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buber.net > Basque > Surname > Z > Zabala
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Zabala literally means wide and open. I think the surname means a cleared space, without trees.

History and Locality
Zabala is a very common surname and there are many caserios with this surname in all of Bizkaia. In the area near that of your family there are caserios with this name in Muxica, Etxebarria, Izpazter, Berriatua, Zenarruza, and Nabarniz. Since your father is from Nabarniz and the Uberuagas didn't come from Nabarniz, we can suppose that they arrived to this town with the marriage to a woman with the surname Zabala de Nabarniz. In Nabarniz there are four caserios Zabala: Zabala Jauregi (Zabala Palace), Zabala Goxeazkoa (Zabala of above), Zabala Etxebarria (the new house Zabala), Zabala Beazkoa (Zabala of below), Zabala Andikoetxea (the large house Zabala), and Zabala Inchaurreta (Zabala of the walnut). Today there exist surnames such as Zabala, Zabalbeaskoa, and Zabalgojeaskoa. In 1796, persons with the surname Zabala or Zabala and something more lived in all of these caserios. So, it is possible that your surname was larger at one time.

Coat of Arms
There are families with the surname Zabala in Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, and Araba. I have chosen the coat- of-arms of one of the Zabala of Bizkaia: de gules, con una cruz de calatrava, de oro y en cada angulo del escudo un sotuer del mismo metal. Bordura de sinople con cuatro veneras de plata y cuatro castillos de oro alternando.

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Eskerrik asko!