Don Jose de Araneta was born in the province of Gipuzkoa, a Basque region of Spain. He joined the Spanish expedition to the West Indies, Peru and Mexico. During the Manila - Acapulco (Galleon Trade), Jose de Araneta arrived in Manila from Acapulco Mexico.
In 1725, Don Jose Araneta joined the first Spanish expedition forces to Mindanao. A passage quoted from the book, Islas Filipinas: Mindanao Vol. 11, by Benito Francia and Julian Gonzales Parrado which was translated in the Chabacano dialect by Datu Michael Mastura, establishes two facts. First, Don Jose de Araneta served the Spanish Politico-Military Government of Mindanao based at Zamboanga City. Second, he served as interpreter between the Spanish colonial government and the Sultan of Maguindanao, together with Placido Alberto de Saavedra. Another passage in the document revealed that in 1746, Don Jose Araneta was executed in Sulugan, Mindanao (now known as Anuling in Cotabato, Philippines). However, there are conflicting information from the translations of various documents pertaining to him.
Before the turn of the century, two of Don Jose's sons, Mathias Araneta and Vicente Araneta left Zamboanga province for Iloilo. They settled in Parian [Molo]. Don Jose's other son Benito, followed them afterwards. Years later, Vicente Araneta with his family moved and established their residence in the province of Negros Occidental starting the Negros branch of the family.