Friday, December 23, 2011

Genealogy of the Balleza and K(C)atague Surnames

The David B Katague Clan at the China Buffet Restaurant, Citrus Heights, California, 2009

Several years ago, I started a genealogy search of my mother's last name, "Balleza". I was able to trace it back to the 17th century. The name originated from Bilbao, Spain. I then traced it to Mexico, then to the US in Texas and then to the Philippines. I was able to locate a town in Mexico named Balleza, in the state of Chihuahua. The town was founded in 1640 and named after Fr. Mariano Balleza, a Spanish friar. I was able also to communicate with a radio announcer in Houston, Texas whose family name is also Balleza. I also found several Balleza families on Google and recently in Facebook.

Note that the name is similar to another name in the Philippines "Belleza", a Spanish word which means beautiful. But "Balleza" and "Belleza" are two different names in the Philippines.

I am happy and satisfied with the origin of my mother's last name. When my mother was still alive, she told me that her great grandfather was a Spanish soldier that participated in the Spanish colonization of the Philippines (1565-1898). My search confirmed my mother's statement of his great grandfather roots.

After the success of the genealogy search of my mother's surname, I became curious on the genealogy of my father's last name. When my father was still alive, his last named was spelled with a "C" instead of the "K". He changed it with the "K" when he was in high school.

My father has two brothers who also changed it to start with a " K". But all of my father other relatives as far as I know have not changed it. So there are a lot of people called "Catague" in the Philippines that are my relatives. A well-known Catague is a painter named Fernando. His paintings are exhibited in the art museums of Iloilo and Manila. My father has informed me that Fernando is a relative and originally was from Antique. In the Philippines, I know there are Katagues in Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Antique, Cavite and in Mindanao and other provinces of Luzon.

I also found there is a Katague in Brazil from Google. I just recently meet a niece on Facebook from Vancouver, B.C.,Canada She is the daughter of my first cousin from Bacolod, Negros Occidental. There are several K(C)atagues on Facebook, and one on Twitter, but I do not know if we are related.

Incidentally, there is a town in Bohol, Philippines named "Catague". I am curious how the town got its name, but I do not have the time to do research on it right now. If you are from Bohol and know its origin, please let me know. It will be highly appreciated.

There are several variations of the Katague's name. These are: Catague, Catage, Catagi, Katagi, Katage, Kataque and Kata Gue (from Indonesia). I know of a Japanese chemist with a surname of Katagi. It may be true that "Katague" originated from Japan (instead of China) from the surname Katagi or Katague as my father once mentioned. This was recently confirmed by one Facebook member whose last name is Katague but is now residing in Brazil.

So if your last name is any of the above or if you are married to someone with any of the names above, we may be related. I will appreciate if you contact me in Facebook, Twitter or ViewsHound. I will be delighted to meet you online or in person. We have a group in Facebook- The Katague and Catague Clan. Please join us.

I really enjoyed doing genealogy research into my mother's and father's last names. This reminds me of a popular saying in the Philippines, "You have to know your past in order to see your future." I hope this article will inspire you to do your own genealogy search of your ancestry.

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