I am actually the original post-er of this thread, and yes it took me ten years but I actually have some info. Haven't been able to get too much info about the family tree, but I do know A LOT more now about the last name! Caraballo was originally just Carballo which is related to the Spanish name for oak. This is the tree that is represented in the family shield. The sword and arm signify that our family name was deeply rooted in the military. Carballos/Caraballos were major players in the Spanish military, boosting several high ranking members and even had a special relationship as guardians for the Catholic Church, and subsequently the monarchy. The additional "a" in Caraballo was added around the time of the Spanish Inquistion. Here is where it gets interesting. Carbal was originally an Italian word/name (there is even an island named for it). Our particular name, however, is a Sephardic Jewish surname (see also Caravallo/Caraball). While originally of Jewish descent, our ancestors accepted Catholocism as their religion somewhere between the 12th and 14th century (most likely closer to the 12th considering our rise within the Catholic Church). Sidenote before I come to my conclusion, there is a region in Spain named Carballo, but I haven't confirmed whether or not it was named for us, or for the original Sephardic Jews. Anyways, during the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic Church challenged the Carballo name, suggesting that it sounded and looked too Jewish (easy to understand, because it WAS a Jewish name), so to "latinize" the name and ultimately keep our good standing with the Church, an additional "a" was added to it, making it Caraballo. This is about 6 years of research on our name, but while it isn't much, I still found it fascinating!