Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Origin of the Name Garganta la Olla- Podcast

To explain the origin of the name of the village of Garganta la Olla, I have created a podcast. It is posted on this blog on the right hand side just below the box for links. You can click on the podcast box and listen to the explanation.Not only did I explain how Garganta la Olla got its name, but I also gave a short explanation about some of the other unique characteristics of Garganta. It is a wonderful little town, much different than many other towns in the surrounding area, because of its location, geographical features, and the architecture.  Happy Listening!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spanish Surname Flexibility

The Parish Archive in Garganta la Olla.
In spanish culture tradition, there are some surname customs relative to present day naming patterns. A person takes their father's surname and their mother's surname. If I was named Maria , my father was Emilio Hernandez and my mother Catalina Perez, my name would be Maria Hernandez Perez. However in ancient times, they may not have followed this tradition and instead named the girls with the mother's surname first and the father's surname second. In this case Maria daughter of Emilio Hernandez and Catalina Perez would be Maria Perez Hernandez.

In Garganta la Olla, in the 1500s at the time of the Cofradia lists I extracted, the naming tradition was to name the sons with the father's surname first and the daughter's with the mother's surname first. That would make Maria Perez Hernandez but her brother Pedro Hernandez Perez. Sometimes however, they didn't include the second surname. In that case Maria daughter of Emilio Hernandez and Catalina Perez would be Maria Perez, but her brother Pedro would be Pedro Hernandez.

All of these surname variations, could make it quite challenging to place correct families together. In a christening record the child would be listed as Maria daughter of Emilio Hernandez and Catalina Perez. Then if you wanted to know the surname she was known by, you would most likely find that listed in her marriage record where she was listed as Maria Perez, legitimate daughter of Emilio Hernandez and his wife, Catalina Perez.

Therefore, when trying to reconstruct the families in a village, it is very important to study the naming traditions to correctly identify the families.