The meaning and origin of the surname Aguilar is definitley tied to an Eagle.This is found in Latin America as Aguilar meaning "Sharp eyed" as an Eagle to Spain where Aguilar means "The Eagle".Spanish Civil Arms depict a Black Eagle with spread wings and one head but I have also found depictions of eagles with two heads.The earliest reference to Aguilar that I've been able to find is that of Aguilar Castle in the Languedoc region of what is today France and faces the region Aragon.The castle was a Cathar stronghold and belonged to Wilfred le Velu, Marquis of Gothie' in Catalonia who left the "Puy(rock) d'Aguilar" to his son Guilhem in 1020. He would become lord of Termes in Languedoc. In 1117 the Puy became Aguilar Castle and was owned by the lords of Termes, Vassals of the Viscounts of Trencavel.During the Albigensian Crusade, about which many recent books have been written, the castle was confiscated by Louis IX, king of France.After being given back to Olivier of Termes it was sold back to the Crown to serve as advanced outpost facing Aragon and to protect the recently annexed lands behind it for the French Crown. The lands surrounding the castle as well as the entire region of the Languedoc was the scene of the churches first crusade against its' own people in Europe and precipitated The Inquisition, the original form of mind control. The last vestige of which lasted until 1941 as the Holy Office!The Nights Templar were also part and parcel of the fabric of this region as it was their homeland and stronghold. Many Templars were sympathetic to the plight of the Cathars and found themselves the target of the Inquisition not long after the fall of Montsiguer the last Cathar stronghold.
Linguistically Aguilar is very similar to Aquila, a Roman name and the Black Eagle was the devise used on the Legions banners.Arab influence would cause the conversion of the "Q" to "G" as well as the addition of the "R" on the end of the name.I have yet to research this and it is only a hypothesis.Also since Prince Henry The Navigator ran his Acadamey from the last environs of the Arabs before they were expelled from Spain and Portugal it would make sense to assume, after looking at the distrbution of people with the surname Aguilar that they were from this region and participated in seafaring endeavours.
My family came from the Canary Islands, originally expolored by King Juba II of Mauretania around 25BC and 25AD.The Genoese arrived in 1291 and the Portugese in 1341 the Majorcans came year later. Europeans enslaved many native Guanches and sold them as slaves in Spain.By the 1400's all the natives were assimilated to Spanish culture and ways.During the 1770's the Spanish crown sent 2000 soldiers to New Orleans from the Canaries and my ancestors were on one of the ships.There was also a ship that stayed in Havanna.The Aguilars were to sail with the earliest explorers of the Americas as well as those going to the "South Seas" in the Spice trade and making runs to Manilla. I belive that there is still much to learn abouth the early history of the Aguilars and their exploits.
I hope this answers more questions than it raises.