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Spanish surnames by province of residence.png
Sánchez is the most common surname in the Spanish provinces of Cáceres and Salamanca
PronunciationSpanish: ['santʃeθ], in Latin America: ['santʃes]
Meaning"Son of Sancho" (Latin sanctus "holy")
Region of originSpain
Other names
Variant form(s)Sanches, Sanchiz, Sanguez, Saez, Sanz, Sanzio (Ital. vers.)

Sánchez is a Spanish family name.

Historical origins[edit]

"The illustrious Sanchez Family... is descended from one of a number of Gothic knights (caballeros) who in the year 714 escaped from the "barbara furia" of the Mohammedan invasion and took up their residence in the hills of Leon, Galicia, Asturia, Burgos, and the Pyrenees. They took part under the Gothic king of the Asturias Pelayo (Pelagius), in the battle of Covadonga (730?) against the Mohammedans, and then returned to the Pyrenees where they elected as their leader Don Garcia Ximenez. From here they passed down into Navarre and Aragon..."[1]

In the 8th century, Duke Lupus Sanchez assisted the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne, in capturing the fortress city of Barcelona from the Muslims. Duke Lupus Sanchez commanded military assets comparable to or greater than those of Alfred the Great of Wessex (England) and was able to mobilize a militia of 27,000 or more to garrison the fortress cities of Gascony.[2]

There were several kings named Sancho in the Christian Kingdoms of Spain, between the 8th and 15th centuries. Their children took on the surname Sanchez. For example Sancho III Garces "The Great", King of Pamplona (980–1035), fathered Garcia III (IV) Sanchez, King of Navarra (1015–1054); Ramiro I Sanchez, King of Aragon (1010–1063); Fernando I Sanchez "The Great," King of Castile and Emperor of Leon (1020–1063); Gonzalo Sanchez, King of Huesca (1022–1054; and Urraca Sanchez, Infanta (Crown Princess).

Interestingly, Garcia III Sanchez, the King of Navarra, had an illegitimate son, whose grandson married the daughter of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar ("El Cid"). Their son, Garcia Ramirez "The Restorer" became King of Navarre (Navarra).

The origins of the name Sanchez lie in the ancient Christian Kingdoms of northern Spain and southern France (the name is more than 1,300 years old), the Spanish Conquistadors carried it to the New World. During the 1500s to the 1700s, colonists with the name Sánchez settled in areas that are now part of the southwestern United States (arriving in what is now New Mexico in the 1598 Juan de Oñate Expedition), Mexico, and South America, so there are numerous people in these areas with the surname of Sanchez. In addition, the name is found in nearly every western European country, as well as other parts of the world.

The ancestors of individuals with the surname of Sanchez may include those who invaded and/or settled in Spain during its long history. Such as the Celts, Vikings, Phoenicians, Iberians, Romans, Visigoths, Mohammedans, and Sephardic Jews. In addition, those who moved to the New World may also, to varying degrees, share other European, Native American, African, or other ancestries.

There are, literally, dozens of coats of arms for the name Sanchez, dating from ancient to more recent times. Generally, coats of arms were given to individuals with the name Sanchez, who then passed them down to descendants, usually through the male line. However, coats of arms for large groups of Sanchezes in certain geographical regions may exist. The most widespread coat of arms features a crowned gold eagle on a field of azure (royal blue).


Sanchez is the fifth most common surname in Spain.[3]

Sanchez in Spain, by area
Province Rank
Salamanca 1st most common (12,420 people)
Cáceres 2nd most common (5,956 people)
Cádiz 3rd most common (19,396 people)
Granada 3rd most common (13,268 people)
Toledo 3rd most common (6,308 people)
Sanchez ranking in other parts of the world[4]
Country Rank
United States ranked 52nd out of 88,799
Argentina ranked 10th out of 100
France ranked 52nd out of 1,000
Philippines ranked 71st out of 1,000

People with the surname[edit]



Musical Artists[edit]






Association football (Soccer)[edit]

Gridiron football[edit]


Catholics Named Sanchez[edit]

Saints Named Sanchez[edit]

Sanchez is derived from Latin sanctus (“holy”) and ez (“of”/“son”).

Clergy Named Sanchez[edit]

  • Paul Robert Sanchez (born 1946), Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, and the Titular Bishop of Coeliana

Fictional characters[edit]

It may also appear as a second (maternal) surname in Spanish speaking countries:

  • Penélope Cruz, full name Penélope Cruz Sánchez, Spanish actress
  • Claudio Suárez, full name Claudio Suárez Sánchez, Mexican former footballer


  1. ^ The Gottheil, Richard J. H., Belmont-Belmonte Family. A Record of Four Hundred Years. Put together from Original Documents in the Archives and Libraries of Spain... By Richard J. H. Gottheil, Professor. Columbia University. New York.
  2. ^ Bachrach, Bernard S. Charlemagne's Early Campaigns (768-777) A Diplomatic and Military Analysis. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004244771_003
  3. ^ "Sanchez : el apellido Sanchez - enFemenino.com". apellido.enfemenino.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-01.
  4. ^ "Popularity for the surname Sanchez".