Friday, March 25, 2011

Starting Your Mexico Family Genealogy Search? How to Get Started

The other day I received an email from a man who wanted to find relatives of his ancestor who left Spain and came to Mexico. I can relate because my Mexican family on the Villasana side was originally from an area of Spain near Burgos.

The problem for this person was that he doesn't know where to start searching. He had dates, parents names (mother is Mexican & father is Spanish) and location, but that is the extent of his information. He wanted to conduct the search, but he wasn't sure where to start his search. So he was looking for advice.

My recommendation was a process of collect, verify, and search. If you're starting your Mexico family genealogy search and need to first locate living relatives in Mexico, you want to have the complete name of this relative. He had that. Did he also have the name of the city and state where his ancestor died and presumably where his ancestors children grew up? Check again.

Verify. This is the one step where many beginning genealogists make a critical mistake. They've collected information but instead of verifying the accuracy of their data, they start to search. Skipping this step can cost you years of wasted effort. Many people come to my company frustrated and upset because they're losing hope of ever finding their family or relatives in Mexico. And often the problem is that they were working with inaccurate, incomplete or simply wrong data.

One woman came to us after several years of searching online for one of her cousins. As soon as we received her information, we noticed a glaring problem. She had listed the city where her cousin was living as being in San Luis Potosi. The problem was that there was no such city in San Luis Potosi, but there was a city by that name in the neighboring state of Queretaro. This is like you wanting to find your cousin in Henderson (near Las Vegas) but you're looking for him in California.

This is why you want to have your information verified by experts who know Mexico. Finding someone who knows about New Mexico is not the same thing. They can find and correct inaccurate data that will save you years and help you find your relative much faster.

Search. Once you have your information verified, I recommend you spend time on the Internet. Maybe you tried doing a search on Google or Yahoo, but that may have been before you verified your information. If so, it's time to go back and give the search engines another shot. And don't forget to check social media sites such as Facebook.

I want you to know, though, that there is only so much information available online on people living in Mexico and some of it's completely wrong. Try the Internet for a few weeks but don't spend months searching online.

If you follow the collect, verify and search process, you may just find yourself united and back in touch with your family or relatives in Mexico faster than you may have thought possible. If you do all of the above and you still can't find your family or relative in Mexico, then it's time to look at working with a company that specializes in finding people in Mexico.


Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana
The Mexico Guru
Find Relatives In Mexico

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bairefoot said...

My fiance was deported to Mexico in 2007. I was pregnant at the time of his deportation. She is now 3 years old and has never seen her father. I have tried finding him over the years and have no success. I have the name of the city and state he deported to. I also have his whole name, date of birth and of course there are arrest records with exact information on him. I would greatly, greatly appreciate any help anyone can give me in finding my daughter's father.

Richard Villasana said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your fiancé. It sounds as if you have all the necessary information. Let me know if you have gone online and used different search engines to try and find your fiancé. Don't use just Google. Different search engines give different responses.

If this doesn't work, then you should at least have your information verified in case there are any inaccuracies. Or you may decide to have a company such as ours do a search for you.

But before you do anything else, try the Internet and search engines. And follow us on Facebook at because you can find more advice to help you. And let me know what happens. You can email me at

Richard Villasana

bairefoot said...

The only information I have been able to find is the information I already know about him. Could you give me some websites that might help aid in finding him. I had about given up until my friend sent me your website. The Mexican Consulate was no help, all they did was tell me how to make our marriage legal once I find him. I would greatly appreciate any pointer, helpful websites, tips etc you could offer.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

Dr. Bill ;-)
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

Richard Villasana said...

My recommendation is to try every free resource.

You have your fiancé’s full name so I would try at least three search engines, Google, Yahoo, Bing and maybe Each one will give you slightly different results.

IF you don't get results this way, then your next move is to go to the social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. I wrote about how a homeless man was reunited with his daughter at

Here's another thought. If you have the name of one of his relatives, search for them also. It's amazing how relatives can help you find someone.

Now do NOT spend weeks doing this because, unfortunately, the majority of people living in Mexico are not listed online. There is no magic website that lists all the names and numbers for people living in Mexico.

Take these steps first so you will have exhausted all the free options. If you find your fiancé, be sure to let me know. If you don't, then it's time to work with a company, such as ours, that specializes in finding people living in Mexico.

It sounds as if you have a lot of information, so you have several options before even thinking of giving up. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

bairefoot said...

Thank you for following up and answering my question. I have used all of those search engines and keep coming up with information I already know. I have been searching since 2007 and nothing new has come up. I know the name of the city and state of Mexico he was deported to I just don't know how to find out if he is still there. I created his facebook account so that isn't no help either. I will keep searching and if u have any information that will help with anything or new ideas, my email address is Please feel free to e-mail.