January 29, 2015

500 Years of Mexican Documents
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

A few months ago I came across and an online library that contains a wealth of information on its collection titled 500 años de Mexico en Documents (500 Years of Mexican Documents). I came across this resource as I was researching the names of the people that came with Christopher Columbus to the New World.

This website, titled Biblioteca Garay, focuses on historical documents that are also of genealogical importance. Especially if anyone of the mentioned people turns out to be one of your ancestors. Even if you do not find an ancestor there it is just amazing to read the transcribed documents.

Partial Screenshot of the 500 Years of Mexican Documents Website

500 Years of Mexican Documents


Let me just warn you first, this website is entirely in Spanish. You will need to use Google translate in case that you do not know how to read in Spanish. This collection has hundreds of transcriptions of documents dating all the way back to the 1400’s all the way to the middle of the 1900’s. As of now, the interesting documents to me are the Cristobal Colon and Hernan Cortes. I am trying to identify if any of my ancestors came with Cortes to the new world.

How to Visit the 500 Years of Mexican Documents Website:


Let me know in the comments section of this post of any genealogical nuggets that you may find in this website. Hope that you like it.

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About the author 

Moises Garza

I have doing my family genealogy since 1998. I am also the creator of this blog Mexican Genealogy, and my personal blog We Are Cousins. To always be up to date with both of these sites follow me on facebook. To contact me or book me for a presentation, buy my books, and or learn more about me visit my personal website at www.moisesgarza.com.

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  1. I cannot figure out the naming convention on the Mexico vital records. The name in the margin and the names in the index sometimes list several last names and sometimes a child has only one last name. So in Mexico, which last name is listed for a child, the mothers or the fathers? If there are several last names, which one comes first? If I do not know my grandfather’s mother’s maiden name, how do I find his birth record?

      1. Thank you! So if my grandfather used the name Loius Garcia here in America, I should assume this was his fathers surname? So his birth record might have Garcia listed before another surname correct? I have been looking for years for his birth/baptism record from 1909 and might have overlooked it since I was looking for Luis Garcia.

        1. Yes but if you can’t find anything of him try using his mothers last name. Americans tend to put maiden names as middle names. My name is Moises Garza Tanguma and when I was brought to the us all my legal documents had Mosies Tanguma Garza. I used to get mad but when I became a U.S. citizen I had it changed to Moises Garza.

          1. Moises, My grandfathers name in the US was Louis Eleuterio Garcia, I do not know his mothers maiden name. If I am looking for his Nacimientos on Family search film for Jalisco, am I looking for the last name of Garcia? I just purchased your book on Amazon, hoping it helps me understand the Mexican record search.

          2. Thank you for purchasing my book. I know it will help you allot. As for searching yes, look for the paternal last name of Garcia. More than likely his name was Luis. So make sure and look at those names also and the main thing would be to find one with Eleuterio as a middle name. Good luck.

        2. Yes correct. The fathers name is always listed before the mothers. Look for Luis also since I am assuming that is the correct name specially if he was born in Mexico.

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