Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mexican Genealogy Research...where are the records?

Several years ago, during a phase of heightened genealogy invincibility, I offered to work on the genealogy of a friend. I was having such luck with my own I wanted to share the wealth. Little did I know that I was not quite that talented. See, my friend's family is from Mexico and settled in San Antonio in the early 1900s. When I first started my search it was before Footnote, the much more robust FamilySearch and the myriad of newspaper archive sites. So I found little to nothing on her line. I was able to find a few birth records from Texas and that was it. I was embarrassed and I learned my lesson: don't promise what you can't provide.

Cathedral of Monterrey, Mexico. Photograph courtesy of we work for free, wikimedia commons.
So after a few years I decided to try it again. Her grandmother had died a couple of years ago and I was able to find her obituary which was a major break in the case. With all the new record repositories online I was able to track her family back to Mexico. But here is where the trail runs cold. I haven't been able to find many Mexican records digitized. I'm not going to Mexico anytime soon so there will be no boots-on-the-ground research. I have checked out a book from the library on Mexican genealogy research and I am hoping that it will help me to find the records I need. I suppose the next step is to try and order LDS films...once again "old school" may save the day.


Anonymous said...

I can so relate to what you are get a few years of successful research under your belt, and get the big head.

And come crashing down to earth as I did trying to help one of my co-workers move back on his family the Ukraine.

We can't get past his great-granddad.

Hello to you from the Natural State - you commented on my blog post today. Great to "meet" another Arkansas researcher.

Wendy B. said...

Thanks for posting this, Heather. I want to delve into my brother-in-law's Mexican family history for my nephews. Both of his parents have passed away, but I found a hand-written document in my dad's files that lists his grandparents (as well as some birth places and the names a couple of great grandparents, too). His heritage is all over the board, though, including Iranian and some other European (Spanish, maybe?).

I have a feeling that it's going be tough to really flesh out the Meza family history. I'll keep an eye on your blog to see what kind of headway you make on behalf of your friend!

Moises Garza said...

When I started to do my own research it was though, I thought that I was never going to find my ancestors and that Americans had better chances than Mexicans. But throughout the years I've learned some tricks and found resources that have helped me trace my roots on some lines back till the 1500's and others even further. Check my blog it can help you build your Mexican Genalogical tool box. If you need any help let me know.