Where Does the Name Garcia Come From?

By Ariam Alula | | People
Where Does the Name Garcia Come From?
Dragen Zigic/Shutterstock

Last names are worth examining. Surnames provide insight into our ancestral history and culture and can be a source of inspiration for future generations. You might have heard the last name Garcia—it’s a popular surname in the United States, Spain and Latin America. But where does the last name Garcia come from?

What does the surname Garcia mean?

The original meaning of Garcia is unknown. It’s a name that has been around for thousands of years. However, various theories claim Garcia, which derives from “gaztea” or “gartzia” has different meanings depending on the region.

In 2017, Buzzfeed reported that the name means “young” in Basque—a language spoken by the Basque ethnic group in southwest France and northwest Spain—and Garcia’s origins can be traced to Lower Navarre in France. The article also mentioned a separate theory that Garcia comes from a Germanic word for “war.”

Where does the last name Garcia come from?

There’s a lot of history tied to this surname. Even researchers from the Internet Surname Database call the origins of Garcia “pre-historical.” The database estimates that the name was around during a period of time when written recordings weren’t available, which was possibly around 2000 B.C. Nevertheless, Garcia had different variations of recorded spellings such as Garci, Garza, Garces and Garcicea.

It is an Iberian surname that is commonly heard throughout Spain, Portugal, parts of France and the Americas. According to FamilyTreeCircle.com, Garcia is of patronymic origin, which means it’s a name passed down from an earlier male ancestor.

As mentioned earlier, the last name Garcia is one of the most popular names in the US—so don’t be surprised to see it come up in a people search. Last year, the English edition of Spanish-language daily news site El PAÍS featured a story about the increase of Hispanic family names in the U.S and led with Garcia in the headline. The article reported the last name Garcia as the sixth-most common last name in the country.

Outside of the U.S., about 10 million people bear Garcia as their last name. A lot of the name carriers live in Spain and Latin American countries, including Mexico and Colombia.

There’s no shortage of people around the world who carry Garcia as their last name.

Prominent figures with the last name Garcia

Dr. Mario García is a Cuban-American newspaper and magazine designer with more than three decades of experience redesigning more than 550 newspapers globally.

Dany Garcia is also Cuban-American and is the CEO and chairperson of The Garcia Companies and TGC Management, which oversees the branding of high-profile businesses in the entertainment industry. She also has producer and executive producer credits in blockbuster films, including “Jumaniji: The Next Level” and “Jungle Cruise.” She was previously married to actor Dwanye Johnson, better known as The Rock.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.