What is the naming convention in the 1930 Mexico census?

+2 votes

I might have just created a HUGE mess to clean up!  I will stop now and seek help before proceeding any further.

The 1930 Mexico census appears to be listing the mother's last name for the children in a family.  I am not sure.  Here is an example:

Name: Angela Chaves
Age: 4
Estimated birth year: abt 1926
Birthplace: Guerrero
Home in 1930: Coyunquial, Arcelia, Guerrero
Gender: Mujer (Female)
Section: 1
Household Members:
Name Age
Luis Martines 29
Juana Chaves 38
Ignacio Chaves 10
Estevan Chaves 7
Enziacia Chaves 5
Angela Chaves 4
Maria Victoria 43

I suspect the children are Martines Chaves (or, more likely Martinez Chavez--I'm not talking about the spelling at this moment) but the census only lists Chaves for the children and Chaves for the mother.

There are 110 people listed in Coyunquial, Arcelia, Guerrero in the 1930 census and I am over halfway done with the data-entry.  Now I'm wondering if I got it ALL WRONG!!! 

Oh what a hassle this will be if I have to go back and correct all these names!

Just to be sure, what is the naming convention in the 1930 census?

I am afraid I will need to go back and correct many of the last 50 or more records  :-(


WikiTree profile: Chavez-1081
asked in Genealogy Help by Richard Hollenbeck G2G6 (8.9k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer
The census states for their “estado civil” they are in “union libre” so they are not married.

I would check the civil birth records to see if Luis is actually their father. It could be that the parents got married sometime after the census was taken.

Family Search and Ancestry have indexed some civil records.
answered by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (159k points)
selected by Richard Hollenbeck
Thank you.

But this is just an example.  I see many records like this within these three pages. I will try to find the birth register for this case.  My question does have to do with this specific family, but also for the practice of name reporting in general.  They do not appear to use the double last name protocol.  For example, my wife is Martinez Hernandez.  Her paternal name is Martinez and her maternal name is Hernandez.  I do not see this practice in these pages.
Ok. What I've seen is quite variable. In many older church records the most common use of double surnames is with the prominent families. In the civil records it is quite variable double surnames become more common in recent records, but in a given record double and single surnames may both be used - for example in a marriage record the bride and groom have double surnames but the parents do not. I have not looked at a lot of census records, but single surnames are more common in the ones I've examined.

I have seen cases where the maternal surname is abbreviated, in your wife's case, this would be Martinez H.
Hi Richard.

Generally speaking, the standard practice on the México 1930 Census for name reporting is "Given Name" + "Last Name" (One last name only). The heading of the column is "NOMBRE Y APELLIDO" (Given name and last name).

Thanks George and Rubén,

Your advice is helpful, as was the instruction in the census itself. The instructions say, "Columna 4. --En esta columna se escribirá el NOMBRE Y APELLIDO de las personas empadronadas, empezando siempre por el Jefe de la Familia."

So it does not really give any insight into the use of double apellido--at least nothing as well-considered as in George's explanation.

I believe I left enough evidence in the records I already transcribed that they can be corrected as-needed.  I will just be extra-careful from this point forward.  I will not connect the children in this family as children of the Jefe of the family.

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