Original Stone from the house in St. Jean-le-Vieux:
Michel De PUCHULUTEGUY year 1764



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Independent Agroturism

Researching your Basque Name

Whether you have known all your life or you just found out your last name is Basque, it's important to know a few tools that will help you succeed in your research. First you should know if the name is more common on the French or the Spanish side of the Basque Country as the research tools vary significantly in these two countries.
So before you begin, go to Ellis Island and search for your ancestor as he most likely arrived in New York. The website contains records of boat passengers arriving in New York between 1892 - 1954; more than 12 million people!
If you think he arrived between 1820 - 1892, go to Castle Garden. This immigrant center received an estimated 8 million people. Be advised that the majority of the records were burned in a fire.

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Spanish Basque Country ( Hegoalde)

If your research takes you to Spain, you should know that there are 3 provinces in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country: Guipuzcoa, Vizcaya and Alaba. Then there is Navarra, also an autonomous community. Try the following sites as they have multiple databases free of charge:

French Basque Country (Iparralde)

Confused about the double last name system in Spain? Read this!

Many Americans have told me that they don't understand the double last name system used in Spain thus, I'll try to simplify it for you:

Say your name is Juan Etcheverry and you marry Maria Aguerre. If you had a son named Pedro his full name would be Pedro Etcheverry Aguerre because his first surname is his father's and his second surname is his mother's.

Now imagine that Pedro Etcheverry Aguerre marries Juana Goicochea Unanue and they have a family. In this case, the kids would take the first surname of the father followed by the first surname of the mother:

Juan Pedro Etcheverry Goicochea

The first surname is always the paternal line as the second surname is always the maternal line

Having said that, once you start your research in Iparralde (French Basque Country) you'll see that in France they use only one surname, commonly that of the father. Keep in mind, that it is the house -caserío or maison- that gives rise to the surname and not the other way around. So, if the owner of the house was the mother, the descendants will have her surname and not the father's!

Links to Great Webs on All Things Basque

Buber's Basque Page offers not just info on genealogy but history, gastronomy, culture, politics, news, etc.

Euskal Kultura keeps you updated with the Basque Diaspora. Sign up to get the newsletter delivered to your mailbox.

Euskal Abizenak is an excellent tool for you genealogical research: Magazines, blogs, surname's lists and more.

Eusko Sare is a Basque global community network where you'll find all things basque.

Ardilatxa Have you seen her around? I have them in my car, laptop and on this website!