Volunteers at the Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy Help Others Locate Their Ancestors


The following teaser is from the July 28, 2016 edition of TheDenverChannel.com:

DENVER – Many Colorado Hispanics who have reached retirement age aren’t ready to stop working. Some want to continue contributing to their community, so they do volunteer work.

Pat Manalo is one of them. She’s a genealogist at the Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy.

“In the 1970s, you asked your aunties and uncles about your family,” she said. “Now, there are other resources available.”

Manalo told Denver7 that she never got to retire. She said she’s still a fulltime homemaker, but added that that job gave her the opportunity to go to libraries and to other people’s homes, to learn about family histories.

“Back then, you did everything by charts,” she said. “Now, it’s a little easier because we have more resources and we have a computer.”

The society maintains a library at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Southwest Denver.

Society President Joe Gallegos said most of the reference materials are church records.

“They include baptisms, marriages, deaths and confirmations,” he said. “A lot of information is also available on the internet.”

Read the full article.

New Research Materials Could Help Hispanic Families Trace Their Roots

“Florida International University has acquired new research materials that could help Hispanic families trace their roots.” Here’s a peek at an article from the Miami Herald:

FIU acquires new genealogy research collection

The Associated Press

MIAMI — Florida International University has acquired new research materials that could help Hispanic families trace their roots.

The university has obtained a collection of thousands of books, letters and other primary documents relating to Cuba and genealogy. There are genealogy books from North, Central and South America, as well as Spain, Italy, France and other European countries.

Click here to read the full article.


More details are available from FIU. Here is an excerpt from their announcement:

Soon, anyone tracing his or her Cuban or Spanish roots will have access to unique research materials, many available for the first time ever and only at Florida International University.

FIU Libraries has acquired a collection of thousands of books, handwritten and typed letters, photos and other primary documents relating to Cuba and Cuban genealogy, collected over four decades by Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza.

Hurtado loved books so much that he amassed a collection of over 5,000 volumes, many of them relating to the genealogy of his native Cuba.

“This is an extraordinary addition to our collection,” said Laura Probst, FIU Dean of Libraries. “We are proud to be the custodians of this rich collection of the family and cultural history of Cuba and its diaspora. Our long-term vision is to create a public Center for Cuban Genealogy, but need support from the community to make this a reality.”

Click here to read the full announcement.

Mexican-American Genealogical Research

So many of the books we come across focus on tracing one’s ancestry to Europe. And why not? For hundreds of years Europeans represented the majority of immigrants into North America. Ellis Island alone saw 12 million enter this country from 1892 and 1954. Of course, not everyone is descended from European immigrants, or at least not Europeans alone. Immigrants have come to the U.S. from just about every country in the world. Not all in mass migrations or by the millions; yet, here they are. One country from which many millions have immigrated to the U.S. lies not across oceans, nor even from another continent, but rather it shares a common border, Mexico.

Fortunately, Mexican American genealogists aren’t without help. There are experts and authors to help family historians trace their Mexican ancestry. Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico, by John Schmal & Donna Morales, was written to help descendents find records of their ancestors from governmental sources and through the Family History Library.

According to the authors, “Mexico probably has the most detailed records in the world, stretching back more than 400 years.” This is a great boon for researchers focused on Mexican research. This book focuses on helping genealogists find and access this wealth or records.

The authors declares the most important piece of information to obtain is the location name from were one’s ancestors in Mexico came from. The book helps you discover these locations by covering such records as Naturalization papers, alien registration forms, border-crossing documents, death certificates, obituaries, and mortuary documents. Through samples and explanations, the book also details the information one may find among Mexican church and civil records. There is even a discussion over the problems associated with racial classifications found in documents prior to the 1822 independence


Table of Contents


Table of Illustrations





Chapter 1 — Following the Paper Trail

Chapter 2 — Finding Vital Records

Chapter 3 — Other Sources of Vital Information

Chapter 4 — Naturalization Records

Chapter 5 — Alien Registration Records

Chapter 6 — Crossing the Border

Chapter 7 — Best Records in the World

Chapter 8 — Passengers to the Indies

Chapter 9 — The Indians of Mexico

Chapter 10 — In the Service of Their Country

Chapter 11 — Getting Prepared



Author Biographies


Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico is available from Family Root Publishing; Item #: HBS2139, Price: $20.58.

A Look at Some Central & South American Records at FamilySearch

In our discussions on research topics, we so often spend a great deal of time focusing on our ancestors who have come to the United States from the East or the West. But what about those who came from the South? Fortunately, FamilySearch has not forgotten about them. While availability of European and U.S. records have been easier to access and index in the past, FamilySearch has made great efforts to include those vital records accessible from Central and South American countries. This includes the Caribbean. Here is just a short list of indexed records which have been made available this year for free at FamilySearch:

Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, 125,830 records as of 17 Sep 2011
Argentina, National Census, 1895; 3,888,939 records as of 6 Sep 2011
Nicaragua, Civil Registration; 363,085 records as of 16 Aug 2011
Peru, Civil Registration, 1874-1978; 163,944 records as of 16 Aug 2011
Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration; 1,528,614 records as of 13 Apr 2011
Costa Rica Church Records, 1595-1992; 1,380,256 records as of 8 Apr 2011

With so many people vying to get into the U.S., and with a hot-potato topic like illegal immigration seemingly in the news every other day or so, its easy to forget people actually immigrate to countries other than our own. Brazil and Argentina saw mass migrations of Europeans during the great wars. Some of these individuals and families, or their descendants, later immigrated into the U.S. Immigration records from foreign countries may just come in handy to your research.

Other records, both browsable images as well as indexed, have been added over the past couple of years. There are millions of available records, most belonging to someone’s ancestor, just waiting to be found.

Hispanic History Fresco Goes on Exhibit in Albuquerque

The following teaser is from an article that was published several days ago, on the eighth of October, in USA Today. I missed it, so am posting it now…

Santa Fe artist Frederico Vigil in front of his latest fresco.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an epic artwork being unveiled [last] Sunday in Albuquerque speaks volumes.

It took more than nine years of painstaking work, but the 4,400-square-foot fresco depicting the breadth of Hispanic history will officially open for viewing at the city’s National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Billed as the nation’s largest concave fresco, it adorns the 45-foot-high walls and ceiling of the Torreón (tower) at the entrance of the center. It’s the work of Santa Fe artist Frederico Vigil whose epic fresco brings to mind Mexican master muralists such as Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

The labor-intensive art of fresco involves painting on wet plaster. And though Vigil had a parade of young artists helping him with the process over the years, he did all of the actual painting.

Titled Mundos de meztizaje, the fresco traces centuries of Hispanic history from the Old World to the New World. It’s meant to be a contemplative space before entering the larger center, a 30-acre complex that houses an art gallery, three theaters and a genealogical library.

Viewing hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays through 2010. Additional hours will be announced for 2011. Admission is free.

Read the full article.