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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Spanish Baca family come from? What is the Spanish Baca family crest and coat of arms? When did the Baca family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Baca family history?

The origins the old family name Baca can be found within medieval Spain. While the patronymic and metronymic surnames, which are derived from the name of the father and mother respectively, are the most common form of a hereditary surname in Spain, occupational surnames also emerged during the late Middle Ages. The Germanic speaking Visigoths, who conquered Spain from the mid-5th to 8th centuries, and the Arabic and Muslim Moors, who conquered the Spanish homeland from the 8th to 12th centuries, influenced Spanish names. Since Spain was periodically dominated by both of these nations in its past, it shared much in common with both the Visigoths and the Muslims in the occupations they described. Many people, such as the Baca family, adopted the name of their occupation as their surname. However, an occupational name did not become a hereditary surname until the office or type of employment became hereditary. The surname Baca was an occupational name for a farmer or cowherd.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Baca, de Baca, Baquero, Baquera, Baquer, Baquerizo, Vaca, de Vaca, Vacas, Vacario, Vacaro, Vaquero and many more.

First found in Castile, an important Christian kingdom of medieval Spain.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baca research. Another 411 words(29 lines of text) covering the year 1228 is included under the topic Early Baca History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 31 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Baca Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

  • Hernando de Baca sailed to New Spain in 1536
  • Cristóbal Baca sailed to New Spain in 1536 with his children
  • Juan Baca Coronel sailed to New Spain in 1537
  • Melchor Baca sailed to Peru in 1592

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  • Elfego Baca (1865-1945), American self-appointed sherriff and lawman who inspired the 1958 Disney miniseries The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca
  • Judith Francisca Baca (b. 1946), American artist and activist
  • Jimmy Santiago Baca (b. 1952), American poet and writer of Apache and Chicano descent
  • Joseph F Baca, American Supreme Court justice
  • Lee F Baca Jr., American meteorologist
  • John Philip Baca (b. 1949), former United States Army soldier and recipient of Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart


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  1. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  2. Archivo General De Indias, Sevilla. Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias durante los Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII Edited by the docents of the General Indian Archives under the Director of the Archives, Don Cristobal Bermudez Plata 3 Volumes - Volume 1 1509-1534. Sevilla, Spain: Imprenta de la Gavidia, 1940. Print.
  3. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  4. Domínguez, C. Hispano de Apellidos y Blasones. 4 Vols. 2001. Print.
  5. de Cadenas, Vicente Y Viicent. Caballeros de La Orden de Santiago Siglo XVIII. Madrid: Hidalguía, 1996. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Maduell, Charles R. Compiler Index of Spanish Citizens Entering the Port of New Orleans Between January 1840 and December 1865. New Orleans: The Compiler, 1966. Print.
  8. García Carraffa, Alberto and Arturo. Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos 88 Volumes. Madrid: A. Marzo. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Chronological list of passengers to Spanish America (including Florida and Louisiana, 1538-1559). From documents in the "Indian Archives". Sevilla. Print.
  11. ...

The Baca Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Baca Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 May 2014 at 20:10.

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