[CSIC Research Professor. Institute of Galician Studies Padre Sarmiento]

Old and new lineages in the kingdom of Galicia (XIII-XV centuries)

As I anticipated on a previous occasion, the triumph and consolidation of the system of vertical or agnatic kinship, a process that can be located around the 12th and 13th centuries, had a consequent reflection in the social crystallization of the concept of lineage. Therefore, as far as the old kingdom of Galicia is concerned, the earliest lineages that can be clearly identified are some family branches derived from the old Traba of the medieval plenitude: thus, the Limia, the Novoa and the so-called Orcellón, in addition to the Castro - of Castilian origin but already Galicianized at the beginning of the 13th century - and about twenty other large family groups, such as the Valladares, Meira and Sarraça, the Rodeiro, Camba and Gres, the Mariño, Soga and Lobeira, the Deza, Churruchao and Gallinato, the Ulloa, Abeancos, Medín and Temes, the Valcárcel, Balboa and Cornado, or the Sanabria, Losada and Somoza. Throughout the 14th century, but particularly after the enthronement of the Trastámaras, notable changes would occur in the composition of this initial group: the biological extinction of some family groups, the loss of power and the political prostration of others, made possible the formation and rapid rise of another good number of more or less new lineages, most from Galicia and some from abroad. Some and others would integrate, at great risk, the set of what can be called Galician "historical lineages" - about 60 or 65 in total -, while the consolidation of their patrimony and the establishment of their signs of identity took place shortly after dynastic conflict of the 14th century.

From here a first general overview could be drawn. In the Pontevedra area, in the first place, the leading role would be shared by the Gago, the Avendaño, the Aballe, the Cru and Montenegro, the Agulla, the Aldao... Towards the north, the Acosta, the Suárez del Reino, the Romay, the Pazos will also stand out de Proven... And towards the south, approaching the edge of Portugal, would be the Arines, the Troncoso, the Alemparte, the Araujo or the Correa. In the A Coruña area, the Apontes and the Montotos would participate actively in the urban life of the capital, often associated – or linked – with the oldest lineages in the area. Towards the north, the Freijomil, the Mandiá, the Pita da Veiga or the Serantes would also appear, and towards the lands of Bergantiños the Carantoña, the Riobóo, the Pardiñas and Villardefrancos, or the Leis. In Betanzos, which was the capital of one of the old provinces of the Galician kingdom, the landscape dominated by the Andrades, the Pardos, the Figueroas and the Vilouzás would be completed by others equally old, but coming from other places, such as the Párrega, the Mariñas , the Piñeyro, the Noguerol, the Lemos or the Villamarín, although all of them would later be joined by other more modern lineages, as was the case with the Taibo. And in the Compostela space, along with the great lineages of the region and others linked to the ecclesiastical sphere, some former bourgeois would stand out, such as the Ocampos or the Abraldes, as well as other lineages coming from different parts of Galician geography, such as the Cao de Cordido or the España , and others from outside Galicia, such as the Mondragón or the Acevedo family. In the Ourense area, the Puga, the Tangil, the Ambía, the Feijó, the Villamarín, the Gato, the Salgado, the Sotelo, the Oca would dominate... In the city of Ourense, with a hectic local life in which many of them will participate with increasing authority, especially the first, who were regents and linked themselves to the Sarmientos, will also include the Gayosos, the Seixas and the Noguerols, the three coming from the Lucan lands, and also the Mosquera, who would represent the interests of the House of Lemos. And in lands in the province of Lugo, finally, the Alfeirán, Cervo, Cora, Galo, Vizoso or Pedrosa would dominate the Viveiro area. The Luaces, the Basanta, the Miranda, the Ron, the Cabarcos or the Teixeiro would do it in the lands of Mondoñedo, while the Gaibor, the Picado, the Prado, the Gayoso and the Lugo, the Páramo, the Neira or the Cedrón would appear in the area urban area of ​​Lugo. And the Gundín, the Moure, the Saco, the Quiroga, the Varela, the Garza or the Goyanes would occupy solid positions in the southern lands of the province. This brief panorama would still be completed as the fifteenth century progressed, especially during the second half of the century, given the growing weight that another small number of lineages of diverse origin would acquire in Galician life, many new and some not so much, and most of them having enriched in the shadow of the monasteries and cathedrals, at the same time reaching an undoubted prominence among the pungent urban oligarchies.

All these old and new lineages, with a number that will approach a hundred and a half at the very least, will form the main nucleus of the great noble concert of Galicia in the modern centuries. Numerically, they constituted little more than two percent of the Galician population and at the final moment – ​​at the beginning of the 19th century – they would reach an approximate figure of no more than 10,000 individuals.

Eduardo Pardo de Guevara y Valdes

Research Professor of the CSIC
Father Sarmiento Institute of Galician Studies

Ponteceso (A Coruña), 1952.

PhD in Medieval History from the Complutense University of Madrid (1984), where he taught in the Department of Paleography and Diplomacy. In 1988 he joined the CSIC and was stationed at the "Milá i Fontanals" Institution (Barcelona) and later at the History Institute (Madrid). In 1994 it was incorporated as Senior Scientist to the Father Sarmiento Galician Studies Institute (IEGPS), where he successively ascended to scientific researcher (in 2002) and finally a research professor (in 2008).

His lines of research focus on the field of History of the Middle Ages, particularly between the 13th and 15th centuries, paying specific attention to the social history of power (political and social history of power groups in Galicia). He also cultivates the studies of medieval Genealogy and Heraldry.

He was principal investigator of about thirty competitive national and regional projects, as well as numerous research contracts. He is the author of more than a hundred articles and twenty books and editions. Among his most well-known works is the Spanish heraldry manual (1987, Aldaba Ediciones, and 2000, Edimat) and, in relation to Galicia, Don Pedro Fernández de Castro, VII Count of Lemos (1996, Xunta de Galicia), Sticks, girdles and checks. The fusion of armories in Galicia during the 13th to 16th centuries (1997, Provincial Council of Lugo), The lords of Galicia (2000, Barrie de la Maza Foundation), Don Pedro Alvarez Osorio. A 15th-century Bercian nobleman (2008, Pedro Alvarez Osorio Foundation), Of lineages, relatives and power groups. Contributions to the social history of the Galician late medieval nobility (2012, Cultural Foundation of the Spanish Nobility) or Kinship and identity in medieval Galicia (2016, Body of the Nobility of the Ancient Kingdom of Galicia) e a do volume edition Women with power in medieval Galicia (13th-15th centuries). Studies, biographies and documents (2017, Annex 44 of CEG, Editorial CSIC), which includes sixty biographies of his authorship. His latest post is Lineages and armories in the kingdom of Galicia (13th-16th centuries), Xunta de Galicia, 2022 (editions in French, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Galician).

He is director of the IEGPS, as well as vice-president of the Spanish Committee of Historical Sciences, president of International Institute of Genealogy and Heraldry and academic vice president of the Iberoamerican Confederation of Genealogy. He is also a member of Galician Culture Council and of various advisory commissions of the Galician regional administration, such as the "Comisión de Heraldica da Xunta de Galicia", of which he is vice-president.

On the other hand, he is academic in number, among others, from International Academy of Heraldry, a International Academy of Genealogy and the Royal Matritense Academy of Heraldry and Genealogy, as well as correspondent in Lugo of the Royal Academy of History and honorary academic or correspondent in Spain of more than twenty European and American institutes and academic corporations.

He was institutional delegate of the CSIC in Galicia (2012-2019) and director of the magazine Galician Studies Notebooks and of his two bibliographic series, "Annejos" and "Monografías", as well as responsible for the collection "Galicia Histórica", published by the Barrié Foundation (currently he is responsible for the bibliographic series Annexes of Galician Notebooks and member of the advisory committees of several Spanish scientific journals).