Mountain States Resources: New Mexico

Photo by Fluzwup

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS, AG®

The Sandia Mountains one can see when in Albuquerque, New Mexico are on the eastern edge of the Rio Grand Rift Valley. Click here to learn more about this set of mountains. Having lived in N.M. for a few years, the beauty of the mountains is often breath taking.

When searching for ancestors who lived here, it’s best to remember the state began recording births in 1920, yet the first ‘Spanish’ colony, San Juan, was established in 1598. Already occupied by the ‘Pueblo’ Indians, they revolted and drove out the Spanish, but, by the 1700s they reestablished control. The history provided in the FamilySearch Research wiki helps provide important dates needed when researching. The New Mexico History website also has a great section going back much further, however the sections from 1598 maybe far enough back for researchers.

In 1912, it became the 47st state in the United States. There are other records available going back to the 1600s in the manuscript resources and land grants at the State Records Center and Archives. Some of the earliest records are the Roman Catholic Church records covering 1694 to 1957 for the areas covered by the Archdioceses of Santa Fe and Las Cruces. Ancestry has some of the United Methodist Church records covering 1870-1970, includes places in Texas. has 9 collections with the earliest beginning in 1726.

There is a ‘Resident Index’ for 1790 with Ancestry and other early ‘territorial’ census records. Military records cover the major wars, plus the Indian Wars, Spanish-American War and a large collection of all the ‘forts’ located there during the various conflicts. Linkpendium adds some additional collections including oral histories, diaries, correspondence and more.

Cyndi’s List adds even more smaller collections depending on your area of research. When you combine these resources along with the vast online coverage chart and the Record Finder from FamilySearch, you’ll be able to aid your research even more.




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