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What does hija Esp.a, I think it's Espuna?

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By Esther Hernande... - Posted on 16 August 2019

Hi everyone,

I need help reading this word please, I can't make out the word. Must be an illegitimate child but other records on this page say natural which I thought was for illegitimate children.

Right page last record for Ma. Cornelia

Thank you,

I am reading it as espuna as well.

I am not sure of the meaning and in my limited experience reading documents I haven't seen that word before, but I will take a few guess.

1. Both H. Esp (hija espuna) and H.N. (hija natural) are both illegitimate/out of wedlock (or whatever term there is) children. When they say espuna they are meaning espanola, and when they say natural they are meaning indian/native. Kind of like records that say vecino de (insert town) or natural de (insert town).

2. Or it could mean, parents are a couple but not married and for the other parents not together.

Check other records of the people in the document to see patterns. It might help.

Could it be espuria, which is also another way to say illegitimate? I wasn't able to determine a difference between the two based on the use in this source.

Espuria - illegitimate. Same as natural, expuesta and exposita. What's interesting, is that the previous entries are listed as "natural."

Manny Diez Hermosillo

Thank you everyone for helping.

It is strange and it's the same priest writing these but uses natural and espuria and both mention both father and mother. So it must have a different meaning?


Just thinking out loud, but could it be (due to timing of the records) that in this parish, children of common-law or civil marriages were considered "naturales" (as civil marriages were becoming more of a thing yet the Church didn't recognize them as married) and children who were from parents who weren't paired up in any recognized fashion were the ones labeled "espurio/a?"

I do love the fact that the padrecitos listed not only the names of the fathers, but also the paternal grandparents! The father's name was normally left off of their "illegitimate" children's documents, leaving the mother to carry the responsibility, at least on paper. :)

Just a guess. I've also never seen that label before as Esp.a/o usually indicated non-indigenous, but by the 1800's folks were mixing pretty well.


"Por derecho canónico se llaman espurios los que nacen fuera de matrimonio y de padres que no podían casarse al tiempo de la concepción o al del nacimiento y por derecho romano se da esta denominación no solo a los que no tienen padre cierto, sino también a los que lo tienen, pero no pueden honestamente nombrarle, por ser fraile o clérigo o pariente cercano de la madre o por estar casados esta o aquel o los dos con otras personas."

My translation:
Per Canon law, persons are called "spurious" who are born out of wedlock and from parents who could not marry at the time of conception or at the time of birth, and per Roman law this denomination is given not only to those who don't have a father, but also to those who have one but cannot honestly outright name them because the father was a missionary or clergy or close family relation to the mother, or because either one or both parents were married to other people.

So there you go. Hijinks galore in Ayotlan.


Thank you so much for finding the explanation. I love learning new things.


Thank you so much for finding the explanation. I love learning new things.


Thank you so much for finding the explanation. I love learning new things.


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