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Mexican vital records CD a goldmine of information

The Middle America-Mexico Vital Records Index, which includes 1.9 million birth and christening records as well as 300,000 marriage records from Mexico, is now available on CD-rom.

The partial listing of records covers the years from 1659 to 1905.

"In most cases the index contains between 100 and 150 years worth of records from a particular community," said Randy Bryson of the Family and Church History Department, reflecting the close-knit family culture of the Mexican people.

"Some areas even cover over 300 years. Many of these records contain three generations in a single entry, which allows some families to be extended several generations. It's just a gold mine of information for people searching their family roots."

Nancy Gonzalez, an amateur genealogist, said that as a young girl in Mexico she became fascinated with family history, starting a lifelong passion that led her to the Middle America-Mexico Vital Records Index.

"I found one of my great-great-great-grandfathers on the index and his wife and their parents," she said. "I was very excited. Once you start using it, you're hooked, because you can find so much. You can't put it away. You can't do anything but continue searching. You have so much available to you."

The Index also contains a powerful search engine that allows users to look at data in a variety of ways. Searchers can enter a last name, first name, parents, locality or date as a starting point to search for more information. Source data is provided for each entry, providing the microfilm identification number where a copy of the original document is found. These microfilms may be ordered from Salt Lake City and viewed at any of the Church's more than 3,400 family history centers worldwide.

The set of four data CD's and viewer can be purchased for $10 at Church distribution centers or by calling toll free 1-800-537-5971 and asking for item #50163. It can also be ordered on the Internet at: www.familysearch.org

The Middle America-Mexico Vital Records Index is part of a series of vital records for specific areas including the British Isles and North America. In the near future a vital records index will be released for Scandinavia. More CD's will be added to all of the indexes as data becomes available.

The Church has worked with other churches and governments in more than 100 nations to gather and preserve the world's heritage through the records of its diverse peoples.

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