This is fourth in a series of posts about digital databases for the Western States found on FamilySearch.org. Previous posts have covered California, Arizona, and Colorado.
FamilySearch has been digitizing the 3 million+ microfilms in the Family History Library. Every week new records are posted, and it seems to me they are progressing at a good pace. Eyeballing the list of collections from the United States it appears they have made vital records a priority.
Let’s take a look at what they have available for New Mexico:
I’ve highlighted New Mexico, Births and Christenings, 1726-1918 to show you how to maximize your search. Click on the collection title and it will bring up a search template which allows you to search within that collection:
If you click on “Learn more” it will open up a more detailed description of the record collection, including a record coverage table which helps you know how many records from your county are included:
And did you notice the date range for this record collection? 1726-1918. Not too shabby. In 1726 New Mexico was under Spain’s jurisdiction. During the Pueblo Indian revolts of 1680-1700, Spanish records were destroyed. By 1700 Spain had regained control and record-keeping re-established, so this record collection provides pretty good coverage. It also covers the period of Mexico’s control over the area—1821-1848.
The record description also says these were records from the IGI or Vital Records Index, which tells me they were extracted from Catholic church records. This would be a good starting place for your early New Mexico research.
The “New Mexico, County Death Records, 1907-1952” provides images of death records from county death registers, but only covers 3 counties at this point.
Check the FamilySearch Blog every week for news about which record collections have been added.