Source Information

Ancestry.com. New Mexico, Land Records of New Spain, 1692-1846 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
Original data:

Spanish Archives of New Mexico, Series 2, 1621-1821. New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


A full list of sources can be found here

About New Mexico, Land Records of New Spain, 1692-1846

Santa Fe, established in the early 17th century, boasted an estimated Spanish population of 2,500 by 1680. During its history, the city has been capital of the Spanish Kingdom of New Mexico, the Mexican province of Nuevo México, the American territory of New Mexico (present-day Arizona and New Mexico), and the state of New Mexico. During these periods, the people in the area left a rich legacy of records, many of which survive in the Spanish Archives of New Mexico.

Nearly destroyed by fire in 1892, the records were translated and put in a calendar by Ralph Emerson Twitchell and published in 1914. His work served as the basis for the Calendar of the Microfilm Edition of the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, 1621–1821. The calendar includes names and descriptions (in English) of the wide variety of documents that can be found in this collection, with “Twitchell numbers” linking items in the calendar to images of the actual record. Ancestry has digitally scanned the records from the originals, improving the quality of the images when compared to earlier scans. Records in this collection are searchable only by keyword, date, series title, and reference number.

In the prefatory note of The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, volume one, Twitchell describes the collection.

"These archives are by far the most valuable and interesting of any in the Southwest, not excepting those of California. Here we find reflected the home and business life of the early settlers. In the expedientes, testimonios, and other papers, a number of which have been translated and given in full, are disclosed the pride of ancestral achievement in the conquest and pacification of the country; recitals of Indian campaigns, usages, methods of defense, the erection of forts and towers in exposed localities on the Indian frontiers; customs, civil and military; names of officers in all branches of the service; the respectful regard for the rights of the Pueblo Indians relative to their land holdings; the efforts to win over the hostile tribes and convert them to the Catholic faith; the deference for the ecclesiastics; official admonitions, wills and testaments, slaves and slavery, laws and customs, forms of official procedure, census returns; in fine, almost everything necessary for a study of the lives, manners, routine, dress, and daily occupations of the people during a period of more than two centuries. The will of General De Vargas exemplifies in many ways the picture of official life at Santa Fe; the manners of dress, the home life, the use of elaborate plate, the wearing of resplendent jewelry, the affection bestowed upon his intimates, all are found in this notable document."

About This Collection.

This collection, known as Spanish Archives, Series 2 at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, includes records formerly held at The National Archives at Washington, D.C (NARA). These records consist of multiple series within Record Group 49, Records of the Bureau of Land Management, 1685 - 2006. The large portion of the records in this collection come from the below three series:

Collected Spanish Land Files, 1854 - 1925.
"This series consists of collected Spanish land files. It includes registrations, petitions, reports, land conveyances, proceedings, wills, estate settlements, land grants, complaints, estate inventories, bandos (this refers to the Spanish term for announcements or notices), and other types of land files. It also includes letters that are connected to the Spanish land files. Some of the subject matters include disputes over land grants and claims, estates, gifts, wills. The files also contain information on land partitions, litigations, donations, and grant revalidations. The files may include Twitchell numbers, dates, years, names of grantees, descriptions, and locations."

Land Grant Case Files, 1849 - ca. 1934 and Land Grant Case Files, 1891 - 1898.
"These series consist of land grant case files. Each case file contains the report number and the name of the land grant."

Note: The above information on these series comes from The National Archives Catalog.

The below series make up the remainder of the NARA series within this collection:

  • Acoma Pueblo Survey Investigation, ca. 1876 - ca. 1886
  • Administrative Records, ca. 3/28/1902 - ca. 2/24/1908
  • Appearance Docket, ca. 1891 - ca. 1903
  • Docket Book, 1854 - 1925
  • Docket Book, 1891 - ca. 8/6/1902
  • General Index to Letters Received, 8/5/1854 - 3/18/1899
  • Index to Records of the Secretary of the Territory, 1854 - 1925
  • Journals, 12/1/1891 - 6/15/1904
  • Land Grants and List of Grants or Allotments of Lands to the Pueblo Indians, 1854 - 1925
  • Letterpress Book of Grant Papers, 5/13/1881 - 11/25/1882
  • Letters Sent, 8/9/1854 - 4/19/1897
  • Letters Received, 8/5/1854 - 5/8/1876
  • Record Book, ca. 2/4/1855 - ca. 5/10/1872
  • Record Book, 1891 - 1904
  • Records of Land Claims, 1891 - 1904
  • Registers of Land Titles, 1854 - 1854
  • Roll of Attorneys, ca. 1892 - ca. 1896
  • Vacation Minute Book, 1893 - 1903

In addition to the above series, this collection also includes the following from New Mexico State Records Center and Archives:

  • Court of Private Land Claims Miscellaneous Records
  • Surveyor General Cash Books, Day Books, Journals, Land Grants Abstracts, and Miscellaneous Department Accounts
  • Transcripts of Land Records
  • Works Progress Administration English Translations

Note: The following terms are abbreviated within this collection. For the best search results, use these abbreviations when performing a keyword search.

  • SG - Surveyor General
  • PLC - Private Land Claim(s)