Puerto Rico: My Ancestors and Their Descendants

A word about what is represented on this page. The following translations and/or definitions have been placed here after checking and cross-checking various sources. They are meant to assist you in understanding what the spanish term may have possibly meant and it is not a conclusive list - other terms will be added. Many sources describe some of these same terms differently. With that said if anyone feels that I have erred please feel free to bring it to my attention.

Spanish Term Translation
Abuelo/a Grandfather/mother
Ahijado/a Godson/daughter
Alojado Guest Boarder
Barrio Town
Bisabuelo/a Great-Grandfather/Grandmother
Bisnieto/a Great-Grandson/Grand-daughter
Calle Street
Callejon Alleyway
Cedula   Royal Decree
Consanguinidad   Blood relationship
Criada Maid
Cunado/a Brother/Sister-in-Law
Detenido Detained (under arrest)
Esposo/a Husband/Wife
Finca   Farm
Frutos Menores   Avocados, mangos, oranges etc.
Ganaderia   Cattlebreeding
Hermano/a Brother/Sister
Hijo/a Son/Daughter
Hijo/a Legitimo/a   Legitimate child - born of legal union - marriage
Hijo/a Natural   Common born child - born of unwed parents
Hijo/a Reconocido/a   Although parents were not legally married the father gives the child his family surname
Hijastro/a Stepson/daughter
Jefe Head of Household
Jornalero Laborer
Labrador   Farmer
Liberto   Freed slave
Madre Mother
Municipio Municipality
Nieto/a Grandson/daughter
Nuera Daugher-in-Law
Padre Father
Padron   Census
Pardo   Dark mulatto
Partera   Midwife
Pensionista Boarder
Primo(a) Cousin
Pueblo Town (Main)
Sobrino/a Nephew/Niece
Socio Partner
Suegro/a Father/Mother-in-Law
Tio/a Uncle/Aunt
Yerno Son-in-Law

Abbreviations Used
B - Blanco White
Aa.M/P - Abuela Materna/PaternaMaternal/Paternal Grandmother
Ao.M/P - Abuelo Materno/PaternoMaternal/Paternal Grandfather
Difo. - Difunto  "the deceased"
H.Li. - Hijo Legitimo   Legitimate Child ( see above definition )
H.N. - Hijo Natural   Common Born ( see above definition )
Mu - Mulato Mulatto
N - Negro Black
H - Hembra Female
V - Varon Male
CC - Contrato Consensual Consensual Contract
CL - Casado Legal Married Legally

Diseases - Medical Terms

Spanish Term
AblepsiaAblepsy: blindness
AfoniaAphonia: Laryngitis
ApoplexiaApoplexy: paralysis due to stroke
Boton de Oriente  Boil, Furuncle
BrucelosisBrucellosis: bacterial - primary source, cattle
Ceguera BravaConjunctivitis
Colera Morbo (Colera Asiatico)Cholera Morbus
ColicoColic: spastic pain in the abdomen or bowels
Culebrilla  Shingles
DenticionTeething: ( 1 ) - cutting of the teeth
DifteriaDiptheria:  Contagious disease involving the throat
DisenteriaDysentery:  inflammation of intestines
Escorbuto, Enfermedad de BarlowScurvy - Caused by vitamin C deficiency.
   Amarilla (Vomito Prieto)
   Intermitentes (malignas, terciarias)
   Maligna, de Campamentos
   Induced by colds
   Intermitant (malignant, for three days)
   Puerperal: after labor - sometimes fatal.
Tropical parasite invading human or animal organisms. Sometimes invading lymphatic systems leading to elephantiasis (enlargement and hardening of tissues).
Golondrino  Abcess
Hemorragia PurpuraHemorraghing into the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs and other tissues.
HidropesiaHydropsy: edema, fluid accummulation - caused by cardiac insufficiency.
Lepra (Mal de San Lazaro)Leprosy
Mala Sangre (Mal de Bubas, Mal Galico, Mal Frances)Syphilis
MarasmoMarasmus: waisting away - malnutrition
MocezueloInfantile Tetanus ( 2 )
MuermoContagious, virulent disease - primary source, cattle.
Nacido/a Muerto/aStillborn birth
OftalmiaEyes, inflammation
Pierna de BarbadosElephantitis
PianTropical contagious disease - with excreting fungal eruptions of the skin. Found prevalent amongst slaves in the 17th century.
   Peste Bubonica (Negra)
   Plaga Blanca
Chillblain: swelling of extremities due to exposure to cold and heat
SarnaMange, scabies
Segunda, LaThe afterbirth; placenta
Tuberculosis GalopanteRapid development of Tuberculosis
Tos FerinaWhooping Cough
Ulcera Maligna  Cancer
UncinariasisHookworm Disease - afflicted mostly the mountain jibaro. Also led to anemia.

More Terms To Come

Copyright © October 2001, Dalia Morales
Revised: September 29, 2002
URL:  Puerto Rico: My Ancestors and Their Descendants