First Generation Basques Center Stage at CBS

Pages from BUS_20150114


A special kind of book about the Basques in the United States is going to be published in the summer, coinciding with the celebration of the Jaialdi 2015 in Boise, Idaho. Basques in the United States: A Biographical Encyclopedia of First-Generation Immigrants. The largest published biographical listing of the original Basques who came to this country. Center publications editor Daniel Montero reports that the book is the first-generation itself, and that there will be a website where anyone will be encouraged to submit even more biographical information and names to continue research on this pivotal immigrant group.

The Center has a long history of publishing on diaspora topics, the most recent publication before this book Pedro Oiarzabal’s pioneering study on the Basque diasporas online connections in The Basque Diaspora Webscape. People with more interest in Basque heritage might also be interested in our previous Oroitzapenak project.

See you at Jaialdi!


  1. Steve Lachaga

    July 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm


    I would love to know more about this. My maternal grandfather Benito Uruburu was from Forua. My maternal grandmother Victoria Ercoreca was from Mungia as was my father Nicholas.

    Benito lived on Cherry Street in Manhattan when he first came to the U.S. There in his apartment with his brother Tiburcio and others was the first meeting of what became El Centro Vasco now Eusko Etxea.

    My cousins are Zarates and Zubiaurres as well as Ercorecas and Uruburus.

    Thanks! Eskerrik asko!

    • Hello Steve! I have started to research some of the Basque genealogy of my husband. Benito Uruburu Bedachea and Victoria Ercoreca Villalveitia are his great grandparents. I would love to share information that goes a little further on Benito’s line and a little for Victoria. And maybe you know something I don’t! You can reach me at


  2. Kaixo Steve,

    Thanks for sharing your family information. Around 60,000 Americans trace their ancestry to the Basque homelands. Basques in the United States, edited by Koldo San sebastian, is a 2 volume edition covering Basque immigration from Araba, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa (vol. 1) and Iparralde and Nafarroa (vol. 2).

    It is the first edition of a long-term project to research biographical information about the Basque diaspora in the United States. In these two volumes are gathered biographical details of 10,000 first-generation immigrants, enriched by 600 archival photographs, many previously unpublished.

    Names are organized by town or region from which the person emigrated. This reference work also includes a comprehensive list of all surnames, a preface by Koldo San Sebastian (vol. 1), a translator’s introduction by Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe (vol. 1), an index of modern Basque names as they evolved (vol. 2), and a full list of places mentioned with identifying details — county and state in the US, province in the Basque Country (vol. 2).

    The work is being presented this week at the Jaialdi festival in Boise, but keep reading the blog for further information. The CBS encourages additional research on this subject and will create a website for public input, to add missing entries to the work, correct errors of information, or add information about people whose names already appear but whose information is not complete.

    Eskerrik asko and watch this space for more information soon!

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