Astete is a Spanish surname, from an ancient Basque - Castilian lineage. The etymology of "Astete" comes from the Basque language: "Aste" possibly a variation of "Arte" means oak, and "ete" is a suffix to nearby location. The most probable original locations, prior to the 16th century, are the regions of ancient Basque influence of the medieval Castile (such as La Bureba and the mountains of Burgos) and modern La Rioja. The earliest official records of Astetes occur in La Rioja, in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, in the province of Valladolid and Quintanaélez in the province of Burgos. They were hidalgos and had casas solariegas (ancient family seat) in Quintanaélez (Burgos), Valladolid and Salamanca.
The first immigrants to the Americas traveled there with expeditions in the 16th century. Today people of these surnames live mainly in Peru (the oldest branch), Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and USA. In Spain the surname is very rare today. Most Spanish Astete are descended from the branch that settled in Seville, Zahara de la Sierra and Grazalema (between the 17th and 18th centuries), and live in the province of Cádiz in Andalusia. The variant "Estete" is possibly from La Rioja, but occurred sporadically or as a result of spelling mistakes in other Spanish provinces.
People with historical significance
Pedro Astete - mayor of the town of Barcial de la Loma and holder of the local fortress; in 1521 he was involved in the Revolt of the Comuneros against the Royal authority in Castille. Possibly, the "Hidalgos" Astete de Ulloa from Quintanaélez are his descendants.
Gaspar Astete (b. Coca de Alba, 1537 - d. Burgos, 1601) - Jesuit theologian, his most famous book, Catecismo de la Doctrina Cristiana, had thousands of editions and is the most widely known religious book in Spanish language.
Juan Astete de Monroy (Valladolid, 1599 - Spanish Netherlands?) Spanish military, hidalgo of the wealthy family branch in Valladolid, Knight of Santiago's Order, poet and Lope de Vega's friend. He was an infantry captain of the famous Spanish Tercios at the Thirty Years' War, and fought in the Battle of Rocroi (1643). He was possibly killed in action in Flanders.
Pablo Astete- Military of the viceroyalty of Peru, was colonel of the royalist army. He was a personal friend to Túpac Amaru II; however as a royalist officer, he fought against Túpac during his rebellion (1781). As a battalion commander, fought in the battle of Huaqui (1811), a significant victory for the royalists against the Argentine independentists. He was defeated in Tucumán and Salta a few years later.
Domingo Luis Astete - Military and lawyer of the viceroyalty of Peru, was battalion commander, like his brother Pablo, in Huaqui, Tucuman and Salta. In 1814 he participated in the interim governing board of Cuzco, in the insurgence of the Brigadier Mateo Garcia Pumacahua and the Angulo brothers. But, he was soon harassed because of his aristocratic origin and left the movement.
Luis Germán Astete - (b. Lima, 1832 - d. Huamachuco, 1883) Peruvian military and politician, Captain of the Peruvian Navy. In 1877 he took command of the ironclad Huáscar and fought two British warships, in what was called the Pacocha Incident. He participated in the War of the Pacific and, after the defeat of the Peruvian navy, joined the army under General Andrés Avelino Cáceres. In the Battle of Huamachuco, he was the commander of the 4th army division and was killed in action.
Alejandro Velasco Astete - Peruvian military and aviator (b. Cuzco, 1897 - d. Puno, 1925); he was the first to fly over the Andes by plane (1925), taking off from Lima and landing at Cuzco. He died during the return trip in a plane crash in Puno.
Martin Estete - Spanish military and "conquistador" (b. Santo Domingo de la Calzada? - d. Lima, c.1537), came to the "Indias" with Diego de Nicuesa's expedition in 1510. He is considered the "immigrant ancestor", the first person of his surname to come to Americas. He received his first official appointment in 1521 in Panama; as the "right hand man" of governor Pedro Arias Dávila, he carried out explorations and military missions in Panama and Nicaragua. He was one of the founders of Trujillo, sub-governor, and charged with charting the urban layout of the city. 
Miguel Estete - Spanish military and conquistador (b. Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 1495 - d. Ayacucho about 1572), took part in the conquest of the Inca empire, participating in all major actions, including the capture of its last emperor, Atahualpa (1532). He saw the founding of San Miguel de Piura, chose the location for Trujillo and was among the first residents at Huamanga (now known as Ayacucho). During the conflict between the conquistadores (1535–1541), he allied with Diego de Almagro and Hernando de Soto against Pizarro and his brothers. He wrote a noted chronicle of the conquest, in which he described all events that occurred till the capture of Cuzco.
Miguel Astete - Local politician ("Alcalde ordinario") from Santo Domingo de la Calzada, in the 15th-century Kingdom of Castille, he is the first person with Astete surname to be found in official records (1466) and the first appointed to a political office.
Bartolomé Astete de Ulloa - Spanish hidalgo from Quintanaélez (b. Miraveche 1578 - d. Lima around 1662), official genearch (immigrant ancestor) of the "Astete family" in the Americas, with the military of the viceroyalty of Peru, was a miner and factor of the Potosí silver mines. He was Corregidor of Charcas and accountant of the royal treasury in Lima.
Manuel de Arce Otalora y Astete - Spanish magistrate (b. Oviedo 1644 - d. Valladolid? c. 1706), nephew of Don Juan Astete Monroy, was Knight of Santiago, criminal judge in Valladolid, corregidor of Guipúzcoa (1678 to 1682) and counselor of the Crown of Castile (1690 to 1705).
Domingo Astete y Mercado - Lawyer of the viceroyalty of Peru (18th century), aristocrat from Lima, he was the patriarch of the Astete clan of Cuzco and father of colonels Pablo and Domingo Luis (discussed in the section above)
Pedro Astete - Peruvian politician (19th century), grandson of the patriarch Don Domingo Astete from Cuzco, he was provincial deputy and diplomat 
Luis Astete y Concha - Peruvian painter (b. Lima 1866 - d. Lima 1914), portrayed many eminent people and politicians of the Peruvian society of his time.
Santiago Astete Chocano - Peruvian linguist (b. Cuzco ? - d. Lima 1975), was the main founder of the Quechua Language Academy in Cuzco, in the 1950. He created a translation method from Quechua to Spanish that is still widely used. He published articles and books about the Quechua language and its grammar, such as El lenguaje de los qeshuas hablado por el poblador del Ande peruano (1959).
The documents found for reference are only in spanish
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Astete" in simple or advanced search ("busqueda sencilla" or "avanzada"), especially refers to the files of the "Real Audiencia y Chancilleria de Valladolid", the "Concejo de Órdenes" in the unit "Archivo Historico Nacional," and the Casa de Contratación in the unit "Archivo General de Indias" 
- Colección diplomática calceatense: Archivo municipal, años 1207-1498 Eliseo Sáinz Ripa, Catedral (Santo Domingo de la Calzada - España) Instituto de estudios riojanos, 1989, page 53
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Gracian Astete "or" Garcian Astete "in simple or advanced search ("busqueda sencilla" or "avanzada") in the archives of the Real Audiencia y Chancilleria de Valladolid 
- Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos, by Alberto y Arturo García Carrafa. Volume 10, Page 174.
- Diccionario Hispanoamericano de Heráldica, by Endika de Mogrobejo. Volume VII, Pages 364 y 365
- National Statistics Institute of Spain 
- El movimiento comunero en los pueblos de Tierra de Campos, Luis Fernández Martín - Centro de Estudios e Investigación San Isidoro, 1979, page 333 and 335. 
- Father Gaspar Astete in Nomos
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Juan Astete Monroy" in simple or advanced search ("busqueda sencilla" or "avanzada"), see "Consejo de Ordenes" in the unit "Archivo Historico Nacional" 
- Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Sonetos a Lope de Vega. Siglos XVI a XX, por Ramón García González - pag 10 Juan de Astete Monroy's "A la Muerte de Lope de Vega" 
- Quoted as "Don Juan Monroy" in "Colección de Documentos Inéditos para la Historia de España por El Marqués de la Fuensanta del Valle", D. José Sancho Rayón y Francisco de Zabaibury. Vol LXXV, Pages 443, 535 y 542 MADRID Imprenta de Miguel Ginesta 1880 (public domain, available for download in PDF) 
- Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Diccionario Histórico-Bibliográfico del Perú, por Manuel Mendiburu, Tomo I, pg 376 - 378 
- "Captain Germán Astete", Peruvian Navy website; search by "A" in the alphabetical list 
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Martin Estete" in "búsqueda sencilla" or "avanzada", see "Recomendación de Martín Estete" and "Regimiento de Panamá a Gonzalo de Badajoz" inside the unit Audiencia de Panamá in Archivo General de Indias and the "Real Cédula" of 1537 in the unit Indiferente General 
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Miguel Estete" in "búsqueda sencilla" or "avanzada", see specially "Descubrimiento Y Población del Peru", unit "Patronato" of Archivo General de Indias; 
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Bartolomé Astete" in "búsqueda sencilla" or "avanzada", especially consult the archives in Casa de Contratación inside Archivo General de Indias 
- Archives of the Ministry of Culture of Spain: search for "Andrés Astete y Zárate" in "búsqueda sencilla" or "avanzada", consult Consejo de Ordenes inside Archivo Historico Nacional 
- Colección de leyes, decretos y órdenes publicadas en el Perú desde el año de 1821 hasta 31 de diciembre de 1859, Felipe Bailly (editor) Lima 1860 - pp. 183 and 235