The Goyetche Family Genealogy

Historical Notes

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.