Explore the Family Name Alcala

The meaning of Alcala

Spanish (Alcalá): habitational name from any of numerous fortified villages named during the Moorish occupation of Spain with Arabic al ‘the’ + qalʿah ‘fortress’. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Juan, Jesus, Manuel, Raul, Ramon, Alfredo, Francisco, Luis, Rafael, Ruben, Carlos.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Alcala in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Alcala has significantly increased between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, Alcala was the 2,562nd most popular surname, but by 2010 it had climbed to the 2,029th spot, marking a jump of 20.8%. The number of people with the Alcala surname also grew during this period, from 12,972 in 2000 to 17,758 in 2010 - an increase of almost 37%. The proportion of individuals with this surname per 100,000 residents also escalated by 25.16%, from 4.81 to 6.02.

Proportion per 100k4.816.0225.16%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Alcala

Moving to ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census reveals that the majority of individuals with the surname Alcala identified as Hispanic in both years, accounting for 91.40% in 2000 and increasing slightly to 91.66% in 2010. The representation of Asian/Pacific Islander among those with this surname rose by 32.21% over the decade. However, the proportion of those identifying as two or more races dwindled by 52.08%, while the percentage of white and black Alcalas fell by 5.35% and 26% respectively. The portion of American Indian and Alaskan Native also decreased by 26.67%.

Asian/Pacific Islander1.49%1.97%32.21%
Two or More Races0.48%0.23%-52.08%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.15%0.11%-26.67%

Alcala ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Alcala is Spanish & Portuguese, which comprises 40.8% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Indigenous American (30.6%) and British & Irish (9.4%). Additional ancestries include French & German, Filipino & Austronesian, Italian, Senegambian & Guinean, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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Spanish & Portuguese40.8%
Indigenous American30.6%
British & Irish9.4%

Possible origins of the surname Alcala

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Alcala have recent ancestry locations all within Mexico.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Sinaloa, Mexico78.40%
Hidalgo, Mexico78.40%
San Luis Potosi, Mexico78.40%
Nuevo Leon, Mexico78.40%
Sonora, Mexico78.40%

What Alcala haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Alcala is T-CTS6507, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup T-CTS6507 is descended from haplogroup T-M184. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and Q-M3, which are predominantly found among people with European and East Asian & Indigenous American ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Aguayo, Escobedo, Hurtado, Fonseca, Arredondo, Vazquez, Armenta, Varela, Castro, Ruiz.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Alcala surname are: A2, H, B2. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

alcalaPaternal Haplogroup Origins T-M184

Your maternal lineage may be linked to some of the first Americans

Though the Ice Age was beginning to retreat when your A2 ancestors first entered North America, there were still massive barriers blocking their way. Glaciers and inhospitable climate covered much of the continent, blocking entry into the interior. Nonetheless, researchers have found evidence that a wave of American founders migrated over 13,000 kilometers to reach southern Chile in only 2,000 years, a blink of an eye in the story of human migration! Their highway to the south was the coast of the Pacific, stocked with fish, diverse marine mammals, and other valuable resources in the rich kelp forests of the upper latitudes and in the abundant fresh-water rivers near the equator. Because of this rapid movement south, the A2 haplogroup and its diverse branches are found throughout North and South America.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Alcala have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Alcala" Surname 32.4%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Alcala" Surname 31.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Alcala" Surname 29.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Alcala" Surname 18.1%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Alcala?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Alcala are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Spanish & Portuguese 56.3%

23andMe Users 57.2%