In some cases not all, but maybe in your case searching the Mexican Border Crossing Records could be the key to finding your ancestors. I have found that if your family emigrated to the United States between 1895 and 1957 chances are that you will find your ancestors using these records.
These records are great since once you find a record it will contain various details about your ancestors. Specially the date of birth and also the place of birth. This will tell us where else to search for him or her. Also these records may contain your ancestors fingerprint, in some cases even a photo, and also names of people that were traveling with them.
An example of How I used this Records
Some time back I could not locate the correct wife for one of my grandmothers brothers. The small town that they were from had several women living by the same name during the same time period.
When the border crossing records became available online I searched for my grandmothers brother, just to record if he had ever crossed to the United States and he did. I found a border crossing for him where he listed his wife’s name as the person accompanying him.
I have a habit of always looking at the record before and after the one that I find, when I did this in this case the record after her was for his wife. The record provided me with allot of information it even listed her parents.
Of course this all would have had been avoided if may father had known whom the parents of his uncles wife were but he did not or if we would have had a way of contacting one of her living sons.
I have also used these records to determine where some of my ancestors were from.
Mexican Border Crossing Records Online
You can use the following resources to learn more about these records and also search for your ancestors.
- National Archives – Here you will find a brief introduction about the Mexican Border Crossings, how and why immigration records were collected, special conditions on the Mexican Border, immigration statistics and definitions, who’s in the records, the types of forms used, available microfilm publications and where to find NARA microfilm.
- United States, Border Crossings from Mexico to United States, 1903-1957 – This is a searchable collection that contains 3,610,754 records of immigration records from various ports along the United States Mexico Border. They are courtesy of Ancestry.com
- Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1957 – This resource is the best of all three since you can search and also browse the images. You can actually see your ancestors signature and sometimes even their thumb print. The only thing is that in order to use this resource you will need a membership which costs about $12.95 per month with a six month subscription, they also offer a 14 day free trial.
Learn More About Border Crossings 1895 to 1957
- Crossing the Frontera – If your ancestor crossed the U.S. border from Mexico between 1895 and 1957, you may want to try searching for them in Border Crossing records available at FamilySearch. This class will give you a little background information about the records and their content. It will also show you how they can be used to identify your ancestor’s home town in Mexico. The class includes a case study and important search tips and techniques.
I know that these records will be as useful to you as they have been for me. If you like this post please share it with your friends and family by using the buttons bellow.