Spanish Terms Used in New Mexico Catholic Church Records

And Other New Mexico Genealogy Records


Spanish word - English meaning

Español - Spanish
Indio - Indian
Mestizo - mixture of Mexican Indian and Spanish
Coyote - mixture of Indian and Mestizo
Mulato - usually this means mixture of Spanish and African, but in the records of New Mexico it may refer to an unknown racial mixture
Genízaro - an Indian who became part of the Spanish community and adopted the Spanish way of life (often these are plains Indians); For more information on genízaros see: New Mexico Scrapbook: The People Called Genizaros

Natural - parents of the child were not married
Legítimo (legitimate) - parents of the child were married

Don - title of respect; the feminine form Doña is sometimes abbreviated Da.
Criado - servant

(Feminine forms of these words will end in the letter a.)

Sources:
Some of this list was derived from the book, A Description of the Kingdom of New Spain by Pedro Alonso O'Crouley, originally published in 1774; Translated and edited by Sean Galvin (San Francisco: J. Howell, 1972), page 19.

Also see the Spanish Genealogical Word List from FamilySearch

Return to: New Mexico Genealogy Resources



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