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Retranscription of the Apheça manuscripts

The archives of Guillaume Apheça contain precious information, in particular registers of departures and payments for Argentina from 1856 to 1913. The Euskal Argentina Association has retranscribed this information.

The registers of Guillaume Apheça

An eloquent account

Apheça agentearen erregistro batThe emigration agent's documents include a mixture of notebooks, files, letters and numerous papers which belonged to Guillaume Apheça.

The most important source in these archives is all the registers containing emigrant embarkation lists.

Almost 15 000 people, mostly from Lower Navarre and Soule, left through the services of Guillaume Apheça.

The modernisation of sailing methods influenced the wave of emigration. In the second half of the 19th century, the number of emigration agencies increased and competed against each other.

The most important in the Basque Country was Apesteguy in Bayonne which employed eleven agents. The Etchebarne agency in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port had two agents and covered the Basque Country's inland area.

Despite shorter sailing times, due to the change from sailboats to steamboats, travelling conditions nevertheless remained very harsh.

Further details:

Transcription of manuscripts

The Euskal Argentina Association has retranscribed the Apheça registers in an excel computer file. Each entry or passenger's reference contains the following fields (sometimes left blank):

  • Register number
  • Date of departure
  • Place of origin
  • Name (including maiden name) and first name(s)
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Number of emigrants
  • Relation
  • Bill of exchange
  • Payment due date
  • Receipt
  • Advance payment
  • Credit
  • Payment
  • Instalments
  • Notes by Apheça
  • Emigration agent (or sub-agent)
  • Ship's name
  • Port of departure
  • Boat's destination
  • Captain


In 1866 the Sangla family from Amorots-Succos embarked in Bordeaux on the "Saint-Jacques" (whose captain was Hiriart). Jean the father, Marie the mother and 3 children aged 8, 4 and 2. G.Apheça lent them the fare (300 + 300 + 450) which the intermediaries Rodes & Hiriart, collected in Argentina.

An adapted version of the retranscription

To put this work online a database was created that can be consulted free of charge at

The online database is an adapted version of the original file in so far as only part of the register's descriptive fields for each passenger is accessible to the public, ie.

  • Register number
  • Emigrant's surname (maiden name if applicable) and first name(s)
  • The emigrant's number in this register
  • Sex (useful if no first name given or if first name confusing)
  • Date of departure (or payment)
  • Place of origin (or residence at time of departure)
  • Any relation (with other emigrants)
  • Ship's name
  • Port of departure

Before searching, consult the Search Guide.

Users who wish to access additional data not accessible in the database can contact the Euskal Argentina Association.

Guillaume Apheça

AphezaGuillaume Apheça (1828-1919) was from Domezain-Berraute (Soule) and worked as an emigration agent for the Bordeaux Colson Agency between 1856 and 1913.
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Apheça Registers: Online partners

Partaideak - AphezaThe Basque Cultural Institute, the Euskal Argentina Association and the Friends of the Museum of Lower Navarre have come together to make this information available to the public.
[+] See the partners' presentations