March 29, 2023

Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Docuemnts 1520-1820
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

In this post, you can read more about the recently published book "Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Documents 1520-1820" by George R. Ryskamp, Peggy Ryskamp, and H. Leandro Soria.

I was delighted to meet Peggy in person at RootsTech 2023, this past March. Thank you, Laurie Castillo, for the introduction.

Peggy had a copy of the book, and I was able to flip through the pages. I was amazed at the detailed work and effort that went into it.

Finding records is one thing but reading and understanding what they say is a whole other task. This book provides examples of documents with their transcription and translation.

That is super valuable, but to me the real gold of this book is that it puts the documents and record types into context. It also provides the meaning of many phrases that appear in documents so we can better understand them.

I can go on and on the benefits of this book, but I will not. Let me just tell you that it is the best book that I have seen to date on the topic. Just the knowledge that you will learn about Hispanic documents makes this book priceless.

Book: Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Documents 1520-1820

Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Docuemnts 1520-1820


Use Code MSH23 before March 31st at to get 15% off

Description of Book on Amazon

English-speaking researchers working with a Spanish-language document face two hurdles--understanding the handwriting and vocabulary, and grasping the record's institutional, historic, social, and cultural context. This book fills both needs. With images, charts, transcribed documents and in-depth commentary, this guide addresses handwriting concepts and challenges relevant to Spanish-language documents. The book also examines the format and procedures underlying ecclesiastical and legal record types, giving the context for a document's vocabulary and format.

Discalimer: I obtained a free copy of the book from Joe Garonzik from, but in no way was this review influenced by that.

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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

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