Mexico Public Records

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As a tribunal of justice the Viceroy of Mexico (Real Audiencia de México) heard both civil and criminal matters. Cases that had been judged in local courts were appealed here, and they could not have a value over 60,000 maravedies and not less than 600 gold pesos. In 1786 this court stopped hearing fiscal matters. The Audiencia controlled and oversaw the administration of justice in its district and at times outside its boundaries. In the early 1800s this court was restructured.

The Family History Library has the records on this audiencia. Information in these records varies greatly. You can find such things as failed contracts, unpaid debts, laws regarding family rights, records on confiscation of goods, wills, business records, census, letters, family information, and so on. These records do not have a complete index and are not always chronological. Following are bibliographical citations to these records:

  • Ramo Civil: 1533–1857 (Civil Division: 1533–1857). México D.F.: Archivo General de la Nación, 1989. (On 1280 films beginning with 1563786.) Some indexes are found on films 1563899, 1563971, 1700436–1700437, and 1700467.
  • Documentos Civiles, 1626–1886 (Civil Documents, 1626–1886). México, D.F.: Archivo General de la Nación, 1988. (On 179 FHL films beginning with 1520588). These are indexed and organized by locality and material. You are directed to volume and page.