Tracing Mexican Roots With DNA Records

Ancestry has provided helpful information about how to trace your Mexican roots with DNA and records. The information was posted under Family History by Jensen Cordon, Professional Genealogist at Ancestry.

Immigration from Mexico to the U.S. has been ongoing for hundreds of years. But tracing your family’s story across time and borders can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where that story begins. 

Find your ancestral hometown using the new Mexican AncestryDNA Communities

Whether you have lived in the U.S. for generations or you are a first-generation immigrant, the first step is to identify a specific hometown in Mexico. Each area of Mexico has its own history and nuances when it comes to genealogy.

How to start if you don’t know where your ancestors came from? A good place to begin is usually by talking to family members. But you can also unlock the power of DNA.

An AncestryDNA test and your DNA Communities (which are part of your test results) can help pinpoint specific locations in Mexico that some of your ancestors may have come from.

DNA Communities are groups of people connected through their DNA matches, most likely because their ancestors came from the same place or group of people within the past 300 years. DNA Communities can show you the specific areas your ancestors likely lived, getting as precise as a state or even country. With our latest update, AncestryDNA now has 350+ Mexico communities that we can connect users to.

Search for family in U.S. records

Once you’ve talked with family and looked at your DNA communities, hopefully you’ll have an idea of where in Mexico your ancestors were from, and when they may have moved to the U.S. Now you can look for records of these ancestors in available historical documents.

On Ancestry, you can find numerous record collections to help you trace your Mexican ancestors in the U.S. Some examples include: Border crossing records, immigration records, World War draft registrations, occupation and job histories, death records, naturalization records, Social Security applications, and the U.S. Census.

You might identify other family members through these documents, like parents, siblings, and children. For example, a border crossing record shows that in 1935, Estefena Quirino reported to Texas border crossing officials that she was born in San Luis Potosí City in San Luis Potosí  State, Mexico. It also lists her daughter’s name, who was still living in Mexico at the time.

Identify your family in Mexico using Mexican records

There are plenty of Mexican records to investigate. If you are working your way backwards, a good place to start is the 1930 Mexico National census, which is free to search.

Going further back in time, the two most common record types are civil registration and Catholic sacramental records. Try and find the closest Catholic parish and civil registrar to where your ancestors lived. 

Researching your family’s story can be an exciting way to discover more about your ancestors and yourself. An AncestryDnA test and our 350+ Mexico DNA communities can be a great way to start that journey. You can discover some of the specific areas of Mexico that your ancestors may have called home and dive into U.S. and Mexico records with an Ancestry membership to get more details about their lives and the journeys they took.

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