Like their ancestors before them, the Aranetas showed their heroism during the Philippine Revolution. General Juan Anaclecto Araneta, Pablo Soriano Araneta, Gregorio Soriano Araneta, Marciano Soriano Araneta and Jose Soriano Araneta, exemplified the meaning of honor and valor fighting the Spanish tyranny in the Philippines. Their revolutionary actions were supported by Felix Araneta y Militante, Agaton M. Araneta, Ceferina Araneta de Esteban, Eusebio Araneta, Casimiro Araneta, Faustino Araneta and many other family members. They bore within their hearts the family legacy of nationalism and pride. Indeed, the Aranetas proved their nobility, with its roots traced to their Basque ancestors, could never be erased by distance and time.
According to the Philippine Insurgents' Records of the National Library, sub-titled, "Las Familias Insurrectos del Pueblo de Molo", the Araneta family actively participated in the Philippine Revolution against Spain in 1896 - 1898. Don Felix Araneta y Militante, an influential supporter of the revolutionary movement in Iloilo, his brother Agaton M. Araneta, and sister Ceferina Araneta de Esteban, were all listed in the said Las Familias Insurrectos del Pueblo de Molo. While some members of the family were involved in the covert operations of the revolutionary movement, others distinguished themselves in the field of battles.
On August 28, 1898, Pablo Araneta y Soriano a General of the Panay Revolutionary Forces, together with General Martin Delgado, encountered several fierce battles in San Miguel, Pavia and in the outskirt of Jaro, more notably the battle of Oton to Arevalo. Along with General Angel Corteza and General Leandro Fullon of Antique, who fired the first shot, they crushed the Spanish Garrisons. His brother, Jose Araneta y Soriano, was a "Capitan" assigned to the revolutionary headquarters in Pavia, also fought in the battle of Tacas, Balangtan in Jaro. The Aranetas of Anilao, headed by Eusebio Araneta, with Casimiro, Emilio, Mariano, and Faustino Araneta, also actively fought the Spaniards. Emboldened by their success, the Ilongos formed a revolutionary government from which evolved the Republic of the Visayas in early December. Their main objective was to drive the Spaniards out of Panay province.
In La Carlota, Negros Occidental, Marciano Araneta y Soriano, with his younger brother Anastacio Araneta y Soriano, led the revolutionary forces that fought and captured the General Headquarters of the Spanish Garrison in Mangkas, presently known as La Carlota. Anastacio, who fought valiantly for the freedom of his country, was shot and killed during the battle by the remnants of the "guardia civil". Marciano Araneta y Soriano became a founding member of the Cantonal Government of the Independent Federal Republic of Negros.
Gregorio Araneta y Soriano, another brother, was a member of the National Assembly representing the province of Iloilo. He advocated reforms for the welfare of the Filipino people. On the fourteenth of September 1898, he was appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as the first Secretary General and a delegate to the Malolos Republic. Gregorio Araneta was also a member of the committee to draft the Constitution. He was the youngest Secretary of Justice of the Philippine Republic, circa September 26, 1898.
Juan Anacleto Araneta y Torres, an illustrious and influential resident of Bago, Negros Occidental and Aniceto Lacson, were both designated Commanding General of the Negros Revolutionary Federal Republic.The Negrense revolutionaries agreed that the revolt would begin on November 3, 1898. It was to be led by Aniceto Lacson with Nicloas Golez of Silay City as deputy commander. South of Bacolod City, the revolt would be led by Juan Araneta of Bago City, with Rafael Ramos of Himamaylan as deputy commander. On November 5, 1898, a messenger from Talisay brought news that the revolutionaries and the cazadores were already engaged in skirmishes.
Governor of the province, Isidro de Castro, sent a force of 25 [i]cazadores and 16 civil guards to engage a swarm of rebels seen camping near the Matab-ang River. After a brief skirmish, they withdrew, leaving two of their number dead. The Governor decided to make a stand in the Bacolod Convent (presently the Bishop's Palace), where hundreds of Spanish families had taken refuge. They waited for the attack, but it did not come. In the morning, of November 6, the rebels advanced upon Bacolod. Lacson and Golez approached from the north, crossing the Mandalagan River. Araneta with a thousand bolo-men took positions at the Lupit River in the south-east of Bacolod. In case they contact with each other, the password was utod (brother) in Hiligaynon. The wily revolutionaries augmented their lightly-armed men with "cannon" made of bamboo and rolled amakan, and "rifles" carved out of wood and coconut fronds. The bluff worked; Governor Castro was persuaded that it was useless to defend the capital.
Jose Luis de Luzuriaga, a rich businessman who was deemed acceptable to both rebels and Spanish authorities was sent to mediate. At noon, a delegation from each of the major belligerents met at the house of Luzuriaga. The rebel delegation included Lacson, Araneta, Golez, Locsin, Simon Lizares, Julio Diaz and Jose Montilla. In an hour, it was agreed by both sides that "Spanish troops both European and native surrendered the town and its defenses uncondionally, turning over arms and communication" and the "public funds would be turned over to the new government".
November 6. 1898, therefore, is the day that the revolution in Negros triumphed. Araneta and his men raised the Philippine flag for the first time and a cantonal form of government was established in Bacolod with General Aniceto Lacson as President and General Juan Anacleto Araneta as Secretary of War.
The Federal Republic of the Visayas and the Independent Federal Republic of Negros, (which were greatly influenced by the Araneta family), and the well-established Malolos Republic fizzled-out and ultimately decided to unite for a common cause which eventually paved the way for the birth of the first Philippine Republic.
The last page of the [i]Acta de Capitulacion (Surrender Document).
According to historical accounts and testimonies obtained from the elders in the family, the Philippine Aranetas originated from the Basque region of Northern Spain.
In 1723, during the Galleon Trade, two brothers named Baltazar de Araneta and Don Jose de Araneta arrived in Manila aboard the Spanish Galeón ,"La Sacra Familia". They came from the Basque region of Spain by way of Acapulco, Mexico. This is, however, not conclusive, as some members of the family disputed that the two are not brothers as Don Jose de Araneta might have been born in Gipuzkoa, while Baltazar de Araneta was born in Mexico.
There are many conflicting testimonies about the beginning of the first Philippine Aranetas. Many of these stories were passed down verbally from generation to generation, so it is more likely than not, that these stories have changed along the way. Some has it that Don Jose de Araneta was born in Zamboanga. If he was born in Zamboanga, he therefore can not be the same Don Jose de Araneta who arrived in Manila in 1723. Other stories have it that an Araneta from the Basque region of Spain first settled in Zamboanga, while others say that the first Aranetas in the Philippines began with two brothers from Mexico, who were priests. Until documentations to substantiate these stories are found, the true facts will remain unknown.
From articles written by Santiago Gomez [El Galeón de Manila en el siglo XVIII, Navios de la Carrera de Filipinas] in reference to Baltazar de Araneta and Juan de Araneta. To wit: ''The Galeón Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragosa", under the command of General Baltazar de Araneta and his ship master, Captain Jose Antonio de la Madrid, sailed from Cavite on July 31, 1736, accompanied by the flagship N.S. Cavadonga, and that it arrived in Acapulco, Mexico, four months later. The same ship returned to Manila on August 20, 1739, (on board the ship was the newly appointed governor to the Philippines Gaspar Antonio de la Torre).
Baltazar de Araneta served the Spanish government as Regidor of the Cabildo and Secretary of the Charitable Fraternity of the Misericordia in Manila. He married Manuela de Aguirre. Baltazar de Araneta died in Manila in 1750. One line of the Araneta family descended from him.
Also, there was the Galeón Santisima Trinidad y Nuestra Senora del Buen Fin, familiarly known as El Pederoso (The mighty). The governor, Jose Francisco Ovando y Solis ordered its construction in the yards of Bagatao (island of Luzon), to replace the Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga that was captured by British Admiral George Anson, commander of the frigate HMS Centurion. Built in 1751, it was one of the largest ships in the islands. Its first trip departed in mid 1751 under the command of General D. Francisco Ustariz, and his ship master, Captain Juan de Araneta. Without any setbacks, it returned to the Philippines in the spring of 1752.
A passage quoted from the book (Islas Filipinas: Mindanao Vol.11), by Benito Francia and Julian Gonzales Parrado, translated from the Chabacano dialect by Datu Michael Mastura, established two facts: First, Don Jose de Araneta served the Spanish Politico-Military Government of Mindanao based in Zamboanga City. Second, he served as interpreter between the Spanish colonial government and the Sultan of Maguindanao, along with Placido Alberto de Saavedra. Another passage from the book revealed that in 1746, Don Jose Araneta was executed in Sulugan, Mindanao, nowadays known as Anuling, in Cotabato, Philippines. There are conflicting information drawn from translations of various documents pertaining to him.
Before the turn of the century, two of Don Jose's sons, Mathias Araneta and Vicente Araneta left Zamboanga province for Iloilo. They settled in Parian [Molo]. Don Jose's other son, Benito, followed them afterwards. Years later, Vicente Araneta, with his family, moved and established their residence in the province of Negros Occidental, starting the Negros branch of the family.
The Philippine Aranetas of today are descendants of Don Jose de Araneta and Baltazar de Araneta.
Portal Archivos General de Indies (Por Santiago Gomez).
Islas Filipinas: Mindanao (Por Benito Francia and Julian G. Parredo).
Footnote: The Galeón Nuestra Senora de Guia, arrived in Manila from Acapulco, Mexico six years later in August 9, 1729 and not 1723, as circulated from a leaflet during the Araneta grand reunion in Iloilo in 1993. (Source Archivo General de Indies, pp.32-33, Ruta Acapulco - Filipinas). The Galeón La Sacra Familia, arrived in Manila in 1723. (See source Overview of Galleons to / from Philippines, 1565 - 1815).
PHILIPPINE POLITICS AND ITS GENEALOGY By Todd Lucero Sales
Published in Manila Bulletin & Cebu Daily News on June 2008
In fact in a complicated and Byzantine manner. almost all of our former leaders, prominent families and many of our current were and are related to one another, in one way or the other, other many times over. Most of all, these political leaders have paved the way for the perpetuation of kinship based politics. Politics in the Philippines was, is, and has always been, like the interrelated Rajahs and Datus and Sultans of pre - Hispanic Philippines, a birthright. To start off, one of President Emilio Famy Aguinaldo's granddaughters, Ameurfina Melencio Herrera, served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court and was the second Filipina elevated to the high court. Two grandsons, Reynaldo Aguinaldo and Federico Aguinaldo Poblete, served as Mayors of Kawit, Cavite while two great-grandsons, Joseph Emilio Abaya and Emilio Aguinaldo IV served, respectively, as Cavite first district congressional representative and Kawit, Cavite councilor. President Aguinaldo's first cousin's, General Baldomero Aguinaldo, great-grandson was Cesar E.A. Virata, a Prime Minster of the Philippines under President Marcos (click here to see Aguinaldo Family Tree).
The Virata family, through marriage, is connected with the Acuña family. One Acuña member married into the prominent and rich Roxas family of Capiz, which is a branch of the Roxas family of Manila. The product of this marriage was former President Manuel A. Roxas, whose son Gerardo "Gerry" Roxas was a former Senator and whose grandson, Mar Roxas II is a Senator of the Republic. Also, due to his dalliance with Juanita McIlvain, former Miss Universe Margarita "Margie" Moran Floirendo just happens to be President Roxas' granddaughter. Margie Moran is also married to Representative Antonio "Tonyboy" Floirendo. President Manuel Roxas' wife, Trinidad de Leon, was the daughter of former Senator Ceferino de Leon. Senator de Leon's brother, Jose, married Doña Narcisa "Sisang" Buencamino, who became one of the most successful movie magnates of her time when she chartered her family-owned LVN Pictures into a dominant position in post-World War II Philippine cinema.. Narcisa's first cousin's son was Philip Buencamino, who married Nene Quezon, daughter of President Manuel Luis Quezon.
Further, another scion of the Roxas family was Margarita Roxas, who was the first cousin of President Roxas's great-great-grandfather and whose marriage to Antonio de Ayala produced Trinidad de Ayala. Trinidad later married Jacobo Zobel and started the legendary Zobel De Ayala family.
Some of the branches of the Roxas family married into the other aristocratic families of Manila: the Aranetas (Senator Gerry Roxas married Judy Araneta y Araneta), Ayalas, Elizaldes, Prietos, and more. One Roxas descendant is Enrique Zobel, head of the Ayala Group of companies; two others are the brothers Jose and Andres Soriano, current heads of San Miguel Corporation which their father started. Through the Roxas family's connection with the Aranetas, former Tourism Secretary and first Filipina Miss International titleholder Gemma Teressa Cruz-Araneta is also related by marriage to Pres. Roxas (click here to see the Roxas-Zobel-Soriano Family Tree) Gemma Cruz-Araneta's husband's cousin, Jorge L. Araneta, married the first Miss International, Maria Stella Marquez, who now runs the Binibining Pilipinas Pageant. It must also be remembered that Gemma Cruz's paternal great-grandmother was Doña Maria Rizal, the sister of Philippine national hero, Jose P. Rizal. Furthermore, Gemma Cruz's mother, Carmen, married twice. Her second husband was Angel Nakpil, the nephew of Julio Nakpil, composer of a second version of the Philippine National Anthem, who in turn was the second husband of Gregoria De Jesus, the "Muse of the Katipunan". Gregoria de Jesus was also the widow of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio, who, some historians claim, was murdered upon the orders of Emilio Aguinaldo. Similarly, two of Gemma's first cousins, Paz and Maria Cruz Banaad, married Bienvenido and Roberto Laurel, respectively, relatives of President Jose P. Laurel. President Laurel's own father, Sotero Laurel, was a member of the Malolos Congress of 1898 and his pedigree claims descent from Gat Masungit, allegedly a son of a Sultan of Brunei in the 1500s. Several of President Laurel's children became famous politicians in their own right. His eldest son, Jose Bayani, Jr., became Speaker of the House of Representatives and a candidate for vice-president in 1957 (Jose Macario Laurel, the eldest son of Jose B. Laurel, was a former Batangas Representative). His younger son, Salvador Roman "Doy" Laurel, was Vice-President from 1986 to 1992. Three other of Laurel's children also became prominent in politics and business. Sotero Cosme was elected to the Senate from 1987 to 1992; Jose Sotero Laurel III became Ambassador to Japan; and Mariano H. Laurel became president of the Philippine Banking Corporation (click here to see the Laurel-Rizal-Bonifacio connection).
Further into the Araneta family, two more of its members married presidential daughters; the first one being Juan Miguel Arroyo (of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental and a great-grandson of Negros Island Revolutionary leader Gen. Aniceto Ledesma Lacson and Rosario Emilia Araneta). He married then Ex President Ms. Gloria M. Macapagal, daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal. Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo's grandfather, Senator Jose Maria Pidal Arroyo, married Jesusa Araneta -Lacson, thus lining him to Senator Panfilo Lacson. Also, because the Macapagals have always maintained that they are direct descendants of Lakandula, the last King of Tondo, they can also claim to be related, albeit very distantly, from the royal family of Brunei. Thus, not only are GMA and President Laurel related many times over by marriage, they are also blood relatives because of their claimed descent from the royal house of Brunei.
The second Araneta to marry a presidential daughter was Gregorio Maria "Greggy" Araneta, who married Irene Romualdez Marcos, the youngest child of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and Imelda Romualdez. (click here to see the Araneta connections). This Araneta-Marcos marriage further stretches these already complicated family connections, because Congressman Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is married to New York educated lawyer Mary Louise "Liza" Araneta-Marcos who is a grandniece of business tycoon J. Amado Araneta.
Ferdinand Marcos' grandfather's sister, Crispina Marcos, married Hilario Valdez. Their daughter, Angela Marcos Valdez, married Ambassador Narciso Ramos, who was also a district representative of Pangasinan from 1934 to 1946 and was the father of Fidel V. Ramos, also a President of the Republic, and Leticia Ramos-Shahani, a former Senator. Two nephews of President Ramos, Ranjit R. Shahani and Hernani Braganza, served as Governor of Pangasinan and Mayor of Alaminos City, Pangasinan, respectively. Narciso Ramos, after becoming a widower, married Alfonsita Lucero, whose father's maternal family, the Birondos of Argao, Cebu, married into the Almendras family of Cebu and Davao.
One of Alfonsita's cousins, William Birondo, married Kukit Tecala, whose uncle, Pedro Tecala Sr., married Sofronia Almendras. Two of Sofronia's siblings married into political families. Her brother, Paulo Almendras, married Elisea Durano, the daughter of Demetrio Durano and progenitor of the Durano family that has ruled Danao and Sogod, Cebu for many years. Its most popular member is Ace Durano, the present Tourism Secretary.
A son of Paulo Almendras was Senator Alejandro Almendras, whose marriage to a Bendigo of Davao City connected them to the ruling families of Davao: the Banggoys, Palma Gils, Lizadas, Nograleses, and many others. The current Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives is Davao City congressman Prospero "Boy" Nograles. The current mayor of Davao, Rodrigo Duterte, is also of the Duterte family of Danao, a rival political clan of the Duranos but one allied to them maritally, many times over. Senator Almendras' brother, Josefino, married Rosita Dimataga, the sister of Leonila Dimataga, who in turn was the wife of President Carlos P. Garcia. President Garcia's father, Policronio, served as a mayor of Talibon, Bohol (click here to see the Ramos-Garcia-Durano connections).
Several other cousins of Narciso Ramos's second wife Alfonsita, married into other political families or were themselves personalities in the Philippines: one cousin is Hilario G. Davide, Jr., former Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court and now the country's permanent ambassador to the United Nations; another, Simeon L. Kintanar, served as Cebu's second district representative to Congress; still another, James Lucero, married Nazarena Soon, whose sister, Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, is currently a member of the House of Representatives; still another cousin, Procopio C. Lucero, Jr. married Gliseria Gullas, the daughter Paulino Gullas and sister of Eduardo and Jose Gullas, all of whom served as members of the House of Representatives; still another cousin was Januaria Taguenca Cabrera, who married Don Victoriano Osmeña, an uncle of President Sergio Osmeña. Among all the Philippine presidential families, the Osmeñas of Cebu have had the most number of members who served in the government to date. Excluding Sergio Sr., the family has had four senators and four members of the House of Representatives. The clan has also produced a governor, a vice governor, a provincial board member, mayors, vice mayor, and several councilors. The Osmeña family remains the premier political dynasty of Cebu, and one of the most enduring dynasties in the country (click here to see the Ramos-Osmena-Cebu Reps. connections).
President Osmeña's half-sister was Doña Modesto Singson-Gaisano, the matriarch of the affluent Gaisano family of Cebu City. Modesta was a progeny of Don Pedro Gotiaoco, whose other descendants include Atty. Agusto Go, President of the University of Cebu and Honorary South Korean Consul; John Gokongwei, Jr., a great-grandson of Don Pedro Gotiaoco and the owner of Cebu Pacific, Robinson's Mall, JG Summit, and many more; and the Sy-Gaisano family, who operate chains of shopping malls all over Visayas and Mindanao. A grandson of the brother of Don Pedro is Andrew Gotianun, who owns the FILINVEST Group and the East West Bank (click here to see the tycoons of Cebu).
Imelda Romualdez's marriage to Marcos also brought in many famous personalities. Imelda's son, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., has served as Governor of Batac, Ilocos Norte while a daughter, Imee, currently a member of the House of Representatives, married Tommy Manotoc, whose mother was related to the wife of Eugenio "Genny" Lopez, whose family owns ABS-CBN, MERALCO, Sky Cable, and other major corporations in the country. A son of Imee Marcos and Tommy Manotoc is Borgie Manotoc, a model.
Aside from being a capitalist clan, the Lopezes are also into politics: one member, Fernando Lopez, was a former senator and served as Vice-President under President Elpidio Quirino and Ferdinand Marcos; all in all, six members of the Lopez clan have served as Vice-President, Senator, and House Representatives. A great-nephew, Manuel "Beaver" Lopez, Jr., married Jacqueline "Jackie" Estrada, daughter of President Joseph Ejercito "Erap" Estrada, whose own wife, Dr. Loi P. Estrada, and son, Jinggoy, have served as Senators of the Philippines.
Imelda's own niece, Marean Romualdez, daughter of her brother Leyte Governor Alfredo Romualdez, married Thomas Pompidou, the grandson of former French President Georges Pompidou (click here to see the Ramos-Marcos-Estrada connections).
Imelda's first cousin, Senator Danieling Romualdez, married Pacita Gueco of Tarlac. In an ironic twist of fate, Pacita Gueco happened to be the first cousin of Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. Of course, the Aquinos themselves are one of the premier political clans of the country and a scion of the Aquino clan was Senator Eva Estrada Kalaw, one of the Philippines' very first female senators. Ninoy Aquino's own grandfather, Don Servillano Aquino, was a member of the Malolos Congress while his father, Benigno Aquino, Sr., also served as Philippine Senator. A sister of Ninoy, Tessie A. Oreta, also became senator of the Philippines while uncles Agapito and Herminio and nephew Jesli A. Lapus, served as members of the House of Representatives. Ninoy's own son, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, currently sits as a Philippine Senator and, as already mentioned, is a presidential hopeful for the 2010 elections.
Ninoy's marriage to the heiress Corazon Cojuanco also allied his family to another political dynasty. Corazon Aquino, after her husband's heroic death in 1983, later became the country's first female Chief Executive. Her maternal family, the Sumulongs, have also produced several lawmakers: her grandfather, Juan Marquez Sumulong, was a three-term senator while an unlce, Lorenzo Sumulong, and cousins, Victor Sumulong and Emigdio S. Tanjuanco, Jr., served as members of the House of Representatives. The Cojuangco family, on the other hand, owns one of the oldest-existing haciendas in the country today, and the Cojuangcos control many of the country's business enterprises. Cory Aquino's eldest brother and the acknowledged patriarch of the clan, Don Pedro Cojuangco, is married to Sari Cacho-Cojuangco. Sari Cojuangco's sister Maria Milagros Cacho-Araneta is the mother of Liza Araneta-Marcos (Bongbong Marcos' wife). In fact, Liza Araneta-Marcos' sister was one the personal secretaries of Cory Aquino when she was President. They have also done very well in politics: Cory's own grandfather, Melecio, was a member of the HOR. Her brother Jose "Peping" Jr., cousins Eduardo "Danding" Jr., Mercedes, Carlos, and Marcos, and nephew Gilbert C. Teodoro, have all served as representatives to congress. Gilbert C. Teodoro, as mentioned above, is another 2010 elections presidential hopeful.
Further, two Cojuangcos, sons of Cory's cousins Ramon and Eduardo, respectively, married Rio Diaz (Charlie Cojuangco), sister of former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz and Gretchen Baretto (Tony Boy Cojuangco). Gretchen's sisters are Claudine and Marjorie, themselves married to actors. Cory's niece, equestrienne Mikee Cojuangco, married Dodot Jaworski, son of basketball legend and Sen. Robert Jaworski. Senator Jaworski, on the other hand, married Susan Bautista Revilla, daughter of Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr., whose son Bong Revilla was a former governor and Senator. This connection, no doubt, extends this family tree to most of the country's movie personalities (click here to see the Aquino-Cojuangco connections).
Clearly, this Byzantine illustration of family connections is proof of the intricacies of Philippine politics. In this short presentation, we have already linked no less than 12 of our 14 Presidents (click here to view diagram), one Prime Minister, two former Ms. Universe and two Ms. International titleholders (click here to view diagram), several senators, and many other personalities, political or otherwise. We have even connected our "Philippine Family Tree" to a former French President and the Royal family of Brunei! Imagine what further research into the other family trees could reveal?
Philippine politics, undoubtedly, is still a family affair.
Author's note: (1) The original title of this article was RP Politics: Family Affair. I have, since then, made a lot of improvements to the original article and now have actual charts to show how these people are related. (2) All the abovementioned facts can be checked. To give the readers an idea of where these information came from, I have collated genealogical data from several internet sites (GMA7's research during the SONA2007 really helped a lot), from books such as the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism's "The Rulemakers", and Alfred C. McCoy's "An Anarchy of Families". Many of the information here were collected over many years of research, and, just like an actual tree, this article will continue to expand as more genealogical data will come to light. Of course, corrections or additions to this article will be appreciated! Thanks also to Roland Oscar Araneta for sharing the Araneta Family website and for the many information I got that helped connect many personalities here. (Todd Lucero Sales).
Author's request: The writing of this article was a laborious process. While I am not asking for any payment for every reposting of this article, I would like to request all those who wish to cite or repost this article to please, please cite my name as a source. Thanks!
THE ARANETA FAMILY TREE
The Araneta family dates back from the early times when aristocracy was still prevalent. The family traces their ancestral roots back to ancient times in Aragon, Spain and from there, are scattered all over the world.
According to the historian, "Baron de Cobos" of Belchite, Aragon one branch of this family established their household in Gipuzkoa, one of the three provinces of Euskal Herria, the name given to the home of the Basque people, which today forms the Communidad Autónoma del "Pais Vasco" or "Euskadi" in Basque, and the Chartered Community of Navarra (Nafarroa). The Basques, first known to history as natives of modern-day Navarra and Aragon in the first century BC, are now predominantly found in an area known as the Basque Country. They mostly live by the western end of the Pyrenees Mountains in the Iberian Peninsula, down to the Bay of Biscay.
The family dwelled mostly near the mountains, which are surrounded by valleys, hence the name Araneta, the etymology of which is derived from the Basque term "aran" meaning valley, and the locative suffix "eta", which denotes a "place of". Thus, the initial bearer of the surname Araneta would have been someone who dwelled in a valley.
During the Middle Ages, and before the hereditary family name system was instituted, it was a practice to adopt a second name to be able to differentiate one individual from other with the same personal name. Surnames, as with languages in general, undergo spelling changes over time. This can be the result of exchanging letters which sound similar, or of scribes altering a name as it is recorded.
From the diverse unity which characterizes Spain, comes the distinguished Araneta family surname. Historians have studied the available records and it revealed that the original family ancestral seat first originated in Aragon, an ancient kingdom of Spain. One of the earliest record bearing the name Araneta is that of Martin de Araneta, who came from an aristocratic family of Basque origin. His name was recorded in a Castilian document dated 1227. Martin de Araneta was a Knight during the era of the Reconquest. He served and escorted Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Leon, in the conquest of Cordova, Murcia, Jaen, and Seville, from the Moors in 1217. He was granted innumerable amounts of lands when Ferdinand divided the conquered territories between his knights, the Church, and the Nobility, whom he enfeoffed with great latifundias.
According to Alberto and Arturo Garcia Garaffa, Basque writers and historians, the Aranetas had ancestral homes in the valleys of Gainza and Andoain in Gipuzkoa. A notable member of this household, Juan Francisco de Araneta, was ennobled in Gainza, circa 1683.
While the use of hereditary family names began in the Iberian peninsula in the thirteenth century, it was not until the sixteenth century that the practice became firmly established among the general populace. The Basque Country is filled with families of aristocratic and noble origins who, in the ancient times of shields and swords, earned their nobility by protecting their king and country from foreign invaders. The Spanish Crown, in granting the family a decree of the coat-of-arms, recognized the nobility of the Araneta family. It is found in the compilation of the land of " Basque and Navarres" (Vol 10 page 91 Enciclopedia Heraldica y Genealógica Hispano - Americano by Alberto and Arturo Garcia Carraffa).
National Historical Archive & Research Center.
Enciclopedia heráldica y genealógica hispano-americano (por Alberto y Arturo Garcia Garaffa).