Hi all, My name is David and i go to college in Dallas. Ive been doing research on this for a while but recently dug up more info.
The Gaona's are in fact from Spain. Northern Spain appears most likely. And was once of nobility either by marriage or by family growth. It would also appear the American version immigrated around that time,whenever that was. This took place circa 120 to 180 years ago . There are not exact details as the family did not appear to be large despite any possibly wealth.
The time spent in Mexico appears to be short before migration to Texas. I've dug around personally and there is definite uncertainty as to the amount of the family who migrated from Mexico and who the majority of them were. With that being said if you have any info on the migration to Texas and else where after arrival from Spain this could potentially help several people.
The possible Jewish origin of the name is very debatable and I've been able to find very little information on such. Other than whats been said here. Which may have more to do with pronunciation than actual practice of Judaism or decent.
The Gaona's of Texas and the eastern coast of Mexico appear to be of the most direct decent I was able to find.
Any Southern American or other continental Gaona's appear to be fairly separated from the Eastern Mexico/ Original family.
Guyona,Gayona,Girona are not of this particular family.I've found little to no information on any of them, Or relation.
Girona is a city in Northeastern Spain. I have not been able to find any name sake similarities with this Region and the Texas/Eastern Mexico Gaona's.
The Majority of direct decedents today reside in the Southwest and Mainly Texas.
As for the family crest there is a prominent one found at http://www.houseofnames.com/gaona-coat-of-arms
I have been unable to verify its authenticity in several request with the company. And suspect it was created in recent times. The site goes on to claim the Gaonas migrated to Peru originally. A claim i personally doubt and have found no information on, other than possible decedents living or have resided in Peru.
If anyone has any information on its creation i would be very interested. The family name appears to be young and appears to be much more prominent in the US than elsewhere. I now assume this to be the modern family crest and take it as such.
I hope this helps anyone looking for info . This family name is not common! If you reside in Texas ,Parts of the Southwest , Southern California .. or Northern Spain we are very likely to be related.