In this blog post, Researching Early Church Records for Mexico you will learn how to find your ancestors in some of the earliest church records created in Mexico.
For a while, I had several ancestor names in my tasks (records to get) that I needed baptism records for but I had one problem. I had no idea where to go searching for them.
I am a descendant of Diego de Treviño (Tremiño) and Beatriz de Quintanilla through several of their children. Two of them Joseph and Isabel are my 10th great grandparents through different lines.
Researching Early Church Records for Mexico
A few years ago I came across their baptism dates in the book Fundadores de Nueva Galicia: Guadalajara Tomo I by Guillermo Garmendia Leal.
Joseph was baptized March 22, 1565 and Isabel November 12, 1565 both in Mexico City.
I remember that I went to FamilySearch and did a search but nothing came up. Then I tried to browsed the Chruch records to see if I could find them but then I found out that there are over one hundred churches for Mexico City. I tried a few but no luck, I gave up.
Available Early Mexico City Church Records
Fast forward to a few months ago and I came across a PDF file titled “Los Fundadores: Finding Your Spanish Ancestors in Mexico” by John P. Schmal. As I was reading it on page three there is was the name of the four earliest Churches in Mexico City along the microfilm numbers.
This is what he posted:
I downloaded his presentation and set it aside until a few days ago.
I looked for it on my computer and went back to page 3.
Based on the baptism dates I had and the information by John I decided to search for the baptisms on Film no. 35167.
Finding The Baptism Records
I went to FamilySearch and logged in. If you still don’t have an account just create one, it is free to do so.
Afterward, I clicked on Search and Selected “Catalog”.
Then entered the film number, selected online, and then hit search.
The following results came up.
I clicked on the link and on the following page I got hundreds of film numbers and links to online collections. To sort through the clutter I pressed Ctrl+F and entered the film number in the box.
And there it was. From the above image notice two things. The little magnifying glass means that the film has been indexed and the camera means that the images are online.
I clicked on the magnifying glass and got the following.
As you can see the film has 31,105 entries. It does not mean that there are that many baptisms since there is a result for each parent also.
Anyways, I entered the name of the father of Isabel and Joseph, Diego Trevino” into the name and last name fields and clicked update.
Don’t Give Up
But, I am not one to give up easily. I entered the name of their mother, Beatriz de Quintanilla, and got the following.
Guess what? Diego was listed with the last name of Tremiño which is the original last name that eventually mutated into Treviño.
Only two children came up for her in this particular film and luckily for me it was for the two that I was looking for.
I do have other baptism dates for some of their siblings that I will soon be searching for on the other early church records for Mexico.
I clicked on my 10th great grandmother Isabel and got the following.
What is great is that from this index the images are attached to it so you don’t have to go browsing to find the image. I just clicked on the image and below is her baptism record.
The Baptism of Isabel de Quintanilla
Note: Isabel adopted her mother’s last name instead of her father’s. The popular Spanish custom of the time.
And there you have it. I will soon go back and get the one for Joseph.
I hope that you pick up some tidbits from this post on how to find your own ancestors.
Another thing to note is that if you already searched for a particular ancestor months or even years ago it may well be worth doing another search for them. As you saw from my post-it took several years for the pieces to fall into place for me to be able to find these records.
Also, in this particular post I was looking for baptismal records but guess what you can use the same methods and churches to find marriage records for this time period. I truly believe that these early church records for Mexico are the key to linking up to the early conquistadors of Mexico and or the link to our ancestors in Spain.