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The distinguished Spanish surname Camarena is of locative origin, being based on a physical or geographic feature found in the vicinity of the eponymous bearer's place of abode. In this case, the Spanish word "camara" means "granary or barn," and the surname would indicate that the original bearer lived beside a granary. In the feudal manors and estates of the Middle Ages, the granary would have been used by the lord's extensive household, and would have been a local landmark.

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The surname Camarena was first found in the province of Galicia in the northwestern region of the Iberian peninsula. However, like many locative surnames, Camarena arose independently in various parts of Spain. Records show that a branch of the family had its ancestral home in the Valley of Ayala, in Amurrio (Alava).

Spelling variations of this family name include: Camára, Camarillo, Camarino, Camarero, Cambra, Lacambra, Cammarata, Camarena and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Camarena research. Another 418 words (30 lines of text) covering the year 1576 is included under the topic Early Camarena History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Camarena Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Camarena Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Luis Camarena, who arrived in America in 1837
  • Pedro Camarena, who landed in Cartagena in 1838

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  • Juan Manuel Silva Camarena (b. 1945), Mexican philosopher and Cathedratic Professor
  • Jorge González Camarena (1908-1980), Mexican painter, muralist and sculptor, recipient of the Mexican National Prize for Arts and Sciences (1970)
  • Guillermo González Camarena (1917-1965), Mexican engineer who invented a color television, and later introduced color television to Mexico
  • Enrique "Kiki" Camarena (1947-1985), Mexican undercover agent for the DEA who was abducted, tortured and then murdered
  • Enrique Camarena Robles (b. 1957), Mexican psychiatrist, President of the Asociación Psiquiátrica de América Latina (APAL)


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  1. de Cadenas, Vicente Y Viicent. Heraldic Patronimica Española Y Sus Patronimicos Compuestos. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1976. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Domínguez, C. Hispano de Apellidos y Blasones. 4 Vols. 2001. Print.
  7. Archivo General De Indias, Sevilla. Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias durante los Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII Edited by the docents of the General Indian Archives under the Director of the Archives, Don Cristobal Bermudez Plata 3 Volumes - Volume 1 1509-1534. Sevilla, Spain: Imprenta de la Gavidia, 1940. Print.
  8. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Maduell, Charles R. Compiler Index of Spanish Citizens Entering the Port of New Orleans Between January 1840 and December 1865. New Orleans: The Compiler, 1966. Print.
  11. ...

The Camarena Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Camarena Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 April 2014 at 14:00.

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