Mexican Genealogy Guide

Mexican Genealogy Guide

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.

This research guide is very much a work in progress, so please check back often.

Do you have ancestors from another Hispanic country? Visit my Hispanic Genealogy Research Guide.

General Research

  • 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.
  • Documenting Padrinos (Godparents & Sponsors) in Your Ancestry Tree: Padrinos play an important role in Hispanic culture and family history. Identifying and tracking the names of padrinos found in the records of your ancestors can provide clues to help further trace your ancestral lines, and can help you develop a better understanding of the kinship ties in your ancestral hometown.

Researching Their Life in the U.S.



Social History

Researching Their Life In Mexico

Finding & 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 & Analyzing Mexican Record Collections

Social History

Researching Their Life in the Spanish or Mexican-Era U.S.

Learning More

Archived Webinars & Video Courses

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9 thoughts on “Mexican Genealogy Guide”

  1. I am on but I can’t read Spanish so I’m at a stand still. Do you know of any Spanish/Mexican genealogist you can recommend?

    1. Hi Jen,

      Thanks for stopping by. I have not ever used a professional genealogist or translator for my Mexican research, so I cannot recommend someone for hire. I suggest watching my blog for any upcoming presentations I give on working with Spanish-language documents. But in the meantime, I recommend you consult BYU’s Spanish Script Tutorial website to get familiar with Spanish phrases and terminology that are common in the records.

  2. Alfredo de los Reyes

    I’m also a subscriber to and through them I have made good use of their access to Registro Civil’s documentation for my ancestor’s information. However, i have hit walls recently because no matter how refine I try my research I can’t find basic information, such as birth, death and marriage information, for my maternal grandfather’s side of the family. I have also thought of hiring a genealogist’s services to do the finer method of research and come up with the information I’m looking for. Why wouldn’t hiring somebody who is familiar with research of Mexican families background be useful?

    1. Hi Alfredo. Thanks for stopping by. I did not state that hiring another professional researcher or translator would not be useful. I stated I have not done so, so I cannot personally recommend someone. There is a difference. If you look through my blog, you will find a post that describes a situation where I hired another professional researcher to help me on my Irish line.

  3. Monica Robledo

    Hi Cousin Colleen, Nice to meet you. Cousin Mike Robledo told me to contact you. Please contact

  4. Colleen can you suggest any books or sites that deal with the history of San Jose de los Marquez, Jalisco?

  5. Monique Salazar Presti

    I’ve been researching my family’s genealogy since 2012. The goal was to find my grandmother’s birth certificate because her mother died young in a city that was not her home and she was orphaned. I have successfully found my great-grandmother all the way to my 8th great grandmother (maternal line is important to me), but not my grandmothers. Her birth certificate is from Guadalajara circa 1934-1935. I am stuck. Family Search only had records for Guadalajara births until 1930. I’ve been stuck for years. Is my only recourse to visit Guadalajara and request birth certificates? What do you suggest?

  6. Hello,

    I’m trying to understand specific entries I’m finding in death registration for Veracruz in 1897 and 1898 as I research the years my great grandparents lived there during Cuba’s War for Independence.

    Of the 3,742 deaths registered during those two years, 202 were children who died at birth and listed as “sin nombre.” That’s straightforward enough. But of those 202, 69 were listed as “sin nombre” and hijo/hija “de padres no conosido.”

    Typically, in those instances, a declarant asserts before a judge that according to a doctor’s certificate, at a given day, time and address, a child was born dead and that was the child of unknown parents. Typically, other witnesses are then listed.

    Is there any reason based on the way deaths were registered then that the parents would be unknown?

    The family story is that my great grandparents had twins who died at birth in Mexico, along with two other children as well. I found a death registration for one child who died at five months old in 1897, with their names and the child’s name list.

    I’m trying to figure out if perhaps any of these 69 children “sin nombre” might have been the other children who are supposed to have died in Mexico. Thanks in advance for any insight you might be able to provide.

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