The noble Spanish family name Maia is classified as being of habitation origin. Habitation names are those family names which are derived from either the location of the place of residence of the initial bearer or from the name of the town or village from whence he hailed. The name is also derived from the
The surname Maia was first found in Maya del Batzan, located in the province of Navarre. One of the earliest references to this name is a record of one Domingo de Maya y Enderiz, born in Pamplona, who married Ana Suarez de Cardoso y Maldonado in 1628. He later settled in the Department of Antioquia, Republic of Colombia, where he was Accountant of the Royal Treasury.
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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Juan De Maya who arrived in New Spain
in 1561; Juan De Maya who came to Florida in 1590; and Juan De La Maya Jurado who sailed to Peru in 1596. Among later settlers was Francisco Maya who emigrated to Puerto Rico in 1816..