Mexican-American Genealogy Portal

Beginning Your Mexican-American Family History Research

Mexican-American genealogy is rich with some of the most extensive archives in the world. In addition to United States locations, research can extend to Mexico, Spain, and other countries.

There is no better place to start your Mexican-American research than with what you know best. And, that is you. Build an ascendant family tree starting with you, then branch your ancestors upwards listing each prior generation. Take time to list locations and relevant dates like, birth, death, marriage, or other significant life events. Attention to detail will be helpful as you expand your research.

After you have drafted your initial ascendant family tree, gather all the available record sources. These can include official records, tangible items, and digital records. Review each item you locate to determine if it reveals details about your ancestor's life. Think broad constantly asking yourself, "How does this item help me understand who my ancestor was?"

  • Official records list details about events, dates, times, witnesses, and other salient information;
  • Tangible items like clothing, tools, or other material possessions tell how our ancestors' lived and what was important to them;
  • Letters, diaries, and, other manuscripts provide insight into intimate details about daily living;
  • Use photographs to identify other family relations and other clues about where your ancestors lived and who they were.

Once you have explored and analyzed all resources available to you, you should be able to identify what information is missing. Take the next step and make a list of all living family members and see if you can interview them by phone or in person. Don't limit your interviews to the elders in your family. Often, younger generations will have recent memory of oral family history that has been shared with them. Create a chronology placing reference to each story in the time frame when the story took place. This can help reveal clues where to expand your specific research.

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Person Specific Mexican-American Research

Individualized Mexican-American research makes family history come alive.

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Once you have established a basic family tree you may want to conduct individualized Mexican-American family history research. If someone were to ask you about your ancestor, how would you describe him or her? What do you want others to remember as your ancestor's most significant contribution to your family, society, or the world?

As the family historian, it is your responsibility to report information accurately so that others can have confidence in the final family history research project. Properly citing the information you discover will allow others to use your research as a starting point for their own research. Why is individualized Mexican-American research important:

  • No two people are alike. Physical attributes, personality, and talents vary widely;
  • Environment or locations traveled influenced how our ancestors lived;
  • Family customs or beliefs affected our ancestors' behavior;
  • By honoring each ancestor we celebrate our family's diversity, uniqueness, and instill in our future generations a sense of personal pride.

Preserving the life story of each ancestor ensures that his or her memory will not be lost to time. The family historians role is more than building a genealogy tree. It is keeping history relevant to living descendants and giving them an opportunity to belong to a mutual history that can span centuries.

How to use the Mexican-American Genealogy Portal

This Mexican-American Genealogy Portal provides you with resources to further your family history research.

"Genealogy Headline News" is an online newspaper of the latest research resources, news, and tools reported in the prior week related to family history research. Only the most reputable new sources are included and it includes genealogy news from all nations as many Mexican-Americans are multi-cultural.

Our "Resources" section is a blog that identifies Mexican-American research locations, digital collections in the United States and throughout the world, providing location and contact information so that you can conduct outreach to those locations of interest. In addition, "News and Events" identifies time sensitive information to remind you of beneficial opportunities to genealogy community. News and Events include:

  • Major announcements to the genealogy community;
  • Free access to digital collection databases;
  • Free genealogy workshops;
  • And, updates to the Mexican-American Genealogy Portal.

Diana DeLugan welcomes you to this site. New Resources posts are published Monday-Friday. Genealogy Headline News is published each Sunday recapping the highlights from the prior week. Diana's mission is to provide greater access to information for anyone interested in Mexican-American family history research.

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Latest News


Hispanics Pearl Harbor and WWII

On December 8, 2015, Posted by , In Video,War, tagged in , , With Comments Off on Hispanics Pearl Harbor and WWII

By Diana DeLugan HISPANICS, PEARL HARBOR, AND WWII Once again, a collective pause echoes across the United States as we commemorate the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941. The tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor and heroic efforts of our soldiers…

Mexican-American-Genealogy-Events

On December 7, 2015, Posted by , In News & Events,Training, tagged in , , With Comments Off on Mexican-American-Genealogy-Events

Mexican-American Genealogy Events – Mark Your Calendar Happy Sunday. Here is our first installment of Mexican-American Genealogy Events. We will search for workshops or conferences that can help you expand your Mexican-American genealogy research. By attending a local conference or workshop, you can discover new tools, technology, or leads to…

Genealogy Headline News Update

On November 30, 2015, Posted by , In News & Events, With Comments Off on Genealogy Headline News Update

PUBLISHING SCHEDULE ANNOUNCEMENT Genealogy Headline News Please note the following scheduled breaks in publishing due to the 2015 Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. Sunday, November 29, 2015 Sunday, December 27, 2015 We thank you for your readership and will resume Sunday publication of Genealogy Headline News on all other Sundays. Archive viewing remains available.  

Using Government Sites for Genealogy Research

On November 10, 2015, Posted by , In Digital Library/Collection,Public Records, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Using Government Sites for Genealogy Research

By Diana DeLugan Diana is the author of Arizona Genealogy Free Resources Sourcebook, and family historian of the Otero family. She curates Genealogy Headline News which reports top news and future events in the genealogy community.   Using Government Sites for Your Genealogy Research Many state and federal government sites provide access to genealogy resources….

DeLugan’s Top Genealogy News Picks for 9 Nov 2015

On November 9, 2015, Posted by , In Digital Library/Collection,News & Events, tagged in , With Comments Off on DeLugan’s Top Genealogy News Picks for 9 Nov 2015

By Diana DeLugan Diana is the author of Arizona Genealogy Free Resources Sourcebook, and family historian of the Otero family of Tubac. She curates Genealogy Headline News which reports top news and future events in the genealogy community.       Here are DeLugan’s top genealogy news picks for 9 Nov 2015….

Pimeria Alta Historical Society in Nogales AZ Hosting A Free Genealogy Workshop

On November 8, 2015, Posted by , In News & Events,Training,Uncategorized, tagged in , With Comments Off on Pimeria Alta Historical Society in Nogales AZ Hosting A Free Genealogy Workshop

PIMERIA ALTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM HOSTS GENEALOGY WORKSHOP On November 14, 2015, the Pimeria Alta Historical Society and Museum in Nogales, AZ is hosting a free genealogy workshop with Diana DeLugan, author of Arizona Genealogy Free Resources Sourcebook, Otero family historian, and sponsor of Mexican-American Genealogy Portal. The workshop…

Free Access to Fold3 Native American Records

On November 8, 2015, Posted by , In News & Events, tagged in ,,, , With Comments Off on Free Access to Fold3 Native American Records

By Diana DeLugan Many Mexican-Americans have Native American roots. In my family, oral history suggests that my maternal grandfather Leopoldo Sinohui was Yaqui Indian. If you have an interest in researching your family’s history, you should check out the free access to Fold3’s Native American Records. Fold3 Native American Collection…

Rare Mexican Genealogy Records Availabe at El Fondo Reservado

On November 6, 2015, Posted by , In Genealogy Books,Reference,Research Location,Video, tagged in , With Comments Off on Rare Mexican Genealogy Records Availabe at El Fondo Reservado

Biblioteca Nacional of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico Mexico’s national library is one of the major resources for Mexican genealogy research.  There are several specific resources important to genealogy research. Among these resources are rare Mexican genealogy records available at El Fondo Reservado (The Reserve Fund). El Fondo Reservado’s…

Free Genealogy Records and Database Search at Ancestry

On November 5, 2015, Posted by , In Public Records,Reference, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Free Genealogy Records and Database Search at Ancestry

Ancestry.com is known for its’ subscription-based genealogy resources. But did you know that Ancestry offers free genealogy records and database search of over 800 databases for free? Yes, free. Easy Steps to Access Free Databases and Records at Ancestry To view the full directory of free resources type “Ancestry.com” into…

Locating Marriage Dispensas of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico

On October 10, 2015, Posted by , In Church Records,Digital Library/Collection,Research Location, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Locating Marriage Dispensas of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico

What are dispensas and why are they important? From the early 16th to 19th centuries, the Catholic Church issued marriage dispensa (dispensations) to prospective bride and grooms to verify they were eligible to be married under the sanction of the Church. According to Dan MacDonald of “The Brick Walls” website, marriage dispensations were…

Online Historical Records Available at the General Archives of Coahuila Mexico

On October 9, 2015, Posted by , In Digital Library/Collection,Public Records, tagged in ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Online Historical Records Available at the General Archives of Coahuila Mexico

The Archivo General del Estado de Coahuila maintains a website that informs the public about its’ archival collections and offers online access to historical documents. Documents date from 1737 to 1906 and are downloadable in PDF format. Each image is identified by film number, date, city/town, and is accompanied by…

Church Records Available for Genealogy Research at the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de Guadalajara

On October 8, 2015, Posted by , In Church Records,Public Records,Research Location,Video, tagged in ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Church Records Available for Genealogy Research at the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de Guadalajara

Brief History of the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de Guadalajara Since its inception, the Catholic Church ordered that its Ecclesiatical records be archived. Church records in modern day Mexico date back to the early 16th century. The archivo histórico del Arzobispado de Guadalajara, Jalisco (historical archives of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara,…

National Archives of Mexico

On October 7, 2015, Posted by , In Public Records,Research Location,Video, tagged in ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on National Archives of Mexico

Archivo General y Público de la Nación The Archivo General y Público de la Nación was originally the Archives of New Spain established in 1790 to preserve the memory of the new country known as Mexico. The public archive was renamed the Archivo General de la Nación (General National Archives) in…

Getting to Know Historic Archive of Tijuana Mexico

On October 6, 2015, Posted by , In Public Records,Research Location,Video, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Getting to Know Historic Archive of Tijuana Mexico

What is the Historic Archive of Tijuana? Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico offers genealogists and family history researchers access to a major archive focused on the history of Tijuana, Mexico and its’ citizens. The Archivo Historico de Tijuana (Historic Archive of Tijuana) was established in 2001 and is located within the…

Sonora Mexico Archive of Wills 1786-1910

On October 5, 2015, Posted by , In Digital Library/Collection,Public Records, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Sonora Mexico Archive of Wills 1786-1910

Testamentos de Sonora 1786-1910 The General Archives of the State of Sonora (Archivo General del Estado de Sonora) maintains a site of great historical significance for genealogists interested in Mexican family history research. Publicly funded and supported by private donations to El Colegio de Sonora to support and complete this…

Colonial Digital Library of Aguascalientes

On October 5, 2015, Posted by , In Digital Library/Collection,Public Records, tagged in ,,, , With Comments Off on Colonial Digital Library of Aguascalientes

El Acervo Digital Colonial del Archivo Histórico del Estado de Aguascalientes Today I came across a digital archive that might be beneficial in your Mexican-American genealogy research related to the State of Aguascalientes, Mexico. It is a digital collection of the Colonial Historical Archives of the State of Aguascalientes, Mexico…

Aguascalientes Archivo Histórico

On October 4, 2015, Posted by , In Research Location, tagged in , , With Comments Off on Aguascalientes Archivo Histórico

Aguascalientes, Mexico Archivo Histórico The government of the State of Aguascalientes, Mexico reports that it created its State Historical Archive pursuant to a government order issued on January 31, 1982. This Archive maintains outreach efforts to local teachers and their students to instill an appreciation for the State’s rich history….

US Invasion of Veracruz Research

On October 2, 2015, Posted by , In Research Location,War, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on US Invasion of Veracruz Research

21 de Abril Gesta Heroica de Veracruz One exciting historical project to preserve Veracruz, Mexico history related to the US invasion and occupation of Veracruz is called “21 de Abril Gesta Heroica de Veracruz.” The site celebrates 100 years of state and maritime history and may be a resource for…

Bibliografía Mexicana

On October 1, 2015, Posted by , In Public Records,Research Location, tagged in ,,, , With Comments Off on Bibliografía Mexicana

Bibliografía Mexicana Another research gem is the Bibliografía Mexicana provided as a collaboration of the Instituto de Investigaciones (Literature Research Institute), Bibliográficas Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico (National Library of Mexico), and Hemeroteca Nacional de Mexico (National Newspaper of Mexico). This collection detail reports that the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico…

Glossary

On September 30, 2015, Posted by , In Glossary, With Comments Off on Glossary

  Spanish / English Genealogy Glossary of Terms ~A~ SPANISH ENGLISH     abogado Lawyer abril April abuelo/a Grandfather/grandmother Abuelos Grandparents abuela materna Maternal grandmother abuela paterna Paternal grandmother Acre Acre Acta Document, record, take minutes Acta de defunción Death certificate Acta de nacimiento Birth certificate Acuerdo Agreement Adoptado/a Adopted…

Links to Maps and Plats

On September 30, 2015, Posted by , In Map/Plat,Research Location, With Comments Off on Links to Maps and Plats

MAPS/PLATS Maps and Plats are extremely useful for locating your family’s origin. Many state and federal government sites offer images in a variety of formats for public use. This list will be updated regularly as more free websites are located. Following are a few to the top sites that may…

Bilingual Relationship Chart

On September 29, 2015, Posted by , In Bilingual Relationship Chart, tagged in , With Comments Off on Bilingual Relationship Chart

Some researchers find visual tools useful. Following is an English/Spanish Relationship 4-Generation Chart for viewing:

Books

On September 29, 2015, Posted by , In Genealogy Books, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Books

Genealogy and History Books ~last updated 10/1/2015 Anyone interested in the field of Mexican-American Genealogy should take advantage of the body of literature that is available to further your research. Many books are available for free online. Although there are some you can purchase, there are many genealogy and history…

Glossary of Mexican Land Terms

On September 27, 2015, Posted by , In Reference, tagged in ,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Glossary of Mexican Land Terms

  Many common terms of measurement exist in Spanish and Mexican land grants. Following is a handful of land terms useful when reading land grants: aldeas – hamlets a los consejos de ellas (related to land documents) – representatives arrabales – suburbs avecinado – person from a different locality bueno y mediano – good…

Defining What is a Mexican Vara

On September 27, 2015, Posted by , In Law, tagged in ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Defining What is a Mexican Vara

Land grants issued in Mexico were measured in varas, the unit of all measurements of length. The Mexican vara is based on the Castillian vara used in the “Marc of Burgos.” It is the legal standard of measurement in colonial Mexico. According to the Hamilton book of Mexican Law written in 1882: How are varas determined? “The…

Mexican Land Measurements

On September 25, 2015, Posted by , In Law, tagged in ,,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Mexican Land Measurements

Spanish and Mexican land grants were primarily for livestock raising and agriculture. Exact measurement of these grants were codified in Mexican law and inform modern researchers how to interpret land grants. According to Leonidas Hamilton’s book “Mexican Law A Compilation of Mexican Legislation…” published in 1882, following are the basic…

The Power of Genealogy Groups

On September 23, 2015, Posted by , In Research Location, tagged in , With Comments Off on The Power of Genealogy Groups

If you are like most genealogy researchers, you may come across a time where you feel stuck in your research and don’t know what to do next. It is during times these times when the power of genealogy groups can seem like magic. Recently I found myself challenged with locating…

Top Tips for Beginning Mexico Family History Research Overview

On September 21, 2015, Posted by , In Training,Video, tagged in , With Comments Off on Top Tips for Beginning Mexico Family History Research Overview

In this video from Ancestry.com, Cristy Cowan known as the Barefoot Genealogist will provide you basic information on how to do basic Mexican family research and includes: Naming Conventions Identifies types of U.S. records relevant to Mexico family research How to use the Ancestry.com Card Catalog to narrow your genealogy…

Family History Centers Location Search

On September 3, 2015, Posted by , In Research Location, tagged in , , With Comments Off on Family History Centers Location Search

For more than a century The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has been the world’s leader of collecting and archiving genealogy information. The LDS church offers abundant free  genealogy research assistance to anyone interested in researching their family ancestry. The main Family History Library (Library) is…

Otero Family of Firsts Presentation in Tubac Oct 11 2015

On September 1, 2015, Posted by , In News & Events, tagged in , With Comments Off on Otero Family of Firsts Presentation in Tubac Oct 11 2015

Date: October 11, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Location: Tubac Presidio State Park & Museum – Otero Hall Author and Otero Family Historian Diana DeLugan will conduct a presentation focused on Don Torivio de Otero and his legacy.   For details visit: https://www.tubacaz.com/event/presentation-oteros/

Requesting Mexican Birth Records from Outside Mexico

On August 25, 2015, Posted by , In Public Records,Video, tagged in , , With Comments Off on Requesting Mexican Birth Records from Outside Mexico

All genealogical researchers value birth records as rich sources of information. The following brief news clip from CNN en Espanol explains how Mexican nationals who live abroad can request copy of their Mexican Birth Records (Spanish Language Video). Mexican birth certificates can also be ordered online through the office of…

Mexico Records Overview

On August 15, 2015, Posted by , In Church Records,Public Records,Video, tagged in ,,, , With Comments Off on Mexico Records Overview

In the following video Cristy Cowan, Ancestry.com’s Barefoot Genealogist, provides historical background of Civil records, Church records, and Census records. The video will help you understand what you should expect to find in each record type. Mexico records are available for the following dates: Census 1689, 1868, 1878, 1895, 1900, 1910,…

Mexican Library Locator

On August 5, 2015, Posted by , In Public Records,Research Location, tagged in , With Comments Off on Mexican Library Locator

  We can all know that libraries are great resources for research in any field. This is true for the field of genealogy. Mexico maintains public libraries in every state. If your research is stuck, try and determine the location of where your ancestors may have lived. Consider calling or writing…

Civil Registration versus Church Records Overview

On August 2, 2015, Posted by , In Church Records,Public Records,Training,Video, tagged in ,, , With Comments Off on Civil Registration versus Church Records Overview

In this video, Ancestry.com”s Cristy Cowan “Barefoot Genealogist” distinguishes the difference between Mexico’s civil records and church records. In particular, you will learn what types of records to look for through a church’s archives and what documents you may discover in civil records. You should watch the video to learn…

Introduction

On August 1, 2015, Posted by , In MAGP, With Comments Off on Introduction

Welcome to MAGP! This portal is an ongoing project by author Diana DeLugan to provide resources for genealogists and family historians who are researching Mexican-American ancestry. Resources posted on this site are intended for ancestors who are deceased. It is not a research site for living relatives or DNA. Videos have…