New Mexico Biography

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

The best collection of published biographies in New Mexico is at the New Mexico State Library. The Family History Library has some biographies.

Biographical Encyclopedias[edit | edit source]

Examples of statewide biographical encyclopedias are:

  • An Illustrated History of New Mexico and Biographical Mention of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Citizens of Today. Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895. FHL film 1000217.
  • Chavez, Fray Angelico. Origins of New Mexico Families in the Spanish Colonial Period. 1954. Reprint, Albuquerque, New Mexico: The University of Albuquerque, 1973. FHL book 978.9 D2c 1973. This pertains to the period from 1598 to 1821.
  • Coan, Charles F. A History of New Mexico . . . Historical and Biographical. Three Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: The American Historical Society, 1925. FHL film 1000220. Volumes 2 and 3 are biographical.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

See the United States Biography page for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the New Mexico "History" and "Genealogy" sections for additional sources. You may wish to explore biography, history and genealogy sections in the wiki at county levels also.

Biographies can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local or county histories with biographical sketches on residents. Additional resources for New Mexico biographies may be found in the New Mexico-Biography topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog .