Thursday, January 25, 2007

Information you should provide when asking for help

I just saw a message on a genealogy site where someone was asking for information on their relatives in Mexico. The girl provided the first names and both the last names of her relatives. The critical piece of information that was missing was the name of the city and state where her relatives are supposed to have lived.

Whenever you send an email or leave a message on a forum asking for help to find someone in Mexico, you always want to provide the city and state. This will narrow down any searches tremendously.

If you have the name of a city and state for the person you are searching, but you have questions, check my recent blogs on Knowing the Mexican States. If you still have questions, send me an email.

Good luck on your search.

Richard Villasana
Mexico Family History Expert

Want to have information on finding someone in Mexico come directly to your In box? Subscribe now at Find Relatives In Mexico.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

#3 Misspellings can hurt your search to find a person in Mexico

One of the most common problems I see from people wanting to find a person in Mexico, even family, are misspelled names. It only takes one wrong letter to bring your search to a halt.

The most commonly misspelled words are the names of Mexican cities. Even if you speak Spanish, how can you know if you have the correct spelling? Here is a great tip. Go to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Type in the city name you have into their search field and wait for the results. If the search engine doesn't recognize the city name, it will usually offer you another spelling for the word.

In the case of Yahoo, I did a search for Hermosillo misspelling it as hermasilo. Yahoo came back asking, "Did you mean: Hermosillo?" with the correct spelling.

Give this a try and see if this helps get your search moving forward again. It's possible for you to find someone in Mexico, but you want to check that you are working with the right spelling of a person's last names, the city and state. If you are doing Mexico genealogy, you really want to pay attention to the spelling of names; otherwise, you could end up searching in the wrong city for your ancestors.

Good luck on your search. Hasta pronto!

Richard Villasana
Mexico Family History Expert

Want to have information on finding someone in Mexico and Hispanic family genealogy research come directly to your In box? Subscribe now at Find Relatives In Mexico.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Knowing the Mexican states #4

OK. I promise this is the last word on the subject of Mexican least for the next day or two. But seriously, I had two situations that truly reflect the confusion that exists with the names of cities and states.

The first was an inquiry I responded to. The girl wrote she was trying to find someone in Jilote, Veracruz. I explained there is no such city. There is a city named Jilotepec in Veracruz and recommended she check with the person who told her the city name was Jilote.

This exchange shows how one small item can stop you from moving forward and finding the person you are looking for or stop your family genealogy research. The girl wrote back she was aware Jilote is a slang term for Jilotepec. However, it's always best to use the proper city name if you're searching online or asking for help.

The other reason for comment is there can be cities in the same state where the difference in name is only one or two letters. I sometimes do a double take because I'll see two names that look exactly alike at first glance.

Another event occurred Saturday night that demonstrated so well the confusion in the U.S. on how to properly list a Mexican city and state. The program, 48 Hours Mystery, opened with a scene from a city in Mexico. The caption read, "Ajijic, Mexico". I just happened to be watching the show with a friend from Guadalajara who immediately said, "Hey, that's in Jalisco! There's no Ajijic, Mexico!!"

Guadalajara is in the state of Jalisco, and my friend knows the town, Ajijic. The proper form for the city is Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

So if you are or have had challenges with the name of a city and state in Mexico, take heart. Not even CBS and 48 Hours seem to know how to properly list an address. They may claim creative license, but when you are trying to locate someone in Mexico or do your Mexico family genealogy, that creativity can slow you down or stop your search altogether. Now you know what to look for.

Good luck on your search.

Richard Villasana
Mexico Family History Expert

Want to have information on finding someone in Mexico and Hispanic family genealogy research come directly to your In box? Subscribe now at Find Relatives In Mexico.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Knowing the Mexican states #3

Let me address another common misunderstanding about the names of Mexican states. Mexico is the name of the country. I may hear a "duh" but stay with me for a moment. One of the thirty-one states is also named Mexico. So how can you know the difference?

Most Mexican documents and addresses will use the form Edo. de Mexico meaning State of Mexico when referring to the state itself. You may also see the complete name, Estado de Mexico, and the less common state abbreviation, Edomex. If you were trying to find someone living in the city of Acambay in the State of Mexico, the proper form could be any of the following:

Acambay, Estado de Mexico
Acambay, Edo. de Mexico
Acambay, Edomex

I wish I could tell you this is the final word about Mexico and the State of Mexico, but it's not. Some Mexican publications such as Guia Roji's Mexican atlas and Mexico telephone books refer to Edo. de Mexico as simply Mexico.

Good luck in your search.

Richard Villasana
Mexico Family History Expert

PS. Please let me know how can I make this blog work better for you.

Want to have information on finding someone in Mexico come directly to your In box? Subscribe now at Find Relatives In Mexico.

Friday, January 5, 2007

#2 Know the Mexican states to find family in Mexico

From the numerous emails I receive, it's apparent there are general misunderstandings about the Mexican states, the capitals and what makes a proper address. It's important to know about the states if you want to find people in Mexico.

Most capital cities have the same name as the state. For instance, the capital of the state of Puebla is Puebla. This is properly written as Puebla, Puebla. (There are state abbreviations, but I'll save that for another time.)

So what does it mean if you have an address with Puebla, Mexico? That's a good question. An educated guess is the address is/should be Puebla, Puebla Mexico. But when it comes to finding someone in Mexico and especially if you are going to pay for specialized services or resources, you really want to be certain what the proper address is before you start spending your money.

If possible, ask the person who gave you the address to verify the information. Maybe they left out a vital piece of information such as giving you both the city and state name. In some cases, the person may not know there is a difference and was simply passing on the address as they received it.

This may appear to be a minor issue, but it's not. I just received an email asking for help. The city and state the person gave me is Puebla, Edo. de Mexico. There is no city named Puebla in Edo. de Mexico so it's very likely the correct city and state is Puebla, Puebla. If this person hadn't asked for expert advice, he may have continued searching for months thinking Puebla, Edo. de Mexico was a good address. It can be the small things that stop you from finding a person in Mexico.

If at all possible, you have to verify your information is correct. This is one of the reasons why finding family in Mexico, a mother, birth father may require the services of experts who know the ins and outs of addresses and so much more.

Good luck on your search.


Richard Villasana
Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana
The Mexico Guru
Find Relatives In Mexico

Want to have revealing information to find family in Mexico come directly to your Inbox? Subscribe now at Find Relatives In Mexico.

PS. If you have any comments that you feel will help, leave them here as well as on our Facebook page. Together we can help each other to connect to our ancestors, know our family and have a better sense of where we come from.

PPS. If you like this blog, click the LIKE button above and share it with your friends. The more you share with us, the better we can help you find family in Mexico and get you started on your Mexico genealogy search.