Pena History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Noble surnames, such as Pena, evoke images of the ancient homeland of the Spanish people. The original bearer of the name Pena, which is a local surname, once lived, held land, or was born in the beautiful region of Spain. In Spain, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and during the late Middle Ages, names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local names originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. The Pena family originally lived near a cliff or on a rocky patch of land. Ancient records reveal the name Pena is derived from the Spanish word "peña," which means "rock," "crag" or "cliff."

Early Origins of the Pena family

The surname Pena was first found in Castile, in north central Spain.

Early History of the Pena family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pena research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1338 is included under the topic Early Pena History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pena Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pena, Peña, Penas, Peñas, de Pena, de Peña, de la Pena, de la Peña, Peñal, Penal, Peñón, Peñon, Penón, Penon, Peño, Peno, Peñuela and many more.

Early Notables of the Pena family (pre 1700)

Prominent among members of the family were seventeenth century Spanish writer Juan Antonio de la Peña; eighteenth century Colombian military officer Vicente Peña; nineteenth century Colombian poet Belisario Peña; nineteenth century Ecuadoran jurist and diplomat Lorenzo R. Peña; nineteenth century Colombian naturalist Camilo Peña; nineteenth century...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pena Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pena Ranking

In the United States, the name Pena is the 298th most popular surname with an estimated 92,019 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Pena is ranked the 6,066th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [2]


United States Pena migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pena Settlers in United States in the 16th Century
  • Rodrigo de Peña, who sailed to America in 1516
  • Diego de Peña, who sailed to New Spain in 1534
  • Jerónimo Peña, who sailed to Río de la Plata in 1535
  • Sebastián Peña, who sailed to New Spain in 1535
  • Pedro Peña, who sailed to America in 1538
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Pena Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Antonio De Pena, who arrived in America in 1813 [3]
  • Rodrigo De Pena, who arrived in America in 1816 [3]
  • Juana Pena, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1825 [3]
  • Josefa Pena, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1825 [3]
  • Jose Pena, aged 26, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Pena migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [4]
Pena Settlers in West Indies in the 16th Century
  • Bartolomé de Peña, who sailed to Cuba in 1517
Pena Settlers in West Indies in the 19th Century
  • Bartolome De Pena, who landed in Cuba in 1817 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pena (post 1700) +

  • Raymundo Joseph Peña (1934-2021), American Roman Catholic bishop
  • Alejandro Peña (b. 1959), professional baseball player and World Series winning pitcher in 1988
  • Elizabeth Peña (b. 1961), American actress and Hispanic Women's Council "Woman of the Year" in 1988
  • Alejandro De Peña, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 20th District, 1996, 1998, 2000 [5]
  • Paco Peña (b. 1942), Spanish flamenco guitarist
  • Gustavo Peña Velasco (1942-2021), Mexican football defender and manager
  • Alfredo Antonio Peña (1944-2016), Venezuelan journalist and politician
  • Joaquín Antonio Benoit Peña (b. 1977), Dominican Major League Baseball pitcher for the San Diego Padres
  • Roque Sáenz Peña (1851-1914), President of Argentina from 12 October 1910 to 9 August 1914
  • Pedro Pablo Peña Cañete (1864-1943), President of Paraguay from January 1, 1912 to March 25, 1912
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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