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

8 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?

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