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Continuous service since 1960.
2010 marked our Golden Anniversary!

NMGS Logo 50th

NMGS logo    

The New Mexico Genealogical Society, founded in 1960, is composed entirely of volunteers. 2010 will be our 50th year of providing research materials and networking opportunities for family historians.

The New Mexico Genealogical Society

New Mexico
Vital Record Information

by Karen Stein Daniel, C.G.SM

A chapter from Genealogical Resources in New Mexico, Book E-5, NMGS Press.

In this article, ASCL refers to Albuquerque's Special Collections Library.
 

BIRTH AND DEATH RECORDS:

New Mexico birth and death records began to be officially maintained in 1920, although some scattered records exist dating back into the 1880s. Prior to 1919, birth and death records were created by various institutions, including counties and churches. New Mexico vital records (birth and death) are restricted records and are only issued to immediate family members or others demonstrating a "tangible legal interest." Birth records are closed for 100 years, and death records for 50 years. You may make a request for certified copies of birth or death certificates either online or in person at:

New Mexico Department of Health
1105 South Saint Francis Drive Santa Fe, NM Ph: 505-827-0121; Fax: 505-827-1751 24-hour information line: 505-827-2338
Web site: http://nmhealth.org/vitrechealthstats/index.shtml

or by mail at:

New Mexico Vital Records
P.O. Box 26110 Santa Fe, NM 87502.
The non-refundable fee for a birth certificate search and copy is $10.00. The non-refundable fee for a death certificate search and copy is $5.00.

Catholic Church records are particularly rich in vital record information, and many of these have been abstracted and published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society and others. If a researcher is searching a Catholic individual and is unable to obtain vital record information through the state, search for sacramental information (baptisms, marriages, and burials) through parish records. Many Catholic Church records have been microfilmed by the AASF and the FHL, and can also be viewed at ASCL, ZIM, NMHUL, NMSRCA, and other locations. Please see the discussion regarding an ongoing project, Locating Catholic Church Records, an online resource, and the chapter "Churches and Their Records" on page 6 of the book, for additional information.

Newspapers can also provide vital record information in the form of birth and death notices and obituaries, and marriage or wedding notices and lists of marriage licenses issued. In small town newspapers, photos of the deceased often accompany an obituary, and a wedding account may contain a photo of the bride or both bride and groom. Silver and golden wedding anniversary announcements often contain a photo of the couple and list of the children.

Resources: The New Mexico Death Index Project (1899-1940), an online resource, is now available for researchers at . http://www.usgwarchives.org/nm/nmdi.htm. Many volunteers worked in a private project to bring this index online in the Fall of 2001. This source may be used to find names prior to ordering death certificates from the New Mexico State Health Department. The index contains first and last name and middle initial, date and county of death, and age. Corrective files are marked with an asterisk.

New Mexico. Department of Health. Certificate and Record of Death, 1889-1942.
Micropublication, 29 rolls. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1996. [Microfilm of actual death certificates on file at Bureau of Vital Records and Health for these years. Death certificates for Indians listed separately. FHL microfilm nos. 2032734, 2032740-2032743, and 2032876-2032899. Available also at ASCL.]

New Mexico. Department of Health. Delayed Certificates of Birth, 1866-1895. Micropublication, 5 rolls. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1995. [Microfilm of records at New Mexico Department of Public Health. FHL microfilm nos. 1991905 and 1992055-1992058. Available also at ASCL.]

New Mexico. Department of Health. Index to New Mexico Death Certificates, 1889-1940. Micropublication, 2 rolls. Salt Lake City, Genealogical Society of Utah, 1995. [Microfilm of records index at New Mexico Department of Health. FHL microfilm nos. 1991645-1991646. Available also at ASCL.]

New Mexico. New Mexico Death Certificates, 1927-1945. Micropublication, 46 rolls. Santa Fe: Department of Health, 1978. [Microfilm of actual death certificates on file at New Mexico Department of Health for these years. FHL microfilm nos. 1913277 through 1913322. Available also at ASCL.]

New Mexico Historical Records Survey. Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in New Mexico. Albuquerque: The Survey, 1942. [ASCL call no. 978.9 H673.]

MARRIAGE / DIVORCE RECORDS:

Marriage records are maintained by the County Clerk in each of the New Mexico counties where the license was issued. Divorce records are maintained by the District Court Clerk in the jurisdiction where the divorce was granted. Many marriage records have been abstracted and published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society and other groups and individuals. Additionally, many marriage records can be found in the microfilmed and archival collections of county records located at NMSRCA in Santa Fe. Another resource for marriage records, commonly known as the Dreesen Files, can be found at ZIM and ASCL. Donald S. Dreesen extracted marriages from the microfilmed Books of Marriages of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Information in the extracts include the date, the parties to the marriage, names of parents and place of residence when available, and witnesses. The archaic spelling of names was retained. The location of the marriage record from the microfilmed records can be ascertained from the marriage date. These extracts are in two major groups: (1). the Founders File of families in the 17th and 18th centuries living in the middle Rio Grande Valley; and (2). the Pioneers File of families in the 19th century, also from the middle Rio Grande Valley.

Researchers should refer often to the New Mexico Genealogical Society's web site at http://www.nmgs.org for updated vital record information and new additions.

CEMETERY RECORDS:

Numerous cemetery records have been published by the New Mexico Genealogical Society and others. The list is simply too long to include in this volume. Researchers should refer to the New Mexico Genealogist Comprehensive Index, (Book E-4) and to New Mexico Cemeteries: A Genealogical Guide at ASCL, an ongoing cemetery project to identify all known cemeteries and private grave sites in the state and to create an index of cemetery names and locations. Additionally, online lists and abstracts exist at http://www.daddezio.com/cemetery/junction/CJ-NM-NDX.html and http://www.usgwtombstones.org/newmexico/newmex.html.

Resources:
United States. Department of Veteran's Affairs. Electronic database. Fort Bayard National Cemetery, Grant County, New Mexico. Online http://www.interment.net/data/us/nm/grant/ftbaynat/index.htm. Text downloaded 25 January 2002. [Record of burials provided by U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. This list of burials represents only those on file with Veteran's Affairs, and may not be complete.]

United States. Department of Veteran's Affairs. Electronic database. Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe County, New Mexico. Online http://www.interment.net/data/us/nm/santafe/santanat/index.htm. Text downloaded 25 January 2002. [Record of burials provided by U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. This list of burials represents only those on file with Veteran's Affairs, and may not be complete.]

CORONER / INQUEST / JUSTICE OF THE PEACE RECORDS:

Resources:

New Mexico. Bernalillo County.
Bernalillo County, N.M. Records, 1849-1927. MS 1974-034, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes coroner's inquest for Jesus Gallegos in 1858, County Coroner Series 6, box 8, folder 57; investigation of the death of Lincoln Lemperst in 1860, Justice of the Peace series 5, box 2, folder 30, inquests for 1875, box 2, folder 44, and inquests for 1878, box 2, folder 46. Finding aid available online at http://elibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. Doņa Ana County.
Doņa Ana County, N.M. Records, 1852-1946. MS 1974-017, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes coroner records for Guadalupe Gomez in 1864, in County Coroner Series 6, box 6, folder 221; coroner records for John Daly in 1883, box 6, folder 222; coroner records for Thomas Cross in 1884, box 6, folder 223; and coroner reports for 1906-1911, box 6, folder 224. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/ (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. Eddy County.
Eddy County, N.M. Records, 1888-1991. MS 1974-035, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquests for 1873-1899 in County Coroner Series 6, box 1, folder 44; inquests for 1901-1908 in box 1, folder 45; and inquests for 1910-1913 in box 1, folder 46. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/ (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. Guadalupe County.
Guadalupe County, N.M. Records, 1893-1942. MS 1974-020, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquest records for 1902-1927, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 3, folder 82. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/ (Search entry: Guadalupe County Coroner.)

New Mexico. Lincoln County.
Lincoln County, N.M. Records, 1869-1932. MS 1974-022, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquest record of Arley T. Stewart for 1918, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 2, folder 76. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Search entry: Lincoln County Coroner.)

New Mexico. Luna County.
Luna County, N.M. Records, 1901-1970. MS 1978-021, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquests for Sam Fong, Bruno Nova, and Aaron Vaughan for 1903, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 13, folder 72; and inquests for William Thompson, Charles Lucha, and William Shaw for 1904 and 1913, box 13, folder 73. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. Rio Arriba County.
Rio Arriba County, N.M. Records, 1847-1957. MS 1974-024, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquests for 1883-1937, County Coroner Series 6, box 4, folder 404. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. San Miguel County.
San Miguel County, N.M. Records, 1888-1991. MS 1974-026, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes Inquest Book No. 1 for 1875-1891, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 16730. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Search entry: San Miguel County Coroner.)

New Mexico. Santa Fe County.
Santa Fe County, N.M. Records, 1846-1999. MS 1973-002, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquest records for 1902 and 1924, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 11, folder 34. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. Taos County.
Taos County, N.M. Records, 1847-1979. MS 1974-031, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquests for 1882-1908, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 3, folder 95. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

New Mexico. Valencia County.
Valencia County, N.M. Records, 1847-1932. MS 1974-022, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe. [Collection includes inquest record of Arley T. Stewart for 1918, Justice of the Peace Series 5, box 2, folder 76. Finding aid available online at http://eLibrary.unm.edu/oanm/. (Click on SEARCH and enter: Coroner.)

For further reading:

Burek, Deborah M., editor. Cemeteries of the U.S. Detroit and Washington, DC: Gale Research Inc., 1994. [Pages 655-658 refer to New Mexico. ASCL call no. 973 C394 1994.]

Family Search Middle America - Mexico Vital Records Index. CD-ROM. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2000. [Contains approximately 1.9 million birth and christening records and 300,000 marriage records, and is a partial index covering 1659-1905. 4 CD-ROMs. FHL CD-ROM call no. 228.]

Kemp, Thomas Jay. International Vital Records Handbook. 4th edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. [ASCL call no. 929.3 Kemp 2000.]

Villegas, José L., Sr., compiler. New Mexico County Marriage Register Inventory. Being an Inventory of Civil Marriage Registers as Kept by the Respective County Courthouses with Inclusive Dates of Said Registers. Santa Fe: New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, 1998. [ASCL call no. 978.9 Villegas.]



This is a chapter from Genealogical Resources in New Mexico, Second Edition, a 2002 publication by the New Mexico Genealogical Society, available as Book #E-5 from NMGS Press.

About the Author:
Karen Stein Daniel is a Certified Genealogist and has been editor of the New Mexico Genealogist since March, 2000. She has twenty-eight years of genealogical and historical research experience and has received the Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society for distinguished work in genealogy.


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