Finding the information about my great-grandmother's hotel motivated me to do some other web searches. In addition, the LDS church has committed to putting its entire microfilm and microfiche collection online in digital form and indexed! Every day more and more is being added, and I had seen where some El Salvador records had been uploaded to their site, FamilySearch.org. I tried a bunch of names and got nothing at first. Then I realized I was entering names as if they were American. So I started entering the double last names that are used in El Salvador. Sure enough, I got a lot of hits!
The first is the entry above - for Carmen Segura Villalva, my grandfather's sister, and daughter of the hotel proprietess, Juana de Villalba. The transcription and my best translation, plus a reminder to click on the picture to embiggen:
Diciembre 6 PN 1906Carmen Segura Calabuig, hija legitima de Alfredo Segura Villalva originario de Valencia Espana y de Juana Calabuig originaria del mismo lugar y ambro vecinas del Centro de esta ciudad, nacio a las nueve de la manana del dia veinte y dos de Septiembre ultimo, dando estos datos el padre de la recien nacido y firma.
[Signature of clerk]
[Signature of Alfredo Segura Villalba and below that, possibly Juana Segura Calabuig)
6 December 1906Carmen Segura Calabuig, legitimate daughter of Alfredo Segura Villalba, originally from Valencia, Spain and of Juana Calabuig, originally from the same place [Valencia, Spain], and both living in a neighborhood close to the center of this city [San Salvador], born at nine in the morning of 22 September last, given this information by the father of the newborn with signature.
This one small birth entry gives us a lot of information and a mystery in a short space. First, it tells me a lot about my great-grandfather and shows me his signature. It places his death between 1906 (this entry) and 1916 (when Juana is listed as a widow in the previous entry). It also gives me his name: Alfredo Segura Villalva (similar spelling but not the Villalba we know today). If we look at this with American eyes - which would be an easy trap given we know the family continued the Villalba name - we would assume that Villalva was his surname and Segura was just another family name (likely his mother's). However, this is reversed from the nomenclature used in El Salvador. Segura is his father's name - his LAST name as we would say - and Villalva was his mother's. So technically, we should be Seguras instead of Villalbas. Somewhere between this entry and 1916 the family switched names and adopted Alfredo's mother's name. Why? Was there something that became associated with Segura? To avoid debts? hmmmm.... new mystery!
Other information includes verification of my great-grandmother's maiden name (Calabuig) and that both Alfredo and Juana came from Valencia, Spain. I also love how the baby was born in September but they didn't do the civil registration of the birth until December!