What are the top five challenges that keep people from finding someone in Mexico or starting their Mexican family genealogy research? One of the most interesting challenges that I have come across in my research is frustration. People may feel as though there may be no hope in finding the person they are looking for.
Maybe they are frustrated because they don’t know or speak the Spanish language. This can be especially upsetting for people who are doing their Mexican family genealogy and researching to find a mother or father living in Mexico.
Some clients have told us that their biggest challenge is they do not speak Spanish, have never visited Mexico, don’t know much about the country and have no idea where to start. Some tell us they have names and some information, but have not had any luck at all finding anybody. They may be ready to stop their Mexico family genealogy research because they feel overwhelmed, confused or even depressed. They are possibly frustrated because they may have spent hours on the Internet and have come up with nothing.
Let’s talk about that for a minute. There’s a good reason why a person doing family genealogy research for someone in Mexico has not found any information. Let’s start with the Internet. For most people, the Internet is an easy way to find people. Let’s face it, if you are trying to find someone in the United States, all you need to do is put in their name, city, state, and maybe their zip code.
There are many online search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or the Internet White Pages. If a person has done something that got them listed on the Internet such as: owning a web site; have published articles; been in a newspaper; or even just have a residential listing that is online, they can easily be found through an online search just by plugging their information into a search engine. There is a lot of personal information on people living in the United States and there are several ways to search for them and it is very easy to find them–if they are living in the United States.
So naturally, when most people think about finding someone in Mexico, whether or not they are doing family genealogy research, they turn to the Internet. However, the problem with trying to find someone in Mexico by using the Internet is that very little of the information on individuals who are living in Mexico is digitized. Herein lays the problem. The information is not on the Internet including free family genealogy web sites. If you did an Internet search for Mexico, you would receive a lot of results, but a closer look at the results reveals that most of them have to do with New Mexico or Mexico, Missouri. The results you get from these online searches are almost always about people living in the United States and are not focused on the Country of Mexico which is where you want to get information.
Marie Daly, director of the Research Library at the New England Historic Genealogical Society gave this comment about family genealogy research on the Internet, “I’d say perhaps only 10 percent of the genealogical information out there is on the Web. But when people do genealogy research, they think that’s 100 percent, and they make a big error that way. Not everything is on the Web. And some of the things that are on the Web are erroneous.” – How to be a Self-Sufficient Researcher by Margaret Moen
Even though you may spend a lot of time looking for this information and have visited some of the family genealogy research web sites, it may be in the wrong direction. If you have spent over an hour searching the Internet, stop. Why would I say this? Because most people have used up their own ideas of where and how to search online after an hour. There is a science to searching online. After an hour most people have used up all of their resources and ideas of how to look for information. After that a lot of people are just spending time surfing the net, bouncing from site to site, looking and hoping for some new information.
People may feel that if they keep searching, they will find that one family genealogy research web site that has the information they are looking for. There is no one magic web site that will give you a simple answer to locate someone living in Mexico. It is just not out there and this includes free family genealogy sites.
If you are frustrated because you have spent a lot of time looking for someone, have tried free family genealogy web sites and nothing you have done has worked, you are finally in the right place. In the next few articles, I am going to share with you information on what to do and how to do it. So don’t give up.