Recorded as de Bengoechea, Bengoechea, Bengochea, Bengoetxea, the latter being Basque, and no doubt others, this is a Spanish surname of great antiquity. It is residential and cognate with the English surname Townend or Townsend. As such it describes a person who lived at a house at the end of a street. It originates from the words 'beenego' meaning furthest away, or possibly furthest down, and 'etxe', a house or dwelling. Although we have not been able to trace such a place, it may also be, or have been, locational from a place of the same name, as almost all the earliest recordings that we have been able to find, refer to the spelling of 'de Bengoechea.' In this case 'de' means of, or sometimes from. These early recordings from the time of King Phillip 11nd of Spain, include Juan de Bengoechea, at Santa Maria Galdacano, Vizcaya, on Agust 15th 1581, when he was a baptismal witness to his son Martin. Other later recordings include Maria de Bengoechea at Alsasua, Navarra, on February 4th 1673, and Arrasate Bengoechea, the son of Juan Antonio Francisco de Bengoechea at Lequietio, Vizcaya, on February 3rd 1765. However spelt the surname is clearly most associated with the province of Vizcaya, and almost 90% of all recordings are to be found there.
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