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Through FamilySearch’s collaboration with Ancestry.com, 65 million Mexican records, with more than 200 million searchable names, are now available on the FamilySearch website for LDS users or through FamilySearch centers and libraries.
What does this mean to you? If you have Mexican ancestors, locating those ancestors has never been easier—and it’s getting easier all the time.
What the Newly Indexed Records Contain
A Lesson in Geography
The Federal Republic of Mexico is divided into 32 estados, or states, along with the Distrito Federal, or federal district.
Each state is divided into municipios, similar to counties in the U.S. Most civil registration records are kept at this level.
Each municipio is divided into cities, towns, and villages.
These indexed records include civil registration records that cover all states except Baja California Norte, Sinaloa, and Tabasco. Civil registration, or vital records kept by the government, began in 1859 in Mexico, although these records weren’t kept regularly until 1867. Civil registration records are important because of how many people were included and how much information the records contain. Civil registers (registro civil) include births (nacimientos), marriages (matrimonios), and deaths (defunciones).
Civil registration can be a rich source of information about your family. The records may contain the following information:
- Names of people at the event
- Dates and places of the event
- Parents’ names or other family members’ names
Of course, this is just the beginning of the kinds of records you can use to find information about your family. To learn about other types of records that are available and how to access them, see the article “Getting Started on Your Mexican Research.”
A Note on the Use of the Double Surname
If you haven’t researched in Mexico before, you might not be familiar with the double surname. Often, names in Mexico will include the given name followed by the father’s surname and then the mother’s surname. This practice began in the early 20th century, and you can actually see the names in the records change as the practice was adopted. For family reseachers, being given the mother’s maiden name is an incredible benefit. Keep these naming patterns in mind when you perform searches in the new collections.
Tips for Successful Searches
- Use only one surname for best results.
- Note that the records are grouped by state, so you don’t have to worry about knowing the name of the village if your family was from a small location.
- Watch out for common names. Look for clues that can help you verify that you have the right person, such as the names of other family members.
- Watch out for typos. If you are not finding what you’re looking for, try using wildcard characters. That is, use an asterisk * to replace one or more characters.
Example: The surname Morales may have been indexed as Marales. If you search for M*r*l*s, you will get results for Morales, Marales, Mereles, Mireles, Morelos, and so on.
By using an asterisk instead of vowels in a word, you may be able to find your ancestors, even if their names were spelled incorrectly in the index.
Read more about how to search the FamilySearch site.
In addition to being able to search for your ancestors in these new records, you may begin to see hints from these records in Family Tree. Look for this icon, and click it to review the hints. Then add any new information about your ancestors to Family Tree, and attach the record as a source for your ancestor.
New Records from Mexico
Where to Start Your Mexican Research
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