The surname of ALVAREZ is of Spanish and Portugese origin, a baptismal name 'the son of Alvaro'. The name meant 'one who was prudent and true. The name is also spelt Alvar, Alvares and Alves. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Seville. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish occupational and nickname surnames. Notable members of the name include Jose ALVAREZ (1786-1827) the Spanish sculptor of the classical school. He was imprisoned in Rome for refusing to recognize Bonaparte as king of Spain, but was later released and employed by Napoleon to decorate the Quirinal Palace. In 1816 he became court sculptor to Ferdinand VI in Madrid. Corrado ALVARO (1895-1956) was the Italian novelist and journalist, born in Reggio. He was the author of several novels and collections of essays. In Spain identifying patronymics are to be found as early as the mid-9th century, but these changed with each generation, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later in Spain than in England and France. As well as the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian Church, many of the most common Spanish surnames are derived from personal name of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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