Names by Meaning


Names by Origin


Camacho: Family Name, Meaning, History, and More

Close up of an album and ancient family photos

Camacho: Family Name, Meaning, History, and More

There are approximately 694,325 people around the world who share the last name, Camacho. Most of these people live in Mexico, followed by Colombia and Venezuela. The name Camacho also appears in Spain and the United States. Although it is the 748th most common family name in the world, the origins of the name are somewhat mysterious. We will explore the history of the Camacho family name and its name meaning and reveal some interesting details about this family. We will also highlight some of the best-known people with this last name.

The Origin and Meaning of the Camacho Family Name

The family name “Camacho” originated in Old Spanish and Portuguese and means “bent” or “crooked.” It is also suggested that the name Camacho may be connected to a bird species, the linnet robin. Some researchers speculate that the name may have been used to describe a very thin or weak person.

In fact, some researchers believe the name goes back to the Middle Ages and may come from “camb,” the ancient Gaelic word for “disfigured.” The name “camb” was commonly used to describe someone with bow legs or a hunchback. While it sounds upsetting, this nickname was not meant to embarrass or label but was proudly passed down through generations. In this case, Camacho is a patronymic name because it is passed down through the father's ancestral line.

Initially, people in Spain were referred to by only one name, so Camacho began as a personal name. However, during the Middle Ages, two names were adopted to avoid confusion, and it evolved into a family name. The name was first found on Spain's Mediterranean coast in the city of Valencia.

As Spanish colonizers made their way into the Americas, they brought with them their culture and names. Camacho is among the many family names that spread throughout the region. Its continued use in Mexico and other countries such as Colombia, the United States, and Venezuela is a testament to the enduring legacy of Spanish influence in the region.

View on Peniscola  from the top of Pope Luna's  Castle , Valencia, Spain
The first historical records for the Camacho family appear in Valencia, Spain.


Notable Historical Figures with the Camacho Family Name

The first recorded historical figure named Camacho is a knight named Juan Camacho. Records note that he served King Jaime I of Aragón in Valencia from 1228 until 1245. As a result, King Jaime I was able to add lands from Valencia to his territory. Moreover, the Camacho family name appeared in the historical records of Almería and Murcia, Spain, after the use of two names became more common.

Additionally, some notable historical figures share this family name. Here is a list of this family's earliest and most notable members.

  • Bartolome Camacho Zambrano was a Spanish military officer noted in 1510.
  • Juana Camacho appears in a record of the family from June 2, 1662, in the Distrito Federal, Mexico.
  • Antonio Camacho y Madueño was made Count of Robledo de Cardeña in 1772 in Spain.
  • Heliodoro Camacho was a military officer from Bolivia in the 19th century.
  • Juan Francisco Camacho was a prominent politician from Spain in the 19th century.

Variations of the Camacho Family Name

As you research your family history, you may encounter spelling variations of your family name, especially if it is an older and well-traveled name. It could be useful to consider alternative spellings when conducting your genealogical research. For instance, “Comacho” is a common Hispanic variation of the Spanish Camacho family name. Here are some variations that you might come across while researching your family name.

  • Cámacho
  • Camatcho
  • Chamacho
  • Camachos
  • Cammacho
  • Commacho
  • Camatcha
  • Chamhajo
  • Kemachou
  • Qamasho

It is important to note the significance of Spanish accent marks in distinguishing between words., even if the accent mark is the only apparent difference between two last names. For instance, two common variations of Camacho, Camachon and Camachón, are considered two separate spelling variations.

Medieval poor monk writes letter
In the Middle Ages, writers wrote words phonetically, resulting in spelling variations of family names.

©Thomas Mucha/Shutterstock.com

Researching the Camacho Family Name

If you are researching this family name, it is best to connect with your relatives and begin with a solid base of personal family history. Once you have enough data and records gathered from your family, you can begin filling in the missing details of your family history.

Today, there are many online resources available. The Ancestry website has over 977,000 records for the Camacho family, including immigration and marriage records, census data, and military histories. Additionally, DNA websites have made huge contributions to family researchers. And, of course, remember records are waiting to be digitized. Consider visiting your local library or historical society to do some old-school research..

You may find the following websites helpful in your genealogical research.

  • Camacho Family Forum – This family forum may help researchers find missing information about family members.
  • Genealogy of Mexico – Although this website may appear overwhelming at first, it contains a wealth of useful information and links for your research.
  • My Heritage – This website offers you the opportunity to create your family tree for free and connect with other researchers.
  • The University of Texas – Benson Latin American Collection – The University of Texas Library collection has over 970,000 books, periodicals, pamphlets, and microforms. It also hosts the Bexar Archives, a valuable resource for those researching Hispanic history in Texas. You can find much of the information online or request assistance from the librarians. It may also be worth a visit in person if you are close by.

Finally, it may be beneficial to understand the naming order of Hispanic names.

Interesting Facts About the Camacho Family Name

Here are some interesting details you may not know about the Camacho family name.

  • There are 254,019 people in Mexico who share this family name, which means that on average, one person in every 489 has it.
  • In the United States, the number of people with the Camacho name grew by 122,860% between 1880 and 2014, according to Forebears.
  • According to United States census data from 1940, approximately twenty-one percent of Camacho men held jobs as laborers, while thirty-two percent of Camacho women had no occupation.
  • Between 1955 and 2003, the life expectancy for the name Camacho in the United States increased from twenty-eight years to forty-nine years, reaching its lowest point in 1971 and the highest in 1992.
  • Forebears reports that 95.38% of the Camacho family in the US are Democrats, significantly higher than the national average of 53.23%.
  • In the 2010 census, 89.5% of Camacho family members (approximately 60,805 people) identified themselves as Hispanic.
  • Three of the most popular first names for Camacho is Juan, Francisco, and Maria.
  • Don Quixote de La Mancha, the epic Spanish novel by Cervantes, features a character named Camacho.

Famous People with the Camacho Family Name

Now that we know more about the origin and meaning of this name, here are some famous people who bear the last name Camacho.

  • Carlos Camacho – He was the first democratically elected Governor of Guam and the last civilian to hold the office. He served for four years, from 1971 to 1975.
  • Christian Camacho – This American soccer player of Colombian descent currently plays for New Amsterdam FC in the National Independent Soccer Association.
  • Héctor Camacho – This Puerto Rican boxer, nicknamed “Macho Camacho,” was a world boxing champion in three different weight classes.
  • Lidia Camacho – She is a well-known scientist, teacher, and public official in Mexico.
  • Thelma Camacho – This American opera singer also performed rock music with the First Edition and the New Christy Minstrels.
Woman writing essay or love letters on a piece of white paper in library. Closeup of female hands with ring, writing notes. Handwritten text
The Benson Collection at the University of Texas is a great online and in-person resource for people researching Hispanic family names.

©JAZ STUDIO/Shutterstock.com

In Summary

Medieval Spain and possibly Portugal are likely the origins of the Camacho family name. The name has several possible meanings, including “bent” or “crooked”. Nowadays, this name is most common in Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. It also frequently appears in Hispanic communities in the United States.

If you wish to research the Camacho family name, you will find a vast array of information online, including historical and census records, forums, and family trees. Despite the abundance of online information, the Camacho family history is still mysterious. There is still much to learn about this unique name.

To top