This site was started in June of 1998, and has grown to what you see today, with 1600 relatives identified so far. The Etxeto family roots start in the Pyrenees mountains between the countries of Spain and France.
In the late 1700’s and 1800’s, due to political and economic situations in the Basque country, some of our family immigrated to other locations throughout the world, mainly Spain, Argentina and the United States. Some stayed to raise families, and some returned.
The Basque spelling of our surname is Etxeto; ETXE: house, TO: suffix diminutive, thus the “Little House.” The French versions are Etcheto, Etchetto and d’Etcheto. The spelling has changed to Echeto and Echetoa in Spain (In Spain people use two last names, the first corresponding to father’s first, the second to the mother’s first.) Our name has also been changed due to clerical errors in processing during immigration. One variation that we know of is Etchito.
At this point, we do not know if the different branches listed in the Family Tree pages on this web site are related to each other. Basque surnames tend to be derived from locations or geographic features, so even families with the same surname may not necessarily be related. Only time and research will tell. The first year in the development of this web site has been fairly easy in that only the last few generations have been identified. The hard work to link (if possible) the branches together and to identify relatives three or more generations ago is just beginning. This information will have to come from those of us in France and Spain since this is where our roots start.
Those of us from families that have immigrated to other parts of the world, are losing our Basque identities and are being assimilated into other cultures. Those still in the “Old Country” are curious of their distant cousin’s living conditions and lifestyles. In studying our personal family history, we may find a unique understanding, not only of our own backgrounds, but also of our common Basque history and heritage.
As our children grow up, we want to be able to give them something more than we had, which means we will have to work extra hard to recover the things that were never written down the first time. Now we have the Internet, which offers hope that someone by chance may see our family trees and help fill in some missing pieces of the puzzle. The information we are researching and identifying will be shared with our family in the form of this web site, family trees and hopefully someday a family book.