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Know the Correct State: Advanced Tips
for Successful People Search in Mexico

You want to do a people search in Mexico. Perhaps it's to find a special person who was in your life, or your birth father or mother. Maybe you want to start your Mexico geneaogy research. There is certain information you must have before you start your people search in Mexico.

Let me talk about some common misunderstandings over the names of Mexican states. The name of the country is Mexico. I may hear a "duh" but bear with me for a minute. Mexico is also the name of one of the thirty-one states. So how do you tell the difference?

Edo. de Mexico, right?

Most Mexican documents and addresses will use the form Edo. de Mexico meaning State of Mexico when referring to the state itself. You may also see the complete name, Estado de Mexico, and the less common state abbreviation, Edomex. If you were trying to do a people search in Mexico to find someone living in the city of Acambay in the State of Mexico, the proper form could be any of the following: Acambay, Estado de Mexico, Acambay, Edo. de Mexico or Acambay, Edomex.

I wish I could tell you this is the final word about Mexico and the State of Mexico, but it's not. A few prominent Mexican publications such as Guia Roji's Mexican atlas and the national Mexico telephone books refer to Edo. de Mexico as simply Mexico. This can be confusing as you start your Mexico genealogy or people search in Mexico. I recently had two situations that truly reflect the confusion that exists with the names of cities and states.

Problem Using Slang Terms

The first was an inquiry from a young girl. She wrote that she was starting her Mexican genealogy and trying to locate a relative in Jilote, Veracruz. I explained there is no such city. There is a city named Jilotepec in Veracruz and recommended she check with the person who told her the city name was Jilote. The girl wrote back she was aware Jilote is a slang term for Jilotepec.

This exchange shows how one small item can stop you from moving your Mexico genealogy research forward and having success with your people search in Mexico. It's always best to use the proper city name if you're searching online or asking for help from Mexico genealogy research web sites.

Proper Spelling Does Count

Be aware that there can be cities or towns in the same state with only one or two letters difference between the two names. I sometimes do a double take because I'll see two names that look exactly alike at first glance. I have even found two cities with the exact same name in the same state. The only way to tell the difference was to check their geographic location and zip codes. Think how that can throw off your people search in Mexico!

Proper Address Is Critical to Success

Another event occurred while watching the program, 48 Hours Mystery. The show opened with a scene from a city in Mexico. The caption read, "Ajijic, Mexico." I just happened to be watching the show with a friend from Guadalajara who immediately said, "Hey, that's in Jalisco! There's no Ajijic, Mexico!" Guadalajara is in the state of Jalisco, and my friend knows the town, Ajijic. The proper form for the city is Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

Would any of us feel saying or writing Los Angeles, USA seemed appropriate or correct? To someone unfamiliar with the U.S. states, they may have no idea where Los Angeles is. Worse, who can say if the post office would deliver a letter if it was addressed to just Los Angeles, USA. So, when we talk about Mexican small towns, precision with the name and spelling is critical to your people search ini Mexico and for anyone you have assisting you with your Mexico genealogy research.

Do It Right to Find Your Family

If you are, or have had, problems because of the name of a Mexican city or state, take heart. Not even CBS and 48 Hours seem to know how to correctly list a Mexican address. They may claim creative license, but when you are doing your Mexico genealogy research and trying to do a people search in Mexico, that creativity can slow you down or stop your search altogether. Now you know what to look for.

This is a main reason why finding someone living in Mexico or doing your Mexican genealogy may require the services of experts who know the ins and outs of Mexican cities, states and much more. It is virtually impossible to locate a person if you do not have the correct city and the state where they are living.


Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana
The Mexico Guru

"Uniting you with family and friends in Mexico"

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