Posted by Paul Rawlins on September 16, 2011 in Collections, Mexico

One thing I learned as we launched the 1930 Mexico Census online is that Mexico is much more of a melting pot than I realized.

Mexico’s 1930 national census (“El Quinto Censo General de Población y Vivienda 1930, México”) is called the Fifth General Census of Housing and Population based on the first formally recognized federal or national census being taken in 1895. Thereafter, starting in 1900, censuses were taken every 10 years. The fifth census was taken on 15 May 1930 and is considered one of the best Mexican censuses conducted in the 20th century.

Of course, it’s a huge boon to researchers with Mexican ancestry. The census is a great resource for identifying family groups and locations and can be a starting point to finding church and other records—or a substitute if those records happen to be missing. And, with almost 13 million names, national scope, and 30+  columns for information, it’s simply a massive collection of useful data.

For example, say you hoped to establish your family’s connection to Maria Felix, the queen of Mexican actresses known as La Doña.

We see that in 1930 Maria is living in Guadalajara with her mother, Josepha, who has been widowed, and seven possible brothers and sisters, ranging in age from 28 to 8 years old, all born in Alamos.

Or you might be looking for your Chinese ancestor. You’ll find thousands of Chinese names in the census. Many had come to help build railroads and farm in the north of the country in the early 20th century. Some, like Jesus Tam, raised families:

Pedro F. Bawatsky was among the Menonite immigrants who came from Canada to establish colonies in Mexico.

And, of course, current GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s relatives:

For those of you on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to check out the “Journey to Your Roots Sweepstakes” for an opportunity to research your own Mexican ancestry “on site” by winning a trip for two to visit your ancestral birthplace in Mexico. If your lineage doesn’t pass through Mexico, don’t worry, we’ll be giving away several World Explorer Memberships so you can explore the thousands of other collections on to help you discover more about your past.

And whether you’re a Hernandez, a Hu, or a Hegel, if you have Mexican ancestry, you’ll want to see what doors the 1930 Mexico Census might open for you.


  1. Sara Bachelder

    I was very excited to see the addition of the 1930 Mexico census data but was very dissapointed to find that there apparently are no records for Mexico City otherwise known as Distrito Federal, like Washington, DC in the USA. In the menu of states to search, it is not listed at all. Mexico City is the largest city in the country, and though it is embedded within the state of Mexico it is an independent district and is not part of any of the states listed (and of course is not found within any of the states listings, not even the state of Mexico) and should have its own listing along with the states. Will those records be added anytime soon?

  2. Alex MacGregor

    Paul, congratulations, it’s always great to see some new and valuable records added to the site. But do you really think Pedro’s surname is Bawatsky? Surely Sawatzky. I hope that’s your own mistake, and not from the index. And why did you casually change the “z” to an “s?” Is Pedro’s wife’s first name indexed as “Busana,” too? New records are terrific, but this sort of indexing certainly can make it a challenge to find somebody in them.

  3. Must say that the staff of Ancestry.Com is doing a wonderful job.

    This was an interesting tidbit on Mexico. After all the migration into the US, it’s understandable that our border neighbor would have similar migrations.

    Would love to see material on Donation Land Claims, offered through Ancestry.Com. Oregon was one of the states with donation land claims in the 1840’s.

    Thankyou for all your time and efforts.

  4. Alex Re:#2

    Ancestry didn’t do the indexing- FamilySearch.Org did. They are the source of both the images and the Index as is shown on the source description of the database.

    I have no idea just what kind of deal was cut to allow Ancestry to use them.

  5. James

    Transcription errors in the databases are very common. Makes the “hunt” more interesting!

    That’s why if you are searching with too many specific terms, you may never find an individual or family but remove some of the seach requirements, and they appear.


  6. Paul Rawlins

    Sorry to take so long to respond. I posted and then left town for a bit.

    Sara: You are absolutely right. Not having the Federal District is a big loss. The records for the District were not microfilmed with the rest of the census, but I have not been able to discover the reason why. I know some other localities were missing as well. I have heard different suppositions, but nothing I would quote here as fact.

    Alex: I confess, I am horrible with handwriting. When I get stuck, I usually pass my interpretation question on to other people around the office who are quite good at it. But this should have been an easy catch, because there’s “Susana” right below Pedro, with that same B-looking S. The z to an s was a proofing error on my part–typing too quickly again. Thanks for setting me straight.

    Darlene: I’ll pass the suggestion along.

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