It began with one Basque fisherman

With only a very few exceptions, those who share the Goyetche surname in North America trace their origins to Jean Goyetche, a Basque fisherman born in 1763 in the Bayonne region of France. He arrived in North America sometime before 1793 and may have spent time on the islands of St. Pierre & Miquelon or at Louisbourg before coming to Arichat on Isle Madame in Nova Scotia. The Goyetche family in North America has grown to include more than 1,900 descendants. Beginning with Jean Goyetche (1763 - 1844), descendants now span nine generations and encompass more than 600 family groups. The genealogy pages on this site provide extensive information about family members. This includes family group descendant trees as well as all- inclusive trees. Over the generations, the Goyetche family has included its share of interesting and some colourful characters. Among them was Martin Goyetche, who travelled with the pirates Pierre and Jean Laffite, and married one of the Laffite daughters; Dominique Goyetche, who was sentenced to prison on the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific; and Billy Goyetche, freight-hauler, undertaker and police constable in St. Peter's, NS. Historical profiles of the islands St. Pierre & Miquelon, off the coast of Newfoundland, and of Isle Madame in Nova Scotia both include references to Goyetche family members. Basque origins  The Basque region, or Euskal Herria as it is traditionally called by the Basques, straddles southern France and northern Spain. It is located where Spain and France connect on the Bay of Biscay, extending 8,056 square miles (20,864 km2). It encompasses the western end of the Pyrenees Mountains on the Iberian Peninsula, down to the Bay of Biscay. The region is made up of seven provinces spanning both sides of the Spanish/French border, and has its own unique culture and language. While there continue to be imaginative theories about the origins of the Basque people (everything from a lost tribe of Israel to refugees from Atlantis), there is no evidence that the Basques of ancient times lived anywhere other than where they are now, in France and Spain. The Basques are known to have had their distinctive language as early as 7,000 BC, and they have the last remaining non Indo-European language in the area. Their language, Euskara, is the oldest surviving in all of Europe. Through history, the Basque people were renowned as fishermen, traders and shepherds.

Family News



In the late 19th century, a young girl named Marie Goyetche and her family from Cape Breton joined a great out- migration of more than 250,000 Maritimers, almost 30 percent of the population of the region at the time, destined for the “Boston States”. Within a few years her journey took her even further. Marie and her new husband booked passage on a ship bound for Galveston, Texas where they began a new life. To learn more, see Cape Breton To Texas – Marie’s Story.


Recent additions include Phil & Laurie Goyetche of Broadview Heights, OH; Alex Neve & Patricia Goyeche of Ottawa, ON with children Brennan, Sean-Daniel & Selina; Janine, Sarah & Corinne, daughters of Brian & Christina Goyetche of West Bay, NS; and Chris, Julie & Nathaniel Bartkow of Halifax, NS. Check back in the weeks and months to come as more photos are added to the collection.


Check out the Family News page for new additions to the family, recent deaths, as well as significant achievements by family members. Contributions are always welcome. Please forward your updates to djgoyetche@yahoo.ca.


Our genealogy pages include information on more than 1,900 family members and 600 family groups spanning nine generations beginning in 1763. You may search or browse our index of family members, view family group descendant trees or all-inclusive ancestor trees. Other reports include all surnames, frequent surnames, U.S. and European time/density maps as well as name and age statistics.
The Goyetche Family Genealogy Read more...