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About us

        The Zambrano DNA Project exists to determine the ancient origins and current genetic relationships of all participants who are male Zambrano descendants. Membership is not limited to any particular country. Due to various surname practices common in Hispanic and Latin American cultures it is possible for a direct male descendant not to carry the Zambrano surname. If this is the case, please include a brief explanation to the project administrator. E-mail The surname Zambrano originated in the Basque Country of Spain. According to the 18th century Spanish historian Francisco Zazo y Rosillo, it originated in "el valle de Zambraos, anteiglesia de Santa María de Zambraos". This is the present day municipal district or town of Zambrana in the province of Alava (Araba). The Zambraos spelling evolved into Zambrano and is also documented as Zambrana in the eleventh century. In documents from the 1500s the name was sometimes written in old Spanish as "Çanbrano" with the "Ç" having a "cedilla" to represent an "S" sound. The written "Ç" with a cedilla later became a "Z". Other variations include Çembrano and Çembranos. Branches of the family spread to Andalucía, the Canary Islands, and the Americas. The Zambrano surname has been in Mexico since the 1500s and is also common in South America and the United States.

        El Proyecto ADN Zambrano fue creado para determinar los orígenes antiguos y las posibles afinidades genéticas de todos los participantes varones que descienden de algún Zambrano. La membresía en el proyecto no se limita a ningún país en particular. Debido a las diversas costumbres de apellidar a las personas en nuestras culturas Hispana y Latino Americana, es posible que algún descendiente varón directo de Zambrano haya recibido un apellido distinto. Si éste fuera el caso, favor de incluir una explicación breve al respecto para el administrador del proyecto. Correo electrónico El apellido Zambrano se originó en el País Vasco de España. Según el historiador Español del siglo dieciocho, Francisco Zazo y Rosillo, se originó en "el valle de Zambraos, anteiglesia de Santa María de Zambraos". Actualmente ocupa el distrito municipal o pueblo de Zambrana en la provincia de Alava (Araba). La dicción de la palabra Zambraos evolucionó a Zambrano y también está documentada como Zambrana en el siglo once. En documentos de los 1500s el nombre se escribía a veces en el Español antiguo como "Çanbrano", en donde la "Ç" llevaba suscrita la "cedilla" y se pronunciaba con sonido de "S". La "Ç" con cedilla se convirtió luego en "Z". Otras variantes del apellido incluyen Çembrano y Çembranos. Las ramas de la familia se extendieron a Andalucía, a las Islas Canarias y a las Américas. El apellido Zambrano ha estado en México desde los 1500s y también es común encontrarlo en Sur América y en los Estados Unidos de Norte América.

Here is additional information researched and contributed by project member Hugo Zambrano on the origins of the Zambrano surname:

The surname Zambrano originated
with different people, but seems to have a common originating place: el Valle de Zambrana, in the Basque Country of northern SpainThe name is a toponym indicating the place of origin of the person(s) who first used it as a surname. There are two, and perhaps three different originating persons identified so far.

The first one is Esteban Marín Zambrano who arrived
at Fuente del Maestre, Extremadura, Spain, from Zamora, a town in northern Spain, in the 11th century during the conquest of Don Fernando I who was king of Castilla y León from 1037 to 1065. See “Fuente del Maestre: Su proyección en América” ( fact that the text mentions Zamora, does not mean Esteban Marin’s surname had originated from the name of that town. It requires changing the vowel "o" in Zamorano to the consonant "b" for Zambrano. Also the text differentiates the surname Zambrano from the adjective Zamorano, which indicated that Esteban Marín may have had the Zambrano surname before leaving Zamora. On the other hand, it cannot be ruled out that he could have been a native from the Villa de Zambrana making his way through Zamora.

In documents from the 1500s the Zambrano name was sometimes written in old Spanish as "Çanbrano" with the cedilla "Ç".The written "Ç" later became a "Z". Other variations include Çembrano and Çembranos. Branches of the family spread to Andalucía, the Canary Islands, and the Americas where it also took the form of Sambrano in places where there is no distinction between the “S” sound and the “Z” sound contrasting with Spain where the “Z” sounds similar to the English “th”.

The first Zambrano traveling to América,according to The House of Recruitment (Casa de Contratación) in Sevilla, was Rodrigo Zambrano, the 30th of March 1512, a native of Sanlúcar la Mayor, a town in Andalucía, Spain, with no known destination, followed by Alonso Zambrano, the 5th of November 1512, native of Sanlúcar de Alpechín, a neighboring town of the previous. Alonso’s second trip, as the Genealogy of México website reports, was in 1520 with Juan González Ponce de León (son of the discoverer of Florida). However, the site “Fuente del Maestre, su Proyección en América”, ( reports a person whose second surname was Zambrano, Alvar Rodríguez Zambrano, a land worker, from Fuente del Maestre, Extremadura, traveling to Santo Domingo in 1498, the same year Christopher Columbus made his third trip to the Caribbean.