August 21, 2013

Using Border Crossing Records in Your Mexican Ancestry Research
Last Names of Nuevo Leon

If you have not been Using Border Crossing Records in Your Mexican Ancestry Research you are missing out. In some cases, not all, but maybe in your case searching the Border Crossing Records could be the key to finding your ancestors. I have found that if your family emigrated to the United States between 1895 and 1957 chances are that you will find your ancestors using these records.

These records are great since once you find a record it will contain various details about your ancestors. Especially the date of birth and also the place of birth. This will tell us where else to search for him or her. Also, these records may contain your ancestor’s fingerprint, in some cases even a photo, and also names of people that were traveling with them.

Using Border Crossing Records in Your Mexican Ancestry Research

Some time back I could not locate the correct wife for one of my grandmother’s brothers. The small town that they were from had several women living by the same name during the same time period.

When the border crossing records became available online I searched for my grandmothers’ brother, just to record if he had ever crossed to the United States and he did. I found a border crossing for him where he listed his wife’s name as the person accompanying him.

I have a habit of always looking at the record before and after the one that I find when I did this, in this case, the record after his was that of his wife. The record provided me with a lot of information it even listed her parents.

Of course, this all would have had been avoided if my father had known whom the parents of his uncle’s wife were but he did not or if we would have had a way of contacting one of her living sons.

I have also used these records to determine where some of my ancestors were from.

Mexican Border Crossing Records Online

You can use the following resources to learn more about these records and also search for your ancestors.

  • National Archives – Here you will find a brief introduction about the Mexican Border Crossings, how and why immigration records were collected, special conditions on the Mexican Border, immigration statistics and definitions, who’s in the records, the types of forms used, available microfilm publications and where to find NARA microfilm.
  • Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1957 – This resource is the best of all three since you can search and also browse the images. You can actually see your ancestors signature and sometimes even their thumbprint. The only thing is that in order to use this resource you will need a membership which costs about $12.95 per month with a six-month subscription, they also offer a 14-day free trial.

Learn More About Border Crossings 1895 to 1957

  • Crossing the Frontera – If your ancestor crossed the U.S. border from Mexico between 1895 and 1957, you may want to try searching for them in Border Crossing records available at FamilySearch. This class will give you a little background information about the records and their content. It will also show you how they can be used to identify your ancestor’s hometown in Mexico. The class includes a case study and important search tips and techniques.
  • A Look at Border Crossing Cards – In this presentation, Moises talks about the Mexican border crossing records. He will provide an introduction to them, explain who got recorded, the genealogical information that you can find in them, and finally where you can search and find these records yourself.

Immigration Records Can Also be Helpful

If your ancestors ever became a U.S. Citizen or applied for citizenship this post can help you locate records Citizenship and Immigration Services Mexican Migration Records.

I know that Using Border Crossing Records in Your Mexican Ancestry Research will be as useful to you as they have been for me. If you like this post please share it with your friends and family on social media.

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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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