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Hi Ray, as a hobby, I've done extensive research on my personal genealogy. As for the origin of the Ayala name, it comes from the Basque country of Northern Spain. The basque people were the very first inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula, dating back to stone age man. In fact, there is an ancient region in Northern Spain called "Tierra de Ayala," which can be found on the internet. Many of the basque people were involved in ridding Spain of the Moors, so the name doesn't come from Muslims. Even though there is a similarity in sound with the muslim chant, "ay...allah," it in no way connects the two peoples. In fact, there were many Ayala's who were royalty in the 1300's Navarra, Spain. One of these Ayala's married an english royal, and some of her descendents became U.S. presidents--Bush, for one. Because Ayala's are tied to spanish/basque nobility, in no way do they come from muslims. In the basque language (not castillian spanish), the Ayala name means dweller of the hillside. The coat of arms, which was only given to worthy families of spain, has 2 wolves (or foxes) on it. I hope this information has helped dispell the guesswork about the Ayala name. Mike Ayala.