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Knowing the Mexican State:
Key Information so You Can
Find Family in Mexico

Summary: A great challenge you may experience in trying to find family in Mexico such as a birth father or mother or in uncovering information about your Mexico ancestry is problems with cities and states in Mexico. We'll give examples to help you clarify your information so you can find your family and get your Hispanic heritage research moving forward.

People often ask for help with an address in Mexico as they search for their relative or friend in Mexico. People doing their family genealogy research how similar issues. The biggest challenge is knowing what the names mean. Is the address the name of a city or a state? An example would be: Magdalena Jalisco Autlan. This is information we were given by a client who was having a hard time making any progress on their Mexico ancestry.

Knowing the Mexican state is one piece of the puzzle as you put together the information you will need so you can locate the person you are looking for or start your Hispanic heritage research. The easiest way to handle this is to first identify which is the state name. The answer to the example above is: Magdalena and Autlan are the names of cities in the state of Jalisco.

Misunderstandings About Mexican States

From the numerous emails I receive, it is apparent there are general misunderstandings about the Mexican states, the capitals and what makes a proper address. There are thirty-one states in Mexico. Mexico City is the capital of the country. Most capital cities have the same name as the state. For instance, the capital of the state of Puebla is Puebla. This is properly written as Puebla, Puebla. (There are state abbreviations, but I'll save that for another time.) Click here to see a list of the Mexican states along with their capitals.

So what does it mean if you have an address with Puebla, Mexico? That's a good question. An educated guess is the address is/should be Puebla, Puebla Mexico. But when it comes to locating someone in Mexico and especially if you are going to pay for specialized family genealogy services or resources, you really want to be certain what the proper address is before you start spending your money.

If possible, ask the person who gave you the address to verify the information. Maybe they left out a vital piece, such as giving you both the city and state name. In some cases, the person may not know there is a difference and was simply passing on the address as they received it.

State Issue Could Cripple Your Search

This may appear to be a minor issue, but it's not. I just received an email asking for help with their family genealogy research. The city and state the person gave me is Puebla, Edo. de Mexico. There is no city named Puebla in Edo. de Mexico so it's very likely the correct city and state is Puebla, Puebla.

If this person hadn't asked for expert advice, he may have continued searching for months thinking Puebla, Edo. de Mexico was a good address. It can be the small things that stop you from finding someone in Mexico. (Edo. de Mexico will be covered in-depth in another article.)

Verify, Verify, Verify

You have to verify your information is correct. This is one of the reasons why locating someone living in Mexico and doing research on your Mexico ancestry may require the services of experts who know the ins and outs of addresses in Mexico and so much more. It is virtually impossible to locate a person if you do not have the city and the state where they are living.

This information will go far in helping with your Mexico family genealogy research.


Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana
The Mexico Guru

"Uniting you with family and friends in Mexico"

PS. If you have a lot of information, or even information overload, and want an expert to evaluate what you have and verify it, then click here.

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Mexico Genealogy
Find Relatives In Mexico
9450 Mira Mesa Blvd, Suite C520  San Diego, California 92126 USA
Phone: 619.632.5443   Fax: 617.608.2381