Saturday, August 14, 2010
The other day I received an email from a guy asking a great question about finding people in Mexico. He knew the complete name of the person he wanted to find as well as the city and state where they are living. His question was, "Where do I plug in this information to get an answer so I can contact this person in Mexico?"
There are a few free ways to go, most, if not all, of which involve the Internet. I explained that once you try the Internet and that doesn't help you find family in Mexico (and for many people the Internet doesn't deliver), your options move from free (Internet) to paid services.
Now before someone tweets about this and takes this out of context, we're talking about finding people who are alive and well in Mexico. If you're doing Mexico genealogy, there are many free resources out there. But for people who are trying to find family in Mexico, those resources really don't help you to get a current address or telephone number so you can call your sister, birth father or college buddy in Mexico.
As for the guy, he was less than happy with my answer. Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that I told him the reality for finding family in Mexico. He may have been upset that he might have to pay for professional services before he finally finds the person he has been seeking for over two years.
When the Internet fails to give results, some people may need to ask themselves how serious they are to find someone in Mexico because they may have to spend a few dollars to get a professional service.
Marie Daly, Research Library Director for the New England Historic Genealogical Society explained in an article that only about 10% of all the information on people is available online. I feel that since that article the percentage has grown. But let's face it. Even at twenty percent means there are 80% of the people out there who have nothing on the Internet. And when it comes to Mexico, even less of the population's personal information is available online.
Sure, there are some documents that you can get online, but you usually have to know all the information that is on the document before you can get a copy. If you knew that much about the person you want to find and unless you are doing Mexico genealogy, you probably don’t need the document.
Bottom line – many people in the U.S. may (strongly) believe that they can put together some information and go to the Internet, fill in a few fields and simply hit a button to know where their family or friends are in Mexico and have a way to contact them immediately. It could happen but just as the guy above experienced, it doesn’t usually work that way. But remember there are options when you really want to find a person in Mexico.
The Mexico Guru
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