This is a locational surname of transposed spelling, which originally derived from the Spanish "Azkue". This word described a particular rock or crag, and one which may have provided a local meeting place. The true origination is Basque, the elements being "ats" or "atz", a rock, plus "que", a place. The word also forms part of such surnames as Velazaque, also spelt Velasque, which itself is a placename translating as "the steep crag", or literally, the "sickening crag". Spanish surnames follow the custom of other European countries, that the spelling is conditioned by local dialect, and in many cases, hereditary spellings were late in coming. In this case, early proven recordings are as follows, and interestingly have the French aristocratic prefix implying land ownership: Juan de Azqueta, who married Maria Martinez at San Martin, Vizcaya, on February 15th 1602, and Antonia Azque, recorded at St. Juan Bautista, on March 3rd 1884. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ana Maria De Azque, which was dated October 31st 1804, marriage to Dom De Legarreta Echvarria, at San Andres, Vizcaya, Spain, during the reign of King Charles 1V of Spain, 1788 - 1808. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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