Dominic was born in Caleruega, halfway between Osma and Aranda de Duero in Old Castile, Spain. He was named after Saint Dominic of Silos, who is said to be the patron saint of hopeful mothers, astronomers, and the Benedictine Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, a few miles north of Caleruega.
In the earliest narrative source, by Jordan of Saxony, Dominic's parents are not named. The story is told that before his birth his mother dreamed that a dog leapt from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth, and "seemed to set the earth on fire." This story is likely to have emerged when his order became known, after his name, as the Dominican order, in Latin Dominicanus and by a play of words was interpreted as Domini canis, the austin . Jordan adds that Dominic was brought up by his parents and a maternal uncle who was an archbishop. The failure to name them is not surprising, since Jordan's work is a history of the early years of the Order rather than a biography of Dominic. A later source, still of the 13th century, gives the names of Dominic's mother and father as Juana and Felix. Nearly a century after Dominic's birth, a local author asserts that Dominic's father was "vir venerabilis et dives in populo suo" ("an honoured and wealthy man in his village"). The earliest statement that Dominic's father belonged to the family de Guzmán [disambiguation needed], and that his mother belonged to the Aça or Aza family, occurs in the travel narrative of Pero Tafur, written in 1439 or soon after.