Author: Kathy Warburton
Today many people in the United States and Mexico will celebrate Cinco de Mayo, in commemoration the Battle of Pueblo where a small Mexican force of about 4,000 soldiers defeated the much larger French army on May 5, 1862. The French had come to Mexico ostensibly to collect on a debt, but with the intent of taking control of Mexico. The first Cinco de Mayo celebration took place in California, when Mexicans working there heard the news of the victory and engaged in a spontaneous celebration.
Those with Mexican heritage have additional reason to celebrate this year. FamilySearch has made available, free of charge, the largest online collection of historical genealogical records from Mexico—nearly 28 million digital images and over 53 million indexed records. The earliest records date back to 1560 AD church records, but they can also be found as late as 1984. And many will be surprised to find the 1930 Mexico Census amongst the bounty.
Celebrate the Battle of Pueblo by browsing over 4 million digital images of Catholic Church records from the state of Pueblo. In addition to these records, FamilySearch also has the indexed 1930 Mexico Census with digital images. There are also 6 other collections of Catholic Church records, along with some civil registration records and general indexes. Check back often as new records are being added frequently.
If you would like access to more free indexed records from Mexico, consider joining thousands of other online volunteers who are making it happen. These volunteers donate a little time each month online creating searchable indexes to Mexico’s historic records through FamilySearch indexing. When indexing projects are completed, more are added. The FamilySearch indexing tool is available in both Spanish and English and indexing is simple to do and a great way to help preserve your Mexican heritage.
If you need help learning how to research your ancestors in Mexico, FamilySearch also has three free online classes teaching you how to do family history research for ancestors in Mexico (see genealogical investigation in Spanish America). The classes are in Spanish at FamilySearch.org. If you have Mexican ancestors, but don’t speak Spanish, FamilySearch also has a series of classes teaching you how to read the Spanish records.
Have questions about your Mexican ancestral research? Receive free assistance through a local FamilySearch family history center, or online through FamilySearch’s interactive forums.
An additional resource is the FamilySearch Research wiki. There are many articles on family history research in Mexico available in both Spanish and English. You can also contribute your knowledge on a particular area to the Research wiki so that others can learn from your experience.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!