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Home: Surnames: Loya Family Genealogy Forum

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Origin of Loya family and surname
Posted by: Alex Loya Date: September 24, 1999 at 23:30:11
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The surname Loya is a phonetic modification of 3 older surnames, all originaly from Italy: Loggia denoting an atrium, Logia denoting a speaker, and Loia denoting a miner. Loggia/Loya originates from the frankish Loge, finding its solar in Central Italy, having been imported by Frankish invaders around the 7th century. The word "loya" was briefly used in Spain in the 13th century to denote an atrium, the same as "loggia", being carried there by Italian immigrant clans. This word, however, did not survive in Spain due to its foreigness to the Spanish language even at that time. Loya/Logia comes from the Greek word "logia", being carried by ancient Greek immigrants to Sicily. The phrase "ta logia" is found in the Bible and is translated as a person who speaks as the "oracles of God" i.e. a preacher. Loya/Loia means literally "dirty" in the Tuscan dialect. It originated in Tuscany and was carried to Sardinia and Liguria in the 13th century, by miners,(in Sardinia, the Loia/Loya solar is to be found in the Tirso Valley along the Tirso River) and Navarre in the Basque country on the border between Spain and France in the 16th century, at the height of the 400 year occupation of Italy by Spain. This is the origin of the modern Loyas who find their solar in Navarre. All these areas in which the surname Loya/Loia is found are historically linked in Italian history since these areas, Tuscany, Liguria, Sardinia and Navarre were under Spanish rule (Navarre didn't actually become a full part of Spain but until the 1830's, prior to that it had the same status of Spanish dominion as those Italian provinces, ruled by Spanish viceroys)and fought a common enemy, the Arabic Moors. In fact the Spanish word for buck private "sardo" finds its origin in troops from Sardinia, the "Sardos", who fought for Spain in the Battle of Lepanto. The noble house of De Loya was evidently an Italian house which was granted land and a title of nobility in Spain around the latter part of the 16th century since there are no records or coat of arms of the House of Loya found in Navarre in Aoiz and Ezprogri, which is the surname's solar in Spain, prior to the 17th century. The oldest records of Loya in Spain are found in the 17th century, with the particle "De" added, "De Loya" , which indicates a confered title of nobility (El Libro Viejo de Armeria de Navarra). At that time the Spanish kings were granting such titles and land in Spanish domains to some of their Italian subjects, whom they considered Spanish subjects. Apparently, the Spanish title of nobility was granted to some of these Italian Loya/Loias along with some land to migrate to Spain (Navarre, then a Basque dominion ruled by Spanish viceroys), since the surname Da Loia is still found in Italy today. The surname Loya/Loia is evidently a survival of the extinct Etruscan language since, according to the "Dizionario Etimologico Italiano" by Alessio and Battisti, it excludes Latin both phonetically and semantically, which means it is extremely ancient. The Etruscan language was already extinct as a language by the time of Christ, surviving as a dialect until about the 5th century when it disappeared completely. Through the centuries, however, some words, names and pagan prayers survived among villagers in remote areas of Tuscany in what is known as the Etruscan sub-stratum of the Tuscan dialect to this day. Tuscan villagers would secretly pray Etruscan pagan prayers as late as the end of the 19th century(In Search of the Etruscans).The Etruscan word "loia" meaning "dirty" or more accurately "a layer of dirt on the skin or clothes" as in dirty clothing, was preserved , and at some point began to be used as a surname,"Loia", denoting a family or group of miners who get very dirty, among these Tuscan villagers, who carried it to the other areas as explained. It was modified to Loya to conform to its new environment. The Italian name Loiaconio/Loyaconio, Loiacano/Loyacano is a compunded form of the same name. I hope you find this information interesting and elucidating.


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