Locating your ancestor’s ranch or town In Mexico prior to 1888 can sometimes be hard. That is why I am writing this blog post, to share a resource with you that will help you locate Mexican towns whose names might have changed after 1888. It will also help you get more details about the towns your ancestors used to reside or live in.
The resource I am talking about was written back in 1888 by Antonio García Cubas and it is titled “Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos” (in English “Geographical, Historical and Biographical Dictionary of the United States of Mexico”).
The importance of locating towns is imperative when it comes to Mexican Genealogy Research since without a geographic location it will be very difficult to locate documents about your ancestors. The problem is that cities and towns get their names changed. “Geographical, Historical and Biographical Dictionary of the United States of Mexico” will help you locate these towns. Once you locate your ancestor’s town you will have a description as to what state and municipality it belongs to, thus giving you an idea of where to continue to search for documents.
There are two places online where you can check this resource out by yourself and I list them below.
The First Place is Google Books:
Google books has the PDF version in five volumes.
Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos Vol. 1
Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos Vol. 2
Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos Vol. 3
Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos Vol. 4
Diccionario geográfico, histórico y biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos Vol. 5
Note: to download each volume click on the above link and once on Google Books hover your mouse over the red button labeled “Read eBook” and select PDF.
The Second Place is Digital Collection of UANL
The above is another repository that has this resource online. The only unfortunate thing is that is is very difficult to locate anything but you never know maybe you may prefer it.
You can access it here: http://cdigital.dgb.uanl.mx/la/1080011597_C/1080011597_T1/1080011597_T1.html
I hope that this resource, Locating your ancestor’s ranch or town In Mexico prior to 1888, is useful to you. Please let me know in the comments if it was or if you have used it in the past let me know what you think about it.
This was a HUGE help! It confirmed a hacienda mentioned in a baptismal record was indeed in the area and made sense piecing the story together. Thank you for this!
Glad that it was of help.
Both of these links are wonderful resources! Thanks so much for posting them, Moises!
Thank you for your kind words.
Thank you for creating this blog. It has encouraged me to find out more about my Mexican heritage. My question for you is if you have ever came across a book which listed the owners of various haciendas. My grandmother was born on the Hacienda de Las Letras in Puruandiro, Michoacan. I have always wondered who owned the hacienda and how my ancestors came to live there.
Awaiting your thoughts if any.
Thank you for your comment. There is a book but I can’t remember the name. If I come across it I will post it here.
These are great resources! I’d like to add one more. I’ve used the following link to find haciendas, pueblos, ranchos, and puestos mentioned in some of the records I’ve read through. The website has each under the main municipality and then state. It sometime helps with lesser known areas.
Thank you for sharing. I will make a blog post about this resource and share it with everyone. I was surprised that it lists towns that are nowadays ghost towns.
Hi, I am trying to find information on my father's family. Last name:
Espinosa de los Monteros.
His mother's last name: Cepeda
His family at one point had a ranch in Sonora, I think.
On my mother's side, last name :