Genealogical Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas

Genealogical Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas. See a review below:

Genealogical Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas: A Complete Digest of the Records of All the Countries of the Western Hemisphere is the most comprehensive collection of information on colonial period records covering the entire Western Hemisphere, both North and South America. As far as I know, there is no other single reference for records sources covering the colonial periods for the entire hemisphere.

This book examines the colonial period from the earliest European colonization in the Western Hemisphere until:

  • the American Revolution for the thirteen colonies
  • statehood was obtained for other U.S. states
  • Latin American countries which did not declare independence from Spain and Portugal until 1808 or later
  • Caribbean countries and dependencies through about 1810
  • the abolition of the slave trade, for slavery related records, including dates of emancipation

For each country, the author Christina K. Schaefer, provides an historical background and brief sketches of the records themselves, plus descriptions for the principle holding of the major repositories. Record groups are broken down into similar categories for each country. Common sections include church and ecclesiastical records, census records, notarial records, governmental and municipal records, military records, land records, etc. A list of suggested readings rounds out each chapter.

At 814 pages, this reference is indeed extensive. It may be literally impossible to cover every possible resource in a single project. Still, Schaefer has provided a treasure trove of information vital to genealogical record finding. If you need colonial period records for anywhere in the Americas, this book can help.


Table of Contents


Part One: Going Beyond the Line, a Chronology

  • Chronology of colonial history
  • Dates of the first colonial governors

Part Two: Latin America

  • Introduction

Colonies founded by Spain

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Colonies founded by England, France, The Netherlands, and Portugal

  • Brazil
  • The Guianas
  • Belize/British Honduras
  • The Falkland Islands

Part Three: The Caribbean

  • Introduction
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • The British Leeward Islands
  • The British Windward Islands
  • Cuba
  • The French Antilles
  • Hispaniola
  • Jamica
  • The Netherlands Antilles
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The Virgin Islands

Part Four: The Thirteen Colonies, Maine, and Vermont

  • Introduciton

New England Colonies

  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Middle Colonies

  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland

Southern Colonies

  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia

Part Five: Other U.S. States with settlements prior to the Revolution

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Part Six: Canada

New France

  • Introduction to New France
  • Quebec
  • Ontario


  • Introduction to Acadia
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Prince Edward Island

Other North American Colonies

  • Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Rupert’s Land

Part Seven: Resources for Further Research

  • Religious groups in the New World
  • Africa and the New World
  • Colonial sources in Denmark
  • Colonial sources in France
  • Colonial sources in Great Britain
  • Colonial sources in Germany
  • Colonial sources in The Netherlands
  • Colonial sources in Portugal
  • Colonial sources in Spain
  • Colonial sources in Sweden
  • Colonial sources in Switzerland
  • Foreign records at the Library of Congress



Order Genealogical Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: GPC5176.

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