Mexico Probate Records

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Probate records are court records that describe the distribution of a person’s estate after he or she dies. Information in the related probate documents may include the person’s death date, heirs and guardians, relationships, and residences; an inventory of the estate; and names of witnesses.

Probate records have genealogical value in Mexican research; however, other sources such as church records and civil registrations cover a larger percentage of the population, and probate records are difficult to access. Very few probate records have been microfilmed.

While probate records are one of the most accurate sources of genealogical evidence, they must be used with some caution. In Mexico the priest or notary public would record the will. These wills can be found in several places such as the notarial records, parish death records, or municipio court records.

The Family History Library does have the vínculos (entailed estates) for the late colonial period. These records include bonds and miscellaneous information on heirs, such as names, dates, relationships, residences, genealogies from three to seven generations, biographical information arising from property disputes, boundary adjustments, and rights to use Indian labor. The following publication contains this information:

  • Vínculos, 1700–1800 (Entails, 1700–1800). México D.F.: Departamento Agrario, Archivo General de la Nación, 1953. (On 184 FHL films beginning with 0034613). Indexed.

Other probate records can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog under:


  • Wills: Testamentos de Sonora (in Spanish) provides online access to about 1400 wills in Sonora, Mexico from the 1700s-1910. This was a research project by the history department at the Colegio de Sonora (College of Sonora) to transcribe all of the wills they could find in the Sonoran state archives for a study on the evolution of secularism of Mexican society. However, they captured most of the data of genealogical relevance.