If you’re trying to trace your Hispanic roots, you’ll want to find the records and documents that will help you discover your family history. These include civil registration (births, marriages, and deaths) and church records.
Aside from finding onsite records in the country where your ancestors lived, you can also use online resources to help you trace them. These sources can be especially helpful for identifying Mexican families who settled in the United States.
Tracing your Hispanic roots can be challenging, especially if you don’t have access to onsite records from the town of origin. However, several resources can help you discover your Mexican or Spanish Colonial Ancestry.
The best place to start your research is by finding out where your ancestors lived in the country of their birth. This is critical in tracing your Hispanic roots, as it will help you determine where to look for records.
For example, if you have Mexican Ancestry, you will want to focus on the records from Mexico. You will most likely be looking for civil registration (government birth, marriage, and death) and church records.
Biographies are rare in Hispanic countries because they are typically only found for the nobility. Still, they may also be found for those who moved to another country and wanted to document that an individual qualifies as Hispanic based on their family history. These records are often handwritten and difficult to decipher, but they can be of great use to genealogists who need to understand how a particular individual grew up.
The primary Hispanic genealogical resources are online, but the researcher should also consult the FamilySearch wiki and other publications that discuss Hispanic genealogy research. For example, George Ryskamp’s Finding Your Hispanic Roots is a useful guide to using records from Spain and Mexico. Another important Hispanic resource is the 1930 Mexican census, which provides a great deal of information about the lives of Hispanic families. This census includes marriage, home ownership, occupation and other categories valuable to the Hispanic genealogist. Other Hispanic records to search are civil registrations from local governments, which document births, marriages and deaths. These records often contain names and places of origin, dates of events, and other details that can help researchers locate Hispanic ancestors.
Whether you are researching your Mexican, Spanish or other Hispanic roots, it is important to understand the record types available in those countries. This will help you to determine the best type of record to search for your ancestor. For example, if you have a deceased family member who died when civil registration was officially starting in Mexico, it is possible to find records for his death using civil registers or even church records.
Many families with Hispanic Ancestry have Catholic records for baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths. These are usually extremely detailed and can provide much information about your ancestor, his parents and siblings. In addition to the records you can find through church records, a variety of other resources can also help find your Mexican ancestors. For example, some organizations offer a DNA test to help you determine the state or region where your ancestors originated. A person can obtain a copy of a death certificate if they are a qualified applicant. This means that the person must be a spouse, immediate family by blood or legal guardian (provide documentation) or the deceased’s legal representative.
Whether they risked their lives in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Desert Storm, or the post-9/11 conflicts, service members of Hispanic roots have proudly served our country throughout American history. Despite their many struggles, including segregated units during World War I and segregated military schools, millions of Hispanics have been committed to serving their nation for generations.
Today, one in five service members self-identified as Hispanic. And even when the Vietnam War ended and the United States military returned to being an all-volunteer force, Hispanics still remained a significant portion of our armed forces. Military service records, particularly muster rolls, can be valuable for family historians researching Hispanic Ancestry. A muster roll typically lists a soldier’s name, unit, rank, age, physical description, birthplace and muster-in and muster-out dates.
If your Hispanic ancestors immigrated to the United States, you’d need to find records documenting their immigration. You can find this information in civil registration, church, and military records. You can also search for citizenship and naturalization records through Ancestry Library Edition. These documents can provide your ancestor’s country of origin, their names, and even their date of birth. Another useful resource for locating Hispanic immigrants is Movimientos Migraorios Iberoamericanos, a free database sponsored by the Spanish government that includes records from countries throughout the Spanish-speaking world. It includes records such as passports, border crossings, crew lists and emigration books. If you’re trying to trace your Hispanic Ancestry back to Spain, look for genealogical records in that country, particularly those of the Roman Catholic church. These records are among the oldest and most complete in the world.
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