Sunday, March 27, 2011

Searching Maternal Side of Family? Conversation on Facebook



It's Sunday afternoon, but I just posted a response on Facebook to the following question:

I am researching my husbands family - His great grandfather is as far as I can go back right now - his name is Luis Origel Gonzalez from Penjamo, Guanjuato, Mexico. My husbands grandfather is Luis T Origel Torres and I have the names of his sisters and brothers, but not any marriage information, etc from those siblings. Part of my problem is knowing how to search with the maternal name included. I know that there is a Luis Navarro Origel that was a mayor of Penjamo during the Cristero Rebellion (1926) and am trying to find if he is related to my Luis Origel Gonzalez (born 1875)

As you may know, when a woman marries in Mexico it's customary that only the surname of her father will be part of her married name. So if Elena Gomez Gonzales marries Jose Martinez Ochoa, then Elena's name will be Elena Martinez Gomez.

So how can you work backwards to find out more about Elena? The rules of genealogy still apply. You start with the most immediate family. Then you search out information on extended family members, distant cousins, that ex-husband. If they are still living, then you want to contact them if possible.

If you would rather not contact people, then you can try to obtain legal documents, such as marriage and birth certificates and church records. Death records are also a great resource; however, you usually have to know the date when the person passed away and that could be challenging.

Marriage records are an excellent source of genealogy information. You usually have parents of both the bride and groom listed. With that information, you can search for siblings of the bride who are still living.

Once you move past 100 years (meaning 1911), then you have moved past many of the restrictions on personal information due to privacy laws. At this point, visiting your local Family History Center is a good idea. You can search their library, get help with ordering records and probably find more information about the maternal side of your Mexican family.

However, do not underestimate the value of reaching out to any and all family members still living. I've told the story several times of meeting my fifth cousin in France because it impacted me so much. We resolved so many questions we had about our family with that one trip. My fifth cousin is very old, and I may never see him before he passes away. So do as much as you can to gather family information from living relatives.

If you feel stuck and don't know how to move forward to find relatives still living in Mexico, then it may be time to have a company such as Find Relatives In Mexico provide professional service to put you in contact with your relatives there.

Saludos,

Richard Villasana
  Richard

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.

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.

Saludos,

Richard Villasana
  Richard

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. Have questions? Want to leave a comment? Then click here to become a fan on Facebook. 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.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

To Find a Birth Parent in Mexico, What Not to Do



There's a lot of general information online about finding a person in Mexico. Some articles offer good suggestions that can help you start your Mexico family genealogy search while other ideas are written by someone well-meaning but who hasn't researched the topic. I recently saw one erroneous recommendation that I can't let slide by.

In this particular article, the author gives several ideas for how you can find a birth parent or relative in Mexico. One of those suggestions was that if you know where someone went to school, you simply call the school, ask nicely and someone may give you the information you want.

I want to be sure that I am very clear here. This idea, no matter how well intended, is recommending an act that is a federal offense in Mexico. When I mentioned this idea to a Mexico government official in education (who's also an attorney), he was shocked. He quickly referred me to La Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Informaci├│n P├║blica Gubernamental.

So let's say you call down to a school in Guadalajara and make this request so you can find a relative. If someone gives you this information, they just violated Mexico privacy laws, a federal crime. We are talking fines of thousands of dollars and years in prison.

There's this mistaken notion especially in the U.S. that everything in Mexico is very lax, that there are either no laws or that no one follows them. This is a serious misrepresentation of reality. Unfortunately, many people including businesses take action based on these misconceptions. This misunderstanding of the realities in Mexico cost U.S. businesses millions of dollars in fines and penalties each year. No matter what you may feel from reading stories in the news, one thing should be clear - there are definitely laws in Mexico to protect the privacy of people especially with regard to students in public and private schools.

There are many ways to find someone in Mexico. Some are free while other options include hiring a company to help you find your birth parent or relative in Mexico. I think we can all conduct our Mexico family genealogy searches and find people in Mexico without having to resort to criminal acts.

Saludos,

Richard Villasana
  Richard

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. Click here to become a fan on Facebook. Be sure to leave your comments and click the LIKE button above. 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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Want to Find Someone in Mexico? Why Finding Distant Relatives Can Help with Your Family Genealogy Search



A few years ago, a woman wanted to find specific relatives in Mexico. She had searched for a couple of years and had not located any of the relatives on her list. My recommendation was that she look for other relatives. She seemed shocked at this suggestion and asked why she should bother and how this could help her.

I explained that often it's relatives, and distant ones at that, who may have the information you need when you are starting your Mexico family genealogy search or just simply trying to find a birth parent in Mexico. I flew to France years ago and met my fifth cousin. I had brought a box full of old photos. We spend several hours going through the pictures. My cousin's father was also there, and he was able to identify certain people in the photos. My cousin knew about my grandfather and his father's side of the family. In just a few hours, we were able to identify several ancestors and filled in the gaps on who had met whom, where and when.

Here was someone I had never met who knew so much about my family and about my grandfather. Stories I had never heard. It's often these distant relatives who because they are distant, they will know details about your side of the family that can really help you with your Mexico family genealogy search.


When we search for people in Mexico, we always look for relatives. It's often these relatives who can be found who can then lead you to the person you really want to find. We were searching for Humberto, a friend of a client. We called one woman who appeared to be a relative only to discover that she was Humberto's sister. That one connection put our client in touch with their friend.

They had been looking for Humberto for years. Now just imagine if we had not searched for other relatives. I can't stress enough how important it is to look for anyone who may be related to the person you want to find. Your efforts could pay off in a big way and have you laughing with that special person sooner than you might imagine.

Saludos,

Richard Villasana
  Richard

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. Click here to become a fan on Facebook. Be sure to leave your comments and click the LIKE button above. 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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mexico Genealogy Search: Don't Overlook Search Engines



The other day, Joe shared his story on our Mexico Genealogy Facebook page.
After your most recent e-mail, I ended up reading your blogs last weekend and was inspired to see if I could find my father who I haven't seen since I was young. I had very little information to go on (just full names from my Mexican birth certificate and a few anecdotes) so I was surprised when, after 27 years, a few minutes on Google... turned up solid results, including, a telephone number.

I think my story proves that even with just a little information, it IS possible to find long-lost relatives in Mexico.
Here are three reasons why Joe was successful:
  • He had information on his father including a legal document 
  • He looked for information that would help him with his search just as you are doing right now.
  • He took action.

Joe's story could have been very different if he hadn't taken action. Lack of action is one of the key reasons people don't find their relative or loved one in Mexico. It's not always easy to find a person such as a birth parent in Mexico, but I have seen people get so close and then give up. Joe got inspired and then took action. Now he's looking for other relatives. 

Here's one other step Joe took. He joined us on Facebook and shared his story so others could be inspired to take action. You may need to find a family member so you can start your Mexico genealogy search. You don't have go it alone. You can find lots of information and steps that you can take to find someone such as a birth parent in Mexico.

Sometimes it's the simple things that we overlook that could have the answer we are looking for. So if you haven't tried Google, Yahoo, or Bing, now is a good time to try them. You just might find your birth parent in Mexico or a friend you haven't seen in years. If you do, please share your story so you can inspire someone else to take action. The world is a better place when we all work together.

Saludos,

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. Click here to become a fan on Facebook. Be sure to leave your comments and click the LIKE button above. 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.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Your Mexico Genealogy Search Online - Give the Search Engines Another Chance



This is just a quick note. Sometimes you can overlook the simple things when doing your Mexico genealogy search. Maybe you tried Google or Yahoo months ago and didn't find anything. But if you've been gathering information, now is a good time to go back and try searching again.

You just might have a pleasant surprise and find that special person online.

Saludos,

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. Click here to become a fan on Facebook. Be sure to leave your comments and click the LIKE button above. 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.