If you have Mexican ancestors and you want to learn their history, consider yourself fortunate.
Mexico has what are often referred to as the best genealogy records in the world. The extent, accessibility, and nature of certain record collections in particular provide those of us with Mexican ancestry a significant advantage over other genealogists. Many of the key record collections provide more genealogical information that what we find in U.S. records.
Do you have ancestors from another Hispanic country?
This research guide is very much a work in progress, so please check back often.
Related Articles from My Blog
I regularly write about Hispanic genealogy.
- Legacy Family Tree Webinar: “Finding Your Roots in Catholic Records”: Researching Hispanic ancestors involves a significant amount of time working with Catholic church records. Having a solid understanding of those records is essential to doing good genealogy. I highly recommend this webinar to anyone with Catholic ancestors.
Researching Their Life in the U.S.
- Watch this Free Video Course if Your Mexican Ancestors Worked on the U.S. Railroads: This course discusses the history of railroads in the U.S., the types of records that exist, the type of genealogical information you can get from those records, and where you might find those records in both online and physical repositories.
Researching Their Life In Mexico
Finding and learning about your ancestral hometown.
- Identifying Your Mexican Immigrant Ancestor’s Hometown: Before you begin digging into Mexican records, you need to first narrow down the scope of your search by identifying you ancestor’s hometown in Mexico. The reason for this is twofold: it narrows down the focus of your search, and it helps you identify the right collections to use.
- Mexican Genealogy Reference Tools: The García Cubas Gazetteer: Becoming familiar with the place names referenced in your ancestors’ Mexican records can be challenging, particularly for those of us who are not from Mexico and who might not have visited the places where our ancestors lived. This work is one of my regular “go to” reference tools when doing Mexican research.
- Using Facebook Groups to Research Your Ancestral Hometown: During lectures I gave this past August at my local genealogy society and at a conference, I polled the audience asking how many who are on Facebook had checked if there is an existing Facebook Group for their ancestral hometowns, and few people raised their hands. When I showed them the kind of information that I have obtained from one of my ancestral hometown Groups, they were amazed.
Finding and analyzing Mexican record collections.
- The Two Main “Go-To” Record Types for Researching Mexican Genealogy: When researching Mexican family history, there are two main “go-to” types of records that you will consult daily, Mexican Catholic Church and Civil Registration records. Those of us with Mexican ancestors are particularly fortunate. First, we inherited the best food in the world. Second, we inherited what are often referred to as the best genealogy records in the world.
- My Three Go-To Help Tools for Working with Mexico Genealogy Records: These are the tools that I always have open and in front of me any time I work with Mexico civil registration and Catholic church parish records. And since I can only fudge my way through reading Spanish, these are the same tools I provide my Spanish-fluent father whenever he translates these records for me.
- FamilySearch Quietly Starts Releasing Indexed Mexican Civil Registration Collection: The digitized civil registration state collections have been available on FamilySearch for a long time, but not as an indexed collection. One had to browse through the unindexed (not searchable) collection. Being indexed means these collections should now be searchable, both through the Catalog search tool and through the Historical Records search tool.
- Don’t Give Up If You Can’t Find Your Ancestor When Searching for Mexico Records on FamilySearch: If you only use the Search feature to look for records on FamilySearch pertaining to your Mexican ancestors, you may be missing out on these very records. Examples from my own research show that the records are there, but just are not yet searchable.
- Locating Those Non-Searchable Browsable-Only Digitized Mexico Records on FamilySearch: Last week I explained why you shouldn’t give up if you don’t find records pertaining to your Mexican ancestors when using the Search feature on FamilySearch. This post demonstrates how to quickly and directly find the digitized collections available online for your Mexican ancestors’ home state(s).
- Get Free Hispanic Family History Help in San Diego County – 2018 Schedule
- I am Leading a FREE Online Hispanic Genealogy Research Study Group 3/14 & 3/21 for DearMYRTLE
- I am Speaking about Social History for Genealogy in Whittier, California on Saturday, March 17th
- I am Teaching Two Hispanic Research Sessions at OGS 2018 in Columbus
- Ohio Genealogical Society 2018 Conference Sessions for Hispanic Researchers (April 2018)
- NGS 2018 Conference Sessions for Hispanic Researchers
Archived Webinars & Video Courses
- New FamilySearch Webinar: “Getting Started in Mexico? Why You Should Try Ancestry.com” (recorded 18 November 2017)
- Watch this Free Video Course if Your Mexican Ancestors Worked on the U.S. Railroads
(Ancestry Academy course)
Interested in Hispanic genealogy and history?
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