Ancestry.com and Mexican Genealogy Research

Ancestry.com and Mexican Genealogy

Ancestry has recently launched their Ancestry.mx website. I think that it is great that they have done so. Let me explain why, this means that they have already allocated resources and are in the initial phases of talking to people doing Mexican genealogy research to see what their needs are when it comes to Mexican genealogical resources. As I have mentioned in random comments and blog posts at our sister site We Are Cousins I had the pleasure of talking to Danyel Rios, she has Cavazos ancestors in the Monterrey area, whom is currently part of the user research team and the strategic lead for ancestry project Ancestry.mx.

I was invited by Daniel to have a three way call with her and Lisa R Handalin whom is a senior User Researcher with Ancestry. This call occurred back in December 19, 2014.  Once I was in the call I asked them if I could talk freely and with all honesty and they said that they did not expect anything less. I told them how basically the current website is practically useless for Mexican Research and that the material they had for Mexico is not worth the thirty something monthly price tag. I told them that I have no problem recommending their software Family Tree Maker but that I only recommended Ancestry.com U.S. Edition for Mexican Americans and Americans, whom Mexican Ancestors came to the U.S many generations back, to find out where their ancestors where from in Mexico. I advised that once they found from where in Mexico they were using Ancestry I always referred them to FamilySearch, Mexican Archives, Websites, and even books.

They agreed that they currently don’t have many records for Mexico besides the SAGA books and the 1930 Census but stated that they are working on plans to have the Civil Registration Records for Mexico Indexed and have already completed several states but they are still not available for search. I advised that that is a great start. They asked me what others records would be of interest to us researching Mexico and I advised about the Monterrey archives and the huge jurisdiction for which they have records for. I also advised of the Saltillo records and of the Tamaulipas archives attempts to go Digital. I also advised that many Mexican States have similar archives and or books that have indexed such archives. I highly recommended that they speak to Israel Cavazos Garza and other authors of interest.

We spoke about AncestryDNA and my experience with it. I told them that I love it but that they should do something similar like FamilyTreeDNA as to have groups and tools how to play with our DNA data. I told them that I had to install a browser plug in to get more out of their website and that I had to take my data to GEDMATCH to get more out of my DNA.

They asked me about my experience with their Software and I told them that I love it and that it is the only one I recommend. I did mention to them that my greatest limitation with it is that you can only install it on one computer and only link to one family tree on Ancestry. I advised that it should be like their free app for android where every device connects to the same tree and can be updated form any device. I advised that I have two other laptops where I would like to have the ability to update my family tree.

They asked if they could join our Facebook group to talk to people and I advised them that it was OK for them to do so. They also asked that if our community might be interested in participating on usability tests for their website and I advised them that I could send an email to our mailing list asking for volunteers. They did advise me that they will pay for people to test their website.

In full disclosure let me just tell you that they provided me with a one year subscription to both ancestry.com and Ancestry.mx. I have been testing Ancestry.mx and so far so good I really like it. Somehow it feels less crowded than Ancestry.com. Also to get the results in Spanish is something else. They did caution me that the Ancestry.mx website for right now is just a translation of the American version. They did emphasize that they are going to try and acquire more genealogy collections for Mexico which is awesome. At least in my case since I have fully embraced Ancestry.com. The only difference was that before I would only get their service from time to time wich was something that explained to them. I almost forgot they also sent me two copies of Family Tree Maker 2014.

On a final note I was advised that what ever they acquire for the Mexican Ancestry website will be mirror on the American one. That way Mexican Americans have access to the same records that people in Mexico will have through he Ancestry.mx website.

That was basically what we discussed in the one our interview that I had with them and let me tell you that I am glad that they are focusing in our specific area of research. I know that it may take years for them to acquire collections but at least they have already started in that road. I know they will also read this post and if you have any suggestions for them feel free to write them on the comments section so that they may read them.

About Moises Garza

I have doing my family genealogy since 1998. I am also the creator of this blog Mexican Genealogy, and my personal blog We Are Cousins. To always be up to date with both of these sites follow me on facebook. Please feel free to contact me for anything.

14 thoughts on “Ancestry.com and Mexican Genealogy Research

  1. Jana Last

    I would love to see records for Chiapas and Oaxaca. Thank you for letting us know about this new Ancestry website!

  2. Ruby

    Will the Ancestry.com Mexican site be translated into English for coconuts like me who have ancestors in Mexico yet never learned enough Spanish to understand what I’ll be looking at? I have ancestors in Cocotitlan in Mexico State. Thanks.

  3. Nancy Martinez

    Thanks for being our voice! I had to cancel my subscription because it was useless to me. There is so much information on familysearch that is unindexed. It takes eternity to go through them. I’m not a Spanish speaker but I can read a little which makes going through unindexed difficult.

  4. Vanessa Erazo

    I am very excited to hear about this! I would love to test the .mx site if they are looking for more testers. And a few suggestions: since most of us have to search Mexican records on Family Search, it would be great if there was a way to import information automatically to my ancestry family tree (names, dates, etc). Also, when using information from Family Search records (that are not available in ancestry), I have to create a citation manually. This takes a lot of time. I hope they will consider this information and adapt their site to us Latinos doing research that requires using outside records but prefer keeping our family tree on Ancestry.

  5. Rebecca Liceaga

    I was part of a focus group with Linda as well and loved every minute of it as well as the follow up calls. I mentioned you to her, and I’m glad that you were a part of this. They couldn’t have gotten anyone better 🙂

    1. Moises Garza

      That is awesome. I got the email to be part of the Focus group but the schedule did not fit mine. Wish I could have had participated also. Glad that you did do it.

  6. Cindy Valdez Rodriguez

    Moses, I am searching Sonora Mexico for all my ancestors on both my lines. Can you recommend any resources for that state only? I have been a member of Ancestry.com for over 6 years now and have found very little, my main source has been Family Search.com, but I have to search the un indexed portion of the catalog because I have exhausted the indexed files. I am mainly looking for census records for 1870 and earlier, also civil records and church records too. Would love any recommendations for historical books on Sonora that might mention early settlers to that region. Thanks for all your great work!

  7. Kristen Wakefield

    I would definitely be interested in testing the .mx site if they still need people. I currently have a non-subscription Ancestry account since I haven’t found much for either side of my family through their site. I enjoy the visual element of it, so I continue to use it for saving my info to. I agree with what you told them that for people with family in Mexico, it’s not worth the monthly subscription. I’ve been mainly using FamilySearch, going page by page through images of the Zacatecas and Coahuila records. It’s SUPER time consuming, but it’s the only way I’ve been able to find anything. So far I know my family was in Zacatecas in the mid 1800s, and some of them moved to Coahuila, and then to the U.S. I would be interested to see what they may acquire for those states.

    1. Moises Garza

      I’ll let you know if I hear anything about them needing more people for focus groups. Hopefully they add the civil registration indexes soon. That would save us a ton of time researching.

Leave a Reply to Moises Garza Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *