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Research Questions - General Questions about Specific Situations

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By ajmedrano - Posted on 13 October 2015

Good Afternoon Community Members,

One of the reasons I joined this community recently is to improve the way I perform my research, which I am happy to say has improved since I joined. Yet, I still have questions which might be answered by the collective wisdom of the community. Some of these may have been asked and already asnwered, but I ask in ignornace.

Here are my questions:

In researching christening records, I have noticed the occasional listing with only a mother's name listed/captured. I would think this is obviously a situation where a child is being born out of wedlock or some other related situation. However, I noticed yesterday, the same mother had 3 different kids over a period of 7 or 8 years with no father named (No relation to me).

Is there something else at work here or is it just a situation where a woman is having children out of wedlock? Is there something else we can gleam from seeing this trend? Thoughts/Opinions???

In working with the website, I have noticed lots of indexes where a film number is captured, but no image is available.

Does this mean the image is available through some other resource, such as through one of the LDS Family Research centers?

What is the relative research value of vs. an LDS Family Research Center? Is more information/resources available though one of the research centers vs the website?

Thank you, in advance, for your thoughts and input.

I take it that the baptismal records were not separated into Baustismos de hijos legitimos and Bautismos de hijos naturales:the record itself did not state that the father is unknown or the child the "natural" child of ... If there are corresponding Civil Registration records then you could check those. I have two civil registration records where the children were registered by the great grandmother with no mention of the birth mother. The names of the children, the great grandmother, place and time all correspond to oral family history.

Hello Arthur,

I have an ancestor who was an hijo natural of a Mestiza woman, who had 6 hijos naturales over a period of time; at least 2 of the children were legitimized by their Spanish father, and I imagine the other children were fathered by the same man (he married a Spanish woman, 8 months before the birth of her last child...). My ancestors probably didn't marry, because of a difference in castes/class.

Another couple I descend from - Andres Diaz de Leon and Dionicia Duron, from Sierra de Pinos - had 6 children before they married (on their IM, one of the reasons they give for marrying, is to legitimize their children). Their children were probably baptized as "hijos de padres no conocidos." I've seen cases of children born of unknown parents, and after the parents wedded, the entry is annotated in the margin, naming the parents: right image bottom, entry for Maria Magdalena:,64894502,64993301

I haven't visited any of the LDS Family Centers, so I'm ignorant of their resources. As far as their FamilySearch website, not all of the records have been indexed, so sometimes, one needs to scan through every image on a roll. The advantage of doing this, is locating your ancestors as padrinos or testigos.

Regarding using their FamilySearch filtered searches: if the image doesn't appear with the indexed file, then you have to locate the roll of film, and scan through the images to locate the partida.

There are different ways to access the rolls, one way is to go to

1. Select your country under "Research By Location."
2. A window will open naming the states; select your state.
3. The page will open with a list of Collections: choose "(name of state) Catholic Church Records."
4. Another search page will open, but rather than searching, click on the link that says "Browse through # images" (beneath "VIEW IMAGES IN THIS COLLECTION")
5. Select your town/parish, then scroll through the rolls, which are labeled by type (baptism, marriage, etc) and by year range.
6. The number of the film roll will appear in the first or second image: match it to the number given in the index, then scroll through the images, to locate your partida.

I hope that helps!

Manny Diez Hermosillo

I am a volunteer at a Family History Center.

A FHC will have a number of computers, may have a film scanner/printer, and microfilm readers. The centers will also have a numbers of films that patrons have borrowed -- either short term or long term loan, and some on permanent loan. There will also be a library of genealogical resources. The resources at any FHC will vary; FHCs associated with LDS temples will generally many more resources than those with the wards or stakes.

The computers at the FHCs have access to what are referred to as "premium websites." These are generally subscription websites, such as the institutional version of These resources emphasize American and British resources. The are no Mexico or Spain specific resources among this group. has some digitized sources that are not presently available at Family Search, such as all the US census images. Ancestry,com also has a good collection of Mexico to US border crossing records. By arrangement with the owners of these websites church members may access some of these from their home computers; members of the public must use them at the FHC.

Some of the resources on Family Search can only be accessed at a FHC; some can only be accessed when the user is signed in with a Family Search account (for members of the general public) or an LDS account (LDS church members). A few resources, generally LDS church specific, are accessible to church members only. My experience is there are no restrictions on the Mexican records; I do not know what portion of Mexican records have been digitized, but it is certainly a lot.

By getting the microfilm numbers from the Family Search catalog, you can create a list of what films have been extracted or indexed for the communities you are researching. The indexed records have links to the images, the extracted ones do not ( so you need to search the film or digitized images for these).

Microfilms that have not been digitized can be ordered from Salt Lake for a fee (fee depends on length of loan) for viewing at a FHC. These films cannot be removed from the FHC. For a fee, these films can be kept at the FHC on permanent loan.

The volunteers at the FHC are both church members and non-members. They can help with the resources at the FHC. They also have research experience, and like those of us here at NR, have varying levels of expertise. For example, in my case I have experience in US, British, Mexican, Austrian, Czech, German, and French records. I have also used the Spanish archives. Foreign language ability is also variable.

Although you can do a tremendous amount of Mexican research from home, there are a few resources at the FHC that augment this.

George Fulton


Thank you for the help and guidance.

From the guidance on how to directly access films, it has already paid huge rewards. I was able to track down my maternal grandmother's baptism record, with all of its rich information, in just an hour or so. I spent most of the past year messing with indexes and thinking it was simply not was, I just needed to know how to access it. There have been other 'gems' discovered.....

Also, I have a new appreciation for both the church baptism record and the Civil registry for births. Before this week, I was essentially ignoring the civil registries, but now it has become a very good compliment to the baptism record...(in some cases, they are easier to read...helpful for a mexican american, such as myself, who has limited spanish language skills.

And for the information on the LDS Family Research Centers, thank you for helping me understand how they can supplement my 'online' research...There is one located not far from me here in Texas, so when the need arises, I know where it is.

Thank you again....I am sure I will be back again with more questions......

Thanks 4 asking the question and thanks for the response as I did not know how it worked. I tried contacting several ctrs here in Chicago but no one answers the phone to ask questions.

Hi Simona,

If you live in Chicago, then I would highly recommend visiting the Newberry Library. Becoming a researcher is both free and easy. They function as a FHC, but have all the resources of a large research library. They also have a relatively impressive collection of books and manuscripts of Mexican/Spanish genealogy, including some rare books about Nueva Galicia. I spent many hours there in the last few years while living in Chicago.

If you have additional questions, let me know.

Hope this helps!


Fantastic I love that area and Library. I know exactly where that is at. The Popol Vuh is housed there and I can usually find parking on the street.

Forgot to say Thanks, it works for me.

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