Mexico Quick Start Guide
Mexico: Ancestor's birth, marriage, or death location unknown
FamilySearch Indexed Records: Try searching in the indexed records for the name of the ancestor if they were born before 1900. Limit your results to the country of Mexico and the name of the state if known. If no results, the patron will have to find more information from home sources or by asking family members.
1930 Mexico Federal Census: If ancestor lived in Mexico (but not in the Federal District/Mexico City) in 1930, try a search in indexed records to see if he was in the 1930 census of Mexico.
Border Crossing Records, Mexico to U.S.: If ancestor crossed the Border into the United States between 1906 and 1957, try Border Crossing records for more information about where they are from. These records are available on FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com. If you find someone, check to see who else crossed the border with them on the same day using Ancestry.com for this types of search. On the Ancestry.com home page click on Search > Immigration > Border Crossings & Passports > Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1964.
Contact family members: If they do not have even a minimal of information AND have no idea of where and when to look, encourage them to contact family members who might have that information. This could be older aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.
Mexico: Ancestor's birth, marriage or death location and names of parents, children, or spouse are known
FamilySearch Indexed records: Try searching first in indexed records. Try a variety of searches with ancestor’s name, or with parents’ names, or just by parents’ surnames AND using the option to limit locality by country Mexico and under event use ANY and the name of the state in Mexico.
FamilySearch Browse Images: If no results from previous search for the ancestor or any siblings, you will have to browse images for the locality. Civil Registration began in 1857 in Mexico but most places didn’t begin to register information until the 1860s. Catholic Church records are also a good choice as they cover all time periods. If you can find the ancestor in both record types, that is best as you will get more information to advance the pedigree.
Who to search for? If you don’t know the names of the parents, but you know the name of the spouse and/or the names of some of his children, begin with a marriage search (if they married in Mexico and you know the place). Or, begin with a search for the birth/baptism record for one of their children (if you have an approximate birth date and place).
Finding a locality
- Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos also known as the Garcia Cubas gazetteer online link in the Wiki article Mexico Gazetteers or FHL INTL Book 972 E5g. Available on microfilm. (also found in Family History Library Latin America reference section)
- IX censo general de población, 1970: Localidades por entidad federativa y municipio. Organized by states, then municipalities. FHL INTL Book 972 X22m . Also available on microfilm. (Blue books behind Family History Library Latin America reference counter)
For other online resources please review the Wiki article Hispanic Genealogy Resources Online.