Spanish names consist of one or more given names followed by TWO family names. Generally the first surname is the father's first surname and the second is the mother's first surname but this traditional order no longer required. Generally the second surname is only used for formal and legal matters.
Although a child may have only one or two given names for official civil records, they may be given several names when baptized.
Given names are simple such as Juan or composite such as Juan Pablo. Composite names are considered single unit first names and not first and second names.
Parents give names that just appeal to them, honor relatives or saints, or are of traditional Spanish origin.
Many Spanish given names honor the Virgin Mary. Girls are frequently given the name Maria or Maria followed by a suffix name and boys are sometimes given the name Maria as a middle name. Girls with Marian composite names may use the suffix portion of their name as their main informal name. For example Maria de los Angeles, Maria del Pilar and Maria de la Luz, may go by the names Angeles, Pilar and Luz.
Although the first name within a composite name generally reflects the gender of the holder, the second name need not, as in Jose Maria or Maria Jose.