Sousa (surname)

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Family name
Brasão dos Sousa do Prado.png
Coat of arms associated to Sousa (do Prado branch) surname
Meaning toponymic (from the name of a river); literally "stones, rocks"
Region of origin Portugal
Related names de Sousa, Souza, de Souza, D'Souza

Sousa (European Portuguese: [ˈsozɐ]) or de Sousa (literally, from Sousa) is a common Portuguese-language surname, especially in Portugal, Brazil, East Timor, and India (among Catholics in Bombay, Mangalore and Goa), and Galicia.[1] In Africa, the name is common among people with Portuguese and Brazilian roots in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. During the colonial era, the Portuguese stayed at the coast and built many forts along the coastal areas for trade which was later used for the slave trade. They also had children with the women and the children automatically were given their fathers' last names. Afro Brazilians who came back to Africa also carry this last name. Among some of those people are the Tabom people, descendants of Francisco Félix de Sousa, a white man from Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, once known to be the richest man in west Africa due to his involvement in the slave trade in West Africa.[citation needed]

A prominent family carrying the spelling de Sousa emigrated from Portugal to Goa during mid 1956, before leaving to Hong Kong. This was followed by a third relocation in the mid 1960s, where they now reside in Melbourne, Australia. The family donated their property in Hong Kong to Franciscan nuns.

The name was originally a toponym, denoting a river in Northern Portugal, from the Latin Saxa, meaning rocks. Sometimes the spelling is in the archaic form Souza or de Souza, which has occasionally been changed to D'Souza. The Spanish equivalent of this surname is Sosa. As a name, it may refer to:




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See also[edit]

  • Sosa, the Spanish equivalent