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buber.net > Basque > Surname > Y > Ybarra
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Ybarra (also Ibarra) means bank (as in the bank of a river) or shore. As with most Basque surnames, the word commonly denotes the location of the original family home. Therefore, the Ybarra House was most likely located near the riverside. As there are many riverbanks in the Basque Country - perhaps there is some insight here, into why there is some variation in thought as to the origin of the Ybarra name.

At various times, not far removed from each other, the Ybarra name appears widespread among nobles in the North, especially in the Basque provinces and notable scholars find it difficult to know if all these nobles came from the same original family or from separate houses. I believe that it is likely that the latter is more correct, since there are several places in the Basque country called Ybarra and likely several families may have taken their surnames from those regions. Although the origin may not be certain at this point it is a fact that Ybarra is an ancient and noble surname, notably the houses prominent in Guipuzcoa and Vizcaya.

Found in Guecho, Sopelana, Urduliz and Gorliz of Bilbao; Abadiano, Berriat˙a, Dima and Amorebieta of Durango; Gordyuela of Valmaseda and Mendeja of Marquina. In Guipuzcoa it is prominent in the towns of Elgoibar and Eibar. The name has also been found in Andalucia and other regions of Spain, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico and The United States (It is prominent in Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and Texas).

Obviously there are several coat of arms. I will describe one - based on it's beauty and not on any link to a particular family. It is an Olive Tree on background of silver. The trunk of the tree in green and it's two large branches spread. Just above, and between the branches is a red cross (appendages even) and above this a green crown.

Note: I am often questioned about which spelling of the surname is MORE correct or MORE original. I myself, was curious as to why my husband spells his surname Ybarra while his own sisters use Ibarra. I wondered if there was some great cause for the division. He responded casually - "no, my sisters didn't want to be the last on the roles for school registration."

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