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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?

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    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, 2019 at 3:11
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    @Cyn theres no way in hell id deliberately hand over my DNA voluntarily to anybody. thanks nonetheless
    – oldboy
    Feb 18, 2019 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, 2020 at 9:11

3 Answers 3

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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.

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  • hmmm so you'd suggest looking into the name Feliks/Felix?
    – oldboy
    Apr 27, 2020 at 21:00
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    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, 2020 at 9:53
  • I've added the content of my above comment to the answer.
    – nebulon42
    Apr 28, 2020 at 16:50
  • thanks so much man!!
    – oldboy
    Apr 30, 2020 at 3:30
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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.

enter image description here

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    The question asks about the origin of the name, not its distribution. This is just pasted from another site.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 26, 2020 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, 2020 at 17:06
  • thanks. yeah, to my knowledge, i actually have relatives in slovenia.
    – oldboy
    Apr 27, 2020 at 20:51
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My surname is also Falež. My father emigrated to Australia in 1950 from the village of Orehova Vas, Slovenia. I have relatives in Orehova Vas and Rače. My father asked a professor what the origins of the name might be and he advised that he thought the most likely origin was that some ancestors moved from the village of Fala to the Orehova vas area and were known as the people from Fala or Falaži and this eventually became Falež. Hope you have luck finding your roots.

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  • Hi Florian, we are related. I am pretty sure that I have you on Facebook as a friend, but I have changed my name to "... Booth" over there as a measure to protect my privacy :D
    – oldboy
    Jan 14 at 4:57

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