Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hispanic Resources Online

While neither my husband nor I have Hispanic roots, I've been on the lookout for online resources for this ethnic group for several reasons. The first is because of a request of a good friend and co-worker, who is trying to find her paternal grandfather's Mexican roots. The second is due to the fact that one of my students in my current Online Genealogy class is Latina. Because Hispanic Heritage month (September 15 - October 15) just ended, I've seen several resources highlighted recently, and thought I would share them with those who may be researching south of the border. has a new video, "Hispanic Research Series at the Family History Library." A reference consultant, library volunteer, and patron are interviewed at the FHL, speaking in both English and Spanish, sharing the wealth of information that is available at the library and at its local branches, the Family History Centers. In addition, there is also a Hispanic Roots Channel at RootsTelevision; just look for the icon on the right side of the main page that has a colorful tree against a black background. Currently, there are four videos in this channel. Besides the one mentioned above, there is an interview with George Ryskamp, author of Finding Your Hispanic Roots, a family story shared by Carmen Deedy, and an interview with best-selling author of Rain of Gold Victor Vallisenor who tells how discovering his roots changed his life. has a sale on the book Finding Your Mexican Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide at their online store here. Normally selling for $16.95, it is available for $14.41. This book is written by George (mentioned in the above paragraph) and Peggy Ryskamp. You do not need to be a subscriber to Ancestry to order this book. Use the search engine on this page to help you find more materials on Hispanic research or those focusing on Central and South American roots.

FamilySearch Indexing is looking for 10,000 volunteers who can read both English and Spanish to help index Mexican, Argentine and other Latin American records for the Internet. Dick Eastman posted the entire news release on his blog earlier this month here. If you are able and willing to help, this project needs you!


Unknown said...

Because the Spanish maintained a caste system in their colonies, record keeping in Mexico is actually quite extensive, comprehensive and of high quality. Prior to 1900 church records are the best source. These are filmed, almost in their entirety by the LDS and available through local family history centers, and also at the National Archives in Mexico City. Many are indexed in IGI or VRI.

Also, for any Americans with Mexican ancestry, the Mexican border crossing records available through NARA and indexed on are invaluable.

There are also a number of good online communities of Mexico-focused genealogists, including:

Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research

Nuestros Ranchos Genealogy of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you, Arturo, for this helpful information!