From 1856 to 1913, an emigration agent for the Bordeaux Colson Agency, Guillaume Apheça, kept excellent records of his work. For some reason, when he retired, he took them home. He died in 1919. His registers were discovered in the house nearly ninety years later.
An Argentinian branch of the Basque Euskal Association has finished transcribing all of the 15,000 names and the entire list can now be searched on the parent association's website. It can be searched by three different criteria: name, town of origin (there are 268 towns in the list), or year of departure (1856 to 1913).
Each entry has the following information:
- Register number
- Card number
- Year of departure
- Date of departure
- Town of origin (with a little Google maps image)
- Name (including maiden name) and first name(s)
- Age (this is often blank)
- Ship's name (occasionally blank)
- Port of departure (occasionally blank)
The website has many other pages about Basque culture and emigration. It is tetra-lingual, in Basque, French, Spanish and English. (Click on one of the little flags in the upper right corner of the page.) Bear in mind that there were many tens of thousands more from the region who emigrated whose documentation has not survived. Still and all, this is a fine new resource, not only for specific searches, but to gain a better understanding to Basque name structures and localities.
For all those who believe they have a Basque name in the family, give it a try!
©2010 Anne Morddel