Slave and Free People of Color Baptismal Records in the Archives – Archdiocese of New Orleans Office of the Archives
The acts in these registers were recorded in Spanish. The Spanish phonetic spelling of a surname often varied significantly from the French spelling. In addition, first names were Hispanicized: Etienne became Estevan; Jacques became Santiago; Elizabeth became Isabella, and Hélène became Elena. Surname spelling variations multiply under the Spanish as well. Undoubtedly, some of these similar names refer to the same family. In many entries, priests, witnesses and sponsors wrote in a hand that formed different letters in exactly the same way. U/N, U/V, C/B, S/Z, A/O, and E/C are the most common instances where the letters are simply indistinguishable. This uncertainty must be kept in mind, particularly in regard to unfamiliar surnames. The Spanish priests also introduced several new variations that were not evident during the French period. “B” and “V” as well as “S” and “C” are often used interchangeably. “H” appears and disappears before such vowels as “A” and “E” while “X”, “G”, and “J” are all pronounced “H” and thus are sometimes used interchangeably in entries. “I” is often replaced by “Y” in Spanish entries. The number next to the name in the index does not refer to the page number but to the entry number….
Reblogged from Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog.