Researching Spanish Documents

There are many exciting challenges when researching your family history in Spanish documents. At Ancestry.com, key data such as names and gender is often indexed and therefore easily accessible through our search pages for each Spanish language database. However, the records are in Spanish and you will naturally get the best results if you search keywords, occupations, and place names in Spanish. There is often a wealth of information available in the images of the original documents that can help you pinpoint your ancestors or learn about their lives and families. We have provided some basic tools on these pages that can help you as you work in Spanish records.

Spanish Wordlists

These glossaries contain words that you are likely to find in Spanish genealogical records. Records in Spanish often include Latin words as well.
Spanish Terms

Reading Spanish Records

See example pages from Spanish records showing where key information is located. Mouse over columns in the image to see the type of information they contain.
1930 Mexico National Census

When reading Spanish records, it can be helpful to refer to a list of common Spanish names.
Spanish Last Names (BYU.edu)
Spanish First Names (BYU.edu)
Last Name Meanings

Additional Help

Ancestry offers the Spanish researcher many sources of help. Search the Ancestry Learning Center for articles, post a query on the Mexico Community pages, or find related articles in the Ancestry Wiki.
Learning Center
Ancestry.com Wiki

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More Research Help

Ancestry offers the researcher many sources of help. Search the Ancestry Learning Center for articles, post a query on the Community pages, or find Research publications in the Ancestry Store.
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