The province of Nueva Viscaya used to cover the area that is now Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, Sinaloa, and part of Coahuila, Mexico. Last Thursday I found out about an very important collection that was digitized and is available online free of charge for this region. It is called the Fondo Colonial and covers the years of 1611 to 1821. I want to thank Gena Philibert-Ortega for sending me the press release for this important resource. I also want to thank everyone whom took the time to post it also to the We Are Cousins Facebook Group and also to our Mexican Genealogy Facebook Group. I am writing this article a week late since I had to see how to use it and see how it can benefit you, I had to try it my self.
The Fondo Colonial has 8933 different documents but the current online collection si only one third of it. The section of justice (justicia) has yet to be digitized but it is mentioned that they are in the process of digitizing it and will be available in the future.
Now the Fun Part
The Fondo Colonial is being hosted at Roots Point. First time I visited the website I almost missed the section to browse the collection. The second thing that I noticed there is no way of searching and you can only do browsing. This turns out to be a huge problem but I found a solution for you. The Hispanic Heritage Project has the catalog in excel format and it can be downloaded here http://www.hh-p.org/cat225logodelfondocolonial.html Once you get your own copy, you can just click CTRL+F to easily search for your ancestors name or any other keyword that you may be researching.
After you find a document that you want, remember the Justicia records are not available, go to http://www.rootspoint.com/fondo-colonial/
How to Browse Using the Above Image form the Index
At Roots Point click the drop-down menu labeled SECCION and Select Milicia Y Guerra
Then on the SERIE drop-down menu select Correspondencia
You will be presented with a list of documents on that Section. All you do is scroll down using the AHMP number. In thsi example it is AHMP.FC.C03.003.071
Here it Is:
After you click on the button that has the AHMP number you will be presented with an image browser that contains the record you just browsed for. Here is a picture of how it looks.
To Recap This Short Review
If you are searching ancestors from Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, Sinalo, and Coahuila, Mexico make sure to check this collection out. You never know it may just be what you were looking for.
Remember you can get the index here: http://www.hh-p.org/cat225logodelfondocolonial.html
You can browse the digital collection here: http://www.rootspoint.com/fondo-colonial/
If you find this collection helpful and or wnat to contribute to the digitization efforts please consider making a donation to The Hispanic Heritage Project here: http://www.hh-p.org/donate.html
Also on the comments section of this post let me know if you find any ancestors in this awesome resource.