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Home: Surnames: Loya Family Genealogy Forum

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Your Identity in the Clan Loya
Posted by: Alex Loya Date: September 29, 1999 at 01:49:22
  of 544

It was Dante who asked, "Who were your forbears?"
Burke stated, "He who does not look backward to his ancestors does not look forward to his descendants."
Luigi Enaudi wrote, "The memory of past generations must be a spur for a long time to the moral advancement of future progeny."

To be the true bearer of a family name without knowing its origin and historical value, is like renouncing a precious inheritance at birth which should be passed on to our children.

Although it is true that there are those whose surname is spelled "Loya" which was originally spelled "Loggia" or "Logia", this modification is isolated. It was the surname "Loia" that actually established a solar outside of Italy (a solar is a geographical location from which a surname radiates to other areas) and was established as the clan Loya. This is true because it was a member of the clan Loia who was granted a title of nobility and land in what was then the Spanish dominion of Navarre, at the foot of the French Pyrenees Atlantiques, in the locality of Aoiz and Ezprogri, in Basque territory (thus the strange words Aoiz and Ezprogri in the mysterious language of the Basques), by the king of Spain. This we know because although there is no record of the existance of the Loya family in Spain prior to the 17th century, Navarrese records show a new noble family, with a new coat of arms, bearing the name "De Loya" early in the 17th century (very late indeed for Heraldic records!), which to this day has its Italian versions "De Loia" and "Da Loia". The prefix "De" indicating a conferred title of nobility. Since "Da Loia" exists in Italy, also bearing a Spanish "De" in the form "De Loia", we conclude that the title of nobility was confered to the Italian House of Loia by the Spanish king prior to their migration to Spain, to Navarre, where the land granted to this Italian made noble by the king of Spain family, became the "Valle de los Loya" (Valley of the Loyas) since at that time the migration was of clans rather than individual families. This happened at the height of the Italian migration to Spain, at a time when Italy had been a Spanish dominion for almost 400 years, and the king of Spain indeed granted titles of nobility to some Italian subjects, and land to settle in the Iberian Peninsula (Raspi; Storia Della Sardegna). Through the next couple of centuries, more Italian Loias migrated to this "Valle de los Loya" in Navarre, in Aoiz and Ezprogri, North-West of Pamplona.

It is to be noted that there are two main, independent geographical solars of the Loya clan in North America, one in the state of Chihuahua in Northern Mexico and South Texas, and the other in South East Canada and the Northernmost corner of New York State, both solars having members born there in the earlier half of the 1800's. This is quite significant because this fact will show you the direction you need to look to to find your roots, your human identity and your ancestral home. With two distinct solars in deverse locations, the direction you need to look to is across the Ocean, to the Mother land of Europe. To this effect, it is pertinent to mention that the clan Loya in Chihuahua, Mexico is still very European in both physical appearance and culture. They have not really intermarried with their Mexican neighbors too much, and to this day preserve distinctly European racial and cultural traits, like their dance, for example. Some of them within Mexico, being totally ignorant of American prejudices, refer to the Mexicans as "they" and "them" and still feel an allegience to the king of Spain. It is when some of them have migrated to the U.S. that they have intermarried with the Mexican population in the U.S. (probably because of the language barrier), not in Mexico itself. The reason that in Northern Mexico the Loyas have preserved a European identity is probably due to the fact that Northern Mexico itself was originaly populated by a majority of Europeans, mostly Spaniards but others as well, and the Mexican population migrated there later from Southern Mexico on their way to the U.S. Also to the fact that they have recieved a fresh influx of European Loyas as late as the 1930's, at the time of the Civil War in Spain. In Southern Canada and Northern New York, obviously, the European traits have been preserved since the migration to that part of the U.S. was almost exclusively European, specially at the time when the clan Loya migrated there in the early 1800's.

All this to make a very valid point which every member of the clan Loya should keep in mind, "Who were your forbears?" Dante asked. Your ancestral home lies beyond the Sea, past the foot of the French Pyrenees Atlantiques, past the "Valle de los Loya" granted by the king of Spain, where the clan Loya has established a solar for almost 400 years, even past the Ligurian hills and the Tirso Valley in Sardinia, where the clan Loya has established a solar for 800 years, and on to to the hills and valleys of Tuscany where the clan Loya was born and has been established for perhaps over 3000 years. Not that the word "loia" was used as a name for that long, but certainly that it was preserved among our ancient ancestors, the Etruscans, for the surname Loia/Loya is indeed a survival of their ancient language. The Etruscans came and went as a people, and their language remains an unsolved mystery, extinct as a language from before the time of Christ. Only among the descendants of those who spoke the language could some of their ancient words, names and phrases have been preserved, and you and I carry a name that is rich in history, preserved in remote villages of Tuscany among an ancient people. Carried by miners, which the surname denotes, to Sardinia and Liguria, taken by merchants to Navarre, in the Basque Country of Spain, transported to America by those who desired a better life. Today, you and I can look to Tuscany, we can run among the ancient ruins of the Etruscan cities, we can look at the paintings of the Etruscan people and admire their pottery. We can say, "Ah, my name was not erased by the language of the Romans, although we became part of their people!" And when we think of the Etruscans we can shout, like Alex Haley did when he found his own roots in Africa, "I found you! I found you!"


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