Help: Glossary Spanish

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Spain Project | Spanish Resources | Spanish Glossary

This page is to help people learn the necessary terms and handwriting used in Spanish vital documents.

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Glossary Translations

Common Document Terms

Spanish Words Abbrev. English Spanish Variations
death †† (mother & child), fallecido(a) dead man (woman)
agricultor          . agrr farmer
alférez ensignalférez de fragata
ama de casa homemaker
ama de llaves housekeeper
año year
antepasados ancestors
apellido surnameapellidos
archivo archive
Bachiller Br Bachelor
barrio suburb the neighborhood (where the church is)
bautismo baptism and/or christening bauticé, bautizado(a), bautismo, bautizo
bautismo de socorro urgent baptism and/or christening, for fear of imminent death
bautizar to baptize or to christen bauticé, bautizado(a), bautismo, bautizo
bautizo see bautismo above
cabo corporal
calle street
capillo cap.o christening cap cap.o 32 would be the price paid for the cap. Also seen as 1 real, or 34 maravedies (=1 real)
carpintero carpenter
casado(a) married matrimonio, casamiento, casé
casamiento marriage matrimonio, casé, casado(a)
casar -- to marry matrimonio, casamiento, casado(a), casé
Católica Cathc Catholic
causa de fallecimiento cause of death
cementerio cemetery
censo census
confirmación confirmation
cónyuge husband esposo, marido
cónyuge wife esposa, marida, mujer
crisma Holy oil used to anoint in different ecclesiastical acts and sacraments
defunción death difunto(a), fallecimiento, óbito, muerto(a), fallecido(a)
desconocido unknown
deste,ta archaic contraction for "of this" desto (neutral, arch.)
destino destination
día day
dicho(a) dho, dha said, mentioned
difunto(a) death muerte, defunción, fallecimiento, óbito, muerto(a), fallecido(a)
diligência dilis diligence
Don Dn A title; equivalent to Sir or Mister
edad age
edad al morir age at death
edad del novio groom's age
ejército military militar
empleo occupation
enfermedad illness
entierro burial sepultura, entierrado(a), sepultado(a)
entierrado(a) burial sepultura, entierro, sepultado(a)
esposa wife marido, cónyuge
esposo husband marido, cónyuge
expósito child
extremaunción extreme unction; the sacrament of anointing the very sick or dying
fallecido(a) death muerte, defunción, óbito, muerto(a), difunto(a), fallecimiento
fallecimiento deathmuerte, defunción, óbito, muerto(a), difunto(a), fallecido(a)
fecha date
fecha de inhumación date of burial
feligreses churchgoers
festivos holidays; non-working days
hembra female
hermana sister
hermano brother
hija daughter
hijo h. son
hijos children
hora de muerte time of death
Iglesia Iga Church
Iglesia  Católica Iga Cathc Catholic church
ilegitimo (a) i., ill. illegitimate
impedimento impediment
inmigración immigration
indice (índice) index
legitimo lexa, l. legitimate
liberado libe A free person; liberated
llegada arrival
madre mother
mañana morning
maravedi, s mis, miis, mris, msold Spanish coin, used from the 11-19th C, with different values & metal contentaccepted plurals: maravedís, maravedíes, & the less accepted, maravedises
marida wife esposa, mujer, cónyuge
marido husband esposo, cónyuge
marinero seaman
matrimonio matrim.o marriage casamiento, casé, casado(a)
mes month
militar military ejército
muerto(a) death muerte, defunción, fallecimiento, óbito, difunto(a), fallecido(a)
mujer wife esposa, marida, cónyuge
municipio town, township
nacido(a) n., nac. birth nacimiento, nació
nacimiento birth nació, nacido(a)
nació n. birth nacimiento, nacido(a)
niña girl
niño boy
no consta not stated
nombre n. name, given
nombre de bautismo name, given
nombre de pila name, given
novio groom
óbito death
obiit sine prole o.s.p. died without issue/children
obligación obligan duty
obligaciones obligacions obligations
padres pd. parents
padrinos godparents
parroquia Parroq.a parish
pasajero passenger
primer; el primer dia first; the first day
propietario owner
propio de belonging to
que qe that
representante proxy
residente residte resident
Ritual Romano Roman Rite, a ritual of the Roman Catholic Church
Sacramento Sacraments (religious ceremony)
San Sn Saint
Santa Sta, Stos Saint or Holy Santos
Santo Concilio de Trento Sto Concilio de Trento Sacred Council of Trent
segundo second
segundo cónyuge second spouse
señor s. sir, mister
sepultura grave
sitio location
socorro relief a 'bautismo de socorro' is an urgent baptism (baptism of relief) performed for fear of imminent death
solemnemente solemnemte solemnly
soltera/o single f/m
teniente thente, Tht a person who stands as a substitute for a higher position ,
testigo witness
??? therie  ??? (i.e. therie Bachiller)
último last
ut supra as stated above
vecindad vecindd neighborhood
vecino(a) vno neighbor vecinos, vecinas
verdad truth por verdad, as the truth
viejo old el Viejo, the Old Man or the Elder
viuda widower
viudo(a) widowed m/f
vivo living


Spanish #
uno 1
dos 2
tres 3
quatro 4
cinco 5
seis 6
siete 7
ocho 8
nueve 9
diez 10
once 11
doce 12
trece 13
catorce 14
quince 15
dieciséis 16
diecisiete 17
dieciocho 18
diecinueve 19
veinte 20
veintiuno 21
veintidós 22
veintitrés 23
veinticuatro 24
veinticinco 25
veintiséis 26
veintisiete 27
veintiocho 28
veintinueve 29
treinta 30
treinta y uno 31
treinta y dos 32
treinta y tres 33
cuarenta 40
cuarenta y uno 41
cuarenta y dos 42
cincuenta 50
cincuenta y uno 51
cincuenta y dos 52
sesenta 60
sesenta y uno 61
sesenta y dos 62
setenta 70
setenta y uno 71
setenta y dos 72
ochenta 80
ochenta y uno 81
ochenta y dos 82
noventa 90
noventa y uno 91
noventa y dos 92
cien 100
ciento uno 101
ciento dos 102
ciento diez 110
ciento once 111
doscientos 200
doscientos uno 201
doscientos dos 202
doscientos once 211
doscientos setenta y seis 276
trescientos 300
cuatrocientos 400
quinientos 500
seiscientos 600
setecientos 700
ochocientos 800
novecientos 900
mil 1,000


Note: From the 12th century to the year 1752 the year in England began on the 25th of March. Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. Spain changed their calendar to begin on the 1st of January in 1556. All records created after that date have the year as we would count it today.
Spanish English #
Enero January 1
Febrero February 2
Marzo March 3
Abril April 4
Mayo May 5
Junio June 6
Julio July 7
Agosto August 8
Septiembre September 9
Octubre October 10
Noviembre November 11
Diciembre December 12

Dates Used Within These Help Pages

  • 1600's
    • En veinte i cinco del mes de marco
    • On the twenty-fifth of March
    • En    Veinte de septiembre de este año de mil seiscientos y sesenta y cinco años
    • On the twentieth of September in this year of one thousand six hundred and sixty-five
    • En quatro dias del mes de otubre de mil y seiscientos y treynta y siete años
    • On the fourth of October in one thousand six hundred and thirty-seven
  • 1700-1750
    • En dicho dia mes, y año dicho
    • On the said day month, and year
    • en ocho de octubre de este año de mil setesientos, y quarenta, y siete
    • on the eighth of October in one thousand seven hundred and forty-seven
    • el dia dose de henero de mill de Setecientos y veinte y siete anos
    • on the twelfth day of January in the year one thousand, seven hundred and twenty-seven
  • 1750-1800
    • en cinco de Junio de mil Septecientos sesenta ocho años
    • on the fifth of June in one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight
    • En Veinte y un dias de el mes a Junio de mil setecientos ochenta, y dos
    • On the twenty-first of June in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two
    • En veinte y seis dias del mes de Junio de mil setecientos sesenta y un años
    • On the twenty-sixth of June in one thousand seven hundred and sixty-one
  • 1800's
    • diesinueve de Julio
    • nineteenth of July
    • quince días del mes de Marzo de este año de mil ochocientos treinta y cuatro
    • fifteenth of March in (the year) one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four
    • el dia del mes de Julio del año de 1839
    • the first day of the month of July in the year 1839

Latin American Countries

The Latin America project on WikiTree is the umbrella project for the history and genealogy of the 20 Latin American nations: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Racial Terminology

Casta is an Iberian word (existing in Spanish, Portuguese and other Iberian languages since the Middle Ages), meaning "lineage", "breed" or "race". Historians used this term during the 20th century to describe mixed-race individuals in Spanish America, resulting from unions of Spaniards (españoles), Amerindians (indios), and Africans (negros). Whether castas were used or not in colonial rule to organize social status has recently been questioned. Below are some terms you may see used in regards to race or social status.
Spanish English Explanation
Españoles Spaniards People of other European descent who had settled in Spanish America and adapted to Hispanic culture.
Peninsulares Spaniards & Europeans Spaniards and other Europeans born in Europe.
Criollos Spaniards or EuropeansSpaniards and other Europeans (both black and white) born in America. Now used just for white people.
Indios Native Americans The original inhabitants of the Americas were considered to be one of the three "pure races" in Spanish America.
Mestizos Native American & European Persons with one Spanish parent and one Amerindian parent.
Castizos European & Indigenous European with some Indigenous: Persons with one Mestizo parent and one Spanish parent.
Cholos Native American & Mestizo Native American with some Mestizo: Persons with one Amerindian parent and one Mestizo parent.
Pardos Mixed Race Mixed European, African, and Native American: People who are the product of the mixing over the generations of the European, Black African, and Amerindians. This mix may come about from a white Spaniard having a child with a Zambo, an Amerindian having a child with a Mulatto, or a Black African having a child with a Mestizo.
Mulatos African & European Mixed African and European: Persons of the first generation of a Spanish and Black/African ancestry. Mulato could also denote an individual of mixed African and Native American ancestry.
Zambos Native American & African Mixed Native American and African: Persons who were of mixed Amerindian and Black ancestry. As with Mulattoes, many other terms existed to describe the degree of mixture. Chino ("curly hair") could mean persons with Mulatto & Amerindian parents. Lobo could mean persons with Black and Amerindian parents, the same as Zambo.
Negros African The third original race (along with Spaniards and Amerindians), both slaves and free-blacks. Due to the association of slavery these were low in social status.

Last Edited: (13:00, 28 November 2019 (UTC))

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