My good friend Arturo Cuellar did a presentation titled, Indexing Genealogical Records for Mexico, El Pancho Villa Colombiano for the 35th Annual Texas Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference in McAllen Texas this past September.
Was Pancho Villa really from Colombia?
Arturo mentioned in his presentation, Indexing Genealogical Records for Mexico, El Pancho Villa Colombiano, that a group of Colombians went to Chihuahua to present their book claiming that Pancho Villa was born in Colombia.
The governor of the state treated them with respect and when asked to recognize that Pancho Villa was a Colombian he thanked them for their discoveries and advised that the evidence would have to be evaluated. Arturo state that the Chihuahuan Governor called FamilySearch and asked for their assistance. FamilySearch took on the challenge with an impartial stance. They did not only addressed the claim that he was Colombian but also other claims such as that Pancho Villa was also Cuban.
Arturo provided a great presentation where he mentions that the authors of the book falsified documents and that researchers at FamilySearch even found the microfilm of the originals and compared the fake one with the real documents.
Thus showing clearly that the birth records had been tampered with. Even though they had the same name “Doroteo Arango” and the same parents there was a 20-year difference. He goes on to provide more evidence that Pancho Villa was Mexican and also debunked all other myths about his birth. What does this have to do with indexing records? Let me explain.
Arturo mentioned that without the efforts of volunteers that had previously indexed these records it would have had been much harder to prove that Pancho Villa was Mexican. This showed me the importance of the role that volunteers play in us finding our own Mexican roots, heritage, and ancestry.
As you may be aware FamilySearch is a powerhouse when it comes to finding genealogical records for Mexico. When I say “browse the collections” and “not everything has been indexed” it is because these records lack the volunteers to index them.
This is where you can make a huge difference, Arturo tells me that there is a lack of volunteers to index Mexican Records, you can volunteer today.
Indexing Genealogical Records for Mexico
The following link will take you to the Indexing Genealogical Records for Mexico Projects page at FamilySearch that is available for Mexico.
On that same page, you can also get started in helping to index these collections and see what project is currently being worked on. If you are already a volunteer let me know about your experience.
By the way, the two handsome guys in the photo are, left to right, Arturo Cuellar (FamilySearch) and Moises Garza (me). The photo was taken after Arturo’s presentation.