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 Indian and Spanish
Coyote - mixture of Indian and Mestizo
Mulato - mixture of Spanish and African
Genízaro - an Indian who was captured by the Spaniards and held in servitude, later assimilating into New Mexican society. For more information on genízaros see: Descendants Of Native American Slaves In New Mexico Emerge From Obscurity

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.)

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

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