New Mexico

New Mexico Genealogy and Ancestry Research

This page will provide you with information that will help you in your genealogy and ancestry research for the state of New Mexico. It includes a timeline for the state, when the state began recording vital records, what US and State census records are available, a map of the counties in the state and link to page showing when counties were formed, and links to a variety of genealogy and ancestry resources for the state of New Mexico.

New Mexico State History Timeline

1540 – Spanish conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado arrives and claims the land for Spain.

1598 – New Mexico becomes an official colony of Spain.

1610 – The settlement of Santa Fe is established.

1680 – The Pueblo people revolt against the Spanish.

1706 – The city of Albuquerque is established.

1821 – New Mexico becomes a province of Mexico after Mexico declares independence from Spain.

1821 – The Santa Fe Trail is opened by William Becknell.

1846 – The start of the Mexican-American War.

1848 – The U.S. gains control of New Mexico as a result of winning the Mexican-American War.

1850 – The New Mexico Territory is established by the United States.

1863 – The Long Walk begins as the Navajo are forced to relocate.

1881 – Billy the Kid is shot and killed.

1912 – New Mexico is admitted as the 47th state.

New Mexico Vital Records

Statewide recording began in 1920, although some earlier records may be found, including those found as part of real estate transactions in some counties. Additionally, there are some delayed certificates of birth from 1866 to 1895 and some death certificates beginning in 1889. and has a variety of online collections which I’ve included in the links below.

New Mexico Census Records


Population Schedules

  • Indexed’1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
  • Soundex’1880, 1900, 1920

Union Veterans Schedules

  • 1890


Native American Schedules

Native American schedules prior to 1880 are incomplete and contain inaccuracies. From 1885 to 1940, Native American censuses were taken regularly but not annually. Surviving records vary by tribe.

The researcher should consult National Archives sources for details.

Colonial and State

Numerous Spanish and Mexican colonial censuses can be found at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives. Originals are in Spanish, but the following have been published:

  • Olmsted, Virginia L., comp. Spanish and Mexican Censuses of New Mexico, 1750 to 1830. Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1981.
  • ____, trans. and comp. Spanish and Mexican Colonial Censuses of New Mexico, 1790, 1823, 1845. Albuquerque: New Mexico Genealogical Society, 1979. (Contains corrections of the 1975 edition, as well as new material.)

Copies are available at the Special Collections Library at the University of New Mexico, Family History Centers in Albuquerque, and many other locations.

The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives also holds the 1885 state census, which was actually a federally taken census and includes all members of the household. Some schedules are missing and others are illegible. It is available through the Special Collections Library at the University of New Mexico, the National Archives, the FHL, and other locations.

See New Mexico Census at for more information.

New Mexico Counties

New Mexico Counties Map
New Mexico Counties Map

The New Mexico County Resources at rootsweb originally written by Karen Stein Daniel, CG and Margaret Windham for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, includes more information on each county including date formed, parent county(ies), and first recorded dates for marriage, death, land, probate. 

New Mexico Genealogy and Ancestry Links

New Jersey State History Timelines

Ducksters – New Mexico State History

eReference Desk – New Mexico History Timeline

Timeline of New mexico History – by PPSA Online Magazine

Timelines of History – New Mexico – New Mexico History Timeline