Sousa (surname)

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Meaningtoponymic (from the Sousa River)
Region of originPortugal
Other names
Variant form(s)de Sousa, Souza, de Souza, D'Souza

Sousa, Souza, de Sousa (literally 'from Sousa'), de Souza, Dsouza or D'Souza (/ˈszə/ SOO-zə, Portuguese: [ˈso(w)zɐ]) is a common Portuguese-language surname, especially in Portugal, Brazil, East Timor, India (among Catholics in Goa, Mumbai, Mangaluru and Fort Kochi), and Galicia.[1] In Africa, the name is common in former Portuguese colonies, especially among people who have some Portuguese and Brazilian roots in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique.

Etymology and history[edit]

The name comes from the Sousa River in northern Portugal. Sousa derives from Latin: saxa (stone, pebble), and the first man who used the surname was the noble of Visigoth origin Egas Gomes de Sousa.[citation needed] Sometimes the spelling is in the archaic form Souza or de Souza, which has occasionally been changed to Dsouza or D'Souza. The Galician equivalent of this surname is Sosa and it was brought to Galicia (Spain) by the Portuguese.

During the colonial era, the Portuguese built forts along Brazilian and West African coastal areas for trade, many of which were later used for the slave trade. They also had children with local women, and the children were given their fathers' last names.

Some Afro-Brazilians who returned to Africa also carry this last name. Among those are the descendants of Francisco Félix de Sousa, a white Portuguese-Brazilian man from Salvador, Bahia, in Brazil, who founded the De Souza family on the West African coast. He was once the richest man in the region due to his involvement in the slave trade.

Notable people sharing a variation of the surname Sousa[edit]

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SOUSA - Cartografía dos apelidos de Galicia".