Genealogical Oddities (XII): A Flemish Lady’s 1717 Last Will in Madrid

On 10 November 1717 a lady made her will before Madrid notary Domingo de Munilla y Zuazo. He wrote that she identified herself as Doña Guillerma Bambec, though she said that she was commonly – and mistakenly – known here as Doña Catalina. The notary said that she was a native of ‘Bucsel, Jurisdiction of Brabant, Flanders’ – perhaps an error for Brussels or even a phoneticisation of Bruxelles, as we cannot be sure of her linguistic skills (or of the notary’s). She had been married twice, both husbands having predeceased her; the first is named as Santigo de Acota [possibly a Spanish version of a Flemish name] by whom she had a son, Juan de Acota, and through him a granddaughter, Catalina de Acota. Guillerma’s second husband had been Guillermo Bomal. The testator also left 25 gold ducats to her niece, Guillerma Fandastorma, resident of Antwerp, daughter Adrian Bandastorma and Maria Bambec. Unfortunately all of these names seem to have been rendered by a scribe entirely unfamiliar with Flemish spelling but, perhaps, someone with knowledge of the area and its families can make sense out of it all.

SOURCE: Records of Notary Domingo Munilla y Zuazo, 1717, P. 188; Archivo Histórico de Protocolos, Madrid.