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Looking for origins of Rafael Duran

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By eduran74 - Posted on 03 October 2019

Hola parientes, I am currently stuck. I am looking for any baptismal records for Rafael Duran. Rafael is my 4th great-grandfather. I found his matrimonial record of his marriage to Dolores Aguilera on the 23rd of February 1800:

I'm stuck because the record states "padres no conocidos" so his parents are not listed. With Dolores he goes on to have many children born in Calvillo, Aguascalientes. Does anyone have any potential leads I can follow? My hunch is he was born some time around 1775-1777. I've search in Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Jalisco. The closest I've found is Josef Rafael Duran baptized in Teocaltiche, Jalisco in 1777:

Thank you,

Ernesto Duran

Hello Ernesto,

Finding the parents of someone who has a record stating “Padres no conocidos” is not impossible, but it will take work. The most likely place to look for more information is to to go through all of his children’s records with a fine tooth comb. The first ones to look at are baptismal records.

Good luck,
Rick A. Ricci

Hello Rick, thanks for that suggestion. I will give that a try. If I find anything I will let everyone know in case it is helpful for anyone else.


Ernesto Duran

I have a lot of Duran family on my tree, wonder if we may be from the same line. My GEDmatch kit number is KK6796917

Hi Angelica,

I looked at your GEDCOM and noticed that most of the Durans in your tree are from Nochistlan, so far none of my ancestors are from Nochistlan. Thanks for the suggestion.

Ernie Duran

Echoing what Rick said, keep an eye on the godparents of his children. If you see any other Durans mark them down.

Rick and Rafael, so I went through baptismal records of Rafael Duran's offsprings again and found in my direct ancestor, Santiago Duran, abuelos paternos only Rafaela Duran listed. With the other children, the baptismal record only listed "padres no conocidos" for the abuelos paternos.

In doing research on "padres no conocidos" I found that often the child will not take the father's last name if the child was born out of wedlock and instead will take the mother's last name. As a result, the child's baptismal record will often be noted in "bautismos de hijos naturales".

Great find Ernesto,

Finding the parents of someone who has a record stating “Padres no conocidos” is not impossible, but as you can see it takes a lot of work and often ends up without any positive results. Your research took you one step farther into your ancestral line and often because of the lack of a marriage record the trail ends there. But if you continue researching it is possible to continue the ancestral line.

You could try researching whether Rafael used any other surnames. Often someone that is illegitimate will later use his biological father’s surname in later records.

Wishing you the best of luck in your family research,

Rick A. Ricci

Hola Rafael, Angelica and Rick,

I think I have found some related information about Santiago Duran and Estefana Escoto. For some time, I have tried to find a marriage record of the couple. By accident while looking for Santiago Duran I came up on this record on It is a marriage record of Santiago Medina and Estefana Escoto. The interesting thing about this record is that the parental information is very close to the records I have for Santiago Duran and Estefana Escoto. In Santiago’s case, my corroborated records show that Santiago’s parents were Rafael Duran and Dolores Aguilera and Estefana’s parents were Nepomuceno Escoto and Francisca Garcia. The record I have linked show Santiago as Santiago Medina and his parents as Rafael Medina and Dolores Aguilera, and Estefana’s as Nepomuceno Escoto and Francisca Garcia. Additionally, the linked record shows that they are living in San Pedro, an hacienda near Jalpa. All of my direct Duran ancestors lived in the Hacienda San Pedro.

I also have related records on Estefana Escoto. For instances, I have Estefana’s death record, In the death record, it states that Idelfonso Hernandez, Estefana’s son-in-law, has reported the death of Estefana to the civil judge of Jalpa. Idelfonso was married to Maria Luz Duran, Estefana’s and Santiago Duran’s daughter.

So Santiago and Estefana were living in Hacienda San Pedro near Jalpa. One question I have is why would Santiago go under the surname Medina for the marriage, but then revert back to Duran? All their kids use the Duran surname. Another question I have is does anyone have any info on Medinas in Zacatecas or Aguascalientes that my have references to Rafael Medina?


Ernesto Duran

Saludos Ernesto,

Rafael Duran also went by Rafael Medina

Rafael Duran married Maria Dolores Aguilera the 23/Feb/1800 in Aguascalientes

Maria Dolores Aguilera’s parents are Juan Manuel Aguilera and Maria Luciana de Jesus Guerrero


(1) Francisco Thomas Duran was married on 30//May/1712 in Guanajuato to Salvadora de Jesus Medina

(2) Juan Jose Francisco Hipólito Duran y Medina was married to Maria Ana Gertrudis Lopez Padilla 27/July/1763

(3) Jose Rafael Duran

This Jose Rafael Duran is probably your Rafael Duran aka Rafael Medina

Rick A. Ricci

Rick, this is a great find!! Thank you for your help. Do you have any referential links I can follow?

By the way, do we have any direct ancestors?



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