Meet Maria Tello, AG®: Accredited for Research in Mexico

What motivated you to pursue accreditation?

I had been researching my family and my spouse’s family for close to 40 years when I found ICAPGen. After reading about what was required, I knew it would bring my research to a professional level and that I would learn so much from the process. I spoke to my children about pursuing accreditation and they were all so happy and really encouraged me to do so. More than anything, having achieved the accreditation in Mexico has been such a fulfilling, personal accomplishment.

What are some challenging or unique aspects to researching in your area of accreditation?

In recent years, indexing projects has made searching easier. However, one must be aware of the abbreviations used, understanding of ecclesiastic language and most of all carefully read the entire document. The influence of the Inquisition in Mexico is fascinating and offers some unique opportunities in researching through those eras and records. Some documents, such as Marriage Dispensation records may even have a family tree. It may take work to find the record and read it, however the payoff can be huge!

What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?

Read, read, read!  First carefully read the requirements for the area selected. Make a checklist so that you are assured of fulfilling those requirements. I would also recommend taking in as many classes as you can. I go to as many as I can, even beginning classes, because there is always something to be learned—even after 40 years I am still learning.

What are some of your goals as a genealogist?

I am very interested in accrediting in a Native American specialty for the Pacific Coast. As a Native American myself, I understand the need to find our roots.  I have long worked with many of the natives in California, and I would love to serve them in this capacity.

Currently I am working on a project that involves African American and Choctaw descendants. I am also working on a long-term project that has gone from New Mexico through Mexico and into Spain.

Do you have a website you would like to have mentioned?

I do not have a website.  YET!

When did you receive your accreditation?

I received my accreditation for Mexico in November of 2016

Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?

I recently spoke at the Spanish language track of RootsTech, in Spanish to a worldwide audience, regarding Marriage Dispensation records found throughout the world. This is a little-known track that is held at the FHL during the larger RootsTech sessions.

I was involved in the research for “Who Do You Think You Are?”, working on the Tom Bergeron project in French Canadian records. That was such a thrill!

I started doing genealogy long before the advent of computers. My former husband (who is a relative of Joseph Smith) stated that his genealogy was all done. I took that as a challenge, so at 21 a lifelong passion was underway. My first years researching were heavily involved in LDS church records, Rocky Mountain, Colonial and Mayflower records. In the ensuing years, as records became more available for my own family lines, I delved into those.

Recently while driving with my daughter through the Parowan Cemetery, I kept seeing the headstones of those people I had researched and it was such an incredible feeling. I told her that I knew more dead people in this town than ones that were alive. Genealogy is truly wonderful.

I have also found that Genealogy is an exercise in forgiveness, especially when we find that our ancestors have done things we are not in agreement.

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