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Researching Mexican Records

I used to write the newsletter for our society and I used to include hints or advice. I came across this one recently and thought I'd include it. When doing research in Mexican records, there are some facts that will help you. Civil registration was mandated in 1859 but was not widely practiced. Researching Church records is the best method of doing research. Remember that in many records, every boy (man) had a first name of Jose and every girl (woman) had the first name of Maria. Until 1822, almost all church records gave a racial classification for people baptized or married. Mexican spelling was varied with “b” and “v” interchangeable as well as “s” and “c” , and “I” and “Y”, i.e.

County Histories

Sometimes you find your ancestors in places you never imagined. I had been searching for my husband's great grandfather for several years. I was hoping to find his death certificate with his parents' names. I knew his family came to the United States from Germany in 1887. His wife and four children were listed on the passenger list, but I couldn't find him. I surmised that he had come earlier to have a place for them to live and also to find a job. I found them on the 1892 New York Census and also on the 1900 census. By then, his wife had died. Then they disappeared. I did a wide search on google and found them in the 1910 Census in Arkansas. Two of the brothers and their father own

Occupations

You come across all kinds of information in the census. Have you ever looked up the occupation of your ancestor?. So far, my ancestors have been a tanner, a carman, a teamster, a pilot, a captain, a stockman, and of course a farmer. Just to be on the safe side, even though I think I know what all the occupations are, I look them up. And as I look them up, I think about the time period. The pilot that I mentioned was on a ship or a boat. I learned that by subsequent researching of the census. And this was in the 1880s, so I did not think he was a pilot on an airplane. What about the stockman? Looking up the occupations of your ancestors helps you write your story.

Finding Your female ancestor

Beside being able to find a widow under her own surname in the census, look also to see the number of marriages the couple has/had. You might have some luck in finding the wife with her surname and parents in a marriage document for her first marriage. The same is also true of the husband if you cannot find his parents.

A First Marriage

If your looking for an ancestor and you find that he/she was the product of a second marriage, look for the first marriage of the father/mother. Many times, the first marriage gives you more information than the second. Or vice versa, sometimes the second gives you more information than the first. Leave no stone unturned...

CONFERENCES

I think everyone should attend a conference every year or every two years. You will learn something every time even though you might think you're an expert researcher. But you should prepare yourself to research if you're near some kind of repository. Take your research plan with you.

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