Explore the Family Name Chavez

The meaning of Chavez

Spanish (Chávez): variant of Chaves. This surname is also found among Native Americans (Pueblos) in NM. Compare Chevez. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Juan, Manuel, Carlos, Jesus, Francisco, Luis, Miguel, Ramon, Rafael, Jorge, Pedro.

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

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

The surname Chavez has seen a considerable surge in popularity, according to data from the Decennial U.S. Census. In 2000, Chavez was ranked as the 118th most common surname, with approximately 185,865 individuals bearing this name. By 2010, the rank had significantly improved to the 83rd position, and the count increased by roughly 35% to reach 250,898 individuals. This growth reflects a change of about 30 ranks in terms of popularity and a proportion increase of 23.45 per 100k.

Proportion per 100k68.985.0623.45%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Chavez

In terms of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census reveals that the majority of those with the surname Chavez identify as Hispanic. In 2000, 91.98% of Chavezes were Hispanic, a figure that slightly increased to 92.96% by 2010. The second most common ethnic identity among those with the surname is White, accounting for 5.65% in 2000 and decreasing slightly to 5.02% in 2010. The Asian/Pacific Islander category saw a minor increase of 10.17%, while the proportion of those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native decreased by 18.26%. The proportions of those identifying as Black or belonging to two or more races remained relatively stable over the decade.

American Indian and Alaskan Native1.15%0.94%-18.26%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.59%0.65%10.17%
Two or More Races0.43%0.23%-46.51%

Chavez 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 Chavez is Spanish & Portuguese, which comprises 37.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Indigenous American (31.5%) and British & Irish (12.0%). Additional ancestries include French & German, Italian, Eastern European, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Scandinavian.

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Spanish & Portuguese37.3%
Indigenous American31.5%
British & Irish12.0%

Possible origins of the surname Chavez

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 Chavez have recent ancestry locations all within Mexico.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Aguascalientes, Mexico75.60%
Durango, Mexico75.60%
San Luis Potosi, Mexico75.60%
Michoacan, Mexico75.60%
Mexico City, Mexico75.60%

What Chavez 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 Chavez is Q-M3, which is predominantly found among people with East Asian & Indigenous American ancestry. Haplogroup Q-M3 is descended from haplogroup Q-M242. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and I-Z58, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Espinoza, Lopez, Martinez, Garcia, Luna, Reyes, Cruz, Aguilar, Medina, Montes.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Chavez surname are: A2, B2, D1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

chavezPaternal Haplogroup Origins Q-M242
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to The Ancient One

When two college students stumbled upon a human skull on the banks of the Columbia River, neither the students nor the police who responded to their 911 call could have imagined the archaeological significance of this rare discovery. The skull — along with about 300 other bone fragments found near Kennewick, Washington — belonged to a 9,000 year-old nomad who Native Americans have dubbed "The Ancient One." Based on skeletal clues, The Ancient One (also known as "Kennewick Man") likely swam, wielded a spear, and hunted coastal fauna for the greater part of his lifeInitial craniometric studies suggested he descended from ancient Japanese and Polynesian-like people and had little in common with living Native Americans. This claim — refuted by the Plateau tribes of the Pacific Northwest — became the center of a decades-long legal battle over the provenance of the remains. When The Ancient One's genome was finally sequenced in 2015, the evidence revealed he was genetically most similar to modern-day Native Americans. In fact, local tribes were found to be direct descendants of a population closely related to The Ancient One; in 2017, he finally received a proper Native American burial. This critical discovery helps illustrate a genetic continuity between ancient and modern-day Native Americans. Furthermore, his paternal line belonged to haplogroup Q-M3, the predominant lineage among Native Americans today.

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 Chavez 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.

"Chavez" Surname 40.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Chavez" Surname 32.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Chavez" Surname 21.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Chavez" Surname 14.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Chavez?

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 Chavez 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%