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buber.net > Basque > Surname > Z > Zaldibar
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ZALDIBAR Zaldibar is a little village, in the Province of Bizkaia, is located in a zone called "Duranguesado", the center of this zone is the Town of Durango. Zaldibar is in the east part of Bizkaia, very close to Gipuzkoa. The old name of Zaldibar was Zaldua.

The basque surnames were originated in the names of farms and houses, the families took their surnames from the name of their house, this was until the Council of Trento (1570), that set the rule that the children must have the same surname as their parents.

The origin of this surname is in a Tower called "Tower Zaldibar" located in this village (I suposse the village took the name from the one of the Tower), there were branches of this family in Durango, Ma=F1aria and Otxandiano (all in Bizkaia), there were other branches in O=F1ate (Gipuzkoa)= , and Vitoria-Gasteiz(Alava). There were a branche called Hurtado de Zaldibar in Cuba. There are a book of 1475 that mention a man with this surname. MEANING: There are two theories:

IBAR, means riverside or river bank, or valey
ZALDI, means Horse
ZALDU, means something like wild land, forest, land not cultivated, in spanish SOTO, the origin of this words (the basque and the spanish) is the lathin word SALTUS. I think that in english is Grove or Copse.

So the meaning can be The valey of the Horses, or The valey of the Copse Although it seems to be more credible the theory of the horses, I think is better the other one, because of the old name of the Village ZALDUA (the final A is an article), so ZALDU IBAR, gives ZALDIBAR

Change from Z to S: The spanish sound of the Z, doesn't exist in basque, the basque Z sounds a little stronger than the S, but much more soft than the spanish S. In the past the basque people use to change wen they spoke, the sound Z by the sound S (also today), like in the South of Spain and in South America.

PROVES OF NOBILITY, of men with this surname: In O=F1ate 1615, In Valladolid 1611 (they were born in Durango), In Valladolid many other times. Knight of Santiago in 1626, 1700, 1708, 1793, Knight of Calatrava in 1798, 1859, Knight of Alcantara in 1687, 1803,1824, Knight of Carlos III in 1815.

There are various coats of arms:

The one of the original Tower of Zaldibar: En oro una encina de sinople, sumada de una rosa de plata perfilada de azur; pendiente de las ramas de la encina, una caldera de sable sobre llamas de fuego; pasantes al pie del tronco, dos lobos de sable cebados de un cordero de plata, y a cada lado, bajo el arbol, una llave de azur. Bordura de gules, con una cadena de plata.

Other branche: The same than the one above, but: a cada lado del arbol dos lobos, y sustituyen la rosa por un escudete de oro, con una orla de cadena de sable; la cadena de la bordura de oro Other branche: En plata, un roble de sinople entre dos calderas de sable, y brochante sobre todo una banda de gules engolada sobre cabezas de dragantes de sinople.

The branche of O=F1ate: En plata dos caballos de gules corriendo uno tras ot= ro

The Branche of Ordizia: En azur dos veneras de plata

Other branche: En plata, un castillo y en su homenaje, una bandera de gules.

Other branche: En gules una cuba de oro

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