My last name is Falez, which is a fairly uncommon surname. The farthest person back in the family tree that I'm aware of was, I'm told, Slovenian or Austrian, which obviously borders Italy and is in close proximity to Spain. I'm related to almost every single other Falez that I've come across.

I have done a fair amount of research and here's what I know so far.

  • Although it supposedly means 'cliff' in Turkish, I actually haven't been able to find many Turkish people with this surname.
  • There are a handful of people in the Middle East who possess the surname.
  • If I remember correctly, the surname was prevalent in Indonesia (or at least somewhere in South East Asia). To my knowledge, Indonesian and or Filipino and or other South East Asian languages are heavily related to Spanish.
  • There was a group of people with the surname living in what was or is California and Arizona in the late 1800s.
  • The surname is very similar, especially phonetically, to other surnames such as Vélez, Vales, etc.

Does anybody know anything at all about this surname?

  • 1
    Have you tried doing autosomal DNA to see your ancestral breakdown? Have you tried doing Y-DNA (FTDNA is the place for this) to see if you match Falez's from further back or if another surname pops up? (If you are female, test your father or your brother or uncle, as long as they have the same surname) Feb 18 '19 at 3:11
  • 1
    @Cyn theres no way in hell id deliberately hand over my DNA voluntarily to anybody. thanks nonetheless
    – oldboy
    Feb 18 '19 at 3:15
  • Although it supposedly means 'cliff' in Turkish, I actually haven't been able to find many Turkish people with this surname. It's just a re-spelling of the French word falaise and has probably nothing to do with your family name.
    – Bregalad
    May 3 '20 at 9:11

Based on @Adrew Rick's answer where he mentioned that the Slovene writing may be "Falež" I entered "Falež ime izvor" into a search engine and found a site concerned with the interpretation of names "Razlaga imen". There it is written

Falè, nastalo iz Falež, Faleš in to iz Feliks, kakor je dokazal že pisatelj Trdina.

which suggests that Falè comes from Falež or Faleš which in turn comes from Feliks [Felix, Slovene does normally not have an x].

My interpretation: Falež originates from the given name Felix based on the source cited above. Based on what I understand from name research in general I think that the name was possibly given to a person that was "the son of Felix" or "related to Felix" where "Felix" was a person known to the name-givers. It probably later on evolved from an appellation to a surname of its own. This would have to be verified with a name research expert with knowledge about Slovene names.

  • hmmm so you'd suggest looking into the name Feliks/Felix?
    – oldboy
    Apr 27 '20 at 21:00
  • 1
    Not necessarily. First off I should mention that I'm not really speaking Slovene, I know only some basics. What I understand from the source I found is that the name Falež refers to the firstname Felix. What I understand from name research in general about how names came about is that it was maybe given to some person that was the "son of Felix" or "related to Felix" where "Felix" was some person known to those people. It possibly later on evolved from an appellation into a surname of its own. But you would really have to ask a Slovene name researcher for the details.
    – nebulon42
    Apr 28 '20 at 9:53
  • I've added the content of my above comment to the answer.
    – nebulon42
    Apr 28 '20 at 16:50
  • thanks so much man!!
    – oldboy
    Apr 30 '20 at 3:30

The website of the Slovenian Statistical Office offers a search for surnames and how often they occur in Slovenia:

Number of residents of Slovenia whose family name is Falež: 111. This family name is in 4,010. place. The statistical region(s) with most residents with the family name Falež (96): Podravska. Statistical region(s) in which this family name is ranked the highest (620. place): Podravska.

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  • 1
    The question asks about the origin of the name, not its distribution. This is just pasted from another site.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 26 '20 at 16:58
  • Nevertheless, I have edited the answer so that it lists the source. i have also changed the text to citation and modified it because the source I found had text different to the one originally posted. Also, "origin" can also refer to its geographic origin. And often the distribution or prevalence tells us something about the geographic origin.
    – nebulon42
    Apr 26 '20 at 17:06
  • thanks. yeah, to my knowledge, i actually have relatives in slovenia.
    – oldboy
    Apr 27 '20 at 20:51

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