salvador, Uruguay, Guam, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, Qatar, New Zealand, Norway or Italy.

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