Author Topic: Massive Mystery .... Spanish Immigrant???  (Read 1843 times)

Offline Luckyme

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Re: Massive Mystery .... Spanish Immigrant???
« Reply #18 on: Monday 19 September 16 19:11 BST (UK) »
No... never occurred to me. I'll get onto it x

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Offline Rena

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Re: Massive Mystery .... Spanish Immigrant???
« Reply #19 on: Monday 19 September 16 20:31 BST (UK) »
Thanks! I'll give those links a read. I had thought perhaps it was a phonetic spelling of a Spanish name...There's actually an English(?) surname of Oweneley.
I wondered if they'd picked up on that and added a "De".

Hi again,
The only part of that surname which looks British is "Owen", that has its origin in Wales. 

I thought I'd have a look in the Spanish White Pages telephone book to see if there were any families with the surname "Owen(s)" but unfortunately there isn't just one phone book -  you have to search through all the district phone books.
Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy
MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell
Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie
Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell
Perthshire: Brown Ferguson
Wales: McCarthy, Thomas
England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells
Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

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Offline Erato

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Re: Massive Mystery .... Spanish Immigrant???
« Reply #20 on: Monday 19 September 16 21:26 BST (UK) »
There is no 'W' in the Spanish alphabet so any Owen in a Spanish phone book would be a foreigner or a Spanish person with a foreign ancestor.

As for Spanish surnames, the system is quite simple.  Everyone legitimately born has two surnames - first the paternal surname and second the maternal surname.  So a person named Mario Vargas Llosa, for example, had a father named Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and a mother named Dora Llosa Ureta.  It used to be common for married women to take part of their husband's surname so that Dora Llosa Ureta could become Dora Llosa de Vargas upon marriage.  That is less commonly done these days [at least in South America].

But it is easy to see how a form like 'De Oweneley' might have come about.  What happens is that English speakers presume that the last element of the name is THE surname whereas in fact the paternal surname is more important and most people in their day to day lives only use it.  The second [maternal] surname is usually appended only for official purposes; sometimes it's just abbreviated to an initial  -  Mario Vargas Ll. 
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr