Have you ever wanted to start looking for your Mexican Ancestors only to find your self discouraged with misconceptions about Mexican Records and or Research?
When I started genealogy back in 1998 I had various misconceptions myself about Mexican Genealogy Research and I will talk about them.
It is my purpose or hope that this post will help debunk those misconceptions that you may have and that may be holding you back as they were holding me back.
Five Common Misconceptions About our Ancestors
- I Live In The U.S. and It Will Be Impossible To do Mexican Genealogy Since I don’t go to Mexico – Many people believe, just as I did, that it was impossible to do Mexican Genealogical Research from the U.S.. Turns out that you can do most of it by just using a computer and networking with people in Mexico and other researchers int he U.S. I know this since I have done it myself. Thanks to FamilySearch.org most Church Records and Civil Records up until and past 1930’s are available to us.
- Mexico Has No Records Online – This is true and at the same time false. It is true since the Mexican Government hardly has any records online. But false since FamilySearch.org has almost all Civil Registry Records starting since it’s implementation in the 1859. FamilySearch also contains most Church Records since the 1500’s to in some cases the present times.
- There Are No Books About My Ancestors – Boy oh boy was I wrong, I have found books with stories greater than life, about Indian fighters, Royal Lines, Soldiers, Generals, Conquistadores, and Explorers. Most of them supported by documentation. One of my ancestors even wrote about the History of one of the provinces of New Spain. The key is to look for rare books, my greatest resource is my local UTPA Library’s Collection. Also a great place to find books is Borderlands Book Store.
- My Ancestors Were Humble And Doubt They Left Wills – To date I have found many wills, they are transcribed or short excerpts from the originals. Most of them since my ancestors were from Northeastern Mexico are in the Archives of Monterrey. I found them with the help of several books that had indexed those archives. I am currently in the process of contacting a genealogist in Monterrey to get copies of the originals. This wills offer a window into the lives of our ancestors.
- My Family is Not Catholic, I Doubt My Ancestors Were Catholic – I had the same misconception when it came to my own family. When I started asking questions I was very surprised to find out that only me and two other brothers of mine were not baptized in a Catholic Church. Turns out that my parents were raised Catholic and then became New Born Christians. History will also show us that almost everyone in Mexico Pre 1900’s was Catholic it was a way of life and it was also the only religion most people had contact with. I’ll bet you anything your Mexican Ancestors were Catholic and their records can be found in the Church Records available for Mexico.
So what are you waiting for, happy diving into your Mexican Genealogy Research. If you have had another misconception proven wrong about Mexican Genealogy Research let us know about them in your comments and how they were proven to be wrong.