India is diverse and houses people of different communities, beliefs, and religions harmoniously under the same roof. In light of this scenario, we have compiled a list of Indian Christian surnames for you to choose from. Several Christian communities have found a home in India. Namely, Lutherans, Catholics, protestants, and Syrians. Christianity was introduced in India by St. Thomas, one of Christ’s disciples, who visited the coasts of Malabar. However, according to another tradition, Bartholomew the apostle introduced Christianity along the Konkan coast of the southern region. Most Indian Christian last names usually have Spanish, Latin or Portuguese origins, while some have Western roots. Read on for the list of last names, along with their origin and meanings.
Popular Indian Christian Surnames Or Last Names
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.
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.”
It is derived from the given name Alphonso, which is of Old Germanic origin. Alfonso means “ready for battle.”
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.”
It is a prevalent name in Portugal and derived from the first name, Alvaro, and holds the Germanic meaning “all true.”
Amaral is a toponymic surname of Portuguese origin, referring to a plantation of a variety of grapes known as Amaras.
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.
It is a Portuguese and Spanish surname, which emerged in the 12th century as the family name of the knights and lords.
This patronymic surname of Portuguese origin refers to “son of Anthony.” It is derived from the root name Antonius, which comes from Greek.
It is the Goan variant of the English word Archangel, which comes from Greek and means “chief angel.”
It is a Portuguese surname with meaning “Baptist.” This refers to the one who administers Baptism, as per John the Baptist.
This Spanish and Portuguese surname refers to Burgess’s family name, which means “of the town” in English.
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.
This Christian surname has Portuguese origin and is derived from the word Cabra meaning “goat.”
It means “chamber” and is a common surname in Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Indian Christian surname, common in Goa, is of Spanish and Portuguese origin. It refers to “fields.”
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.
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.
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.
It is a Portuguese and Galician name for “leather strap,” and is a surname formerly spelled as Correa.
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.
This surname is a form of Da Costa and a variant of Costa. It means “slope” or “riverbank” in Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan.
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.
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.
A form of Cabral, this is a common Indian Christian surname among Marathis. It has its origin in Portuguese and means “goat.”
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.
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.
It is a variant of Silva, which means “forest” in Spanish and Portuguese.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
This Christian surname originated from the given name Gomes, a common Portuguese surname. It is derived from the Visigothic element “guma,” meaning “man.”
This last name is a variant of Goncalves and is common in Western India. It is of Portuguese origin and means “son of Goncalo.”
This common Indian Christian surname is of Portuguese origin, meaning “son of Henrique.” It is equivalent to Spanish Enrique and Italian D’Enrico.
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.
It is a form of La Costa, and common among Indian Christians. Costa means “slope” or “riverbank” in Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan.
It means “son of Lope,” and is of Portuguese and Spanish origin. The name Lope comes from the Latin word “lupus,” meaning “wolf.”
It is form of La Silva, and a variant of Silva. The name Silva means “forest” in Spanish and Portuguese.
This surname is derived from the Latin name Martinus, meaning “war-like” or “warrior.”
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.
This Goan Catholic surname is derived from the Portuguese word, Medeiro, referring to “a place where shocks of maize are gathered.”
It is a Portuguese and Galician surname, referring to someone with a royal lineage. The name ultimately has a Basque origin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is a variant of De Oliveira, meaning “of the Olive tree.” This Portuguese surname is common among Goan Christians.
This surname’s English form is Joseph, which is a given name derived from the Hebrew “Yosef,” meaning “he will add.”
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.
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.
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.
It is a toponymic Portuguese surname referring to someone from the place called Pereira in Portugal. It means “pear tree” in Portuguese.
Pinto is a common surname in western India, where Portuguese colonists brought it. It means “colorful” or “painted” in the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
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.
Also spelled as Rebello, it is a Portuguese surname and found in western India. It signifies “one from the house of Rebelo.”
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.”
The English form is Saccariah, a variant of Zechariah, a name meaning “God remembers.” It has its origin in Persian and Hebrew languages.
It is a toponymic surname derived from any of the several places named Sequeira in Portugal. The name means “arid land” in Late Latin.
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.
This surname is a version of Thomas, which means “twin” in Aramaic. It is common among the Saint Thomas Christian families in Kerala.
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.
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.
It comes from Basque and means “the new house.” Xavier was the surname of the Jesuit priest and missionary Saint Francis Xavier.
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.
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.”
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.”
Discover More Names
When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How did Indian Christian surnames evolve and develop over time?
Since the introduction of Christianity in India, many factors have played roles in the evolution and development of Indian Christian surnames, including the European colonizers, intermarriage with these colonizers, and the adoption of Indian children through missionary work. Also, many families accepted Christianity over time without changing their surnames. Therefore, almost every Indian surname has families and individuals who are Christians.
2. How do Indian Christian surnames reflect the cultural and religious identity of the community?
Many Indian Christian surnames represent the community’s cultural and religious identity because, despite being Christians, families continue to use their family and community surnames. Many Indian Christian families, however, take surnames derived from Biblical characters or a mix of Indian and European names after accepting Christianity.
3. How do Indian Christian surnames differ from other Christian surnames around the world?
Indian Christian surnames differ from other Christian surnames worldwide as they frequently continue to represent the Indian community’s cultural and religious identity even after embracing Christianity. Moreover, some surnames are a mix of various regions, depicting the history of Christian influence over time.
4. How do Indian Christian surnames reflect the social and economic status of the community?
There are no specific generalizations about the social and economic status of the community in Indian Christian surnames; however, different Indian surnames may reflect the caste, regions, and social status of families who adopted Christianity as per the standard Indian caste system.
5. What are some of the challenges faced by Indian Christians with non-Christian surnames?
Indian Christians with non-Christian surnames may face challenges regarding acceptance within the community and discrimination based on their surname.
India is known for its diversity, where people of different religions and cultures reside with peace and integrity. Hence, finding someone with an Indian Christian surname, such as D’Cruz, Martin, Daveed, Henriques, or Alberto, is not surprising. These names have a distinct significance and diverse sources but are more common in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. These names have a toponymic and biblical origin, and most have stood the test of time and remained popular names for centuries, making them more special.
Infographic: Well-Known Indian Christian Surnames
Most of us might have heard the popular Christian surnames, including D’Silva and Pereira. Do you know that these Christian last names are quite popular in India? We bring you a few more famous Indian Christian surnames.