The Spanish surname of JIMENEZ was from a medieval given name of uncertain origin. It has been assumed to be a form of Simon. The medieval form of the name was XIMENUS, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form SIMINIUS. The name is also spelt GIMENO, JIMENO, GIMENEZ and XIMENEZ. 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 derivatives. 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 names 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. There were many noble Spanish families who bore this surname JIMINEZ, including the JIMINEZ family of Tobar, Morentin and Muguira, in the north of Spain. One Juna JIMENEZ de Allo was ennobled in Navarre in 1589. Various members of the JIMENEZ Breton family were members of the military Order of Charles III. Diego JIMENEZ de Cascante y Martin entered the Order of SANTIAGO in 1698. An early record of the surname on the American continent is that of Diega JIMENEZ Montalvo, who was born in Lima (Peru) in 1620. A notable member of the name include Juan Ramon JIMENEZ (1881-1958) the Spanish poet whose works include 'Sonetas Espirituales'. He was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1956. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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