The family Pena and surname Pena, La Pena, and de la Pena are all related. Many stories have started that a Pena was one of the three Wise Mean who visited Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, and that from there he went to Spain. Where he founded his family. Of course, the story cannot be proven. Because so many locations throughout Spain have Pena as part the place name, the probably is no common origin to the name.
Otto de la Pena was a knight who helped Gracia Jimenez, First King of Navarra, in about 750. Gracia de la Pena was one of the 15 men ordered killed by king Ramiro II in 1136. Jordan de la Pena was in Navarra in 1254. Gelacian de la Pena came from Toulouse, France, to serve King Jaime I of Aragon in the conquest of Valencia.
Family histories have been identified for the Pena’s in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Texas. In the United States, Pena is the 37th most popular surname among modern Hispanic families.
In the Americas, families of Pena have been identified throughout the region. Francisco de la Pena, from Bouzas in Galicia, arrived in Buenos Aires in 1774. He married Juana Venturade Lezica in 1798. Their descendants are found throughout the country. His son, Francisco Antonio de la Pena Lezica, went to Valparaiso, Chili, in 1834, also leaving many decadents. In Ecuador, Francisco De La Pena, a native of Palencia, Spain, established an illustrious family in Guayaquil in the 1700s.
In colonial California, Juan Felipe Pena was an immigrant from New Mexico in 1840, together with his wife and six children. They settled in Solano County in 1841, and they were grantees of the Putah ranch in 1843. He died in 1863 al Laguna Valley, at age 71. Luis Pena was a soldier from Signaling, Mexico. HE was married to Maria Paula Segunda Cortez of Casala, Sinaloa. They were married in 1785. They were at the Simi ranch in 1802. Manuel Pena was a soldier in San Francisco from 1828 to 1834. In 1841, he was in San Jose with his wife, Guadalupe Mesa, and children Dolores, Carmen, Encarnacion, Hilaria, Rosario and Paulino.
In San Antonio, Texas, Manuela de la Pena, born in 1745 in Saltillo, Coahila, Mexico, was married to Juan Muanel Ruiz. She left a will in 1934. They were the parents of six children, three girls and three boys, who descendants have been fairly well identified.