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Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s

Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s

Posted: 1262216834000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Dominguez
What was practice in Spanish colonial Alta California, Los Angeles area for the surname of a child born out of wedlock if the father did not have a surname? No surname for child Josefa, Baptized #124 on May 15, 1828 at the Plaza Church de Los Angeles, to father gentiles (non-Christian Indian) named Chapo/Chado (?) and mother Josefa Dominguez. Does the child take the mother’s surname or does the child at some age declare or assume a surname? Does anyone have information regarding the customs or practices during the Spanish Colonial period of Alta California for children born out of wedlock? Better yet, does anyone know anything about this child, who I suspect is my GGGG grandmother?

Re: Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s

Posted: 1262244976000
Classification: Query
Surnames: arriola, carillo, avila, carriaga, ducommon, gonzales, lopez, chabolla/chavoya

A very good question, tho i do not have a non-surname..I have 2 born out of wedlock..a mother and daughter, the mother, spanish (born about the same time as yours) took her mother's surname, father unknown. the daughter, father known, at first went by mothers previous marriage name, then later took on father's name. i have not been able, so far, to find a precedent for this.

what i do know is that pomo natives in my family took on their what i call 'master's' name, the spanish and americans whom they labored for..

or, the mother's maiden name was prob? used.

Re: Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s Los Angeles

Posted: 1262287593000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Dominguez Reyes Garcia
Thank you for your response and you bring up a good point; emancipated slaves would often assume the surnames of their previous owners. There were indigenous laborers working for the owners of the Spanish Ranchos. It is conceivable that at some point, the child worked for one of the Rancho Families. In this case the Reyes family. There may be slight evidence for this scenario in the 1850 US census of Los Angeles. Of course, this is conjecture until I can support my suspicions.

I realize I did not give any information regarding the individuals or families in question.

Does anyone have information regarding the children born out of wedlock to Josefa Felicana Dominguez? Josefa F. Dominguez was b. 28 Feb 1810, she is the daughter of Mariano Dominguez and Maria Venancia (Benancia) Sotelo. In “Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California 1769-1850” Vol. II by Maria Northrup, Page 66 there is a reference that Josefa Felicana Dominguez had several children born out of wedlock. I have located in Josefa F. Dominguez in the USCs of 1850, 1860, and 1870, and not once is there a mention of her children. She had a daughter named Josefa, Baptized #124 on May 15, 1828 at the Plaza Church de Los Angeles, to father gentiles (non-Christian Indian) named Chapo(?). There may also be another daughter named Gertrudis born prior to 1828.

Any help would be appreciated.

Re: Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s Los Angeles

Posted: 1262308774000
Classification: Query
Looking at the baptisms for Josefa, LA Bats #124, 13 May 1828 and Gertrudis LA Bats # 109, 8 Feb 1828; both children are noted to be of the Gentile known as Chapo, with no mother listed, but, Josefa Dominguez, daughter of Mariano Dominguez [and Benancia Sotelo]is listed as the madrina for both children.

LA BATS_#207
11 Apr 1830 Ma. Josefa Dominguez, single, daughter of Mariano and Benancia [Venancia]Sotelo had a child with Ireño Perez her name was MARIA CASILDA PEREZ. There may be more, I just happened on this one while reading the baptisms of the 2 children above.

This may or may no be the same parents as above:
2 Mar 1843-San Gabriel confirmation #2886) JUAN PEREZ, of Ireneo and Josefa Dominguez

Re: Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s Los Angeles

Posted: 1262536224000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Reyes, Dominguez, Garcia,
Maria: Thank you for the great information. I don’t have current access to baptism #109, which is referenced in baptism #124, however I will be reviewing it.

I am puzzled by baptism #124, because for all the information about father, Chapo, why would there be no information about the mother of the child? I believe the reference to madrina, which is prefaced by a word that I believe is either fuero or fuerza, which is a word that can mean to reserve – reserve the right to godparents. Wouldn’t it make since that with so much information in the baptism about Josefa Dominguez, including her parents, that she would be the mother of the child? In addition, in the baptism record, after Josefa Dominguez, a word appears that I believe to be soltera, meaning unmarried woman or single. Why would it be relevant to mention a godmother’s marital status?

I would appreciate your thoughts, respectively,


Re: Surnames for Child Born Out of Wedlock 1800s Los Angeles

Posted: 1262575556000
Classification: Query
Rick: this is what I am reading in the baptism record; "que su madrina la Snr[? abbreviation for senorita] Josefa Dominguez, soltera hija del Sr Mariano, y la Sra Venancia Sotelo",

Translation: her godmother miss Josefa Dominguez, single daughter of Mr Mariano, and Mrs Venancia Sotelo [the wife almost always kept her surname after marriage]

It was common practice to note the marital status of the godparents, if they were single, who their parents were, if married were they married to each other or married to others but standing together as godparents, etc., if you read through a few pages of baptisms you will begin to see a pattern emerge. The church kept excellent records, baptisms being a good example.

Why the child's mother was not mentioned is a good question, but, a common occurrence. I've compiled quite a few Native American genealogies for California families and many have missing names or, the native name is not given, only the name the priest bestowed upon the child or adult when they were brought into the church. My 5th great grandmother is a good example of this, a Salinan Indian born at Mission San Antonio, her father was named by his native name in her baptism but she was not and her mother was not mentioned. 5G aquired a surname at marriage,we never have figured out where it connected. Her father aquired one sometime after his baptism as did some of his children, poor wife never did.

I’ve also a g. grandmother born out of wedlock, when she was baptized, she was given her mother’s surname but at some point started using her godparents surname. At the time of her death her husband, my great grandfather, was the only one that knew and gave her actual full name, it made genealogy in my family a real challenge until I found his affidavit.

If you would like a copy of LA Bat# 109 for Gertrudis, please contact me off list with your email address and will e-mail it to you as an attachment. I'm assuming you already have the one for the child Josefa, if not I can send that as well.
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