Recorded in the spellings of Alvares, Alvares, Alvar, Alvaro, Alvarado, Alves, and the original Albarez, this Spanish and Portugese surname originates from the German tribes of some ancient repute known as the Goths or Vizigoths. These fierce tribes swept down from Eastern Germany in the 5th century a.d., causing the collapse of the Roman Empire. The Spanish Peninsula had been a province of Rome since the 1st century a.d., but the Goths conquered it in months. They were there for some three centuries until finally defeated by the Franks, but they left behind in Spain many reminders, not the least being the prominent surnames of that country. The name is composed of two elements 'all' meaning 'the people' and 'wer' - truth. It is not clear whether these original names were meant to be translated literally, however if that is that case it may suggest that holders of this surname were from the original 'Goth' tribes. Examples of the surname recording include Barona Josepe Alvarez, at Valladolid, Spain on March 30th 1594, and Juan Alvares, who married Maria Rodriguez at San Diego, California, on November 11th 1781. The coat of arms has the blazon of per pale gold and chequy red and silver, a green tree, with a black wolf passant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Juan Braba Albarez, which was dated March 15th 1548, at Nuestra Snora de la Antigua, Spain, during the reign of King Charles 1st of Spain and Emperor of Mexico, 1519 - 1556. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.