Loya Family Genealogy Forum
To add to my previous post and to your knowledge regarding the origin of our surname and our ancestry, we should note the name of the nobleman in the Loya clan, Blas de Loya y Gaztelu. Although the Garcia-Carraffa Heraldic and Genealogical Encyclopedia mentions he was from Navarre, and his files in the Historical Archives of Spain show he was a "natural" of the city of Sanguesa in Navarre, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees (although Navarre did not become a full part of Spain but until 1839, having been a Spanish viceroyality after having been French), although Blas de Loya y Gaztelu apparently was born in Navarre, his surnames, de Loya y Gaztelu, both point to the area of Hendaye in France, just over the Pyrenees. As I mentioned in my previous posting, Loya is the name of a place in which there are some magnificent rock formations, between Hendaye and St.Jean de Luz in France. Interestingly, Gaztelu, Blas de Loya y Gaztelu's secondary or maternal surname, is the the name of a fort, the Gaztelu fort, located on the Pheasant Island which is in the middle of the Bidassoa River. The Bidassoa River is the border between France and Spain with the city of Hendaye on the French side, and the city of Fontarrabie on the Spanish side. Gaztelu is the fort on the island that is between these two cities. In the Fort of Gaztelu, which is part of the city of Hendaye, there are old cannons still pointed at the Spanish Basque city of Fontarrabie, as a testimony of the many wars these two countries engaged in in the past, and of the French origin of Gaztelu, French Gascon.
One thing I need to comment on is the fluidity of the border area between France and Spain. I had mentioned how Carraffa's statement that Loya is in the jurisdiction of Aoiz is due to the fluidity of the border, but in mentioning this I forgot to consider that in this area French and Spanish farmers meet each year to shake hands on the border to signify their right to use the common grazing grounds, they do this in a tradition that dates to the 13th century. If this is so, then that would tell us that although borders are historically fluid, specially in Europe, the border in this particular area may not have been so fluid, since the farmers have been doing this since the 13th century. This would mean that the Garcia Carraffa brothers made a mistake in saying Loya was ever in the jurisdiction of Aoiz, rather, it was Blas de Loya y Gaztelu who was from or had property in the jurisdiction of Aoiz, although his roots, and ours, are in Hendaye, France. I still need to do more research to determine this.
I should also note that those I have discerned as the fathers of the Loya of Texas and Chihuahua, Juan, Bernardo and Juan's son Bernardo de Loya who migrated to the New World in 1535, are mentioned as being "vecinos" that is "neighbors" or "residents" of Seville in Southern Spain before their migration to Hispaniola and to Texas, as opposed to being listed as "naturales", that is "natural born" of Seville, as Blas de Loya y Gaztelu is listed as "natural" of Sanguesa in Navarre. Given that the older Juan and Bernardo's parents, the younger Bernardo's grandparents, both had the surname Loya, Gonzalo de Loya and Beatriz de Loya (de Loya was her maiden name as well), and given the direction the nobleman Blas de Loya y Gaztelu's surnames direct us, and given also the location of Loya and of Gaztelu, both within Hendaye city limits, I have to conclude that the fathers of the Texas and Chihuahua Loya are listed as "vecinos" and not "naturales" of Seville because they had come to Seville from what was then all France, they were not natural born to Seville, but rather, they were natural born to either Navarre, as Blas de Loya y Gaztelu, or, the dual Loya surname suggests, to the Loya place in the city limits of Hendaye in France. Whatever the case may be, they were born French and were Italic French Gascons. As I mentioned, if I was not aware of the Tuscan etimology of Loya, I would at this point stand corrected and say that Loya is just a very old French Gascon surname denoting a huge rock formation (this I would conclude because not only are some huge rock formations present in Loya, in the Bay of Loya in France,but in the Yosemite Valley in California there is a 3047 foot high magnificent rock formation also mysteriously called Loya. I examine this fascinating mystery in my book, and how it leads to the conclusion that Yosemite Valley was discovered by Loya kinsmen before L.H. Bunnel and his Mariposa Battalion discovered it in 1851). The etymology of Loya, however, is definately Tuscan, Etruscan, so that the surname is an Italic French Gascon surname.
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