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Abbreviations used in the Catholic Church registers

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By dblltroubl - Posted on 27 February 2014

I apologize if there is a list of abbreviations used in the Catholic Church parish registers in Mexico, however, after some searching I haven't been able to locate one.

I am looking at a marriage record and after the groom's name it says "C. natural y vecino de este Pueblo soltero..." I understand all of that except "C. natural". Could someone please let me know what the "C." stands for?

I do not speak Spanish, but am trying very hard to learn to read it.

Thank you very much, I appreciate the help this group has given me.

Denise Switzer

If every record has this C. abbreviation, it may stand for Citizen.
"Natural (de)" means "originary (from)" or "born (in)".
Victoriano Navarro

Hi Denise,

A book that has helped me a lot with deciphering the abbreviations is by Nancy Ellen Carlberg and is titled "Beginning Mexican Research".

I purchased this at a convention last year and it has been quite helpful.


"natural" means the mother was unwed at the time of the birth

Jose Carlos de Leon

Stuart Armstrong

The C. stands for "ciudadano". (citizen).

"Natural" USUALLY means natural child, that is, born out of wedlock or father unknown, or in some cases neither parent is known.

Depending on context, "natural" may also mean native of, same as "originario".

Some records abbreviate M (Mujer) or H (Hombre) in the margin of the record. This can be helpful when the other gender indicators in the text are unclear.


Natural, in this case, most likely means that the person is originally from that town. I try not to use the term "native" because that can also cause confusion.

If the groom had been born out of wedlock it would have said h.n. for hijo natural.

When there are questions about a record it is best to provide a link to the document so we can see the context of the document and if there are other clues. For instance, if it says h.l. (hijo legitimo) then there is no question that "natural" means originally and not born out of wedlock.


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