Close

All MCPL branches will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24, and will remain closed on Thursday, November 25, for Thanksgiving Day. Our Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

Back to top

Travels in Mexico via Genealogy

Travels in Mexico via Genealogy

November 4, 2021

Do you have ancestors from Mexico? A friend of mine does, and she wanted to trace that family line, but she didn’t speak Spanish or know how to begin. Here are a few tips for researching Mexican genealogy.

There are two main record types for birth, marriage, and death in Mexico. They are civil and church records, which will both be in Spanish. There is no central location for records, so you will need to find them through U.S. records for the town and municipality in Mexico where your ancestors lived. 

Civil registration began in 1859 but was not enforced until 1867. Ancestry and FamilySearch have some civil registration records from 1861 and after. If records are not online, write (in Spanish) for records to the Civil Registration Official in the municipality your ancestors lived.

The other type of record is church records. Many people from Mexico are Catholic, and some Catholic records are online through FamilySearch, ranging from the late 1500s to the 1980s. Otherwise, write or visit the parish in the town your ancestors came from. 

Births were reported within a few days of the birth by the child’s father or the midwife. The Catholic Church continued keeping records after civil registration began. Check for both civil and church records.  By 1917, when separation of church and state was created, couples had to be married by the state to be legally married. Church weddings were accepted by the state, but usually civil authorities married couples before a church wedding.

In larger towns, there may be more than one civil office. Based on your research, you may need to determine which civil office you need to contact for records. The same goes for parishes for church records.

My friend found a naturalization record that listed the town her ancestors were from. The search was on! Using maps, translation software, and her research, she was able to trace this line back a couple of generations, and she is still going! 

Do you have ancestors from Mexico? Share your research journey in the comments below! 

Sheri V.
Midwest Genealogy Center

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

View All Blogs

Read Similar Blogs:
Genealogy

Resources You May Also Like

British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries

Explore more than 400 years of women’s personal writings.
More Info

America's GenealogyBank

Investigate resources, some dating to the 1600s.
More Info

American Ancestors

View genealogies, birth and death records, and more. (only available at the Midwest Genealogy Center)
More Info

Kansas City Star

Search articles about local and regional news from 1880 forward.
More Info

Events You May Also Like

Beginning Genealogy (Zoom)

Mon, Jan 10 2022
2:00pm - 3:00pm Central
Virtual Event
Find out the fundamentals of beginning your genealogical research project. We will discuss organization, census information, vital records, and where to look for information.

Blogs You May Also Like

Get Healthy, Get Promoted, Get to the Library this New Year!
Read More

Get Healthy, Get Promoted, Get to the Library this New Year!

Make 2019 the year that you finally check off those recurring resolutions with a little help from
Where Will Your Family History Go?
Read More

Where Will Your Family History Go?

Have you considered where your family history is going to end up when you pass away?
A New Decade of Resolutions: Tackle 2020 with MCPL
Read More

A New Decade of Resolutions: Tackle 2020 with MCPL

It’s hard to believe that it’s about time to flip our calendars to 2020.
Revelations with Church Records
Read More

Revelations with Church Records

My great-grandfather has a rather common name, so it hasn’t been a piece of cake tracing his lineage to older

Was this page helpful? Yes No