Getting Started In Finding Your Mexican Ancestry

StartOur Mexican heritage and history is a very exiting one. At one point in our lives there comes a point that we would like to find out more about our Mexican Ancestry. If you are at this point in your life you came to the right place. The following is an overview of what you expect to learn if you follow this series of articles.

Five Common Misconceptions About Mexican Genealogy Research

The first thing you would need to do in order to start your quest of finding your ancestors is  to kick out all the misconceptions that you may have about Mexican Genealogy Research. When I started doing my family history I had the following misconceptions  about Mexican Genealogy;

  • I Live In The U.S. and It Will Be Impossible To do Mexican Genealogy Since I don’t go to Mexico
  • Mexico Has No Records Online
  • There Are No Books About My Ancestors
  • My Ancestors Were Humble And Doubt They Left Wills
  • My Family is Not Catholic, I Doubt My Ancestors Were Catholic

Let me just tell you all the above are wrong. So kick them out and start with afresh mentality.

Your Family Is The Place To Start

In order to find your Mexican Ancestry you will need to start your Genealogy Research with you. Write down your name, then your parents  then your grandparents and so on as far back as you can. If you can out of memory write down their birth dates, death dates, and places where they lived. Then do the same for all your extended family.

Once you are done with yourself, interview, if they are alive, your parents and grandparents. Then find the oldest family member in your family and interview them. Also if you can take a portable scanner to scan any images or documents that they may want to share with you.

Genealogy Software To Manage Your Family Tree

When you get to this point you will need to find a genealogy program to enter all the great information you have gathered up to this point. The one I use and recommend is Family Tree Maker but it is not free. The other one that I have ample experience and started with is Family Tree Builder. Both of these programs are very good and will do a great job.

Find Your Mexican Ancestors Using Civil Registry Documents

Mexican Civil Registry Documents to find our Mexican Ancestry. These records go from present day back up until 1859 or 1860 when the Mexican Government started documenting births, marriages, and deaths. There are various websites that have this documents or indexes of these documents. Also these records contain a wealth of information.

Find Your Mexican Ancestors Using Mexican Catholic Church Records 

Mexican Catholic Church Records are the bread and butter of Mexican Genealogy Research. These records go from present day up until the early 1500’s. Once you get done with the Civil Registry Records and can’t go back further than the 1860’s that will be the time to dive into Church Records. These records also contain a wealth of information regarding Mexican Genealogy. I have been able to trace some of my own family branches back til the late 1500’s using these records.

How to Find Your Mexican Ancestors Marriage Dispensation

Marriage dispensations were required to be done by the priest when ever there was a relationship between the two parties. This documents by far contribute a great amount of genealogical information. Marriage dispensations can be about 5 to 15 pages long.

This post will continue to grow as I continue to add pertinent articles. Make sure and check it back often. Also if you have any ideas for posts or would like for me to write about something send me a message.

10 thoughts on “Getting Started In Finding Your Mexican Ancestry

  1. Yvette Porter Moore The Root Digger

    I appreciate this blog post. I have been doing my family research for a while. However, when It came to my Mexican heritage, I stopped cold in my tracks because, I do not read or speak Spanish and assumed that it would be totally difficult to do. I understand I will need some help, however, I also realized I could begin on this side of the border. I was even concerned I couldn’t do my Mexican Heritage research in the U.S. So…now I am mentally ready, and looking at what other’s are doing, such as yourself, and being less intimidated to start and not be afraid of asking for help.

  2. Ashley

    I like the way this was worded, however, I am looking into my husband’s ancestry and need a way of researching past his great grandparents… I don’t have anything past that… any tips on finding marriage records or birth records for mexico?

    1. Moises Garza Post author

      You can find Marriage and Birth records by using the links on this website. If you can provide me with information regarding your husbands grandparents I might be able to help.

  3. Anna Leyba

    I knew virtually nothing about my grandfather except his name, his date of birth and his parents’ names. I even had the place of birth wrong (although I did have the right State). I have gone back 4 generations by using Family Search. I began with him and then entered only his parents’ names to get as many of their other children as I could. This led to some marriage records which provided other parents’ names, etc. etc. I was able to go back 4 generations using this method. All I have are Catholic Church records. I wish I had other information — like stories, newspapers, deeds, etc. but I anticipate that as I get to know how to do genealogy in Mexico better, I’ll find some of these (I hope).

    1. Moises Garza Post author

      Anna I am super glad that you have been able to find your ancestors. Civil registry records also provide a wealth of information. Unfortunately for us only very few newspapers have been digitized and are searchable. I hope this changes with time. Also many municipal governments are slowly digitizing their archives and hopefully that will gives us a wealth of information. Any questions let me know.

  4. Irene Hernandez Maldonado


    You mention in this article that “Mexican Catholic Church Records are the bread and butter of Mexican Genealogy Research. These records go from present day up until the early 1500’s.” Where can I find the early records starting in the 1500’s. The earliest records I have found in Family Search start in 1667. Although I have connected with other family trees in Ancestry where some might have documents from the 1500’s, I haven’t found a link or any other info to lead me to where I might find these records. Can you point me to the right direction?

    I appreciate your hard work and your contributions in helping us find our ancestors.

    Irene Hernandez Maldonado

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