A Big Presence...puerto Rican Genealogy

Early on in the quest for answers to ethnicity and DNA, thousands of Puerto Ricans tested with the earlier DNA companies in order to identify their diverse ethnic roots. Puerto Rico is a mixture of the original Taino Indian culture, the white European Spanish who came from Spain, and the negro slaves they brought from Africa. This tri-racial mix of people have been recorded in various ways throughout Puerto Rican History.

2019, ancestry, Genealogical Resolutions, genealogy, New Year's Resolutions, Puerto Rican, Puerto Rican Genealogy, Puerto Rico / By Luis Rivera Time sure does fly! It feels like only yesterday I was setting up genealogical goals for 2019, and yet here I am December 31st, 2019 – ready to close out the year! Caribbean ancestry family tree research tools Genealogy genealogy help Puerto Rican Genealogy One of the positive aspects of genealogy is discovering when you are related to one another. However, the best positive outcome is when we selfishlessly share data with others like the Camuy Matrimonios 1836 – 1849. Puerto Rican Genealogy/ Hispanic Genealogy Before embarking on a search for your ancestors from Puerto Rico, it is very important to have a good background in the history and culture of Puerto Rico. Most birth, marriage and death records are kept at the local or town level so it is crucial to know the town(s) your ancestors came from.

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth and territory of the United States after the Spanish American War of 1898. Puerto Ricans are natural-born citizens of the United States. ancestry.com has made available the Puerto Rico Civil Records after 1885 as well as the census from 1910, 1920, 1930, 1935, and 1940 under US census rules. NARA also has the Puerto Rico census available for those years. These records are all in Spanish.

As you review the census documents, you may notice in the Race column the designation of B for Blanco– meaning White. Unfortunately, many transcribers did not understand the Race designation as being written in Spanish, and you will see B transcribed as Black. This is not correct.

Redirects. Persons of color in Puerto Rico were sometimes assigned an ethnic or racial descriptor just based on what the census taker believed. In many ways, these descriptions may have been biased. In reality, there are bi-racial and tri-racial people in Puerto Rico, as well as only white (Spanish) and only African-American or Negro. On the census you may see the designation- M or MU. This means mulato or half Spanish/half Negro. You may also see MZ- this means mestizo or half Spanish/half Ameri-Indian,

To assist you in understanding the complexity of cultures in colonized North America, here is a list of ethnic designations in Puerto Rico and other Central American countries.

Remember- Spanish=White=Blanco

A Big Presence.puerto Rican Genealogy Records

A Big Presence..puerto Rican Genealogy

Albarazado: Cambujo and Mulato

Albino: Spanish and Morisco

Allí te estás: Chamizo and Mestizo

Barcino : Albarazado and Mulato

Barnocino: Albarazado and Mestizo

Calpamulato : Zambaigo and Lobo

Cambujo: Indian (3⁄4) and Negro (1⁄4)

Cambur: Negro (1⁄2), Spanish (1⁄4), and Indian (1⁄4)

Castizo In Puerto Rico: Spanish and Mestizo.

Chamizo: Coyote and Indian

Coyote : Spanish (1⁄2), Indian (3/8), and Negro (1/8)

Cuarteado: Spanish (1⁄2), Indian (1⁄4), and Negro (1⁄4)

Cuarterón : Spanish (3⁄4) and Negro (1⁄4)

Cuatrero : Indian (3⁄4) and Spanish (1⁄4)

A big presence.puerto rican genealogy ancestry

Español : Spanish/spaniard

Español Criollo: Colonial-born Spaniard

Indio: Indian

Ladino : Spanish (3⁄4) and Indian (1⁄4) or Sephardic Jew

Lobo : Indian (3⁄4) and Negro (1⁄4)

Mestizo : Spanish (1⁄2) and Indian (1⁄2)

Moreno : Spanish (1⁄2), Indian (1⁄4), and Negro (1⁄4)

Morisco : Spanish and Mulato. In Spain: a baptized Moor

Mulato : Spanish (1⁄2) and Negro (1⁄2).

Negro : African Black

Negro fino Negro (3⁄4) and Spanish (1⁄4)

No me toques : Mixture of Spanish, Indian, and Negro


Ochavado : Spanish (7/8) and Negro (1/8)

Pardo : Indian (1⁄2), Spanish (1⁄4), and Negro (1⁄4)

Prieto: Negro (7/8) and Spanish (1/8)

Tresalvo : Spanish (3⁄4) and Negro (1⁄4)

Trigueño: of color- not defined.

Zambaigo : Spanish and Chino (Chinese)

Many waves of immigration brought other Europeans to Puerto Rico over the centuries- such as Portuguese, Corsicans, Italians, Dutch, Germans and French. These people are designated as B for Blanco on the census and civil registries.

In this four part series on Puerto Rican Genealogy, I will address other areas where confusion may occur and offer helpful tips.

Want to find other expert researchers just like Nydia for your research tips? Post a request to our community today!

For reference, here are all posts for the Shared cM Project:

A Big Presence.puerto Rican Genealogy Society


A Big Presence.puerto Rican Genealogy Sites

  • Most up-to-date post: “Version 4.0! March 2020 Update to the Shared cM Project!” (March 27, 2020)

Older Posts:

  • “August 2017 Update to the Shared cM Project” (August 26, 2017) (outdated as of March 27, 2020)
  • “Update to the Shared cM Project” – (June 26, 2016) (outdated as of August 2017)
  • “Collecting Sharing Information for Known Relationships“
  • A Big Presence.puerto Rican Genealogy Ancestry

  • “Collecting Sharing Information for Known Relationships – Part II“
  • “The Shared cM Project – An Update“
  • “Visualizing Data From the Shared cM Project“
  • “The Shared cM Project – Longest Shared Segment“
  • “Visualizing Distributions for the Shared cM Project“