Roybal, also spelled Roibal and Ruibal, is a Galician surname, later introduced into the Americas . It has its origin in the hamlet of Ruibal, in the municipality of Moraña —Galicia (Spain)— where a 3% of the local inhabitant are surnamed Ruibal.
In Galicia this surname is in use at least since the 14th century.
In the Americas, the name first appears in documents dating to around 1675. One of the first recorded instances is that of Ignacio Roybal, a soldier who traveled with Don Diego de Vargas to reconquer the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico from the Indians after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Fray Angélico Chávez, a New Mexico historian, is also a descendant of the New Mexico Roybal lineage and was one of the first to trace it. Many Roybals trace their ancestry to the New Mexico cities of Santa Fe, Pojoaque, El Rancho, Jacona, to the San Ildefonso Pueblo, where it is shared by Native Americans, and to the historical area of Cuyumungue. The name also has history in California, Colorado, Pecos, New Mexico and Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Notable people with the last name Roybal
- Alfonso Roybal (also known as Awa Tsireh), San Ildefonso Pueblo artist and painter
- Antonio Roybal, painter and sculptor
- Edward Roybal, politician
- Lucille Roybal-Allard, politician
- Motto, Sytha (1973). Old Houses of New Mexico and The People Who Built Them. Albuquerque: Calvin Horn Publisher, Inc. ISBN 0-910750-24-6.
- Chávez, Angélico (1974). My Penitente Land, Reflections on Spanish New Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. p. 208. ISBN 0-8263-0334-X.
- "Roybal, Josefa". National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian. The Museum. 1995. p. 183. ISBN 0-8212-2216-3.