La Casa y Caserías de Mendiguchía e Yrigoen: El caserío como clave para extender un linaje vasco-americano hasta el siglo XV

Ryskamp, George, “La Casa y Caserías de Mendiguchía e Yrigoen: El caserío como clave para extender un linaje vasco-americano hasta el siglo XV.” In España y América, un escenario común, ed. Eduardo Pardo Guevara,. Santiago de Compostela, España: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Xunta de Galicia, 2005, 773-792.

This article is a great resource for those researching in the Basque country, Catalonia, or a similar place in Spain where the family homestead or caserío is passed only to the eldest son. It clarifies much of the language used to talk about a caserío and gives several case studies into how a correct understanding can help in genealogical research.

The purpose of this article is to better understand the social role of a caserío, the inheritance process associated with it, and understand the unique surname patterns of the area, specifically with women. Ryskamp was able to trace this family back to the Basque country. There, inheritance follows the stem-pattern discussed in Perspectives on the Family in Spain, Past and Present, with one son inheriting the caserío while the rest received small amounts of money or goods.

The caserío itself was more than a house, it was the surrounding farmland and, in a manner, the responsibility as the head of the extended family to care for all in it. It makes sense that it could only be passed to one child, as it was more than one house or a specific plot of land; it was closer to the right to govern the familial homestead. Women who married into the family frequently adopted the name of the caserío as their surname, as did children of the extended family born within it. By looking at church records, wills and marriage inventories, Rykamp found that members of the focus family constantly associated themselves in this manner with their caserío, even though their parents carried different surnames. While this made it sometimes difficult to find relationships, it also showed that these individuals were members of the family, as shown by their ties to the familial caserío.


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