Zayas last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Zayas is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Zayas.

Meaning of Zayas

A Spanish habitational surname derived from several places named Zayas, likely referring to an area with hedges or enclosures.

Zayas, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Zayas surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Zayas in America

Zayas is the 4414th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Zayas surname appeared 8,045 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 people would have the surname Zayas.

We can also compare 2010 data for Zayas to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 4414 5025 -12.95%
Count 8,045 6,410 22.62%
Proportion per 100k 2.73 2.38 13.70%

The history of the last name Zayas

The surname Zayas originates from Spain and can be traced back to the 14th century. It is believed to have derived from the Spanish word "zaya," which means a type of wild grass or reed that grows in marshy areas. This suggests that the name may have been initially used as a descriptive surname for someone who lived near or worked with this type of vegetation.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the Zayas surname can be found in the archives of the Kingdom of Aragon, where a document from 1348 mentions a certain Pedro de Zayas, a landowner from the region of Valencia. This suggests that the name was already well-established in eastern Spain by the mid-14th century.

In the 15th century, the Zayas family gained prominence in the city of Seville, where they were involved in various trades and professions. One notable member was Juan de Zayas (1459-1526), a renowned goldsmith and silversmith who created works for the Spanish royal court.

During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, several individuals with the Zayas surname played significant roles in the exploration and settlement of the New World. One such figure was Francisco de Zayas (1530-1595), a Spanish conquistador who accompanied Hernando de Soto on his expeditions through Florida and the Southeastern United States.

In the 17th century, the Zayas name appeared in literary circles with María de Zayas y Sotomayor (1590-1661), a Spanish novelist and playwright who is considered one of the earliest female writers of the Spanish Golden Age. Her work "Novelas Amorosas y Ejemplares" (Exemplary Tales of Love) is a groundbreaking collection of short stories that challenged societal norms and explored the perspectives of women.

Another notable Zayas from this period was Agustín de Zayas y Sotomayor (1616-1670), a Spanish military officer and diplomat who served as the governor of various territories in the Spanish West Indies, including Cuba and Florida.

In the 19th century, José María Zayas (1790-1857), a Cuban lawyer and politician, played a significant role in the campaign for Cuban independence from Spain. He served as the president of the Cuban Revolutionary Junta in New York and was a prominent figure in the Cuban diaspora.

Throughout its history, the Zayas surname has been associated with various fields, including the arts, literature, military, politics, and exploration. While the name may have originated from humble beginnings, it has left an indelible mark on the cultural and historical tapestry of Spain and its former colonies.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Zayas

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Zayas.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Zayas was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 8.07% 649
Non-Hispanic Black Only 1.13% 91
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.68% 55
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.19% 15
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 0.16% 13
Hispanic Origin 89.77% 7,222

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Zayas has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 8.07% 10.50% -26.17%
Black 1.13% 1.68% -39.15%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.68% 0.50% 30.51%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.19% 0.22% -14.63%
Two or More Races 0.16% 0.25% -43.90%
Hispanic 89.77% 86.85% 3.31%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Zayas was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Zayas, please contact us.

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"Zayas last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 13, 2024.

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