The book A Description of The Kingdom of New Spain edited by Sean Galvin is a great reference book for anyone researching their family during Spanish Colonial rule of Mexico.
I first learned about this book from my friend Anthony Garza who recommended that I get a copy for my genealogy library. I was able to get a copy on Amazon and once I received it and read it I decided to share this post with you.
The book is the 1774 manuscript by Pedo Alonso O'Crouley's manuscript. The first eight chapters discuss ancient Mexican chronology, the Moctezuma family and the conquest by Cortes. It also includes colored sketches of trees, fruits, birds, and animals of New Spain and racial mixtures found in Mexican genealogy presented in a series colored plates.
In chapters 9 through 21 he describes with maps and drawings the principal seaports and cities of central Mexico and the key presidios of the northern frontier.
The final chapters touch on many varies subjects.
What makes this book so special to me is the included map reproduction dated 1768 and titled Nuevo Mapa Geographico de la America Septentrional. It names and shows the various Diocese and archdiocese and their boundaries. This map has helped me direct my attention to the correct area of research when it come to church records pre 1768. If you buy this book used there may be a chance that the map may be missing.
To get a better idea of the contents of the book please read the table of contents that I included below. Genealogy wise, the book is perfect for anyone wanting to add historical context to the lives of their ancestors
A Description of The Kingdom of New Spain
Table of Contents
1. New Spain in Genera Pg. 1
2. Ancient Mexican Chronology Pg. 5
3. Origin and Succeccion of the Mexican Kings Pg. 7
4. Annals, Tributes, Education, MArriage, and Mexican Poetry Pg. 9
5. The Conquest of New Spain by Hernan Cortes Pg. 11
6. Population of the Kingdom of New Spain Pg. 17
7. Racial Mixtures Pg. 19
8. Trees, Fruits, Birds and Animals Pg. 23
9. Mexico City Pg. 29
10. The City of Puebla de Los Angeles Pg. 33
11. The City of Valladolid Pg. 35
12. The City of Oaxaca Pg. 37
13. The City of Guadalajara Pg. 39
14. The City of Durango Pg. 41
15. The City and Port of Acapulco Pg. 43
16. The City and Port of Veracruz Pg. 45
17. The Town of Jalapa de la Feria Pg. 47
18. The Presidio of Los Adaes Pg. 49
19. The Presidio of El PAso del Norte Pg. 51
20. The Province of Nayarit Pg 53
21. New Mexico Pg. 55
22. A Voyage up the Gulf of California Pg. 65
23. A Description of California Pg. 77
24. An Expedition to New Andalucia Pg. 95
25. Our Lady of Guadalupe Pg. 101
26. Remarkable Curiosities Pg. 105
27. The Present Condition of the Indians Pg. 113
28. The Presnet Condition fo New Spain Pg. 117
29. Conclusion Pg. 121
A. The Principal Cities and Towns Pg. 123
B. Viceroys Who Have Governed New Spain Pg. 123
C. Archbishops of Mexico Pg. 137
D. The Various Indian Tribes Pg. 139
Glossary Pg. 141
O"Crouley's Family Tree Pg. 142
Bibliography Pg. 143
Index Pg. 147
About the Author
O'Crouley's family emigrated to Spain from Ireland in the 18th century to escape English rule. As both the Irish and Spanish were Catholic, and Ireland was widely thought to have been settled by men from the Iberian peninsula some thousands of years before, they were treated as Spaniards. He became a merchant, academic, and collector of antiquities, possessing at the time of his death thousands of Greek and Roman coins and over 200 paintings by artists ranging from Van Dyck to Velazquez. O'Crouley frequently traveled to New Spain pursuing business ventures.
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