73 Most Popular Indian Christian Surnames, With Meanings

Most Popular Indian Christian Surnames, With Meanings

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India is home to several Christian communities, such as Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, and Syrians. Christianity was introduced to India by one of Christ’s disciples, St. Thomas, who landed on the Malabar coast of Kerala. According to another tradition, Bartholomew the Apostle, who came on a missionary tour to India, introduced Christianity along the Konkan coast.

Christian surnames in India mostly have Latin, Spanish, and Portuguese roots. While most of the last names have originated from western names, some are from biblical characters. In this post, we have compiled a list of 73 popular Indian Christian surnames with origins and meanings.

Popular Indian Christian Surnames Or Last Names

1. Agostinho

It originated from the Portuguese surname Augustine, derived from the Latin word “augere,” meaning “to increase.” Saint Augustine of Hippo was a significant early Christian theologian who has spread evangelism across continents.

2. Alberto

This Christian surname originated from the Spanish given name, Alberto is equivalent to English Albert. It is derived from the Germanic Adalbert, containing the element “Adal,” meaning “noble” and “beraht,” meaning “bright.”

3. Alfonso

It is derived from the given name Alphonso, which is of Old Germanic origin. Alfonso means “ready for battle.”

4. Alvares

This is a Portuguese and Galician surname that refers to the “son of Alvaro.” It is related to Old Norse elements, “alf” means “elf” and “arr” means “warrior.”

5. Alves

It is a prevalent name in Portugal and derived from the first name, Alvaro, and holds the Germanic meaning “all true.”

6. Amaral

Amaral is a toponymic surname of Portuguese origin, referring to a plantation of a variety of grapes known as Amaras.

7. Amorin

This Goan Christian surname is derived from a Portuguese surname. It is a toponymic surname from any of the several places and locations named Amorin or Amorim in Portugal.

8. Andrade

It is a Portuguese and Spanish surname, which emerged in the 12th century as the family name of the knights and lords.

9. Antunes

This patronymic surname of Portuguese origin refers to “son of Anthony.” It is derived from the root name Antonius, which comes from Greek.

10. Arkanj

It is the Goan variant of the English word Archangel, which comes from Greek and means “chief angel.”

11. Batista

It is a Portuguese surname with meaning “Baptist.” This refers to the one who administers Baptism, as per John the Baptist.

12. Borges

This Spanish and Portuguese surname refers to Burgess’s family name, which means “of the town” in English.

13. Branco

It has its roots in the Portuguese language and means “white.” This was used as a nickname for a man with fair hair or pale complexion.

14. Cabral

This Christian surname has Portuguese origin and is derived from the word Cabra meaning “goat.”

15. Camara

It means “chamber” and is a common surname in Portuguese-speaking countries.

16. Campos

The Indian Christian surname, common in Goa, is of Spanish and Portuguese origin. It refers to “fields.”

17. Carneiro

This surname means “sheep,” and is a common Portuguese and Galician surname. It is also a toponymic surname from any of the various places called Carneiro in Portugal.

18. Chavara

Chavara is a variation of Chavarria, a name derived from Spanish Echeverría. This name is derived from Etxeberria, a Basque name for a place, where “Etxe” means “house” and “berria” means “new.” Chavara is also a village name in the Kollam district of Kerala.

19. Coelho

This is a Portuguese surname meaning “rabbit” and is derived from the Latin element “cuniculus.” It has been initially a nickname for someone who resembled a rabbit.

20. Correia

It is a Portuguese and Galician name for “leather strap,” and is a surname formerly spelled as Correa.

21. Daaveed

This Indian Christian surname is from the common given name, David of Biblical origin. It is a figure of central importance in the Bible and means “beloved” in Hebrew.

22. D’Costa

This surname is a form of Da Costa and a variant of Costa. It means “slope” or “riverbank” in Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan.

23. D’Cruz

It is a variant of Cruz, a Spanish and Portuguese cognate of Cross. The name Cross is derived from the Latin Crux and denotes one who lived near a cross symbol.

24. D’Cunha

It is a variant of Cunha, which is a toponymic name from any of the several locations with this name. Cunha comes from Portuguese and means “wedge.” The word means “hill” in Galician.

25. D’Kabral

A form of Cabral, this is a common Indian Christian surname among Marathis. It has its origin in Portuguese and means “goat.”

26. D’Mello

It is a variant form of Mello and is derived from Portuguese Melo. It is likely a toponymic surname referring to someone who belonged to a place called Melle.

27. D’Sa

This surname is a form of De Sa and a variant spelling of Saa. It is a toponymic Sephardic Jewish name referring to someone from several places named Saa, in northern Portugal and Galicia.

28. D’Silva

It is a variant of Silva, which means “forest” in Spanish and Portuguese.

29. D’Souza

The form of De Souza that refers to “of Sousa” in Portuguese. It refers to the river Sousa that flows in northern Portugal. The surname also has its origin from Latin Saxa, meaning “stone” or “rock.”

30. Fernandez

It means “son of Fernando” in Spanish. The Portuguese variant of this name is Fernandes. The name Fernando comes from the German name Ferdinand, which means “brave traveler.”

31. Ferreira

Ferreira is a common surname among Goan Catholics and is of Portuguese origin. It is a toponymic surname for someone who inhabited by a forge or iron ore mine.

32. Figueira

This Portuguese surname has a toponymic origin and refers to someone who lived near a fig tree. It is eventually derived from the Latin Ficaria,” meaning “fig tree.”

33. Geevarghese

It is derived from the given name, Geevarghese, used commonly by Malayalam-speaking Saint Thomas Christians. This is a Malayalam form of George, which means “farmer” in Greek.

34. Gomez

This Christian surname originated from the given name Gomes, a common Portuguese surname. It is derived from the Visigothic element “guma,” meaning “man.”

35. Gonsalves

This last name is a variant of Goncalves and is common in Western India. It is of Portuguese origin and means “son of Goncalo.”

36. Henriques

This common Indian Christian surname is of Portuguese origin, meaning “son of Henrique.” It is equivalent to Spanish Enrique and Italian D’Enrico.

37. Kolan

Also spelled as Colon, this common Christian surname is a Spanish form of Colombo. It refers to a “dove-keeper” and is of Italian origin.

38. L’Costa

It is a form of La Costa, and common among Indian Christians. Costa means “slope” or “riverbank” in Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan.

39. Lopez

It means “son of Lope,” and is of Portuguese and Spanish origin. The name Lope comes from the Latin word “lupus,” meaning “wolf.”

40. L’Silva

It is form of La Silva, and a variant of Silva. The name Silva means “forest” in Spanish and Portuguese.

41. Mariam/Mariamma

It is the Aramaic form of the Biblical given name Mary, the mother of Jesus. Another variant is Miriam, who was the prophetess and the sister of Moses.

42. Martin

This surname is derived from the Latin name Martinus, meaning “war-like” or “warrior.”

43. Mathaai

It is from the English given name, Matthew. In the Bible, Matthew is one of the original disciples of Jesus Christ and means “Gift of Jehovah.” It is a common belief that Matthew wrote the Gospel.

44. Medeiros

This Goan Catholic surname is derived from the Portuguese word, Medeiro, referring to “a place where shocks of maize are gathered.”

45. Mendonca

It is a Portuguese and Galician surname, referring to someone with a royal lineage. The name ultimately has a Basque origin.

46. Menezes

Also spelled Meneses, this is a Portuguese toponymic surname referring to someone who lived in a region named Montes Torozos in Tierra de Campos, Spain.

47. Mikaayel

It is a form of the English name, Michael, a given name from the Bible. It means “who is like God” in Hebrew.

48. Morais

Morais is a variant of Moraes, and is a Portuguese name referring to “mulberry trees.” It is an occupational name for a person who farmed these fruits in ancient times.

49. Nascimento

This popular Catholic surname and first name is derived from a Portuguese word, which means “birth.” Many Christians prefer giving it as a first name for babies born on December 25th, the day of Christ’s birth.

50. Nazareth

The surname comes from the town Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood. It is a center of Christian pilgrimage. The name means “to watch” or “to branch” in Hebrew.

51. Noronha

The last name is common in the former Portuguese colony of Goa and parts of western India colonized by the Portuguese. It is a toponymic surname for someone who is from Norena town in Asturias, Spain.

52. Oliveira

It is a variant of De Oliveira, meaning “of the Olive tree.” This Portuguese surname is common among Goan Christians.

53. Ouseph/Ousepachan

This surname’s English form is Joseph, which is a given name derived from the Hebrew “Yosef,” meaning “he will add.”

54. Pathappan

It is a common surname among Malayali Christians. It is derived from the given name Pathappan, which was used by Saint Thomas Christians. This surname is a form of Peter, meaning “stone” in Greek.

55. Pathrose

It is a variant of the given name Peter. It was the name given to the apostle Simon by Jesus Christ and means “stone” in Greek and Aramaic languages.

56. Paulose

It is derived from the given name Paul, which is common in ethnicities with a Christian heritage. This is a Roman family name, taken from the Latin adjective meaning “humble” or “small.”

57. Peeri

This Christian surname is derived from the given name Peeri that was used by Malayalam-speaking Saint Thomas Christians. It is also a derivative of the Biblical name, Peter.

58. Pereira

It is a toponymic Portuguese surname referring to someone from the place called Pereira in Portugal. It means “pear tree” in Portuguese.

59. Pinto

Pinto is a common surname in western India, where Portuguese colonists brought it. It means “colorful” or “painted” in the Spanish and Portuguese languages.

60. Quadros

It is derived from the Portuguese surname Cuadros, a Spanish toponymic name for someone who lived in Cuadros, a town in Leon province of Spain.

61. Rebelo

Also spelled as Rebello, it is a Portuguese surname and found in western India. It signifies “one from the house of Rebelo.”

62. Rodrigues

Rodrigues is a patronymic name meaning “son of Rodrigo” and is of Portuguese origin. Rodrigo is a form of Roderick, meaning “famous ruler” or “famous power.”

63. Scariachan

The English form is Saccariah, a variant of Zechariah, a name meaning “God remembers.” It has its origin in Persian and Hebrew languages.

64. Sequeira

It is a toponymic surname derived from any of the several places named Sequeira in Portugal. The name means “arid land” in Late Latin.

65. Torres

It is also spelled Torrez and means “towers” in Portuguese. It is a toponymic surname referring to someone from any of the several towns named Torres in Portugal.

66. Thoma/Thommi/Thomachan

This surname is a version of Thomas, which means “twin” in Aramaic. It is common among the Saint Thomas Christian families in Kerala.

67. Varghese

It is derived from the given name Varghese and a diminutive form of Geevarhese, a Malayalam form of George. The name means “farmer” or “Earth worker” in Greek.

68. Varughese

This surname is taken from the given name Varughese that is mostly used by Malayali Saint Thomas Christians. Varughese is also a form of the Biblical name George.

69. Xavier

It comes from Basque and means “the new house.” Xavier was the surname of the Jesuit priest and missionary Saint Francis Xavier.

70. Yesu

This surname is taken from “Yeshu Masih,” the Hindi and Urdu name for Jesus Christ. It is a common Christian first name and surname in many parts of India.

71. Yohanan

It is derived from a given name common among Malayali Saint Thomas Christians and Cochin Jews. Yohanan is ultimately derived from the Hebrew name John, which means “God is gracious.”

72. Yohannan

It is from the given name Yohannan, which is a Syrian form of John, the name of several patriarchs of the Church of East. The name John comes from Hebrew and means “God is gracious.”

73. Yudaas

Yudaas originated from the English name Judas, and the Hebrew name Judah. It means “God is thanked” and is common even among Jews.

These are the popular Indian Christian Surnames with their origins in Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries. Most names are Biblical, toponymic, or occupational in their origin. Many surnames have been unaltered for centuries, thus making them quite fascinating.

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