In this post, you will learn about the Spanish Archives of Laredo and where to find them online. They are a treasure for genealogical and historical research.
A month ago we had a meeting for the Las Villas del Norte book club and one of the members mentioned the book "A Borderlands Town in Transition Laredo, 1755-1870" by Gilberto Miguel Hinojosa.
I got a copy and barely started reading it yesterday. In his preface and acknowledgments he mentions the Laredo Archives housed at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.
As I was reading the book I noticed that many of his footnotes are references to many documents found in the Laredo Archives. This got me thinking, if I had ever made a blog post about the Laredo Archives and a quick search here at We Are Cousins revealed that I had not.
And, that is how this blog post came about.
Since it's founding, Laredo like all other towns along the Rio Grande river kept records. These records contain vital genealogical and historical information.
Fortunately for us and everyone who has deep roots in Laredo, these records somehow made it to the Archives of St. Mary's University in San Antonio.
Spanish Archives of Laredo Online
The good news I have for you is that St. Mary's University with the collaboration of The Portal to Texas History has published these records online.
It contains, at the moment that I am writing in this post, 3576 items. I say items since each item may be from a single page to tens of pages.
Now for what you have been waiting for, here is the link: Spanish Archives of Laredo (The Portal to Texas History). Let me know in the comments of any discoveries you make.
Types of Available Records
On the above link you can browse the records page by page and see what is available. You can also do a search for specific types of records and or the names of your ancestors. Keep in mind that only the titles are searchable, so if you don't get any results for your ancestors it does not mean that there are no records for them but only that their names are not mentioned in the title of the record.
An example are the census records. They contain many names but none are searchable, you need to read the record to find them.
To mention a few types of records, you will be able to find Wills, Land Disputes, Criminal Records, Censuses, and much more.
Las Villas del Norte
Just in case that you are not aware, Las Villas del Norte Genealogy Database has hundreds of family groups for Laredo dating from 1757-1850. They also have a resource page for Laredo and you can find it here: Laredo, Texas (Genealogy and History).