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The Goyeneche Family Name
Apellido Goyeneche

What’s in a Name?


Are you related to all Goyeneches?  Not necessarily.  This has to do with how the use of family names (also called last name, surname, etc.) evolved.  Pasted below is a short history of how family names were created, adopted, or otherwise used for Spanish-speaking or Spanish colonized countries.  The evolutionary description below is based on information found on the Internet and its contents can not be verified.  

The practice of using a surname or family name began during Medieval times (also called the Middle Ages, ranging from the 5th to the 15th centuries) when, due to growing and migrating populations, the use of the family name became necessary to differentiate amongst people.  Until then the use of the first name was enough (Juan, Carlos, Carmela, etc).

The choice of surname was derived from one of, or a combination of, factors.  First used by nobility and wealthy landowners and well established by 10th Century in Spain, the following factors influenced the development of Spanish surnames:

1.       Name of the father (Patronymic).  Who is the father of this person?  Who is the head of this family? In this in case, the first name of the father turned to be the surname for all of the family members and the following generations. For example: Mercedes Martinez means Mercedes of Martin or “daughter of Martin”.  Juan Hernandez means Juan of Hernando or son of Hernando.

2.      The occupation or work of the head of the family (What kind of work this person do? Peter Martelo (Peter Hammer), Molinero (Miller), Herrera (Blacksmith), Zapatero (Shoesmith), Carpintero (Carpenter).

3.       The place where the person or family used to live (Toponimic).  Where this person or this family lives or comes from? For example: Joanin Torino (Joanin from Torino), de Navarro (from Navarra), de Castilla (of Castille), de Leon (of Leon), etc.

4.      Physical appearance or nicknames.  What is this person’s nickname or physical characteristic? For example Roberto Paz (Robert Peace), Negro (Black), Blanco (White), or Delgado (Thin).

5.       Church & Priests influenced names that were given to many of the Native Indians, such as de la Cruz (of the Cross), Iglesia (Church), Campo (Camp), Santos (Saints), etc.  Also, without intention, while recording the surnames, they changed surnames such as de Ávila to Dávila; Barbarosa to Barbosa.

6.       Acquired object of value (What this person has of any value? For example, Antonio Silver.

Sources:               http://au.geocities.com/arvoredoslafratas/index-origemdosobrenome.html


Houses of the Goyeneche - Baztan Valley
de Enciclopedia Heraldica y Genealogica

Orders of the Military
Ordenes Militaria
Spanish-speaking countries or Former Spanish Colonies

For more details on this topic, see Spanish naming customs.

In medieval times, a patronymic system similar to the one still used in Iceland emerged. For example, Álvaro, the son of Rodrigo would be named Álvaro Rodríguez. His son, Juan, would not be named Juan Rodríguez, but Juan Álvarez. Over time, many of these patronymics became family names and are some of the most common names in the Spanish-speaking world. Other sources of surnames are personal appearance or habit, e.g. Delgado ("thin") and Moreno ("tan"); occupations, e.g. Molinero ("miller") and Guerrero ("warrior"); and geographic location or ethnicity, e.g. Alemán ("German").

However, nowadays in Spain and in many Spanish-speaking countries (former Spanish colonies, e.g. Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela), most people have two surnames, although in some situations only the first is used. The first surname is the paternal one, inherited from the father's paternal surname. The second surname is the maternal one, inherited from the mother's paternal surname. (As an example, Mexican boxer Marco Antonio Barrera's full name is Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia, though Barrera is the only one used in general conversation.) In Spain, a new law approved in 1999 allows an adult to change the order of his/her surnames, and parents can also change the order of their children's surnames if they agree (if one of their children is at least 12 years old they need his/her agreement too). [5] (Link in Spanish)

Depending on the country, the surnames may or may not be linked by the conjunction y ("and"), i ("and", in Catalonia), de ("of") and de la ("of the", when the following word is feminine). However, in many South American countries, people have now adopted the English-speaking custom of having a single surname (e.g., in Argentina). Sometimes a new father transmits his complete surname by creating a new one, combining his two surnames, e.g., the paternal surname of the son of Javier (given name) Reyes (paternal surname) de la Barrera (maternal surname) may become the new paternal surname Reyes de la Barrera.

At present in Spain, women upon marrying keep their two family names. In certain rare situations, especially the nobility, she may be addressed as if her maternal surname had been replaced with her husband's paternal surname, often linked with de. For example, a woman named Ana García Díaz, upon marrying Juan Guerrero Macías, could be called Ana García de Guerrero. This custom, begun in medieval times, is decaying and only has legal validity in Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru and Panama. In Peru and Dominican Republic, women normally conserve all last names after getting married. For example, if Rosa María Pérez Mártinez marries Juan Martín De La Cruz Gómez, she will be called Rosa María Pérez Mártinez de De La Cruz, and if the husband passes away, she will be called Rosa María Pérez Mártinez Vda. de De La Cruz (Vda. is the abbreviation for Viuda, "widow" in Spanish). In Ecuador, a couple can choose the order of their children's surnames. Most choose the traditional order (e.g., Guerrero García in the example above), but some invert the order, putting the mother's paternal surname first and the father's paternal surname last (e.g., García Guerrero from the example above). Such inversion, if chosen, must be maintained for all the children.

In Argentina only one surname, the father's paternal surname, is commonly used and registered, as in English-Speaking countries. Women, however, do not change their surname upon marriage and continue to use their birth name instead of their husband's last name.



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Dicen que Goyeneches son tambien...

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