Document Type



The application of the isonymic method to establish interpopulation relationships is made difficult by such factors as: (1) a small population size; (2) the subdivision of the population into ethnosocial groups; and (3) the existence of individuals born extramaritally. The present study analyzes the validity of the isonymy method in populations where such difficulties exist. Lasker’s Rij relationship coefficients were calculated in base to marital records from six Pocho parishes (Argentina) for the period 1766 to 1840. Three endogamous ethnosocial groups were considered—Spanish, American Indians, “Mestizos”—and a fourth group combining mates of the three previous groups. For each ethnosocial category, and taking into account paternal surnames, maternal surnames (both for legitimate and illegitimate mates), and whole surnames merged, Ri interparish relationship matrices were obtained. All these matrices were correlated by means of the Mantel test. Maternal surnames of illegitimate mates show a similar pattern to the maternal surnames of legitimate mates and to all surnames of each category. Groups with larger sample size in every parish intercorrelate regardless of ethnosocial category. Results suggest the convenience of maximizing the sample size and using maternal surnames in populations with high illegitimacy.