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buber.net > Basque > Surname > B > Bolinaga/Borinaga/Boliaga
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by Andres Luis Bolinaga y Midgett

The name Bolinaga drives from a Bolu, mill in the Bizkain dialect of the Basque language,  on the river Llona in Mungia in the province of Bizkaia and -aga meaning place or abundance.  It is place name meaning literally "place of the mill.(bolu + aga)"  or the place of the abundant mill.  The Encyclopedia Aunamendi lists five mills on the Llona in Mungia  -- Axpe, Bolu, Mantxorriz, Saranda, and Olatxu all of which have given rise to Basque surnames. 

 The surnames Borinaga and Boliaga have the exact same derivation as Bolinaga -- bolu + aga -- and the genealogical research I have done as of March 2004 indicates the some individuals were recorded as using all  three names at various times in their lives. Even though the Encyclopedia Aunamendi lists Borinaga as a derivative name of Bolinaga, some Borinaga's may take their name from a village in Gipuzkoa and thus be a completely separate family.  There is a separate listing for Borinaga in Aunamendi with a separate derivation and separate coat of Arms.  I will enquire more into this as time permits.

The Bolinaga/Borinaga/Boliaga family has never been large in numbers. A survey of telephone directories reveals fewer than 300 people with Bolinaga as the maternal or paternal surname in Spain;  there are under thirty in the USA.  Based on this, there are probably under 1500 people with the paternal or maternal surname Bolinaga/Borinaga/Boliaga in this world of over six billion people, giving credence to the possibility that we all spring from a common ancestor or small group of ancestors in the 1100's.

The earliest record I have found so far for the family is the Royal Archives of Valladolid, which have numerous records for Bolinaga/Borinaga/Boliaga beginning with a suite filed by the Vatican against a Juan Martinez de Borinaga, Archpriest of Gamboa, in 1494.  However, one of the coats of arms in the Encyclopedia Aunamendi for Bolinaga/Borinaga has the windmill vanes (soutres or aspas) or crosses of San Andres awarded to families who participated in the taking of Baeza on the feast day of San Andres, 30 November, in 1227 showing that Bolinaga's have been in existence as family since at least the 1200's and they participated in the Reconquista.

Records from Valladolid show Pedro de Axpe De Bolinaga, son of Miguel de Bolinaga and Maria Fernandez de Axpe going to Panama in 1624; Miguel de Bolinaga of the Company of Jesus going from Peru to the Philippine Islands in 1601, Diego de Boliaga being given a certificate of merit for his service as a Captain of the Infantry in Flanders in 1621, Fortuño de Bolinaga being sued in Bilbao over a cargo of sardines in 1515, Hortuño Sáenz de Boliaga being sued over a grove of trees in 1545 and several Bolinaga and Boliaga women suing and being sued over threats and "palabras injuriosas."   There were a litigious lot, quick to defend their honor.  One suit over an inheritance among family members apparently ran from 1602 until around 1829 and involved Bolinaga's, Boliaga's and Borinaga's as well as some of the families into which they had married.  There was another suit in Bergara in running from the mid 1700's' until the 1830's, again apparently over an inheritance, involving Bolinaga's and Eguren's and several other related families. There are over forty records for the family in Valladolid Archives with more in other archives in Spain.

By 1704, there were two families of Bolinaga's around Abadiano, and four in Luxua and Errigoitia. They were also families in  Zestona in Gipuzkoa, and in Fresneda in Burgos and Logroño as well as Elorrio and Mondragon.

Records in the Royal Archives of Valladolid show Juan Bolinaga, a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry, went to Peru in late 1790's and established the family there.  There are recorded births of Bolinaga's at Santo Domingo, Chincha Alta, Ica, Peru in 1837 and at San Jeronimo, Ica, Ica, Peru in 1847.

By the mid 1800's, there are records of members of the extended family in Bizkaia (Mondragon, Elorio, Durango, Elosu, Bilbo and Mazmela); in Gipuzkoa (Bergara, Ibar, Aretxabaleta), Alva, Burgos, Navarre, Mejico (Boliaga's and a Borinaga in Alta California), in Argentina and in Peru.  The 1840's records the first known Bolinaga's in the United States -- Ramona Bolinaga de Mendoza and a Simona de Bolinaga in New Orleans in the 1850's and John and Pio Borinaga at Springhill College in Mobile Alabama in 1860 U.S. Census; both were listed in the census as having been born in Cuba. Records list a John Bolinaga as fighting in the American Civil War for the Union in the Tenth Ohio Cavalry with "Distinguished Service."  In Spain, Pablo Borinaga served as a customs official in Cadiz and was awarded a meritorious appointment to Puerto Rico in the 1840's and down Argentina Way Bolinaga's begin appearing in the marriage and birth records in San Nicolas De Los Arroyos, Buenos Aires, Argentina in the second decade of the 1800's.

The late 1800's finds Pedro Bustinduy y Bolinaga, son of Nicolas de Bustinduy and Josefa Ramona de Bolinaga, collaborating on Euskal Erria  on the Basque language in 1893.  Valentin Bolinaga is a lawyer in Balmaseda in 1884.  In 1884, Salvador López de Luzuriaga Borinaga was an "alumno de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Central. Natural de Gauna (Álava)." 

In the early Twentieth century, my grandfather, Jose Luis Bolinaga, was establishing himself in La Habana Cuba in the import export business.

The piety of the family is evident not only in their service to the Church as Priests, but in the names they bore. Both men and women were named after the great Saints of the Church -- Agustin and Agustina, Agueda, Andres, Francisco and Francisca, Luis, Maria Teresa, Pablo, Ygnacio and Ygnacia, Pedro, Juan and Juana; after the mother of God -- Maria, Maria Jesus, Maria Conception, Maria Ascenia; and many Jose's and Josefa's, Maunel's and Manuela's.

The twentieth and twenty first centuries finds members of the extended family  in the Philippines, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain, France, Peru, Canada and The United Sates of America.  A survey of the internet shows that today they are chefs (Argentina), politicians (Spain, Argentina), business executives (all countries), teachers (Venezuela, Spain, USA), lawyers, doctors, economists, academics, artists, engineers, soldiers, sailors and just about every other occupation serving the societies in which they live and writing new chapters in the family history.

Expedintes de Hidalguía (Proofs of Nobility):

1567, Juan Arando Bolinaga, vecino de Nájera (La Rioja); 
1586, Juan Sanz de Bolinaga, vecino de Navarrete (La Rioja);
1714, José Boliaga y Larin, Teniente de Capitán del Regimiento de la Armada;. 
1763, Manuel de Bolinaga Jaureguibarría Resusta Zabala. Natural de Mondragón. Residente en Abadiano;
1764, Manuel de Bolinaga, vecino de Castil de Lences (Burgos);
1772, Pedro Ignacio Borinaga, vecino de Añua (Álava);
1792, Benito Eustaquio Borinaga, vecino de Payuela, jurisdicción de Peñacerrada (Álava);
1798, Juan de Borinaga, vecino de Aranguiz (Álava);
1803, Agustín de Bolinaga, vecino de Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja);
1804, José Vicente de Bolinaga Azpiazu Arriola Asarrategui. Natural de Mondragón Arrasate. Residente en Bilbao;
1819, Vicente de Altuna Macazaga Gasteasoro Borinaga. Natural de Azcoaga. Residente en Durango;
1830's Pablo de Borinaga y Maistegui natural de Arechabaleta y residente en Cádiz

I am compiling a family tree for all of the Bolinaga/Boliaga/Borinaga's.  I have downloaded all of the information at www.familyserach.org and linked the files together but I  have some big holes in the data.  Bergara, Mondragon, Mazmela and several key towns in Alva and Navarre are not yet online and I have minimal information about the family in Peru and Argentina and nothing on Venezuela and the Philippines.  I will be ordering the microfilms for the towns in the Basque Country and attempting to fill in the holes there.  I hope to eventually have a family tree file that I can distribute to whomever wishes to have it.  

I am not Mormon but I do thank them for making this information available to everyone.  

If you wish to contribute or have corrections to the family tree project, corrections to what I have written, or comments in general please contact me at BoBolin@att.net 

From the Aunamendi Encyclopedia at www.euskomedia.org :

Bolinaga or Borinaga. Apellido vasco.




En Leintz-Gatzaga, Gipuzkoa. Colores: azul; tres coronas antiguas puestas en palo, oro. Ref.Juan Carlos Guerra.

Colors:  On a blue field, three antique (Sometimes called eastern crowns) of gold, one above the other.

Otro: Oro; tres martillos, azul; encabezados de rojo, colocados dos y uno; bordura, oro; ocho aspas, azules.

On a field of gold, three blue hammers with red heads, two above one with a gold border with eight blue crosses of San Andres

Otro: azul; tres coronas, oro, colocadas una sobre otra.

On a field of blue, three gold vallary crowns, one above the other

Bernardo ANAUT Ilustración: José Manuel ANDREU

From www.linajes.net :

Linaje de origen Vasco, de Orio en la provincia de Vizcaya y radicado en Fresneda, en la provincia de Burgos. A lineage of Basque origin from Orio in the province of Vizcaya and spreading to Fesneda the province of Burgos.

En campo de oro, tres martillos de azur encabados en gules, puestos dos y uno. Bordura de oro, con ocho aspas de azur. In a field of gold, three war hammers of blue with red heads, placed two and one, gold border with blue crosses of San Andres (windmill vanes.)

The war hammers are for military prowess; the eight crosses of San Andres in Basque and Spanish shields indicate participation in the taking of Baeza from the Moors on November 30, 1227.

However, Linajes shows the alternative shield of in a filed of blue, three gold vallary crowns placed one above the other. Vallary crowns came to medieval heraldry from the ancient Roman Military Crowns such as the Corona Civica awarded for saving your men on the field. The vallary crown comes from vallus, Latin for palisade as in a wall. The Vallary Crown was given to the soldier first over the wall. I am not sure of the significance of the antique or eastern crowns - they may signify merchant or commercial activities.

Linajes is an excellent website where you can find the exact meaning of the devices on the shield and the properties the colors symbolize.

Boliaga. Apellido vasco.

From the Encyclopedia Aunamendi at www.euskmedia.org :

Apellido vasco. Etim. v. BOLU-, -AGA.


En Vizc. Mantelado hasta el centro del campo. Colores: partición alta, oro; torre, piedra; partición baja, plata; panelas, verdes; bordura, azul;
sotueres, oro.-B. y J. L.

Roughly translated, a downward pointing triangle of gold with a stone tower the lower partition of silver with three green hearts; a blue border with eight gold crosses of San Andres. 

From the Encyclopedia Aunamendi at www.euskmedia.org :

Borinaga. Apellido vasco.

Apellido vasco, en Eskoriatza, Gipuzkoa.

Oro; una cadena, al natural, puesta en faja, debajo de ella, un turbante moro.

On a gold field a gray chain in a horizontal band with Moor's turban below it.  The chain signifies participation in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, the major turning point in the Reconquista.

Bernardo ANAUT
Ilustración: José Manuel ANDREU


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