I think we must clarify some concepts here. Spanish surnames (as well as English/Anglo-Saxon ones I suppose) can either signify a place of birth (e.g. Castilla, Sheffield), an occupation (e.g. Carnicero, Taylor), an object (e.g. Meza, meaning "table" in Spanish; Spear) or a phisical trait from someone in your ancestry (e.g. Delgado, Small). We call the first case "Toponímicos", some other examples of these are: León, Cataluña, Granada, Madrid, Galicia, Valencia, etc. All of them besides being common surnames in Spanish-speaking countries are also names of cities in Spain. Lara happens to be one of this sort of lastnames. Lara was a village near Burgos in Spain (Castilian Region) which was invaded and destroyed by the Moors in the Reconquista Wars, this is where the famous aristocratic House of Lara (founded by Count Fernán Gonzalez) takes its name from. The Laras where a very powerful family in medieval Spain, they were mostly associated politically speaking with the Trastamara Dinasty. It is said that the Laras are direct descendants of the Visigoth kings of central Spain. After the Reconquista they emmigrated to Aragón, where the two most important extended lineages were given birth: The Manrique de Lara lineage and the Fernández de Lara lineage. The first were later spread around the Iberian Peninsula, the second are known to have sealed across the Atlantic to colonise the Americas (though many of them did stay in Spain). Hope this is useful information for you. I am a student of Spanish Philology by the way.