Immigration Info Sought at Center for Basque Studies

Argitxu Camus Etchecopar, a postdoctoral researcher, is collecting the names of Basques who immigrated to California during the 18th and 19th centuries for a project sponsored by the
Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada Reno.

Once it is completed, the “California Basque Heritage Project,” will help many people on both sides of the Atlantic with their genealogical research and provide Basque-Americans with a better understanding of the immigration process, wrote Camus Etchecopar.

Camus Etchecopar’s work consists in gathering the names of those Basques who immigrated to California. She hopes to obtain a short biography for each of them that includes date of birth, hometown, house name, name of parents, year and place of immigration, name of wife or husband and children, occupations held in the new country, involvement in any associations, etc.

A photo of the marriage certificate for the first recorded marriage at Notre Dame des Victoires Church in San Francisco in 1856, uniting Bonaventure Dolheguy and Gracieuse Oyhamburu.
A photo of the marriage certificate for the first recorded marriage at Notre Dame des Victoires Church in San Francisco in 1856, uniting Bonaventure Dolheguy and Gracieuse Oyhamburu.

The California Basque Heritage Project will give the center an idea of the number and the kind of people (men/women ratio, age, the Basque valleys they departed from, where they immigrated to) that left their home country. It will also capture the diverse situations they experienced in their new country, noted Camus Etchecopar.

Did you yourself come from the Basque Country? Did your parents, grandparents, great grandparents immigrate to California? Camus Etchecopar is inviting local Basques to contact her and share their family history with her.

Argitxu Camus Etchecopar
Center for Basque Studies/2322
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557

(775) 682-5561

E-mail: argitxu@unr.edu